published Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Hamilton County Commissioner Fred Skillern jokes on rolling back voting rights

Commissioner Fred Skillern speaks during a Hamilton County Commission meeting in this file photo.
Commissioner Fred Skillern speaks during a Hamilton County Commission meeting in this file photo.
Photo by Angela Lewis /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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Four white men enter an elevator ...

Disputed is whether what took place inside constituted a joke.

Commissioner Fred Skillern insists it did.

"I said, 'Why don't we go back to the Constitution when the only voters were white male property owners?'" he said when reached by phone.

But two others present didn't agree.

Democratic Party Chairman Paul Smith said the statement left him speechless.

Party volunteer Phil Phillips said he was surprised to hear something like that from a county commissioner.

County Clerk Bill Knowles declined comment.

The four got into the County Courthouse elevator together after Wednesday's commission meeting.

During the meeting, commissioners had voted 7-2 against asking the Tennessee General Assembly to amend or repeal the voter ID law passed earlier this year. Phillips, a 56-year-old Harrison resident, addressed commissioners during the public comment period. He said the requirements are cumbersome and affect a range of registered voters, regardless of party affiliation.

The Republican-controlled state Legislature earlier this year passed the voter ID law, which they sold as a deterrent for voter fraud. The law requires that voters present certain types of qualified state IDs and provides free ones for voting purposes for those who don't already have them and can't afford them.

Democrats have criticized the move as an effort to disenfranchise voters, particularly those more likely to vote Democrat.

The requirement goes into effect next month.

While in the elevator, Phillips offered Skillern a copy of the state's requirements for getting a qualified photo ID.

Skillern declined.

"I was kidding Paul Smith about it," Skillern said of the voter ID discussion when reached by phone after the meeting.

Smith, whom he's known for decades, began the joking, Skillern said.

Skillern, a Republican, said Smith told him that he and other Democrats were "just down here creating a little turmoil for you."

Smith said he didn't use the word "turmoil," recalling that he said the citizens "stirred the pot some today" with their public opposition to the Voter ID law.

Either way, Skillern responded with his statement about white male property owners.

Phillips said Skillern's statement was "seemingly overstated" and took him aback.

"It was kind of like guys stand around locker rooms and tell dirty jokes," he said. "It shocked me that he would say that in front of someone he just met 10 seconds ago."

Skillern said Phillips and Smith took his statement out of context. Skillern supports voting rights for all law-abiding U.S. citizens, regardless of skin color or sex, he said.

"We just go back and forth with each other all the time," Skillern said of Smith.

Skillern said he was making the point that the Constitution has been amended and voting rights laws have changed a number of times throughout U.S. history. "They're acting like it's never been changed before," he said.

County commissioners don't have the authority to change state law, and Skillern said he wouldn't support a change even if they did.

"The country's changed," he said. "We've never had as many people in this country who aren't citizens."

Commissioners Greg Beck and Warren Mackey, the body's two Democrats, both supported asking the state to change the law or at least delay its implementation.

All seven Republican commissioners voted against the measure.

More than 7,000 registered voters in Hamilton County held non-photo drivers licenses as of October. Tennessee is the only state in the country that allows those 60 and older to remove their photos from their licenses.

"What they're doing is universal," Beck said of the Legislature. "It's affecting all people, black people, white people, Republicans, Democrats, Tea Party and anybody else already holding a voter registration card. Now they're making them go through some trouble to vote while they're making it easier to vote in Iraq."

He said state leaders have an ulterior political motive for the new photo ID requirement.

"You don't really expect people to follow what you say, but you've got to bring it to their attention anyway," Beck said. "Let the record show that Commissioner Mackey and I tried to help 7,000 people who are going to be left out of the process. It takes more than two guys to change that juggernaut up there."

about Ansley Haman...

Ansley Haman covers Hamilton County government. A native of Spring City, Tenn., she grew up reading the Chattanooga Times and Chattanooga Free Press, which sparked her passion for journalism. Ansley's happy to be home after a decade of adventures in more than 20 countries and 40 states. She gathered stories while living, working and studying in Swansea, Wales, Cape Town, South Africa, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way, she interned for ...

