State Senator Mark Pody Explains Why He Believes Not Many Illegal Alien Families Will Take Advantage of the School Vouchers Program

Class Work

Tennessee State Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) confirmed that Governor Bill Lee’s universal school choice voucher program would be forced by a Supreme Court ruling to distribute scholarships to illegal alien students. However, he said he believes that not many will take advantage of the program because its application requires parents to provide their children’s social security numbers.

“Everybody has to fill out the form, including a social security number and so forth. If you don’t have a social security number, then anybody that doesn’t have one, we want to make sure that those authorities are aware that these students don’t have a social security number,” Pody said on Monday’s episode of The Michael Patrick Leahy Show.

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State Senator Mark Pody Discusses ‘Real,’ ‘Genuine’ Concerns Homeschool Families Have with School Choice Voucher Program

Home School

Tennessee State Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) addressed two concerns he has heard from families that choose to homeschool their children regarding Governor Bill Lee’s universal school choice program, which would give $7,000 education savings account scholarships to 20,000 qualifying students in the first year of its inception.

“[Homeschoolers] have real concerns and they’re genuine,” Pody said on Monday’s edition of The Michael Patrick Leahy Show. “These objections are real because there’s something that is an underlying statement: If government funds it, government runs it. So if you take government money, no matter where you are or what you are, if you don’t think there’s a string attached somewhere, you’re not looking close enough.”

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Governor Lee Signs Marriage Bill Protecting Religious Convictions

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed into law a bill that protects the religious convictions of people approached to solemnize or officiate a marriage.

“A person shall not be required to solemnize a marriage if the person has an objection to solemnizing the marriage based on the person’s conscience or religious beliefs,” reads the new law which took effect on Wednesday.

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Tennessee State Senator Mark Pody Announces School Safety Grants Will Now Fund Requests for Technology to Alert Law Enforcement of Threats Inside Schools

Tennessee State Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) joined Monday’s edition of The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy to discuss the latest developments surrounding his efforts to make new school-specific security technology eligible for the school safety grants approved by the General Assembly last year.

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Tennessee National Guard Soldiers and State Legislators Ask Governor Lee to Intervene at Public Event

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Tennessee National Guard soldiers and several state legislators held an event at Legislative Plaza right in front of the state capitol asking Governor Bill Lee to intervene on behalf of the soldiers who are about to lose their jobs over noncompliance with a COVID-19 mandate.

The National Guard soldiers that spoke and attended the event were off duty and spoke as private citizens, not on behalf of any government entity. Their ranks were stated for identification purposes only.

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Tennessee Approves $884M in Funding, Creates Board for $6B Ford Project

The Tennessee Legislature finished its special session on Ford’s $5.6 billion electric truck project Wednesday by approving $884 million in spending and creating a Megasite Authority of West Tennessee board to oversee operations.

“This is the largest single economic investment in rural Tennessee’s history,” Gov. Bill Lee said. “… It is, most importantly, a win for western Tennessee’s workforce.”

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‘Stop The Steal’ Rallies a Second Time in Nashville with Double the Numbers

At a second Nashville-based “Stop the Steal” rally, hundreds of Trump supporters descended on the Tennessee State Capitol grounds downtown. Every person wore the hallmark shade of MAGA red. American flags waved alongside deep blue “Trump 2020” or “Keep America Great” flags. Cars decked out with patriotic and pro-Trump flags, stickers, and signs looped the capitol, blaring their horns as they passed. Some wore masks while others chose not to.

All throughout the event, the crowd would chorus chants of “Stop the steal!”, “We love Trump!”, or “Four more years!” Despite the reason behind the rally, the atmosphere was cheerful and confident. The organizers would pause between scheduled speakers to announce they’d found a lost license, or to hand out free copies of the Constitution to teenagers in attendance.

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Singer Joy Villa and Tennessee Congressman John Rose Urge Donald Trump Supporters to Keep the Faith in Mount Juliet

Singer, songwriter, and actress Joy Villa told as many as 1,000 Tennesseans at a Trump rally Monday that incumbent President Donald Trump will take the oath of office, again, on January 20 of next year.

Villa said this at a gathering at Mount Juliet’s Charlie Daniels Park. Villa told Trump supporters not to worry about the mainstream media decreeing that former Vice President Joe Biden is now the president-elect.

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Tennessee Residents Stress That Now Is the Time to Fight for Donald Trump at Stop the Steal Rally

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump packed Tennessee’s state capitol Saturday even more motivated, energized, and determined to re-elect the president.

This, even as mainstream media outlets named Joe Biden president-elect in a close contest. Trump and his supporters have presented credible evidence that voter fraud put Biden over the top.

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EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Mark Pody and Rep. Bruce Griffey on the Conservative Caucus Event Scheduled for July 11

Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) and Representative Bruce Griffey, the organizers of the Conservative Caucus, sat down in the senator’s office at the Cordell Hull Building this week for an exclusive interview with The Tennessee Star to talk about the event scheduled for July 11.

