2nd Vote’s Amy Wilhite Talks Company Origins and Conservative Coffee

2nd Vote’s Amy Wilhite Talks Company Origins and Conservative Coffee


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 the executive director of 2nd Vote, Amy Wilhite in studio to talk about how 2ndvote.com was created, what motivated it, and how they rate companies.

Leahy: We are joined in studio – our very good friend, the executive director of Second Vote Amy Wilhite. Good morning, Amy.

Wilhite: Good morning, Michael! It’s good to be here.

Leahy: It’s great to have you back here in studio. It’s been a very interesting time for 2nd Vote, hasn’t it?

Wilhite: Yes. It really has been. We’ve been around since 2012. And Dr. Black, our founder, saw this coming years ago with all this woke corporate capitalism.

And he said before, I wish we didn’t exist. I wish we didn’t need to exist. But we do. And we’re here for people so that they can look at these companies that are funneling money to the left, and try to shop their values.

Leahy: All over the place. We have your affiliated company, 2nd Vote Advisers. 2nd Voe Advisers. Dan Grant runs that operation.

2nd Vote Advisers use the ratings that you have in developing their money management portfolio. And they also have exchange-traded funds.

The 2nd Vote Advisers is an advertiser with The Tennessee Star Report. So we’re big fans of 2nd Vote Advisers and 2nd Vote as well.

Wilhite: That’s right. We’re glad that they’re able to use our research. We license it to them so that they can come up with their scores and on that side of things. And then they also have another group that handles the financial part.

And they just put the packages both together. And it comes up for a great product. And they’re doing really well now for our listeners.

Leahy: Just to remind them, a 2nd Vote is on the web at 2ndvote.com. Just remind our listeners what the mission of 2nd Vote is.

Wilhite: Yes. We started back in 2012 by Dr. Black and Congressman Diane Black, because they are at a grocery store shopping, and they donated some money to an organization. And when they were walking to the parking lot, Congressman Black said, why did you do that?

Why did you do that, Dave? And he said, why wouldn’t I do that? And she said because that organization funnels money to Planned Parenthood. So he thought, wow, I didn’t know that. How come I didn’t know that? Who else is doing this?

He got some researchers together and studied what some other companies were doing and was just floored by where the monies were going. So that’s how 2nd Vote was created. We want to research and educate consumers so that they can align their dollars with their values.

Leahy: You rate on a one to five scale, whether or not publicly traded companies are neutral, far left, or right.

Wilhite: Exactly.

Leahy: And how many companies do you rate?

Wilhite: We’ve got over 2,500 in our database that we’ve already researched and they’re there. But we’ve got about 15-1,600 that are public on our database. Yes, we do that. One point zero is far left. And then it’s a five-point zero is far right.

Leahy: And three point zero is what you’re shooting for, right?

Wilhite: Three-point zero is neutral. We are a conservative research group and when we applaud those corporations that lean right or far right. We applaud those companies.

But the goal is for corporations to stay neutral and get to the neutral point. Corporations used to, you didn’t really know where they were giving their money.

Leahy: This would be about 30 years ago.

Wilhite: Yes. You knew that when you were going to go get a coffee that, you know what? You’re getting a good cup of coffee and good service and all those kinds of things. You didn’t know where they were giving their charitable dollars.

But now companies are almost going overboard and doing it in your face and unapologetically. And they’re trying to show us what we’re supposed to believe and how we’re supposed to believe, where they give their money.

And they need to quit being so divisive. I’ve seen some – you’ve talked about the NFL. I heard you talking about the Olympics a little bit. What happened to just watching a football game and watching the players stand up?

Leahy: Ah, the good old days.

Wilhite: The good old days and what things stood for. You went to a baseball game and you knew it was all good. But now you got to worry about people kneeling or what they’re supporting outside of that.

So we want corporations to be on watch, to know we’re watching them, and to know the consumers are watching them and just get back to neutral.

Just get back to giving a good quality product, good customer service. If you’re a sporting event, let’s just have a great day. Stand up for the flag, sing the song, and just be happy.

Leahy: So here’s the thing. You mentioned coffee, which is a big theme of this program since we start at five o’clock. I’m about to pour you a cup of coffee that I made.

