Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Reviews the Emergency Powers Granted to Governor Lee by Statute but Limited by The Tennessee Constitution

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Reviews the Emergency Powers Granted to Governor Lee by Statute but Limited by The Tennessee Constitution

 

Live from Music Row Tuesday 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 Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in the studio who reviewed the Tennessee Constitution by articulating the specific guard rails of which the governor may exercise emergency powers.

Leahy: We are having an anti-lockdown party with California Refugee Mark Pulliam in the studio and Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in the studio. Andy, you were talking a little bit about what emergency powers the governor of Tennessee really has under the Constitution and we were talking about the language of the Constitution. I wonder if you could read what the Constitution says again about those powers.

Ogles: Yeah. So before we get to the Emergency Powers Act, Article 7 Section 1  Tennessee’s Constitution states and this paragraph is talking about your constitutional officers. I as the county mayor the CEO of Maury County, I am the chief constitutional officer for the county.

And it says, “Their qualifications and duties shall be prescribed by the General Assembly.”

Period. And that’s it.

There’s a period.

And Mark Pulliam, you’re an attorney you can talk about the importance of where the period are where the comma is in a sentence. But if you any question or doubt as to who has domain over your constitutional officers in the counties the next sentence, the last sentence of the paragraph states any officer shall be removed from malfeasance or neglect of duty as prescribed by the General Assembly.

Period.

Leahy: Another period not a comma. Not a “but,” not an “and,” and not an “if.”

Ogles: The governor has the powers or it’s the voters during an election or it’s the general assembly. Period. That’s who gives me or takes authority as county mayor. Now when you go to 58 – 2107 that’s the Emergency Powers Act. It states very clearly that an executive order as prescribed by the governor has an effect of the law period. It just says it and it says such executive orders proclamations and rules have the force and effect of law. However, under 58 – 2107 there’s some caveats.

And they are lettered and numbered. And when you get down to H, it talks about those dang constitutional officers again. I’m a subdivision of the state of Tennessee. And it says the governor can delegate new authority to me. And again the words matter. And again Mark you’re an attorney so you can speak to this. But prior to an emergency or threat of an emergency. In other words before. I can’t be given a new authority during a state of emergency.

Why? Because the General Assembly has the final say. And so one would presume that under a state of an emergency your General Assembly could not meet and could not affect their duties there go any new authority granted to me must fall under their domain, not during a time where the governor has assumed total authority. And so it’s nuanced. It’s nerdy. It’s convoluted. I get it. But it is in black and white. And if you take the time to read it, you’re like, holy crap.

Leahy: So how then does the governor have the legal authority to give county mayors the right to determine whether or not masks will be mandated or not.

Ogles: He doesn’t.

Leahy: I don’t think he does either.

Ogles: A mask is by definition by our federal government is now considered a medical device. As a county mayor have no authority under the law of the state of Tennessee to prescribe a medical device.

Leahy: We have to now turn to counselor Mark Pulliam. What’s your take on that? You spent 30 years as an attorney in California. What’s your take on that?

Pulliam: Well, we have constitutions for a reason. They are the rule book of how elected officials interact with each other, what powers they have, and which powers they don’t have. And we have to take these rules seriously because if we don’t take them seriously, then elected officials can do whatever they want.

And a lot of people and this was probably the worst thing that came out of this COVID crisis is people sort of saying well, this is different. This is an emergency. We don’t really have to pay attention to the rules. Well, it’s exactly when you have a so-called emergency that the rule book becomes especially important because in normal times we can trust the government. But not an emergency.

Listen to the full second hour here:


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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Andy Ogles Weighs in on the Unconstitutionality of Mask Mandates By State Governors and County Mayors

Mayor Andy Ogles Weighs in on the Unconstitutionality of Mask Mandates By State Governors and County Mayors

 

Live from Music Row Tuesday 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 Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in the studio to weigh in on the unconstitutionality of lengthy mask mandates with limitless scope implemented by several state governors and county mayors across Tennessee.

Leahy: We are in studio Mark Pulliam the California Refugee and the Blogger at Misrule of Law from Blount County. He has driven all the way down here to join us today. And then driving up from Maury County who is the mayor of Maury County Andy Ogles. It takes you about an hour and five minutes to get up here. I appreciate your taking that time. You must have left about 4:45 a.m. in the morning.

Ogles: I sure did. You know I got up early. And in fact, I texted you saying I’m en route.

Leahy: In route.

Ogles: It’s good to be here and to be with Mark. And again I’m a student today learning from you guys. When I was driving up, I was listening to you guys talk about the controversy surrounding the University of Tennessee and some of the curriculum that’s really permeating the Collegiate schools in Tennessee. And I see that as an issue as we go forward.

I’ve got children that are 13, 11, and 5. I’m terrified but they are going to a Christian school. They’re going to a school that has a classical education. But when we turn them loose into college that when they when I get them back four years later I won’t know who they are. And I think that’s a real fear that any parent should have in today’s world.