The Conservative Caucus event, which recognizes that the United States is one nation under God – not government – will provide a unique opportunity for hundreds of Tennesseans to gather and honor their constitutional rights.

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BREAKING on The Tennessee Star Report: State Senator Pody Vows to Bring Heartbeat Bill Back for a Floor Vote, Either Through Committee or Rule 63

State Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) vowed on Wednesday morning’s Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – to bring the Heartbeat Bill back for a floor vote in the Tennessee General Assembly this session, either through the exercise of Rule 63 or through a recall to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which sent the bill to summer study in a 5 to 3 vote (with one “pass” vote) last week. Here is the transcript from the show: Gill: Will the Heartbeat Bill be allowed to come up for a vote in the State Senate? They’ve killed it in committee by “putting it in summer study.” That effectively kills the Heartbeat Bill. That was the intent. It passed overwhelmingly in the House. And if you go to the Tennessee you can see results of our new Tennessee Star Triton Poll. Over a thousand Republican likely voters. And it tells you something about where Republican primary voters see Bill Haslam, Marsha Blackburn, Bill Lee, Lamar Alexander. It also tells you how Republican primary voters view the Heartbeat Bill. They like it, they love…

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Tennessee Pastors Network Urges Senators to Vote to Bring Heartbeat Bill to the Floor

Pastor Dale Walker, President of the Tennessee Pastors Network , is urging members of the Tennessee State Senate to support Senator Mark Pody’s efforts to bring his Heartbeat Bill (SB1236) to a vote in the full Senate. The House version of the Heartbeat Bill, HB 0077, passed the full House on March 7 by an overwhelming vote of 65 Ayes 21 Nays and 7 Present Not Voting. The Senate version was sent to Summer Study by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is where bills Leadership wants to kill are sent to languish. Senator Pody is relying on Senate Rule 63 to seek to immediately bring the bill directly to the full Senate for a vote. “Senators are faced with a clear choice to either support or not support unborn life with their vote on the Rule 63 motion,” Walker noted. “A vote against bringing this bill to the Senate for an up or down vote is a vote to kill it and is a vote for virtually unrestricted abortions to continue in Tennessee. A vote for the bill to proceed — and a vote for it in the Senate — is the only actual pro-Life position.” “It’s outrageous that some…

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Ridgetop Police Chief Alleges Mayor and Vice Mayor Are Retaliating Against Him

Ridgetop Police Chief Bryan Morris says the city’s mayor and vice mayor want to cripple his police department. This, Morris said, is their way to retaliate against him for telling the community about alleged ticket quotas. The mayor is Tony Reasoner. The vice mayor is McCaw Johnson. Morris told The Tennessee Star Thursday the two men demanded his officers issue a certain number of tickets every month to generate revenue for the town. According to the most recent U.S. Census figures, Ridgetop has about 2,100 residents. Ridgetop is in Robertson County. Morris said outsiders consider his city a speed trap. No one at the city mayor’s office returned The Star’s request for comment Thursday. “They (the mayor and vice mayor) want a self-sufficient police department. They don’t want to pay to have a police department,” Morris said. “Our payroll is usually around $260,000. They want us to write $300,000 worth of tickets. That will cover our payroll and a considerable amount of our budget.” As the Nashville-based FOX 17 TV station recently reported, Morris told the community about the mayor’s and vice mayor’s alleged demands. Residents were so angry they packed a town meeting Tuesday night. Thus, the reason why the…

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Democrat PAC Uses Fear Mongering and Deception to Malign Conservative Legislators, Praises Governor Haslam On Gas Tax Increase


LEBANON, Tennessee – A newly launched Political Action Committee (PAC) commissioned a billboard with a scandalous message attacking two conservative middle Tennessee lawmakers, former State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) and current State Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon), for their votes against Governor Haslam’s gas tax increasing IMPROVE Act. The IMPROVE Act – Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy – also dubbed “2017 Tax Cut Act,” passed the Tennessee General Assembly in April 2017. On the eve of the next installment of the IMPROVE Act’s additional $0.01 per gallon gas tax and $0.03 per gallon diesel tax increases set to go in effect on July 1, 2018, and nearing the highpoint of election season, the billboard appeared on the northbound side of Highway 109 in Wilson County. Beavers is running in a hotly contested race for Wilson County Mayor against eight-year incumbent Randall Hutto. Meanwhile Pody is seeking re-election to the District 17 State Senate seat encompassing Wilson County which was vacated by Beavers when she decided to run for Governor. Pody, a sitting State Representative at the time, narrowly won the seat against Democrat opponent Mary Alice Carfi in a special election held in late 2017…

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Anti-Skullduggery Act Invoked in Sumner County Commission GOP Primary Marred by Allegations of Candidate Intimidation

