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 official guest host Aaron Gulbransen in-studio to discuss why TN-5 candidate Mayor Andy Ogles of Maury County failed to file his second-quarter report for his campaign.
Leahy: In the studio, the official guest host of The Tennessee Star Report and our chief political editor, Aaron Gulbransen. Aaron, as people listen to this program know, Mayor Andy Ogles has been a guest on this program many a time.
I think probably every Tuesday morning from 6:00 to 7:00 he was a guest here, for about a year. But we haven’t heard a lot from him since he’s been running for Congress.
And there’s something troubling I want to raise right now. On May 11th, Andy Ogles’s campaign announced – I’m going to read from the press release: Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles raised – dateline Columbia, Tennessee – “Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles raised $453,000 in the first 30 days of his bid for the 5th District Congressional seat. Ogles, whose late entry into the race officially became a candidate on April 6.”
Okay, that was a press release that we reported on, and that The Tennessee Journal reported on. Lots of people reported on it. Let’s fast-forward to some of your reporting on this.
That statement was made in the midst of the second quarter, and the second quarter ended on June 30th. And there is a federal election law, that requires all candidates for congressional districts, federal races, to file quarterly financial reports with the Federal Election Commission by midnight on July 15th.
Friday, July 15th. I’m looking at the clock right now. It’s 7:08 a.m. on Tuesday, and Andy Ogles has not filed his second-quarter report. That’s highly unusual. What do you make of this?
Gulbransen: I don’t know what to make of it, because as we just discussed, my previous experience, most of the campaigns in my experience … most of the campaigns that I ran, their finance report was ready about a week before the deadline, because you want to fine tune it and all that.
Leahy: And you want to file it in a timely manner. If you don’t file it in a timely manner, you get a fine. And the fines are not necessarily a lot of money, but it’s very bad form. It’s a lack of transparency.
Gulbransen: It’s a lack of transparency. One would think that if you were keeping that close track of your money that it would have been easy to file a finance report.
I just don’t know what to make of it. The other interesting thing, I want to be clear, because if you notice when you’re looking at these campaign releases so, the Ogles one for May said “raised“?
Gulbransen: That’s a very interesting thing to pay attention to if the finance report ever comes out. The other part about this is this was from The Tennessee Journal, May 11.
They said “the Ogles campaign says none of his fundraising total came in the form of loans and that all contributions were from within Tennessee.”
Now, 30 days to raise $453,000. That’s all in Tennessee. That is impressive. However, there are a number of people that say, we don’t really believe that he raised that much money. And now the proof is in the pudding. The document which would prove that has not been released, has not been published in a timely manner. That’s a problem.
Gulbransen: And also, as we’re discussing this July finance report, there’s another one due on the 23rd.
Leahy: The 23rd, which is four days from today. It’s a pre-primary report. The Ogles campaign has said what, about the late filing?
Gulbransen: There were ‘issues retrieving bank records.’
Leahy: You’re kidding me. That’s not a credible statement. Issues retrieving bank statements? This is 2022.
Gulbransen: Maybe the horse needs to come from the Pony Express and grab the bank statement and deliver it. I have no idea.
Leahy: Andy, we’re waiting for your financial report. File it, because we’re going to look and see. Did you really raise $453,000 in 30 days? I think it’s an important question. We’ll talk about that more later.
Listen to the discussion:
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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.