andy ogles

Here’s the backstory on the Andy Ogles attack ad

A distinctive attack ad claims Republican congressional candidate Andy Ogles failed to pay his property taxes nine times. The spot funded by the Tenenssee Conservatives PAC, which was founded by supporters of former candidate Morgan Ortagus, cites Williamson County property tax records as the source for the hit.

Here’s the transcript:

Narrator 1: “Andy Ogles failed to to pay his property taxes nine times.”

Narrator 2: “Nine times?”

Narrator 1: “That’s right. Any Ogles failed to pay his property taxes nine times.”

Narrator 2: “Nine times.”

Narrator 1: “But as county mayor, Ogles supported increasing the sales tax and didn’t oppose a property tax hike or a marriage tax. Andy Ogles failed to pay his property taxes nine times.”

Narrator 2: “Nine times.”

Narrator 1: “Andy Ogles didn’t pay his taxes but supported raising yours. Tennessee Conservatives PA is responsible for the content this message.”

We delved into the records to see whether we could replicate the claims of the ad. We found that Ogles appeared as a co-owner of a Franklin home between 2005 and 2015, though for reasons unknown he was not listed on the rolls in the 2013 tax year. While it’s true that property tax payments were late on nine occasions, that includes years where the Ogles family was as little as one or two days behind the deadline. But in other years it took as many as 194 and 322 days to pay the tax bill.

Here’s what the records show:

Tax YearAmountDue DatePayment DateDays lateInterest
2005$1,4452/28/20063/7/200670
2006$1,4362/28/20073/2/200720
2007$1,4362/28/20082/29/200810
2008$1,5652/28/20099/10/2009194$130
2009$1,4792/28/20104/12/201043$43
2010$1,4792/28/20114/19/201150$43
2011$1,9672/28/20121/15/2013322$279
2012$1,6882/28/20131/11/201300
2013*$2,0362/28/20144/21/201452$59
2014$2,1202/28/20156/18/2015110$120
* In 2013, Andy Ogles is replaced by Monica Ogles as a co-owner, but he is back on the rolls for 2014.

So did Andy Ogles fail to pay his property taxes nine times, as the ad claims? Not exactly. He did pay, albeit in a tardy fashion. And in some years he was later than others.

The attack ads cometh in 5th District race

It was only a matter of time until the attack ads started to emerge in the race for the Republican nomination in the open 5th Congressional District race. A group called Tennessee Conservatives is taking aim at Maury County Mayor, while the USA Freedom Fund is hitting former House Speaker Beth Harwell for having once voted for a program to allow illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses. Another spot by the School Freedom Fund, which is linked to the Club for Growth, calls Harwell and retired National Guard Brig. Gen. Kurt Winstead “too liberal for Tennessee.”

Here’s the Ogles hit piece:

And the attack on Harwell.

Harwell appears to have updated one of her spots to try to defuse the attack, by declaring she “stopped illegals from getting driver’s licenses.” It’s true that she voted in 2004 to repeal a program allowing driver certificates to people who were in the country illegally, but that doesn’t tell the whole story, as she was among 19 Republicans who voted in favor of creating it three years earlier.

About those 5th District fundraising totals…

Kurt Winstead was the only Republican candidate in the 5th District Congressional race to tout his fundraising haul in a press release before the official reporting deadline. The move gave him some room for, shall we say, creativity in his numbers.

“Winstead will report having nearly $580,000 in receipts in the quarter, bringing the campaign total to over $1.5 million,” the release said.

Winstead’s report shows he received $382,480 from donors and loaned his campaign $660,000 during the second quarter. But he also paid back $460,000 of an earlier loan, leaving him with a net $582,480 in the period. Add the $519,625 in contributions in the first quarter and the $20,000 remaining from his original loan, and his total is $1.1 million since joining the race.

Meanwhile, rival Republican Beth Harwell raised $421,360 in the quarter, a 19% increase over her first-quarter collections. She has yet to loan her campaign any money and her total donations to date are $775,287. Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles had yet to file his first report as of Friday evening.

UPDATE: The deadline came and went and there are still no Ogles filings available on the disclosure site.

New TNJ edition alert: Early voting underway, key races, attacks on a Harwell vote from 21 years ago

Campaign signs outside an early voting location in Nashville on Oct. 21, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The latest print edition of The Tennessee Journal is out. Here is what is in it:

— Early voting gets underway, candidates make final push for campaign case.

