Crom Carmichael Compares Mayor John Cooper and Former Governor Don Sundquist on Tax Reform Discussions

Crom Carmichael Compares Mayor John Cooper and Former Governor Don Sundquist on Tax Reform Discussions

 

Live from Music Row Friday 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 to the studio to compare the propaganda of former Governor Don Sundquist to that of Mayor Cooper’s effort to falsely claim disaster if the Nashville tax referendum succeeds.

Leahy: We are joined now as we almost always are, at this time of the program, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday by the original All-Star panelist, Crom Carmichael. Crom, good morning.

Carmichael: Good morning, Michael.

Leahy: Well, just for our listeners and just to remind them of why we call you the original All-Star panelist, you’ve been on the radio here in Nashville since the 1980s.

Carmichael: ’84.

Leahy: 1984, you were part of the original panel on Teddy Bart’s Round Table.

Carmichael: Well, Teddy had a show for years before he formed a panel. So I was one of the originals on his panel once he decided to have it.

Leahy: Obviously the original All-Star panelist. And I never met you until I moved to Nashville in 1991. I didn’t know anything about what was going on politically. And I listened every morning to the Teddy Bart’s Round Table.

And there was one voice of reason and logic in what was largely a bunch of Liberals. I mean, nice people, but Liberals there. And I kept listening. And there was that voice of reason and logic was Crom Carmichael. That’s why you are the original All-Star panelist.

Carmichael: Thank you.

Leahy: And we continue that tradition, by the way, with this program, because just as when I moved here and by the way, I moved from guess where?

Leahy & Carmichael: California.

Leahy: 1991. And just as I moved here and learned about Nashville and Tennessee politics by listening to Teddy Bart’s Round Table with the original All-Star panelist, Crom Carmichael.

Now today we have a wave of California refugees coming to Nashville, and they are learning about Tennessee and Nashville politics by listening to The Tennessee Star Report with the original All-Star panelist.

Carmichael: And hopefully they’re getting some insights that will help them think about Tennessee in Nashville by having a historical perspective on some of the things, which is what I want to get into when you are ready this morning.

Leahy: Well, I am ready after we talk about some fun stuff, some fun stuff Crom. Now I was out last week.

Carmichael: Having a big time.

Leahy: Going down to the beach, enjoying the beach. I love the beach. By the way, I love the waves coming in.

Carmichael: Very good.

Leahy: It comes from growing up in upstate New York, wherein the summer you would go to the lake. We didn’t go to the ocean. Too far away.

Beautiful Lakes, many of them made by glaciers. Very pristine. Not like lakes in Tennessee, which are kind of like damned muddy rivers sometimes. But nonetheless, I’ve always loved the waves, be it of a lake or of a gulf or of an ocean.

So it was a lot of fun. Now Crom, while I was away, and I’m gonna do this myself. Of course, we are big fans of the Glock Store here in Nashville. Lenny Magill, another California refugee, got sick of California who wouldn’t, by the way, moved hid headquarters here to Nashville.

And we were there at the Grand opening. Nashville Glock Store. They have graciously given us a Tennessee Star Glock 17. I think it’s about ready for you to pick it up.

Carmichael: Just about ready.

Leahy: Just about ready.

Leahy: You’re getting one. I’m buying one. And you and I are going to do some training there.

Carmichael: I’ve already started.

Leahy: So you started. We did a little shooting episode. It turned into a contest. You were better than I was.

Carmichael: I didn’t even know it was a contest.

Leahy: It wasn’t until after I discovered how much better you were than me. So that made me competitive to try to get better than you. That’s how it became a contest.

Carmichael: I got it.

Leahy: It didn’t start out that way. But, you know, I’m a little competitive. And it just riles me when somebody’s that much better than me at anything. And there you were better than me as a shooter. So they’ve invited us to come and do some training. So you did some training independent of me.

Carmichael: I’ve had a one-hour session.

Leahy: So you’re even more ahead of me.

Carmichael: With a different trainer. Not Mario. This was John. And John is a former military former police officer. A great guy and really understands firearms. And I learned some additional techniques.

We practiced on the three targets again. That’s what’s really neat about if they do out there, it’s not just a tunnel type of target.

Leahy: You watch all the cop shows and the police procedural shows. And when they go to shoot, it’s a range. It’s a very narrow range. It’s only one target. This is a shoot 270 situation. 270 degrees.

Carmichael: It’s 180. You’re having to move left Center, right, left, center, right or right, he tells you, go right, go left-center. So you got to move quickly.

Leahy: Got to be paying attention. You got to be paying attention.

Carmichael: But you also have to learn how to focus, how to focus and aim quickly.

Leahy: I thought you were quite good when I observed you. Very focused.

Carmichael: Anyway, I had a wonderful time, great instructor, and look forward to additional training sessions.

Leahy: I’m even further behind.

Carmichael: My office, by the way, it’s about a mile down the road, so that makes it very convenient.

