All-Star Panelist Roger Simon Comments on AP’s Misfire Regarding Tennessee’s Three-Year Residency Bill

All-Star Panelist Roger Simon Comments on AP’s Misfire Regarding Tennessee’s Three-Year Residency Bill

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist and The Epoch Times’ editor-at-large Roger Simon in-studio to discuss the status of the Tennessee state three-year residency bill and the AP‘s false interpretation of where it stands.

Leahy: We are joined in-studio by a good friend, all-star panelist, my former boss at PJTV, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, and senior editor-at-large for The Epoch Times – and I forgot, mystery novelist, author, Roger Simon. Good morning, Roger.

Simon: Good morning. I actually got up early this morning because I knew there was big news in Tennessee.

Leahy: So here’s the news I’d like to get your comment on. First, yesterday afternoon we broke the story that the three-year residency bill to be a candidate on the ballot for the U.S. House of Representatives for the primary ballot was enacted into law, because Governor Lee sent, unsigned, the law back to the Tennessee Secretary Senate clerk.

Simon: Why did he do it that way? We should get into that.

Leahy: We’ll get into that in just a minute, and then literally within one hour, the Tennessee Secretary of State, this is our lead story at The Tennessee Star.

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett – Tre, I’m talking to you – offered conflicting comments on whether he will enforce the residency law and remove carpetbaggers Morgan Ortagus and, most likely, Robby Starbuck from the Tennessee 5th Congressional District GOP primary ballot.

Roger, the governor of Tennessee, Bill Lee, had a spokesperson tell the Associated Press this after we reported that the law was in effect because 10 days had passed and he hadn’t signed it and they hadn’t vetoed it. This sounds eerily like, oh, I don’t know, a statement that was made by Morgan Ortagus’s campaign recently.

Simon: I thought you were going to say Kamala Harris.

Leahy: Yeah, either one. I can’t tell the difference these days. ‘We feel the voters are best able to determine who should represent them in Congress.

Well, Governor Lee, if you had the courage of your conviction, you would have vetoed the bill. But why didn’t you veto the bill? Because it would have been overridden easily.

Simon: Easily. But there’s another thing, everything is going on below the surface here. This is a kind of dirty politics as practiced in Tennessee, but also in New York and California. And regrettably, virtually every other state, maybe save Florida, because they have a governor with a spine.

Leahy: I think you’re going to say something else. The spine is good, though. Get the point across. (Laughter)

Simon: Thank you. It’s a family show.

Leahy: It’s interesting that the AP quickly jumped into the fray to tell us this law was invalid when, of course, it’s premature in the extreme. But the AP, I will say to everyone out there, do not think of it as an even-handed institution. It is quite in the hands of the liberals.

Leahy: It’s far-left.

Simon: And it’s gotten worse and worse over the last few years.

Leahy: And the Secretary of State’s office issued a confusing statement that conflicted with their previous comments right after we broke the story.

The AP jumped off that statement. I’ll read the statement. The first statement, again, they issued a subsequent statement that conflicted with the first statement.

Simon: Like Kamala Harris?

Leahy: There you go. They said, “The bill was not signed into law before the April 7th filing deadline. The requirement does not apply retroactively to candidates who met the qualification deadline at noon on April 7th.”

That was all they said. The AP took that and ran with it and said, their headline said, “Trump–Backed Candidate on the Ballot.” No! Wrong interpretation, AP.

But they hung it on this inconsistent and false statement actually issued by the Secretary of State’s office. Trey Hargett, I just said that, and you can come in and try to defend that statement, but it is a false and misleading statement.

Simon: I’m going to be the nasty guy here. There’s been a little bit of nasty. I’m going to go further. Here’s the thing. When you look at politics, you should always look at the politics behind the politics.

What’s going on here is what I will call fear of the most powerful politician/non-politician in the state of Tennessee, a man named Ward Baker. I like Ward Baker, personally. He’s a political pro. He’s a very charming guy, very smart.

