Crafton garners necessary English Only signatures

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 1:49am
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: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

If they want to save the money they should put it on the ballot in Nov like they should have in the first place.This isn't Craftons doing it is the democraps that want to prevent our voices from being heard.

By: Tortuf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Oh goody. Now, we all get to vote for Xenophobia. The Klan wears white. What color robes do we get to wear now?Do you know what is the pitiful part? The pitiful part is that so few citizens voted in the last election that Crafton gets to spend $350,000 of our dollars to trot his paean to racism before us with only 2,475 signatures on the petition. Gosh that’s $141.42 per signature. Thank you, all of you who signed, for spending my money to make Nashville look like a bunch of racist morons. I really can’t thank you enough. Have you considered buying a billboard telling all Mexicans to not show their faces afer dark? It might cost less.Of course it was more important to wash your hair than to vote. I mean really. Had we recognized that voting is a critical human right, Crafton might have had to do something other than dredge the bottom for votes on his petition. Don’t complain to me if your lack of voting leads to demagogues like Crafton having their way. And please, don’t tell me that it is the fault of Democrats for this cost. You, all of you who want to make Nashville look like a bunch of fools, can be thanked for this cost. Just take money out of my pocket to subject Nashville to ridicule. Please, really.Or, alternatively, I am sure there is space on the walls of that cave in the Neander valley. How about you just draw a bunch of Eric Crafton clones lynching a Mexican?

By: sidneyames on 12/31/69 at 6:00

And Tortuf, I totally do not expect you to address the major issue: "special interest groups using our taxpayer dollars to fund their deficiencies, ie, lack of speaking the language". You and your cronies, while purporting to read and speak English, do not fully understand STICKING to the issue during a debate!

By: sidneyames on 12/31/69 at 6:00

"English Only has been criticized by Mayor Karl Dean, Metro Council members and various Nashville immigrant rights advocates". And now we'll get to see how many people support English only. After all, it is "Government of the people, by the people and for the people". And to you Tortuf, you need to look up the definition of "racism". It has nothing to do with what language a community wishes to speak. It is only racism when the color of the skin is involved. And I don't see anyone targeting a race of people. We are only asking that special interest groups not be given our taxpayer dollars to support their lack of participation in the norm -- ie, speaking English when doing Government business. And really, I'm totally offended at your analogy of "lynching" anyone. You sound like a racist to me. And to add insult to injury, you think that everyone is a racistt, but it sounds like you have some problems with acceptance of your fellow citizens in such areas as "majority" rules. Get a life and look up "racism" in a real dictionary.

By: SirKnight on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Couldn't have said it better, sidneyjames. Tortuf is a perfect example of the exaggerated and extreme opposite opinion of what most people in Nashville feel. There's an obvious large amount of guilt he feels for what some Americans in the past believed. He is distorting this issue to make himself feel better for supposedly NOT being racist. Everyone is racist to a degree. When we notice someone of a different color or culture and make assumptions about their knowledge, skill or understanding of our ways here in America, we are actually committing racism to a small degree. It's not a BAD thing. It's just what it is. They are just as bad, if not worse, than we are! We are all humans on this earth and we all just want to get along. When you come to America, we only ask you learn to adapt to our way of life and that includes speaking our language. How hard is that to understand?

By: bfra on 12/31/69 at 6:00

SirKnight: About as hard as people with not enough sense to know what ILLEGAL means! Put the issue to a vote, that is what the majority wants.

By: Tortuf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

If the hollow ringing sound between your ears were not distracting you so much you might realize that the petition is all, and only, about racism. IT WILL NOT SOLVE THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT PROBLEM. If you want to solve that problem quit hiring cheap foreign labor, quit buying stuff from businesses who hire cheap foreign labor, or reform immigration laws so that they reflect the economic needs of the country.As far as this piece of drivel goes, it already excepts health and safety. Ask yourself, "Where have I seen bilingual information?" Oh yes, where it affects health and safety. Derr.It does not affect the FEDERAL law on teaching in other languages.And, there is already a state law that says that English is the official language.So (see if you can follow this) the Crafton piece of hate legislation will not actually save any money. It will only make us spend more money defending a defenseless law in court and make Nashville look like a pack of jackasses.Not racism you say? Do you think racism only applies to African Americans? If so, you are just trying to fool yourself. If you didn't have such blind antipathy to a group of people who are different than you, you might be able to see that.

