Live from Nashville, Tennessee 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.– Leahy was joined in studio by former Vanderbilt professor Dr. Carol Swain.
Towards the end of the second hour, Swain further describes elements of her recent meeting with Mayor John Cooper and notes that any Democrat mayor at this point in history is stifled by constituency groups and high levels of deep corruption. She advocated for listeners and citizens of Nashville to sign the petition for the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act.
Leahy: I’m in the studio with our very good friend Carol Swain. The first time in over two months Carol, isn’t this great?
Swain: It is great to be back.
Leahy: The old gang is back again. (Laughs) So you wanted to add something about your meeting with Mayor John Cooper. He’s actually invited you and others to provide some information that he could use. Tell us about that.
Swain: Well we asked him if we could provide the savings and identify areas where the city was spending money where cuts could be made and if he would reconsider his 32% tax increase. And so he has invited us to come up with a plan of how the city can fill the shortfall without raising taxes substantially.
And we are aware that the federal government will be providing Nashville with money related to COVID-19. I don’t know how many millions it will be but there would be money coming from that source. But there are other places in the city where there can be cuts made. As far as we can tell its business as usual. So to Mayor Cooper’s credit he didn’t have to meet with us but he met with us.
Leahy: He did not have to meet with you.
Swain: And so we applaud the fact that he met with us.
Leahy: He thought he might be able to persuade you but I don’t think he succeeded in that.
Swain: Well he came with a budget presentation and his presentation pretty much the bottom line would have been he has no other alternative but to raise taxes 32%. But we also were there with our own agenda to speak and it was that we should not raise taxes this year and that he should use the federal money and find other places in the budget that can be cut.
Maybe get more money from the tourism fund and to make the shortfall for this year. One of the things that we know is that they are still building bike lanes. Metro is still spending money hand over fist on things that are not necessary.
Leahy: They are not changing their spending habits.
Swain: They are not. The city does need an independent organization to do an audit. And I believe it’s very difficult for a Democrat mayor at this point in history to do what needs to be done because of the fact that they’re so captured by constituency groups and the corruption level is so deep.
Leahy: See, it’s interesting though, I would use the Nixon goes to China argument right? Because way back when a Democrat could not have gone to China to open that up back in the 1970s but a Republican could. It seems to me that only a Democrat is the one who could withstand the left-wing forces if they were really interested.
Swain: It would take a real leader.
Leahy: It would take a real leader.
Swain: Yes. It would take a real leader. One that would be willing to become a hero later because they did the right thing.
Leahy: Yes. Right now it doesn’t look like Mayor John Cooper fits in that category.
Swain: I would like to say that for people that are listening if you have information about corruption or places where you believe Metro can save money to delay a tax increase we believe one would be inevitable in the future but it doesn’t have to be 32%. If its 32% that’s permanent. And so email me at [email protected].
Leahy: It’s all one word: [email protected]
Swain: I would also like to make it clear that I have not drafted the petition but I’m helping collect the 145 signatures and the group that I’m really trying to help is NoTaxForNash. We oppose a tax increase but at the same time we support anyone that is trying to work for a reduction of that 32% such as Councilman Glover. He has this plan and I’m not sure what it is.
Leahy: He will reveal that but it’s not going to be a 32% increase.
Swain: No. So we say no tax and that it’s morally wrong especially when the city is preventing people from earning a living.
Leahy: This is I think a classic example of various grassroots groups coming up.
Leahy: Kind of each moving in the right direction. Not exactly all on the same page but moving in the right direction which says, let’s not have a ridiculously high 32% property tax increase.
Swain: And the other thing that listeners can do out there if you are affected is to contact your council member and also the five at large members. You need to write to them and phone. You need to make them more afraid of you then they are of retaliation from the mayor.
Leahy: And speaking of Metro Council members at Large I saw incredulously Bob Mendes Metro Council member at Large. A very smart guy. A very far-left progressive guy and graduate of the University of Chicago law school. He kind of comes from that Saul Alinsky branch of the world. Left-wing progressive. The state is everything. He wants to increase property by wait for it…46%. Did you see that? I saw that proposal.
Swain: Yes. I understand that there are some other groups that want a great tax increase. They’ve wasted so much money in Nashville.
Leahy: Let’s waste some more!
Swain: They’ve destroyed the city.
Leahy: Did you notice that retail spending is down over 45% in the past quarter in Nashville?
Swain: I can believe that. I mentioned to the mayor about the crime in Nashville and law enforcement. His response was that crime in Nashville is not that high.
Swain: I’m thinking compared to what?
Leahy: Let me just stop for a moment. There is a couple in Brentwood…
Swain: I know.
Leahy: That might have a different view about that.
Leahy: This is a very tragic story where they were attacked with a machete in downtown Nashville by a homeless man. They were in critical condition. We pray for them. We pray for them. That’s an example of crime in Nashville.
Swain: Well Democrats across the country are starving police departments and they are using first responders to monitor citizens rather than to keep us safe. I fear the crime and what’s happening to Nashville more than any COVID-19.
Leahy: For the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act go to www.4goodgovernment.com. You can sign the petition there.
Listen to the full second hour here:
– – –