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October 25, 2003


From: dinwiddle - Oct 25, 2003


!!!!! TRAVEL ALERT !!!!!

People with


are not


in Tennessee


That’s the message being sent (in effect) across the nation and to the world by Tennessee’s all-powerful Attorney General Paul G. Summers (left below ) and Tennessee’s impotent Governer Phil Bredeson (right below).

The message is being heard, loud and clear, by people with disabilities at home and throughout the country. The mean spirited Attorney General Paul Summers is attacking the basic Civil Rights law protecting people with disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) . Governor Bredeson, seemingly unaware of the impact of the case Tennessee vs. Lane (and Jones), is powerless to stop the overzealous Attorney General Paul G. Summers’ pugnacious efforts to argue the case before the United States Supreme Court. Both have tried to “brush off” the individual and group efforts of people with disabilities from Tennessee and other states to have the case removed from the docket of cases soon to be heard by the highest court in the land.

Faced with the likelihood that Attorney General Paul G. Summers will continue “practicing dentistry without a license” by “pulling the teeth” (payment of attorney’s fees and compensatory damages to prevailing plaintiffs) of the ADA, many people with disabilities are looking for ways to remove the Dracula-like fangs of this dynamic duo. Attorney General Paul G. Summers’, and his trusted servant Governor Bredeson’s, efforts to suck away the lifesblood from the ADA is prompting the nationwide effort, by many people with disabilities, their families, their friends, and advocates, to retaliate by starting an economic boycott of Tennessee based products and services, as well as, the tourist industry, on which the state is highly dependent.

While claiming to “represent the interests of all Tennesseans” and to “have no agenda”, Attorney General Paul G. Summers skulks through the dark hallways of our nation’s “justice system”, justifying his unholy acts of judicial depravity on the basis of “states rights” or “sovereign immunity”, which in his view renders Title II of the ADA “unconstitutional”. While the “evildoer” goes about his business, safe in the knowledge that he is an appointed government official and therefore not accountable to the public at the ballot box; Governor Bredeson (who IS ultimately responsible to the voters ) patronizes angry people with disabilities who confront him about the State of Tennessee’s actions by responding, with a form letter, as follows.

"I know that the ADA has been critical to expanding and protecting the civil rights of disabled Americans....This state and this country cannot afford to turn our back on the progress we have made, and I would never intentionally take any action that would risk eroding these hard fought rights. ....It is my understanding that this particular case does not involve a question of whether or not Tennessee will comply with the ADA," writes Bredesen. "Instead, this case involves a narrow legal issue of whether plaintiffs can collect compensatory damages in these types of cases."

Clearly, Governor Bredeson, by allowing this case to proceed, and ignoring the pleas of the national Paralyzed Veterans of America and other disability rights organizations, as well as, delegations of disabled Tennesseans from across the state, is woefully ill advised, or complicit, in this diabolical challenge to the Civil Rights of Americans with disabilities. Attorney General Paul G. Summers’ irresponsible and despicable attempt to undermine the ADA will not be ignored at the ballot box, nor at the cash box.

To give Gov. Bredeson "a piece of your mind" contact him at:
Governor's Office
Tennessee State Capitol
Nashville, TN 37243-0001

Phone: 615.741.2001
Fax: 615.532.9711

To further waste your time,contact:
Mail: Attorney General Paul Summers, Esq.
P. O. Box 20207
Nashville, TN

Office at: 425 5th Avenue
Nashville, TN 37243
Voice: 615.741.3491

Fred D. Dinwiddie, Sr.
P. O. Box 4
Portland, TN 37148