— Key race update: Shelby County prosecutor, a challenge from the far right for the state Senate majority leader, embattled Rep. Todd Warner struggles to raise money, and a déjà vu in Knoxville.

— Succeeding Slatery: Supreme Court opens application window for next attorney general.

— From the campaign trail: Harwell comes under attack for 2001 vote on immigrant driver’s licenses.

Also: Key lawmaker sees dim future for charter schools operated by Hillsdale College, Diana Harshbarger hosts a fundraiser for a 5th District candidate, Weston Wamp’s polling on Chattanooga stadium comes under fire from current leadership, and Jim Strickland makes a conditional statement about his political future in Memphis.

As always, access the your copy of the TNJ here.

Or subscribe here.

PAC linked to Club for Growth hits Harwell, Winstead in 5th District race

The School Freedom Fund, a PAC tied to the Washington-based Club for Growth, is sending out mailers attacking Beth Harwell and Kurt Winstead as not sufficiently Republican to represent the state in the 5th Congressional District.

Harwell is a former speaker of the state House of Representatives and a onetime chair of the Tennessee Republican Party. Winstead is a retired brigadier general in the Tennessee National Guard. According to the group, both are “beholden to liberal Democrats.” The mailers cite Harwell’s vote for then-Gov. Bill Haslam’s 6-cent gas tax hike in 2017 and her endorsement from the Tennessee Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union, during her unsuccessful bid for governor in 2018. Winstead is criticized for giving more than $2,500 in campaign donations to Democrats (unmentioned are the more than $7,000 he has given to Republicans over the last four years, including $3,000 to Republican Gov. Bill Lee).

The mailers appear to try to boost the prospects of Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles. The Club for Growth was last active in a Tennessee congressional race in 2020 in the open 1st District race, backing former state Rep. Timothy Hill (R-Blountville). Diana Harshbarger won the nomination with 19% of the vote, compared with 16.7% for Hill and 16.1% for state Sen. Rusty Crowe.

Dave Ramsey endorses Ogles for GOP nomination in 5th District

Personal finance advice guru Dave Ramsey is endorsing Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles for the Republican nomination in the open 5th Congressional District race.

Here’s the Ogles campaign:

Columbia, TN – Conservative Mayor Andy Ogles, Republican candidate for Congress for the newly-drawn 5th District, today announced that he has been endorsed by nationally syndicated, award-winning radio talk host and 5th Congressional District resident Dave Ramsey and his wife Sharon.

“Sharon and Dave Ramsey are great assets to our community and country, and I am thrilled that they have endorsed me in my race for Congress,” Ogles said. “Their Christian, conservative, and fiscally responsible leadership reflect the values we share and those I will fight for in Washington.”

“Andy Ogles is a man who courageously stood for freedom and individual rights while others cowered in the corner of their offices. His strong stand for real common sense values and conservative beliefs make him the person we need in Congress,” Ramsey said in announcing his support for Ogles in the August 4th Republican Primary and November General Election. “Sharon and I are proud to back and endorse our friend Andy for Congress.”

Dave Ramsey started his media career on one radio station in Nashville in 1992, sharing practical answers for life’s tough money questions. Today he’s joined by his co-hosts reaching 18 million combined weekly listeners nationwide. (www.ramseysolutions.com)

“If President Biden could convince Dave to serve as his Treasury Secretary and then follow his lead on economic and fiscal policy issues, we would quickly recover from the economic disaster we are suffering and be on a path to dramatically reducing the national debt,” Ogles noted. “Sadly, getting Biden to cut up the national credit card as Dave has helped millions of families to do with their personal finances is too heavy of a lift even for him.”

New TNJ alert: Starbuck stymied, Curcio’s transformation, and Fox’s departure

The Tennessee Supreme Court building is seen in Nashville on Dec.8, 2021. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The Tennessee Journal is out with a new print edition after taking a break from the inferno-like temperatures of Nashville last week. Here is what’s in the latest version:

— Starbuck stymied by supremes, 5th District’s GOP field finally set.

— McWhorter comes back to succeed Economic Development chief Rolfe.

— Curcio kick-starts transformation from House chairman to lobbyist.

— Ubiquitous no more? Bill Fox hangs ’em up after 27 years as revenue and economic impact estimator.