By: RoyceEBurrageJR on 12/31/69 at 6:00

According to Tennessee law, English is the official and legal language of this State.4-1-404. English - Official and legal language.English is hereby established as the official and legal language of Tennessee. All communications and publications, including ballots, produced by governmental entities in Tennessee shall be in English, and instruction in the public schools and colleges of Tennessee shall be conducted in English unless the nature of the course would require otherwise. [Acts 1984, ch. 821, § 1.]But yesterday I was told that TennCare applications are printed in 7 or 8 different languages.It's about time someone began holding government functionaries accountable to the people who want the law enforced. Cities standing up and demanding this is a step in the right direction too.Isn't it interesting how quickly the debate turns to name calling when some like Tortuf have nothing but dry sand to support their arguments?

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Thanks Royce. The way I read what you posted it is the City and State officials that are ignoring the law at our expence.Where is Cane issueing her opinion on that?

By: Time for Truth on 12/31/69 at 6:00

What a surprise! We already knew there were 12,000 idiots who signed the first petition-perhaps with help in some cases. So the fact that there are 5000 idiots still out there is hardly a revelation. People this isn't about illegals! It isn't even about getting wingnuts to the polls anymore! All it is now a vehicle for Eric Crapton to stroke his massive ego and waste our tax dollars on an initiative that will identify us as racist goobers.

By: 2476 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Your tax dollars wouldn't be wasted if Karl Dean and the election committe had done the will of the people to begin with and put it on the ballot for Nov. It is about illegals and there contempt to refuse to learn the language of this country.

By: WickedTribe on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I was too slow this time. I kept forgetting to mail mine in, and now there's no need.

By: WickedTribe on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I love how speaking one language is now racist. It's no wonder people get so offended when you discuss true racist issues (like white people in Germantown calling the police because they saw one of their black neighbors walking down the sidewalk). When you play the race card at bs times like this, it does a disservice to real race relation discussions.

By: Funditto on 12/31/69 at 6:00

This issue gets more embarrassing every day:http://www.threeamigosfiesta.com/EventDetails.html

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

No racist overtones there, Fund. *sigh*

By: Dragon on 12/31/69 at 6:00

This bill is not, and never has been, intended to "SOLVE THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT PROBLEM".It should reduce the burden of accommodating the illegals.

By: Funditto on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I wish I knew a good mariachi band and could throw together a quick fiesta that could drown these clowns out.10 grand, 15 grand out of almost 600 grand is not the will of the people. It's more like a very squeaky wheel.

By: WickedTribe on 12/31/69 at 6:00

"10 grand, 15 grand out of almost 600 grand is not the will of the people. It's more like a very squeaky wheel."Maybe you don't understand how this works, but nothing will become law until it's voted on by the entire city. The "10 grand, 15 grand" you're referring to is how many signatures are required to put it on a ballot, not to pass it.But I don't think anyone has any delusions that it won't pass.

By: Funditto on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I never got a ballot.

By: revo-lou on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Let’s see, English is the “official” state language, yet the state prints many documents, including Tenncare and DL test, in other languages. The Feds have many laws about illegal immigrants entering the country, and yet, we know that we do indeed have illegal immigrants. But, this is the ”magic bill” that is going to make it all work! Well, alrighty then!

By: WickedTribe on 12/31/69 at 6:00

"I never got a ballot."It hasn't been put on a ballot yet. That's why this second round of signatures was required to create a special election.

By: 2476 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

It looks as though Karl Dean and the election committee are going to be embaraced to see just what the will of the people wanted.