The little-known and rarely used “Anti-Skullduggery Act of 1991” has been invoked by Sumner County officials in the already contentious Republican primary in the 7th District of the Sumner County Commission. The colorfully named law, enacted as TCA 2-5-101(h)(1) provides that if a qualified incumbent dies or properly withdraws on the last day for withdrawing, additional candidates may qualify within seven days of the original withdrawal deadline. Effectively, the Anti-Skullduggery Act allows a seven day extension for new candidates to qualify and an additional four days after the new qualifying deadline to withdraw. According to Sumner County Administrator of Elections, Lori Atchley, the purpose of the Act is to prevent an incumbent from setting up their replacement with a last minute qualifying petition and withdrawal by the incumbent. In the case of the Sumner County 7th Commission District, single-term incumbent commissioner JoAnne Kemp intends to move out of the county in a relatively short timeframe, and, as such, withdrew her name as a qualified candidate. Unintentionally, Kemp’s withdrawal occurred on the final day, thereby legally requiring the Sumner County Election Commission to extend a qualifying and withdrawal period limited to the 7th County Commission district. The original filing deadline for the May 1…

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State Rep. Candidate Menda Holmes Calls On Wilson County Commission to Appoint ‘Place Holder’ To Serve Until November Election

Menda Holmes, a candidate for the District 46 seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives, called on the Wilson County Commission to appoint a “place holder” to serve in the seat vacated last month held by former State Rep. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) since the 107th General Assembly in 2011. Pody was elected to represent State Senate District 17 in a special election held on December 19, 2017. He will now serve in the State Senate seat vacated by gubernatorial candidate and former State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet). With less than twelve months remaining before the next general election for legislators, the Tennessee Constitution Article II Section 15 (b) calls for the “successor to be elected by the legislative body of the replaced legislator’s county of residence at the time of his or her election.” As Pody’s county of residence, Wilson County’s Board of Commissioners will make the appointment. A Special Called Meeting of the Wilson County Commission has been set for Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 6 p.m. for the sole purpose of appointing the 46th District Representative, which consists of Cannon County and portions of Wilson and Dekalb counties. Holmes, in her email, stated that “In all fairness…

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State House Candidate Menda Holmes Reveals A Personal Story That Helped Shape Her Character

Menda Holmes is candidate for the State House 46th District, a seat currently held by Mark Pody who is running for the 17th District Senate seat most recently held by gubernatorial candidate Mae Beavers. During her speech made to the monthly Wilson County GOP meeting in November, Menda told a personal story that “shaped my character, shaped who I am and shaped my fighting spirit.” In 1978, an accomplished horseback rider at the age of 19, Menda was on the back of a motorcycle when a car crashed into the bike and crushed her leg. A night of surgery and a month later, the recovery was not going well. With “no other good choices,” the medical professionals recommended that Menda’s left leg be amputated below the knee, and she agreed. It was at that point, Menda reflected, “I could have given up, but right then and there I said, I’m not quitting, I’m a fighter.” After being fitted with a prosthesis, Menda beat the typical two month timeframe and shed her crutches in just two weeks. The next year, she went on to compete with her horse, placing better than they ever had in the past. Later came modeling, snow…

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State Rep. Judd Matheny: ‘If Everybody Does Stand Together, Government Has to Come Down to Our Level’

  MOUNT JULIET, Tennessee — At the Wilson County Conservative Republicans meeting Saturday, guest speaker Rep. Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma) said of the battle over the 2018 state budget, “If everybody does stand together, government has to come down to our level.” Matheny was referring to the stand-off that occurred in the House of Representatives when he added a constitution-breaking amendment to the budget, which prompted House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) to come down on the House floor and sit next to Matheny in Rep. Mark Pody’s (R-Lebanon) adjacent empty seat.  Alluding to Pody’s absence that day preaching the eulogy at a funeral, “The seat was empty next to me, and believe me, I felt it,” said Matheny. The monthly meeting, according to host Sen. Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet), started seven to eight years ago and was attended this month by a crowd of about 40 overflowing the room at the Providence location of Logan’s Roadhouse in Mt. Juliet. Pody introduced Matheny at the Saturday meeting, saying that sitting next to Judd Matheny was the only request he has ever made of Speaker Harwell when he came to the House and she asked what Pody wanted for a wide range of…

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Letter to the Editor: Protesters Crossed the Line

Dear Tennessee Star, February 15, two lawmakers, Sen. Mae Beavers and Rep. Pody, attempted to conduct a press conference about two bills they are sponsoring, the Traditional Marriage Bill and the Bathroom Bill. Protesters disrupted the conference. It was abruptly halted. Protesters crossed the line for peaceful protesting. Not only did they shout the legislators down from speaking, protesters followed them out shouting even more. Protesters were belligerent , crude, and rude. Denying the legislators to speak and the public’s right to be heard showed bullying at its best. When you peel back the layers of this incident it boils down to good versus evil. Fidelity in relationships of marriage, parenthood, and friendship; commitment to right principles in business, sanctity of one’s word…all of these are ancient landmarks placed by God in His holy word. Spiritual landmarks are there for all time and are changed at the changer’s peril. Spiritual landmarks do not need updating and changing because human needs and nature remain the same as they were from the beginning. Removing those ancient landmarks endangers human happiness. Those who honor those ancient landmarks have it all – inner peace, satisfaction, and most of all, assurance that they will spend…

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