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 top gov tracker Neil W. McCabe to the newsmaker line to discuss ongoing Chinese land purchase protests and the lack of Florida politicians supporting supposed presidential candidate Ron DeSantis.
Leahy: On the newsmaker line right now, our very good friend with One America News Network, Neil W. McCabe. Top gov tracker based in Florida. Good morning Neil.
McCabe: Hey Michael. I’m walking over to the State House now because the Chicoms are holding a protest in front of the Capitol here in Tallahassee. The governor and the Legislature are trying to push a law that prevents the Chinese from buying agricultural and other land and business here in Florida. And one of these Chinese front groups has scheduled a protest. I’m gonna be covering it for One American News.
Leahy: You are right there on the spot. So who is the Chicom front group down there protesting this? And why do they want China to buy our land?
McCabe: They want to buy up all our land, Michael, because they want to destroy our way of life and take over the world. And what better way to do that than to take over the orange groves of Florida. Of course, other Chinese businesses have tried to buy farmland in South Dakota right next to our missile bases. And, of course, I don’t even talk about the balloons.
Leahy: By the way, apparently, there were more balloons than just the one, according to this leak from the 21-year-old airman. Let me ask you this. How does a 21-year-old first-class airman obtain access to top-secret documents that only the joint chiefs of staff are supposed to look at?
McCabe: One of the things that came out of the 9/11 report was that intelligence was siloed, and people weren’t talking to each other. There was an effort in the intelligence community to allow people to see stuff that typically wasn’t part of their job. One of the principles of security clearances is a need to know.
However, if I’m doing an investigation, I’m trying to follow a lead I don’t want to have to deal with all these compartments. And they’ve tightened it up in the last few years, but intelligence isn’t as siloed as it was, say, 20 years ago, and that allows somebody to wander down tobacco road and look around.
Carmichael: Neil, on the bill before the legislature, is it a pretty strong bill that, if passed, will keep the Chinese from buying land and businesses in Florida? Is it a good bill for that?
McCabe: I think one of the points that these Chinese are making is these Chinese people protesting as I as I look upon them is that why are you being so racist? There’s no bill saying the French can’t buy land. And they’re concerned that this is going to be used as an ethnic thing.
And maybe there’s something there. But there’s one thing that they do very well here in Florida, especially if Ron DeSantis is governor, is to write laws. And I can tell you that in the innovations that Disney made right before they lost control of their district that controls Disney World, the DeSantis legal team found a loophole or a glitch that the Disney team, before they made their changes, they’re supposed to have public hearings, have notice of public hearings, and all of these things.
Disney followed all the rules, except they did not physically mail the proposals to all affected property owners. And because of that, the DeSantis team thinks that’s the silver bullet to wipe out all these new innovations.
Leahy: They missed it by that much. I’ve got a question for you about the GOP presidential race. Of course, DeSantis has not gotten in yet. Most of the polls now are showing a surge among GOP primary voters for Trump, and a lot of congressmen from Florida are endorsing Trump. I see Laurel Lee endorsed DeSantis. The buzz over the past two weeks is Trump ascendant DeSantis is declining. What’s your take?
McCabe: I think Congressman Steube announced his endorsement of Trump after the DeSantis team was telling people and calling people, saying, hey, hold off on your endorsements until after DeSantis announces. DeSantis wants to announce this after the legislative session ends here in the first week of May.
And basically, their point was, hey, don’t rain on the parade. Let’s wait until he is an official candidate and then do whatever you want because, frankly, when you have Florida congressmen endorsing the governor of Florida’s opponent, it doesn’t look good as you’re trying to ramp up for that campaign. I’ll also tell you Brian Mast has also said he will support the president and he will lead the president’s outreach to veterans. I saw Brian Mast at Mar-a-Lago a week ago, Tuesday.
Leahy: Are you hanging out at Mar-a-Lago, Neil W McCabe? Do they have a special place there for you?
McCabe: Yeah, it’s called the press riser. It’s called The Kennel. But listen, Brian Mast, who I covered extensively. Frankly, I wrote a bunch of articles when he was first running when I was at Breitbart. I dunno if you’re old enough to remember Breitbart, Mike…
Leahy: (Laughs) That’s a good line, Neil.
McCabe: Mast doesn’t have a particularly Trumpy or conservative podium record. He’s a middle-of-the-road guy, and he gave two legs in Afghanistan. So my view is he can pretty much do whatever he wants. I don’t care if he robs a bank. Mast was this middle of the road, not really Trumpy.
But the fact that he would come out and endorse Trump when his own governor is about to announce for president speaks volumes for the lack of relationship that these guys deal with DeSantis. Stuebe told either Politico or Byron York, I forget which one, and said hey, when I was in ICU, remember he fell off the roof of his house about two months ago.
When I was in ICU, the first call I got was from Trump, asking if I was okay. DeSantis never called me yet. He says, for five years when I was in Congress, every time I tried to deal with the governor’s staff, they never called me back.
They never replied. And apparently, in the 2022 campaign, they invited him to an event with the governor. He shows up, and they tell them, hey, there’s been a change. You’re not going to be on the stage with the governor. Sorry, congressman.
Leahy: Do you think that DeSantis is still on track to announce that he’s running for president when the Florida State Legislature adjourned sometime later in May?
McCabe: Oh, yeah. He’ll announce. When you’ve hired the staff, you’ve raised the money and once you announce, who knows what could happen, right? It’s a scratch ticket. So as long as the money’s there you run. Why is Nikki Haley running?
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this 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 “Ron DeSantis” by Ron DeSantis.