LIVE from Politicon with Kiran Sreepada & James Mackler


Hey this is Kelly with two brads talking politics part of the DEM cast podcast network. This episode was recorded live from Pelikan in Nashville. Hope you enjoy it By sort of the the the dysfunction of Washington so to speak the political conversations the tones and all that stuff and so you know after moving here nothing so still working with federal executive agencies and what I saw was basically that you know the things that we had worked towards the oversight you need Tennessee's seventh district which is lawry's district so Keiron I'd have you thanks for having me on happy birthday and listen I everyone I am Kelly pollock I am the Co host of the two broads talking politics podcast sure we were working night molested physician and works in Smyrna and we were working and and you know a lot of conversations about how to make things by Laurie Coleman who is the director of Digital Strategy Time Cast Laurie Kelly how are you and I want to wish Lorri a very happy decision yeah we announced I think it's nine days ago now but my might kind of focus was always being a civil servant I went to school because at some point you realize like this is not is not a function or result of someone doing a bad job or because they don't know what to do it's actually a function of so can can you start by telling us a little bit about your background and why you decided to run for Congress you just announced and so I I'm interested to hear why you've made the rods talking politics is part of the dumb cast podcast network and so my usual co host Sophie is in Madison couldn't make it here so I am joined today they were all the things we've seen in said this program's working or not working this budget constraint is helping you're not helping I mean all of that was kind of background of how the program's implemented and then I saw how things were within those agencies actually counter the oversight concerns and all the budgetary concerns and it was very very alarming meantime like we can do something about it and so December We decided that you know at some point I want to get involved in run for for office we thought Congress underpinned every the way I saw a lot of things in government and so along the way I switched over to the private sector side I went to work for a company called Grand Thornton and doing public sector new our friends and neighbors to believe so you know it was ominous at the government also shut down in December because that kind of facilitated that a rational sane you know older politics from what I hear stories of my dad talks about no Ronald Reagan and tip O'Neill talking together and and that sort of nonpartisan back base were Hor oriented approach to evaluating and understanding all see didn't just stay with me and may come just we know that one hundred percent right or not obviously we haven't haven't won yet so we can say but we think by we I mean I'm talking about the one that suited kind of my interest in my my knowledge the best we felt also that the current person in office right now didn't have policies that reflected what we our public policy I I try to pursue as many you know higher level degrees I couldn't learn as much and then I went to work for the Federal Government at the Government Accountability Office sure up I'll answer any question no problem with that so we have thought of what a pack path victory would look like say hey listen I I know what you're going through I'm not that far removed from from where you are and and I think that together we can work did not just make things better for you but also makes system that you can actually be proud of and to people who are opened myself which includes all my cousins family and relatives there's a lot involved in and get registered in ensuring that the polling places on election day be inspired I don't claim to be I'm GonNa ask the hard question which is this is a very Republican district Tennessee seven I think in twenty eighteen it was like the best result for Democrats you know fringe extremist people they are Republicans for reasons that I think some of my relatives Republicans years and years ago and and still are and Tennessee's believe fiftieth in voter participation so getting out and trying to help young people my wife and I was talking about campaign staff and volunteers who are helping out we think that I there's a large percentage of this district that is not voting or is unregistered at the time so I think there's a good number of people out there that can help us a help help campaign in sort of coming over and voting sometime but still the Republican got like sixty six percent of the Mo so why what is your path to victory and what I I this is probably not something candidates another path here and that is that we have a number of people who a dentist Republicans in the district who are not we're going to run a positive and optimistic campaign which is I think what's needed we are not about to attack people personally and we don't have problems with anybody personally the two prong approach on voters we also are heavily dependent on my past saying I'm interested in policy I our political candidates and that is what we're going to do today so we are joined today by Kiran Sri Potter who is running for Congress whose Democrat running so you don't have to answer this part if you don't want but what would success look like if you don't win is there a a a success that you could get that would be something short of actually winning that the campaign in twenty team built up which I think nine points from twenty sixteen campaign if we could do the same thing and so the victory will will a large effort on voter participation getting out the vote at all across all ages there is and maybe now for all the issues voting for a sense of reason and neighborliness and a better way to do government for all of us so that's kind of chain and you know he's a very disgusted with the theme Washington and the partisan politics so you know how all of these things work and he has been reliably Republican voter until twenty six mind because I want to show people that that's where we're coming at it from you disagree great I'm talking to you let's find a way to work through those disagreements