Leahy: Well, if you wanted to be, what do they call these run and shoot competitions you could run from your office and then go and shoot.

Carmichael: At my age, I would do a brisk walk.

Leahy: We’ll have to call that a new sport. Brisk walk and shoot. We will expand our competition. It will be Mike and Crom’s brisk walk and shoot.

Carmichael: Let’s talk about what the world is going on and for our friends from out of state. I want to give a little bit of perspective as to why the idea of Mayor Cooper’s gigantic tax increase is such a terrible idea. They don’t need the money. They need discipline.

Leahy: There’s a lot of revenue coming in, but a lot of bad expenses going out.

Carmichael: Let me just give it a real simple example. Let’s say you have a ranch house. The way the tax law works here in Tennessee, and Metro has to adhere to it on property taxes, and you’ve got 150 feet frontage on the street.

Somebody will come along and buy that ranch house if it’s in a nice area and they will now pay seven or $800,000 for the house, and it’ll be a teardown. But that person who is living in that house was probably paying about $4 to 5,000 in taxes.

And then because you can’t, Metro can’t raise taxes on somebody’s house if it’s unimproved. If they improve it, I think if they were to make an addition or something like this, where they have to get a city permit, a building permit to make an addition, then the city can increase the taxes that they charge for the house.

But you get a house and somebody buys it for $800,000. They tear it down, and then they build two houses and they sell those two houses for a million five each. Well, now you have $3 million on which to tax which generates at a one percent rate to keep math pretty simple.

And then Nashville, that is close enough for this discussion. The taxes on that parcel would go from $4,000 which is what it was before the $30,000.

Leahy: That’s a big increase.

Carmichael: It’s a big increase. And we’re seeing that all across the city. So Metro’s tax revenue is increasing dramatically without a tax rate increase. And what you have is a bunch of people who are very irresponsible. And I want to go back to when Governor McWherter was Governor.

Leahy: Ned McWherter. A Democrat and a good old boy from West Tennessee.

Carmichael: And he wanted to raise taxes. And this is when the Democrats were in charge, and he wanted an income tax.

Leahy: This would be in the ’80s.

Carmichael: And he claimed that things were so bad, so bad in Tennessee that if we didn’t raise the income tax, And I think there was irony in this by April first because I remember it was April Fool’s Day.

Leahy: April Fools Day. I remember saying April Fools Day? wouldn’t he pick a different day than that? But he said April first the buses would have to stop. The school buses would have to stop.

And so this reminds me of what Mayor Cooper and his buddies are running these ads claiming about all these terrible things that will have to happen if they don’t get this massive tax increase.

So you had Governor McWherter who then said the school buses will have to stop. And low and behold, the income tax didn’t pass, and the school buses, the school buses did stop. And then a person was run over and killed in a school parking lot.

The next day, the school buses started again, which showed that what McWhorter was saying at the time was just a big, fat lie. Now, Let’s fast forward. Don Sundquist. Don Sundquist was a Republican, and he joined with the Democrats because, at that time, the Democrats still controlled the House and the Senate.

And just like Cooper, Sundquist ran for reelection, saying that an income tax would pass in this date over his dead body. When he came to Teddy Bart show, and I asked him if he was going to accommodate. (Leahy laughs)

And he did exactly what you just did. He laughed out loud. And I said, governor, I’ve supported you twice, and you fooled me. Good for you, good for you. You’re nothing but a dishonest political hack. And I said this two feet away.

Leahy: You said that to the then Governor.

Carmichael: I’d say that to the mayor because Grant Henry read the quote of what Mayor Cooper said when he was running. And by the way, when Cooper was running, he was a Councilman at large, so he had access to the whole budget.

And so when he said, we can live very nicely if we just manage our fiscal affairs, he was right. And now he’s just like Don Sundquist.

Leahy: And we’ll continue this after the rest of the break. But here I do want to give you this quote of what he said when he was at his church. John Cooper said. “You are creating a path for anarchy in Nashville, Tennessee that will not end well, all because there’s this path of a super small weaponized, kind of Trump-oriented divisiveness that enters into Nashville.” That’s what he said.

Carmichael: What a disgusting thing to say when you’re that irresponsible but not surprising. Not surprising.

Leahy: It gets worse. We’ll talk about that when we get back.

Listen to the 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act Attorney Jim Roberts Is Still Winning as Metro Continues Disinformation Campaign

Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act Attorney Jim Roberts Is Still Winning as Metro Continues Disinformation Campaign

 

Live from Music Row Friday 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 Nashville attorney Jim Roberts to the newsmakers line to discusses the continued winning as the tax referendum nears a vote on July 27 ballot.

Leahy: Joining us now on our newsmaker line by attorney Jim Roberts, the man who put the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act on the ballot. I think it’s gonna stay there. Where are we in terms of the legal fight, Jim?

Roberts: Well, good morning to you! We are still winning. We are on the ballot for July 27 on all six amendments. The litigation launched this Monday, with Metro going full force, trying to suppress the vote right to vote on this.

