LETTER: U Missed It!
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U missed it!

An election commission meeting without fireworks!  Monday night 7/23/12 the election commission meeting was held, void of the rudeness, arrogance, demeaning comments, and belligerence to which, unfortunately we recently had become accustomed. Just what has come over these individuals? Surely you don’t think they became bosom buddies over the weekend. Was this unexpected courtesy shown by the commission due to the arrival of our newest commissioner? Sounds plausible, but that isn’t the answer. It was obvious from the early stages of the meeting that an unexpected transformation had taken place.  However, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to determine what was happening. A small video camera brought by one of our commissioners seemed mysteriously to serve as the ice breaker or maybe a temporary peacemaker.  

Very similar to the Washington politicians who are caught discussing less than flattering comments by an “open mike” some of the election commissioners changed their mode of operation when faced with the citizens of our county viewing their antagonist actions.  Realizing they were on camera they became what would have been unheard of in the past, courteous to their fellow commissioners. In fact it was so conspicuous and so apparent I wasn’t sure it was the same commissioners.  

No surprise two of the commissioners had a concern that the video might be illegal, and felt the need to confer with a lawyer prior to next months’ meeting at which time video would (as I understand it ) appear on the agenda.  There should be one goal and one goal only for the Cannon County election commission – purity at the ballot box, without any hint of fraud. We cannot continue to have commissioners willing to sacrifice good employees without merit and at the expense of the tax payers of the county in litigation and settlement fees just to save their turf. Each of us deserve better from our elected officials, business leaders and appointed commissioners.  If they don’t stop pulling in different directions and being so concerned about political affiliation and the good old buddy system and start working together as a team with ALL our citizens, you can expect more and more lawsuits to follow.  

Video or no video. The jury is out. I suggest continue the video and attend the election commission meetings. Then you can see for yourself who shows Dr. Jeckle or Mr. Hyde.

James W. Hill III
Woodbury, Tn. 37190
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Members Opinions:
July 28, 2012 at 7:30am
I believe the county government officials should get together with DTC to see about broadcasting all government meetings on television like they do in Rutherford and surrounding counties.
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July 28, 2012 at 7:54am
A good idea but as with everything government does I think it would come down to whatever cost is involved. Comcast, DTC and other venues broadcast the Rutherford County meetings, but they are produced by a TV station its taxpayers fund.
July 28, 2012 at 7:56am
Seems to me the camera was nothing more than an attempt Republicans to film a Democrat saying something that could be used later in an effort to degrade the Democrats.
By their fruits, you will know them--Look back thru the years at the comments made by some vocal right wing conservatives--what they said and how they said it, and then draw a conclusion based on those comments.

July 28, 2012 at 8:43am
mmw, why don't you just go ahead and say it, its Bush's fault! your amazing.
July 28, 2012 at 11:55am
You mean it wasn't???
July 28, 2012 at 12:54pm
It never ceases to amaze me how any time someone suggests shining a light on something that should be totally transparent, some liberal will come in and suggest that it is Republicans trying to catch Democrats saying or doing something that would degrade themselves. It would seem to me that any time you video tape any type of meeting each and every individual involved in that meeting would be under the same scrutiny. It would also seem to me that any official participating in a public meeting should conduct themselves in a proper and respectful way. If not any such action SHOULD be made available for ALL to hear and see.

I am also of the belief that any public official who cannot participate in a public meeting and not conduct themselves in a proper and respectful manner should be promptly removed from said position.

"Bullpen" this should also apply to Bush don't you think? Ha! I'm sure MMW would agree.
Jack
July 28, 2012 at 1:31pm
jocularity,jocularity,,,you make us laugh.
July 28, 2012 at 1:37pm
yes mkellr i think we can all agree the more light the better. especially Bush. ha
July 29, 2012 at 11:36am
I think its about time that both the Democrats & the Republicans stop acting like children. If you are going to hold a position in a public office, then you are suppose to be in the office for the people. It doesn't matter if you like the individual sitting beside or across from you. Not everyone is going to like you, but since you are not hired into these position(s) until you are adults...you should act like adults. By the time that we are grown, we know right from wrong and we know that we are not going to like everyone we work with or even everyone that we are around, but maybe if everyone would try being respectful to each other then we might get this country back under control before we hand our children a plate of failure. Everything said in any public meeting should be allowed to be seen and/or heard by all especially if they couldn't make it to the meeting. As everyone knows that was at the meeting the other night, there wasn't enough seats to allow the few that did show to sit down. If anyone else would have wanted to come there wouldn't have been anywhere for them to go. As far as Bush...he isn't in the office anymore & complaining about the people in the past isn't going to help the present or the future. Everyone is so quick to point the finger but then those are the same people that will not lend a hand to those in need.
July 30, 2012 at 3:47pm
I could be wrong but the election commission meeting is a public forum and whether it be video, tape or someone taking notes it is not illegal for a video camera to record the meeting.

Meetings are supposed to have minutes taken anyway. If someone is videoing the meeting in order to insure the accuracy of both the tape recorder and the writing of the minutes why is it a concern unless there is something to hide. The commission should be happy that someone is trying to protect the integrity of the meeting and prevent a lot of gossip or here say, not worry about if it is legal or not.
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July 30, 2012 at 4:12pm
I was at one meeting where the members of the media who were present (I along with Keith) were asked by members of the election commission and election office to "hide" information. If I am not mistaken it had to do with the party affiliation or some other discussion pertaining to poll workers.

The reason I mention it is because while I do not object to meetings being recorded in whatever format someone chooses, it might conflict with a person's voter confidentially rights if some of the information is not redacted from public consumption, or else discussed outside the presence of the public and media.
July 30, 2012 at 7:49pm
Any time a commission of this type attempts to hide any information brought up before it or discussed by the commission it is a vitiation of the State sunshine laws, and is an illegal act by the commission. Any commissioner that would ask that any information be hidden from the public should be removed. Would this not be unprofessional conduct.

Any time this commission insists on an equal number of Democrats and Republicans serve as poll workers then any worker not willing to declare this party affiliation should not be allowed to be a worker. This especially true when your party affiliation is determined by which party primary you voted in the last election.

I would also hope that no member of the media would ever attempt to hide any information from the public that was discussed in an open public meeting. And then one would wonder why there is so little trust in all media, print or broadcast.

Jack
July 30, 2012 at 9:17pm
If someone did not want their information known all they have to do is say "I do not wish to give that information out at this time" so there is no conspiracy to HIDE anything.

It is a public meeting and if people don't want their information known to the public all they have to do is not tell it. But voting records are viewable by the public. While they may not state who they voted for it does tell what party. If the commission does not want that video taped and put to the public, they can still view it in the minutes of the meeting. If they are not in the minutes would that not be considered as the tampering?
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July 31, 2012 at 5:56am
If people, whether public officials or private citizens, say or discuss something at a public meeting, it can be put "out" even if they say they don't want it to be.

Now, I don't know whether it's right or wrong to do so, but I do feel I have to consider whether it serves readers any useful purpose for me to report a person's political party affiliation, even poll workers. That information is discussed at a public meeting in order for the election commission members to feel secure that the scales are balanced, but in my experience, when I go to vote, knowing what political party a poll worker is with has never come into play. I am not asked whether I want to be assisted by a Republican or Democratic poll worker. I have never noticed them wearing a nametag, button or badge indicating they are affiliated with a political party. I feel as though even poll workers are entitled to a certain amount of political privacy.

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