Leahy: You brought up Ward. Let me just say very smart guy. He’s a personal friend of mine as well. I like Ward, but he plays hardball.

Simon: He plays hardball, but that’s his job. He’s paid by candidates to get them elected. He’s done a good job with Marsha Blackburn, Mike Pompeo, and people outside.

Leahy: And Bill Hagerty.

Simon: Nashville figures and state figures, anyway.

Leahy: What do you see? Because these are your words, not mine. But we’ll comment on it.

Simon: He figures beneath the surface of this, and that is all of these people from the governor to Hargett to the Speaker of the House, all these people have their eyes on a higher office. That shouldn’t be news to anybody out there.

But that’s what the truth is, and they’re playing this whole game. First of all, they’re afraid that they don’t want to go on the wrong side of Ward because they need Ward down the line, or they don’t want Ward against them.

Leahy: That may apply to some, but not all. But we’ll talk about that.

Simon: I’m just giving you my way of looking at this.

Leahy: Since we’re talking about Ward we probably got to get him on the show and discuss these things and other things. Ward, I’ll call you.

You’re welcome to be on the show. He’s actually offered to be on the show. So we’ll have him discuss it. Some of the things that you are attributing to him, I don’t know if they actually …

Simon: I think it’s fear of him. That’s a different thing.

Listen to the interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Roger Simon” by Roger Simon. Background Photo “Associated Press Building” by Americasroof. CC BY-SA 3.0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Affairs Specialist Clint Brewer: Tennessee Secretary of State Is Limiting Communication on Still-Unclear Issue of Who Controls Final Deadline for U.S. House Primary

Public Affairs Specialist Clint Brewer: Tennessee Secretary of State Is Limiting Communication on Still-Unclear Issue of Who Controls Final Deadline for U.S. House Primary

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Clint Brewer in-studio to further comment upon who in the state decides for the filing deadline to be on the GOP primary ballot.

Leahy: And we’re continuing our discussion with Clint Brewer about the communication gaffe of Secretary of State Tre Hargett immediately after the enactment of the three-year residency requirement to get on the primary ballot for the U.S. House of Representatives.

They issued a very conflicting and confusing statement that the Associated Press immediately ran with and claimed that it meant that Morgan Ortagus is going to be back on the ballot. Associated Press got it wrong, and they got it wrong in part because of the screw-up by the Secretary of State’s office.

And we pressed them on that, and they kind of backed away from the April 7th deadline claim and reverted to the statutory requirement that April 21st is a qualifying deadline, which means the law went into effect before the qualifying deadline, Clint Brewer.

Brewer: I’m not sure your quarrel is as much with the Secretary of State’s offices as the AP. I mean, it is a nuanced situation.

Leahy: Now, that is exactly the case.

Brewer: Could the initial communication be a little more specific about April 7th versus the 21st? Sure. But I think what you’re seeing is the Secretary of State’s office operating with an abundance of caution since this is a brand-new law. There’s a residency requirement.

As we said in the previous segment, the law does not spell out whose job it is to determine the residency requirement or what the mechanism is to determine the residency requirement.

For example, if you enroll your kid in almost any school system in Tennessee, you can take them, you know, a utility bill. And so how do you establish what documents are acceptable? There’s a lot of questions that the law doesn’t answer.

And so if I am in the Secretary of State’s position, I’m thinking about the fact that there’s a deadline on the 7th that they control and there’s a deadline on the 21st that they don’t control. And so I feel like what they’re doing is from a legal standpoint, trying to limit their communication on the topic.

Leahy: Yes, I think exactly.

Brewer: You’re saying it’s a gaffe. I think it could have been clearer. But I do think there’s some intentionality to the Secretary of State’s office communication in this regard because the law is not entirely clear about who controls the final deadline.

It’s definitely the executive committee. I think this is a one-time event in that the laws passed, it’s put into effect after the filing deadline that leaves some gray areas. I’m not sure it’s a gaffe.

