Sadly, given the behavior of the Registry of Election Finance over the last five months, we are not at all surprised by today’s decision. Today was not about facts; it was clearly about pushing a political agenda. The Registry utterly failed to demonstrate how we expressly spent money for the election or defeat of candidates or even if we did (we did not), how those expenditures met the $250 per quarter threshold that would have triggered the requirements they said we violated. Despite these weaknesses and despite the acknowledged weaknesses of the complaint, the Registry chose to fine us $5000 (it could have been much worse).
The Registry based this fine on speculation, wild conjecture, and a gross misreading of Tennessee law. One board member went out of her way to insult Jennifer Smith’s intelligence, which was utterly uncalled for and totally unnecessary. One board member persisted in his contention – echoing Curlee – that the fact that one of us works for a union makes us more suspicious (this same board member sought to fine us $20,000, which, thankfully, the rest of the board resoundingly rejected). Suspicion, in this case, equals guilt, which is indicative of the political motivations of the Registry.
Again, we’ll have more to say on this shortly, but we wanted to fill you in. We’re not going anywhere. We’re going to stick around and fight for strong public schools and for our ability as parents to be an engaged part of our community. This ruling was disappointing, but not unexpected, and has only strengthened our resolve to continue to fight for public education in Williamson County.
“About the Registry of Election Finance” for more information about Susan Curlee’s year-long campaign against the public school parents at Williamson Strong.
“Innocent!” regarding the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference (TDAGC) finding that Williamson Strong did not violate the law.
“When politicians attack! The obsession continues…” which gives an overview of the original sworn complaint and the January hearing.