All-Star Panelists Carol Swain and Crom Carmichael Explain Amendment One and Urge Voters to Oppose It

Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelists Crom Carmichael and Dr. Carol M. Swain in-studio to discuss Amendment One and what it does, and urged Davidson County voters to vote to “not ratify” that or any other amendment on the August 4 ballot.

Leahy: We’re joined in-studio by a very good friend, Carol Swain, and Crom Carmichael, all-star panelist and original all-star panelist. Tell us about Amendment One in Davidson County and why you are opposed to Amendment One. Describe it and tell us why you are opposed to it.

Carmichael: Yes. Amendment One is on the ballot, and then you have to go back – there are not many people here, and I’m one of them, too – I don’t think I was here when the Metro charter was passed, I don’t remember exactly when it was passed, but I started Vanderbilt in 1967.

Leahy: I think it was 1965. There was a combined county and city government put together.

Carmichael: And what it did was it took the city of Nashville, it took all the surrounding communities within Davidson County and it made us a metropolitan form of government.

And part of that negotiation was the outlying communities were very concerned that the city of Nashville at that time would then dominate the politics and destroy their communities.

So part of the negotiation was that the voters could have a referendum, they could get a petition signed that would require a certain amount of work – it was hard work but it wasn’t impossible work.

And you could get a referendum on the ballot for voters to then repeal or respond to the bad policy passed by the council. And that was a big, big part of our charter. And in fact, it’s the essence of our charter because that is what has the checks and balances.

That’s like having the checks and balances we do at the state level with the judiciary, the legislature, and all these different checks and balances at the national level. The electoral college is a check and a balance. There are reasons for that to be there.

Leahy: And it was part of the reason why the outlying communities surrounding national within Davidson County were willing to join this.

Carmichael: Were willing to join it. That’s right. And now Amendment One is put on the ballot, and it’s an attempt to eviscerate the Nashville charter. And it gives all the power to the council and the mayor.

In essence, it takes all of the rights away from the voters to have a referendum. There are ways you can do it, but it’s almost impossible.

Leahy: There are multiple bad things in Amendment One. One of the things it does is it changes the number of petition signatures you need to get a charter amendment, from like 8,000 to like 48,000, and there are multiple other ways to stop it.

Carmichael: Yes, even if you … get signatures, they can still stop you.

Leahy: There are multiple bureaucratic ways to stop it. And Carol, you ran for mayor of Davidson County.

Swain: I did. And I would urge listeners to read or re-read Murder in Music City – you know, it talks about the birth of Nashville and the metropolitan area was birthed in corruption, and that corruption continues.

And there are so many things that need to be addressed ,and I believe that we do need to vote against Amendment One, and maybe the other amendments as well.

Leahy: I don’t think you can go wrong voting against all of them.

Swain: I voted against all of them.

Carmichael: If you, if you’re tired of the 5th-district election, and you live in Davidson County, and if you want your property taxes to double over the next five years, if that’s what you want then you should run out and joyfully vote to ratify Amendment One.

Leahy: In other words, vote “no.”

Carmichael: But if you don’t want your property taxes to go up, you vote to not ratify – that’s how it’s expressed. It’s not “yes” or “no,” it’s vote to “not ratify,” so you check the “not-ratify” box. And you kill it.

Leahy: It’s not “yes” or “no.” You have to say “not ratify.”

Carmichael: It’s “not ratify,” and that’s what it says with all the amendments. Even if you don’t care about any of the elections, and you don’t want to go through the whole ballot, but you don’t want your property tax, you don’t want the government to have complete power over property taxes and you can’t do anything about it, then just go in and find Amendment One, vote “not ratify” and walk out.

Leahy: So if you want to be effective with your vote, right, you just go in and you just want to vote on one thing, you would say vote to not ratify Amendment One.

Swain: Well I think they should vote against all of the amendments and they should realize that Nashville is going the way of other blue cities around the country. They are all crime-ridden.

The quality of life is such that people flee the city areas and that’s happening here. And so those of us that own property, who live in neighborhoods we love, our neighborhoods are at stake. And this government totally needs to be upended. We don’t need 40 city council members.

Carmichael: This amendment is not about that.

Swain: I’m just telling you we need to upend the whole thing.

Leahy: That’s not on the ballot.

Carmichael: Right now we need to focus on what’s on the ballot.

Leahy: Focus.

Swain: Well, I can’t focus. (Chuckles)

Leahy: But in this case …

Swain: Vote against Amendment One! Vote against the ratification of all the amendments on the ballot.

Leahy: Not ratifying.

Carmichael: And what Carol is saying about Nashville, compared to other cities of this size, we are a wonderful city. And a big part of that is because the government can’t willy-nilly just jump out and do a lot of stupid things, which it wants to do.

And that’s exactly why it is putting Amendment One on there and hoping that they can slip it under the door. You remember when Megan Barry was mayor?

Leahy: I do remember.

Carmichael: And Karl Dean, before Megan Barry, wanted to have this very, very expensive mass transit. Well, to her great credit she said I’m gonna put that up for a referendum, and that’s what she did. That’s what she did. And it got beat badly.

But to her great credit, she said the voters are going to have a chance to weigh in. This mayor and this council want to not only not let voters vote on anything, they want to stop us in the future.

Listen to the interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.


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4 Thoughts to “All-Star Panelists Carol Swain and Crom Carmichael Explain Amendment One and Urge Voters to Oppose It”

  1. AWM

    Folks, listen to Carol Swain.

  2. Mark Knofler

    Mass Transit hasn’t been totally defeated. The Metro Commy Council is still “researching” the subject. Phase 1 is Downtown to Bell Rd via M’boro Rd.

  3. B Anderson

    Andy Ogles refusing to go along with governmental overreach is far more important to me than any paperwork. Deciding that paperwork is a more important and accurate indicator of future action than actual past action on the important issues of our day seems like a mistake of perspective.

  4. Maury Insider

    Wow! Props to Carol Swain. Not many in todays political works admit to being wrong and will come on air and express their error. This may be a first. At least I’ve not seen it before. Kudos!