Wilhite: I’ll gladly take it.

Leahy: So we’ll see. And it was a company called Broast TN out of Cookeville who provided us with one of their brands called Happy Camper. I’ve already tasted it. And I’ve given my review. You can give a review after we pour you a cup of coffee.

That’s going to be, by the way, the new standard of treatment for in-studio guests. They all get a cup of coffee and we’ll test different ones throughout.

Wilhite: Great. And we’ll have to score them as well.

Leahy: Yes. The folks at BROASTTN, 2nd Vote will be scoring you. So stayed tuned. Coffee. One being liberal, two leaning liberal, three neutral. Four, leaning conservative. Five, conservative. Okay. Guess what? I’m looking at Starbucks right now.

Oh, my goodness. It’s a one point seven, not so good. Seattle’s Best Coffee one point one seven. But there is actually a three point zero coffee company. Dutch Brothers Coffee. How about that? But this is the problem, isn’t it?

Wilhite: It is. And really, we’re trying to avoid interjecting politics into all of our consumer purchases. But the companies are forcing us to be political.

And your tool allows everybody listening – you can go to 2ndvote.com if you like coffee and you want a company that’s not politically correct. Dutch Brothers Coffee. Looks like they would be right at the top of the list.

Wilhite: And Peet’s Coffee.

Leahy: Is Peet’s also?

Wilhite: Yes. Peets. Black Rifle Coffee. That’s exactly right.

Leahy: Okay, so as part of our coffee game plan here, we’re gonna have to get Peet’s and Black Rifle, and Dutch Brothers. We’re gonna have to test it out and see how it goes.

Wilhite: That’s right.

Listen to the second 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.
















Dr. K. Drops Bombshell: ‘College Athletes Have Now Become Professional Entertainers of Sorts’

Dr. K. Drops Bombshell: ‘College Athletes Have Now Become Professional Entertainers of Sorts’


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 Dr. K. to discuss the recent decision by the NCAA president to decentralize and deregulate college athletics, which would enable players to become professional entertainers.

Leahy: Well, Dr. K., lots going on in sports this week. What’s the highlight of what you’ve been looking at, Dr. K?

Dr. K.: Good morning, Michael. Well, I imagine you saw this. I’m pretty sure most everybody did. Potential bombshell as far as college athletics is concerned.

The NCAA President Mark Emmert yesterday said, and I quote, “That the time is right to consider a decentralized and deregulated version of college sports shifting power to conferences, campuses, and reconsidering how schools are aligned.”

He went on to say that, “We need to totally rethink what college athletics is all about.” He laid out a vision, and this is the bombshell.

He laid out a vision for the future of college sports, putting fewer limitations on athletes and deemphasizing the role of a national governing body like the NCAA, which was founded 115 years ago.

We talked about this briefly last week when we talked about how the name, image, and likeness issues came up allowing college athletes to all of a sudden become professional athletes in terms of compensation.

But I thought what he said – we were ahead of our time last week, Michael. He comes out yesterday and basically says the same thing we talked about last Friday that things in college athletics can’t be monitored and can’t be controlled. Therefore, he’s going to go, well, whatever you guys want to do, you can just do it.

Leahy: Why, Dr. K., do you think he made this bombshell announcement?

Dr. K.: Well, I think he and the boys have decided they can’t monitor this thing. One, the whole governing body mentality is such that if they outline rules and then they can’t monitor them and they can’t regulate them.

Last month, the NCAA waived its rules prohibiting athletes from earning money off of their fame. Off their fame. Now, these are college athletes, online environments, sponsorship deals, and personal appearances.

College athletes have now become professional entertainers of sorts. And they are now eligible to derive personal revenue. Not to colleges, mind you.

Not the NCI, but the individual. That is a far-reaching decision. In states like Florida and Georgia they go on to say, Michael, at the schools in states where there are no name, image, and likenesses guidelines, unlike Georgia, the schools have been instructed by the NCAA, Mark Emmert, and he says, to craft their own rules.

