Crafton sounds off on English Only

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 1:01am

Councilman Eric Crafton criticized the Metro Legal Department’s response to the lawsuit seeking to prevent the referendum on the English Only proposal and said the fact the complaint was filed by a Honduran immigrant was a “slap in the face.”

Davidson County Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman set a Dec. 3 hearing to consider Metro’s response to a lawsuit, which calls the English Only charter amendment proposal unconstitutional and seeks to prevent the special election.

In its response to the suit filed by Rosa Quinteros, Metro Legal admitted the English Only charter amendment proposal was substantively unconstitutional.

Metro Legal also requested Crafton, the leader behind the effort to amend Metro’s Charter to make English its official language, to be named as a party in the case. Crafton will be represented by Nashville attorney Jim Roberts.

“I’m glad they’re doing that, because I’ve asked [Roberts] to do the same thing. I want to make sure that not only me, but the 15,000 people that have signed the petition have adequate representation,” Crafton said. “[Metro Legal] has already admitted they felt it was unconstitutional, so I don’t expect them to vigorously defend this at all.

“Right away, [Metro Legal’s response] was a red flag to me. I would hope people would uphold the law and defend the law vigorously like they’re supposed to and let philosophical differences get in the way.”

Crafton also sounded off on the Honduran refugee who filed the complaint. Quinteros’s attorney David Randolph Smith filed a brief Monday detailing his client’s standing in the case. The brief lists Quinteros as a Honduran refugee, who works in a warehouse and has a child in Metro schools.

Quinteros alleges the English Only proposal is unconstitutional. Her complaint seeks to have a temporary restraining order filed to prevent English Only from being held on Jan. 22.

“It’s a slap in my face and it should be in every other citizen and taxpayer that the person filing this lawsuit is a refugee from [Honduras] that basically was under persecution and we opened our arms and welcomed her,” Crafton said. “And then one of the first things she does is file a lawsuit to prohibit citizens from this country from having a right to vote.

“I don’t like that at all and I don’t think most people would. She alleges this would be hard for her to communicate, yet she knows enough about our constitution that she knows what unconstitutional is. She knows enough she can hire an attorney and file a complaint.”

Smith filed a brief on Monday, which pointed to the fact that English Only has already been criticized by Mayor Karl Dean, Metro Council and the Metro Legal Department.

“The taxpayers of Nashville and Davidson County should not endure a divisive and costly process to have ‘the charade of a pointless election,’” Smith’s brief said.

Vandy professor apologizes for harassing Crafton, family

Vanderbilt professor David Lowe issued an apology in General Sessions Court this morning to Crafton and his family. In response, Judge Casey Moreland retired the harassment charge against Lowe.

The harassment charge stemmed from threatening phone calls and emails made to Crafton and his family.

“My wife and I decided to offer David Lowe a chance to apologize publicly and basically he would have a year to prove himself and not do anything like that again and that would be the end of it,” Crafton said. “We felt like forgiveness instead of retribution would be the way to go. Everybody has said something they wish they didn’t or shouldn’t have.”

Lowe’s attorney Stephen Young said his client had no comment on the matter.

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

Why is it that every time Eric Crafton burps, THE CITY PAPER writes a story about it? The paper sensibly wrote against Crafton’s inane proposal yet still offers him constant prominent coverage. There are forty council members. Does THE CITY PAPER cover each of them, when they spout off, in leading stories?“I want to make sure that not only me, but the 15,000 people that [sic] have signed the petition have [sic] adequate representation. Metro Legal has already admitted they [sic] felt it was unconstitutional”. If all government work must be done in English, then Crafton has, with these sentences, broken his own law.“Right away, [the response] was a red flag to me”. I like that: Crafton admits that he’s a bull.Next, he implies that an immigrant shouldn’t exercise the same rights as the native-born American. We see that Crafton’s purpose has bigotry behind—and not far behind—it.The rest of his gripe against Rosa Quinteros is that if she knows enough to hire an attorney, then she shouldn’t mind his amendment. This makes no sense. Does Crafton think that only speakers of English hire attorneys?Please, CITY PAPER, let Crafton lie. When he speaks, put him on page six or eight, along with the rest of the gasbag news. Reserve the featured stories for those items that really matter.

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

Why are some people wanting to keep English only off the ballot? If you went to another country you would try to speak the language. Mr. Crafton keep on pushing for this,this is our country still, even if we have some trying to give it away.Miss KITTY

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

Kitty, if I went to Mexico, then I would still speak English, because it's the language that I speak.

