All-Star Panelist Clint Brewer Offers His Perspective on TN Secretary of State’s Communications About Residency Bill Requirements

All-Star Panelist Clint Brewer Offers His Perspective on TN Secretary of State’s Communications About Residency Bill Requirements

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 give his take on the statement made by Secretary of State Tre Hargett in regard to the three-year residency bill signed into law April 13th.

Leahy: Folks, this promises to be a very lively segment with our good friend, all-star panelist, Clint Brewer. Clint, you are, in fact, a recovering journalist.

Brewer: I am.

Leahy: You are a public affairs specialist. And you know how people should communicate. I’m going to make a statement here about our Secretary of State, Tre Hargett.

And I’m going to say that he has really done a very poor job of communicating about whether or not he will enforce this new residency law, which became law yesterday afternoon after the governor refused to sign it or did not return it to the Senate after the 10-day period when it can go into effect without a signature.

And immediately, the Secretary of State issued a confusing statement that contradicted his own statements about the enforcement of this law that he made to us a couple of months earlier, issued it quickly.

We broke the story that it had become law about 3:00 in the afternoon, and by 4:00, they issued a statement to us about the law that we thought was contradictory and confusing. And we didn’t publish it because we asked them a follow-up question.

The Associated Press took it immediately and ran with it and I think inaccurately stated the position of the law, what the law meant.

Here’s what the Secretary of State’s office told us an hour after we reported the law was in effect. Remember what the law says. “In order to qualify as a candidate in a primary election for the United States Senate or from a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a person shall meet the residency requirements for state senators and representatives contained in the Tennessee Constitution.”

That’s three years prior to qualifying for the primary ballot. This act takes effect upon becoming law. The public welfare requirement. So it became law yesterday, April 13th, and it went into effect.

And here was the statement. It was a pre-planned statement, obviously, because it was given to us. We didn’t publish it immediately because it was confusing and conflicting. The AP took it and published it right away, almost instantaneously, and gave an interpretation to it that claimed that it meant Morgan Ortagus would be back on the ballot.

They missed a lot, as did the Secretary of State. Let me just read this to you. “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.” So that’s what they communicated.

The AP took that to interpret Morgan Ortagus is on the ballot. That was very, very confusing, because we went back and said, well, look, the Republican Party bylaws, and your previous statements say April 7th is the petition filing deadline. It’s not the qualifying deadline.

The qualifying deadline is April 21st. Two candidates have been challenged, and have been removed from the Tennessee Republican Party ballot, Morgan Ortagus and Robby Starbuck. Given those facts with your interpretation of the law that you gave out an hour after the laws passed, stand.

And they responded in a way that didn’t answer that question. Here’s what they said: “We may have misunderstood your question. We thought your question was regarding if someone filed the petition in March and met qualifications when they filed, but before the qualifying deadline, the law changed. In that case, the person would not have been able to run despite meeting the petition requirements at the time of filing.

By statute, the party has until April 21st to inform the division of election who will be on the primary ballot,” conceding the point that the qualifying deadline is April 21st, not April 7th. Your thoughts about this communication mangling by the Secretary of State?

Brewer: Yes, I agree with you. It could have been clearer. I’m going to say that they’re in as confusing a position as the rest of us. Heretofore, to qualify to run for Congress, you had two barriers: One, you had to put in a qualifying petition, which is a fairly nominal number of signatures from people in the district that have to be verified as actual registered voters in the district.

Then you had to clear the party. The party had to let you on the ballot if it’s partisan. So there are two things. Now, in the middle of it, we’ve got a residency requirement, which to my knowledge, I think the only entity that figures that out now is the party apparatus, the executive committee, Secretary of State’s office.

I could be wrong. But in the petition filing, there is no paperwork requirement yet. Maybe there will be. There’s no submission that you have to make of documents or anything that actually could tell the Secretary of State’s office if you meet the new residency requirements.

Leahy: Yes. Within that. Yes.

Brewer: So where does the verification of residency reside in this new process? The law does not spell that out.

Leahy: It does not.

Brewer: The law does not say that the Secretary of State will do it. The law does not say that the executive committee will do it. So who does it? Is it only a question if someone challenges it? Otherwise, are both parties happy to just not ask the question?