Which is a dramatic change for anything the NCAA has ever done. So if you think about the far-reaching ramifications of this message delivered yesterday, I don’t know where college athletics goes. I really don’t.

Leahy: You know, can I tell you which sport it might be good for?

Dr. K.: Absolutely.

Leahy: Basketball.

Dr. K.: (Scoffs) Well, that’s a real enigma in of itself. Basketball has been from a recruiting perspective as we all know, lots of college basketball coaches have lost their jobs and had potential serious issues because you had to give a little dough, had to give a little something.

The whole recruiting process in college athletics over the last 20 years, maybe 30 or 40 years, I don’t even know, has really been a joke.

There’s been a lot of things going on that nobody wants to talk about and nobody wants to recognize. But I think what he says yesterday, I think, will have a profound effect on what happens in college athletics.

Leahy: Does this basically say what has been for decades, illegal booster payments to college athletes are now legal? Is that basically what this says?

Dr. K.: Yeah. Absolutely. That’s exactly what it says. They have become college athletes as become professional athletes.

Leahy: Let me just ask you, is this a bad thing in your view?

Dr. K.: No, I don’t think so. One, I think you have to discern the difference between a professional athlete and a college student.

Where the issue and the rub comes in is that the colleges, universities, have taken these “student” athletes, monetized them by virtue of ticket sales and all kinds of refreshments, popcorn, hotdogs, and all the other stuff that goes along with game-day experiences.

Whether it’s basketball or the College World Series or, most prominently, college football, it’s all of a sudden become big business, and universities have taken advantage of it over the years past.

Now the athlete is going to get the chance, and you’ve got to wonder what the colleges and universities are saying. Uh oh, now the price of poker is going to go up.

It’s got to go up significantly. I just think what I saw yesterday when I heard this, I could hardly wait to get on there to talk about it because I think it’s something that will go down in the history books as being a day of reckoning as far as college athletics is concerned.

Leahy: What’s interesting about this to me, on the one hand, I think there are, shall we say, free-market elements of this. It has struck me as being a bit unfair that somebody who’s making a lot of money for the college can survive and can’t support their family even if they’re a young person in college.

But what do you think are the unintended or unanticipated consequences of this? I have some in my mind. But what do you think is unanticipated of this?

Dr. K.: Oh, I think the magnitude of the money.

Leahy: Oh yeah. (Chuckles)

Dr. K.: When you start talking, we’re not talking $10 dollar and $20 bills.

Leahy: Noooo.

Dr. K.: You’re talking about huge money for these athletes. We can just go back and look over the course of well, let’s just take Trevor Lawrence in the last two years.

How much money could Trevor Lawrence have made, and how much money did he make Clemson University, in terms of ticket sales and everything else and a potential national championship?

Now all of a sudden, now the athlete becomes arguably – depending on his talent and skill set – are more important than maybe even the coaches.

The coaches aren’t getting any money. And then when are you going to take a guy like Saban and go, hey, and maybe he already is doing that.

I know he owns car dealerships and all that sort of stuff not tied to his abilities as a football coach, but who’s given a wink-wink nod-nod to not know that that’s where this all comes from.

It’s enterprise. It’s free enterprise. If you have an asset that you want to sell, whether it’s a stock or a piece of real estate, you can sell it. Well, these guys have talent.

No different at the college level, some even greater, as we see when you look at the draft. When you look at the draft, the NFL comes out and takes all these players, they have an immediate value.

An immediate value. Is it any greater the day they graduated from college than it was the first day they stepped in? Yeah, it is.

But maybe in their junior and senior year not so much. I don’t know how much Trevor Lawrence learned in his junior and senior years to make him worth more then.

I don’t know. But I just think this is something that’s going to be very interesting to watch. And I think the repercussions, the unintended, as you mentioned, I think the universities are the ones who are going to be the big losers here.

Leahy: It’s always sort of dangerous to kind of anticipate how people react to massive changes like this. But I do have a couple of immediate responses and would like to see what you think about this.

First, it seems to me that those powerful university programs that have very wealthy boosters, the rich, are going to get richer in terms of talent, right?

Dr. K.: Yes. Absolutely.