But it doesn’t look like they’re having much success. It’s been a very legally technical type lawsuit. It’s not very interesting to watch, but essentially, Metro is doing everything they can to try to keep people from even being allowed to vote on this.

Leahy: But they’re not succeeding.

Roberts: Not so far. And it’s taking longer than I thought it was going to be. I stopped by on Wednesday. It’s a very technical lawsuit. There’s not a lot of witnesses. I don’t think there’s going to be any witnesses.

It’s really just an argument of lawyers. But Metro still can’t really articulate why the people shouldn’t be allowed to vote. They just don’t want them to.

Carmichael: Jim, I mean, with all due respect, Mayor Cooper has made it clear that the reason that he doesn’t want people to vote is that they’re stupid. He got up in a church and said that the reason in California, in a church of all places, that’s the irony is dripping on that in that regard to that.

But he got in front of a group of people in church and said that the people in California, the fact that they have a referendum is the reason their state is such a mess. And that if they just left it up to government employees and government officials, that California would be just a lovely place with very low taxes and a very light touch from the government.

And it’s all the people who are the problems. I wish Cooper would get up and tell the judge that the judge is too stupid to have a right to vote on this.

Roberts: Well, that’s right. And I’m sure Mayor Cooper got all that information from all those Californians who fled that state because of their high taxes and irresponsible government. Having a referendum is not the problem. The problem is a decade of overspending and irresponsibility.

Leahy: Exactly.

Roberts: That’s the problem.

Carmichael: And if we can get this referendum passed, it will force the powers to be to sit down and hopefully make the best decisions they can make, even though they don’t want to. But these people need to be forced to think and to manage.

They need that. Now then if they choose to fire the best people just to stick their fingers in the eye, then that’s an irresponsible act. But anyway, go ahead. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt you.

Roberts: No, you’re absolutely right. It’s really sort of sad to me that the only time that our police and firefighters come first and this Mayor lied, is when it’s time to start cutting the budget.

Leahy: (Laughs) That’s a great line, but true.

Roberts: And it’s really true. You’re right. What this will do is restrict the government, but force them to make hard choices. When the government has an unlimited checkbook, they don’t make a lot of hard decisions.

They just decide where to spend the money when it’s all free money. And this will force them to make some decisions. And I guess if Mayor Cooper wants to defund the police first, he’s got a right to do that.

I don’t think that’s what the people want. He has a staff of 30 people making over $100,000 a year. Maybe he could fire one or two of those people and get his own coffee.

Carmichael: The other thing he could do is he could sit down with the Board of Education and say, we have got to greatly cut back on the number of non-teachers that are in our government-run education system.

And he won’t do that. He made it clear when COVID hit that the one thing he would not do is lay off a government employee. Now here businesses are closing left and right, and revenues for the city are still strong and getting stronger, by the way.

And what the Mayor if this referendum passes, one of the things they’ll have to do is sit down with the Board of Education and say, all right, we’ve got thousands of bureaucrats in our school system. We need to cut that in half.

Roberts: Yeah, that’s exactly right.

Leahy: Jim, let me ask you this. There’s another lawsuit from a group called the Nashville Business Coalition, which looks like just a bunch of special interests. They are represented by a very able attorney, Jamie Hollins. Where is that lawsuit going?

Roberts: That lawsuit got put at the children’s table at Thanksgiving dinner. (Leahy laughs) That’s the only way to say it. That lawsuit is going to go to trial on July sixth. This will be over by then. He’ll be an afterthought.

The Nashville Business Coalition is really just a PAC. They are pro-business political candidates. They’re not representing voters. They’re not representing citizens. They’re absolutely representing businesses that want to elect pro-business candidates.

Carmichael: When you say want to elect pro business candidates, are you saying they want to elect candidates who help the businesses that do business with Metro?

Roberts: Absolutely.

Carmichael: So it’s not pro-business candidates. It’s pro-handout.

Leahy: Pro-handout.

Carmichael: Pro I’ve got my handout and I want to get money from the government.

Roberts: Absolutely. And the more you can they werThey supported a lot of the candidates to get them to do the amp to support the business community at the expensive neighborhoods.

And they really have no interest in the citizens of Davison County. If it was up to the Nashville Business Coalition, taxes would be even higher, and there’d be more subsidies to the downtown businesses.

Which is great. I love Nashville being a strong powerhouse, but we focus all of our time and energy on the downtown and not our neighborhoods. And that comes at a cost.

Leahy: Jim, a lot of these special interests who oppose the referendum to roll back the taxes have raised a lot of money. They’re already on the air with television ads painting false pictures of the sky is falling.

What’s your reaction to those ads? And are you going to have enough money to push back against those ads?

Roberts: We certainly need all the donations that we can get. All of our money is coming from Davidson County residents. We’re up against business coalitions that are subsidized by the city.

They’re using our tax dollars to run a campaign to raise our taxes. And that’s a reality. That just happens in governmental fights. All of our money is coming from citizens and groups that are interested in saving the parks and rolling back this tax.

