's P.J. Tobia reports
this week, Metro Council member Eric Crafton believes in English first—but transparency second, apparently.
The demagogue who is trying to make English the "official" language of Nashville—you know, because there are so many city employees secretly speaking in Mandarin Chinese—refuses to say who is funding his initiative to get the issue on the November ballot.
The treasurer for Nashville English First is an amiable Vietnam vet and retiree named Lewis Lampley.
Reached at home, Lampley says that he stands behind the measure because, “The unifying factor in this nation is our language, and the key to relationships is language…. We want more completeness of relationships.”
Asked about the relationship between Nashville English First and the money fueling it, Lampley is less clear. “There’s a number of people, and they may or may want their names publicized,” Lampley says of the donors bankrolling the robo calls and mailings. “They’re private citizens.”
Asked if the organization is a 501(c) tax-exempt group, Lampley first says yes. But pressed on it, he concedes that he “didn’t do the legal work” to set up the organization but would find out who did. Lampley has yet to get back to us on that.
Eric Crafton himself is no more helpful clearing up just who’s behind Nashville English First or what kind of organization it is. Is it a charity? “I’m not exactly sure what you’d call it,” Crafton says, adding that he’s certain the proper forms had been filed with the county election commission. “I don’t know all the technical terms, and I didn’t actually fill out [the forms].”
Where is funding for the initiative coming from? “From folks,” he says.
As Tobia writes, these questions eventually will be answered if the referendum question makes it to the ballot in November. "In that case, election disclosure laws kick in, and everyone who has contributed to the cause will be unmasked. In the meantime, those behind this controversial referendum question will remain a mystery to all but themselves."