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djw3q_mtsu_f11 said...

Skillern's comment is a sign of ignorance. It’s sad that in the 21st century there are still people who are so narrow-minded to believe that they are superior to another human being. You’re a public official and this is your idea of a joke?? I find it so funny when someone is caught making a racist comment, the first thing they want to confess is, “I am not a racist.” Skillern did that by saying that he supports voting rights for all law-abiding U.S. citizens, regardless of skin color or sex. If that were true, that comment would have never left his lips. And the fact that he said, "We just go back and forth with each other all the time," doesn’t excuse this statement to be ok. Just because it’s usually done in private is a sad defense for his lack of respect for African Americans and woman. His comment is appalling. People have died and fought for the right to vote, there’s nothing funny about dismissing someone’s God given right just for the convenience of your own personal gain.

December 8, 2011 at 1:22 a.m.
mymy said...

Typical TFP reporting---anything to stir the pot.
To bad they don't give equal time to the other side especially anybody in the city government!

December 8, 2011 at 2:31 a.m.
woody said...

It matters not which side of 'the aisle' your politics lie on..the only thing which truly matters here is that this commissioner didn't deny saying that which was reported..instead he said it was meant to be 'funny'.

Well, it wasn't. This man has outlived his usefulness. He needs to return to his 'cave' and and play with his 'fire' and 'wheel', and allow someone else to conduct the county's business.

(Shaking my head in disbelief)..Woody

December 8, 2011 at 5:49 a.m.
larwilb60 said...

STOP WHINING and go get an ID card! This IS a requirement for EVERYONE period so it is NOT discriminatory! Look around, this city and state are being swarmed by ILLEGALS running from Georgia and Alabamas new Immigration Laws because they know Tennessee will provide them safe haven! Look around, they are taking construction jobs left and right here...and we hear that crops are rotting in the fields in South GA and Alabama and the govt wants to allow more in to the country?

December 8, 2011 at 6:22 a.m.
sandyonsignal said...

The truth is told in jest. Not surprised by the racist Skillern. What I am surprised is Paying Attention is taking up for the N word using County Commissioner. Shakes head in disbelief.

December 8, 2011 at 7:24 a.m.
Chatt88 said...

Oh, for goodness sakes. People tell jokes all the time, whether in poor taste (usually the case) or not. No reason to get up in arms about it. Some people like to only report on things to help one side and not the other. If TFP wasn't so biased, I'm sure we'd hear of some "fun" jokes by Democrats and Republicans alike.

December 8, 2011 at 7:41 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Woody, go take one of your sedatives. Everything is going to be O.K. It was only a joke. Next get out the Prep. H and relax. It's sure to stop that head shaking thing you have going on.

I am always amazed when a subject along these lines comes up and the liberal outrage that always follows. Where was this outrage when the Reconstruction Amendments to the Constitution were written. I really like the 13th amendment but isn't the military draft a form of involuntary servitude?

Let us move on to the 14th amendment. The Due Process Clause seems to have left out women.

The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits each government in the United States from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude"

Notice there is no mention of sex? Women seem to be the group that were singled out and left behind in the "RIGHTS DEPARTMENT." How come no one is outraged that women were denided the rights that were granted to men?

So next time someone wants to scream "RACIST" because someone makes a derogatory comment about our white president, {at least he is to me} or composes a sentence that contains the words watermellon and black, in this case white male property owners, perhaps you might want to educate yourselves and think back to an earlier time and scream "SEXIST" instead. It's only days away from 2012 folks. Think hard if you can.

December 8, 2011 at 7:51 a.m.
Blassmike said...

larwilb60,There is substance in your statement as it relates to available jobs given to "illegal" workers. But what bearing has that on voting rights? You will not find illegals lining up in an attempt to vote. Seems the measure should be guided towards employers willing to circumvent rather than aged citizens, limited in means, who still wish to exercise their earned right to vote in the city, county, state and country they love so much. How does it address illegal immigrants by depriving proven citizens?

