Murphy went to Nashville this past spring with Councilman Gene Brooks to ask local Rep. Don Miller to allow a local referendum on proposed changes to the MUC Private Act involving the appointment process for MUC Commissioners.
I went to Nashville a couple of times as well. I also called several times to ask both Don and Sen. Steve Southerland and other legislators to let the people vote on the proposed changes to the MUC appointment process.
That's all we asked---let the people vote! I explained to Steve, Don, and other legislators that the MUC appointment process then in place had been adopted BY THE PEOPLE in a 2001 referendum election along with a set of MUC changes and, therefore, any change to the appointment process should be placed on the ballot for a vote BY THE PEOPLE in 2012.
As Carl notes, Don refused to let the people vote. Several other legislators privately (and some publicly) encouraged Don to let the people vote. Don refused every request to let the people vote.
Shortly after Don and Steve pushed their new MUC appointment process through the state legislature, Tilman Goins came forward to challenge Don. And on August 2, 2012, Don lost his seat in the State House of Representatives after one term. Click here.
Don had the money and the political machine behind him.
Goins joined the race to stand up for the people and the principle that a local law passed by the people should not be overturned by one, two, or 132 legislators in Nashville or by five Morristown City Councilmembers.
Goins brought out several other issues and endured vicious attacks by Don and his followers.
Don ran ads about Goins' two "government checks" without ever explaining that one of those "government checks" was a small Veterans Administration (VA) check for a service-connected disability related to Goins years of military service in the Marine Corps and the US Army.
[The other government check is, of course, Goins' salary as an elected county commissioner which is just like Don's "government check" as a state representative--only much smaller]
The attack on Goins' VA disability pension was gutter campaigning at its worst. Miller's implcation that a VA service-connected disability pension is like a free-loading "government check"
was an affront to all who have served in the US Armed Forces.
The rest, as they say, is history.