Aaron Gulbransen Discusses Upcoming Midterms and the Importance of Voting ‘Yes’ on Amendment 1

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, official guest host, and Faith and Freedom Coalition Tennessee Director Aaron Gulbransen in-studio and Capitol Resource Institute’s Karen England to discuss whether Republicans will take the House and the importance of voting “yes” on Amendment 1.

Leahy: We welcome to our microphones right now the Executive Director in the state of Tennessee for the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Mr. Aaron Gulbransen. Good morning, Aaron.

Gulbransen: Good morning.

Leahy: Well, we’re delighted to have you here and of course, I will remind everybody Aaron was for a period of time our lead political reporter in Tennessee.

He did such a great job that everybody wanted him to come work for them. And so now the Faith and Freedom Coalition has the benefit of his wisdom and expertise in all things political.

We’ve been talking in the first part of this hour with Karen England, who is another California refugee who’s arrived here in Tennessee and focused on a lot of social issues and the craziness going on in some of our K-12 public schools. But it is, of course, four weeks until the midterm elections here in Tennessee.

Early voting begins on the 19th. That would be what, a week from tomorrow in eight days? Four weeks until the election. What it looks like to me is the following: It looks like the House is definitely going to GOP all the trending of what’s important, the issues that matter, inflation, crime, et cetera.

And with all the craziness in our schools, those issues are trending toward the Republicans. The Democrats don’t seem to have a counterpunch and the Senate also looks like it could go to the Republicans four weeks from Election Day. Where do we stand?

Gulbransen: The same thing I’ve been saying in the House the entire time, which is the only question is how many seats the Republicans pick up. By the way, we have several constitutional amendments in this state on the ballot as well.

Leahy: So let me kind of get to that. The governor’s race. Bill Lee is going to win 75-25 or something like that. I don’t even know who the Democrat is and I think it’s some doctor, but he’s not going to have any challenge there.

The House seats, there are nine up for grabs. Currently, it’s seven Republicans and two Democrats. And because of redistricting, the only one that was even in doubt was the 5th Congressional District. But it’s not really in doubt.

Gulbransen: No.

Leahy: Andy Ogles is almost certainly going to win that seat. By the way, Andy will be here in-studio from 6:00 until 7:00 tomorrow morning. So you can ask him any questions you want tomorrow morning.

The only really significant issue in Tennessee right now is Amendment 1, which is to place a right to work, which is currently a law, into our constitution. A very important element. It is the conservative vote to vote “yes” on 1. What’s going on with that?

Gulbransen: And I want to be very clear on this. I’ve worked on right-to-work issues for a long time in one capacity or another, but I’m not working on this. This is just my opinion, but if you vote “no” or advocate against voting “yes” for Constitutional Amendment number 1, which enshrines the right to work in the constitution – i.e. making it not subject to the whims of a future legislature to overturn it if they so chose – you are not a conservative if you’re not supporting it.

Leahy: Yes. It’s very clear. And for all our listeners, if you are a conservative, the vote is “yes” on 1, so that it’s part of our constitution that you have the right to work. Karen England, I see you going yes, yes, yes.

England: Yes, absolutely. If someone were opposing it, what are they thinking?

Leahy: They’re not thinking in conservative ways.

Gulbransen: They’re not thinking in conservative ways. I’ve seen some commentary out there where a few people in a very convoluted way are trying to demonstrate how smart they are, but are accidentally demonstrating how not smart they are.

Leahy: The word I would use would be “stupid.” I think anybody who purports to be a conservative who opposes Yes on 1 is either stupid or disingenuous.

Gulbransen: Yes. And unfortunately, there are a lot of disingenuous people in politics. But yes, you have to vote number 1.

Leahy: Karen, I see you’re dying to say something.

England: Well, no, it’s just I love the word “disingenuous.” I don’t have an accent. I like to have an accent because it’s a way to call someone a liar but in a nice way. (Leahy laughs) And I say disingenuous a lot because I don’t have that Southern accent to sound sweet when I say it.

Leahy: This is interesting. We’re going to digress for a moment. Have you heard the term “Tennessee-nice”? Yes.

England: I’ve heard “Minnesota-nice.”

Gulbransen: Okay. Well, Tennessee-nice is basically…

England: Bless your heart.

Leahy: Yes. Bless your heart. Right. Which means that person is an idiot. Bless their heart. (Chuckles)

England: But it sounds sweeter when you have an accent, especially as a female.

Leahy: I have to tell you, though, people who are natives to Tennessee really are Tennessee-nice. But now here we said you’re a native of Colorado.

England: Yes.

Leahy: Native, i.e. you were born in Colorado. I am a native of upstate New York. And Aaron is a native of what, Bronx, New York?

Gulbransen: Brooklyn. And I don’t know about you, Michael, but I’ve never been accused of being Tennessee-nice. (Laughs)

Leahy: Well, see, what I did to become Tennessee-nice, sort of by osmosis, is I married a girl from Texas who was Texas-nice, you see?

And so by osmosis, my natural New York aggressiveness, shall we say? Loudmouthedness (Chuckles) – no offense, Aaron – has been tamped down.

Gulbransen: You’ve got an outlet three hours a day during the week. (Laughter)

England: So are the bad policies that are coming in coming from you guys from New York, and not California?

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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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.
Photo “Election Day” by Phil Roeder. CC BY 2.0.









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