Leahy: Let’s just go back a little bit on this. First, this April 7th petition filing deadline says you’ve got to file in order to be qualified, subsequently …

Brewer: You have to have a timely filed petition …

Leahy: Which has 25 signatures of people in the district.

Brewer: … by noon on the date.

Leahy: April 7th. Now, those petitions are actually reviewed by the Secretary of State’s office …

Brewer: Of course.

Leahy: … over like a 48-hour period. If they themselves then, after April 7th, issue a statement about which of those petitions allow somebody to go forward with the qualifying process …

Brewer: And to my knowledge, is there a deadline for doing that?

Leahy: For their response as to have you met the first standard to qualify, there’s not a deadline. I think by practice they usually get a response. Actually, there may be some still being reviewed by the Secretary of State’s office. They did respond.

Brewer: But it’s not in the statute.

Leahy: I don’t think it’s in the statute. But what is clearly in statute, by statute, the parties have until April 21st to inform the Secretary of State who’s on the ballot.

Brewer: That is the final hurdle to get on the ballot.

Leahy: Right.

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. Background Photo “Tennessee House Floor” by Tennessee General Assembly.  




















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. 


















All Star Panelist Clint Brewer on China: ‘We Have Not Economically and Politically Drawn a Line in the Sand with Them’

All Star Panelist Clint Brewer on China: ‘We Have Not Economically and Politically Drawn a Line in the Sand with Them’


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 weigh in on the new book by Peter Schweizer, Red Handed and how many of politicans on both sides of the isle are connected monetarily with the Chinese state.

Leahy: You know, Clint, every time you’re on, I get a lot of texts and people like the interaction.

Brewer: Good.

Leahy: Some don’t agree with you, though.

Brewer: That’s okay. I probably don’t agree with them.

Leahy: But this is the reason you’re here, because we unlike, I don’t know, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, like the free and fair exchange of ideas.

Brewer: The delta, the difference between how we view things is like a 20, 30 percent.

Leahy: 10 percent maybe, but depends on the issue.

Brewer: It depends on the topic.

Leahy: Yeah. But they like it when we disagree. Okay.

Brewer: Let’s find some stuff to disagree about before the hour is up.

Leahy: (Chuckles) Alright, Clint Brewer. Now this is something I don’t know if we’ll disagree on this, but let us present the information. You know, at The Star News Network, The Tennessee Star and all of our 10 state outlets, soon to be 15, then to be 25 by the end of the year, if all goes well.

We are moving towards not just radio, but we are a multimedia operation doing video. And we have brought on board two nationally recognized journalists.

Neil W. McCabe, who was my colleague at Breitbart. We worked with Pat Cadell, by the way on doing some of the polling in 2016.

And then Dr. Susan Berry, an education expert, has joined us. But Neil spent three years at One America News. And so we are taking him and he is going out and talking to the newsmakers in all our states and getting exclusive stories.

Now, the big, big story out there right now has to do with the expose that the journalist Peter Schweizer put together on his new book. I think it was number one at Amazon. Red Handed. How American and Elites Get Rich Helping China Win.

So Neil McCabe went down, we flew him down to Tallahassee, Florida, where Schweizer has his offices. And we got a 90 minutes exclusive interview. And we have a series of clips that you can go to The Tennessee Star and watch.

And the stories are there, the one that we found most interesting and the one we’re going to talk about right now and you’ll hear this is a long clip.

It’s about two minutes, but we’re going to play it and we’ll like to get your reaction to it. The headline: Mitch McConnell Linked to Chinese Communist Party Through Wife’s Family.

(McCabe clip plays)

In his new book Red Handed investigative journalist Peter Schweizer documents how the Senate’s top Republican, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, is tied through his wife to the top leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.

He also told The Star News Network that his wife, Elaine Chao, as Transportation Secretary, used her official position to help the shipping business of her father, James Chao.

(Schweizer clip plays)

So when Mitch McConnell married Elaine Chao, he married into a family that had very substantial connections on mainland China with the Chinese Communist Party. James Chao, who was Elaine’s father. That would be Senator Mitch McConnell’s father in law grew up with Zhang Zi min, who was the Premier of China in the 1990s.

