Andy Ogles Explains Penny Schwinn’s Egregious Well-Being Initiative That Is Rearing Its Ugly Head in Tennessee Curriculum

Andy Ogles Explains Penny Schwinn’s Egregious Well-Being Initiative That Is Rearing Its Ugly Head in Tennessee Curriculum

 

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 reflect on Penny Schwinn’s well-being initiative and the intrusive danger it posed to Middle Tennessean families.

Leahy: In studio the mayor of Maury County, Andy Ogles. Andy, it’s always fun to have you in here because you tell us about stuff that we don’t really hear about in the more establishment media.

All the growth going on in Maury County. And then I guess you’ve been getting around the state a little bit as well. You’ve got some kind of freedom tour. I don’t have all the details on it, but I think you were up in what, East Tennessee recently?

Ogles: Kingsport.

Leahy: Kingsport. Tri-cities. By the way, let me just say a little bit about Tennessee. For those of you who are here, of course, are new.

It’s the greatest state in the country. There’s no comparison, particularly, with how beautiful the Tri-Cities area is. If you have not been there, you got to go.

Ogles: It’s gorgeous. And there’s so much diversity from the Reelfoot Lake, the Delta of Memphis, Middle Tennessee. And then, of course, the Smoky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains in East Tennessee.

So it’s a great opportunity to just really appreciate the state. We’ll be taking the kids is on the road, the family, as a travel-the-state over the next few months.

I was up in Kingsport on Saturday afternoon. Four hundred people showed up to talk about freedom and liberty.

Leahy: Okay. So tell us about what the tour is called and what you do on the tour and who’s all part of it.

Ogles: So it’s a freedommatterstour.com. So you can go to the website.

Leahy: Now, let me just say. Freedom Matters Tour. It’s  freedommatterstour.com.

Ogles: That’s right.

Leahy: So the word that keeps coming up is matters. Because you have the Black Lives Matter movement. And our tagline, by the way, at the new Star News Network site, which is the aggregate site for all of our eight and soon-to-be 11 state sites.

Ogles: Which you just launched.

Leahy: Which we just launched.

Ogles: Which is fantastic.

Leahy: Thestarnewsnetwork.com. Thanks.

Ogles: I have to admit, I did get a little preview.

Leahy: Gave you a preview. The tagline that we’re using for now, and I think we’ll stick with it, is State and Local News That Matters.

And we just came up with that on our own. One of the things to get on the side, we’ve decided to be distinctive from other news networks in the sense that if you look at it’s all part of our design.

Go to Thestarnewsnetwork.com and just look at it because you’ll see, the color scheme is very different than other networks.

We have more variations of orange and black and white, and it’s pretty cool. Most other networks have versions of red, white, and blue, basically. NBC has more colors on its scheme.

But we’re just trying to tell people, you know, we’re not Washington-centric. We’re state-centric. Nashville. We cover Nashville. We covered the state capitals. Richmond, Atlanta. The real news, where freedom still matters.

Ogles: You focused on that word matters. It matters how much influence Facebook or Twitter has in our lives. It matters whether the mainstream or the lamestream news media is objective.

It matters whether or not you’re involved. And it matters who is running your local state government because if you’ve ever been a sports person if you think about baseball, I grew up playing baseball.

The farm team, your school board, your Commission, your mayors, those are your state reps and your state senators and, or, congressman for the future.

The left figured it out a long time ago that they would take over the school boards. And they created this farm team, this bench of candidates that they could select from.

It was tryouts for the big leagues. And along the way, they’ve stolen the curriculums in our school. Even now in the state of Tennessee, every one of the five curricula, I think it’s five.

Maybe it’s six, has Critical Race Theory in them. And so the legislature created this law that they had to ban CRT in the state of Tennessee.

And now that they’ve gone back and looked at every curriculum in the state of Tennessee has CRT. And they’ve put themselves in a box because they don’t have a curriculum that hasn’t been poisoned.

Leahy: And supposedly, Penny Schwinn is going to come in. And by the way, we had a story about Metro Nashville Public Schools, where there was a school board meeting, and there were opponents to the teaching of Critical Race Theory there.

There were more proponents of it, and they were teachers who were saying, well, we’re going to keep teaching it.

Ogles: That’s right.

Leahy: What is the state of Tennessee going to do when these teachers in Shelby County and Davidson County continue to teach Critical Race Theory?

What is the state of Tennessee going to do under that law? Supposedly, Penny Schwinn will hold back money from them. Do you think she’s going to do that? I don’t.

Ogles: Well, time will tell. She’s the sole judge and jury as to whether or not CRT is in the curriculum.

