Lonnie Spivak: New Bill Would Change the Nashville-Davidson County Mayoral Race Outcome, Could Favor Republicans

Lonnie Spivak: New Bill Would Change the Nashville-Davidson County Mayoral Race Outcome, Could Favor Republicans

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 Davidson County Republican Party Chairman Lonnie Spivak in studio to explain legislation that could give Republicans a chance at winning the Nashville mayoral race.

Leahy: We are having too much fun here. In studio with us, the chairman of the Davidson County Republican Party, Mr. Lonnie Spivak. There’s a possibility that everything you know about the Davidson County, Nashville Davidson County Mayor’s race, could change.

And that change agent is the Tennessee General Assembly. There is a bill there that would eliminate the runoff element of it. And now we’ve got eight or nine candidates that have declared. The election is scheduled for August 3rd.

The filing deadline is May 18th. And since the formation of the Metro government back in 1965 the mayor has always had to have won more than 50 percent of the vote. And the way it works is the first election is on August 3rd, the August election, if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, then the top two candidates meet in a runoff.

That’s been the way it’s been for a long time, and I think the past couple of races have had those runoffs. This year, however, that could change. Tell us what’s going on with the Tennessee General Assembly on that.

Spivak: The bill in the Senate is SB 1527 and the companion bill in the House is HB 1399. And what this bill will do is it’ll remove the runoff election element of local elections, and the winner would just have to win by a plurality vote.

Leahy: So for instance, let’s just say if this race, there are eight announced candidates right now. And let’s say the leading candidate gets 29 percent and the second candidate gets 27 percent and the third candidate gets 20 percent, and the rest are below that; in that scenario, in the current law, the 29 percent person and the 27 percent person will be the only two to make it to a runoff in September.

Spivak: Yes. That’s how it’s currently structured.

Leahy: But if this law passes the number one person in that scenario that got 29 percent, the plurality of the vote, that person would be the new mayor.

Spivak: And that this really. This bill, if it passes, will give Republicans are real shot at winning races in Davidson County and other large cities in Nashville, where the demographics currently work against us. It’s being slowed up in the Senate a little bit right now, so its passage is up in the air. It’s in the state and local government committees.

It was supposed to be brought up this week, but there were a couple of members of the committee out, so they deferred it to Monday. And so I really encourage people to contact the members of the state and local government committee and let them know that you would like for them to consider passing the runoff election bill. The language hasn’t been added to the bill yet.

It’s still just a caption, but we’ll need the committee to meet and add the language to the bill, so they consider it for passage. And in order for this to move forward, those steps need to happen. Or else we’re gonna be dead in the water and we’ll lose the best chance we’ve had in a hundred years of electing Republicans in the city of Nashville.

Leahy: Now we Republicans could probably get a candidate who gets 29 percent of the vote.

Spivak: Yes. Typically, we’re in the 23 to 27 percent of the vote, depending on how many candidates are in the race. If Republicans know that there’s a good conservative candidate in the race and they coalesce. There are enough Republicans in Nashville to get to the 35 percent mark. Donald Trump did very well in 2016 in Nashville. So we know the votes are here. We just need to get them to the polls.

Leahy: In this race now there are eight candidates. Five Democrats, two Republicans, one independent, I think, is what it looks like right now. Right now, yeah. Yeah. Sharon Hurt. She’s from the Council of Fred O’Connell from the council, Matt Wilshire, who’s been appointed. He’s a Democrat. Jeff Yarbro.

Spivak: Fran Bush.

Leahy: Oh, and then I guess Jim Gingrich. Carpetbagger.

Spivak: You like that word.

Leahy: I do. Because he is a carpetbagger, by any definition of the word. Jim, by the way, you’re welcome to come in. And then Fran Bush, a former member of the school board, a friend of ours who’s an independent, and then two Republicans, Natisha Brooks, who ran previously in the GOP primary and then Alice Rolli, Natisha and Fran have been.

Alice Rolli will be here a week from today. We’ll talk to her about it. But if you look at it either of those, let’s say of the conservatives, you might add or Republicans, you would add three candidates.

Alice Rolli, Fran Bush, and Natisha. Fran and Natisha, I think are gonna struggle to raise money. I think Al’s gonna raise some money. I don’t know exactly how much we’ll find out when she’s in, on Friday, but really right now it doesn’t look like to me, any of those three are in a position to win. Certainly in the runoff.

