On Tuesday morning’s The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Leahy welcomed in-studio guest and good friend Norm Partin, ambassador to the Mayor-Elect Cooper administration. Leahy questioned the Mayor’s current stance on sanctuary city policy and recited the law as written. He explained that the Mayor-Elect has stated he would only honor judicial warrants which in Leahy’s view is a direct violation.
Near the end of the show, Leahy asked Partin to encourage Mayor-Elect Cooper to come on the show and politely discuss this policy.
Leahy: In the studio with our good friend, Norm Partin. Norm is our ambassador to the administration of Mayor-Elect John Cooper and I’ll say this about Mayor-Elect Cooper. Stylistically he’s much much much better than David Briley. He’s more open, he’s a nicer guy in terms of how he interacts with folks I think. And he talks to people. So these are all good things, right?
Partin: Yes. There are differences. Anytime you lead a city the size of Nashville you can have an earthquake, tornado, flood, civil disobedience, pestilence, locust come in and take over and eat all the vegetation in the city. You know you can have these crises. Karl Dean did a great job with the flood. That’s all he did that was great.
Leahy: Yeah that was 2010.
Partin: He did. He did.
Leahy: And then we had Megan Barry and David Briley who just didn’t do a great job and so now we’re in a mess.
Partin: But Cooper. Here’s the thing. When the chips are down, look at David Briley. He does not give you the sense that I’m going to stick my chest out and fix this problem. That cost him votes. He cannot make a decision.
Leahy: He’s not an alpha male.
Partin: Yeah. And Cooper is not there either. He’s far superior.
Leahy: He’s got intellect. He’s got problem-solving skills. He’s made money. You have an important job as ambassador to the Cooper administration.
Partin: You cannot spell ambassador without the word ass in it so I probably fit. (Leahy laughs) I probably fit that well.
Leahy: So here’s the thing about it. Here’s what we’d like you to in your first mission in communication to Mayor-elect Cooper. He has claimed that he’s not going to turn Nashville into a sanctuary city. And every other media outlet has reported incorrectly in my view, that his assertion is correct.
Leahy: I don’t think it’s correct at all. Because, and I’ll tell you why, I’m actually reading from the state law. And so I’m going to want you if you would accept this mission. This mission should you accept it, ambassador.
Partin: Is your computer going to burn up at the conclusion of this segment?
a. limits or prohibits any state governmental entity or official from communicating or cooperating with federal agencies or officials to verify or report the immigration status of any alien. b. grants to aliens unlawfully present in the United States a right to unlawful presence and restriction anyway or opposes any conditions on a state or local government entities cooperation or compliance with detainers from
the United States Department of Homeland security or other successor agency. So this is the issue. This is the little sly word game, sleight of hand that Mayor-Elect Cooper has used. He’s defined sanctuary city different than the state law. I think he’s knowingly done this. He says, “Well we will cooperate with judicial warrants but we won’t cooperate with judicial inquiries.”
He didn’t’ say detainers. Detainers are what the Department of Homeland Security issues. Administrative detainers. And the law in the state says those administrative detainers must be cooperated with. And he’s basically saying I’m only going to cooperate with judicial warrants.
So in my view, Mayor-Elect Cooper has already identified that he will be violating the state law on sanctuary city policy. That’s the question I want to pose. If you would pose to him.
Leahy: And then invite him to come here on the air. You can come as a bodyguard for him if you want. (Laughter) I think he could probably handle it on his own. We’d like to have him in for a full hour. Let’s talk about that issue really. Let’s look at the law.
And the key question is has he really looked at that law and does he really understand that his policy is in fact a violation of the state sanctuary city law.
Partin: Well, obviously Mayor Briley heard a lot from legislators when he did some paperwork.
Leahy: That executive order.
Partin: Yeah. Here’s the thing, and I always go back, you know, generals point at maps and soldiers point at other soldiers. The people in the trenches get the job done. And the police make judgement calls every day. The sheriff’s department makes judgment calls every day. Now, do we want our police department going out trying to find illegal aliens? The answer to that would be no. But if you come across…
Leahy: Here’s the problem.
Partin: Well no I’m going to the police. The police pull somebody over and they find out they’re wanted. I don’t care if they’re legal or illegal I want them off the street.
Partin: Because they are a threat to me. So when an ICE officer is, and the federal government does a courtesy call that I’m doing something at this location in case you get a 911 call. So they know in advance these things are happening. But interfering with a federal agent by a local police officer is not right by any means.
Leahy: But also, the way the state law reads is an ICE officer is attempting to execute a detainer, an administrative detainer. The state law says that there should be cooperation from the city and the Mayor is saying there will be no cooperation from the city in that instance. See that I think…
Partin: And that’s a problem.
Leahy: That’s a problem in my view and I think to the people that wrote the law in the state. And probably the courts here will conclude that that policy proposed by the Mayor is, in fact, a violation of the state sanctuary city law.
Partin: And I am in agreement with that. Bottom line, if you have a bad guy you want him off the street. I don’t care who it is.
Leahy: Take this diplomatic mission to Mayor-Elect Cooper. Tell him we will be kind and open and considerate in our discussions and we’d love to have him on here on the radio. We won’t hold our breath. Maybe he’ll show up.
Partin: I’ll have a discussion with him and see if we can get him. It’s awful dang gong early to be here.
Leahy: It is. We can invite him in the seven o’clock hour. Or if he can’t get up this early, which I think he can. We can record it and play it back. Hey Norm Partin, will you come back here to The Tennessee Star Report?