Leahy: She’s a little biased. She introduced Wit and Wisdom to 33 counties and overrode the textbook committees. And that’s kind of a precursor to CRT.

Ogles: Well, even beyond that, social and emotional learning is the foundation, which is all of the curricula is now based on. It is the foundation upon which CRT and all of these left agenda items are built upon.

Because it’s less about you learning the data in front of you, learning math or learning the history, learning how to read than it is, oh, well, you’ve been a victim because of X, Y, or Z.

This is why you can’t perform at the same level as your peers. So it’s built on making excuses, and it’s more complicated than that, clearly.

But, again, that’s how it’s being weaponized to steal the minds of our children. And that’s what’s happening. And if you don’t believe that, you’re not paying attention.

Leahy: Yeah, exactly. It’s very scary. And there’s a lot of left-wing pressure to keep this social and emotional learning, the precursor to Critical Race Theory and Critical Race Theory itself.

They want to keep teaching it, and strong leadership needs to push back against it. And I’m very skeptical that Penny Schwinn will exert any leadership in that arena. That’s just my view.

Ogles: Well, we’ve talked about it before. Once she introduced the well-being initiative back in September of last year I called for her to be removed from her position.

Leahy: And was she?

Ogles: Of course not. And again, Paul Revere, I sounded the bell. I told you this was coming back in September. And now here we are almost a year later.

Leahy: So talk about that wellness initiative and what was so egregious about it that she introduced?

Ogles: Well, again, you have to understand. And I’m not here to disparage her. She’s a nice person. But she comes from Berkeley.

Leahy: She’s a graduate at the University of California-Berkeley because nothing says Tennessee values like the University of California-Berkley.

Ogles: Nothing says conservative like Berkeley. (Leahy laughs) UCBerkeley. So, again, why are we surprised that she has this worldview that the state should teach, the state is the parent for your children?

Leahy: Just remind me what it was, because it was so egregious.

Ogles: Back in August, they rolled out this well-being initiative. The governor appointed roughly 30 people to this committee.

They came out with this idea that every child, every child ages zero to 18, would be interviewed by this newly created position, wellbeing liaisons.

So it’s part of this greater initiative to make sure that your children were well if you will. But the kicker is, every child would be interviewed without their parent present and without parental consent.

Now, the administration immediately said, oh, but there’s an opt-out provision. But if you read it in detail, you have to get permission to opt out.

So it’s not an opt-out provision, because all it takes is your wellbeing liaison to say, nope. I’m going to interview your kids anyway.

And the interviews can take place in your home. So if you’re homeschooled, they’re going to take place at home. And by the way, it’s zero to 18.

So if you have a child that’s not in school yet, your child is going to be interviewed. And it’s the questions like, do your parents own guns? Are you stressed? Do your parents fight?

Leahy: None of your business.

Ogles: It alarmed me to an extent such that I reached out to the governor directly.

Leahy: You did?

Ogles: I did.

Leahy: How did that conversation go?

Ogles: That was a private conversation between me and the governor. But I think the outcome is she didn’t get fired.

Leahy: But the policy was reversed after it was exposed.

Ogles: So I held a press conference. Other conservatives across the state jumped on board. And about  9 – 10 days – after my press conference, they pulled that initiative back.

Leahy: And I get the feeling it’s what they want to do. And if it weren’t brought to the attention of the public, they probably would have done it.

Ogles: Well, they get caught with their hand in the cookie jar. If there is an upside to COVID, more moms and parents were engaged in – essentially homeschooling, they could hear the Zoom classes and some of the CRT, these well-being initiatives.

And this invasive culture where the state is now going to come into your home and tell you not only how to teach your children but how you should raise your children.

We’ve got a problem in this country, and it’s time that our governors wake up to that fact.

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.
Photo “Penny Schwinn” by Tennessee Department of Education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Ogles on Critical Race Theory: ‘Once You Capture the Minds of the Children, You’re Changing the Next Generation’

Andy Ogles on Critical Race Theory: ‘Once You Capture the Minds of the Children, You’re Changing the Next Generation’

 

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 discuss Tennessee’s stance on Critical Race Theory and questioned why the state is not leading like Florida in the representation of its values.

Leahy: In studio mayor of Maury County. Yes, the bastion of freedom in Tennessee. (Laughs)

Ogles: Turbocharged.

Leahy: Oh, we got to change that. The mayor of Maury County, the turbocharged bastion of freedom.

Scooter: I see tourism posters now. (Laughter)

Leahy: Yes, the turbocharged. That’s very good.