Maybe if they have this new law, and of course as the Davidson County Republican Party Chairman, you’re limited in what you can do in this race. Tell us about what Davidson County Republican Party can and cannot do in this mayoral race.

Spivak: I asked the state chairman Scott Golden on what the rules were in non-partisan races. There’s still a lot of ambiguity about how to handle nonpartisan races. From my aspect, there are, there is more than one Republican in the race, and it should be our position as the county party to pick between Republicans.

And so what I’m gonna be proposing to the board on the 28th is that we treat it as a partisan race that we use our PAC to run ads against candidates and ideas that we are against but really treat it as a partisan race. The ultimate decision will be up to the board, but that is how I hope to present things to the board.

It really puts us in an awkward position, and I don’t want the county party to be in a position and have a history of supporting one Republican when multiple Republicans are running.

Leahy: Yes. And that’s the situation here. And that is a very measured approach to it, and it makes a lot of sense. However, I will say that if you look at it, the opportunity here for if one single Republican candidate came out and everybody focused on that candidate and that candidate had money and was credible, I think that candidate would be able to, get up to 35 percent of the vote. And then if this law were to pass, Democrats’ heads would explode.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

– – –

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 “Lonnie Spivak” by Lonnie Spivak. Background Photo “Davidson County Courthouse” by euthman. CC BY-SA 2.0.


Tech Guru Katie Linendoll on Her New Song, ‘Your Hands’

Tech Guru Katie Linendoll on Her New Song, ‘Your Hands’

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 cyber tech guru and singer-songwriter Katie Linendoll to the newsmaker line to talk about her background and new song Your Hands.

Leahy: We welcome to the newsmaker line right now, Katie Linendoll. Good morning, Katie.

Linendoll: Good morning.

Leahy: Katie, tell me about Katie Linendoll. I’ve got this picture of you with these kind of pink 1950-style cat eyeglasses. It’s quite a style. I also know one other thing about you. You’re a tech person, but you graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Is that right?

Linendoll: That is correct. Yes. I’ve been a nerd, a proud nerd, my whole life.

Leahy: Are you from Upstate New York? Where are you from?

Linendoll: I’m from Erie, Pennsylvania.

Leahy: It’s a homecoming! It’s a homecoming segment here because wait for it, Katie. I grew up near Jamestown, New York.

Linendoll: Oh my goodness! We’re in good company because there’s some camaraderie when you’re in the I-80 corridor, there’s just something there, and you automatically get along. (Chuckles)

Leahy: And basically, if you grow up in Erie, Pennsylvania, or if you grow up in Jamestown, New York, and you’re, you know, you’re intellectually curious, you’re a nerd, you’re an academic. What you want to do, Katie, is get the heck out of there. (Laughter)

Linendoll: I wouldn’t have traded my upbringing for anything. I always tell people there’s a certain grit when you’re growing up in Erie, Pennsylvania, and you’re shoveling six feet of snow every single day running outside in the winter as it is in shorts and a t-shirt. There is grit and grace that comes with that kind of upbringing, if you will.

Leahy: Katie, you and Sharon Stone, separated at birth. Except you’re the younger version, right? She’s from Erie, right?

Linendoll: (Chuckles) Yes. And the tech background, too. Growing up, I have been fascinated with technology since I was about 12 years old. I started coding way before it was cool. And I have had a degree and a fascination on air. I’m known for showcasing the latest and greatest technologies and gadgets on top network national TV shows.

So when it comes to finding the coolest stuff that’s on the market and talking about the latest in AI or robotics or consumer tech, it has been a blessing to be known as a go-to in that space.

Leahy: So about Rochester. My brother started his collegiate career at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Linendoll: Oh great!

Leahy: And a good friend of ours went to Rochester Institute of Technology. It’s a great school. It’s a really great school.  It’s a fabulous school.

Linendoll: From cybersecurity to IT to computer science, it is a mecca, a hub of just very interesting intellectual people. I mean, I learned so much. I learned more from the people around me really, than from the classes, too, just because you have so many different personalities and you just sponge when you’re there.

Leahy: Where do you live now? In Rochester, New York, Erie, Pennsylvania, or out there in Silicon Valley?

Lindendoll: D, none of the above. I actually split my time between New York City and Boston, of all places, and a little bit of Nashville as well.

Leahy: And a little bit of Nashville? Really?

Linendoll: Yes.