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

MJB - Your argument doesn't make sense! But then it never does! Evidently you have never traveled to another Country. Anyone with any common sense, will try to learn enough of the native language to communicate. Plus, go to Mexico and try to live on free handouts (they have none). How long do you think you would last?

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

Metro legal is putting the taxpayers at risk to accomplish Deans wishes.

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

Check to see if this person is here legally first. Then find out who or what group is backing her.

By: producer2 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

bfra,apparetly YOU have never been to a foreign country because most of them are bilingual with English being one of the languages spoken. Why you say, becasue most Americans don't speak any other languages. Se a pattern here......

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

‘Councilman Eric Crafton criticized the Metro Legal Department’s response to the lawsuit seeking to prevent the referendum on the English Only proposal and said the fact the complaint was filed by a Honduran immigrant was a “slap in the face.” ‘What part does this idiot not get, who’d he thing this bill would affect the most, id?

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

By: idgaf on 11/25/08 Metro legal is putting the taxpayers at risk to accomplish Deans wishes. By: TARAJO on 11/25/08 Check to see if this person is here legally first. Then find out who or what group is backing her. As usual id, you are incorrect. Crafton has put the citizens at risk for lawsuit after lawsuit with this bill.TARAJO – Learn to read. The story has been around for 5 days. She is here on an asylum petition. Which means legally. Doesn’t that chap your arse!!!!!!

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

"She alleges this would be hard for her to communicate, yet she knows enough about our constitution that she knows what unconstitutional is. She knows enough she can hire an attorney and file a complaint.” Exactly. She doesn't know enough to do this, but Karl Dean and his (I)Legal staff do. This is a set up. Dean and the rest do not want to let the people speak. I don't care what the issue is, this is about doing what the people want who put you in office, Dean and Sue Cain.Guess we'll have to find someone else who will listen in the next election.

By: Anna3 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

MJB..."Thou doth protest too much!"...If this proposal doesn't do anything...why are you so concerned? You seem to vigorously oppose a fair hearing of the idea and want to take personal cheap shots at everyone who wants their day at the ballot box. You liberals are all so intolerant. Don't you have an intellectual arguement that holds water? Give us our day at the ballot box...unless that is you hope to have Nashville function much like the Soviet Union. In America, we settle our differences at the ballot box.

By: Anna3 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I'm voting for Crafton for Mayor next election.

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

Well stated, Anna3. I couldn't have said it better. The Party of Tolerance has no tolerance for those who disagree with them.

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

By: Anna3 on 11/25/08 MJB..."Thou doth protest too much!"...If this proposal doesn't do anything...why are you so concerned? You seem to vigorously oppose a fair hearing of the idea and want to take personal cheap shots at everyone who wants their day at the ballot box. You liberals are all so intolerant. Don't you have an intellectual arguement that holds water? Give us our day at the ballot box...unless that is you hope to have Nashville function much like the Soviet Union. In America, we settle our differences at the ballot box.---------------People where stupid enough to fall for what Hitler was selling too, that is why we “protest” the stupidity of this bill and for what it stands. Now, we know what limited capabilities you have.

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

And, yes, it is a slap in the face when the suit is brought by a refugee, who is only here because of our charity. To be taken into someone's home and demand special accomodation is ungrateful. To file suit against a free referendum vote is absurd.Maybe Rosa Quinteros just hasn't learned what America is founded on.

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

prod - What Country have you been in where "MOST OF THEM" are bilingual?

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

if everyone wants everyone to speak english so bad, why not put the effort and funds being used for this election in teaching everyone to speak english? we'll start with id.

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

revo-louYour over the top rhetoric is not helping your case. Instead of childish attacks on your opponent's character, of which you have no knowledge, why not state in civil terms-why you oppose the measure -do you believe immigrants have any obligation to assimilate-if so what other paths toward assimilation have proven successful-if not what eventuality to you foresee when a country has large ethnic groups with no common tongue or heritage competing for limited national resourcesTo the people likely to vote on in the special election these are the answers that can change minds, one way or the other.

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

America was not founded on hate and bigotry. Dragon you need to rush out sand study up on American history. This is amendment is not what this country was founded and it's not what we are today as a country. Only in the South is such hate so wide spread - people here are tuly mean and ignorant.

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

America was founded on freedom, not the oppression demonstrated by the rabid anti-referendum opponents.You don't have to agree with what is said but, you should defend the rights of other to say it.

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

Anyone else humming "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"?

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

Dragon, America is founded on freedom, and I have the freedom to speak Piglatin if I so desire. The problem is that you may not understand Piglatin and think I'm talking about you, so you want to force me to speak English.