Ogles: About every two weeks, we’re adding phrases to this. Another month from now, this is going to be like a whole paragraph of descriptors for Maury County,

Leahy: Maury County the turbocharged bastion of freedom. You know, Andy, I am the unofficial ambassador for the state of Tennessee to people who live outside of Tennessee, because every time we have a guest who’s a good conservative-minded, I point out to them that wherever they’re living, if they live outside of Tennessee, that we have no state income tax here. And they all start whining and say, when can I get there?

Ogles: That’s right. Book me a ticket.

Leahy: So I suppose I’m also kind of a subset of that. I may be perhaps not an ambassador, but a promoter of Maury County as well. That turbocharged, bastion of freedom in Tennessee. I wanted to talk to you about this and get your reaction, Andy.

The rally last on Saturday night in Ohio, attended by now it looks like around 30,000 people. The former President began by lambasting the absolute disaster that the five months under Joe Biden have been.

The first thing he listed was the disaster at the border where the current maladministration is refusing to enforce immigration law. By the way, that refusal is probably an impeachable offense, in my view.

But he also mentioned the fact that they’re trying to force Critical Race Theory everywhere in K12 schools as well as in the military of all places, because, you know, nothing says defending the sovereignty of America like having a woke military.

I want to bring this back around to Tennessee. A couple of stories at The Tennessee Star today on Critical Race Theory. I wanted to get your reaction, Andy. So Corinne Murdock our ace reporter and Hillsdale Graduate has this story.

Part of the Wit and Wisdom Curriculum May Violate Tennessee’s Critical Race Theory Ban, According to Moms for Liberty. The parent coalition is concerned that the Wit and wisdom curriculum approved for use in 33 counties and promoted by Governor Bill Lee’s handpicked Secretary of Education Penny Schwinn, may violate Tennessee’s K-12 Critical Race Theory ban.

My question to you is, why does Governor Lee pick a Secretary of Education who’s promoting a curriculum that looks like it violates the new law banning the teaching of the tenants of Critical Race Theory in K-12?

Ogles: Wow, that’s a loaded question.

Leahy: I’m just asking. inquiring minds want to know what, Andy?

Ogles: But you even go back before that. Why would we have a Commissioner of Education, Penny Schwinn who puts forth this well-being initiative where every child zero to 18 would be interviewed by an agent of the state without their parents’ permission or presence?

And why wasn’t she fired then? And so why would we be surprised? And keep in mind, Critical Race Theory is a label that represents an agenda. It’s not necessarily a curriculum. And so we’ve got to be careful with these labels because then they say, well, wait a minute.

Well, this isn’t Critical Race Theory. It’s wit and wisdom. We’re simply trying to educate your child. We’re trying to educate your child on this agenda that totally undermines our country.

And so why she hasn’t been fired by either the governor or by the General Assembly demanding her resignation is a travesty of the values that represent Tennessee?

Leahy: Why would somebody who purports to be conservative hire such a person?

Ogles: He’s not. At the end of the day, the governor is a nice guy, but he’s not a conservative.

Leahy: Well, I think there’s a general consensus that he’s a nice guy. Asterisk, my question to you is if he’s such a nice guy, why does he never respond to The Tennessee Star inquiries?

Why has he not shown up on our radio program? We can get an exclusive interview with the former President of the United States, but we can’t get Governor Bill Lee to return our phone calls.

Ogles: Right.

Leahy: That’s a mystery.

Ogles: I would love to sit in studio across the desk and have this debate. The three of us. It’s an open invitation to talk about some of these substantive issues facing this country in the state of Tennessee.

Tennessee should have been leading the past 18 months the way Florida and Ron DeSantis have led. And when you compare Tennessee to Florida, we have failed across the measure.

Leahy: Yes. Florida is kind of the standard, isn’t it? Isn’t Ron DeSantis, the kind of governor that every state needs? Every state needs a Ron DeSantis pushing against the egregious intrusions upon state sovereignty and the violations of the fundamental concept of federalism that are coming out of the mal-administration of the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Joe Biden. That’s my view. Why can’t every state have a Ron DeSantis?

Ogles: Well, again, I think one it’s a difference in personality and it’s a difference in core values. Ron DeSantis did not back down during COVID when you had the cruise industry trying to mandate and require vaccines.

He stood up to the cruise industry, a multi-billion dollar industry forcing them to change their policies. Meanwhile, in Tennessee, we don’t have the courage, if you will, to take a stand and protect individuals from these mandates.

I just saw in The Tennessee Star that you have a college in Memphis that’s going to require all students to get the vaccine. You have to show proof of vaccination in order to come to the University.