Leahy: It’s sort of like competing against the New York Yankees payroll if you’re in Major League Baseball. The Yankees have more money and they can pay their talent more.

And so I saw the booster at the University of Miami in Florida, he runs a chain of gyms and he’s rich. So he’s going to go, he’s going to give every player a big bunch of money.

If you’re a talented athlete and you come from a poor family, you want to go where the money is so you can support your family at the age of 18, right?

Dr. K.: Yeah. Think about this, Michael, where is this really going to stop? Okay, now we’re saying, and then Emmert comes down, goes, okay guys.

You just make your own rules. But now when is this going to happen? When is the university going to be in a position to buy athletes?

Leahy: Yeah, exactly. Let’s stick with this topic. It’s fascinating. I’m delighted you brought it up. And there’s just so much more to talk about it.

– – –

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 “NCAA College Basketball” by NCAA.















Nashville Metro School Board Member Talks Rapid Growth in District Six and Her Graduating Senior This Year

Nashville Metro School Board Member Talks Rapid Growth in District Six and Her Graduating Senior This Year


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 Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed MNPS District Six school board member Fran Bush in studio to talk about the new middle school in District Six and their continued rapid growth.

Leahy: It is always a delight for us to have the wonderful Fran Bush in studio. A sane member, perhaps the only sane member of the Metro Nashville Public School Board. We were talking Fran about the growth problems in your District, District Six. And you have a new middle school approved, right?

Bush: Yes.

Leahy: When will that come online?

Bush: So this is the thing I think a lot of people really don’t understand. It’s a great thing, of course, when you hear a new school being built, but it takes two to three years for that school to be built. Therefore, we’re still having that good, bad problem. We have to make so many adjustments. Bring in more portables and even try to extend our buildings as far as construction to be able to provide more classrooms.

And of course, that comes with more teachers. Our student-teacher ratio increases. And if the listening audience doesn’t know, we can go up to 30 students in a classroom per one teacher. And that could be a deficiency when it comes to academic growth because you do lose students when you have such a large classroom. The smaller, the better. Those are the kind of things that we’re experiencing or we’ll be experiencing if we don’t move faster.

Leahy: In high school, you need a new high school because of the growth. And both high schools there now in Antioch and Cane Ridge, they’re overcapacity. I’m gathering it’s difficult for students and teachers alike there.

Bush: Yes. And just to add, when I just made the statement of adding on to our schools we were also approved to do an extension on the Cane Ridge High School, not the Antioch. Antioch we did about maybe two or two years ago we had an extension, another wing onto the high school just because of the growth. Now we’re going to be looking to do that for Cane Ridge.

Again, it’s going to take about two years to do that. So where are we at? We are at a high capacity. We have a new middle school coming that takes about two to three years. We found land for that. We’ve been approved for that. On this particular land my goal or my ask was, was it enough to build two schools, a middle and high school? But because of the density, it will not allow a second school on that property.

Leahy: So it’s going to be crowded for a period of time.

Bush: Yes. (Sighs)

Leahy: Catch us up now on where we are in terms of students in person, online, graduation, and sports. What’s going on there?

Bush: We are in a good space for our sports. Kids are playing. They’re running track, they are playing their spring sports and summer sports. And that is a plus. Parents are able to see their kids finally.

Leahy: Parents are able to finally see their kids play sports. Wow!

Bush: Yes. Now we’re inching upon graduation. We’ve had prom.

Leahy: They actually had proms?

Bush: They did.

Leahy: Were they wearing masks or what?

Bush: Yes. They were required to wear masks.

Leahy: Was it a masked ball? (Chuckles)

Bush: It was the cutest thing when you look at all the pictures and everybody had their mask matching their dresses or their tuxedos or whatever they decided to wear. And most of the proms were outside this year.

Leahy: They’re outside?

Bush: They were outside, weather permitting. They were outside this year.

Leahy: Proms, I’m told, have gotten bigger and bigger and bigger. They rent the limousines, they do all this sort of stuff. Is that right? I’m disconnected from that part of the world, but it’s a big deal.

Bush: I don’t think a lot of limo services were used this year. I didn’t see a lot of limos like usual. It was more of their own cars. Family members who had taken them. Because, of course, financially, it was a difficult time this year.

