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

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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Direct Marketing Expert Craig Huey Explains the Left Wing Groups in Nashville Organized to Get Out the Vote

Direct Marketing Expert Craig Huey Explains the Left Wing Groups in Nashville Organized to Get Out the Vote

 

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed creator of the Huey Report and direct mail expert, Craig Huey, in-studio who identified a coalition of left-wing groups in Nashville actively organizing to get out the vote for Democrats.

Leahy: In studio with us, Craig Huey. The man who’s leading the charge against the Californication and the Georgiafication of Tennessee. Craig, during the break, you told me about an effort to oppose this referendum that will roll back for a 34 percent property tax increase. It’s a coalition of lefties called Save Nashville Now?

Huey: Yes it’s called Save Nashville Now. And basically, what it is, it’s left-wing groups and the Chamber of Commerce.

Leahy: Which is now a left-wing group.

Huey: And the unions.

Leahy: This is like a match made in hell.

Huey: Right. It’s terrible. Lots of money, lots of organization, a lot of political consultants telling them how to get out the vote, how to identify their voter, and get it out.

Leahy: This referendum to roll back the 34 percent property tax increase that our tinpot dictator Mayor John Cooper, that’s my friendly name for him and his left-wing minions on the Metro Council passed. There is a referendum that the Davidson County Election Commission scheduled now to be on the ballot on July 27.

There are, in fact, several legal efforts to stop that. Our friend Jim Roberts says they’re not going to succeed. He thinks it’ll be on the ballot. I think he’s probably right. That’s going to be voted on July 27th. Now, this alliance out of hell from the Chamber of Commerce and the unions and these left-wing groups are funded by the Democrat National Committee and other usual left-wing billionaires. They’re putting together a big campaign to oppose this rollback. Tell us who the left-wing groups are.

Huey: The left-wing groups include Equity Alliance.

Leahy: You know, (Huey chuckles) nothing says left-wing social justice like the Equity Alliance. I think this guy who’s involved in it was a former member of the Community Oversight Board who was a convicted felon and resigned suddenly. I think he may be affiliated with that group.

Huey: It’s a left-wing organization that’s dedicated to the mobilization of the voters. And then Stand Up Nashville, which, again, they’re trained on how to register and get out the vote.

Leahy: So Stand Up Nashville has been around for a while. Isn’t that this group that kind of held up the soccer stadium guys and got, like, $100 million community benefits agreement.

Huey: And part of what they do are these lawsuits and legal actions. They have a team of lawyers. That’s part of their strategy because they know it works as intimidation.

Leahy: And they basically threaten lawsuits against the soccer state guys. And again, that itself was a bad deal. But nonetheless, taxpayers are footing the bill for that. And then they gave a whole bunch of money in this. It’s kind of like a community development arrangement or something like that. Community benefit agreements are what I think it is. They got around one million bucks to play around with.

Huey: Well, see, here’s the thing. They are going to put together an organization to defeat this initiative. The people who want to pass this initiative, the business owners. I mean, I’m a small business owner. And the fact that I moved to Nashville, not knowing I was going to be hit with this extra tax, that’s horrific.

Leahy: So if you had perfect information when you moved from California you would have set your offices up, not in Nashville, but probably in Williamson County?

Huey: I don’t want to get anybody upset with me, but I will speak the truth and that is I tell companies in California all the time, move to Tennessee, and I tell them, don’t go to Davidson County. Don’t go to Nashville. You have to go outside. And that’s because of what Cooper has done.

Leahy: Yeah. Don’t you wish somebody told you that? (Laughter)

Huey: Yes. But I’ve got a lease.

Leahy: You got a lease. (Huey chuckles) Downtown Nashville, a lot of good things about downtown Nashville.

Huey: I love it. I love it. I’m in a historic building. We got everything we need.

Leahy: But you’re gonna get pain. You are going to get dinged.

Huey: I’m going to see the initiative passes. There’s a group called Speak Up Tennessee. You’re going to see them involved in this too because they understand how to mobilize the voters with data and identification.

Leahy: Where does all this money come from? It just says that this is sort of a truism. But I’ll just tell it to everybody. If you are a conservative nonprofit group and you are trying to raise money, lots of luck because it’s going to be, you know, it’s really something. It’s hard to do it because the reason it’s hard to do is that the wealthy people on the right just aren’t generous. But there are exceptions.

Huey: There are exceptions, yes.

Leahy: But on the left, they are going to give you tons of money.

Huey: Because they’re trying to transform America.

Leahy: Exactly.

Huey: The government is our God. Their religion is to be able to expand the coercive power of the state over the lives of the individual. They want to take away individual freedom. And they basically want to have an elite control of us.

And the fact is, they are dedicated to donating these groups between foundations. And the Chamber of Commerce is involved in this. You’ve got these business elites and top corporations doing this against the small business owner.

Leahy: As a graduate of a top business school, I can say this. If you think that most Fortune 500 companies support free markets, you are dead wrong. They want monopolies.

Huey: Yes.

Leahy: They want power.

Huey: They want favors.

Leahy: And they structure it so that they can maintain those favors. And as a result, they end up getting barriers to entry. All sorts of small monopolies. They want to crush small business guys. There’s no question about that. You’ve experienced it your whole career.

Huey: All my career I’ve seen this happen and we’ve got to stop that in Nashville.

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.