Nashville Attorney Says Davidson County Election Commission Trying to ‘Gum Up the Works’ on Taxpayer Protection Act Referendum


A Nashville attorney currently fighting the Davidson County Election Commission to get the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act referendum on the December 5 ballot said Commission members are playing unfair games with him and the public.

Attorney Jim Roberts said this Tuesday.

As reported, The Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act referendum, if approved, would roll back Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s 34 to 37 percent tax increase.

As reported last month, the Nashville Election Commission voted to neither approve nor reject the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act. They instead passed the matter on to a chancery court to guide them on how to proceed, and also moved the “conditional” date of the election from December 5 to December 15.

As reported last week, Elections Administrator Jeff Roberts said election commissioners wish the court to define the scope of the Commission’s authority and to decide whether the petition satisfies the legal requirements for a ballot measure.

But Jim Roberts, who said he is not related to Jeff Roberts, told The Tennessee Star Tuesday that he does not believe Election Commission members have the authority to sue anybody — including the Metro Government.

“I did file a motion to dismiss the Metro Election Commission’s case last night, and I filed another one today because Metro has filed this counterclaim,” Jim Roberts said.

“What they are trying to do is make things incredibly complicated and incredibly confusing. I think they feel this serves their purpose.”

The five members of the Election Commission, along with Jeff Roberts and Metro Legal Director Bob Cooper, did not return The Star’s requests for comment Tuesday.

Jim Roberts, though, said Election Commission members “are trying to gum up the works.”

“This is intentional and part of a dishonest strategy, and I have filed two motions, one yesterday and one today, to dismiss Metro’s case. One against the Election Commission last night and one against Metro today because Metro filed an answer and counterclaim against 4 Good Government,” Jim Roberts said.

“If it sounds confusing it is because it is intentionally that way. They are trying to make it all super-confusing because they want to be on offense instead of defense. They had three weeks to file this.”

Members of 4 Good Government pushed for the referendum.

Jim Roberts said a judge has scheduled a hearing for Thursday afternoon on his request for an injunctive mandamus to force the Election Commission to put the referendum on the ballot.

Jim Roberts said last week that government officials have two kinds of duties. There are ministerial duties, which means they do exactly what the law says. They also have discretionary duties, which means they have a lot of discretion for when they make a decision. Jim Roberts said the Election Commission’s duties are ministerial, and they must put the referendum on the December 5 ballot, as scheduled.

“They filed the case late, and they did it improperly,” Jim Roberts said Tuesday.

“You are not allowed to have multiple lawsuits over the same facts.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “John Cooper” by








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One Thought to “Nashville Attorney Says Davidson County Election Commission Trying to ‘Gum Up the Works’ on Taxpayer Protection Act Referendum”

  1. Wolf Woman

    John Cooper will go down in Nashville’s history as the man, who through his incompetence, hubris, greed and elitist socialism, ruined Music City.

    Hopefully, some starving singer/songwriter will write a hit ballad about Cooper the incompetent and make a million dollars.