Leahy: What do you do here in Nashville? Do you record music here, by any chance?

Linendoll: I sure do. It’s been an interesting few years for everybody and I grew up with my dad, who is a drummer, and so I’ve been in the tech space for over 20 years.

Leahy: Katie, is it true that we have a song of yours?

Linendoll: You sure do.

Leahy: We are going to hear it. Here it is. It’s called Your Hands.  The world debut on The Tennessee Star Report. Katie Linendoll singing Your Hands. (Your Hands plays)

Leahy: There you go. Your Hands debuting here on The Tennessee Star Report. Katie, just so you know, our friends at Baste Records are opening up an anti-woke music label here in Nashville. Would you like me to introduce you to them?

Linendoll: I’d be happy to take any introduction. Absolutely.

Leahy: Well, there you go. So how long has that song been out?

Linendoll: We pushed it out early December, right before Christmas. We just shot the music video. It has not been launched yet. I’m just so proud. I come from a proud military family, as I noted, from Erie, Pennsylvania, all about grace and grit. And this is a song for our guys that have served our nation, that are praising his name on high, and that just could write a story for the ages. And it is.

All the proceeds from Your Hands proudly support the Robert Irvine Foundation, who, as you know, Chef Irvine is an amazing chef, Restaurant Impossible. At the end, his nonprofit supports the strength and physical mental well-being of our service members, veterans, and first responders and their families.

So I always give a personal donation, and every one of my songs supports a boutique, small nonprofit. And I could not be more proud to have put out this song that means so much to me, but also is aligned with Robert’s Foundation.

Leahy: So, Katie, your website. Katielinendoll.com. You write an overtly pro-American Christian song like that. Do heads explode in Silicon Valley when they interact with you?

Linendoll: You know, I’ve done a really good job. I am truly authentic to everything that I believe in and unapologetically. And I’ve been like that my whole life. And being in not only the Hollywood scene, but also in the tech scene, I am adamant about my integrity, but also meeting people where they’re at.

And I’ve never had minimal interactions where people are a little off put. But I think it’s all in the approach. I really do. And I think when you stand firm, anytime you stand firm for something, you’re going to be met with opposition.

But I think it’s the approach and being a Christian and having the way that you approach things and the way that you interact with people, if you’re a good person and you showcase who you are, there’s no arguing it. So I think maybe I may be in difficult pockets, but it’s the way that I handle myself that has never been met with too much angst, if you will.

Leahy: So you appear on the Today Show with the folks at NBC.

Linendoll: I’ve been on Today Show for 10 years. Yes.

Leahy: 10 years?

Linendoll: Yes!

Leahy: And they don’t give you any aggravation because you focus on tech?

Linendoll: I have a great rapport. I have a great relationship with everybody over on the show and with Rachel Ray as well. CBS Sports Radio and the Weather Channel, I’ve had the blessing to be working on those programs for over five years now.

Leahy: Rachel is also kind of from our neck of the woods. She’s from upstate New York. I think she’s from some were around Saratoga, isn’t she?

Linendoll: Yes. She’s a cool girl. She’s a very cool girl.

Leahy: Katielinendoll.com. Thanks so much for joining us. And keep us posted if you wish about your music career.

Linendoll: I will. Thank you.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Katie Linendoll” by Katie Linendoll.


Nashville-Area Democrat Bob Freeman Ponders Leaving the State House for City Hall to Tackle the Titans Stadium Deal, Metro Public Schools

Nashville-Area Democrat Bob Freeman Ponders Leaving the State House for City Hall to Tackle the Titans Stadium Deal, Metro Public Schools

Live from Music Row, Monday 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 State Representative Bob Freeman (D-Nashville) in studio to answer questions on a run for Nashville mayor, reducing Metro Council, Titans Stadium deal, and the state of MNPS.

Leahy: State Representative Bob Freeman is in studio. Well, Bob, the political world here in Nashville kind of blew up on Tuesday when Mayor John Cooper, announced on Tuesday that he’s not running for reelection surprised a lot of people. And then all of a sudden, they’re various people who hadn’t announced are considering it.

And so already announced Matt Wilshire, Freddie O’Connell, and Sharon Hurt. In the possible running lane, Bob Mendes and former mayor Megan Barry. I hope she gets in because it will be like traffic gold for us here. Ratings gold for us if Megan Barry gets in, for obvious reasons.

