TCWatch Note: The Nashville City Paper has thrown down the following challange to the Tennessee Democratic Party
Democrats should police their own
Tennessee's Democratic Party needs to begin a conversation within its ranks about when enough will be enough regarding the behavior of some Democrats in the Tennessee General Assembly.
This week brought a fresh set of allegations and investigations against two troubled sitting members of the Legislature, both prominent Democrats.
EDITORIAL The Tennessee Registry of Election Finance decided this week to have its staff pursue an investigation into allegations State Sen. Jerry Cooper used a substantial amount of his campaign funds for personal use. Cooper is fresh off an automobile accident that left him injured and saddled with a DUI charge outside his district in Rutherford County.
The civil development for Cooper comes after another prominent Democrat, State Rep. Rob Briley of Nashville, had his own public meltdown over the weekend. Briley was also arrested outside his district for DUI and a variety of charges after allegedly leading police on a high-speed chase through rural eastern Wilson County. Briley was allegedly intoxicated and a tape of the DUI test and ride to the jail shows abominable behavior unbecoming of any public official.
These various charges and alleged infractions are part now of what can only be called a pattern of behavior by Tennessee Democrats in the state Legislature. All but one legislator ensnared in the Tennessee Waltz bribery sting by the federal government were Democrats.
We only place this problem at the feet of the state's Democratic Party by default. The common denominator here is that all of these folks are in fact Democrats, and their party should hold them to some measure of accountability for their behavior. And when their behavior becomes unacceptable for a public official, the party should apply the prerequisite pressure to either fix the problem or to get the legislator to step down.
There are plenty of good, quality people and public officials in this state who are Democrats and do not participate in the kind of professed and alleged acts enumerated here. Certainly, the allegations against Cooper and Briley are not as serious the Tennessee Waltz charges. It is not a direct comparison.
Yet, after a certain point, the question must be asked as to whether the behavior of these public officials has been damaging to our state and its communities. The Democratic Party should take some measure of accountability for its members, as should the state GOP. They are certainly there for them when they try to win office. They should also know when enough is enough.
check out our blog at http://tcwatch.blogspot.com/
to STOP receiving these emails - reply with "unsubscribe" as the subject
and we'll remove you from the list.