DeWine Offers Taxpayer Money for Giveaways to Vaccinated Ohioans

In a state-wide address, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced on Wednesday that individuals who get vaccinated will be entered for a chance to win a drawing of $1 million — 5 different winners will be selected. 

DeWine noted that the money to be given away comes from federal Coronavirus Relief funds. 

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Representative Harshbarger Introduces Bill to Reform Occupational Licensing: ‘Freedom to Work Act’

Representative Diana Harshbarger (R-TN-01) introduced the “Freedom to Work Act” on Wednesday – a bill to reform occupational licensing.

The Freedom to Work Act would require federal executive agencies to review their authorities, regulations, or policies that directly impose occupational licensing requirements or cause state, local, or tribal governments to adopt occupational licensing requirements. Then, those agencies would have to identify any changes that would either rescind or offer the least restrictive alternative to any occupational licensing requirements.

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Commentary: H.R. 1 Would Eliminate Key Signature Verification Safeguard

Democrats have already passed H.R. 1, also known as the For the People Act, in the House of Representatives; fortunately, the bill faces a much tougher road in the Senate. Among the bill’s many serious problems are a wide array that I would characterize as “mechanical,” in the sense that they dictate the nuts and bolts of how states would run elections. H.R. 1 attempts to dictate these elements in a way that is either impossible to put into effect or would gut the effective administration of elections. One example is how H.R. 1 dictates, through its Section 1621, that states must deal with signature verification – a cornerstone of election security, especially with the growth of mail-in balloting.

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Poll: Majority of Voters Blame Biden for Border ‘Crisis’

Border Patrol arrest illegal aliens

As the Biden administration continues to wrestle with an influx of people illegally crossing the southern border, new polling shows Americans are unhappy with the president’s handling of the issue.

Polling released Tuesday from Rasmussen reports that roughly two-thirds of Americans think “the current situation with migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border is a crisis.”

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Tennessee State Employees Participate in Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Listening Session

Staff members at the Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) earlier this year documented the results of a Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity listening session they held for nearly 300 state employees. DHS officials published their report in January.

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Crom Carmichael Discusses the Future of the Republican Party

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss the future of the Republican Party.

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The Federalist Author Jenni White Discusses the Five Ways Parents Are Responsible for Public Education Failures

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed author Jenni White at The Federalist to the newsmakers line to discuss her recent article which gives five examples of how parents are responsible for the failure of public education.

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Star News Network Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe on the Ouster of Liz Cheney and Her Replacement

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Star News Network’s Washington Correspondent Neil W. McCabe to the newsmakers line to give his predictions on whether or not House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney will be voted out of her spot and replaced by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik.

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Commentary: The Strange Death of the British Labour Party

Labour Party

I must visit Twitter periodically to renew my sense of horror. For lurid anthropological enjoyment, Twitter offers a safari to those inclined. Twitter is most satisfying when reality intrudes upon those dedicated to unreality, the “my-truthers.” 

Last week’s elections in Great Britain were such an occasion. “Fascists live among us!” cried the Woke, who call for the professional death and canceling of anyone who disagrees with them. 

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Consumer Prices Increase 4.2 Percent to the Highest Level Since 2008

The consumer price index has jumped 4.2% over the last 12 months, the fastest pace of inflation since 2008, according to a Department of Labor report.

The consumer price index (CPI) increased 0.8% between March and April, according to the Labor Department report released Wednesday morning. Economists projected that the CPI increased by 0.2% last month and 3.6% over the 12-month period ending in April, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Arizona Adopts Election Reform Bill That Stops Some Voters from Automatically Receiving Absentee Ballots

Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed an election reform bill Tuesday that could stop thousands of voters from automatically receiving an absentee ballot ahead of an upcoming election.

SB 1485 would remove voters who have not participated in Arizona’s last four elections from its permanent early voting list, which allows them to automatically receive absentee ballots ahead of elections. Partisan primaries are included as separate elections, meaning that a voter could be removed if they fail to vote back-to-back election cycles, but they must also first fail to respond to mail notices alerting them.

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Tennessee State Senator Ferrell Haile Discusses One of His Top Three Priorities Citing Progress in Safe Baby Courts

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Tennessee State Senator Ferrell Haile to the newsmakers line to talk about his three top priorities as Senator which are children, families, and education in addition to the progress he’s made in the safe baby court.