Leahy: I think you’re exactly right about that. Also in the last segment Andy you said something very intriguing to me. (Ogles chuckles) I want to explore that a little bit. So I opened with the idea that county governments may have difficulties dealing with the federal government. And you said and I think it’s probably true. And I wonder if you could elaborate on this. County governments are now also having difficulties dealing with the state government. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Ogles: Yeah. Obviously, almost a year now with COVID we’ve been under a state of emergency here in Tennessee for just short of a year. They’ve been extended to the end of April so will breach the year mark with the state of emergency. That creates complications for state government as we try to manage our economy and our schools and our health department.

When you have a state of emergency that has usurped some of that local control now everything gets a little more complicated because you’re working with the state or you’re at the behest of the state. and so it’s been frustrating. For me, I’m all about liberty and low taxes and things of that nature. So the idea that we would have a mask mandate or that someone would be required to have a vaccine that’s really unproven.

Now, I’m not saying that they haven’t tested it but it hasn’t gone through the years of testing that a normal vaccine would. Now look if you’re high risk go talk to your doctor. That’s a choice that you have to make. You make that decision for yourself, but I shouldn’t be required or be able to require you to take it when you’re having to sign a waiver giving away all sorts of rights as far as if you’re damaged by said vaccine.

In fact, there was a poll as I was driving and I was flipping channels talking about that roughly 45 percent of Americans say that they’re not going to get the vaccine. So this idea of zero COVID that we’re going to be totally able to eradicate This virus is a myth. and it’s more about control than it is anything else. And I’m not saying that the precautions aren’t applicable in certain situations. But again, these mandates have to stop.

Leahy: Let’s talk about the constitutionality of these emergency powers exercised by various governors around the country and are still here in Tennessee. I have always felt that the emergency power has been subject to abuse. I’m still not convinced that it’s constitutional. What are your thoughts on that?

Ogles: Whether it’s a local government or in the state, when you think of an emergency you think of something that will be regionalized to a part of a state. So think about Katrina or if you had an earthquake along the New Madrid fault. It’s going to be localized to West Tennessee or if you had a dam breach at Normandy. It’s going to be you know, the Cumberland Plateau, Southern, and Middle, Tennessee.

There is an occasion where a governor or your localities might need a state of emergency, but it’s imperative that these states of emergency be short in duration and scope. And what we’ve seen under COVID and not just here in Tennessee, but across the country that these states of emergency are neither short and neither are they limited in scope as far as what the governors are doing even going so far as to changing election law when the Constitution is clear how elections should be managed.

So you’re seeing breaches of constitutions not just here in the state of Tennessee, but across the country. And this is a very scary precedent. When we are a nation of law and order. A nation of rules. and a nation with the Constitution. That’s what protects you and I. And if you are a liberal, that Constitution protects you. If you’re a conservative the Constitution protects you. And once that goes away now you’re going to a situation where it’s totalitarian and whoever has the most power becomes the dictator of the moment.

Leahy: Yeah, and the governors that are exercising these emergency powers, which I agree with you should be short in duration and limited in scope. It seems to me now that they want to make them permanent and use them to basically squelch the individual liberty of the citizens of the state. That’s what it looks like to me. Will we see these emergency powers and in the state of Tennessee next month?

Ogles: (Laughs) I don’t know. If I had that crystal ball and go buy a lottery ticket. It doesn’t seem that way. When you look at the numbers, the numbers are down. We now have a third vaccine that’s coming to market. From a protocol standpoint the therapeutics that when you go to the doctor, they have different medications that they can give you now depending on the severity of your COVID symptoms etc.

And so we’re in a different place today than we were a year ago. We said this when I was on the show a couple of weeks ago. March and April of last year was terrifying. We didn’t know what we were dealing with. We didn’t know the effects of how it would mutate would it change and affect our children? But we now know what it’s going to do. It’s a virus.

When you look at At Maur County, for example, at it just sheer population where 16th and population in the state of Tennessee, you know, where we are currently and numbers of active cases? We’re 16th. Why? Because it’s a virus and it spreads based on population. We don’t have a mask mandate in Maury County. We’ve never had a mask mandate and Maury County.

We’re not going to have a mask mandate in Maury County because it’s unconstitutional. But I don’t need an advanced degree in medicine to understand that a virus is a virus and viruses spread the way viruses do. And I know that’s a very oversimplification but the data over this last year spells out masks, it’s not about masks. It’s about personal responsibility. The three of us are sitting in here in this studio and we are socially distancing.

If we want to shake hands, use your hand sanitizer. Common sense kind of stuff. If I don’t feel well, I’m going to stay home. I mean this isn’t rocket science folks. It’s the same thing if I was coming down with the flu. If my kids have the flu and I suddenly don’t feel well guess what? I’m going to assume that I have the flu I’m going to call my doctor. I don’t know why we have to take away liberties and the age of a virus that has a 99 percent survival rate. Anyway, I’ll stop.

Leahy: No no. Don’t stop. We are smiling because I want to follow and jump in on this Mark as you wish. So one of the things I want to follow up on. You said something very important there. Mask mandates are unconstitutional. I agree with that and yet we do see that masks to me it’s a bit of theater. Everybody in science recognizes that a mask is not going to stop the penetration of a very very small virus. It’s just not going to happen.