We won’t go on television. That’s an extravagant expenditure, but we’ll spend money on radio and on social media. It’s really about informing people and educating people. One of the most disappointing things I see of the opposition’s campaign is how inherently dishonest it is.

They just can’t even tell the truth to help themselves. A lot of this, as you see, they’re talking about how the city’s going to lose revenue, but they won’t even admit that if we end lifetime benefits for council members and the mayor, we’ll save money.

It’ll be more money for schools. If we quit giving away our parks and public lands for free to out-of-state developers we’ll have more money for our schools and firefighters. They won’t even admit that I’m trying to save money for the city.

They just wanted to the doom and gloom hysteria. That’s all they have and that’s all they’re ever going to have.

Carmichael: That’s what McWherter did. That’s what Sundquist did. And history shows that they were both very, very wrong. McWherter didn’t try nearly as hard to be as wrong as Sundquist did and he can’t get a speaking engagement in front of his family because his policies were so bad.

A bigger government is not good for any community. And Nashville’s government is already too big. Are the government employee unions pitching into the special interest for this dark money?

Roberts: I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m sure they will. Anyone who’s beholden to the government is going to be against this. Let’s just be honest. It doesn’t surprise me at all because the teachers union thinks that they can get more money for teachers if there’s just a blank checkbook.

And in some ways they’re right. If we have unlimited spending then everyone gets more money. What bothers me the most about the unions is that they’re important. The police officers and the firefighters, the teachers are the most important things we do.

They should be the ones saying, hey, why don’t you cut these other wasteful things and focus on what’s important? I want them to focus on what’s important.

Leahy: Jim Cooper is and John Cooper are the Cooper tandem that wants to be the elite to tell everybody what to do.

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.
Background Photo “Nashville City Hall” by Nicolas Henderson. CC BY 2.0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American’s for Prosperity-Tennessee Grant Henry Calls on Conservatives to Come Out and Voluneteer at Grassrootsnashville.com

American’s for Prosperity-Tennessee Grant Henry Calls on Conservatives to Come Out and Voluneteer at Grassrootsnashville.com

 

Live from Music Row Friday 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 Grassroots Director of American’s for Prosperity-Tennessee Grant Henry to the newsmakers line to outline their efforts urge people to volunteer to get out the word for the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act referendum on the July 27 ballot.

Leahy: Joined now on our newsmaker line by our good friend, the grassroots director for Americans for Prosperity of Tennessee, Grant Henry. Good morning, Grant. Good morning, sir.

Henry: Thank you for the opportunity again to be on.

Leahy: Well, great. And thanks for coming in studio last week while I was goofing off down on the beaches of Florida.

Henry: (Chuckles) You don’t tell people how nice that studio is down there, too. It was a fantastic opportunity. I had an incredible time. And if you ever want me to come back, you don’t have to twist my arm. I promise.

Leahy: We’re going to have you in studio. So you liked the palacious studio here?

Henry: Yeah, it was great. It was an awesome time. Really, really nice place. But you’re a radio guy, aren’t you?

Henry: I was back in the day. In a former life. That’s correct. Yes.

Leahy: In a former life. Did you have your own program up there in Knoxville?

Henry: Yeah. I actually was entitled Real News back in the day. It was a playoff Trump’s fake news type thing. (Leahy laughs)

Leahy: We try to cover news in a real way here. So you were the groundbreaker. We’re just following your lead, Grant.

Henry: Oh, sure. Yes, sir. (Laughter)

Leahy: Grant, now tell me it like we want to talk about the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act. It looks like it’ll be a referendum on the ballot of July 27 of this year. Now, the lefties are trying to do everything possible to stop it.

Jim Roberts, the lawyer who put this together, will be with us at 7:15. He’ll give us an update on the legal side of things. I think it’s looking good for the home team there, by the way. So I think that it will be on the ballot.

But tell us what it is that you plan to do at  Americans for Prosperity to gather support for those who want to turn back or roll back the property taxes that Mayor Cooper put in here and want to vote in favor of that roll back on this July 27 referendum in Davidson County? What are you doing at American’s for Prosperity?

Henry: Michael, again, thank you so much for the opportunity to talk about this and specifically talk about what the ground game and the opportunities are. Let me start by saying Grassrootsnashville.com is going to be the best way to sign up for some of these opportunities and see what’s coming forward.

Obviously, Americans for Prosperity are known as the ground game type people. We’re going to be making phone calls for the next couple of months here, doing several different phone banks, reach out, get in touch with me, go to that website, sign up for an opportunity to do that.

We’re also going to be doorknocking, which is a major, major way to meet people where they’re at, create an organic community buzz and a groundswell that is irrefutable. We’ll be starting doorknocking next weekend and going pretty much every weekend for June and July other than that July fourth weekend.

And right now since the last time, we did this when we gathered those 27,000 signatures, meeting people where they’re at at the doors is the best way, not just to get the word out about this referendum, but I’m telling people also, it’s the best way to send a signal across the bow to Metro government that, listen, Conservatives are here.

