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Tenn GOP Tries To Unseat Ford Sister Again

The saga continues.

From the DNC's Associated Press:

Members of the House of Representatives gather to offer condolences to Sen. Ophelia Ford, D-Memphis, right, after the Senate voted to unseat Ford on Wednesday, April 19, 2006, in Nashville, Tenn.

Tennessee Senate Votes to Oust Member

By LUCAS L. JOHNSON II, Associated Press Writer Wed

Apr 19, 11:24 PM ET

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Republican-controlled Senate voted on Wednesday to unseat one of its Democratic members, agreeing that her 13-vote win was tainted by questionable ballots from felons and dead voters.

An investigative committee, which has been at work since the September special election, recommended Memphis Sen. Ophelia Ford be ousted after finding the election was suspect because of 12 improper ballots.

Two ballots were cast in the names of dead people and others came from felons and people outside the district, the committee said.

Ford has contended attempts to oust her are motivated by the Republicans' slim 18-14 majority in the Senate.

"We will be back in court tomorrow and you could see me as early as next week. I will definitely be back here," Ford said during a speech on the Senate floor following the vote.

This is the second time the Senate has voted to void the election, but U.S. District Judge Bernice Donald stopped a similar effort in January after Ford sued.

The judge ruled that the senators must follow consistent, statewide standards for invalidating ballots before overturning an election.

When Ford went back to the judge this week to stop Wednesday's vote, she declined to intervene, saying she lacked enough information on the Senate committee's procedures.

With the seat declared vacant, the Republican-majority Shelby County Commission would be responsible for appointing an interim senator until a new election can be held.

Ford belongs to a notable Tennessee political family. Her seat was held by her brother John until last May, when he resigned after his indictment in a public corruption investigation.

With Wednesday's action, Ophelia Ford became the third sibling of her immediate family to leave a seat in the General Assembly — Emmett Ford gave up his House seat after he was convicted of insurance fraud in 1981.

Ophelia Ford has not been accused of any wrongdoing in the disputed election, and GOP Sen. Mike Williams, the chairman of the special committee, said lawmakers weren't personally targeting her.

"It's the election that we really had to deal with, and she's caught in that," he said.

As noted, Ms. Ford is a member of the notoriously corrupt Tennessee Ford family. (Not that Tennessee Ford.)

But just wait for the battle of New Orleans.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, April 20th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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