(McCabe clip plays)

Schweizer said McConnell, in addition to receiving millions of dollars in political contributions from members of the Chao family, also received a massive gift from his billionaire father in law.

(Schweizer clip plays)

When it comes to Mitch McConnell, it’s pretty clear his financial fortunes are fused with those of the Chao family. In fact, James Chao gave him a gift more than a decade ago of between $5 and $25 million. And that basically quadrupled his net worth overnight.

And when Elaine Chao became the Transportation Secretary, when she took official delegations as Transportation Secretary to China, she planned to and wanted to bring her sister and her father along on those trips. So you have this fusing of the Chao family and Mitch McConnell to the Chinese state.

And it creates a circumstance where if Mitch McConnell were to do something that Beijing did not like, they could literally destroy the business overnight.

(McCabe clip plays)

Peter Schweizer’s research into the McConnell Chao family business and their relationship with the Chinese Communist Party begged the question that if McConnell has to choose between the fortunes of the American people or the billions at stake in his own family fortune, who would he choose? Reporting for The Star News Network this is Neil W. McCabe.

Leahy: That’s original reporting from our own Neil W. McCabe, our national political editor for The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Clint, what’s your reaction to that?

Brewer: These aren’t allegations. They are largely fact. It’s been out there about McConnell and his wife since about 2017, and it’s evolved. Here’s what I’d say, a couple of things. One, I’ve said it on the show many times.

America’s single biggest overriding issue pervading all aspects of the economy, politics, society is our ongoing, I call it, relationship with China.

I don’t think we have had a requisite amount of accountability for COVID-19 from China. I think that up until the Trump administration, our trade policy was massively imbalanced with China.

I think that we have not economically and politically drawn a line in the sand with them. And I think books like this kind of create a compendium of information for readers that can allow them to see the big picture.

If you look at the cover of the book, President Biden is on the cover of the book. But I think it’s important to note that leaders on both sides of the aisle have business relationships with China through their families.

I think it’s important to note that America’s business elite have business relationships with China. They have investments there. General Motors, which has a plant in Tennessee, also has a plant in China.

So we are very cross-pollinated economically with China as country. And I think information like this is something that’s vital for the American people to have.

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.
















– – –

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














Clint Brewer Describes What Candidates Need to Do to Win the 2022 Fifth Congressional District Republican Primary

Clint Brewer Describes What Candidates Need to Do to Win the 2022 Fifth Congressional District Republican 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 describe how candidates can win Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District and explained the mindset of voters.

Leahy: We are joined in studio by our longtime friend, good friend Clint Brewer. Recovering journalist and public affairs expert. Clint now, as somebody who’s seen lots of congressional races in Tennessee, what is a candidate going to have to do to win that primary?

Remember, there’s a primary and a general. We haven’t talked and we won’t talk until later about the Democratic primary. But it looks like the Justice Democrats are going to back AOC. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, that crowd.

They’re going to back Odessa Kelly. I think she’s still going to run. By the way, one just as an aside, a very sad, sad note, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is leaving Twitter. And the reason is because it’s causing her too much anxiety. I’m so sorry about that.

Brewer: Causing her anxiety?

Leahy: Because when she’s seen without a mask at a party, people make fun of her and she just can’t take it anymore. (Chuckles)

Brewer: I don’t know what to do about that one.

Leahy: Now, but you do know what to do about what these candidates need to do to win in the August 2022 Republican primary in the Fifth Congressional District.

Why don’t you lay out what the old district was, what the new district is, and why this is a good thing for Republican candidates.

Brewer: The old district was Davidson County and a little spillover into some other satellite counties to the north. It was primarily a blue county, blue district, a little bit of purple in there. It’s why you had Jim Cooper in it for so long.

Blue Dog Democrat to the left enough to keep the progressives at bay, to the center enough, where he wasn’t super objectionable to the right. He kind of flew below the radar screen. This new district is interesting.

You’re going to pick up aspects of Davidson County. There’s sort of older parts of Davidson County. Hermitage, Old Hickory, Donelson, sort of that little curve below at the bottom.

And then you pick up Western Wilson County, which is very conservative, but it’s got a lot of new people moving into it. And you’re getting a slice of Williamson County where you’re going to see a similar aspect with maybe a little bit more wealth.