We are a loud major voice in the area. They’re structural, systemic change that needs to happen right now. We will not be refused. To make your voice heard come in these doors, tell these people to their face as well.

Leahy: The website is grassrootsnashville.com and that sends you to an AFP-related site. You can sign up there. There’s an action center. And if you want to help out financially, there’s a donate button. I am a big fan of Get out the Vote door to door Canvasing.

As you may recall, back into 2013, I set up a little conservative political action committee called Beat Lamar. And you may recall, we had a very aggressive door-to-door campaign and ended up endorsing a candidate to challenge Lamar Alexander named Joe Carr.

And in the primary of August of 2014, largely because of that very aggressive door-to-door campaign, Joe Carr became very close to defeating Lamar Alexander 49 to 40. And it turned out in Middle Tennessee, where the grassroots activists were most engaged, we had probably about 90 kids at any time over a three-month period knocking on doors.

It’s very effective. I am excited to see what’s going to happen because, with COVID-19, grassroots door-to-door campaigning stopped. This looks like this may be the first major effort in the country where conservatives are back doing door-to-door canvassing.

Henry: And the door-to-door canvassing is part of it. We will also be doing mailers. We’re doing massive media breaks and a social media campaign as well. Another thing I’d like to give people a heads up on or at least get their help on is look, if you have a story to tell, okay, anecdotes pull heartstrings.

We understand that. We understand that. If you have a story to tell as to how this referendum will affect you, how it will make your life better, I will give you room to breathe maybe you came in as some of my favorite people around here now call themselves California refugees.

If you fled another state because of terrible spending and you don’t want to repeat the same mistakes here, tell me these stories. I’ll give up my number on air. If people want it, it’s 615-330-4569. That’s 615-330-4569.

Give me a personal phone call. I will put those stories on camera. We will spread it around or at grassrootsnashville.com. And I’m telling you, our city, Nashville, will continue to dig itself into a deeper hole and raise taxes unless voters can decide whether some guard rails are needed to curb Nashville’s spending addiction that puts us in the current crisis we are at right now.

We at American Prosperity look forward to getting out in this community and letting people know that they can play a role in getting Nashville’s priorities in order and help them help our city prosper for years to come.

And Michael, let me tell you, some of these situations are just inherent to Nashville alone. Nashville has nearly twice as many employees per 1,000 residents as the more populous cities of Louisville, Indianapolis, and Jacksonville.

That’s according to an analysis from The Beacon Center done just a few years ago. Some of these situations where there is a spending problem being that we’re 3.6 billion dollars. Billion with a b. 3.6 billion dollars in debt. Some of those situations are inherent to just to Nashville. We got a very interesting situation going on here.

Leahy: If you do not want to California Nashville, you should go to grassrootsnashville.com. It is June the 11th and this is like six weeks before the referendum, but there will be early voting as well, won’t there?

Henry: That’s right. Early voting starts on July seventh, and early voting will go to July 22. Election Day itself will be on July 27. And again, as I said before, we’ll be knocking every Friday and Saturday.

Other than that July fourth weekend. We’ll be setting up call banks all over town. And one more thing here, too. Well, I am not an out-of-the-box thinking kind of guy, okay? I think very analytically.

If it’s done well, one way, I’ll do it that way again, if you are an out-of-the-box thinking kind of person, give me a call also. Reach out and sign up on Grassrootsnashville.com I’m open to any and all types of changes here.

Whoever is running this other campaign here, Michael. And I’m not pretending to speculate that I know all the players on the other side. I do know they’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars already. Already! We’re just now starting the TV ads.

Leahy: And the TV ads are so misrepresentative of what this referendum would do if it passed. If you want to lie, just join the campaign against this referendum. That’s what they’re doing, in my view.

Henry: Yes. And all we’re asking for, really, is to hold Mayor Cooper accountable for what he said during his own campaign. Let me read you a quote real quick, what Mayor Cooper said while he was campaigning.

A properly managed city should be able to thrive on a four-point five percent revenue increase. Metro needs a return to fiscal stewardship.’ I don’t feel good about asking taxpayers to pay more in taxes when we are not properly managing the money we already have.

That was Mayor Cooper while he was running for this position. And since 2015, The Beacon Center has identified more than $300 million in Metro Nashville waste, fraud, and abuse in their yearly pork reports.

Again, it’s a spending problem with Nashville. We’re reaching out and saying, Listen, Mayor Cooper, Metro Council, Cooper ran on a ticket of being fiscally responsible. Now is the time to finally have your voice heard. Come out, knock on doors with us. And it’s a blast out there, too.

Leahy: Grant Henry, with Americans for Prosperity Tenant for Tennessee. Thanks so much. One thing I think we conclude about this is, apparently Mayor Cooper does not feel good about what he’s done as Mayor based on that statement? David Grant Henry, thanks so much for joining us this morning. Come back again if you would, please.

