GOP Congressmember/Truth Stretching Andy Ogles— A Proud Member of the Impeach Biden Club July 30, 2023
Normally, I’d say the 86-degree D.C. temperature on July 24, 2023 was driving Speaker McCarthy (R-CA) to utter the absurd statements he made about President Biden on that date (latimes.com, The Weather, 7/25/23). However, conservative House Speaker McCarthy isn’t influenced by meteorological concerns. All he cares about is staying in power which means catering to the far-right Freedom Caucus wackos in his “Red” caucus who finally voted for him after 15 ballots in 1/2023. Whatever this group, including Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and her cronies want, they’ll get or McCarthy will lose his gavel. An obsession with the extremist Freedom Caucus gang, which is key to McCarthy’s political survival, remains impeaching President Biden who as a Democrat constitutes “evil incarnate.” In late June, 2023, McCarthy delayed a vote on Biden’s impeachment. He “punted” by referring this motion to House GOP committees who are already investigating the matter. Boebert was not alone in voicing her firebrand views on impeachment. Fellow Freedom Caucus member Cong. Andy Ogles (R-TN) boldly declared, “We need to remove Joe Biden from the Oval Office and ensure that Americans are safe (politico.com, Ferris, Wu, & Carney, 6/22/23, nytimes.com, Ivory, Smart, & Yourish, 1/04/23).” Ogles also said, “If I had to pick one (Democrat to impeach), I’d pick Biden (cnn.com, Zanona, Raju, & Grayer, 7/25/23).”
The Freedom Caucus gang never gives up. It keeps putting tremendous boiling point plus 212 degrees heat on McCarthy to “get” Biden. McCarthy has been consulting with former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) who went after Bill Clinton (cnn.com, Zanona et al, 7/25/23). In his July 24, 2023 interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Speaker McCarthy suggested that House Republicans may be approaching the point where they’d pursue an impeachment investigation of President Biden. McCarthy added, “We’ve only followed where the information has taken us. But Hannity, this is rising to the level of impeachment inquiry, which provides Congress the strongest power to get the rest of the knowledge and information needed (cnn.com, Rosche, J., 7/25/23).” These comments by Speaker McCarthy are his most explicit threat yet to impeach President Biden. McCarthy’s nonsensical statements to Hannity came after a series of congressional investigations in the GOP-led House that have targeted Biden’s administration and family members, including Biden’s son Hunter. House GOPers have demanded that Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney David Weiss answer questions about allegations from two IRS whistleblowers that the tax investigation in the Hunter Biden criminal probe was tainted by political interference. U.S. Atty. Weiss and Attorney General Merrick Garland have denied these allegations (cnn.com, Rosche). The White House pushed back. It criticized the House GOPers eagerness to attack the President “regardless of the truth.” The White House stated, “Instead of focusing on the real issues Americans want us to address like continuing to lower inflation or create jobs, this is what the @HouseGOP wants to prioritize. Their eagerness to go after @POTUS regardless of the truth is seemingly bottomless (cnn.com, Rosche, 6/25/23).” Meet Cong. Andy Ogles, who certainly has a bottomless obsession to go after Biden regardless of the truth.
First-term Congressmember Andy Ogles (52) presently represents Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District (CD). The Volunteer State 5th CD is a district in Middle TN. Ogles has represented the TN 5th since 1/2023. Throughout the 20th and early 21st Century, the TN 5th was centered on and synonymous with Nashville, TN’s capital. Nashville, of course, was home to the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame. Nashville, currently TN’s largest city, is a center for music, health care, and publishing. Nashville remains home to numerous colleges and universities. Nashville was nicknamed not only “Music City,” but also, “the Athens of the South (bmi.com, Cohen & Cook 2022 Political Almanac).” Prior to the 2020 House redistricting cycle, this district contained all of Davidson County where Nashville was located and was a safe Democratic seat. However, after the 2020 House redistricting cycle, the former Democratic TN 5th was gerrymandered by the TN GOP House legislative chambers with the agreement of GOP TN Gov. Bill Lee. Since that redistricting, there is no longer a congressional district centered on Nashville. Nashville has now been split up into three separate districts, which dilutes the city’s heavily Democratic voter base, into surrounding suburban and rural counties. These counties lean strongly Republican. The newly reconfigured 5th , which Cong. Ogles now holds, contains the southern portion of Davidson County and portions of Wilson and Williamson Counties. All of Maury, Lewis, and Marshall Counties lie in the new TN 5th. The most recent Cook PVI Partisan Voting Index (PVI) gives the redistricted 5th a comfortable R +9 score. The old 5th had a D+9 Cook PVI (davesredistricting.org/maps, Cohen & Cook 2022 Almanac).
