April 10, 2024
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    After Passing the Buck; The Stench Lingers

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    This is about voters in ALL states, not just that “safe red state” of Tennessee. If you want to fix something that is wrong, you MUST reach the elected officials to get results. To the appointed ones, we are a captive audience in front of which to perform if they are in the mood, and who can be ignored whenever it suits them. Here’s a story about that.

    After the 2020 election, 17 citizens in one TN county reached out to the State Election Commission (SEC) to report well-documented allegations of unethical and illegal behavior by one of their county election commission members, for violating the SEC Code of Conduct for County Election Commissioners. This code requires county election commissioners to behave in a fair and non-partisan way while they hold the position. Every state I know of, has similar directives. In my experience, it is often ignored.

    The SEC is appointed by the members of the General Assembly. So are the TN Secretary of State and Director of Elections. Hold that thought.

    Got a quick funny story about this to share…

    In Virginia while I lived there, one election commissioner (also appointed) in my county of residence was exposed for removing the local monthly conservative newspaper from the racks in groceries and gas stations. Then, he and several cohorts took them to the dump. He bragged about it on a liberal website! After the sheriff paid him a visit, and the situation became public, another county election commissioner said that he was really a “good guy” and shouldn’t have been singled out. Even though she was an “R”, and he, an angry “D”, she got on me for reporting it. REALLY? This was the brotherhood of crooks…five years ago. It’s so much worse today.

    The “fair and impartial” directive applied there in VA, as well. Lol, as they say.

    The more I dig, the more I smell. Kats have that problem when exploring in filthy litter boxes, I’ve learned. Some things in every state stink. As you read, sniff yours…

    The TN County Election Commissioner in question was OPENLY partisan. She is the co-founder of a far-left political organization, which is has relations with national Leftist organizations. She spoke frequently in contempt of religion and conservatives. She remained active in this far-left organization during her term as a County Election Commissioner, and only stepped down after her second appointment to the same County Election Board, by the TN SEC.

    The state had been asked NOT to reappoint her to the position as a Commissioner, because of her well-documented, overtly partisan activities and statements. Crickets.

    One citizen of the county in question was ready and willing to prove it all.

    He took the lead and tried to learn about the policies and procedures for reporting and removing such an individual. He spent a lot of personal time and money doing so. He felt it reasonable that, if there is a statutory responsibility, there must be specific steps for the execution of those responsibilities, including the receiving and investigating of reported issues. Otherwise, why bother with a law?

    I’ve often wondered the same, and not just in TN.

    The TN State Election Commission (SEC) is charged by statute (TCA 2-12-101(b) to monitor the activities and performance of county election commissioners across the state, and remove any, for “cause”. The responsibility of the County Commissioners is to administer elections in a fair and UNBIASED way. This obviously did NOT occur and people wanted this remedied, under the law.

    This citizen made numerous attempts to communicate with various officials in the state government, to investigate the wrong-doings.

    After long months of research, and money spent engaging legal counsel, it was learned that there was NO procedure, outlined in the statutes, which would allow a complaint to be filed against the SEC.

    An attorney on the TN Ethics Commission was able to tell him that, “…it is my assessment that there is no formal procedure outlined in statute that would allow a complaint to be filed against the State Election Commission.” Her research showed that the SEC members reported directly, and only, to members of the General Assembly. From there, partisan appointments were made, supposedly equally in each county between Lefties and Conservatives.

    Our citizen warrior then tried to find, how the TN General Assembly holds the State Election Commissioners responsible, but there existed nothing in the TN statutes which could answer his query. NO real surprise, given the structure.

    The TN SOS, Hargett, and TN Coordinator of Elections and Chief Election Officer, Mark Goins, were informed of the situation. They did not respond. The citizen still did not give up. He then filed a formal complaint, which also went nowhere. One legislator helped to write a bill which would address the issue of accountability - (review and removal of bad county election officials) - but it was killed in committee, which has pretty much become pro forma in ignoring the pesky public, around the country.

    I later heard from one of those appointed election officials, while discussing another matter, that one or two members of that pesky public, were crazy, or something to that effect. I’m guessing that they were pesky and persistent enough to really annoy the officials. Tough. Good for the citizens. Thanks for letting us know how we’re considered by those who know they can’t be voted out of their lucrative offices.

    These officials know who they are. And they do not care. They don’t have to.

    Ok, I’ll stop with the details here. If you’re not from TN, you might think this doesn’t have to do with you - but it does. It’s the appointed vs. elected thing again.

    Most all of the dealings between the frustrated citizens and their government, in this story, went on with APPOINTED NOT ELECTED OFFICIALS. There’s the rub. The concerns of the public, across the country, are meaningless unless and until pressure is applied to those ELECTED.

    No improvement in election integrity WILL occur, unless and until we go public with our various situations. Start with your local county Board of Election Commissioners. Attend every meeting, and speak of your concern(s).

    For TN, here is how you find out who they are . Let them hear your concerns.

    Chose your county and click away. Almost every other state has similar links.

    Be SURE to write letters to the editors of your local paper, if there is one, or, if not, report it to the TN Conservative Online. My next Substack will be a quick ‘how to’ on writing effective letters to editors, which I wrote several years ago.

    Sound off on EVERY issue, not just our elections! Ask them why they are afraid of hand-counting which has already proven to be safer, cheaper and quicker.

    ‘NO AD’ subscription for CDM!  Sign up here and support real investigative journalism and help save the republic!  

    Hand out fliers about the actions and statements of board members, in food store or super store parking lots, or on busy street corners, and make everyone aware. Then move on to the local elected officials, like the Mayor, and the state officials who appointed them. You will rattle some cages, almost guaranteed, and THIS is how local action takes hold.

    Be accurate and factual Don’t dish baseless emotions like the Leftists do, or your credibiility could go down the drain as theirs has.

    Pinch a politician in his pocket, threaten his income stream, and you will start to get somewhere. Even elected pols - the candid kind anyway - admit to this. Marjorie Taylor Greene told Tucker this recently. Whatever else you may have heard about her, she’s spot on about this.

    Hit them in the ballot box! You know how, and if you don’t, stay tuned.



    Kat Stansell

    Kat Stansell is an international banker turned stay-at-home mother turned grassroots activist and writer. She has worked with local boards, county and state political organizations, and served on election teams of three US Congressional candidates. Her writing began 15 years ago with letters to editors. She has been an organizer for large and small events and a columnist for a conservative monthly paper, She now is a national news contributor with focus on local awareness and action. She believes that party labels are useless and the cause of much of the national angst today. America's only two choices are between the Constitutional Repulblic and Communism, Not “R” or “D” Follow her on her Substack Pat4evr/KatsMeow

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