Oct 26 2011

Implied Consent and Curry Todd

Posted by Steve Ross in Shelby County, State Politics

Rep. Curry Todd

I was pretty certain I had written all I needed to write about Curry Todd here and here. Alas, the hits just keep on hitting, so, here goes.

It was just 14 days ago that Rep. Todd found himself on the wrong end of a vehicle, creating a stumbling and staggering display for Officers of the Metro Nashville Police Department. That one traffic stop netted 3 offenses: DUI, Possession of a handgun while under the influence and implied consent. You can see the three affidavits from the arresting officer here.

In the wake of his arrest, Todd resigned his position on a Firearms committee that was, no doubt, in the process of crafting more onerous firearms bills like his signature piece of legislation that was opposed by just about every Sheriff and Police Department in the state, Guns in Bars. It seems now that the former lobbyist is no longer on the payroll of the police association, there’s no need to consider what police officers think.

From there, he temporarily stepped down from his Chairmanship of the State and Local Government Committee, though Speaker of the House Harwell said it was only temporary.

In most cases a person in Todd’s position would try to lie low for a while and hope the media didn’t latch on to the eventual court proceedings that are scheduled for November 1. But of course, that didn’t happen.

Late Monday it was learned that Todd had scheduled a fundraiser for himself, asking the Tennessee Lobbying Association to send a notice out to its members. I guess Todd is getting a little worried, even though he has some $147,000 in his campaign account.

Thankfully, there was either enough outrage at Todd’s brazen disregard for taste, or so few people expressed interest that he decided to postpone his fundraiser until some time well after the court date.

Well, isn’t that special.

No one knows where Todd was traveling on that fateful night, but we do know where the traffic stop occurred. If you’re familiar with Nashville, there’s a convenient map right below.


View Larger Map

As Woods points out there are some other questions about the charges against Todd, and the apparent lack of consideration of those charges by Speaker Harwell.

Implied Consent is simply the refusal to submit to a Blood Alcohol Test. As pointed out in this post the most recent changes to that law were almost unanimously accepted. The statute is too long to copy here, but you can see it at this link.

Based on the penalties listed above it seems that Todd will lose his license for at least a year, which will no doubt put a cramp in his style. But what does it mean when a lawmaker breaks the very laws he votes for? What does that say to the public, or better yet, his constituents.

Its interesting to me that Paul Stanley resigned despite not breaking any law (or at least getting popped for breaking a law), yet Todd, who at least broke one law that he voted for, in the Implied Consent statute, seems to have no intention of resigning or even seeming publicly contrite in any way.

Way to go dude.

What’s more, Harwell’s lack of consideration of the charges against Todd show just how tone deaf she and the Republican Majority in the legislature are to any kind of responsibility to anything but keeping their majority.

Harwell, who has been featured in a PBS produced fluff piece, comes across as a reasonable and likable enough person, until you consider all the onerous bills that she allowed to become law this year, which is probably a better indication of who she really is than who she seems to be.

Ahh, but don’t let facts get in the way of image projection, especially when image is all you’ve got. I mean, heck, since Harwell couldn’t be bothered to consider the implications of the charges against Todd one has to wonder about her commitment to the public good in general.

And Lord knows that holding someone accountable for their actions would be too heavy a lift for any Republican, unless the person being held accountable is a Democrat. Oh no, that’s just too much. So I guess until he gets convicted of something, Todd will just be able to keep on keepin’ on.

Way to go folks. I hope when this fundraiser is rescheduled it brings out about 500 members of MADD to protest the blatant lack of accountability or even common decency exhibited by both Todd, the House GOP Caucus, and the attendees of the event. Anything less is letting him off too easy.