Nashville native Ogles calls himself strongly rooted in Maury County. He describes himself as having deep family roots in TN that date back to the state’s founding (andyogles.com/about/). He attended Western Kentucky University and Columbia State Community College from 1990-1993 where he said he studied allied language arts and English (Williams, P., newschannel 5.com, 2/16/23). Ogles later studied at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), where he failed every course taken in the fall of 1995 and the fall of 1998. He returned to the university in 2007 and graduated with a 2.4 grade average with a BS in Liberal Studies (Williams, P., newschannel5.com, 2/16 &2/28/23). The Washington Post and TN’s “NewsChannel 5” described Liberal Studies as “a general education degree typically for those who cannot settle on a major (Williams, P., newschannel5.com, 2/28/23, Wagner, J., washingtonpost.com/politics, 2/27/23).” Ogles later stated that he had initially failed those university courses because he had “to financially support my family during a difficult time” and that he eventually completed his studies online (Vlachou, M., huffpost.com, 2/28/23, Bartlett, K., 2/27/23, tennessean.com/story/news/politics).
Ogles comments about his educational record, to paraphrase “Alice in Wonderland,” get “curiouser and curiouser.” His congressional biography, published after he became a Congressmember in 2023, claimed that he received his MTSU degree where he said he studied “policy and economics (Williams, P., newschannel5.com 2/16 &2/28/23, Otten, T., newrepublic.com, 2/28/23).” On February 16, 2023, “NewsChannel 5”published an investigatory report. In that report, this TN channel stated that in a 2009 resume and in a background check, Ogles said he had obtained an MTSU degree in international relations with minors in psychology and English (Williams, P., 2/16/23, newschannel5.com). Under a federal law allowing students to block the release of academic records, Ogles had MTSU decline to confirm the details of his degree. He also told other students on WWTN radio to “lock down your transcripts (newschannel.5.com, Williams, 2/16/23).” Ogles later said he did not remember “saying he had an economics degree.” However, he stated, “I was quite clear that I had studied political science and international relations and had studied political science from “the economic perspective (Williams, newschannel.5, 2/22/23).” On 2/26/2023, Ogles claimed he had been “mistaken” in saying he had an MTSU degree in international relations. He added that he had requested his college transcript the week before and only then learned that his degree was actually in Liberal Studies (apnews.com, Kruesi, K., 3/01/23). “NewsChannel 5” called Ogles’ statement “apparently preemptive” because he had ignored that station’s “request for comment” after that media outlet had obtained his MTSU transcript from an old job application. On February 27, 2023, “NewsChannel 5”published Ogles’ MTSU transcript. It showed that Ogles had taken only one economics course at a community college where he received a “C” passing grade, while he passed nine but failed several other political science courses at MTSU. By 2/28/23, Ogles’ congressional biography was edited to just state that, “Andy obtained his degree from MTSU (Williams, newschannel5.com, 2/28/23, Vlachou, 2/28/23, huffpost.com).” IMHO, how could a college graduate not remember what he/she majored in and the nature of the degree he/she received? Frankly, Ogles is competing to win the Southern version of GOP imposter that Rep. George Santos has sewn up in New York.
Ogles worked as a restaurant operator and real estate investor before getting into the political fray. His political involvement began when he became the first director of the TN chapter of the right-wing Koch Brothers founded Americans for Prosperity advocacy group. He later became involved with the Laffer Center, a fiscally conservative tax policy group. Ogles has been a Club for Growth Foundation fellow (clubforgrowth.org). This outfit is part of the hard-right GOP economic supply side anti-tax group of organizations. Ogles continued making more Southern George Santos imposter claims. He kept claiming that he was an economist. When “NewsChannel5” questioned his training in economics, Ogles argued that he had spent the last decade “working on economic and tax policy.” In fact, he was just an anti-tax lobbyist for Americans for Prosperity and executive director in the Laffer organization. As a lobbyist, he basically was spouting talking points given to him. As an executive director for the Laffer group, he just did administrative work. At that time, he was not, according to “NewsChannel5,” named the author of any economic reports uploaded on the Laffer Center’s website. Ogles claimed he had been featured as a nationally recognized expert on tax policy and health care and had written in these areas for the “Wall Street Journal” and “Investor’s Business Daily.” “NewsChannel5” could find no articles in those publications citing him as an expert in those fields. It only found three columns by Ogles in these publications. These three articles had been written when he was a lobbyist before he joined the Laffer Center (Williams, 2/16/23,newschannel5.com & 2/22/23).
And the Andy “George Santos” Ogles imposter act didn’t stop with his college and lobbyist days. At a political debate and in another forum, Ogles called himself “a former member of law enforcement who had worked in international sex crimes, specifically child trafficking, human trafficking (Williams, newschannel5.com, 2/16/23, Bartlett, 2/27/23, tennessean.com).” “NewsChannel 5” reported that Ogles was a volunteer reserve deputy with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office from 2009-2011. His position was revoked for failing to meet minimum standards, failing to progress in field training, and failing to attend required meetings. The Williamson County Sheriff’s office said that records do not show Ogles trained or worked against international sex trafficking as a reserve deputy (Williams, 2/16/23 & Bartlett, 2/27/23).
