Nashville Business Coalition Attorney Jamie Hollin addressed the Davidson County Election Commission on Saturday.
Here is a transcript of his comments:
Hollin: Excuse me, Mr. Chairman, I represent an organization and I would like an opportunity for no more than three minutes and if that will help persuade you as the winning lawyer of lawless and FOP. I have to tell you that the preceding general election for this purpose is the August 2020 general election.
Commissioner: Okay. What organization is that?
Hollin: I represent the Nashville Business Coalition.
Commissioner: Okay, alright. Commissioners, what is your pleasure?
Herzfeld: I would like to hear from Mr. Hollins.
Commissioner: Ok. Is that…Okay. Alright.
Hollin: We have new members Mr. Chairman and I want to let them know and I’ll let professor Lumpstein know, too.
Good afternoon Mr. Chairman and commissioners. For some less, this feels like deja-vu all over again. Rest in peace, Yogi Berra. I’m Jamie Hollins on behalf of the Nashville Business Coalition and as we mentioned, I litigated those cases you’ve been reading about and lectured to beginning to end and they all started right here.
And as the Chairman said there is no question it’s going to litigation. As a preliminary matter, I need to object to the commissions’ consideration of multiple versions. Language is not the same and cannot be considered together. Indeed they are separate. I also almost must object to the signature verification process. You’ll note in that handout that you’ve got two signatures. Mr. and Miss. Hardwick, let’s call them. Topline street address, street, city, state, zip checkmark. Verified signatures.
Next line: quote-quote, quote-quote, quote-quote – checkmark. Signature verified. What I found at the election commission on Tuesday and asked for a copy of the rules governing the verification process, it was printed out for me. I’m sure you all know about it and if not I”ve got one to leave. But on the last page, it says dittoes used to designate address, don’t count it. Not my rules, rules of the commission. Make that part of the record, as well.
Here, clearly and in violation of your own rules, a petition signer’s name was verified in spite of the rule disallowing it. The process followed by this commission is seriously flawed. Existing lawyers may agree with you, some you don’t. And you fire them and call them adversarial.
I’m not sure the propriety but the Chairman sent a letter to the clerk three chancellors – which is expressly prohibited under the conduct governing attorneys. Especially one in a representative capacity.
Review the opinion of the law director. Take it seriously. This latest effort is as irredeemably flawed as the prior effort. Third, we are way past partisan politics. Instead, this is about substantive matters of law. If you put the new petition into the [Judge] Lyle order – the 50-page order – there is only one conclusion. The petitions can’t go on the ballot as a matter of law. At worst, seek a declaratory judgment. At best, disallow it. At a minimum, act as though the money is coming out of your pocket to pay for them. Thank you.
Chairman: Thank you, Mr. Hollin. Do any of the commissioners have questions for Mr. Hollin?
Herzfeld: I just have one quick one about the petition that was handed to us. The petition that was handed to us is supposed to be folded like I was talking about before. Is that right? Is that your understanding of how it was sent? Folded like this on the front, the language of the petition on the inside, and then there is an additional signature page, not the back.
Hollin: That’s correct. And most of them, you know, 14,000 pieces of paper it’s hard to put your hands on those in any particular reasonable amount of time. And I was only there for a limited amount of time. But a great number, certainly greater than 256 have the signatures on the back. And if this one got the checkmark verified in expressly opposite of your rules. It isn’t one. We’re talking about 256. 255 and it doesn’t get there. So I think your verification process needs to be reviewed.
Herzfeld: Thank you Mr. Hollin.