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

mjb,lou, blue, whats dolts..... just wait, ol Chairman O bama, our elect, will now order all subjects to hold only good thoughts towards our our ILLEGAL BROS. Or he`ll order ol Commmrad Bonnieman to ship any one whose thoughts are not approved by u liberals, off to Re-Education camp. rev-lou go shave ya legs...

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

You are free to speak whatever language you want. You want to force me to print everything and conduct my business in Piglatin. I say no.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Crapton for mayor? LOL! I might vote for him to scrape dead animals off the street.

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

I didn't realize your business was the State's business. You should get to work and stop wasting taxpayer money.Wow, I didn't realize that immigrants were FORCING businesses to deal in Spanish. I thought they were doing it in order to cater to that growing customer base.

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

nashville_bound – If you don’t like the heat, stay out of the fire.

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

gdiafante, if your official language can be Piglatin, then my official business can be running the city.

By: Time for Truth on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Crafton must have seen the article about other councilpersons in the NCP yesterday and called up Clint wanting a story about "ME ME ME". Has anyone heard this guy on radio or TV? He can't speak English, much less write it. I'm guessing Jon Crispy has ghost-written all the 'big words' on this nonsense bill.Why would Crafton consider a LEGAL immigrant contesting a substantially ILLEGAL resolution a 'slap in the face'? One conclusion could be he doesn't like Hispanic people. And that's really what the whole issue is if you look at the content of the responses of the pro-Crafton crowd. A collection of goobers wants to send a message that Hispanics (hidden behind the term "ILLEGULS") aren't welcome in Nashville. Sadly, they are using the ballot box to try to put a stamp of legitimacy behind this crap. And the rest of us have to pay for a special election, and if the thing passes defend countless lawsuits, because one egomaniacal moron has been given a soapbox. Hopefully in two years the voters for an at-large seat Crafton will no doubt run for will be smart enough to send this doofus home.

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

This whole thing is the most pointless waste of money. Crafton is an idiot. Who the hell voted for this guy? I think its unbelievable that we are about to increase property taxes in this city because our budget projections were millions of dollars off, and we are talking about having a million dollar special election on making hispanics speak english. Crafton is sure helping us live up to the billing of friendliest city in America. Actually, he's making us look like rednecks waving our confederate flag at 'illegals' while economic development and true urban opportunities are passing our city over.

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

Dragon, then run the city, don't post here all day.

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

OK. It's clear that the City council wants to prevent the very people whom they represent from voicing their opinion with a vote. Why? Only they know. But this should really pi$$ of most of you terrorist hugging, America hating bed wetting liberals...Here is some history for you and it was said by a real American."In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."Theodore Roosevelt 1907

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

revo-louWhat you spew is not so much heat as it is noise. Just as you can choose attempt to draw me into an immature tit for tat I can just as easily decline your rude invitation and instead comment on your lack of relevant points (actually any relevant points) that would educate or enlighten anyone on your position.

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

Teddy knew it BEST~ It's why English is the "spoken language of choice" here now. And Gdia, we're bleeding money now that we don't have....so stop spending it on inane stuff, like translators of EVERY language in the world. How inane. If a person opts to live here legally, they desperately NEED to learn the language. Crafton is merely placing an emphasis on this. Next time you're in Cabo San Lucas, you'll notice not everyone has the ability to converse with you in English, and you're going to have trouble making a simple purchase. The same can be said for most of the islands not English owned currently when you venture Eastward. Those islands prefer their Dutch or Latin heritage. And they're not sorry they did it either. It wasn't until we got back home that we found out how much we paid for the stroller 6 years ago, and that was OUR fault, not the store's.

By: Steelcity68 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

It's sad to me, really, that Americans are increasingly becoming ashamed of being American. This English-only thing should not be this big of a deal. It all comes down basically to Americans not wanting to be seen as bigots around the world. Even Mayor Dean is worried about how the rest of the country will view Nashville. We already have a federal law that says you can't be a citizen unless you can read and write English. That law makes English the official language of America, else why even have it in there? I'm not a federal government expert but I'll bet you all business done with the federal government is done in English. Why should that be different for a state or local government? There is absolutely nothing wrong with having all business conducted in English in an English speaking country. It's mainly because it lessens confusion. Take our money for instance. Could you imagine the chaos if we didn't do all of our cash transactions in American dollars? Can you see yourself waiting at a store while the clerk figures out the conversion rate of whatever currency you want to be paid in? This kind of thinking is why we have people thinking it's okay for students to graduate from high school even though they can't speak English. English has ALWAYS been a required subject in every school in America and there is a reason for it. Come on people.