College students aren’t at risk for COVID. Let’s identify the vulnerable and make sure it’s available to them. Then we’ve got to move on and move forward but these mandates are a direct infringement on liberty and medical freedom.

This vaccine now has a warning on heart inflammation. So now we’re a year and a half into this thing, and we know more about this vaccine than we knew just a few months ago and they’re having to put warning labels on it.

And yet the government is requiring and mandating it. Holy crap! This is not acceptable.

Leahy: It’s very interesting how the bureaucrats are playing this Critical Race Theory ban on the tenants of Critical Race Theory. I kind of get the impression that the Educrats who are almost all lefties running the major school systems in Tennessee, the big ones, I think they’re kind of playing us.

It’s my view, anyway, but they say one thing, and then I think they kind of do another. Let me just get your reaction to this story, and we ought to have these guys in if they’ll come in. It’s interesting.

The spokesperson for Metro Nashville Public Schools ideologically, not necessarily what we’re aligned with will talk to The Tennessee Star. Governor Lee will not. I don’t know if I told you, but former President Donald Trump will exclusively talk to The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Just in case, for a matter of comparison right now, interestingly enough.

Here’s the headline. Metro Nashville Public School Says It Won’t Implement Critical Race Theory by our great reporter, Corinne Murdock. Metro Nashville Public Schools informed The Tennessee Star that it doesn’t plan to implement Critical Race Theory.

Metro Nashville Public School spokesperson Sean  Braisted. Do you remember him? He used to be the spokesperson for Megan Barry.

Ogles: There you go.

Leahy: That guy. He responded to The Tennessee Star about remarks from the district’s diversity, equity, and inclusion Executive Officer Astrid Hughes. Did you know that Metro Nashville has a diversity, equity, and inclusion executive officer? (Ogles giggles)

Now you do. We asked whether Hughes would implement any of the banned tenants in Metro Nashville’s forthcoming Equity Roadmap. And if Metro Nashville Public Schools plan to implement Critical Race Theory.

Here’s what Sean  Braisted responded. “Mr. Hughes was not suggesting those reading materials be a part of the school curriculum, but rather that those interested in discussing the subject read about what they are discussing.” Really? Really? I’m not quite buying that, Andy. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just too skeptical about Educrats.

Ogles: When you look at this trend that’s taken place over the last 10, 20, 30 years, the Educrats as you say, first got into the universities. Now they’re pushing it into the seminary.

They’re pushing into our high school and now or even our elementary schools. And once you capture the minds of the children, you’re changing the next generation. You’re affecting politics.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2nd Vote Advisers Dan Grant: ‘Companies Should Be Inspired by the First Amendment’

2nd Vote Advisers Dan Grant: ‘Companies Should Be Inspired by the First Amendment’

 

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 Co-Founder and CEO Daniel Grant of 2nd Vote Advisers to the studio to discuss his recent talks with red-state treasurers and the potential to divest in corporations that do not promote American values.

Leahy: In studio with our good friend Mayor of Maury County Andy Ogles and Dan Grant, another good friend with 2ndvoteadvisers.com. I’m so excited about this. I’m so excited. Now you’re talking to some red-state treasurers, right?

Grant: Yes.

Leahy: Tell us why. What is it that the red state treasurers have?

Grant: Well, it’s pretty interesting, actually. So actually, we were just in the Australian Financial Review, which is The Wall Street Journal in Australia. And the reason we resonate with red-state treasurers and Australia is they’re heavily reliant on fossil fuels.

Leahy: Yeah. Fossil fuels have created the energy of America that’s cost-effective energy.

Grant: Right.

Leahy: And they’ve made a lot of improvements on environmental issues. But the Larry Fink’s of the world who want to tell everybody else what to do and what’s virtuous or not have declared fossil fuels are not virtuous.

Grant: Which is a problem if you are a red state treasurer and your state’s economy is dependent on fossil fuels. The main companies in the state are dependent on it. The main industries in your state are dependent on it.

I had lunch with a red state treasure a week and a half ago, and this gentleman controls over $70 billion in assets. And he was telling me exactly what I just said. They are under attack.

That week alone, Exxon lost three board seats to a small hedge fund called Engine No. 1. Engine No. 1 really didn’t know much stock, but they put a slate of directors out there. And then Engine No. 1 went to Vanguard, BlackRock, and some of the other large ones.

Leahy: Vanguard is like the number two.

Grant: Number two. And got enough votes to actually put three activists on the board.

Leahy: Now they like solar, solar, solar. Fossil fuel bad.