Leahy: I don’t think there’s any gray area.

Brewer: I don’t think it’s as much of a gaffe as it is sort of being intentionally cautious …

Leahy: Vague.

Brewer: … about what they’re saying. Maybe their attorneys have advised them to be that way.

Leahy: This is why you’re a good communications guy. If I were the Secretary of State, I would hire you immediately. (Brewer chuckles) Because you made the best out of a bad situation for that.

Brewer: I’m just trying to think through their burden in this situation.

Leahy: There are two elements to this. The first, where they made a big gaffe, was by reversing themselves on the issue of when the qualifying deadline was.

Brewer: Or did you just ask a better set of questions than the Associated Press?

Leahy: The Associated Press asked no questions.

Brewer: Well, that’s my point.

Leahy: In fact, it’s almost as if it was a coordinated effort between, oh, I don’t know, the governor, the Secretary of State, and the Associated Press to have a misleading headline. It’s almost as if.

Brewer: I can pretty much assure you that they do not all get together and agree to that.

Leahy: I didn’t say they got together. But a common goal was accomplished by like-minded individuals.

Brewer: What you’re seeing is, again, I think that given the situation, because some of these candidates whose residency is in question … I live in Wilson County.

Leahy: Morgan Ortagus’s residency timeline is not in question. She would be off the ballot.

Brewer: I mean the question in terms of the executive committee process.

Leahy: Well, that’s a separate issue. The executive committee is not about residency. It’s about meeting the standards of having voted three out of the four most recent primaries.

Brewer: Who has to figure out residency?

Leahy: The issue of residency is not before the Tennessee executive committee.

Brewer: That’s my point.

Leahy: The issue of residency is a separate lane. I think you’re right about one thing and wrong about another. The thing that the actual misleading statement from the Secretary of State’s office is to claim that the petition filing deadline of April 7th is a qualifying deadline.

The qualifying deadline and by statute is April 21st. We talked to State Senator Frank Niceley, who made that point. It’s April 21 is the qualifying deadline, not April 7.

Brewer: So in your mind, the Secretary of State’s office has from the 7th to the 21st to make some kind of ruling on each of these candidates based on residency?

Leahy: No, not at all. No. Let me tell you what my mind is thinking on it. I think it’s very clear that the qualifying deadline is April 21st.

It is after April 21st that it would be the job of the Tennessee Secretary of State to determine if a candidate meets those standards, if they were to be on by the state executive committee, which I think is in doubt at the moment.

But let’s go with that. So here’s what I would say. This is the Robby Starbuck argument versus the Morgan Ortagus argument. The standard on this, if you just take the way that they’ve approached others’ residency requirements in other cases would be the date upon which you registered to vote.

The legislature didn’t spell it out, but you would think, just by the way, that the Secretary of State has acted in the past, it would be the voting deadline.

Brewer: And the piece of code they opened up. Is there any reference in the election law to what establishes residency?

Leahy: Yes, that’s a very good point.

Listen to the interview:

 

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Tre Hargett” by Tennessee Secretary of State. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TN-5 Republican Candidate Beth Harwell Committed to Six-Year Term and Reducing the Footprint of the Department of Education

TN-5 Republican Candidate Beth Harwell Committed to Six-Year Term and Reducing the Footprint of the Department of Education

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed TN-5 Republican candidate Beth Harwell to the newsmaker line to discuss her commitment, if elected, to a maximum 6-year term and slowly dismantling the Department of Education, bringing money back to local governments in the state.

Leahy: We are joined on the newsmaker line with a new breaking story. Former speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives, Beth Harwell. Good morning, Beth.

Harwell: Good morning. Good to be with you all this morning.

Leahy: So you have just released a statement that you have endorsed the U.S. term limits amendment and you pledge to serve if elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, a maximum of three terms. Tell us about that.

