Andy Ogles Talks Top Achievements as Mayor of Maury County and Key Concerns of Citizens

Andy Ogles Talks Top Achievements as Mayor of Maury County and Key Concerns of Citizens

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 GOP nominee, former Mayor of Maury County Andy Ogles to the studio to discuss past achievements as mayor and issues he is hearing on the ground through state town halls.

Leahy: In the studio – and I gotta say it again, Andy – Andy Ogles, the former mayor of Maury County, that bastion of freedom, that turbocharged engine of economic growth.

Ogles: I missed that. I really have.

Leahy: I mean, who else says that?

Ogles: That’s right.

Leahy: I think that actually, that phrasing really was yours, which I then grabbed as your intro,

Ogles: Two different statements on different days. But then you merged them.

Leahy: And merged them together to describe Maury County. And of course, you were there for four years, and Sheila Butt now is the mayor.

Ogles: Yeah, she’s doing a great job.

Leahy: And by the way, we’re going to have a mayor’s roundtable here with Sheila, Joe Carr from Rutherford County, and then our friend in Coffee County, who’s a former state rep.

So let’s talk a little bit about your tenure at Maury County. During your tenure, your four years there – you just ended your term on August 31 – you presided over an economy, a huge growth in Maury County.

Ogles: Yeah, we had record growth both residential and on the economic development side. When I was elected, that’s really what I focused on, was the economic development and going after companies, recruiting them to come to Maury County, because I want people not only to live in Maury County, but I want them to be able to work there, too.

Leahy: And Maury County, is it like the fastest growing county in the state?

Ogles: It is. Both in residential and job growth.

Leahy: So a great place. And you still live there.

Ogles: Yes. And will never leave.

Leahy: You’ll never leave Maury County.

Ogles: Sometimes people ask that question of, all right, well, when you get elected to Congress – of course we still have to win, of course. But 27 days and counting.

Ogles: That’s right, and we are counting, but are you going to move to D.C.? And the answer to that question is never.

Leahy: Never. Why would you do that with a family? Stay there?

Ogles: I’m a nerd. I love history, I love the monuments, I love the museums. But it’s a great place to visit at times. It’s a great place to work. But I would never raise my family there.

And for those that decide to do that, God bless them. But I’m a Southern boy. I’ve got a farm here down in Maury County.

Leahy: I’ve been to your farm. And of course, you got some great fruit trees out there that you planted. You kind of followed the Thomas Jefferson plan, it seems like, in terms of all the trees that you planted and what you’re doing there.

Ogles: Yes, we expanded our orchard, and then our neighbor just sold. And so I bought a little extra property and a pond next to, so I can expand our livestock because of access to water, I could get into the weeds on that. But anyway, it’s great.

Leahy: So let’s talk about the commitment to America. This was announced by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy a couple of weeks ago. And it seems to take off on all of the key issues that I hear about, you hear about, when you go out on these events, grassroots events that are kind of turned into town halls where people ask you questions: the priorities, the things that people are worried about. What are the top issues they talk to you about?

Ogles: Think back to like Newt Gingrich in the Contract with America, right, with this here are the problems that we see, and here are the things that we’re going to focus on and get done. And I think that’s what the American people are wanting.

But what’s interesting, you know, we live in a conservative state. We live in a conservative area. And the issues that resonate here are resonating across the country. So when you look at Las Vegas – so there are three congressional seats there in Las Vegas; one of them, it’s an R-2, meaning the Republican has a slight advantage. We were going to win that seat.

But the other two seats are D-2, D-4, meaning that the Democrats should win. And I think we’re going to end up winning all three of those seats.

Leahy: I think you’re going to win the Senate race there, too. I think Adam Laxalt, the son of Paul Laxalt, a friend and confidant of Ronald Reagan, I think he’s going to beat Cortez Masto. What’s her last name? Cortez Mosto, a Democrat incumbent there.

Ogles: What you’re seeing is that the top five, six, seven issues all are really commingled because it deals with the economy, with inflation, with the price of fuel, energy independence. Crime, of course, is a huge issue even here in Nashville. And immigration, of course.

And again, kind of dovetailing with that, the fentanyl crisis. And so I was on the phone with a congressman from up in the Dakotas a couple of weeks ago, and he said, Andy, historically, when you think about illegal immigration, as a country we kind of say, well, that’s Texas’ problem or that’s New Mexico’s problem, right.

But now with this flood of fentanyl that’s coming into the country, it’s now a problem at every doorstep across the country.

Leahy: Everywhere.

Ogles: Everywhere. And by the way, China is intentionally flooding the United States with fentanyl, through Mexico. It is an act of war.

Leahy: Yeah. And let’s go back to the Commitment to America. I’ll just hit the highlights of this.

Ogles: That’s a limited edition. I only have two of those, and I gave you one of them.

Leahy: I’m reading from it now. The four key areas: Number one, an economy that is strong, fight inflation and lower the cost of living, a nation that is safe; number two, secure the border and combat illegal immigration; number three, a future that’s built on freedom, make sure every student can succeed and give parents a voice; number four, a government that’s accountable to preserve our constitutional freedoms.

Let’s go back to that fight-inflation thing. It’s not doing so well because the Democrats are spending money like drunken sailors – with apologies to drunken sailors.

Ogles: One of the things we have to do, not to bore your audience with kind of an economics lesson, but we have a recession – and we’re in a recession, but we have this recession on the horizon. And when you look out at the horizon, inflation is in perpetuity right now.

And yet you still have Democrats talking about this debt forgiveness for student loans. But when you go back in time, what created this inflation, what created this recession, was the government giving money away. Giving money away it didn’t have. ECON-101. The very basics of economics is when the government oversupplies an economy with money, the backside of that is inflation. I mean, that’s just a fact.

