Memphis Mayor Wharton Calls Legislation Racist

Jan 31, 2012

MURFREESBORO, Tenn.  (WMOT)  --  Memphis Mayor A. C. Wharton says two bills introduced in the Tennessee legislature yesterday smack of “racism, classism, and schoolyard bullying.”

The measures would hem the city in by limiting its ability to annex surrounding communities.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal says the bills were introduced by three east Shelby County Republicans.  One of the measures was introduced by Sen. Mark Norris and Rep. Curry Todd, both of Collierville; the other by Norris and Rep. Ron Lollar of Bartlett.

The bills were filed just before last Thursday's deadline for submitting legislation and were formally introduced yesterday evening. Mayor Wharton says the bills were filed without even a courtesy call to Memphis officials.

In a press release yesterday, Mayor Wharton threatens legal action should the measures pass. He says the bills are, "a continued all-out assault on Memphis and its right to govern itself.”