But the big question, since you’re in here today, since your father, who founded the very successful real estate company that you run now. Your father, Bill Freeman, ran for mayor in 2015, spent a lot of money, and finished in third place, I think it was.

Freeman: Yes. About 150 votes out.

Leahy: But now here you are. You’ve served in the state legislature since 2018. You have, as you pointed out, which I didn’t know, you’ve been a sponsor of a number of bills that have come become law, which is not, for our listeners, an insignificant accomplishment for a member of the minority party to be able to work that. But now, Bob, you said that you’re considering running for mayor. Are you going to run for mayor? Will you make that announcement on this program here today, this morning?

Freeman: That’s a tricky question. You get me in here at 6:00 am in the morning, a little loopy, and see if I’ll…

Leahy: I did offer you coffee.

Freeman: I know, I know.

Leahy: But you’re not loopy. You’re coherent. You’re on point.

Freeman: I’m kidding. So when he made that announcement, my phone immediately started blowing up. And there has been a pretty strong draft me to run group of people that are looking for the candidate that they want to support. It’s not a secret, but my wife had a health scare.

We dealt with some breast cancer last year, and my father has been going through some health issues. It’s not as easy as just deciding what do I want to do, there are other factors there and I am actively working through those decisions. I’m talking to people that I trust and asking their opinion, and I plan on making a decision this week or the first of next week.

I think that what our city needs right now more than anything is that our next mayor can actually work with the state and can help the state realize that this should be a very profitable and successful partnership and that the success of Nashville drives the success of the state.

We provide, depending on what you’re listening to, half of the state revenue. We account for all of the population growth for the most part of the state. People are moving to Middle Tennessee and droves the growth of Williamson, Wilson, and Rutherford is in large part due to Nashville.

And this idea that we can have a combative relationship with the state has been shown to not be true. Look at the legislation that’s in front of us right now to cut the council size, remove the funding for the Music City Center, remove the airport board or airport authority, and the sports authority.

These are all decisions that should be made locally. And if we had the ability to sit down with the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker and negotiate in good faith, I think we would be in a different spot.

Leahy: You mentioned the bill before the Tennessee General Assembly to cut the size of the Metro Council from 40 to 20. What’s your opinion on that bill?

Freeman: I’m going to answer it two ways. One, I think the bill is horrible. I think the idea that people from outside of Nashville get a say in how we do politics here locally is laughable at best. We have members on the right that run for small government local control, and here they are coming in from a body of 99 saying it’s unwieldy to have a body of 40 is kind of a joke.

Especially when they’ve got a county commission of 25. Again, saying that 20 is the right number is kind of a joke. That being said, I don’t know that it isn’t a bad idea to have a smaller council. I don’t know that it isn’t a bad idea to have a council that maybe meets as we do for half the year.

Leahy: By the way, people listening said, oh yeah, Metro Council only meets half a year. I think there’s a lot of applause going on for that right now. Mayor Cooper, being the leader is probably applauding that.

Freeman: I come from a legislative body that meets for half the year. And we are very effective. We have standing committees that meet year-round which I think the council could do. But again, that’s the decision of the voters of Nashville, and they voted it down in 2000. And what was it? 15, I think was the most recent.

Leahy: Let me ask you another question. The Tennessee Titans want to put together a $2.2 billion stadium, mostly subsidized by the state and the city, asterisk, on the city, but the state, the Tennessee General Assembly voted to give $500 million to the Titans for that stadium. You were in the General assembly. Did you vote for that?

Freeman: I did.

Leahy: You did? So you think it’s a good idea for people living in Johnson City to subsidize a bunch of millionaires in the NFL? Do you like the way I framed that? (Chuckles) 

Freeman: If you put it that way, no. But if you talk about a $500 million dollar investment in an entity that could make billions of dollars every year in tax revenue from hotels, restaurants, buildings, and businesses that want to be downtown next to the new Titan Stadium, it’s a great business deal.

I always look at things, especially within the government, as a return on investment. We invest regularly in exits to nowhere. We invest in community centers in some of these small rural towns that have no return. We need to continue to do those, but we need to start looking at some of these things and look at the return on the investment that we’ve got.

Leahy: Question for you, and this is very detailed. If you were to run for mayor and if you were to become mayor and win the election right now, the Metro schools are an absolute, total abysmal disaster. Two-thirds of third graders can’t read or write at grade level.

Freeman: Across the state.

Leahy: Metro Nashville is a terrible school system. Would you agree or not?