And then you get into Maury County and there’s all of Maury County and it is very much a county in transition. It’s booming, absolutely booming. Again, more new folks. And then you pick up a couple of smaller rural counties.

Leahy: Marshall County and Lewis County.

Brewer: Marshall and Lewis. You’ve got to think about it. The slice of Davidson County that’s left is very much a sort of old-school yellow Dog Democrat from back in the day kind of piece.

You got a lot of older folks there who maybe were affected by NAFTA. You’ve got some plants that shut down there over time. I’m thinking about the Dupont plant in particular, which was downsized. You see a lot of that, but they’re still Democrats.

You also have a ton of new people. You have parts of it that are very much in transition. If you look at the census, you have a real influx of immigrants. You have an influx of first-time homeowners and people who are first-time college graduates.

It’s an incredibly interesting mix. Not necessarily bad for the Republican candidate if you look at how Trump overperformed in some of those categories last time. Davidson County still has to be a focus.

You still have to run on the ground in Davidson County. Wilson County has been a rock-ribbed Republican county for a long time, but a lot of people aren’t going to know where they live. Williamson County, the same way.

And then you get out into Maury County in these rural counties, and you’re going to have to act like an adult, I guess is the best way to say it. Some of the bomb-throwing we’ve seen, some of the silliness that we’ve seen early on, some of the sorts of lack of process, I guess I would say with jumping out there with a presidential endorsement and then jumping out there with, I voted in the primaries.

No, I didn’t vote in the primaries. Kind of from these two transplants, it’s not behavior that’s going to be particularly well-received.

Leahy: No it won’t be. And by the way, before we get into that, and we’ll kind of look at the strengths and weaknesses of the various candidates. One announced, one endorsed, three or four likely.

I think there’s a hurdle for the transplanted carpetbaggers to clear. And that hurdle will be discovered probably next week or the week after they pick up their papers to petition, papers to get the signatures to get on the ballot Monday, and then sometime shortly after Monday.

If Morgan Ortagus announces, then she will be almost certainly challenged. Her bona fides. And Robby Starbuck’s bona fides will absolutely be challenged. Robby will not meet the standard of three out of four of the most recent statewide primaries. Morgan might not.

We haven’t seen her voting record. You have the president endorse you and nobody knows what her voting record is. And then even if she’s voted wherever she’s lived for the past four years or however long, even if she’s voted in three out of four primaries there, it’s unclear right now. There’s some dispute as to whether or not they’d be accepted as a state.

Brewer: Well, let me say this. Let’s just set Mr. Starbuck aside. I would like to see Ms. Ortagus in the race, and I’ll tell you why. She’s a very qualified person, and I’m not expressing a preference here, but I would like to see her compete for the seat.

And I would like to see it because I would like to see the transplant audience, if you will, the new folks represented in a way in this, because it’s going to be a marriage of old and new in this seat.

I think there is room in the debate about who should lead the Fifth District and who should represent it in Congress. I think there’s room. As someone who’s lived there for a very long time.

I think there’s room for that voice in the race. She’s a serious person. These folks want, serious representation. They care about the issues.

They are very hard-working people. It’s a very diverse district. It does trend plus-11 Trump based on the last election. These are folks who care and I think that they deserve serious representation and somebody who speaks with an adult voice.

Leahy: My view would be a little different on that because in that particular case, first, if we talked about this before and I’m still trying to get the data on it, 750,000 people in the district. Let’s say 90 percent of them have lived here for more than two years.

Brewer: That’s a stretch.

Leahy: 85 percent have lived here more than two years.

Brewer: Of likely Republican voters of the 750,000.

Leahy: Probably plus or minus around there. Ninety-nine percent of them have lived here more than have been registered voters for more than two months. So my argument would be I don’t think that one percent that’s just arrived here lately, I don’t think they need a voice.

Brewer: Here’s the thing. If they don’t have a voting record in the state, I don’t mean the candidates, the new voters, it’s hard to track them.

Leahy: Good point.

Brewer: It’s hard as a campaign to go back and look and say they’ve got a voting record that trends this way or that way. There’s a lot of unknowns.