Henry: Thank you, sir.

Listen to the 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 “Petitioning” by Costa Constantinides. CC BY 2.0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act Attorney Jim Roberts Is Still Winning as Metro Continues Disinformation Campaign

As the Election Process Moves Forward, Jim Roberts Confident Referendum on July 27 Ballot

 

Live from Music Row Friday 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 Nashville attorney Jim Roberts to the newsmakers line

Leahy: On the newsmaker line our good friend Jim Roberts the attorney and the man behind the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act. Well, Jim, what are the twists and turns? Will this be on the ballot as a charter amendment on July 26th? What have the opponents of this done in court?

Roberts: Well, let me tell you, we are still on the ballot for the 27th, not the 26th.

Leahy: The 27th. I stand corrected.

Roberts: That’s right. Metro is still legal for the Metro government is still trying to throw up all the roadblocks they can. They’re still making the terrible, dishonest arguments that they’ve been making all along.

The best thing we’ve seen in the last week is that the other side is starting to show its colors. We’re starting to see the dishonesty of their arguments, and they’re having to come up with something.

I think what’s most amazing Michael is that they don’t really attack the ballot initiatives for what they say. It’s just doom and gloom. Chicken Little and the sky is falling. It’s really just hysteria. I think they think that hysteria is just going to carry them to victory or something.

Leahy: It sounds like they’re not making a lot of progress in litigation in the Chancery Court here in Davidson County. Is that right?

Roberts: That’s right. It doesn’t look like they’ve gotten anywhere. They’re trying. They’re making a lot of noise. I think they know they’re going to lose and they just want to look like they were going down swinging.

But the arguments they seem to be making are nonsensical and just dishonest. This is about voter suppression. What the Metropolitan government wants is to deny the citizens the right to vote.

Carmichael: What is the date right now, Jim of the election?

Roberts: July 27.

Carmichael: Has Metro filed a court suit in court to try to stop it?

Roberts: They did. They filed right after the Election Commission voted to put it on the ballot. That case goes to trial and about 10 days roughly. June seventh. But I think the court has telegraphed at least a little bit that they’re not going to win. There’s a second lawsuit that was filed by a downtown business group that’s pretty much on the dole for Metro.

Their trial got set in July. This will all be over in July. Obviously, the court is not taking their lawsuit very seriously.  So in 10 days or within two weeks, if you’re back on in two weeks, you believe that the Chancerrory Court…

Roberts: Yes. The Chancery Court here in Davidson County.

Carmichael: You believe within two weeks the Chancery Court will have made a decision? The indications that you’re getting, of course, judges have to hear all the arguments before they make a decision.

Roberts: That’s right. I know that they’re expecting when I say they, the Election Commission, which again voted to let the citizens vote. The Election Commission is assuming that Metro will try to appeal to the Supreme Court to the Court of Appeals.

Metro will spend as much of our tax dollars as it can to try to stop this. They will spend more than it costs to have the election.

Carmichael: Will people from the Election Commission do they testify as to why they believe that the that’s the referendum met all of the criteria?

Roberts: Certainly not in the loop of the trial strategy, but I certainly think someone on the Election Commission will. But the fact that they voted on it, the fact that they looked at it and made a decision, the court has to give a great deal of discretion to a governmental body like this. This is their job and they made a decision, and it’s really Metro attacking their decision.

Leahy: Jim, let me get your reaction to this. There’s a group funded by a bunch of left-wing organizations called Save Nashville Now. We had a story last week. Metro Nashville Public School Board Chair Joins Campaign to Stop the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act. We think that’s a violation of the ethics rules of Metro Nashville Public Schools. Do you have any more information on that for us?

Roberts: I looked into that last week when it first came out and yes, it is it’s absolutely a violation of the ethical rules. And I think it shows how desperate and how willing the other side is to be dishonest in this campaign.

I mean, they’ll do anything. You should also know that throughout this, the opposition to this has actually taken several different names. And Save Nashville Now is just another phony organization.

There’s no organization recognized in Tennessee with that name. This is the fourth organization that’s come forward in opposition. And what you’re going to see is about every two weeks, they’re going to change the name of the organization, and that way they can hide the funding.

They can hide who’s behind it. They can do things that are illegal like they did earlier and then cover it up. So they’ll be gone in a week.

Carmichael: Jim, let me ask you a question. You can call when this goes to trial, Metro is suing the Election Commission correct?

Roberts: That’s right.

Carmichael: Are you planning on calling members of the Election Commission who voted in favor of the referendum? Are you planning on calling them as witnesses? What are you doing to be sure that when you have a chance to make your case, you’re making the strongest possible case and not just relying on precedent? That you are going to make a case well.

Roberts: It’s a little complicated Crom in the sense that we’re not actually active in this litigation for some complicated reasons. The Election Commission has shown its commitment to protecting the people’s right to vote. And in some ways, having us involved in this particular case would be very much a distraction.

Leahy: Very interesting.