I think when you're talking about who might cross the bridge you know AAC for us and our children I have a five year old and a twenty month old and a lot of this decision to go into it was based on how do we make this better for you guys editor and they know that even if you don't agree on one hundred percent of the issues one hundred side at the time you still should be able to have the conversation move forward even if it is a little bit we're tired of a lot of the rhetoric they're tired of the the emphasis on on twenty four hour media and social media that we know practical part of life but but we all do it a huge issue and that's really where I think a lot of people would consider you know your position everything we thought facilitate that vision the movement and it just kind of underscored Khayyat this is dysfunctional at its finest I mean there should be a better way bat ABS- seen him speak about how that illness brings you closer to God and therefore nobody needs health care because versus the New York representative doesn't believe in healthcare he thinks he is probably you know socially liberal a fiscal conservative he's an accountant he wants to see run for anything I I don't I'm not an expert on how to best use media and all that stuff but I do know something about policy and so all our physicians are in Tennessee seven what what do you think we can do to help Tennessee and so the story which is at Republicans who have looked at fiscal conservatism as the linchpin of their political philosophy. I don't know if you've looked at the numbers that's that's how you that's how you get bit interferes with your relationship with the Lord I'm an Isa physician which I find very interesting extreme what's what you think and what's going on I'd also like to make the argument that conservatism is not a party specific goal it it can be the greatest ski group Polishes World but I'm hoping that I can get out there and and sort of give some of the younger people are GonNa meet some some visions some some sort of relations you know whatever you think about the politics to see I'd be having a conversation is missing so that's essentially why we WANNA run involved so here my husband is one of those Republicans that you're talking about and and also comes from a sort of biblical place So you know I think both those thoughts exists in can exists we need to make sure letter how what would we do here and finally my wife and I said you know we could sit here and complain about it we could sit here and just talk about it or at both of us either side of the aisle and I'll make the argument to anybody who wants to have it the that the policies I support come fiscally conservative background is wealth not concern today citing that we could spend the day together as to the usual format of you broads talking politics is that we interview guests and often those guys get ourselves in the forties or mid forties that would be excellent if we had a twenty twenty two candidate if I don't win and we have a twenty two point two candidate that can start from there that would be huge and the reason is because they believe in sort of fundamentals of policy that reflect whatever that party you sand for they are tired of the rhetoric same way that rule healthier in particular in Tennessee has been decimated and you're going to have several rural areas right does relatively recently that has left a large number of people without access to any major healthcare in that area to go to Murray County I think there's hundreds of miles before they'll tell you physicians they'll tell you that there is a small percentage that is based on the insurance costs the the access but then so you can get to a level one trauma center and there's not a whole dependency on the services there to be reliable so you know these are areas in which the federal government or food stamps or or supplemented nutrition programs the way we approach anything related to that has a deep impact on health outcomes as well so take the classic political definition but the fact that we should be spending money effectively to get the best outcome for people now related to healthcare healthcare in my you just have problems with policy position so that's the path we hope will appeal to most people do your second question what would it look like if we didn't win hopefully building on the momentum that sure that government functions to help those who need help the most and also guarantee equal access to opportunities opportunities like having healthcare he's like having education and proper infrastructure and all of that and in terms of rural hospitals closures Somera in mcnairy county I just saw a hospital ideally we should quit for positions and policies and then have rigorous intellectual debates about how best to achieve these things in that of course is not really what happens in Congress opinion is a right I mean there's there's nobody gets to dictate when they get sick and we need physicians to help us or hospitals nurses to help us get over that sickness ah Obamacare when the place and naturally by the free market system that people have talked about I think you'll see cost down in the insurance industry in the Medical Ah Congress that right now is majority Democrat probably still will be after twenty twenty but representing district that is historically somewhat read I I I had never heard the story that you just said about illness bring us closer to God's by correct me if I'm wrong I think the term physician lately but this goal conservatism is not exactly how your people have have implemented policy so I think there's sort of a distance there in a discount there's a large portion that's based on the way we approach social policy right so the way we approach education for kids the way we approach school lunches or or have health care for our people in a population that's not naturally increasing anyway then we've got serious trouble coming in every other program that we put on the than doing it all at once and I make that argument because I think President I think incrementally we'll get there faster overall with all the partisan politics out there there's nothing I'd like to bring up healthcare is not in a vacuum right you can ask most health economists and health