Harwell: Right. I served in the Tennessee Legislature, which is indeed a citizen legislature. It’s a part-time job. You can’t make a living serving in the state legislature, which means you have to find another job.

And I’ve always been a teacher, and I think that’s critical. People that serve in the legislature in Tennessee don’t visit their districts. They live in their districts and they live under the laws that they pass for everyone else.

That’s not the case in Washington, D.C. And that’s why I’m committed to serving for just six years. In eight years, we were able to accomplish great things for the state of Tennessee as Speaker. And I will serve six years and vote the will of the people and then come back home.

Leahy: How did you come to this decision to make this announcement that you’re just going to serve three terms, if elected, you’re a candidate for the Republican nomination to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives in the new 5th Congressional District, which covers the lower third of Davidson County, the western half of Wilson, the eastern half of Williamson County, all of Marshall, all of Maury, and all of Lewis County. How did you come to this decision?

Harwell: I’ve always felt that this was the correct thing to do to limit your time and service. I held back for many years because I was fearful that it would make the bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., more powerful. And we certainly don’t want that.

But I also think that it incentivizes us to go up there and do the right thing and do it quickly because we don’t as a nation have much more time in which we can allow elected officials in Washington to just not get the job done. So I think this is the right time to make a pledge such as this.

Leahy: Now, what’s it been like for you out on the campaign trail? We saw each other at the Wilson County Trump Day Dinner on Thursday.

There are 11 candidates there. You were one of the 11. You got to speak there. What are you seeing out on the campaign trail?

Harwell: Well, people are interested in this. I think, just as I’ve heard on your radio show this morning, I think people also are concerned with getting the May election over with before they start concentrating on what will be the August election.

But like today, I will spend my day in Lewis County and have a lot of good folks taking me around Lewis County to meet and greet and get to know people a little bit better. People are concerned about the direction of our nation.

They are very concerned with the high cost of living right now. They’re concerned with protecting our borders and I think what I hear consistently is that they feel that the fiscal insanity that they see in Washington, D.C. has got to come to an end.

Leahy: What would be the very first bill that you would introduce if you were to be elected to serve in Congress and would be sworn in in January of 2023?

Harwell: Something that’s been a passion of mine for some time now is the whole issue of education, which is such a critical thing for our nation going forward.

I know I can’t completely eliminate the U.S. Department of Education at least as a freshman at first blush. But I think I could begin to reduce the size of it and return that money back to state and local governments where it can be more efficiently and effectively spent.

Leahy: It wouldn’t hurt my feelings if you introduced a bill to entirely abolish the Department of Education.

Harwell: It would be my ultimate goal. You’re right about that, and I certainly understand how the process works, and I might very well do that and take what I can get, because I do think the U.S. Department of Education is bloated and is not doing anything to help our children.

Leahy: It’s interesting the way that you phrase that because you could either go in and say, let’s abolish it entirely. That bill would probably not get a lot of traction the first term or, I guess you’re taking a more incremental approach by saying let’s reduce its footprint and let’s give that money back to the state. Is that your approach on that one?

Harwell: That is correct. I’m realistic about this. I know that they administer the Pell Grants and some other things at the federal level, but slowly we can return those responsibilities back to the state governments or the local governments, as opposed to having the federal bureaucrats who, by the way, never teach a single child how to read or write.

Leahy: That’s a very true statement.

Listen to the interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Beth Harwell” by Beth Harwell. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Madison County Mayoral Candidate AJ Massey: Focusing on Schools and Education Will Help Kill ‘Public School-to-Prison Pipeline’

Madison County Mayoral Candidate AJ Massey: Focusing on Schools and Education Will Help Kill ‘Public School-to-Prison Pipeline’

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Madison County Republican mayoral candidate AJ Massey on the newsmaker line to discuss his agenda for growth and education.

Leahy: We now welcome to our newsmaker line, Mr. AJ Massey, who is running for mayor of Madison County. Good morning, AJ.