Carmichael: Oh. So who is representing the Election Commission?

Roberts: That’s James Blumstein, who is the esteemed Vanderbilt constitutional law professor and pretty much nationally known, if not internationally known constitutional scholar.

He has a wonderful legal team with him, and they are basically making the same argument that I would make and doing a better job of it because they have sort of unlimited resources. They understand the issue here, and the issue is very simple.

The Election Commission is a government entity that has a job and it did its job. And now Metro is trying to come in and nit-pick it and overturn it, not for any good purpose, but really just for its own selfish interests.

There’s a great deal of discretion that’s given to an entity like the Election Commission. And you’ve got to always Crom fall back on the fact that there are six separate good government amendments.

If one goes to election, we have to have an election. If you’re going to have an election, you might as well go ahead and vote on all six just to save money. It’s very telling that Metro doesn’t care how much money it costs. They don’t care if we have six separate elections, as long as they can just throw as many monkey wrenches into the process as possible.

Carmichael: Now July 27 is the election. So it’s a one-day election. No early voting. There’s no absentee voting. If you want to vote, you go vote on that day. Is that right?

Roberts: First of all, there will be early voting and absentee voting. Some of those things are required by law. How much early voting there will be, I think the Election Commission has some level of discretion.

They have not announced the schedule yet although they’re going to have to very soon, which is why this litigation has been expedited. They have some flexibility, but things like early votes and military votes, have to be done pursuant to law. Those have to go out, probably in the next week or so. The election process is moving forward.

Leahy: Last question for you, Jim Roberts about the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act going to be on the ballot July 27. How much are the opponents going to spend to try and stop this in advertising between now and the 27 of July? And how much will you have available?

Roberts: They said they’re going to spend a million to a million, half, which sounds like an awful lot of money. I suspect a lot of that’s going to be taxpayer dollars from groups to get funded by Metro.

And they’re going to just put money in. We’re hoping to raise $200, $250,000. We think that’s plenty to counter their dishonest message. Remember, Michael, they’re not actually attacking the substantive aspects of this.

When you look at the anti-groups advertisements they have always mentioned my name. I’m just a simple country lawyer. The fact that they feel they have to attack me, I think, is very telling. They won’t get into a serious discussion about these issues.

To find out more visit 4goodgovernment.com

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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.
Background Photo “Nashville City Hall” by Nicolas Henderson. CC BY 2.0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act: Attorney Jim Roberts Continues to Win the Fight Against Metro Legal and Faux Citizen Action Groups

Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act: Attorney Jim Roberts Continues to Win the Fight Against Metro Legal and Faux Citizen Action Groups

 

Live from Music Row Friday 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 Nashville attorney Jim Roberts to the newsmakers line who discussed where he was at in the process of putting the referendum on the July 27 ballot and fake grassroots citizen action group opposition.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line now by our good friend Jim Roberts, the man behind the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act. Jim, bring us up to speed on the twists and turns of the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act referendum.

Roberts: Every week brings a new story, I have to admit. I appreciate you letting me come on this morning. The status now is the lawsuits have been filed by Metro trying to derail and stop the people from voting on this. The Nashville Business Coalition is a political action group that promotes pro-business candidates.

They’re not even representing the voters or the citizens. They’re just really out for their businesses. They’ve filed a frivolous lawsuit. The first one with Metro set for trial in June, and the other is set for trial in July, which I think shows the weakness of their case because, by that time, it will pretty much be over for them.

Leahy: I guess you feel that those lawsuits are not going to stop the referendum from going to the ballot. Is it scheduled for the ballot? And if so, what date is it scheduled for?

Roberts: They have voted to place it on the July 27 ballot. And then it will be there. All six amendments will be there for people to vote on. We’re moving forward. We’re raising my neighbor at radio and print ads and things like that, trying to get our message out and educate people. Although most people are pretty well educated on the issue.

Leahy: Yeah, exactly. There is this group, “grassroots” group called Save Nashville Now. It’s your usual lefties at Stand Up Nashville. They are working in alignment with the Chamber of Commerce. They’re raising money. They’re going to put a campaign against this thing. What can you tell us about this group?

Roberts: Well, pretty much if you go down the list of their members, it’s all people getting government money, all people on the dole all people who basically operate as a slush fund for the Metropolitan government. There is no citizen group.

There are no people out there representing the voters or the citizens. It’s all people with their hands out. And we knew this was coming. If you have a vested interest, if you’re on the dole with Metro, it’s pretty easy for the Metro government to call you up and say, get in line.

Leahy: Yeah. Get in line. These are all the usual suspects. There is a new development about this group, and it’s our lead story at The Tennessee Star. I’ll just read this to you and get your reaction. The headline: Metro Nashville Public Schools Board Chair Joins Campaign to Stop Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act. This is by our own Corrine Murdoch.

Metro Nashville Public School Board Chair Christiane Buggs announced her alliance with Save Nashville Now to defeat the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act. It is unclear whether this alliance poses a breach of Metro Nashville’s public school ethics policy.