Grant: They are not saying, let’s go pump more oil out of the Gulf. (Leahy laughs) I can promise you that.

Leahy: I say bring that all on. Bring it on. Bring it on. (Chuckles)

Grant: Exxon is under attack. That same week, Shell lost a very important case in a Dutch court, which basically is making Shell diversify out of 45 percent of its fossil fuel business.

Leahy: Shell is a Dutch company?

Grant: Shell is a Dutch company.

Leahy: Nothing says free markets like I don’t know, a European quasi-socialist government like the Netherlands.

Grant: Let’s follow that example.

Leahy: Because it’s working so well.

Grant: What could go wrong?

Leahy: (Laughs) You are very good. That was good.

Grant: And then lastly, the same week, Moody’s came out with a report saying 40 percent of companies represent an environmental threat. 40 percent of companies in the United States represent a threat.

Leahy: What are they talking about?

Grant: Well, what they’re talking about is regulations. They’re talking about what Maxine Waters is talking about.

Ogles: A point that we kind of danced around earlier is this idea that these large corporations are putting in these layers and layers of regulations to stifle competition.

Leahy: Exactly.

Ogles: Because they don’t want you and me to start a business. They don’t want the small guy to become a big guy or gal for that matter or a mid-size company that becomes larger.

And so this has nothing to do with the environment. This has nothing to do with carbon footprints or whatever. They are literally trying to put other people out of business.

Grant: You’re right Andy. The government can’t control small businesses so what they want to do is regulate it. They can control large businesses. If large businesses can then make small businesses less competitive by piling on taxes through regulations, that’s what they’re going to do.

And that is exactly what they are doing. You don’t think Maxine Waters really cares about the Investor Protection Act, do you?

Leahy: So in terms of the red states, I think we’re talking. You don’t have to name any, but I will. So red States that have heavily in their portfolio, the fossil fuel companies. Obviously, Texas would be the big dog that would be there.

But Oklahoma would have them. And the Dakotas. North Dakota and South Dakota, New Mexico, and Arizona. All of those. New Mexico is not exactly a red state. Andy?

Ogles: One of the things that when Facebook was censoring the president, I sent a letter to the governor of the Speaker of the House and Lieutenant governor saying that the state of Tennessee should divest itself of any shares of Facebook and Twitter.

Why? Because these are big companies that have become social activists. They don’t represent Tennessee values. By the way, I never got a response to that letter. But that’s something that Florida has done.

Again, what would Ron DeSantis do? Florida has taken the steps to divest itself. And these huge investment funds States control red states and all states. They control a lot of money. If I dump my few shares of Facebook, it has zero impact.

If I cancel my Facebook account, it has zero impact. But if you have a state that has $50 or $60 billion under management and they say, you know what, Twitter? We don’t like what you’re doing to Conservatives on your platform that moves the needle. So I applaud 2nd Vote for what you’re doing.

Leahy: And Dan Grant, last minute of the program, you got 30 seconds. Sum up, 2nd Vote Advisers. Why should you go there?

Grant: Because we believe companies should be inspired by the First Amendment. Companies should not be trying to over-regulate and trying to stifle the First Amendment. Jack Dorsey of Twitter should not be dumping Trump because he can do it.

The First Amendment protects individuals from the government only, not from corporations. But corporations should be inspired because that is what makes our society great.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Andy Ogles Speaks at Town Hall Style Meeting in Leipers Fork with Hundreds of Concerned Conservatives

Mayor Andy Ogles Speaks at Town Hall Style Meeting in Leipers Fork with Hundreds of Concerned Conservatives

 

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 talked about his town hall style meeting with 100 conservatives in Leipers Fork Monday evening.

Leahy: We are joined in studio by our good friend, the mayor of Maury County Andy Ogles. Every time you come in, Andy, I learn something new. Here’s what you told me during the break. And I suppose you could say I am slack-jawed to hear this.

Ogles: Amen. (Chuckles)

Leahy: It turns out there are conservatives in Leipers Fork, in Middle Tennessee, in Williamson County. That is surprising to me.

Ogles: Last night we had our County Commission meeting, so I was there for that.

Leahy: Last night Maury County has a commission meeting and as the Mayor, you’re there. I’ve only been to one County Commission meeting ever. Williamson County. Let me just say it dragged on. It dragged on. And on.

Ogles: We’ve got a good group of folks on our county commission, and it was a committee meeting, and it was, well, run and lasted about an hour.

Leahy: Really? Just an hour?

Ogles: Just an hour.

Leahy: I think other county commissions need to go down to Maury County and learn how to run a meeting in one hour.

