Attorney Warns That Mayor John Cooper and Others are Privately Seeking Ways to Sabotage the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act


Members of the Metro Nashville Election Commission met privately Friday, and at least one of the five commission members refused to say what they discussed, even though it was government business.

Nashville attorney Jim Roberts told The Tennessee Star Saturday that he suspects commission members met to discuss ways to undermine the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act. As reported last month, this referendum, if approved, would roll back Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s 34-37 percent tax increase. The referendum would also limit property tax rate increases to 2 percent every year without voters approving it. Voters are scheduled to decide during a December 5 referendum.

Cooper, as reported, opposes the referendum and wants voters to reject it.

“We don’t know what the meeting was to discuss, but come on. You don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. They are getting ready to put the Nashville Taxpayer Protection. Act on the ballot,” Roberts said.

“Metro is fighting tooth and nail to keep it off the ballot. What do you think they were talking about? It’s possible that it’s for some innocent reason, but I sincerely doubt it.”

A.J. Starling, one of five Election Commission members, confirmed that he and his four colleagues met Friday.

“But it wasn’t a meeting,” Starling said Saturday.

“It was just an advisory.”

The Star asked Starling what he meant by that.

“We were getting some information from the Metro Legal, but it wasn’t a public meeting,” Starling said.

Starling would say nothing further.

Cooper spokesman Chris Song did not return our request for comment Saturday.

Roberts said “Cooper is desperate for some way to try to keep this initiative off the ballot.” He also said he believes Election Commission members “want to break the ballot initiative into multiple pieces” or change the scheduled date of the referendum.”

“Or they’re just trying to keep it off the ballot entirely, which will get the absolute crap sued out of them if they do, because that is absolutely a civil rights violation,” Roberts said.

Roberts also said Friday’s meeting “was totally inappropriate under the Open Meetings Act.”

“Regardless of what they spoke about, that should have been in a properly noticed meeting where they went into executive session,” Roberts said.

“That is what the law says, I think pretty clearly, and they should have come out of that executive session and said ‘OK, we’ve been given some advice, and we’re going to discuss that advice.’ That should have been done in the public. That is the law, regardless of whatever they were talking about.”

– – –

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







Related posts

10 Thoughts to “Attorney Warns That Mayor John Cooper and Others are Privately Seeking Ways to Sabotage the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act”

  1. Karen

    I would love to see an update on the measure to recall Cooper. Did we not get the votes? Is it still in limbo? Is there something more we need to be doing? Or will this be on the ballot on Dec. 5th? We cannot continue on this path! We MUST get him out of office!

    1. Gary Melechinsky

      Keep fighting for truth and justice! We have a Governor like that here in Kansas too. I’m praying for you to succeed in getting yours recalled. Please pray for us!

  2. Trevor

    I beg the republican legislature to remove the GOP election commission members appointed to the commission. Please Governor Lee, state legislature and other concerned citizens please call for the removal of the election commission members. Please take more oversight over metro finances. Please breakup the 5th congressional district! The Coopers have an entitled mentality! The district is out of step with our state and they think and govern as if they are their own country. I.E. raising taxes, ignoring TN supreme court decisions. The elected leaders in Nashville are not business friendly and most of all they forget about the elderly on fixed income that are having a hard time paying their expenses. Please break this hot mess up…

  3. GeorgeW

    Why is this scum still in office? A 30+% tax increase, and the revelation that he gamed the system to close bars, restaurants and the like? He lied, and he’s still lying?
    Has anyone looked into his financials?
    Has anyone considered that he committed and is still committing criminal acts which endanger livelihood and life? Self-defense when your life is endangered is not a criminal act.

  4. Tom

    Arrest the crooks!

  5. Julie

    Mayor Cooper isn’t even trying to win over the taxpayer with this one because there is nothing to sell. Politicians like Cooper are elitists who believe they know what is best and they certainly don’t want to have to answer to voters. Maybe our local news stations would like to ask Cooper why he doesn’t want the taxpayers to have a say in this. However, most seem fine with the softball interviews and prepared statements – I suppose there is always hope for a random act of journalism.

    1. nnacy

      your right, and also the group that wants us tax payers to give them and their family free medical for life!!

  6. rick

    Maybe the State Department should pass a state law that no county can have a property tax increase without citizen approval, overriding these power hungry mayors like the King Commie Cooper. Maybe the Governor could make an emergency ruling as the taxes from Nashville will be effected as the local business’s will leave along with a portion of the citizens as they will not be able to survive or pay this increase. King Commie may pull something crooked which is normal operating procedure for a Democratic, but it will end the Democratic rule in Nashville and personally King Commie may not be in office to the end of his term. What disrespect to the citizens of Nashville.

  7. Randy

    Rules do not apply to the left. They believe they are above the law and superior to anyone who disagrees with them.

  8. Rick

    The law does not mean anything to King Commie Cooper hie is above the law. This guy needs to be thrown out now. Someone at the state dept level needs to know what is going on and take over running this lawless bunch. Hong Kong Song , when he will not return your call you know they are up to something devious, he is a slimey little weasel. Cooper whole administration is not there for citizen benefit it’s all about King Commie Cooper and his merry band of weasels.