Walden Says "Frivolous Lawsuits" By State Democratic Party Costing Local Taxpayers Money

Monday, July 23, 2018

Hamilton County Election Commission Chairman Mike Walden said Monday that "frivolous lawsuits by Nashville lawyers" are costing local taxpayers money, and he said he "can't imagine" that a judge would invalidate the commission's action in allowing Robin Smith on the ballot.

He said, "This cake is baked. 2,760 people have already voted in House District 26 in early voting. We have got to stop these people from Nashville from filing these ridiculous lawsuits. It's much ado about nothing."

The commission voted to hire Chattanooga attorney Stephen Duggins to represent the commission in a case filed by the Tennessee Democratic Party in Hamilton County Chancery Court. The rate will be $290 per hour.

The commission is awaiting a bill from a Nashville law firm for defending the suit that was initially filed in Nashville, then was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds.

"Somebody is going to have to pay for all this," Chairman Walden said.

Ms. Smith, former state Republican Party chairman, was the only GOP candidate to come forward when Rep. Gerald McCormick decided to withdraw very late in the process. The state Democrats are contending there was no legal basis for the withdrawal and the Republicans should not be able to put forth a candidate. David Jones is running as a Democrat. The primary voting is Aug. 2 and the general election is Nov. 4.

Chancellor Pam Fleenor has set an Aug. 6 hearing on the case. She did not recuse herself, though Ms. Smith was a paid campaign consultant for her and wrote a letter in her behalf in her 2014 judicial election.

During the Election Commission session, attorneys and fellow commission members Jerry Summers and Chris Clem sparred over whether a meeting at which Ms. Smith was approved should have been delayed. Attorney Summers said he called election administrator Kerry Steelman the day before and got an agreement that the meeting would start at 8:45 instead of 8 because he had a doctor's appointment. Mr. Steelman said that was not agreed.

Attorney Summers said he got to the meeting at 8:25 and the other commissioners were gone. Lawyers for the state Democrats arrived at about the same time. Mr. Walden was not able to go to that meeting.

Attorney Clem said attorney Summers had never said specifically why the meeting should be delayed and only given vague information. He said state Democrats already had a lengthy lawsuit prepared by that morning, but had not raised any objection to the election office about Ms. Smith being on the ballot. He said they never called saying they were coming to the meeting.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Chattanooga Area Motorists Warned To Beware Of "Black Ice" As Temperatures Plunge

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report


Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BLAIR, DANNY CURTIS 10135 E. BRAINERD RD CHATTANOOGA, 37363 Age at Arrest: 57 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County ... (click for more)

Chattanooga area motorists are warned to be cautious about possible "black Ice" as temperatures plunge following heavy moisture. The arrival of Arctic air brought temperatures down from the ... (click for more)

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALLISON, JEFFERY BERNARD 3401 CAMPBELL ST APT 1003 CHATTANOOGA, 37406 Age at Arrest: 51 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga ... (click for more)


Breaking News

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BLAIR, DANNY CURTIS 10135 E. BRAINERD RD CHATTANOOGA, 37363 Age at Arrest: 57 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE HEADLIGHTS ON MOTOR VEHICLES (INCLEMENT WETHER) --- BONNER, MARKI DONNELL 1901 S ORCHARD KNOB CHATTANOOGA, 30404 Age at Arrest: 21 years old Arresting ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Area Motorists Warned To Beware Of "Black Ice" As Temperatures Plunge

Chattanooga area motorists are warned to be cautious about possible "black Ice" as temperatures plunge following heavy moisture. The arrival of Arctic air brought temperatures down from the high 50s on Saturday evening to below freezing on Lookout Mountain by Sunday morning. Here is a Special Weather Statement from the National Weather Service: SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT ... (click for more)

Opinion

Senator Alexander: A Reasonable Proposal To End The Government Shutdown

A government shutdown is always the wrong idea. It is the wrong idea under President Trump, just as it was the wrong idea under President Obama. Members of Congress should first remember that when a president who has been duly elected by the people of the United States -- whatever you may think of him or her -- has a legitimate objective, it is our responsibility to do everything ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Swimming With Jim Morgan

I’ve never talked much about this – it is too close to bragging – but in my teenaged years I was a good swimmer. I loved being in the water and maybe the greatest compliment back in the day was when new UT swimming coach Ray Bussard offered me a ‘full ride’ with the Vols. Are you kidding me … by then I was into tobacco, alcohol, convertibles, and girls in angora sweaters - there ... (click for more)

Sports

Fast-Starting UTC Wrestlers Whip VMI

Chattanooga wrestling coach Kyle Ruschell set a few pretty specific goals for his UTC wrestling team on Sunday afternoon at Maclellan Gym and the first-year head coach was more than pleased with the results. Getting off to a fast start and winning the first six matches, the mat Mocs improved to 3-5 overall and more importantly 1-0 in Southern Conference action with a commanding ... (click for more)

Brainerd Hangs On To Hand Tyner 1st 6-AA Loss

Despite an uncharacteristic first half of the season, the rumors of Brainerd High School’s basketball death among the District 6-AA kingpins has been greatly exaggerated and Saturday afternoon inside the comfy warm surroundings of the High-Jackson Gymnasium the Panthers made that loud and clear from the opening tipoff. The Panthers forced 12 first-quarter turnovers and raced ... (click for more)