December 8, 2011 at 7:54 a.m.
sage1 said...

"Democrats have criticized the move as an effort to disenfranchise voters, particularly those more likely to vote Democrat."

WOW...Admission of guilt as to why the Dems nurture the Illegal Immigrant crown. They see them as a voter base that will end if voters are required to prove themselves legal. Voter ID should be a requirement!

The comment was stupid and Skillern really showed his stupidity by making it. He should be removed.

December 8, 2011 at 7:58 a.m.
Blassmike said...

Chatt88, we all have been guilty of ill timed statements at one time or another. Public or Private. It is incumbant on public figures to maintain awareness of their forum if they so choose to make questionable remarks. I've never met Mr. Skillern and can only assume he is a fine and decent man. But the most decent of us have dark places we sometimes dwell. It is my belief that Mr. Skillern made witness to where his darkness lies.

December 8, 2011 at 8 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

Voter fraud is basically a fanciful dream. At best it is a minor problem. Anyone who is familiar with how African-Americans and poor people were disenfranchised in the last two centuries appreciates how offensive the joke is. The sole purpose was to keep them from voting for the other party.

Racial jokes typically reflect the mind set of the person telling them. Pointed jokes, aimed to demean by their racial, sexual or political overtones seldom are "fun jokes" Chatt88. If the joke is at someone's expense it isn't coming from a good place and if it is "fun," it isn't for the object of derision. Let's not kid ourselves.

When the vote is split on party lines, it is pretty obvious the Republicans want to keep likely Democratic voters away from the ballot box. Let's not kid ourselves.

To lump "illegal aliens" into this debate is simply a verification of this last statement.

If you want to tell obnoxious jokes "all the time" it is your right, but please do it in the privacy of your bathroom, or locker room of your local high school. If you want to tell obnoxious and racially or sexually tinged jokes in public and in front of people you do not even know, them we don't really need you and your poor judgment as an elected official.

December 8, 2011 at 8:01 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

The man was demonstrating his knowledge of American History. It is sad how few "Americans" know anything about what happened @ 150 years ago in this country. Southern Men?

December 8, 2011 at 8:09 a.m.
chatoccupied said...

This is appalling. We should all be offended at this kind of statement, even in jest. I wonder how Fred Skillern would feel if white males were in the minority and hadn't yet achieved voting rights? It's easy to joke about such things if you've never been in that position. The truth is, we have all had "Voter ID" cards for years in Hamilton County, and are all required to produce them at the ballot box. The new law requires something more than that, and causes some to spend money and time they do not have in order to get it. That, fellow citizens, is an unconstitutional poll tax.

Fred Skillern's "joke" and the bigotry it exposes is part of the reason this law was able to be passed. We are always an election or two away from the days when voting was only for those with wealth and power. This is how they stay in power. They buy our government and fix the system so that their voice is heard while others' are silenced. We should not stand for this wholesale auction of the broken pieces of our democracy. We should not be silent. We are all the 99%!

December 8, 2011 at 8:13 a.m.
librul said...

It is unbelievable to me that, since it has been demonstrated that Diebold electronic voting machines can easily be hacked and their tally changed by remote control, they are still being used at all. Voter suppression, dirty tricks, and these new revelations are destroying the core of our democracy - confidence in the electoral process. We can send Jimmy Carter and his delegations half way around the world to oversee free elections but it appears to be our own that cries out for scrutiny. Since the elections in 2000 and 2004 appear to have been manipulated and/or stolen outright by neocon extremists who were never meaningfully challenged, and since the two dominant parties seem to both now be controlled by corporate puppeteers, maybe it doesn't matter. The latest "debate" about extension of the payroll tax cuts for working people has been useful only to show ther are lingering differences in party philosophies and to give Obama a chance to dust off his populist wardrobe which he has had in storage for three years. The next election will be the tipping point wherein America will either present itself to the world as a full-blown fascict police state ruled by a corporate politburo or as a democracy "of the people" who turned off Fox Noise and rose up to #occupy the halls of power, cut the puppet strings and restore some semblance of the government gifted them by the founders. The fact that that government denied voting rights to everyone but rich, white property owners and regarded blacks as farm animals and Natives as even lesser beasts shows the extent to which we have progressed. The fact that idiots like Skillern can make such unbelievable statements demonstrates why it has taken so long and why we are far from perfecting the concepts of "freedom" and "equality."

