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 Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Clint Brewer in-studio to speculate how the Republican party will react to the judgment on former Speaker Glen Casada.
Leahy: In-studio with all-star panelist Clint Brewer. Clint, before we get to the small-potatoes problem, that could potentially send the former Speaker of the House Glen Casada and Cade Cothren to federal prison for up to 20 years.
Before we get to the small-potatoes problem, which is a big House problem, it looks like, for Glen and Cade. Want to hear something uplifting? You need something uplifting today?
Brewer: Sure, Mike. Let’s hear something positive.
Leahy: Daphne DeLoren. Very positive. Chief meteorologist for The Star News Network and The Tennessee Star. Daphne, what do you have for us this morning?
(Daphne DeLoren clip plays)
Leahy: So I don’t usually sort of get out and do fun things, but every time I listen to it, every day, Daphne, she describes these things to do. They sound like fun. I’m always thinking, you know, I probably outght to do that Dog Night.
Brewer: Instead you stay inside and brood about politics.
Leahy: I brood about the destruction of our constitutional republic. I think it’s better to go out on Dog Night at Cheekwood tonight. Thank you, Daphne, for lifting our spirits here, because Daphne’s positivity is something that we really need on this program.
Clint, somebody else who needs a little positivity right now in his own life is former Speaker of the House Glen Casada. This 28-page indictment of an, I don’t know, an alleged scheme involving small potatoes, I ran the numbers here.
If this is the case, this Phoenix Solutions, which performed the service, but a contract fraudulently obtained from the state of Tennessee, got $51,000 for sending these mailers out to various members of the Tennessee General Assembly.
If you assume they had a 100 percent markup that the profit would be $25,500. if it split three ways as the indictment alleges, you’re talking about a little over $8,000 per person.
So, Glen Casada, then, is facing up to 20 years in federal prison for this scheme where apparently he got like, 8,000 bucks. This is not the smartest thing in the world to do.
Brewer: It’s not. And Tennessee Republicans, among the ones who should be depressed, should be asking themselves, what does this mean for the party?
Leahy: What does it mean for the party, and how well do you think that current Speaker of the House Cam Sexton and Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally handled this when they were informed of it?
Brewer: Well, the two questions are joined at the hip. I think that party leadership has to really draw a bright red line and say, and have said and continue to say, if proven true, how wrong these actions are.
Leahy: These are allegations.
Brewer: If these allegations are proven true in court, then to continue to say this kind of alleged activity will not be tolerated. I would expect perhaps for them to take some additional steps, either in their own rules or legislatively, to further define this kind of activity, alleged activity, as being wrong.
But I think that Speaker Sexton and Lieutenant Governor McNally have done a terrific job in explaining to the public that this is not how we do business up here. It’s sort of been the Casada era.
And look, prior to all this, I’m not going to sit and lie about it, I’ve been friendly with Casada for years. He can be a very pleasant person. I’ve always had a friendly relationship with him. It’s incredibly disappointing.
But I think that you should look at the history of the state. You look at 2008 and Tennessee Waltz, and there were a lot of other things going on with the Democratic Party that were trending negatively.
But that was one of the straws that sort of broke the camel’s back when it came to the long-term viability of the Democratic Party for citizens of Tennessee as an electoral choice. That was the same period of time when the House and the Senate finally flipped.
It was a time when the party apparatus became pretty ineffective at the state party level for the Democrats. It can be a harbinger of bad things.
In this case, I think the reaction of the party at large is going to dictate whether this has any legs. Also, are Democrats actually capable of taking advantage of it? That’s the other thing.
Leahy: No, because they’re just a bunch of far-left lunatics, right now. They may try and take advantage of it, but I don’t see it …
Brewer: I don’t think they have the messenger right now to take action.
Leahy: If this is an isolated incident – and the way that we’ve seen Cam Sexton, Speaker of the House and Lieutenant Governor McNally handle it, I think they’ve handled it very well. Yes.
And they’ve cooperated completely with the FBI. However, the way these things work is, you take the small fish and roll on the bigger fish, which rolls on the bigger fish. That’s how this works.
And so we saw that the first announcement was that former State Representative Robin Smith, who has apparently identified as Individual 4 in the indictment, she’s already pled guilty. She’s not been sentenced yet.
So she’s obviously looking to limit the amount of time that she serves. And so now we have this indictment of Glen Casada and Cade Cothren. It’s over, I mean, clearly …
Brewer: Is it going to spread? Is it going to metastasize? That’s the question. Is there anybody else? Are there any other alleged misdeeds out there?
Leahy: I will remind you, the first time the word FBI and Glen Casada were mentioned together in a story was in a May 2019 story from Phil Williams at News Channel 5.
And he said there was an investigation at that time of possible bribery involved in the passage of the Education Savings Account bill in April 2019, which has very narrowly passed, as you know.
Listen to the interview:
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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.
Photo “Glen Casada” by Glen Casada.