Ogles: Well, there wasn’t a lot on the agenda. It’s budget season in the state of Tennessee for all your counties. And so that’s really the focus, I think, for a lot of county seats.

Leahy: So this was last night.

Ogles: And last minute I was invited to this conservative meeting in Leipers Fork.

Leahy: Hold on just a minute. (Laughter) I’m still a little bit astonished here. A conservative meeting in Leipers Fork? I love Leipers Fork. It’s a great community. We go up there and go to the galleries and go to the restaurants and just hang out.

It’s a wonderful community. But conservative, it’s not a word and it’s not an adjective that would come to mind when you say Leipers Fork.

Ogles: It’s known for its kind of arts, a lot of musicians up there. But I think in most cycles, and of course, I’m just speaking generically I think most people in Leipers Fork would consider themselves independents, conservative, maybe fiscally conservative, and probably a little more moderate on some of the social issues.

But there’s something happening. So I’m invited to speak across the state because I’ve been so outspoken, not just on COVID, but CRT.

Leahy: Because under your leadership, Maury County is a bastion of freedom.

Ogles: Bastion of freedom. Welcome to America.

Leahy: Welcome to America and freedom. (Laughs) What time do you get an impromptu call? What time does the call come in?

Ogles: It was literally 2:30 p.m. to get involved and say, hey, we’re going to have an event.

Leahy: If I get a call like that, by the way, I go out of curiosity just to say there are conservatives in Leipers Fork. What time do you finish your committee meeting?

Ogles: We finished right at 5:30 p.m. in Columbia. Hopped in the car to go to Leipers Fork.

Leahy: That’s a pretty drive, isn’t it?

Ogles: It’s beautiful back roads.

Leahy: I went out to dinner last night and I came back driving through Williamson County, and I’m looking at it, and I’m saying it’s gonna be one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s just gorgeous.

Ogles: Tennessee in general is a special place. I’m biased of course. I grew up here. My family has been here forever.

Leahy: But I actively made the choice to move here, right? Because I must confess, I am a Yankee by birth. But I chose to be a Tennesseean 30 plus years ago.

Ogles: You were talking about moving here. I was in the middle of a rant, and I made some kind of derogatory comment about California. And then I paused for a moment. It’s like, okay, I’m sorry.

Leahy: How many people were there?

Ogles: About 100.

Leahy: 100 conservatives in Leiper Fork?

Ogles: Yes.

Leahy: Wow! Now, where was it?

Ogles: Puckett’s.

Leahy: I love that place. What a great place.

Ogles: It was standing room only. Some great folks were there.

Leahy: Who organized this and what do they call themselves and when did they get organized?

Ogles: You know, I don’t know the name of the group. (Leahy laughs) They asked do you want to come and say a few words? And I did. It was more than a few words. I had that last spot. So I was the quasi-keynote.

But we talked about a lot of things, Critical Race Theory, and election integrity, and everything that’s going on in this country. And so whether I’m speaking in Pulaski or Knoxville or like last night, Leipers Fork.

Texas to Pennsylvania to Tennessee, there’s a red wave I think about to hit this country. And I think you see that manifest itself last night in Leipers Fork that otherwise folks who are fairly well off, they’re not overtly politically engaged came out on a Monday evening to hear a Conservative speak, and they are ticked off. Let me tell you. And I’ve got a funny story if you want to hear it.

Leahy: Andy, you always have a funny story.  Now, I’ve heard this story a little bit. But it’s really very funny. Tell us the story.

Ogles: I love the town hall-style. Sorry about that. So do the intro hit some hot button issues, kind of talk about the winds of the legislative session and the half measures. And by the way, Tennessee compared to Florida, we were a state of half measures, and we can talk about that or talk about it another time.

So I did Q and A and I’m taking questions. And it’s the 15th or 20th question. It’s time to kind of close this thing.

Leahy: It’s the end of the evening.

Ogles: This thing has gone on.

Leahy: There were 100 people there.

Ogles: Two hours at Puckett’s. We’re hitting the two-hour mark and it’s time to close it out.

Leahy: And you have to get up very early in the morning to come and be on our program.

Ogles: Yeah, I’m tired today, man. I’m energetic. And there’s a Lady with long blonde hair in the back. And I’d seen her a couple of times raising her hand. And I was like, yes, ma’am, in the back. And she says, well, I may be from California, but I’m not a she. I’m a man. Long blonde hair.

Leahy: Long blonde hair!

Ogles: Lights are in my eyes. But the funny thing was, if you remember the rock band, the Nelsons, the Nelson twins. Well, it was Gunner Nelson. He was there and had a question, but I totally just called him a woman.