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Gas Crisis in Southeastern U.S. Worsens as over 1,000 Stations Run Out of Fuel

America’s southeast is seeing the worst of the growing energy crisis after a devastating hack of a major American pipeline, with well over 1,000 gas stations running out of fuel altogether, the New York Post reports.

Following the hack of the Colonial Pipeline, a critical system that serves 17 states, the situation was made even worse by a spike in panic-buying of fuel, which led to even more gas stations running out than caused by the initial hack. North Carolina felt the worst of the shortage, with approximately 8.5 percent of its roughly 5,400 gas stations running empty. Virginia was not too far behind, after around 7.7 percent of its 3,900 stations also ran dry.

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New Federal Data Signals More Trouble for U.S. Economy

New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that prices for consumer goods have risen significantly in the past year, putting extra strain on Americans’ budgets and worrying experts.

As the Biden administration fends off criticism over proposed tax increases, higher spending and rising inflation, BLS released data Wednesday showing the biggest increase in consumer prices in over a decade. Those price increases point to a spike in inflation, experts say.

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Music Spotlight: Tyler Kohrs

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-  The first time I heard Tyler Kohrs sing was on an Instagram video. He has a beautiful, bright voice and his country covers were spot on. But that wasn’t unusual. What was unusual was that he sounded country and talked with a slight southern accent, but is actually Asian-American. That piqued my interest so much that I contacted him directly.

Those of you who watch The Voice may recognize Tyler Kohrs from his tryout this past March. He didn’t get through, but he still did very well where people remarked about it. The story he shares about his experience is one you will want to hear.

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Representative Mark Green Introduces Bill to Sanction Russia

Representative Mark Green (R-TN-07) introduced a bill Wednesday to sanction Russia for their invasion of the Donbas region of Ukraine.

If enacted, the Restraining Russian Imperialism Act would instruct the Biden administration to impose sanctions if Russia does not completely withdraw from the region within a year.

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Senator Marsha Blackburn Warns Companies Against Business with Iran

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and 14 other Republican Senators issued a letter to the international business community warning against resuming business with Iran. 

The opportunity to resume business with Iran comes as President Joe Biden and his administration officials may repeal some sanctions in order to facilitate negotiations to return to a nuclear deal similar to the one implemented by President Obama in 2015. 

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Minneapolis Mayor Admits Anti-Police Rhetoric has Led to Crime Spike

They mayor of Minneapolis, who himself has bashed police in order to placate the Black Lives Matter mob, now says that calls to “defund the police” have led to a spike in crime in the city. 

“The violence needs to stop, it’s unacceptable. People deserve to feel safe in their neighborhood, they deserve to be able to send their kids out to the sidewalk to play and to recreate without bullets flying by. That’s unacceptable. We should be holding these perpetrators accountable,” Mayor Jacob Frey (D) said.

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U.S. Representative Stephanie Murphy to Announce Senate Run

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-7) is set to announce a run for U.S. Senate against sitting Sen. Marco Rubio in 2022. Murphy is the first major challenger to join the Senate race and has a reputation for being a proven fundraiser, providing a challenge for Rubio’s team.

Murphy has a history of separating herself from the larger Democratic Party and provides potential crossover appeal to moderate voters. She and her family fled communist Vietnam when she was a child, and refers to herself as a “proud capitalist,” and has given indicators she may be opposed to possible tax increases floated by President Joe Biden’s administration.

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Virginia Legislators Lay Out Priorities for ‘American Rescue Plan’ Funds

The American Rescue Plan will provide $7.2 billion for Virginia: $2.9 billion allocated for municipalities, and $4.3 billion for the state government, according to a Tuesday announcement from Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. On Wednesday, Governor Ralph Northam and Democratic General Assembly leaders released their priorities for the $4.3 billion, including upgrading public health infrastructure, funding the Rebuild Virginia small business recovery plan, adding funds to the Unemployment Trust Fund, modernizing public schools, and deploying broadband across Virginia.

“This is a unique opportunity to invest in Virginia’s long-term future. We intend to be good stewards of these taxpayer dollars, in full compliance with fiduciary guidelines. We reject calls to refuse these federal dollars, and we support the law’s prohibition on cutting state taxes to substitute federal dollars. We embrace this rare opportunity, and we choose to invest,” Northam and the legislators wrote.

