TAG testifies on Capitol Hill FOR HB1045 to Close the Primaries

Click on video to view. TAG testimony starts at 26:30
Remarks transcript included below.

Remarks to Elections and Campaign Finance Committee March 1:

Chairman Rudd, committee members….. My name is Anne Featherston. I am a resident of Fenterss County, and House District 38. and I am the founder of Tennessee Action Group of Fentress Co, a grassroots group formed 2 years ago of constitutional patriots who figured out the best defense against the federal debacle was to engage on multiple levels to protect the citizens and sovereignty of Tenneessee.

The first research I came across in March of 2021 was Trevor Loudon’s opinion article on, ‘9 ‘Starter Steps’ to Save America from Socialism. ”  He lists as #4– “Close the Republican Primaries.” (1) He calls this a “no-brainer” Why? Because open primaries can lead to an opportunity to “vote in the weakest candidate.”

We could have seen that happen nationally in 2022 when Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney publically solicited Democratic voters to vote for her in the Republican primaries. (2)

Last year the NY Times also reported “Democrats SURGE into GOP Primaries,” when Colorado Democratic voters admitted to registering as unaffiliated to vote against Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert. (3)

Considering the last 3 years, it seems there is little beyond the realm of possibility, and perhaps Tennessee could face a potential “surge” some day. So, in Section 5 of this bill, there is an option for either party in the “call for election” to decide whether to allow unaffiliated voters to vote in a particular primary.

Now, we may not have had a “surge” yet, but there are reports of “ripples”….

In 2013, the Tennessee Star newspaper reported on a “radical left organization” distributing a literature
piece targeting Tennessee Democrats to vote for a particular Republican legislative candidate because he supported their agenda. (4) And it happened again in 2022. (5)

Open primaries can dilute the vote.

This bill has been repeatedly introduced to the General Assembly.

2018: GOP Chair of Williamson County, in supporting a similar bill, said, “It’s a little disingenuous to allow someone to select a candidate for a party they don’t identify with and who they will not vote for in the general election. Just like Alabama doesn’t let Tennessee pick its head coach.”(6)

2019: This Elections committee approved HB 1273 on closing primaries and, at that time Tennessee’s own Republican Party State Executive Committee passed an “overwhelming” vote to close our primaries.(7) And did so again in 2022.

In 2022 a survey by Tennessee Conservative News, with a circulation of 18K and social media following of over 50K, saw 97% of respondents, indicating they want to close the primaries. (8)

According to the TN constitution as I understand it, our legislators ‘rule’ Tennessee according to, and by, the ‘will of the people.’

The people ask you to support this bill. Thank you.

1- https://www.trevorloudon.com/2021/03/opinion-a-new-zealanders-9-starter-steps-to-save-america-from-socialism/
2- https://thehill.com/news/campaign/3534910-cheney-urging-wyoming-democrats-to-switch-parties-to-=vote-for-her-in-primary/
3- https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/06/22/us/midterm-primary-elections
4- https://tennesseestar.com/2022/07/13/radical-leftist-organization-distributes-mailer-encouraging-democrats-to-vote-for-jeff-eby-in-house-district-69-gop-primary/
5- https://tennesseeconservativenews.com/tennessee-education-association-encourages-crossover-raiding-by-democrat-voters-supporting-incumbent-senator-briggs/
6- https://tennesseestar.com/2018/03/17/bill-to-close-tennessees-primaries-gains-steam/
7- https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2019/02/20/tennessee-elections-bill-close-primaries-require-voter-registration-party-advances/2926847002/
8- https://tennesseeconservativenews.com/almost-98-of-tennessee-republican-primary-voters-believe-open-primaries-should-be-closed/

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