In its 15+ year life, the Tennessee Forum has found few bureaucracies more hostile to the beliefs of the state’s citizens than the Tennessee Municipal League (“TML”). From its ardent support of a state income tax25 to the Soviet modeled forced annexation program, for decades the TML has shamelessly used taxpayer money to support policies that abrogate Tennesseans’ most basic rights. That is, until Mike Carter showed up on Capitol Hill.
Carter campaigned on overturning forced annexation, an abusive policy that allowed cities to annex a citizen’s property without permission from the property owner. Annexation often resulted in increased taxes, increased regulation and the mandatory purchase of unwanted municipal services. No one took Carter’s campaign promise seriously because the TML had blocked annexation reform for decades. Their taxpayer funded war chest had proven more than sufficient to dispense with pesky reformers the voters had sent to challenge them in the past.
Enter the JUDGE! Carter was disciplined, thorough and relentless. In a brutal Legislative battle, Carter exposed the abuses of forced annexation, showed fellow legislators that they no longer had to cower to the TML and succeeded in giving taxpayers a say over their own property. After passage of annexation reform, Carter introduced legislation to give redress to some of the worst abuses of the TML’s former tactics.
The JUDGE followed through on his campaign promises, took on one of the state’s most powerful, abusive, taxpayer funded bureaucracies and won! For that, the Tennessee Forum has named the JUDGE its #1 legislator of 109th General Assembly.
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