policy experts my constituents want I have made the case that not only working in government before but being able to see other parts of the country has helped me understand perspective and go in and serve your constituents but also find ways to work with people in Congress who aren't always trying to work like what is the way for chiefs from a lot of different parts of our of this country and that's important in understanding whether or not there are people in other states and therefore there I think there's a much smaller portion of issues we disagree on than than there is in Jersey issues that we agree on so I can look across the aisle and hope that there will be people there will word out of this mess that we're in yeah so there's a lot of things that are running through my head right now that I want to get out area I don't think there's anyone out there doesn't do things we should leave sick people dying on on the street and I will ignore any rhetoric right now about that but additives that can get on your side what is that they may have that you may need what's you have they may need in order to help negotiate better bills it's not politicking at that point doc to work towards getting a better healthcare system understand that you know economics should not be punitive it should be productive who understand that children shouldn't be handed me living in this state and being represented Is that I feel like no matter I I I think staying true to the message that were trying to Bush here is is is top priority making sure that you're not just running a civil campaign should step in as a whole as a federal government not as a necessarily as a full partnership as was done before and try to rectify that situation if we don't when it comes to healthcare I I'm not GonNa there's nothing I'm GONNA hide behind here I do think accessing security the only difference I have I think that we should take a more incremental approach to getting there mine was never heard because when I call my representatives which I do daily almost in terms of listening I think you have to make yourself available I town halls if your representative are one of the most important ways you can reach out to your district congressional recesses like to think that means the majority of the constituency agree with what I'm putting out there and so I would hope that my positions would represent that and that pushing those positions would be analogy industry in the industry and we'll end the attorney industry so as policy person I'm sure that you think that I don't think anyone really truly believes that I think we were all good natured and and and hope that we can do the best that we can and in that we can agree on and in terms of getting there if you can live a life and you can live a political career that abide by those principles of being civil of being productive and allies just because they happen to be children and you know getting the meals on the weekend is an important thing in an important service that we offer I think that those are all things things I what were your husband and and we'll we'll win them over I would like to just there's something you mentioned though that does relate to health care the legislative hurdles and all that then we will if we just try to go at it from day one we'll hopefully avoid a lot more litigation in the political bantering back and forth than we had right now it's a lot more partisan bickering and posturing and things like that that are happening so how do you go into Congress surly meant for you to go home and just fundraise and just you know take a vacation yeah sure it takes some time with your family but also reach out to the people that you're it's they just basically tell me that's not the congressman Congress woman you know been they're not they're not GonNa do that superhuman beings we hopefully can walk and chew gum at the same time and if new information comes up if new concerns come up you need to be able to incorporate the there procreate or address them if they're not and that's another thing every representative should be doing when they come back districts some elective move when I come back to they get into office and it's you know this guy by the way for those you can't see me I'm just pretending those on my hand you know this guy is doing something I can't believe you that would definitely be free to talk to you but also you know when I wanted to talk to ask about I think I think healthcare is I think it's actually a lot simpler it's it's finding a good way to move forward together I I'm of the belief that the majority of the issues out there are things we can all in terms of things that people disagree with there's two things I think he at the way one do you think the majority of the district feels that way you're GonNa have to Sorta oh crazy and you know he's a worsening on the planet that is the kind of rhetoric that that needs to stop and it depends on US secondly if I am elected I would you should be able to justify every vote that you you cast you should be able to tell people I voted this way because of this reason or I couldn't vote for this because position you know this my way or highway attitude is is like utterly useless eight does not help as it doesn't get us anywhere we need to be able to say shop same places we go to the same places our kids are in the same schools so make yourself available if you're a representative get out there and talk to people don't be afraid of what they're gonNA say policy that is just the majority representation without trampling on the rights of the minority and two are you open to change are you open to being able to refine honey represented here elected how do you represent all of the people in your district and listen I listened to them enemy so I wonder if you've thought about twenty month old is maybe a little young for that but if you've thought about that with your with your five year old in how you think and talk about politics we're good policy but also a good office when you're actually there to do so I've seen a lot of people say oh I'm going to run a great optimistic positive campaign Xining that's what you're there to do your representative so listen to what they have say I've currently trying and we'll continue to try and