December 8, 2011 at 8:41 a.m.
TinaFrench said...

The truth is he actually has these thoughts in his head, and is willing to let them slip from his lips with people who he believes agree with him. All women (are you Paying Attention?) should be raising the roof, as this is not just a racist remark, it is extremely misogynistic. DWAH

December 8, 2011 at 8:45 a.m.
sdfair77 said...

Once again Mr. Skillern has shown his racist side and his utter disddain for most other people. I moved to Chattanooga (16) months ago and have been attending almost every County Commission meeting since moving here. I was at yesterdays meeting and but did not ride the elevator with Mr. Skillern so I did not hear his remarkds but I am not suppised by them becasue of his long history of bigotry and other insenstive comments. Mr. Skillern is a sad and angry man whose time has come to step down. The world is looking at us and your remarks could have a negative impact on our ecomonic development agenda. While he may think his remarks were a joke, I do not. Mr. Skillern, please step down. Stephen D. Fairley

December 8, 2011 at 8:50 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

You know, comrades," says Stalin, "that I think in regard to this: I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this — who will count the votes, and how.

librul may be on to something. But only 2000 & 2004? Really?

December 8, 2011 at 8:57 a.m.
rosebud said...

Try as it might, the TFP cannot bring down Fred Skillern. Funny how all the "inappropriate remarks" and "tasteless jokes" are told by Fred and Rhonda, the Times editorial page's sworn enemies. I guess liberals never say anything in bad taste, even in supposedly private conversations. Here are the facts: District 1 loves Fred. He speaks for them. He's on the ballot every 4 years. He has never lost an election. If they think he's a bad guy, they'll vote him out. It's how America works. And that's much more effective than some liberal newspaper's wacko agenda.

December 8, 2011 at 9:10 a.m.
Facts said...

Fred Skillern & Mitch McClure (one in the same) are the throw-backs that the local GOP need to escort into the memory book. The good-ole boy backroom deals are the way Fred Skillern conducts business. I sure hope someone runs against Fred Skillern sooner than later. This county deserves better representation.

December 8, 2011 at 9:21 a.m.
LibDem said...

It is unfortunate that political correctness requires that humor, in good or bad taste, must be banned.

December 8, 2011 at 9:25 a.m.
obama4president said...

rosebud: "District 1 loves Fred. He speaks for them." I hope you are wrong... I'd hate to think that an entire voting district is that bigoted and racist. Sadly, you are probably right. Thanks to Skillern for exposing the truth, now we all know what the GOP and Tea Party means by "Take Our Country Back".

December 8, 2011 at 9:27 a.m.
Gator said...

Give me a break, people! That comment was the equivalent of hearing someone complain about their cell phone coverage and you say, "well, we could always go back to payphones on every corner." It had NOTHING to do with racism or disenfranchising voters who feel they are deserving of special exceptions to the rules that EVERYONE else must adhere to. Quit being so thin skinned and quit drinking the kool aid. Sheesh!

December 8, 2011 at 9:29 a.m.

Did I read this correctly. This was said during a conversation between four men in an elevator?

Folks. Do some research on Paul Smith. You won't like what you find.

December 8, 2011 at 9:33 a.m.
Lr103 said...

Is this the same county commissioner "skillern" who made the racist remark about why he didn't invite the then two black commissioners to a house party he gave? He said something to the effect, "He didn't have any bar-b-que on the menu?"

Tried to warn years ago/they laughed at me/told me I was living in the past--It's really the past that never became the past: Now these racists and bigots are revealing themselves in numbers, and without any fear of being held accountable.

sandyonsignal said... The truth is told in jest. Not surprised by the racist Skillern. What I am surprised is Paying Attention is taking up for the N word using County Commissioner. Shakes head in disbelief.