Massey: Good morning, everybody. How are y’all?

Leahy: We’re great. We’re delighted to have you on here. So tell us about yourself. What’s your background, AJ?

Massey: Sure. Yeah. I’m a native of West Tennessee, grew up in West Tennessee and went to college here and had a 17-year career in banking. And that ended in January when I elected to run for a local office. You can’t really chase two rabbits, don’t do well with that. So we chose to run for office. So we’ve been doing that since January.

Leahy: People know Jackson as the place you stop to get gas two hours from Nashville sometimes, to the west, about an hour from Memphis. Good restaurants there.

I stop by and take a break there sometimes. But people don’t know that much about Jackson and Madison County. Tell us a little bit about some of the challenges there that you face in Madison County.

Massey: Sure. Madison County is, you’re exactly right. We’re right down in the middle of everything. We’re called the Hub City. Jackson is called the Hub City for a reason. All the West Tennessee, outside of Memphis, looks to Jackson for commerce and for goods and a lot of well-paying jobs.

And so as far as what challenges are, I think we’re a disproportionately high poverty number in the city of Jackson, and really Madison County as a whole. So that’s a challenge that makes education difficult, that makes law enforcement difficult, and that makes a lot of things difficult.

But there’s so much good happening in West Tennessee that, there’s so much good happening in Madison County but also in West Tennessee, bringing on, we’re getting a great Wolf Lodge in Jackson.

If you don’t know what that is, it’s an indoor water park hotel, and nearly 500 rooms have been built in the city of Jackson. We’ll have, of course, the Megasite in Haywood County where Ford Blue Oval City will be in the next few years.

That’s within about 40 miles of our county border. That’s going to be a big shot to Madison County and West Tennessee. So that’s really what we’re trying to do, is trying to get ahead of these things, be paying attention.

I’ve got a young family, and I want the next 20 years. I want them to be around here. I want my boys to choose to locate in West Tennessee and not be too far from Mom and Dad, and hopefully grandkids someday, so we’re trying to make this place as attractive and as safe and, giving them everything they want, where they don’t feel like they need to go anywhere.

Leahy: Crom Carmichael, our original all-star panelist has a question for you, AJ.

Carmichael: AJ, how close is Jackson to that new Ford facility?

Massey: It’s about 40 miles. Between 40 and 50 miles, depending on how you go, between Madison County and Blue Oval City.

And that’s actually a great opportunity. Ford has a requirement that a certain number of suppliers that are going to help that plan out with different needs are required to be within 50 miles of that facility.

So that really puts East Memphis, that puts some of our north, west counties, and then, of course, Madison County is sitting right there ready to accept a lot of the suppliers. And our infrastructure is ready for that.

Carmichael: So, Jackson is inside that 50-mile radius?

Massey: Yes, sir. Correct.

Carmichael: Okay.

Massey: One of our most, and I don’t know if there was just some foreknowledge there or just some premonition, but the western part of our county nearest to the Megasite has a vast option of industrial sites that are already with wastewater and utilities. And so we’re just waiting for the right businesses to take their claim to those.

Leahy: AJ, what is the main reason why people who live in Madison County should vote for you for mayor of Madison County?

Massey: Absolutely. Well, we’re trying to pay attention. We’re trying to be on our toes. We’ve had similar leadership in Madison County for the last, really, 30 years. And the folks that have chosen to run in this race as well are kind of on the same cloth.

And there are some statistics that came out not long ago that has Madison County ranked 95th out of 95 counties, in nearly every category. And that whole thing is if we do what we’ve always done, we’re going to get what we’ve got.

And I think it’s just time for a change. I think it’s time for somebody with some energy, some renewed focus. I’m not trying to get anybody out of the office. I’m not trying to kick anybody out, but I do think it’s time for people to step aside and allow new leadership with fresh ideas.

As I said, I’ve got an 8-year-old and a 3-year-old boy. And that’s where my focus is, trying to build a community that they can be proud of over the next 20 years.

