Ketron Lashes Out at Photo ID Critics



Sen. Bill Ketron defended Tennessee’s new voter photo ID law in a news conference today, accusing the vice chairman of the Rutherford County Democratic Party of voting illegally for 16 years.

Ketron said the party official, Tony Pegel—who himself has been an outspoken critic of the law—was allowed to vote even though he has a felony conviction in his past.

“There’s been much in the media lately regarding the frequency of ineligible voting with many Democrats and media sources reporting that there is little or no fraud here in our state of Tennessee,” Ketron said. “This is not factual. Today we are bringing forth a prime example of ineligible voting by a ranking local Democrat official.”

But the Murfreesboro Republican then went on to explain that, on his voter registration form, Pegel actually checked the box to admit he had been a felon (according to Ketron, he robbed a convenience store) and only through the incompetence of election officials was Pegel then allowed to vote. Apparently, no one noticed he checked the box or, if they did, they didn’t care.

So how would this have been prevented by requiring Pegel to show photo ID? It wouldn’t have, but so what? Ketron was having fun here. And he wasn’t finished yet. He handed the microphone to former Rutherford County Democratic Party chairman Jonathan Fagan who went after—who else?—Chip Forrester and “the radical fringe” running Old Hickory’s once-proud party.

Democrat chairman Chip Forrester was told of this issue over four months ago, and nothing has been done. Nothing has been done to correct it. Clearly there is a radical fringe that is leading the Democratic Party, taking charge within the Democratic Party. This should serve as a wake-up call to conservative Democrats across the state. Who is leading the party and how widespread is this issue? If leadership of the Tennessee Democratic Party will condone this for as long as they have, what else are they condoning?

We are asking the state Democratic Party to react to this unfolding scandal now. What did Forrester know and when did he know it?

Update: Democratic Party flack Brandon Puttbrese responds to Pith. Forrester is innocent, he says, and Fagan is unhinged.

Jonathan Fagan has never reached out to chairman Forrester about this situation or any other alleged voting fraud in Rutherford County or anywhere else in the state. Furthermore, Jonathan Fagan was the chair of the Rutherford County Democratic Party and, if he was so concerned about it, why didn’t he do something? Here’s some background for you. Jonathan Fagan was forced out of the Rutherford County Democratic Party by the Rutherford County Democrats because he wouldn’t work with anybody and he was very confrontational. To me, I’m looking at all of this and it looks like sour grapes. If anyone is on the fringe right now, it’s Jonathan Fagan. Jonathan never shared any of these concerns with us. Does the state party do $350 background checks on all 95 county chairs? No, that’s ridiculous. For Ketron to host a press conference with a guy who is off the rails and to personally attack one of his own constituents, that is distasteful at least and disgusting at best.

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