Leahy: How about graduation? What’s going to happen with graduation this year?

Bush: Graduation is moving forward in all of our schools and all of our high schools going to different arenas. So we’re excited about that. There are going to be some restrictions of course. As we inch into May, we can see some things that can be lifted or more people can attend graduation right now.

Let’s say, for example, only four tickets are given out per family. Well, that’s difficult. When you and I graduated from high school, everybody could come to see us graduate. So now it’s very limited.

Leahy: When I graduated from high school, they got there via horse and buggy. (Laughter) Not really.

Bush: It was a big deal. Parents are a little bit frustrated because my family is of 10, so only have four tickets. Who gets left off?

Leahy: Do you have a high school graduate this year?

Bush: I do. I have one graduating. Yes. I’m really excited.

Leahy: We must hear the details. What is your senior going to be doing after graduation?

Bush: My senior attends Hillsboro High School and he is so excited. It’s just so infectious to see his smile finally because during this pandemic, just so you know, we have lost a lot of our seniors graduating on time this year because of the pandemic. We lost them. And it wasn’t because they could not be a part of that virtual space in the platform. It was rigor. It was mental. Mentally it was really hard.

Leahy: Well, it’s hard. The mental difficulties of kids in that age. When you’re a teenager, the thing you want to do is hang out with other teenagers.

Bush: That’s right.

Leahy: And they got all this social stuff going on and they want to be part of it.

Bush: Exactly. And it was totally eliminated. So these students just felt so isolated. Depression was at an all-time high. Even my son, I have to say, and being honest, we went through a lot of mental depression with him.

Leahy: When do they come back in going in person?

Bush: Fully in person next year and we will have some virtual this year.

Leahy: Where are we now? Are we in person or is it virtual?

Bush: Yes. So those parents who chose in-person students are back in person.

Leahy: That’s been since what?

Bush: We got them back in February.

Leahy: In February.

Bush: We start putting them back in and transitioned them back in by grade. So you do have about 45 percent of students that are still at home, and we have about 50 to 53 percent that are back in person.

Leahy: So your son’s graduating?

Bush: Yes.

Leahy: Congratulations.

Bush: Thank you.

Leahy: And so does he have plans? What’s he going to do?

Bush: So Daniel is going to go to Tennessee State University. He’s going to go into communications. He is a very good speaker.

Leahy: I wonder where that comes from?

Bush: So yes. It doesn’t come far from me.

Leahy: Is he going to try for the football team with Eddie George?

Bush: I think he’ll probably be down there with them, I’m sure because he’s so outgoing. Daniel has never met a stranger. I’m so excited for him. This has been a long time coming to see that smile again.

Leahy: The Tennessee State thing I think that the announcement of the hiring of Eddie George as a head football coach to me is going to have a huge impact at Tennessee State in terms of enrollment.

Bush: Yeah, I think so, especially with recruiting for football. And if you haven’t heard about Master P, who is a very famous rapper, very well known and respected he actually spoke at one of our middle schools while he was here. He dropped off his son and his son had so many offers and he chose Tennessee State University to play basketball.

Leahy: He’s going to play basketball?

Bush: He’s going to play basketball. Big deal for the school. There’s a lot of great things coming to the school, and we’re really excited about it.

Leahy: So when I was growing up, even in upstate New York, I knew about Tennessee State football. It was a big deal. Too Tall Jones went there. So it was a big deal.

Bush: We had Oprah, who graduated from Tennessee State University. A lot of history, a lot of great history. We are really excited about the opportunities and what’s happening at the school. And I am an alumni of Tennessee State University. And I also have a son graduating from MTSU this year. So I have a lot of things, a lot of graduation going on.

Leahy: It keeps you busy.

Bush: Yes.

Leahy: And you had these kids when you’re, like, 10 years old, right. (Laughter)

Bush: Five boys.

Leahy: Five boys! You could have your own basketball team.

Bush: Yes. But it’s a lot of great things going on. So thank you for asking.

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.
Photo “Fran Bush” by Fran Bush Facebook. Background Photo “MNPS” by Metro Nashville Public Schools.