I’m not looking at the next election cycle. I’m not looking at the next budget cycle. I’m looking at the next few decades to make sure, because I’m going to be here, I’m going to be around, and I’m going to have to give an account to what we did or didn’t do with this opportunity coming to West Tennessee.

Leahy: AJ, what is the most important fresh new idea you have to improve the status of Madison County from, as you say, 95th out of 95 counties in almost every category?

Massey: Sure. I’ve been on the Jackson Madison County school board since 2018. I’m a public school graduate. My wife is a public school graduate. My oldest son is in public school. My youngest hadn’t gotten quite to that level yet.

But it’s schools. Schools really drive everything around here. I’m sure it is with most communities but that’s going to reduce our crime rate.

That’s going to reduce our jail population. That’s a long-term play, though the further down the line we get we have to make sure those children are educated at grade level when they’re first, second, third grade.

That way they kill that public-school-to-prison pipeline that seems to happen, and that obviously helps with crime, helps with commerce, and the ability to supply the workforce for all these great companies. I’m passionate about schools. I think our schools need to be …

Leahy: Let me ask you a question about that. In the four years you’ve served on the Jackson Madison school board, what have you done to improve the status of schools there? Because it looks like everywhere in the state over that four-year period the performance of students has gone down, down, down.

Massey: Sure. Madison County is a unique county. We have four thriving private schools and so there are lots of options here in town for nontraditional public education.

There’s also a district just north of us that’s just done the right things and they’ve attracted a lot of families to move outside of our county to go to that district.

But the way last four years we’ve had tremendous success with our academics in our classroom. We have some very pointed, data-driven curriculum that’s happening in our classroom that’s showing improvement.

Listen to the full interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “AJ Massey” by AJ Massey. Background Photo “Madison County Courthouse” by Www78. CC BY-SA 3.0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Star News Network’s Neil W. McCabe and the History of Political Omens

The Star News Network’s Neil W. McCabe and the History of Political Omens

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed national political editor for The Tennessee Star Neil W. McCabe to the newsmaker line to weigh in on Joe Biden’s latest speech and political omens.

Leahy: We welcome now to our newsmaker line, the very best Washington correspondent in the country, Neil W. McCabe. Neil, good morning.

McCabe: Morning, Michael. Good morning, Crom. We’re all very excited about the omens. Everyone remembers from Roman history that birds are very important for telling us what’s going to happen in the future, to tell us about the times that we’re going through now.

You’ll recall the Romans had special priests who would cut open birds and examine their livers. They would watch the way birds flew in the air to see which way the war was going to go. Birds are very important to the Romans.

Leahy: (McCabe laughs) So there was a bird that had a special delivery in Iowa. The legal but not legitimate grifter-in-chief, Joe Biden was giving a speech in a big barn in Iowa. Tell the audience what that special message the bird had for President Joe Biden.

McCabe: He made a special delivery, a little deposit … (Laughter)

Leahy: He’s in his speech, and this little white deposit is dropped on his shoulder just above his lapel flag pin. And it’s sort of, I mean, you can see this white substance kind of dribbling down above his lapel. Did you see, Neil, what the White House said that substance was?

McCabe: It said it was a kernel of corn, right?

Leahy: Yeah, that’s what you call spin. Crom Carmichael, do you want to weigh in on this?

Carmichael: It’s just hysterical. Kate Beddingfield, who is the White House communications director tweeted, if you guys knew your way around a corn silo at all, you’d know it was corn.

Leahy: Well, he wasn’t speaking inside of a corn silo. He was speaking inside of a barn. And if you look at it, your lying eyes will tell you corn does not leave that drizzly white imprint down your lapel.

Carmichael: This is very similar to the White House explanation on inflation. (Leahy laughs) It’s not bird poop. It’s not inflation. It’s corn and Putin.

McCabe: If anybody has spent any time in a barn, they would know that there are often birds in the rafters. So that was just bad advance work, I think.