Freeman: I wouldn’t use the word terrible at all.

Leahy: Really?

Freeman: You’ve got a city of 800,000-ish people.

Leahy: So you’re happy with the performance of K12 public schools in Nashville?

Freeman: I think that there’s always an ability for improvement, but I would not say they’re abysmal.

Leahy: Really?

Freeman: If you look at how we perform compared to other cities our size that have the same socioeconomic issues that we’ve got and I used to know the number, but I think there are 100 different languages that are spoken in MNPS right now.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Bob Freeman” by Tennessee General Assembly. Background Photo “Titans Stadium” by Thank You (23 Millions+) views. CC BY 2.0.


National Political Editor Neil W. McCabe Catches Up with Former Speaker Beth Harwell at VIEW PAC Event in D.C.

National Political Editor Neil W. McCabe Catches Up with Former Speaker Beth Harwell at VIEW PAC Event in D.C.

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed The Tennessee Star’s national political editor Neil McCabe to the newsmaker line to discuss his attempt at an in-person interview with Beth Harwell Tuesday night at the VIEW PAC fundraiser in Washington after her absence at The Epoch Times Nashville debate.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line, the very best Washington correspondent in the country, the national political editor of The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network, Mr. Neil W. McCabe. Good morning, Neil.

McCabe: Hey, Mike. You have kind of a morning zoo vibe this morning. This is fantastic.

Leahy: Yeah, we’re going with that vibe a little bit. So listen, speaking of morning zoos and evening zoos, last night there was a debate in Nashville, really the first debate hosted by The Epoch Times.

The others have been candidate forums for the TN-5 race. Only three of the leading five candidates showed up: Jeff Beierlein, Andy Ogles, and Tres Wittum.

Two of them dodged the debate. One of them, Brigadier General Winstead, had apparently accepted and then backed out on Saturday.

The line from Jeff Beierlein at the debate, by the way, was that this was the first time in Tennessee history that a general has run from a fight. I thought that was a pretty good line at The Epoch Times debate last night.

But also, now, Beth Harwell, the former Speaker of the House here in Tennessee, never accepted this invitation and was busy elsewhere.

She was busy, actually, in Washington, D.C., had a meeting with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at a fundraiser of sorts at a group called VIEW PAC.

You were there in Washington, D.C. You tried to get her to talk to you at the fundraiser. Describe what happened then and subsequently.

McCabe: Yeah, well, we were camped out in front of the Capitol Hill Club, which is sort of the social hub for Republicans on Capitol Hill, particularly the congressmen.

And it’s really where these bachelor congressmen get their one hot meal for the day, and geographically bachelor, I should say. And so we were out there and we were trying to talk to people and, you know, hey, are you up [for us] to see Beth Harwell? We’re with The Tennessee Star.

And then a functionary from the Harwell campaign came out to the sidewalk and said, hey, man, you’re really bothering people. You’re making The Tennessee Star look bad. And I’m just giving you some advice.

I’m not telling you what to do, but you should stop asking people questions about Beth Harwell. And I’m thinking, okay, guy. Thanks.

I always appreciate career advice. You know that, Mike. (Leahy chuckles) But he told us, he said, listen, we’ll bring Beth down after the event, and just stop harassing our guests.

Yes, sir. Okay. I don’t know if we’re going to call it a compromise. Maybe it was a truce. And so after the event wraps up at 6:00 p.m., of course, outside on the sidewalk, we can’t bring our cameras into the Capitol Hill Club to film. They did allow us to hang out in the lobby because this biblical rainstorm was coming down.

But we had permission to film under this sort of roof canopy that they have that extends into the sidewalk from the door. And our trusted videographer Anthony is ready to go, but the guy comes down and says, hey, sorry, we got to go.

I said, what do you mean? You said you’d come down and do an interview. He goes, yeah, but it’s raining outside. I said, no, they got the canopy. We considered the canopy.

He goes, no, our Uber is here. We got to go. And so what are you going to say about a campaign that’s more worried about their Uber than talking to The Tennessee Star, Mike?

Leahy: Yes, well, and again, we did, give the campaign advance notice that we’d be there, and I think it was relevant to say, well, you chose not to participate in this debate in the 5th Congressional District. She didn’t back away from it after making a commitment, as Winstead did.

But there were a number of questions to be asked, I thought, one of which I think this event, the VIEW PAC event, right? Was that the name of the group that was doing the fundraising?