I'm not a bit surprised by payingatt. Just another tea partier dressed in drag. And we all know what the core beliefs of the tea party actually stand for. SEGREGATION TODAY! SEGREGATION TOMORROW! SEGREGRATION..........FOREVER!! 8-/

That's why the white supremecist said he dam/n near fall off his seat laughing with glee everytime he sees a minority claiming to be a member of the tea party movement. 8O

December 8, 2011 at 9:58 a.m.
Walden said...

Paul Smith is a d-bag for talking about a private conversation held between four men in an elevator.

December 8, 2011 at 10:01 a.m.

Not lining up to vote huh? No voter fraud going on?

December 8, 2011 at 10:05 a.m.
Lr103 said...

excerpt@"While that may not seem like many, just 3 percent of registered voters would have been more than enough to provide the winning presiden­tial vote margin in Florida in 2000. Indeed, the Cen­sus Bureau estimates that there are over a million illegal aliens in Florida, and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has prosecuted more non-citizen voting cases in Florida than in any other state."

Taken from that link posted by purplepeoplesheep: Yep! Florida, where bor' jebediah bush sent out his Florida state trooper goons to block minorities from getting to the polls? 2000? Flying, you're referring to how Bushie stole the election via voter suppression with help and other means.

December 8, 2011 at 10:11 a.m.
XGSBoss said...

Just read the wikipedia page for the author of FPSE's link. Then make your own decision if the author is biased and trustworthy.

December 8, 2011 at 10:18 a.m.
Walden said...

XGS, you are really onto something here. He sounds like a really evil little man... keep up the crack investigative work.

December 8, 2011 at 10:26 a.m.

Commissoner Beck, I hope you are wrong. I hope many more than 7,000 will be left out of the (voting) process. We got tens of millions of illegals and hundreds of thousands are in Tennessee.

December 8, 2011 at 10:38 a.m.
nowfedup said...

The reality, as everyone with IQ of 3 or higher knows, the new "Voting requirements to prevent fraud" are simply a new way to cut out some voters. Reality is those voters tossed out, are probably going to vote for D's so R's created fable about evil of "fraud in voting" to get an advantage at polls. Suspect if given chance D's would play same game, both parties about as concerned about public as your average crow. Reality is "voters" no longer have much say, new laws like this fiasco, "redistricting" used by both parties and money now control the nation, all having little to do with "Freedoms and building a great USA" or such as the spin goes. As the make up of most elected goes, we are now ruled by career politicians, openly owned by the money. The "evil joke" is a farce, yet major issues with not hot buttons, go nearly unnoticed. Care to scare the elected, all of us, DEMAND voter booths open 24/7 from Friday 6AM to Sunday 6PM, the goal being maximized the voter turnout AKA that being the premise that this nation is actually run by the will of the people. Care to ask ANYONE running for ANY office how they feel about Fri-Sun voting? Dare anyone ask for such, 95% chance responses by elected will look a lot like that stuff bulls left in field after dinner. Get used to it, only 65-70% do NOT vote, only about 80-90 do NOT vote in primary, we are ruled by a political industry, NOT a goverment

December 8, 2011 at 10:40 a.m.
XGSBoss said...

Hmm. I guess I should be glad that someone is standing up for ants. I guess it was wrong of me to say the mayor was burning ants. Kicking homeless people out of campsites to their death is much more acceptable I suppose. I will toe the line from now on.

December 8, 2011 at 11:17 a.m.
BluesHarp said...

Voter suppression is a FA$CI$T remnant from the John Birch cold-war bad-ol'-days, and the sooner these ignorant and delusional Archie Bunker types die off, the sooner we can restore our democracy from the clutches of the gilded plutocratic hyenas that seek to make us a banana republic.

They are currently succeeding, with their wholesale plunder and complete destruction of ALL the checks and balances that keep us free. This also makes them VERY rich, and enables exponentially more abuse. This is no longer politics, but Sorcery...The Dark kind.

