TN State Director for Faith and Freedom Coalition Aaron Gulbransen Provides an Update on Bills Before the Tennessee General Assembly

Mar 7, 2023

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 all-star panelist Aaron Gulbransen in studio to describe the recent bills that have passed in both the State House and State Senate.

Leahy: In studio, the state director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Mr. Aaron Gulbransen. Aaron, bring us up to speed on what’s happening in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Gulbransen: It seems that every day is busy at the General Assembly, but it seems like the last couple of weeks has just been lightning speed. We’ve discussed this a lot with Senator Johnson and others. You know, SB 1, the transgender mutilation bill, and the drag show bill SB 3.

Leahy: To be clear, one of our good friends pointed out, it’s really not a bill to stop drag shows. It’s a bill to regulate them and drag shows and related shows where they show body parts.

Gulbransen: Not on taxpayer-funded property and not in front of kids. There you go. And that’s what it was really done for. I was not in front of kids. And those of us in the media, unfortunately, and, and, and including myself, and some of the legislators themselves, shorthand referred to it as the drag show bill.

Leahy: That’s a good point. It’s interesting because when you write headlines, right? You shorten it. And we used that same headline, although, in the body of it, we d we described the detail. But one of our listeners pointed out that wasn’t exactly accurate, and no, I think they were right.

Gulbransen: And the Senate Majority Leader and the other bill sponsor, Chris Todd, pointed that out. The word drag is not in there. I will say, on behalf of those of us in conservative media, we are unwittingly feeding a little bit into a narrative.

Leahy: That was the point that one of our listeners made.

Gulbransen: And there are so many minutes in a segment, and you say things quicker. But there you go.

Leahy: This is the bill where Hillary Clinton, literally flies into town. Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, those icons of moral virtue, fly into town along with Pete Buttigieg, Alfred E. Newman, Alfred E. Buttigieg, as Bannon calls him. They fly into town, and they criticize what Tennesseans have done to protect children.

That is crazy. And then Gavin Newsom because you know California’s going so well, criticizes Bill Lee as well. And you know, Bill Lee punches back, and good for him.

Gulbransen: And certainly good for him. I will say, I don’t think the Clintons’ or Pete Buttigieg has ever had a reputation for defending children.

Leahy: No.

Gulbransen: And also, how dare Gavin Newsom to say anything, really about anything, but specifically recently, California just lessened the penalties on certain kinds of sex acts performed on underage children.

Leahy: And Gavin Newsom’s in favor of that?

Gulbransen: Yes. He signed it.

Leahy: Unbelievable.

Gulbransen: To paraphrase a phrase from the Bible, Newsom needs to take the log out of his own eye. For those of you who and including myself, was happy to see a special session a couple of years ago put some protections in against government overreach on COVID measures. Senator Jack Johnson’s SB 11 and Jason Zachary’s, HB 02, passed the House yesterday.

And basically, it makes a permanent liability shield against companies and people that might be sued for not requiring the vaccine, which is just a common sense thing. But that, that was very good. You had a bill by Bo Watson in the Senate passed the Senate unanimously, which is a simple thing, but I think it’s a good thing in terms of election integrity.

It allows a candidate to see a release and receive a list of all voters who change their residential address at the polling place and it requires under the circumstances of a recount to include verification of any change of addresses at the polling place.

You had another bill, SB 834 by Senator Lundberg, that prohibits a public institution of higher education that provides internet access to students, faculty, staff, and the general public from allowing individuals to access on that internet videos and forms like TikTok, which is another good thing.

Leahy: TikTok and Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti will be in here at 7:30 to talk about investigating TikTok. Look, TikTok is the Chinese Communist Party. They basically own TikTok and they’re taking data from Americans. It’s a national security problem.

Gulbransen: We had another bill sponsored by Senator Lundberg in the House sponsored by Representative Todd. You tend to see Todd’s name pop up in a lot of good bills. So he’s one of the good eggs. I know him. He was the house sponsor of the Yes On One, which was the right-to-work constitutional amendment.

He worked on that for many years, and that was a big victory in November when the voters passed it at over 70 percent of the vote, including a big majority here in Davidson County, which showed me that Democrats voted for it, which was good. A common sense thing. There’s another one.

SB 638 expands student eligibility for education savings accounts which we love, right? Anything to do with school choice is great. ESAs and charter schools are wonderful. Heidi Campbell had one of those silly leftist token bills that went nowhere. And of course, we oppose it here at Tennessee Faith and Freedom. She was trying to just abolish charter schools and ESAs.

Leahy: You talk about charter schools; we’re big fans of charter schools. So the latest Phil Williams expose is an organization called SCORE that is looking to expand charter schools. They’ve got a private study that apparently says we need more charter schools.

Well, of course, we need more private schools because K-12 public schools are absolutely failing in every measure of reading, writing, and arithmetic, not hitting their standards, and indoctrinating kids. We’re all in favor of charter schools. And Phil Williams may not like him, but we don’t like Phil Williams. (Laughter) So there you go. We’ll be back with more.

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.
Background Photo “Tennessee House of Representatives” by Tennessee General Assembly. Background Photo “Tennessee Senate” by Tennessee General Assembly.