succeed so with our kids we haven't really looked at this in terms of politics in the way you know media's has displayed in CNN or whatever that is something that we've told our kids in a broader way that you know your goals politics is the game I think policy making is really what it's all about all at the same time doing well yourself I mean it's not a an Arab binary choice that they work together anyone that's ever worked on a team knows than the team succeed being respectful I think we can actually get to where we need to be or maybe I'm just not business I like I like an optimist it one thing I think is freshman we look at it more as the choices you make should be good person and if you can be a good person at the end of the day that's all we really care about that manifest politics in a way that is educational that is hopeful that gets them civically engaged in how to keep them from seeing other people's the take your kids yeah well as a father say my twenty month old is the smartest twenty month old now I'm kidding the yet it's important and my wife and I have policymaking reflects the interests it reflects a desire to do something good that's what your goal should be it should be to leave the planet better than you found it should be the point is that you should be able to be heard you should be able to touch their congressmen we shouldn't be some people that are on you know in Washington and distant part of your community I mean to leave the person you meet better than when you first met them it should be to do the best you can for everyone your neighbors relatives friends Congressional district where you will be part of national politics federal politics but yet if people in the district probably have concerns that are very different than what is going on nationally doing that you're too afraid of of of justifying positions I hope that I won't do that in I'll try my best not to but that's that's talk about this ally as I said she so she's a physician and deals with patients from across the political spectrum so it doesn't matter to her what refined with whatever they want to do swimming that I am really curious ballots right now is those of us who follow politics really close for this reason and here's why it help or hurt the district this is an important function of the way we evaluate our our representatives and so my feeling is if you're not the best ways personal interaction being accountable and being transparent see you mention you have two little kids I I have an eight year sleepily everyone must be following politics as closely as we do the there's so much going on national politics right now I just flew in from DC this morning you know and that's you believe all she cares about is are you healthy and what can she do to get healthier you're not in any of you are what you can do to be even healthier in the future yeah I I think that's why you need to be active member of your district in your communities no matter where you are whether it be as a representative or US going into politics so be it a my wife's case it manifested as as going medicine in our kids case who knows what will manifest says but if there as long as people were league when an office will do so as well to reach out to anybody that calls or emails whether you're donor or just as a concerned citizen like it doesn't matter to me like the the five year old myself and I think one of the things that I sort of think about a lot struggle with a lot is how I talk to my kids about or traveling for work or whatever you come back home and and that's your investment whether like I said it's your neighbors kids your schools whatever I mean that's that's what matters taking up so much in my brain space but I suspect that's not actually true everywhere on the ground in so what what does that look like when you're running for office so you so being in your community talking to people letting them see that you know politics the way it's been portrayed as politics is far away everyone and maybe maybe some aspects of it are a really matter steeples if you're out there and fighting for them on the issues concerned about which you can only do if you talk if you see me on the street come talk to me if you see me anywhere for that matter come talk to me I am pretty approachable guy think I'm more than a people that live there country music stars all the way to farmers all the way to tech guys all the way to or whoever so you can only understand all that I think I made three and a half hours across the district wants so it's a big district and it's pretty diverse in terms of the types of industries they're types of by talking to people because I don't think everyone has every experienced that exists in the district so let's not pretend like we are already you know experts on those let's go out and learn what we so before we wrap up this first section with Ukraine is there anything else that you want to make sure that we talk about and the you know what I'd like to say is this we the focus of our campaign has been as mentioned several times in meeting people in the way we do this is fair and please don't hesitate to email there's link on there to contact us I check all of it so I'll get back I need to learn let's go out and talk to people in our fields that we don't live in our neighborhoods that have other concerns that are not just based on the way our family functions and parts of anywhere we can just talk to people because that's what we're gonNA continue to do for the next thirteen months we want to know what you think about the issues but online as our positions we want to know how you think I can better serve than the current representative and I think it's not just policy you know consulting firm or something like that from DC aside from that our website is Kieran for Congress dot com that's K. I. R. A. N. and you spell out the word for and on it I I think that's the best you can do in order to make it still at politics in Washington is more connected to people in wherever Mary County I mentioned earlier or any other county in this district willing to listen to you so long as my five year old is not having a meltdown I will happily spelt Smith spend as much time with you again that is the we have everything that you would think a campaign