McCabe: Before I go into VIEW PAC, let me just say for the record that she did call me.

Leahy: Oh, she did?

McCabe: And so we did have a seven or eight-minute conversation. She answered the questions, I was recording it, and she agreed to go off speakerphone, which is making [the recording] like crazy.

But she answered the questions and I asked her about VIEW PAC, and I mentioned to her that VIEW PAC has received donations from a man named Tim Ranney, who was fined $8 million for illegal use of credit reports.

I don’t exactly know how he did that, but it was worth an $8 million fine. He gave $200,000 in this cycle to VIEW PAC. Another contributor is abortion philanthropist Melinda Gates who has also given to VIEW PAC, and I mentioned this to the speaker.

You’ve accepted the support. Obviously, this event was sponsored by VIEW PAC and her response was, well, Marsha Blackburn accepts money from this abortionist and this guy who paid an $8 million fine for abusing credit reports. So what’s the big, I guess.

Leahy: Did you feel like, and you’re going to have a report on this, do you feel like that she answered your questions and you got good responses from her?

McCabe: I asked her about how they handled illegals driving in Tennessee, and I thought that was a reasonable answer. She said that she was not beholden to the teachers’ unions, which is one of the knocks against her. She talked about why she’s going to come to Washington and fight Biden’s economic policies.

Leahy: Did you ask her why she didn’t show up at the debate?

McCabe: No, I didn’t ask her that. That was a swing and a miss.

Carmichael: Neil, I have a question for you. When you asked her about …

McCabe: Hold on, Crom, I do want to say one more thing. She did say, which would probably be my headline and lead, she said that she’s lived in the district and she loves the district and its people. Go ahead, Crom.

Carmichael: That’s good. Did you ask her about the $5 billion of tax cuts that she got through as Speaker of the House. And what was her response to that?

McCabe: I didn’t ask her that question.

Carmichael: Oh, you didn’t? Okay. Did you ask her about her repeal, where she co-authored the repeal of the legislation to take away the driver’s licenses from illegal immigrants? Did you ask her that?

McCabe: I asked her about the driver’s license …

Carmichael: No, did you ask her about her repealing it? Because she co-authored …

McCabe: She led the fight to take it away. It was tried, it didn’t work, and she brought her out and she brought it into the program.

Carmichael: Okay, but you didn’t mention that a moment ago. Did you ask her about that? About how hard a fight it was to get that repealed?

McCabe: I didn’t ask her how hard the fight was.

Carmichael: It was a very difficult fight. It was a very difficult fight. She fought against a special interest on that, but she got it done, Neil, so it’d be really good when you’re going to attack a Republican that you get the whole story out. I think that’d be great.

Leahy: I don’t think Neil was attacking.

McCabe: Hold on, Crom. First of all, this is not an American courtroom. What’s going on here? I didn’t put missiles in Cuba, Crom. Come on, man. I’m just doing my job.

Carmichael: Okay. And I’m just doing mine, which is to make sure people know all the facts.

Listen to the interview:


– – –

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.











GOP Candidate Robby Starbuck Talks About Growing Up in America Without a Victim Mentality

GOP Candidate Robby Starbuck Talks About Growing Up in America Without a Victim Mentality


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 GOP candidate for Nashville’s Fifth District, Robby Starbuck in studio to talk about growing up in a Cuban family and working hard for a future in America.

Leahy: In studio Robby Starbuck, a candidate for the Republican nomination for Congress in the Fifth Congressional District currently represented by Jim Cooper, the brother of the tinpot dictator known as Mayor John Cooper. Those are my words, not Robby’s.

(Starbuck chuckles) Robby, yesterday you had a big YouTube video announcement. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has endorsed you in glowing terms. You put a YouTube out for that. Tell us about how he came to endorse you and what impact that YouTube videos had so far.

Starbuck: First of all, is there a better endorsement than Rand Paul right now? He’s been right at every step of everything that happened throughout COVID. Like, no question. All along the way, the media says he’s crazy.

And then three months later, he’s proven right every single step of the way. There’s been no bigger advocate of freedom. But this came to be because I made friends with him and his wife a couple of years ago through social media.

Leahy: Through social media?

Starbuck: Yes. We started a relationship through social media.

Leahy: How does that happen with the United States senator?

Starbuck: I have sort of a larger social media accountant.

Leahy: How large is it?