And there’s a direct correlation with the size of the dollar spent and inflation. And so now, even when they know what they’re doing is breaking our economy, they continue to do it.

Leahy: They don’t care. The Democrats, in my view – this is my words, not yours – they don’t care.

Ogles: And I think they are deliberately trying to sabotage the economy so that when the Republicans take control and we will, that we can’t fix it. But we are going to fix it. And part of that is through energy independence. So how do you fix this?

One is we’ve got to be energy-independent. Whether it’s oil or gas, we have plenty here in North America. We don’t need our enemies overseas. We don’t need Russia. We don’t need China. We don’t need the Middle East.

And so both the United States and Europe have to become energy-independent, because our enemies are leveraging that against us. And you even see OPEC, at a time when you have skyrocketing prices, and inflationary pressures, are they are cutting the supply of oil.

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 Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Andy Ogles” by Andy Ogles.

All Star Panelist Crom Carmichael and Senator Mark Pody Discuss Tennessee General Assembly Agenda and Vaccination Exemption

All Star Panelist Crom Carmichael and Senator Mark Pody Discuss Tennessee General Assembly Agenda and Vaccination Exemption


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 the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael and Senator Mark Pody (TN-17) to the studio to discuss the Tennessee General Assembly’s remaining agenda and upcoming vaccination bill which advocates for governmental exemption status.

Leahy: In studio the original all-star panelist, Crom Carmichael, and State Senator Mark Pody from Wilson County. Senator Pody, what’s on the agenda for the remaining month of the Tennessee General Assembly?

Pody: Well, to start with today is a big day because we have a vaccination bill that is going to be heard in the health committee.

Leahy: Now, when you say vaccination bill, tell us what that bill is and does.

Pody: Alright. So what that bill is going to do and is being carried by Senator Janice Bowling Aad it’s going to say that if you have a religious exemption or if you have a conscience that says you don’t want to get that vaccination, you cannot be forced by the government to take that vaccination.

Leahy: Now, that seems to me like a common sense and individual liberty bill. This bill died, didn’t it and then it came back?

Pody: Yes. A similar bill died, and there was one that I was actually carrying earlier this year and it died in the House. So we had the votes in the Senate to pass the bill, but it died in the House. And we currently have this exemption right now in the state of Tennessee. However, if the governor calls an emergency, then that exemption goes away.

And for whatever reason, just because we call it an emergency does not mean that our constitutional rights or religious freedoms should be stepped on. And that’s what this bill does. It’s going to say even underneath an emergency, that we have the right to say we don’t want that vaccination.

Leahy: What are the prospects of it passing the health committee in the House today?

Pody: I think it’s a pretty good chance right now. I talked to the chairman of that committee, and he is for it and he’s on board with it. And I know Joey Hensley is on that committee, and he’s going to be for it. So I think we have a good shot. But there’s going to be a rally down there at the Capitol today with Gary Humble and Tennessee Stands.

Leahy: He was in studio here with Ben Cunningham on Wednesday when I was out of town in Tallahassee putting together The Florida Capital Star deal.

Carmichael: You know, what’s interesting about that bill is that I think you said that government does not have the right to do that.

Pody: Yes.

Carmichael: If you watch what the Biden administration is trying to do with this so-called health card passport, he says they’re working with private industry. So what they’ve done is they’ve kind of looked at the way that if you’re protected by Section 230, then corporations are able to do the bidding of the Democrat Party by canceling and demonetizing people who disagree with progressive policies.

So rather than have the federal government try to pass a national bill on a COVID passport, they’re working with big companies to try to get those companies to force it. So it’s the private sector. So what the Senator is saying here is the government won’t be able to do it. But it sounds like that under your bill, a large private company or private employer could impose a restriction on everyone who doesn’t carry a COVID passport.

Pody: That’s correct.

Carmichael: Whether over a religious exemption or not, they would still have to carry the passport, which means they have to go have the vaccine.

Pody: That’s correct. Now, this bill is only focused on government. There is another bill that’s coming that would actually address the private industry as well. But that’s not the one that’s up to date. This is the one that’s coming today. And we’re working through that. The other issue that’s coming up is money. We’re going to be passing the budget in April, and we have money in Tennessee. Tennessee is a well-run state, one of the best in the entire nation. Unlike the federal government, we only spend the money we have. We don’t go into debt. We are one the lowest debt in the nation.

Leahy: Crom, you might want to weigh on this.

Carmichael: Well, what’s interesting is this because the Senator is right. We are a very well run state. We’re a very low tax state. We have no income tax. We have no estate tax. We don’t even have a tax now on interest in dividends. And the people on the left said if you eliminate those taxes, you’ll lose your revenue.

Leahy: They were wrong.

Carmichael: They were wrong. Because when you eliminate those taxes, you become more attractive to people to move to your state who create wealth. The states with the highest income taxes are the ones that run the biggest deficits. The corollary is just as clear as it can be. California and New York are terribly run states with huge deficits, as is Illinois. Please, go ahead.

Pody: I got to tell you, the people that are moving here out of those kinds of states because of their tax problems are coming here. We just don’t want them to bring their same politics here because they’re going to turn us into that kind of taxing state.

Carmichael: If there’s any extra money, have it to fund an educational program for newly minted Tennesseeans. (Laughter)

Leahy: That’s actually not a joke, because, as it turns out, there’s an idea called The Welcome Wagon.

Carmichael: I love it.

Leahy: Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit has put this out. There’s some teeth behind it. And State Senator Pody, we’re going to bring this to you when it is fully developed in the next couple of weeks.

Pody: I look forward to it.

Carmichael: I love that. That’s right.

Leahy: We’re in the business of finding out ideas that Crom will love. (Laughter)

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.