By: nedwilliams on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Here's a link to the site.Liberal (political as well as jurisprudential) INTERPRETATIONS/applications of Federal law on discrimination basically take the issue out of the hands of states and localities. And as far as costs, "tortuf," who's to blame for costs of legal challenges or frivolous lawsuits?

By: nedwilliams on 12/31/69 at 6:00

sorry, the hyper-link was swallowed http://threeamigosfiesta.com/

By: SirKnight on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Funditto, the English First group only sent out around 25,000 petition cards to registered Republicans and other supportive groups. They only needed 12,000. But they got more signatures than that! It was just a simple petition drive, not a voting (ballot) issue. Why should they send one to those who will likely not respond or be in favor of putting this to a vote.

By: EASTWATCHER on 12/31/69 at 6:00

The bottom line to all this Crafton crap is that we the residents of Nashville will look like a bunch of hateful fools to the rest of the world at a large expense to the taxpayers. Crafton is in his last term and really dosen't give a rats A about what people think about him. If he did he never would have started such a stink about a law that will serve no real purpose other than promote hate! I hope he is happy along with that big fat ego of his! He along with that whole bunch should fall into the Cumberland River and wash on away from the rest of us..

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Gotta love the compassionate conservatives.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

By: revo-lou on 9/23/08 Let’s see, English is the “official” state language, yet the state prints many documents, including Tenncare and DL test, in other languages. The Feds have many laws about illegal immigrants entering the country, and yet, we know that we do indeed have illegal immigrants. But, this is the ”magic bill” that is going to make it all work! Well, alrighty then! **************************************NO it is a way to make our voice and disapproval to be heard.Plus save a lot of our money and ideally get a few of them indicted and/or criminally charged, impeached or recalled.

By: revo-lou on 12/31/69 at 6:00

“Plus save a lot of our money and ideally get a few of them indicted and/or criminally charged, impeached or recalled.”id, you must be one of those “higher IQ’s” that TNcon was talking about on the other board! I would love a good laugh, so why don’t you explain how this bill will even come close to accomplishing your above statement!

By: Funditto on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I hope they do put it on the ballot. But only if there is a recall for Mr. Crapton on it as well. Let the people speak by golly.

By: SirKnight on 12/31/69 at 6:00

EAST, why on earth do you care what the rest of the world thinks of Nashville? In other countries they do not bow to all other nationalities like our country and government does. If anything, people will likely say, "Duh! We already do that here." You act like this is a horrible thing we are asking our government to do. Your only argument is calling those in favor of English First (not English ONLY!) is to call us racists, which we are not. Funditto, are you even 18 years old? You don't seem to understand elections and how they work. You cannot vote on a recall of a councilman unless you reside in his district and get a petition drive started to meet the necessary minimum signatures and then get a recall ballot put in place. Your deadline for this has come and gone already!

By: airvols on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Time to recall Crafton, get out the petition. In a time of crisis with our economy we are going to spend these taxpayer dollars to hold a special election. Recall Crafton now and any other elected official that waste our money.

By: ACitizen on 12/31/69 at 6:00

If this rediculous issue ends up requiring a special election and it is defeated (as I believe it will be), I want Eric Crafton to resign. And if he won't resign, I will do everything I can to see that his district recalls him.This is a criminal waste of taxpayer dollars that could be better used to enforce the law already on the books: 4-1-404. English - Official and legal language.English is hereby established as the official and legal language of Tennessee. All communications and publications, including ballots, produced by governmental entities in Tennessee shall be in English, and instruction in the public schools and colleges of Tennessee shall be conducted in English unless the nature of the course would require otherwise. [Acts 1984, ch. 821, § 1.]

By: Time for Truth on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I know intelligent people who live in Bellevue. Crafton didn't do as well as most incumbents tend to do in the last election. Sir Pantsalot and Anna3 are just one point of view. A recall petition at this time might be appropriate.

By: WickedTribe on 12/31/69 at 6:00

"In a time of crisis with our economy we are going to spend these taxpayer dollars to hold a special election."Crafton isn't the one who forced it to a special election. That is not even remotely his fault.