So here’s what the policy says. According to the Boardmanship Code of Ethics, board members should not represent special interests or partisan politics. ‘Board members will represent at all times the entire school community and refuse to represent special interests or partisan politics.’

That’s what the policy says. We The Tennessee Star asked Metro legal counsel to comment on this policy and whether Bugg’s action violates that policy. What are your thoughts on this? They didn’t call us back, by the way.

Roberts: Of course they didn’t. And of course, it violates the policy. And what it really shows, more than anything, is how high the level of desperation is. Before this is over, they’re going to have starving children and schools with no books.

It’s going to be every sad lie that you can think of will be perpetrated out as some sort of example. The school board, all this stuff is to roll the tax back to 2019. The schools had books in 2,019, they had custodians in 2009 and they had teachers.

This will have almost no effect whatsoever on the school system. But because it fits an agenda and it’s what Metro wants, they’re going to come out and be against it even though it’s probably going to benefit the school system in end.

Leahy: The kind of ads that I’m envisioning from this group, the Save Nashville Now Group, are going to be like those old ads from the Democrats that pictured former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan with grandma and wheelchair pushing her off a cliff.

Roberts: That’s exactly right. Think about it. Who got hurt when they raised taxes 34 percent, minorities, and poor people. The very people they claim to represent are the people that are being harmed by this tax increase.

But you’re not seeing those people brought out, though. Those people are hidden. And unfortunately, the political people, people with lots of money and lots of connections they’re against it because it represents the taking away of power. And the government never likes to have power taken away. We all know that. History tells us that.

Leahy: Metro Chair Christiane Buggs, her full-time job, Metro Nashville Public School Chair Christian Bugs, the one who is, apparently, in my view, violating the ethics policy there by jumping into this election. Her full-time gig is she’s the literacy project director for wait for it…the United Way.

Roberts: So there you go. People with their hands out are going to be against this. There’s no doubt about that.

Leahy: If a complaint were to be filed against Christiana Bugs on this, what would the outcome of that be? It does appear to be a clear violation of their ethics policy.

Roberts: Unfortunately, I have never filed an ethics violation with the Metro government, but I have known people that did, and they tend to get swept under the rug. They tend to get covered up. There are many and this may be something that needs to be addressed on a future ballot initiative.

There are many conflicts that allowed people who are in the government to serve on certain boards that they shouldn’t be and people with financial interests. The Fairgrounds is a classic example. The people that were involved in that all had financial ties to the outcome. And Metro turned a blind eye to that.

Leahy: In the ad campaign coming up for this referendum in July, I guess, what was the date again? July 27th?

Roberts: July 27.

Leahy: How much money are the opponents going to be able to spend on this? And how much will they outspend you and your team by?

Roberts: They said they’re going to raise a million to a million five, probably from taxpayers and squander that. We’ll probably raise about 10 percent of that, and we’ll still win. They’re trying to convince people to do something that’s not in their best interest and that will harm Nashville.

And then people don’t want to do I think everyone in this town knows the tax increase with a bad idea. And it’s the first of many. They would be raising taxes right now if this ballot initiative wasn’t on the ballot. And I can promise if it doesn’t pass next year they’re going to raise the taxes again.

Leahy: Absolutely. Metro Nashville and Mayor Cooper spend money like drunken sailors. And I have to apologize to drunken sailors for that because I think they’re more fiscally responsible.

Roberts: And they eventually run out of money. The Metropolitan government has the ability to issue bonds, and so they pretty much have an unlimited credit card. Most of your listeners probably know the city of Nashville has more debt than the entire state of Tennessee.

That’s the result of irresponsibility. That’s a result of a lack of stewardship and a lack of leadership. And they’re just making it worse. And we’ve got to bring this to a halt.

Leahy: Isn’t Metro Nashville is in one of the five worst financial situations for any city in the country?

Roberts: That’s right. And this is not just bad, but bad after 10 years of unprecedented growth. What we’ve seen is our city that just squandered this wonderful windfall that we had. So who knows what made Nashville suddenly popular?

But it’s undeniable that it is or has been. And they squandered that. They sold us out to out of state interest. They sold us out to developers, and now they’re sending the taxpayers and the citizens the bill for it. And that’s just wrong.

Leahy: Yeah, exactly. Well, we’ll see how all this plays out. If people want to help with your effort, what should they do Jim?

Roberts: Go to our website 4goodgovernment.com which is leading and organizing the charge.  We’ve had meetings this week with organizers and volunteers. Please go to that website and donate. We do need money. We don’t have the faucet like the Metro government and some of these other groups.

We have to go out and earn it from the citizens. I’m very happy to say that almost 99.9 percent of all money raised comes from Davidson County despite the very terrible lie to the contrary these are citizens that are supporting this.

The problem is that most people don’t know what to do individually, and that’s like any sort of campaign. But please donate and please tell people these are good amendments. All six of these amendments will make Nashville a better place for good government.

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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.