Crafton garners necessary English Only signatures

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 12:49am
Councilman Eric Crafton is expected to turn in his second batch of petitions to force a special election for the English Only initiative. Matthew Williams/File/The City Paper

The second round of English Only petitions earned 5,000 signatures last week alone, according to Councilman Eric Crafton, more than double the amount necessary to force a special election.

Crafton said he would make his second trip to the Metro Clerk’s office today at 11 a.m. to turn in his signatures. He needed about 2,475 in order to put his charter amendment proposal on the ballot for a special election.

The proposal would alter Metro’s charter to make English its official language and would say no one has a right to services in any language besides English.

Crafton said the goal was to have the special election on Jan. 22.

It’s the Bellevue councilman’s second attempt at a petition-driven charter amendment. He turned in the necessary 10,103 signatures to put the proposal on the Nov. 7 ballot, but the Davidson County Election Commission ruled the petition drive did not clear the required two-year waiting period by three days.

Crafton appealed that ruling, but a Chancery Court judge sided with the election commission.

After the Tennessee Supreme Court said it would not expedite Crafton’s latest appeal, he was forced to start the petition process over gain. For the second round, Crafton only needs 2,475 signatures because the law states 10 percent of the voters from the previous election must sign in order to put it on the ballot. The previous general election, according to Election Commission Director Ray Barrett, was in August and about 25,000 voters went to the polls.

Crafton said he did not anticipate a legal challenge this time around.

“I don’t know why it would,” Crafton said.

The cost of a special election is about $350,000 Barrett said.

English Only has been criticized by Mayor Karl Dean, Metro Council members and various Nashville immigrant rights advocates.

In response to Dean’s opposition, a group is planning a protest in front of Jimmy Kelly’s restaurant Wednesday morning. That’s when Dean will be meeting with Gov. Phil Bredesen for a fund-raiser for Nashville state Sen. Joe Haynes.

To get word out about the protest, people handed out fliers before Sunday’s Titans game. A Web site — www.threeamigosfiesta.com — was also launched.

“This initiative should have been on the General Election Ballot for November,” the Web site reads. “Evidently, the ‘Three Amigos’ must not care how much of our tax dollars they waste. Show these three elected leaders your displeasure by attending a special, surprise, welcoming parade for their upcoming, elite, exclusive breakfast.”

Crafton said he did not know about the protest or the Web site.

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By: Funditto on 12/31/69 at 7:00

And still a waste of time and money. It won't make mexicans go away anymore than voting Yes on the marriage ammendment made gay people straight.

By: WickedTribe on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Who said it's designed to make anyone go away? It's designed to make them spend their own money when they need a translation instead of putting that expense on tax payers.

By: revo-lou on 12/31/69 at 7:00

WT, see what you make of this.http://www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral/op/2007/OP/OP112.pdf

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 7:00

The democrats have become the enemy. Just listen to them. They reek of socialism.

By: sidneyames on 12/31/69 at 7:00

No, Revolou you're gonna see MORE cause I'm sick and tired of you people monopolizing the conversation with your trash. And further, I'm sick of the name calling. So I guess "if I can't beat 'em" I'll join 'em and since you all call people you've never met names, I'm gonna keep on keeping on. So shut up and quit whinning. Get a grip. Get a life. And VOTE . . . because then whoever wins, will be winning fairly. Wicked you are so absolutely and positively wonderful. You are correct. It is NOT to make anyone go away. It's to create a more fair environment and have everyone playing from the same "sheet" so that the music in in harmony. If I talk to one more person "in person" who gives me that blank stare -- like they are in space -- and then hear "no speak English" I'm gonna scream. But the ironic part is that when you say the word "it's free" they seem to know that word. And thank you Wicked for "translating" to revolo and his followers that it's "designed to make them spend their own money when they need a translation". And Idgaf, yes, the demos are seeking socialism, but you and I and like minded people need to call our Congress-people and say NO to bail outs. That's socialism with a capital "S".

By: 2476 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Sidney>> all ditto and lu-lu need is a little cheese with their whine.

By: revo-lou on 12/31/69 at 7:00

sid, I don’t think you will really enjoy playing that way, but whatever, I am game. You have called names, made crap up, ask for and got answers to many questions, and yet, it means nothing because you live in your own little world. A back woods life that means nothing to anyone but you. You have no ability to understand anything that goes on around you, and the only reason anyone hasn’t ripped you a new one is because you are an old woman and we felt sorry for you. You want it different, so be it.

By: SirKnight on 12/31/69 at 7:00

revo-lou, that made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

By: revo-lou on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Then you should learn to read English and pay attention to other peoples post.

By: SirKnight on 12/31/69 at 7:00

...and neither did that!