Anyone with a modicum of media theory sees right through this manipulative BS that uses hate, fear, prejudice and greed to delude the gullible into voting against their own best interests by appealing to the absolute worst in their nature. It works now just as well as it did in 1930's Germany, as human nature never changes, at least without education, and they are actively attempting to destroy that as well. Sick and misinformed people are much easier to govern, so health care is out.

If you accept your role as a complacent and placid consumer instead of an activist citizen, fighting for your birthright of self-governing democracy, then you are seriously inviting the Gulag that will surely come to the 99%:

"So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men." -Voltaire

December 8, 2011 at 11:29 a.m.
Janestrong said...

Why is this news?

December 8, 2011 at 11:35 a.m.
BluesHarp said...

"Make a list of ten family members, ten friends, ten neighbors, ten folks you work with or have worked with in the past and call them and ask them, 'Are you gonna vote on issue, and are you gonna vote for it?' If they say no, well, you just make sure that they don't go vote. Let the air out of their tires on election day. Tell them the election has been moved to a different date. That’s up to you how you creatively get the job done." -Mike Huckabee, "jokingly urging" a crowd of people in Mason, Ohio to prevent political opponents from exercising their right to vote.

FA$CI$M, pure and simple. It CAN happen here, folks.

December 8, 2011 at 11:39 a.m.
CBIKAS said...

Fred Skillern 1, Political Correctness 0. Fred, Rhonda, it's time to face the hard facts. I totally blew both of you out of the water this year when it comes to making political faux-pas with my Chattanooga Tea Party/NAACP fumble. Now I know how competitive you guys are. But you're just going to have to accept the fact that you were outdone this year. I hated to take the crown from you guys. I really did. But sometimes you gotta do whatcha gotta do. Better luck in 2012!

December 8, 2011 at 11:40 a.m.
lanaland said...

I know two people who were in the elevator with Skillern yesterday. It's no joke, and no laughing matter that he has such contempt for the people he was elected to represent. Skillern and his networked fellow bubbas can't be trusted to represent any of us, white, black, female, male, propertied or landless. Vote the bubbas out of office. They're robbing us blind to enrich themselves. And clearly this voter ID law is intended to keep at least 126,000 unsuspecting registered voters from voting, a step towards reaching Skillern's likely goal of reducing our ability to vote:

December 8, 2011 at 12:37 p.m.
tipper said...

Why Hamilton Countians continue to allow this bigoted, racist, ignorant blowhard to stay in public office is utterly breath-taking. Apparently we are comfortable with being branded as throwbacks to the 19th Century. Is this what is called "taking back our country?"

December 8, 2011 at 12:55 p.m.
nowfedup said...

Yea for those fools that insist "Voter fraud needs to be stopped" well read of FL< where "31 cases found in 3 years" and clown that put through law, per nation wide push for same by Right, noted "not really an issue but might be". But then some might say same for meteorites? Nothing but a big dirty fiasco set up to remove poor and minority from voting. So read some reality and stop listening to hot button lies. 31 in FL, how many in TN?

December 8, 2011 at 1:28 p.m.
fedup350 said...

Oh boy. The race baiters are so excited over this they won’t sleep all night. They will milk this joke for all it is worth. It was a joke people. I can just see the libs slobbering on the keyboard to type their “outrage”. What a bunch of posers. It was a joke that wouldn’t even have gotten out except for the whiny Mr. Phillips. It appears he was just looking for a way to make any of the 7 Republicans look bad since they didn’t vote his way.

To sandyonsignal: what?? How in the world did you get the “N” word out of this? Were you just so engrossed in your selective “outrage” that you just were fervently wishing that he had said that word? Then you blame payingattention for it. What? Payingattention is the most levelheaded poster on here. You are going off the liberal deep end sandy.

To all the other whiners: The voter ID act is the law now. Quit crying, most of you probably don’t even vote anyway, you are just jumping on the liberal bandwagon. I repeat, it is the law now get over it

December 8, 2011 at 2:10 p.m.
fedup350 said...