It was hilarious. The crowd erupted, and I just so happened to be wearing my glasses. And so I took them off and I just said, apparently, I need an eye doctor. But he was very gracious. And afterwards I went up to him and spoke.

And we’re going to be doing this kind of this freedom tour coming up across the state talking about these important issues. And this group was fired up to hear more about it and to be a part of it.

Leahy: So Gunner Nelson, his dad, of course, was the great Ricky Nelson. His grandparents Ozzie and Harriet. A great television program. And he and his twin brother had quite a success in the early 1990s with the band Nelson.

They had the long blonde hair that was sort of their trademark. They’re pretty good musically. They’ve moved from California to Tennessee, apparently.

Ogles: Super nice. Both brothers were there. One of their wives were there and just great family. I felt so bad because again, I couldn’t see because they were at the back of the room. The lights were in my eyes, and I just saw long blond hair.

And I’m just thinking, okay, yes, ma’am. And he says, I’m not a ma’am. But what are you going to do? You just roll with it and self deprecating and just be honest about it. I’m sorry. But a great guy and a Conservative.

Leahy: He’s a conservative.

Ogles: And they may not want me to say that.

Leahy: It’s out! It’s out! But there are so many people that are moving here.

Ogles: But I tell you, there’s this surge in Tennessee. People want to get involved.

Leahy: I think you’re exactly right. There is a surge in Tennessee and other parts of the country.

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.
Photo “Leipers Fork” by Michael Gaylard CC 2.0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Andy Ogles on Moving Past COVID with Trace Adkins and MuleFest

Mayor Andy Ogles on Moving Past COVID with Trace Adkins and MuleFest

 

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 detailed the upcoming performance by Trace Adkins at MuleFest and moving on from COVID.

Leahy: In studio, our very good friend, the mayor of that bastion of freedom, Maury County, Andy Ogles. This is my fault because it’s just so much fun talking to you but we got a little bit off track.

We are going to start at 6:05 talking about MuleFest, and we’ve talked about it on the edges. But now let’s really talk about exactly what’s going to be happening this Friday down at the square in Columbia. Tell us everything about MuleFest.

Ogles: MuleFest is a music festival taking place in Maury County this weekend. It’s hard to believe that it’s here. But Friday and Saturday, we’ve got three stages, a couple of dozen bands.

It starts at 6 p.m. on Friday evening, and we’ll run till about 10:30 Friday night. We have a couple of hundred vendors, food vendors, crafts. I mean, it’s going to be amazing. You’ll be able to get a wristband for those who want to partake of some of the artisan beers and brews that we have.

And you’ll be able to walk around from the various stages. And then Saturday morning, we have a parade at 11 o’clock. The stages fire back up at 10 a.m. in the morning and run until four o’clock in the afternoon.

And then in the evening, all of the restaurants and the breweries and such, they all have live music as well. On Saturday you’ll be able to come starting at 10 in the morning until about 10, 11 o’clock at night and hear live music.

And you’ll have a dozen different choices as to what you might want to listen to. And, of course, the main event is Trace Adkins. He’s performing Friday evening. It’ll be huge. I’m expecting a tremendous crowd.

And then Saturday, he’s the Grand Marshal in the parade. It’s a lot of fun and a huge event. The community is pumped and our small businesses. It’s been a tough year. And this is a way to just kind of spike the football, if you will, to say, hey, we’re moving past COVID.

We’re opening our economy. Keep in mind, Maury County never shut down, but we’re ready to come together as a community and celebrate. Memorial Day is about our veterans in particular it’s about those who have fallen in service to the country.

We’ll have some time there in the middle where we will have a service to honor those who have fallen serving this great country that we have.

Leahy: Trace Adkins is at what time?

Ogles: We’ll do the ceremony for our veterans around 7:55-8  o’clock. And then he’ll be right after right after that.

Leahy: And that’s just around sunset, right?

Ogles: That’s right.

Leahy: You got all the lights in the stages set up.

Ogles: Oh, yeah. It’s going to be amazing. And this is a full production. And when we first started talking about this and planning it. I was thinking maybe scale down an acoustic type of set, but they literally bring in a tractor-trailer that’s a stage. And then on either side of the stage, there’s these, like, 10 by 22 TVs.

Leahy: Really?

Ogles: Real monitors on either side.

Leahy: This is going to be something.

Ogles: This is big.

Leahy: So it seems to me, though, that this is the kind of stuff that people in the support people in the music industry have done for years and years and years are very good at it. They really haven’t been able to do it during COVID. But now I think in a way, this is a signal to the entire country live performances are back.