Starbuck: Before the great purge of the election. It was 250,000.

Leahy: That’s pretty good.

Starbuck: And then on YouTube, we’ve got it. I don’t know the exact number. It’s like, 140,000.

Leahy: Is YouTube still allowing you to be on.

Starbuck: So that’s a really funny question. Yes, we have our YouTube account. But our numbers changed this summer. (Leahy chuckles) I made a joke about the fact that I had more subscribers than Joe Biden did.

Leahy: Oh boy are you in trouble.

Starbuck: And literally, I did this whole thing about that. Right afterward, we get a report. There’s a thing called Social Blade that tells you how your metrics and analytics are going. And literally, the next month, we had negative views. (Leahy laughs) Negative 100,000 views.

Leahy: Gee, how did that happen.

Starbuck: No idea. So I send it to our person at YouTube. And he was like, I’ve never seen this before. The loan Republican at YouTube. There is one.

Leahy: Don’t out that person.

Starbuck: No, I’m not outing that. But there’s one. There’s one.

Leahy: There the one Republican at YouTube.

Starbuck: So I made friends with him over social media and with his wife. And we had them on my podcast. My wife and I did a podcast together. And so I was a big promoter of their book, The Case Against Socialism because it’s one of those books that I wish was in every school that every kid would read because we don’t educate kids anymore on the history of socialism and communism.

Leahy: Let me just interrupt for a moment. I’ll invite you to attend the National Constitution Bee that we sponsor every year. I don’t know if you know about that.

Starbuck: I’m in. Yes, I’ve heard about it.

Leahy: And we’ve got a book. We’ll give it to you, but you’re welcome to come. And we give educational scholarships to kids that actually study the Constitution. And back to your point.

Starbuck: You’ll love this then. My daughter this year memorized the Constitution. My oldest.

Leahy: How old is she?

Starbuck: She’s 12 so she did it for a speech meet.

Leahy: We’ve had a couple of 12-year-olds participate in this, so if she wants to come she can participate.

Starbuck: She would love it.

Leahy: I will tell you to get public school teachers to actually promote this, it’s like pulling teeth. We’ve got a few. We’ve got a few out there in a couple of counties. But most public school teachers, because it’s the Constitution of the United States verbatim apparently don’t seem to have much interest in that.

Starbuck: Yeah, that seems like something not super popular in public schools right now. They prefer things that are not based on reality.

Leahy: Critical Race Theory. Black Lives Matter.

Starbuck: Exactly.

Leahy: That’s what they want to promote. 1619 Project. All historical falsehoods.

Starbuck: Exactly.

Leahy: What’s wrong with that picture?

Starbuck: This idea, I think the most dangerous thing about it is the idea that you’re born either a victim or an oppressor, and that’s at the core of Critical Race Theory.

Leahy: What are you, Robby? Are you a victim?

Starbuck: Well, see, that’s the thing is, I’m kind of in the middle, aren’t I? So you can’t really nail it down. I guess I could say I’m the child of a penniless refugee, and I have every reason not to succeed in America.

Leahy: You are a victim.

Starbuck: You can go that route. because And this is actually an argument I’ve made to people as I go. Listen, when I was a kid, I was told every step of the way by my grandparents and my mom that I can do anything. This is America. It’s full of opportunity.

You don’t do what you want to do. That’s your fault. You did something wrong. You work your tail off, you will get what you want. That is why I graduated at 16. If I had been told in school by the people that I was told I needed to trust, by my teachers that I was oppressed and I was somehow a victim, my life story would look very different.

And that’s a scary thing to think about. How many kids with amazing potential are we holding back by telling them you’re automatically a victim and all these people hate you? Its disgusting.

Leahy: And your personal circumstances I think you said your mom was a refugee from Cuba. Your dad was from Oklahoma, but he sort of been in and out of your life.

Starbuck: Yeah. He’s been sort of in and out. It’s one of those things where you could say you had a rough childhood, but I was so lucky to have my grandparents.

Leahy: Your grandparents were key, weren’t they?

Starbuck: They were especially my great-grandpa. My great-grandpa was really like a father to me. He taught me everything I know about life.

Leahy: What did he tell you about jobs?

Starbuck: And he said, you never let go of a good job or a good woman. And that’s why I married young.

Leahy: That’s a good line.

Starbuck: I married at 18, and I never let her go. So it was the best advice I’ve ever been given I think.

Listen to the third hour here:

– – –

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.