Must have been a slow news day for this to make the TFP

December 8, 2011 at 2:19 p.m.

They removed my first post for no reason so I posted it again. XPS, if the politicians from the left opposed his appointement so vehemently, he must have been doing something right. I would be much more suspicious of him had they welcomed him with open arms. Criminals tend to shun those not in their club.

December 8, 2011 at 2:26 p.m.
woody said...

Let me see..four commissioners in an elevator..can anyone say violation of the "Sunshine Law?"

Oh that's was only an elevator incident..going down..Woody

December 8, 2011 at 3:04 p.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Times Free Press, there are over 50 comments concerning Skillern, don't you think it is time for a poll asking "Do you think Commissioner Fred Skillern is a racist?" Instead of "Are movie tickets to expensive?"

Skillern's actions are consistent with his words. He wanted to disenfranchise whole groups of people and they did it. All Seven Republicans voted to disenfranchise and suppress the vote. This just proved their racism.

December 8, 2011 at 3:34 p.m.
CBIKAS said...

Yep, definitely a slow news day. The part that really tickles me is Rhonda and Fred have done this stuff for years. Despite the statements of some folks, Fred and Rhonda are not dumb. They're just gaining political capital by playing to their constituents's baser instincts. When I was in high school we had a dog named Zuba. This one kid loved to pick on Zuba. He would hold out a treat and smack Zuba on the head when Zuba went for the treat. Zuba, not liking to get smacked, would run away. The kid would hold out the treat again and call out to the dog. Here comes Zuba. Smacked again. See my point? Don't be Zuba.

December 8, 2011 at 3:36 p.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Fedup350, are you new to politics? You must be because you sure don't know much from earlier this year. Also, you don't know much about Commissioner Boss Hogg.

Try doing a simple google of these words: Fred Skillern, N word.

As for Paying Attention, she's a dear friend of mine and I did not go off on her. Take a chill pill and do some homework before coming on here and blathering away, Fed Up350.

December 8, 2011 at 3:39 p.m.

Why do you keep removing my posts containing this link TFP? Afraid the truth will get out? It doesn't violate your rules on posting...

Here it is again.

December 8, 2011 at 3:41 p.m.

So what is it about this link that makes you want to delete it TFP?

It's news you can use.

December 8, 2011 at 3:53 p.m.

Is this one more acceptable?

December 8, 2011 at 3:54 p.m.

This is a good article too.

Some very good points to be made about how legislation going the other way is almost completely unreported by the mainstream media.

December 8, 2011 at 3:58 p.m.

All of these articles demonstrate the need for protecting voter rights.

December 8, 2011 at 3:58 p.m.
01centare said...

XGSBoss said... Hmm. I guess I should be glad that someone is standing up for ants. I guess it was wrong of me to say the mayor was burning ants. Kicking homeless people out of campsites to their death is much more acceptable I suppose

That wasn't Littlefield's doing. That was one of the many demands made by some of Chattanooga's elite and conditions for returning to the city. They wanted Littlefield to have CPD to round up all the homeless and dump them at the state line. Then they wanted Littlefield to go along with brutally gentrifying the inner cities, so they wouldn't have to live next door to po' folks. When he refused to go along they turned on him.

You should make yourself aware of what happened to the homeless and poor under past mayors. Many were brutally beaten by the city finest in an effort to run them from downtown. The inner city poor weren't treated any better either.

These people aren't just using the homeless and poor to attack the mayor. They don't give a rats @ssETS about either.

December 8, 2011 at 4:14 p.m.
01centare said...

Chatt88 said... Oh, for goodness sakes. People tell jokes all the time

And some people reveal their true character hidden behind a joke, too.

December 8, 2011 at 4:17 p.m.
01centare said...

@The TFP only deletes comments about Littlefield killing ants with a magnifying glass posted by XGBoss

But you say nothing about Bush blowing up frogs for fun.

December 8, 2011 at 4:18 p.m.
razor51 said...