Leahy: I think the point on this is both of them will face challenges.

Brewer: You’re talking procedural.

Leahy: Procedural challenges to getting on the ballot. And I think somebody will have to vouch for Robby. For sure, possibly for Morgan.

And then there’s a special committee, 13 members of the executive committee. The majority will go up or down. I don’t think it’s looking very good for Robby.

Brewer: I want to hear the debate, though. I want to hear what she would bring to the table. And I think that former Speaker Harwell I think Mayor Ogles are being very respectful right now of the process. They’re waiting for the governor to sign the redistricting bill.

Leahy: Exactly.

Brewer: They’re doing what you do when you understand how politics work in Tennessee. They’re not running out into traffic and saying follow me. I think the complexion of the race will change a lot when we start to hear from folks like that.

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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 “People Voting” by Phil Roeder. CC BY 2.0.














Clint Brewer and Mayor Andy Ogles Analyze How Left and Right Are Finding Common Ground

Clint Brewer and Mayor Andy Ogles Analyze How Left and Right Are Finding Common Ground


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 all-star panelist Clint Brewer and Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in studio to ponder how the left and right are beginning to find similarities as liberal policies prove too radical.

Leahy: In studio, Clint Brewer, the original all-star panelist, and Andy Ogles mayor of Maury County. That’s an interesting interview we just had with Naomi Wolf.

Ogles: I’ve never met her. And I’m sure Clint, we were talking offline that she was an advisor to Gore.

Leahy: In 2000.

Ogles: She was banned by Twitter. I’d love to meet her and shake her hand. It’s like a badge of honor. (Leahy laughs) Like, holy cow. We may not agree on a lot of issues, but kudos to her for having an opinion that kind of cuts across the grain.

Now, I will say trying to be objective is that I look at my friends on the left and how fervently they will defend the Constitution when it fits their narrative, and when they want to change policy, they’re more than willing to attack the Constitution and to label a breathing document and to throw it out the freaking window.

Brewer: The Bill of Rights is not an a la cart menu. You don’t get to pick and choose what you like.

Leahy: I think I’ll cite the Constitution on this argument and forget it on the other argument.

Brewer: Well, honestly, whenever I hear somebody in a public debate or to say I’m a strict Constitutionalist, I’m immediately suspicious of that person because I’m sure there’s something in there that they don’t want to uphold.

And that happens on both sides of the aisle. But the mayor’s point is well taken. These issues do cut across the grain. You look at her past stance on abortion and now talking about medical freedom, they don’t entirely reconcile.

Ogles: It’s like a game show. I’ll take the Second Amendment for 100, please. (Leahy laughs) It doesn’t work that way. It’s all one document. And, you know, and I would argue that there is no First Amendment without the Second Amendment. They go together, they go hand in hand.

Leahy: That’s interesting because, you know, during my week off, I did some reading on English kings, the Plantagenets after William the Conqueror, and then the Tutors and The War of Roses.

Brewer: Some light vacation reading, Mike?

Leahy: Well, for me, it’s light reading. It’s fun.

But what’s interesting about that is back to your point, you don’t have a First Amendment without a Second Amendment, you know, the right to bear arms. And throughout history, it’s always been about who has the power. Who has the military force?

And if the person wielding that military force is evil or corrupt, it’s bad news if they have superior forces. And if you look at that 500 year period of English history, sometimes the winner was a good King and sometimes not a good King. It’s what we have here right now in the world today.

Brewer: I don’t know that you can preserve democracy like what America attempts to do. You’re in and you’re out without having an armed citizenry.

Leahy: You’ve got to have an armed citizenry. No question about it.

Brewer: The government, whether it’s a party on the left or the party on the right, it has to know that people have the right to defend their homes and defend themselves. And I think it changes the way they do things over the decades.

Ogles: Our government operates at the consent of the governed, but there are folks on the left, especially that have forgotten that notion. I love the Constitution. I love our republic will defend the republic.

But at the same token, for those that are trying to divide this country, they need to understand something and that is the majority of the Fortune 500 corporations are now in the South and the Midwest.

The South and the Midwest don’t need the Northeast. We don’t need California. They can go to hell. We can do this without them. Now, I’m not advocating for any kind of sedition or anything like that.