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Northam Awards $9.4 Million from Volkswagen Lawsuit Funds to Electrify Diesel Fleets at IAD, Fairfax County, and Amherst County

Governor Ralph Northam awarded $9.4 million to fund electrification of government-owned vehicle fleets for Dulles International Airport, Fairfax County, and Amherst County. The funds are part of the Clean Air Communities Program (CACP) and is funded by the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust (VEMT). Along with the $9.4 million awards, Northam announced a second round of funding, an additional $20 million, to electrify school buses.

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Michigan GOP Rep Introduces Fact-Checker Registration Bill

A Republican member of the state House of Representatives is attempting to hold the news media accountable for spreading disinformation. 

“The ‘Fact Checker Registration Act’ defines a fact checker as someone who publishes in print or online in Michigan, is paid by a fact-checking organization and is a member of the International Fact Check Network,” according to Detroit News.

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Ohio Representatives to Release Resolution to Cancel COVID Orders

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A member of the Ohio House of Representatives announced that he will release a resolution today at 4:00 p.m. created to cancel statewide masking and distancing mandates.  

Representative Scott Wiggam (R-Wooster) announced on Twitter “[t]oday, at 4 pm we will file a concurrent resolution to rescind the restrictive health mandates that have barred Ohioans from their freedoms and liberties granted to them under the Constitution.  It will end the mask mandate, school mask mandates, and the social distancing mandate.”

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Poll: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Leads Competitors by 10 Points

On Wednesday, the Florida Chamber of Commerce released a poll showing Governor Ron DeSantis leads each of his potential Democratic competitors by at least double-digit points in the 2022 gubernatorial race.

In a hypothetical head-to-head general election, DeSantis leads Rep. Charlie Crist 51-41. Against Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried in the same scenario, DeSantis leads 51-39, and against Rep. Val Demings, DeSantis leads 53-38.

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Despite COVID Lockdowns, Georgia Revenue Up $2.5 Billion

Instead of a predicted deficit, Georgia’s total revenue increased by $2.5 billion, according to a statement released by Governor Brian Kemp’s office.

Many state elected officials predicted significant budget shortfalls due to a partially-closed economy because of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.

“Year-to-date, net tax collections totaled $21.74 billion for an increase of nearly $2.51 billion, or 13.1 percent, compared to the previous fiscal year when net tax revenues totaled $19.23 billion after ten months,” the statement read.

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Chatham County GOP Members Accuse Georgia Republican Party of Overreach in Local Party Elections

State-level officials within the Georgia Republican Party recently used — or, depending upon whom you ask, abused — their authority to select members of the Chatham County Executive Board. Chatham County GOP members had an unsuccessful convention last month in Savannah. Witnesses described a rift between pro-Trumpers and the party establishment that provoked a shouting match that ended business prematurely before anyone could elect Executive Board members.

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Former Trump Campaign Manager Advising Potential GOP Primary Challenger to Gov. Mike DeWine

Brad Parscale, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, is currently advising former Representative Jim Renacci on a potential primary challenge to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, according to a report from NBC News and confirmed by Parscale. 

Parscale said he is serving Renacci in an unpaid role. 

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Florida Enters State of Emergency Amid Gas Shortage

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) Tuesday evening declared a state of emergency and activated the Florida National Guard amid a gas shortage that is wreaking havoc along the eastern seaboard. 

The order, which directs state officials to work with the federal government and loosens restrictions for truckers from out of state to bring gasoline into Florida, is in effect after a group of hackers called DarkSide executed a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline. 

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New Tennessee Law Allows College Athletes to Profit from Sponsorships, Endorsements

Tennessee will allow its college athletes to be compensated for any use of their name, image, and likeness (NIL), beginning next January. Governor Bill Lee signed the bill into law on Tuesday.

Current NCAA rules don’t allow college athletes to receive NIL compensation from opportunities like sponsorships or endorsements. That’s because the NCAA requires college athletes to maintain “amateur athletic status.” In addition to prohibiting compensation based on NIL, college athletes are prohibited from receiving additional compensation for competition, training expense funds, or prize money from competing. The NCAA also doesn’t allow college athletes to be represented or marketed by agents or other professionals.

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