FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Memphis Big Money Can’t Win at Ballot Box, Asks Court to Save Their Investment in Consolidation
Memphis, TN – October 8, 2010 – Nine voters have filed suit in Memphis federal court against Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper, the Shelby County Election Commission and Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett to throw out the requirement that a consolidation charter must pass in two separate votes on the Nov. 2 ballot. Currently, state law says that in order for a metro consolidation to win at the polls it must pass in a vote of the city and a separate vote of the county outside the city.
This legal action changes the entire dynamics of the discussion around consolidating Memphis City Government with Shelby County Government. Every talking point from the pro-consolidation side up to now has been constructed on the foundation that both city and non-city voters have to agree before consolidation can move forward. The very politicos who voted for the consolidation charter process are now acting in bad faith. Whatever trust that was built around the charter process is now gone. The promoters of consolidation can’t just change the rules less than a week before voting begins on the referendum.
“It is clear that the conversation of consolidation was sold under false pretenses,” says Tom Guleff, co-chair of Save Shelby County. “It pretty obvious that big money can’t win at the ballot box, so the investors have to ask the courts to save their investment in consolidation.”