Leahy: Yes! By the way, that’s a very good point. Knowing that there’s a risk that a bird would, I don’t know, give you a special delivery, why would you hold this in a barn?

McCabe: Because they’ve never actually been in a barn. They’ve seen pictures of barns, and they think they’re amazing, and what a great vista. The president didn’t seem to be aware at first that he was in a barn. I believe he called it a hall at first.

(Laughter) Whatever. It’s tough! It’s almost cruel to ask the guy questions, because he doesn’t know any more than anybody else what’s going on, and he’s supposed to be in charge. And so here we are. But it does remind me of, again, the parallels with James Earl and Jimmy Carter.

Leahy: Yes.

McCabe: And when we saw him collapse when he was jogging, or he was attacked by a rabbit.

Leahy: Very similar.

McCabe: George H. W. Bush, vomiting on the Prime Minister of Japan, whatever, as one does. I guess the Japanese assume that was just a custom.

Leahy: But the bird is an omen, I suppose you could say.

McCabe: Yes.

Leahy: But related to Jimmy Carter: inflation. Yesterday they came out with the numbers, 8.5 percent. We haven’t seen that since the days of Jimmy Carter. Your thoughts, Neil W. McCabe.

McCabe: So we were coming out of that Carter presidency when Ronald Wilson Reagan took office and it took about two years, and it was a tough transition.

And Reagan said that he finally knew that his policies were working when they stopped calling his policies Reaganomics.

Because with Paul Volcker at the Fed, they had to raise interest rates, and it was crushing. And it really flipped a lot of companies and a lot of businesses.

Businesses had learned to sort of function in a high-inflation environment with a weak dollar. And when the Fed and Reagan took the steps necessary to rein in inflation, everybody had to sort of make those adjustments, and not everybody made the adjustments well.

The other comparison I’ll make to the Carter sort of years is that for four years of Jimmy Carter, there was a man named Reagan waiting in the wings, and he was trying to stay relevant.

He was trying to stay involved, trying not to do too much, but trying to keep his viability as a candidate for 1980. And we see the same thing with Donald J. Trump as he’s sort of waiting.

He’s always there, waiting in the wings, but far more active in politics than Reagan was during that time in the winter between ’76 and ’80.

Leahy: Last week you were down inside Mar-a-Lago and had a chance to see the former president give a speech there.

McCabe: Yes. Trump looks great. He sounds great. He’s focused. He’s funny.

Leahy: I have a big question for you. Are you ready, Neil W. McCabe?

McCabe: I’m ready, sir.

Leahy: Were there any birds flying around Mar-a-Lago when you were down there? (Laughter)

McCabe: There was an eagle soaring over the grounds.

Carmichael: Very good answer.

McCabe: Which the Romans would tell you that that’s a good sign. The other thing is that the Chinese talk about the mandate of heaven, right? So, you know that a dynasty is going to fall when there’s an earthquake or some kind of natural disaster.

And there was a massive earthquake in China that marked the end of the Cultural Revolution. Basically, a lot of people attribute that earthquake and the attitude of the earthquake to the fall of the Gang of Four in that group. And so we’re just sort of seeing these things.

Biden does not enjoy the mandate of heaven. And bad things are happening, and bad things happen when there’s a bad leader. You talk about the Fisher King, Michael, the land and the King are one.

Listen to the interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

Former State Rep. Sheila Butt, Now a Candidate for Maury County Mayor, Discusses the Importance of the Individual in Local Political Action

Former State Rep. Sheila Butt, Now a Candidate for Maury County Mayor, Discusses the Importance of the Individual in Local Political Action

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed former state representative Sheila Butt in studio to discuss her background and first Tennessee win in 2010. Butt is an independent candidate for Maury County Mayor.

Leahy: We are delighted to welcome to our microphones in-studio, a good friend for a long time, former State Representative Sheila Butt from Maury County. Good morning, Sheila.