Ogles first won political office when he was elected mayor of Maury County on 8/02/18 by defeating the incumbent (tennesseestar.com, 8/04/18). As mayor, Ogles criticized GOP TN Gov. Bill Lee for not restricting local school boards’ ability to implement mask mandates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (Christen, M., 8/11/21, columbiaherald.com). Ogles initially filed to run for a second term as county mayor, but withdrew to run for the newly redrawn gerrymandered GOP-friendly TN 5th CD. After announcing his candidacy for Congress and one month before the GOP primary, Ogles who had previously supported a sales tax increase that passed in 2020, vetoed that year’s county budget along with school and library budgets, because of a 31-cent property tax hike. He vetoed the library’s budget because he felt the library exposed young children to inappropriate “woke” material. Wow! In addition to becoming a George Santos mimic, Ogles was aiming to be a “mini-me” FL GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis (See columbiadailyherald.com, Campbell, D., 7/19/22). The county commission overruled his veto because Maury County was the fastest growing county in TN. Ogles rarely attended county meetings and took no part in the budget process. The county commission had been unaware of any of Ogles’ concerns, including his “woke” nonsense drivel about the budget (See columbiadailyherald.com). Some commissioners and citizens believed Ogles vetoed this budget mainly to bolster his conservative credentials (wiki). It worked. Despite Ogles being late on paying taxes on his home between 2005-2015 and going against a former Army Brigadier General and former state House Speaker, Ogles won his congressional GOP primary (nashvillepost.com, Elliot & Herner, nashvillepost.com, 11/08/22). In the November, 2022 general election, Ogles clobbered his Democratic opponent by a 14% margin, 56%-42%. For the first time in modern history, Nashville had no Democratic representatives (tennesseelookout.com, Stockard & Wadhwani, 11/08/22).
On January 1, 2023, Cong. Ogles signed a letter along with several other right-wing GOP representatives that opposed Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) bid for House Speaker because McCarthy did not accept all their proposed House rules changes (thehill.com, Dress, B., 1/01/23). He kept voting against McCarthy until the 12th ballot. Ogles stated he would now vote for McCarthy because he believed that after days of negotiations between McCarthy and the other holdouts, these discussions were now “going well (See Housler, K.,1/06/23, tennesseestar.com).” Shortly after he was sworn in to the House, Rep. Ogles received an appointment to the House Financial Services Committee (Brooks, E., 1/11/23, thehill.com, CQ Cong. At Your Fingertips 118th Cong., 1st Session 2023).
Media groups have characterized Ogles’ political views as conservative or far-right (apnews.com, 11/08/22, cbsnews.com, Humphrey, M, 8/05/22). The first bill Cong. Ogles introduced, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2023, would have repealed Biden’s previous year’s successful legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act. In his State of the Union speech, Biden called out this reactionary bill Ogles was proposing (Housler, 2/08/23, tennesseestar.com). Ogles opposes abortion and downplays the need for any exceptions in anti-abortion bills as “red herrings.” He opposes same-sex marriage. When the Supreme Ct. repealed “Roe v. Wade,” Cong. Ogles declared, “The next thing we have to do is go after gay marriage (Gainey, 10/10/22, wpln.org/post/democrat, apnews.com, 10/04/22).” Cong. Ogles wants the Dept. of Education defunded. Not only does Ogles want to impeach Pres. Biden, he also favors impeaching VP Kamala Harris, and charging Sec. of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas with treason (cbsnews.com, Humphrey, 8/05/22, wkrn.com/news). Cong. Ogles also denies the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election that Biden won. He additionally favors school choice, term limits, deregulating health care, and lower taxes, the standard far right GOP stances (clubforgrowth.org, nytimes.com, Ivory et al, 1/17/23). When the March 2023 Covenant Christian School shooting occurred in his district, Rep. Ogles did not call for reasonable gun control. He just sent his “thoughts and prayers to the families of those lost,” the usual hard-right GOP nothing of a response. In fact, in a 2021 Christmas card, Ogles had a photo of his family and him posing with assault rifles (ogles.house.gov,3/27/23, newrepublic.com, 3/27/23). Yes, Cong. Ogles-- “Peace on earth good will toward men.”
NY GOP George Santos may have a very bad time holding his Long Island seat. Santos wannabe Andy Ogles, however, comes from now GOP-friendly TN. Despite all his truth stretching stunts, in the Cook PVI R+9 gerrymandered TN 5th , Ogles will probably have little trouble getting easily elected. However, if Democrats come out in droves nationally in 2024, they can take back the mere 4-seat GOP House majority. Ogles will then end up speaking to fellow irrelevant GOP House member extremists about any additional fevered plans he has to go after President Biden.