By: st8of10ec on 12/31/69 at 7:00

The reason Dean,& Metro want to prevent a vote on the subject is that they know the majority of citizens are for it.

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

nashville_bound – You want to play? Fine, let’s play. First, I didn’t choose you, you chose me. Thank you, I am flattered. It would appear that you are new to this board, or you may well be an old trick with a new name. Either way, this “issue” has been going on for quite a while, and most of us know where each other stands. Now, it would be easy enough to pick about your post for its grammatical and context errors, but, that is too easy and really a cheap shot, though I am not always above that.For now, we will assume that you are incapable of reading about this issue, and understanding why there is a controversy. Suffice it to say that there are many in this city that are frustrated with an illegal immigrant problem, and they think that this bill, if passed, will drive illegal immigrants away and keep them from coming back. Of course, that won’t work for the simple reason that most illegal immigrants don’t have anything to do with the Metro Government, except in emergencies and with the police, which are exempt from constraints of this bill, so the bill just becomes a show of intolerance of, and a bias towards, LEGAL immigrants in this city.And that is why there are those of us who argue against it.Now, as many will attest, I have been very civil with you. Let me know if you want to step it up a notch or two, as it has been awhile since I cut lose.

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

Reason English only is economically the best idea: AZ spends 25% of its education budget on translation and ESL courses. Holy cow~ Seriously, 1/4 of its budget. Anyone out there remember taking Econ 101 and 102 besides me? That's why the state recently passed laws to curtail those issues, including stopping the education of those who are here illegally. Crafton sees a trend (nationally) and he's trying to delay the inevitable. We have people coming here from every nation, island, tribe in the world. It won't just be Spanish, but instead, EVERY language. Let's at least be honest and just about this topic. You cannot cater to just ONE other language. That would be immoral, at best, and bias, so now we're going to have to have employees who speak 10+ languages in each division/office, and hey, don't stop there. If you're a Metro employee and you "don't" speak all those languages, including Mandarin, then you're fired. I mean, hey, we need to meet the quota, right? The secondary schools over by Vandy currently teach Mandarin to our neighbor's kids. Evidently they thought it proper given all the products coming daily from over there. ;-)

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

This bill will not affect metro schools, so pick a different argument.

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

Remember when being bilingual was a sign of intelligence?

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

And it is still a huge plus in employment, and will be more so in the future.

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

But actually, it does, though indirectly I must admit. By not emphasizing the importance of adapting to our language and placing an air of immediacy on the issue, you derive complacancy, since it's only human, right? Look how long we put off the most mundane tasks? I'm guilty of that one. I put off everything from getting the oil changed in the car, to going to the dentist. It's a human fault, and it costs our society hugely when these individuals delay the inevitable. We need them to assimilate quickly, for themselves and for us as well. Knowing how to drive, how to read our signs, how to converse with local citizens and so on. The bank personnel only speak English, and rarely speak Mandarin, Thai, Korean, whatever, so it's in their best interest to be able to converse with these individuals, including the pharmacist at Walgreens and ER personnel at Summit Hospital. Am I the only one who's concerned with the well being of these people? No. But unless they speak the predominant language, they're in trouble. And yes, a lady from Bantu area was here weeks ago and she only spoke Hutu, or so we guessed. No one could figure out what she was speaking.

By: Steelcity68 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Well, revo, I have to disagree with your reasoning that this bill will show bias and intolerance of legal immigrants. I have worked with both illegals and legals and believe me, most of the legals that worked hard and did it the right way are very upset about the free pass that the illegals are getting. Most of these "protests" are financed by people who could care less about the people they are representing. They are only concerned with advancing their agenda. By the way, we all do know that there are legal and illegal immigrants other than Hispanics don't we? Because it always seems that the main focus is on Hispanics.

By: Steelcity68 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Bilingual is only a sign of intelligence to small-minded people. I know quite a few dumb bilingual people.

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

That is my whole point steel, this bill will affect very few illegal immigrants.

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

I would much rather invest in teaching them to speak English than adding layers and layers of languages to our info signs on our streets and highways. We have too many billboards on our streets as it is. Ick.

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

The issue is beyond the question at this point. The will of the people who legally got the question on the ballot TWICE is being ignored by the Mayor and his puppets.This guy should NOT return to OUR payroll, and I would sign a recall petition for the mayor without hesitation.

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

"Bilingual is only a sign of intelligence to small-minded people."See what I mean?

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

Sorry, Idgaf, but the number of signatures required would been impossible. On a lighter note, the astronaut who lost her $100K repair bag while repairing the space station would not have done so had it said Gucci or Prada on the outside. (speaking from experience) LOL

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

That was funny gg.