Butt: Good morning. How are you?

Leahy: Well, I am awake and now the studio has been brightened up by your presence.

Butt: Oh, thanks so much. Thank you.

Leahy: We have known each other for a long time. Tell us a little bit about your background. When did you get involved in politics down there in Maury County?

And when did you first get elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives? How did that all happen and how long did you serve, and what were your biggest accomplishments?

Butt: I really began getting into politics … 14 years ago there was a Tea Party which began in Maury County. And I suspect that many of us conservatives started as Tea Party members.

Leahy: So that would put us back 2008, 2009.

Butt: Okay. We started way back there. And many of my friends are just freedom-loving Americans.

Leahy: I’m guessing now Trish Stickle was part of that.

Butt: Trish was part of that. Part of that. Almost the entire executive committee of our current GOP were part of it.

Leahy: They were early Tea Party folks. People talk about the Tea Party as something that started on the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and constitutionally limited government.

Butt: Absolutely.

Leahy: And say, well, what did it accomplish? It accomplished a significant amount in some arenas.

Butt: I think so.

Leahy: Being involved in the creation, if you will, of a Republican party that’s active in Maury County.

Butt: Absolutely. And a Republican Party that is individualistic. We are an individualistic group. And so we looked around and we saw that our Republican Party had people in it who were really old-school people that just thought everything is about a party.

And we thought, you know, we want people to be in office. We want people to be able to represent us who are like us. So we virtually started running for offices in the Republican Party and basically became the Republican Party of Maury County.

Leahy: That’s a good success story. And, Sheila, when did you first decide that you wanted to run for public office?

Butt: That would have been in probably 2009, November, December 2010. We started campaigning and working hard. And let me say this about our Republican Party. We have grown that party. In our monthly meetings. We have about 200 people on a regular basis.

Leahy: Every month.

Butt: Every month.

Leahy: And when you started …

Butt: We probably had 15 to 20 people.

Leahy: There’s a lot of energy around … my friend Stephen K. Bannon, whose WarRoom calls it “participatory populism,” right?

Butt: Yes, absolutely.

Leahy: I think that’s a good description of it, with a focus on the Constitution.

Butt: With the Constitution. That’s exactly right. And we all do know that local politics is very important. In our state politics, if you know the doctrine of the lesser magistrate, you understand that a state can protect itself from so many things. And a mayor and a county can protect themselves from so many things.

Leahy: So you first decided to run for state rep in the November 2010 election?

Butt: Yes.

Leahy: That was an uphill battle at the time, wasn’t it?

Butt: It was absolutely an uphill battle. We had a very likable incumbent Democrat and people would say, oh, Sheila, you are just wasting your time.

They say, you know, you might have to get in one and lose one to win one. And I said, “I have never gotten in a race to lose one. No, we’ll win this race.”

Leahy: How did you win in 2010?

Butt: Because as I mentioned before, I’m a people person and I had the same people that are right in the Republican Party right now there in Maury County working with me. We knocked on every door in the county two times.

Leahy: You knocked on every door in the county two times?

Butt: Every door in our district. There was a little part of that county that was not our district, but we knocked on every door in that county twice during that election. We just knew that if we worked hard enough and people saw our faces and knew what we stood for that we would win.

Leahy: November 2010, you’re there waiting for the election results. When did you know you won – how much did you win by?

Butt: Here’s a fascinating story. I’m at the gas station. I’m standing in Spring Hill, I get a call that I have won early voting and I’m not in Columbia, I’m in Spring Hill.

When I get the call that I have won early voting, I know that I’ve won the election. In Maury County if you win early voting, you win the election.

Leahy: And so how much did you win by?

Butt: I’d say significantly.

Leahy: Ten points.

Butt: Ten points.

Leahy: And you got elected easily every time since.

Butt: Yes.

Leahy: But then you retired.

Butt: Yes. In 2018.

Listen to the interview:

 

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.