should have issue positions where we're going to be you know fundraising events you can get involved in all of that is is on anyway we can function and and that's the way the campaigns going to function going forward it's it's meant to be a campaign about the way normal people live their lives and not something that's engineered from a actions that happened or the story of the momentum that they just care if they can see some results on what they're interested in and that goes back saying as being able to represent the concerns of your district you're only priority and you can only do that by going around and talking to people the district is large for those of you who are listening do not know it is I think about see I do I will say this I think those town halls are important that I haven't really seen any of those so what I'd like to leave people with this we've been calling meet and greets and they're not fundraisers they are literally getting out of the community and trying to get into community centers or a senior centers or convince Lori that she should vote for you 'cause she's in your district right Laurie the word the words chicken in every pot Karen thank you and we will put that information on our website as well you can check it out as we have another guest who's coming running a couple of minutes late Lori and I are going to vamp for a couple of minutes and talk about a dumb cast which we are both part of so as I mentioned earlier in the recording Lori is the director as their opinions and share their perspectives on what's going on politically in their own community and because of that it's nick nuts started thinking about how he could support grassroots writer Karadzic talking politics are you WanNa start sure why not so jim cast is what we call a grassroots media and what we found through twenty sixteen twenty seven twenty eight was that there was trip digital strategy for dump cast I am the director of content jumped passed in so we can explain a little bit about what it is why we started it and what the heck it has to do with a model that allows people to submit content from anywhere so all across America in all fifty states uh there's been a very gradual but steady loss local journalism and local places where people can express the state's twitter pages and we are adding in a growing list of volunteers for each state to help connect the makes sure that whatever content is you know put out is actually seen by somebody so we have facebook pages for has a network of podcasts. We have I believe seventeen at this point podcasts that are all part of the network and what that means is that we support each other and we are looking for content from the grassroots organizations from activists from candidates to be her and we we share each other's contents a we help inform each other about things that are going on listen content producers and together we of course incorporating a few months ago as a Bible One C. Four leaders throughout my life I've tried to find opportunities to serve and I'm running for the Senate for the same reason I joined the army I feel like this is a time of crisis the US Senate from Tennessee James Welcome back to talking politics aren't used to be back still for people who may not remember veteran Amana faith my track record of service resonates I believe this is very much within reach if everyone who wants change joins the team to make it happen much like how I think my grandfather's generation felt after Pearl Harbor so I walked into an army recruiting station instead I want to be part of the fight sign me up I had to get an age waiver folks share that sort of information but what makes him cast unique is way are a volunteer organization as well so our focus is to really but then we also share the episodes and and help people find other content that they might really like and so we're not all the same Mike content my podcast and I need to step up and do more so there was a Senate race in Tennessee I just in twenty eighteen not too long ago and the different people who wanna get involved from organizations to people who just want to share things about the state and and stay informed about their states and decided I needed to serve in another way I saw the problems with military sexual assault problems which really persists to this day so I switched the Jag Corps became an army prosecute Tennessee in two thousand twenty I spent a lot of time traveling the state with people about what they need but aren't getting from their elected officials something that I am often turnout last cycle and our super majority Republican supermajority responded to those increases passing severe voter registration restriction laws that James One of the things Laurie one of the things that Tennessee really struggles with his voter registration and voter your previous episode with us which was many months ago now at this point maybe they just a a little bit of background about yourself and while you're running for Senate sure I'd be happy to Royal Hospital closures per person we have an opioid epidemic that is ravaging our communities and there's no national solution aren't even talking about it the trade war hurts our into a a wide range of content as so we are now joins our our second guest at this is James McClure who is running for Senate yeah and so what two brands talking politics has to do with besides me is that a dumb cast had economy more than any other state so when you look at the fact that we're in a presidential year with high tide voter turnout I need six more points things aren't getting better and I'm an outsider as you all know but maybe the rest of your listeners don't know I was practicing law on nine eleven as a thirty year old lawyer and after our nation was attacked I felt all the service the people aren't registered or we're in the bottom we're like forty nine fifty s in voter registration and voter turnout how do you think channel systematic barriers to voting into registration and those have only been increased since last cycle we had some significant increases in voter registration actually criminalize the process voter registration now luckily that's being held up in the courts but we are fighting an uphill

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