Ogles: When you look at some of the unintended consequences of the shutdowns and the closures, et cetera the entertainment industry has been decimated.

Leahy: Absolutely.

Ogles: Obviously, you have your big stars. They make a lot of money and have a lot of money. But you have all these layers of folks that put on these productions, from the person that rents the speakers to the guy that loads them into the back of the van, to the people that are working the concert, and everything in between.

All of that support staff, they’ve been out of work for a year. But you’re starting to see some of your more outspoken performers, like Trace and others, are getting back on the road. A lot of states have started to lift the restrictions.

They can kind of go out there, and you have now opportunities for them to perform in a stadium safely, et cetera, and put people back to work.

Leahy: And the key to all this, I think from a public health perspective, has been the widespread availability of vaccines.

Ogles: Oh, sure. Even Maury County, I refused to shut everything down. Last year, most of your county fairs, state fairs, were canceled. We had ours. That was during the summer peak. That was during September. It was an outdoor event.

There were no vaccines at the time, but with social distance, and we had hand sanitizer. And the Tennessee Department of Health said it was not a spread event. Now you had the CDC coming out and saying, oh, by the way, your chance of getting covet and an outdoor event is, like less than one percent.

And that’s basically if someone sneezes in your face. It’s one of those things that the data was there back in September when I made that decision. But the media got in the way of the truth. And the economic consequences are immeasurable.

Leahy: Absolutely. Well, here’s the thing, Andy. You use common sense and you look at the data. You are unusual for a political leader today because they all seem to be following the wind of whatever Dr. Fauci is saying at that moment in time.

Ogles: As a county mayor, I’m very active. I’m very accessible. I think I told this story before when we knew COVID was coming. It was jumped upon and then you have cases in Washington and New York, and it’s going to spread through the states.

And so you’re anticipating that first case in Tennessee or that first case in your community. And ultimately, when I made the decision to work with the Superintendent to close schools because ‘it was here.’ That evening, I went to the grocery store.

So up into that point, everything had been normal in Middle Tennessee and Maury County. So I held a press conference, and we announced that we were going to close schools and for the remainder of the year because, again, of the unknowns.

Everybody was terrified in March and April if you think back to the beginning of COVID. So that evening, I went to Kroger Walmart and all this, and it was sheer panic, literally had people just grabbing armfuls of cans and cereal, having no idea what they just picked up.

And we’re dropping it in buggies. I remember Walmart distinctly that I looked at the meat department. There were like three packages of liver on the far end. And that was it. That’s the only meat that Walmart had.

People were scared. But the data started coming in very quickly from Europe, out of Asia, not China, but out of Japan and South Korea. But the media doubled down on Fauci and they doubled down on fear, and they doubled down on just hyping this thing up.

And you hate to veer off into the conspiracy, but they had an intent to affect an election. And they did.

Leahy: Yeah, they sure did.

Ogles: Whether you believe it was stolen or not, that’s a conversation for another day. But there’s no denying that what the media did during COVID and they’re guilty, guilty as charged had an effect on the election.

Leahy: Yeah, no question about that. But now it’s May of 2021.

Ogles: And MuleFest!

Leahy: Not March 22.

Ogles: And it’s MuleFest.

Leahy: And so old Trace is ready to give an outstanding and energetic life performance Friday night, about eight o’clock.

Ogles: What’s great about Trace is he’s just a great American. And I’m not just saying that to promote the event, I’ve gotten to know him. And so even during some of this shutdown, and there weren’t a lot of venues to perform at, he was still going around to bases and performing for soldiers just because he loves our country, and he loves our troops.

So you may not be a country music fan or even a Trace fan, but if you want to come to support just someone who loves this country, believes in Liberty and freedom he’s the guy to get behind because his actions reflect what he believes and he supports our troops.

Leahy: Now, this about Trace, I did not realize this, but he’s actually done quite a bit of acting as well. He was in The Lincoln Lawyer, the Michael Connelly thriller in 2011.

Ogles: And then he has a TV show on Paramount or one of the cable networks. I think they’re looking at another season. So he’s getting some TV time.

Leahy: Very interesting. Plus, he can sing like the dickens.

Ogles: Well, he’s a great entertainer. And again, he’s a big dude. He’s a big personality. He’s got a big heart.

Leahy: He’s America! He’s American.

Ogles: He’s fun to be around. I’m so excited about the concert.

Leahy: I am, too, because Let’s get out of this COVID craziness. Let’s have some fun!

Ogles: I think for a lot of people, this is going to be one of those moments when they’re just a big sigh of relief.

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.