It may stop a droplet but having said that, if you look at the polling about 60 percent of the people support wearing of masks. But that is I think a bit of just about visible theatrics and not anything that is related to science. At least from what I can tell. Alex Berenson at The New York Times writes about it. You’re familiar with Alex Berenson Mark.

He’s a very former New York Times reporter and he’s written extensively on this. And I applaud you as mayor of Maury County for not using a mask mandate. Now I look at other mayors and the governor and they say well mask, mask, mask. I’ve always thought it was unconstitutional to do that. I agree with you on that.

Pulliam: In a previous segment we were talking about federalism. So when people talk about unconstitutional they automatically think of the U.S. Constitution, but every state has a constitution in that state constitution protects our liberties vis-à-vis state officials. And so when people point out that the state constitution does not authorize these kinds of dictates, we’ve got to take that seriously.

Listen to the full second hour here:


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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Reviews the Emergency Powers Granted to Governor Lee by Statute but Limited by The Tennessee Constitution

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Talks About His Letter to Governor Lee About Forced Investment to Companies that Censor

 

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 Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles to the newsmakers line.

At the top of the second hour, Ogles explained his recent proposal to Governor Bill Lee suggesting Tennessee discontinue doing business or any investing in support of companies that advocate for censorship. He continued to voice his concern noting that the United States is in a situation where non-governmental agencies and government tell you what you can and can’t say and when you can and cannot say it.

Leahy: And our guest on the newsmaker line Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles. Welcome, Andy.

Ogles: Good morning. How are you?

Leahy: I’m great. Yesterday you made some news and you sent a letter to Governor Bill Lee and Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally and Speaker of the House Cam Sexton. I’ll read from this and then just get your reaction. ‘Tennessee and should not be forced to invest in support the very companies that are conspiring to silence them.

Furthermore, the state of Tennessee should refrain from doing business with these companies by way of prohibition of advertising on Google, Facebook or Twitter. And a prohibition of Amazon Services until such time these companies admit their errors and remove said censorship and prohibitions from their respective platforms. Have you received any response to this proposal yet Andy?

Ogles: Not directly from leadership. But last night I had several members of both in the Senate and the House reach out to me thanking me for taking a bold stance and thought that it would be great and that they were going to work on legislation to try to get introduced. Now just to set expectations, you know, they convened for session. They are in their organizational phase but then next week they go into special session which will last three to five days. and then they’ll recess till probably March or April. So there’s not much going to be done from the legislature outside of education just because of the way it’s structured this year.

Leahy: Gotcha, so, What would be the very specific proposals? And has anybody said I’m going to sponsor such a proposal?

Ogles: Not yet. But you know, when you think about it and a lot of people realize that states across the country they have retirement plans and they have huge cash amounts dollars that they have to invest. They have budget surpluses etc. And so the state of Tennessee, the state of Florida, Utah, South Carolina, etc., they’re all huge institutional investors.

So, you know up there, you know in Nashville, you know, we’ve got 100 or 150 or so in a department and that’s all they do is invest Tennessee’s money. and so, you know these states have a lot of power. And look you can like Trump you can hate trump. It doesn’t matter. The fact that they have censored the president of the United States is incredibly concerning, period.

And that’s why you’re seeing the chancellor of Germany, the president of France, the president of Mexico and Brazil all saying hold on a minute. This is wrong. You can disagree with this man. and you know in France and Mexico their respective leaders don’t like President Trump, so it’s not like they’re in love with this man, but they understand we’re in a state where suddenly the President of the United States can be blocked, banned, censored and there’s no recourse.

They just have all the authority. And this is a scary time. We’re an Orwellian time today. I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but now we’re in a situation where you have non-governmental agencies and the government telling you what you can and can’t say and when you can and cannot say it. And that’s the United States, I’m not talking about Venezuela. I’m talking about here in our country now.

Leahy: How big is this investment fund that the state of Tennessee has under its control? Is it like 100 million a 150 million? How big is it?

Ogles: Well, yeah, I don’t know the answer to that. We have a rainy day fund and we have budget surpluses. We have funded pension funds. So you’re talking upwards of a billion dollars.

Leahy: There’s a let’s say there are a billion dollars. And that billion dollars is typically invested in bonds and stocks. and a lot of that if it’s a typical stock portfolio, you would have a lot of investment I would think in Google and Facebook and Twitter, I would guess right?

Ogles: You would assume. And so once these states and it would only take a handful to suddenly pull out of Twitter to pull off some of these technology companies and hits them and punish them through their stock. The other thing that can be done is just simply not Google advertising. Don’t advertise it on Twitter or Facebook. And you know, what’s unfortunate is that you know, Facebook has become and Twitter has become a major form of communication.

So they have gone beyond just being a business being part of the media. And so they’re in a hybrid situation of where yes their company. You know, it’s one thing to let’s say you were I or on Twitter or on Facebook and we post something that’s inflammatory or shouldn’t be posted. I get it. They have the right to delete that particular post. But to blatantly block and then delete the President of the United States again, I don’t care if you’re a Republican or Democrat or Independent, that should concern you to a degree that you can’t sleep at night.

Listen to the full second hour here:


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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