No one says a word when William Cotton or Tommy Brown spats a racist tone. As for the voting, didn't Mickey Mouse and many dead people help elect a president? You don't vote unless you provide an id. The democrats are upset because they are loosing votes from the deadbeats and illegals.

December 8, 2011 at 4:49 p.m.

Does that mean dead people and Mickey are more involved in politics than most people?

December 8, 2011 at 4:52 p.m.
lanaland said...

Would Skillern think it was a funnier joke if he made it to a woman or person of color? He has nothing but contempt for the voters to make a joke like that. Two of the men in the elevator with him were there to fight for all of our right to vote. And they watched him and his fellow bubbas laugh at the idea of repealing a new law designed to strip unsuspecting voters of their rights in 2012!

December 8, 2011 at 5:06 p.m.
lanaland said...

If you think Skillern should consider leaving politics to become a comedian, instead of a laughing stock, here's his contact information: Fred R. Skillern Chairman Pro-tempore

Home Address:
P.O. Box 340
Soddy Daisy, TN 37384
Phone: (423)332-1335

Business Address:
401 Courthouse
Chattanooga., TN 37402
Phone: (423)332-3143
Fax: (423)332-3153

You can also email the commissioner through the county commission website at

December 8, 2011 at 7:21 p.m.
Lr103 said...

LibDem said... It is unfortunate that political correctness requires that humor, in good or bad taste, must be banned.

There's nothing funny about Fred Skillern's pathetic jokes, and it's not the first time he's been caught making them. Would you say the same if he made similar jokes about Jews? You'd be the first to label him anti-semite. We all still remember the blacks and barbeque joke Skiller/Diller made.

December 8, 2011 at 7:26 p.m.
patriot1 said...

One has to be careful when saying things such as this in jest while in the presence of democrats. They are very sensitive about this sort of thing since they harbor a lot of guilt. It was the democrats who were the party of Jim Crowe laws and segregation.

December 8, 2011 at 8:30 p.m.
philphillips said...

For those of you who choose not to believe this article, I was the one that gave the story to the TFP...First...Ward Crutchfield had nothing to do with anything...wasn't there...nor did Paul Smith say anything to elicit such a response and no phantom spirit caused me to hear what I heard...I simply offered Comm. Skillern some info on the Voter ID law issued by the State of Tennessee....He waved his hand dismissively at me and said what he said...I suspect that some defending him might agree with him....But keep in mind... This law is most certainly putting barriers in the way of some of the members of America's Greatest Generation as well as survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack...And it was a resolution to stop this that I heard Comm. Skillern make a "joke" about...My dad fought in WWII in the European Theatre...fought for America and the freedoms she gave to her citizens. To take a stand on a bill denying the very Americans that bled and died for what we have really hit me wrong...

December 8, 2011 at 8:40 p.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Thank you, Phil Phillips, for speaking out and setting the record straight. Of course, there are a few who would rather not listen to the facts. God help them.

December 8, 2011 at 9:19 p.m.
DarkSky said...

He's an elected offical on the job. Coming out of the meeting, still in the building, he's still working, right? Where I work, a comment like that would have me in the H.R. office so fast as to result in a case of whiplash. At the very least, I would have an offical write-up, and the max would have have been termination.

I don't care if he says it was joke. He is in a position of power and shouldn't say racist and misogynistic comments even jokingly. What a prime example of the Southern-Old-Boy-Network.

There is often true feelings/beliefs to be heard in what people say even jokingly.

December 8, 2011 at 10:02 p.m.
NoMyth said...

Uncle Fester, is that you? You run Hamilton County? Wow!

December 8, 2011 at 10:33 p.m.
chet123 said...



December 15, 2011 at 9:06 a.m.
chet123 said...


December 15, 2011 at 9:11 a.m.
govolsgo said...

This guy reminds me of my old grumpy grandpa!!

December 17, 2011 at 1:02 a.m.
chet123 said...


December 30, 2011 at 10:48 a.m.
chet123 said...






December 30, 2011 at 12:33 p.m.
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