But what I’m saying is we have an economic might here, and it’s time for the conservative state to stand together.

Leahy: I will tell you many California refugees who have arrived here in Tennessee will tell you California already is hell. (Laughter) That’s why they’re leaving, right?

Brewer: Yeah, of course, but now they’re going into all the hot chicken places and asking for gluten-free hot chicken. (Laughter)

Leahy: Did you just make that up or is that a thing?

Brewer: I imagine it’s happening somewhere.

Leahy: It probably is because this is one of the challenges, right? Tennessee is thriving because it is a bastion of freedom or aspires to be a bastion of freedom. We’ve got no state income tax.

And now one of the challenges is as all of these Californians come in, and it’s mostly Californians, at least here in Middle Tennessee, there are some from Illinois and New York and Connecticut you hear this complaint? Well, that’s not how we do it in California. (Whispers) Go back to California.

Brewer: I know I was in contact with a family through other circumstances, not related to work or professional pursuits, but they said, well, we haven’t left our home since March. I mean, the guidelines there.

I just think it’s open some people’s eyes up to the fact that there is a different way to live and you can come to states like Tennessee and enjoy it. Speaking of opening people’s eyes up. It’s very interesting to have a conversation with Naomi.

I never thought that Naomi Wolf would be a frequent guest on The Tennessee Star Report because, of course, she was, you know, Al Gore, whatever advisor. I don’t know what she advised him on. Maybe on how to dress or something like that.

Ogles: Did she also help invent the Internet?

Brewer: I was hoping to get a play-by-play on how the Internet was created. I do think it’s fascinating. I think it just shows that the pandemic has created some issues socially and from a governance standpoint that I think the mayor used the phrase off the air that they sort of cut across the grain. It’s like the streams are crossing.

Leahy: I think that’s right. It is. And when we have Naomi Wolf on, you see, that happening to a degree but not fully because there are some elements of I don’t know what you might call it. Left-wing theology that she finds hard to abandon, perhaps.

Brewer: I think ideology. I wouldn’t call it theology. You wouldn’t call theology?

Brewer: No. It suggests maybe it involves the divine.

Leahy: I think it’s their view. I use the word theology to describe their adherence to it. The fact to the contrary, that’s sort of funny and obviously reasoning.

Ogles: They’re very polarized right now. You have those on the left and those on the right. And I think most people would peg me on the right and she’s probably somewhere on the left. But this whole idea of medical freedom and the liberties and the shutdown, etcetera, those people that are, in the ‘middle’, those people that self identify as independence, they’re shifting right I think.

And this is just my personal opinion for this next cycle. And so you see, in Texas, we’re winning a county. A Republican Mayor in a blue county on the border of Texas.

Leahy: McAllen, Texas.

Ogles: Hidalgo County. Hillary won it by 40 points. And suddenly they now have a GOP Mayor. What? And so I think that’s the canary in the coal mine that some of these issues, whether it’s immigration reform or medical freedom or shutdowns, you could see not just in Tennessee, in Texas, but in Pennsylvania and across the country this red wave hit the country. I think you could see a sweep in the U.S. House.

Brewer: No, I think you’re right, mayor. The midterms are always dangerous for the party that just won the presidency. So already, historically, you’ve got a pretty big risk involved.

And President Biden came out I think it was last week and said, everybody wants us to move so fast on this progressive agenda, but our margins are pretty thin in both Houses. For his faults, he’s a realist when it comes to legislation. And I think he understands the challenges he’s up against.

Leahy: When he’s couchant.

Brewer: Yes, when he’s couchant. I think they’re doing a really good job of that White House of staying on message at least and having a lot of message discipline, which Biden is not known for.

Leahy: Apparently, part of that message discipline was not acknowledging D-Day.

Brewer: That wasn’t particularly good.

Leahy: So they missed that one. That is their message, though I suppose.

Ogles: Sometimes it’s not what you say, it’s what you don’t say. That’s deafening. When you see this administration not honoring those who served in such a monumental moment in history, not just for the U.S., but for Europe and the Pacific, that says a lot about this administration.

Leahy: Yes. And none of it good.

Listen to the full third 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