By: WickedTribe on 12/31/69 at 6:00

"4-1-404. English - Official and legal language.English is hereby established as the official and legal language of Tennessee. All communications and publications, including ballots, produced by governmental entities in Tennessee shall be in English, and instruction in the public schools and colleges of Tennessee shall be conducted in English unless the nature of the course would require otherwise. [Acts 1984, ch. 821, § 1.]"Did you notice that nowhere in this language is using 19 other languages, in addition to English, restricted? That's why this ballot initiative is different.

By: revo-lou on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Irrelevant WT, as the state law specifically says “…shall be in English…”, making all other languages invalid.

By: 2476 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

If the state law says ...shall be in English... just why is so many documents, DL,Tenn Care, hiring interpetors, calling different local and State Depts. and hearing (for English press 1). Why is all of this so necessary, if English is by some of you, allready the official language.

By: SirKnight on 12/31/69 at 6:00

English First has already run several polls in Nashville and have found a majority would actually vote in favor of this. Time for Truth, your suggestion that only intelligent people in Bellevue would be in favor of recalling Mr. Crafton is silly. Again, I ask, why all the insults????

By: Tortuf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Because you are insulting all of Nashville.

By: BlueInTn on 12/31/69 at 6:00

this thread is amazing. Racism is alive and well in Nashville and CP readers certainly prove it as well.Why do we need this????

By: WickedTribe on 12/31/69 at 6:00

>Irrelevant WT, as the state law specifically says “…shall be in English…”, making all other languages invalid.It doesn't say shall 'only' be in English. That means they can print it in English, then waste tax payers' money printing 9 more copies in 9 other languages, which they are currently doing (although maybe not exactly 9: That was hyperbole).

By: Funditto on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Translating documents so all citizens can get the help they need isn't the only waste of money in Metro. How about 40 council people on the dole? Each of whom is eligible to receive health care for life among other things.

By: WickedTribe on 12/31/69 at 6:00

One step at a time, Funditto.

By: gofer on 12/31/69 at 6:00

English is the international language of business. Some still seem to think that calling people "racists" means something, anymore. Nobody cares, because it has been overused, abused and misused to the point it's trite. If anything, it exposes people lacking any real arguments and frankly sounds juvenile and immature when thrown about indiscriminately. In two separate polls, English had the support of 75-80% of people. Sounds like a passable measure.

By: slzy on 12/31/69 at 6:00

The referendum should be to allow a referendum every time an election is held,not every two years.

By: sidneyames on 12/31/69 at 6:00

"When you come to America, we only ask you learn to adapt to our way of life and that includes speaking our language. How hard is that to understand?" Well said Sir Knight. R-E-S-P-E-C-T is a two way street. If I move to Mexico, China, Japan or any other country, I will respect their laws and their language. So all we're asking is that "visitor" and "wanna-be" U.S. Citizens speak our language and respect our culture. Tortuf, get off your "high horse". You asked: "Do you think racism only applies to African Americans?" Clean the wax out of your ears; open your brain. NO, racism is not about language, it is about color of skin. AND if someone is black and speaks french, then they need to learn English if they live in the U.S. and want to "evolve into the American culture". Stop calling me and others who want government accountability racists. Cause your group called Sarah Palin "trailer trash" and that's racist cause it's mostly whites who get that label. Now, shut up whinning and just accept that the TAXPAYERS want this. And if you don't want it -- VOTE! That's the democratic way. VOTE, you fools, VOTE! And shut up whinning. I'm sick of it.

By: revo-lou on 12/31/69 at 6:00

That is because, I believe, that English ONLY was deemed illegal, or unenforceable, by the AG. Which is why Crafton changed his bill to English FIRST, essentially mimicking the state statute.

By: revo-lou on 12/31/69 at 6:00

“And shut up whinning. I'm sick of it.” Good sid, does this mean that we won’t be seeing anymore of your post?

By: WickedTribe on 12/31/69 at 6:00

You believe incorrectly, revo-lou. The only change has been additional language to say that "not to be perceived to contradict state or federal law" and something about respecting emergencies or public health. It's still English-only.