Also: An overhaul of the Tennessee Municipal League board, Gerald McCormick’s ALS diagnosis, Franklin Haney pivots to solar, and Cooper laments curbside intoxicants in downtown Nashville.

As always, access the your copy of the TNJ here.

Or subscribe here.

As a final look back to our summer travels, here is photo of Buoy the news retriever lounging on the Atlantic coast.

Ogles camp announces $453K haul for 5th District bid in first 30 days

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles says his campaign for the Republican nomination for the open 5th Congressional District seat has netted $453,000 in the first month since joining the race. Ogles didn’t officially enter the contest until the end of the Federal Election Commission’s most recent reporting deadline, so he won’t have to make official disclosures until July 15 — 20 days before the primary.

The Ogles campaign says none of his fundraising total came in the form of loans and that all contributions were from within Tennessee.

Here’s the full release:

COLUMBIA, TN – Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles raised $453,000 in the first thirty days of his bid for the 5th District Congressional seat. Ogles, who was a late entry into the race, officially became a candidate on April 6th. 

Mayor Ogles stated, “I am humbled and overwhelmed by the support I’ve received since entering the race. Not only has the fundraising response been incredible, the results in recent straw polls in both Wilson and Marshall Counties, as well as the candidate auction in Williamson County demonstrate the strength of my grassroots campaign.” 

Mayor Ogles attributes his success with the grassroots to his decades of activism where he has helped lead the charge against Obamacare expansion, government overreach and various tax increases. “Tennesseans want elected officials who will fight for them in the same way President Trump fought for us. During Covid I never wavered, I fought for freedom and liberty in the face of threats, and I will fight for Tennessee against a Federal government that has gone too far and grown too powerful,” said Ogles.

Recently Mayor Ogles made national headlines as he refused to close Maury County during Covid. Ogles actively campaigned against State and Federal mandates by holding the ‘Freedom Matters’ tour where he recruited other elected officials and TN citizens to standup against government overreach with the town hall meetings consistently drawing crowds between 500 and 800 individuals. 

Lee Beaman, a well-known businessman and conservative fundraiser, who serves as Mayor Ogles Campaign Chairman added, “I recently attended an event with several very conservative Members of Congress who were asking about the 5th Congressional Race and I told them Andy Ogles is Tennessee’s Ron DeSantis and, like the Florida Governor, Andy is a true fighter for the people and he is exactly who we need serving us in Congress.” 

New TNJ alert: Here come the subpoenas, slammed doors, and divining rods

House members attend a floor session in Nashville on Jan. 12, 2021. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The new edition of The Tennessee Journal is out. Here’s what’s in it:

— It’s subpoena time in the federal probe that ensnared ex-Rep. Robin Smith. At least three lawmakers and a legislative staffer are set to appear before the grand jury next week.

— Lee’s budget amendment signals the end is near for this year’s legislative session.

— Legislative roundup: Terri Lynn Weaver slams the door after failing to get a second, Indian gaming proposal stalls, the legislature grabs the authority to name six of nine members of the state Board of Education, and it won’t get any easier for minor parties to get on the ballot.

— Andy Ogles jumps into 5th Congressional District race, but his campaign infrastructure has yet to catch up.

Also: Jason Hodges welcomes the FBI to the Capitol, indicted Sen. Brian Kelsey honored as a “public-spirited citizen of the highest order,” Tennessee could grow by 1 million residents in next 20 years, and the state GOP asks for cash for a new computer.

As always, access the your copy of the TNJ here.

Or subscribe here.

New TNJ alert: Ford labor deal to construct plant worries lawmakers, election changes proposed

The Blue Oval City plans superimposed on a map of the West Tenenssee Megasite.

— GOP lawmakers fret over Ford’s national labor agreement to build West Tennessee site.

— Proposal to require residency requirements for congressional candidates could have big effect on 5th District race – if it’s legal.

— Numbering disparity in new Senate maps could serve as basis for redistricting lawsuit.

— From the campaign trail: Kelsey dodges primary challenge from prominent House chairman, candidates line up to run for seats being vacated by Byrd and Halford, Stewart joins the ranks of retiring lawmakers.

Also:

The Tennessee Performing Arts Center says its in “ongoing discussion” with the state about its future home, Andy Ogles is “offended” by Morgan Ortagus, Lee Beaman is back at Belmont, and the former senator who made it legal to have up to a gallon of booze on you in every Tennessee county has died.

As always, access the your copy of the TNJ here.

Or subscribe here.