Bill Proposes Voter Poll on Legalization, Decriminalization of Medical or Recreational Marijuana in Tennessee

Tennesseans may have the option to weigh in on the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana: medical, recreational, or both. State Representative Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) introduced bill HB 1634 on Wednesday to include a voter opinion poll on the subject within the November 2022 ballot.

The poll would ask voters if Tennessee should legalize medical marijuana, decriminalize possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, and legalize and regulate commercial sales of recreational marijuana.

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PR Firm Hires Ex-White House Spokesman TJ Ducklo As Senior Vice President, After He Resigned for Threatening Reporter

Risa Heller Communications hired TJ Ducklo, the Nashville native who resigned as the Biden administration’s deputy press secretary shortly after his suspension for threatening and insulting a reporter. The reporter in question, Tara Palmeri, had inquired with another political reporter, Alexi McCammond, about the potential conflict of interest presented in her new relationship to Ducklo. In response, Ducklo made an off-the-record call to threaten and harass Palmeri. Palmeri shared Ducklo’s comments with his superiors. In one response to Palmeri’s concerns, senior Biden officials took Palmeri to task for breaking a reported off-the-record agreement with Ducklo. The scandal occurred shortly after President Joe Biden promised in his inaugural address to employees that disrespecting colleagues would be a fireable offense.

The PR firm’s founder and primary operator, Risa Heller, was formerly the communications director for Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and former Democratic governor of New York, David Paterson. Heller also offered crisis communications assistance to former Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY-09) amidst his sex scandal in 2011; Ivanka Trump as she navigated conflict ahead of her appointment as a senior advisor to her father, former President Trump; and the family real estate company of Jared Kushner, the previous president’s son-in-law.

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Star News Networks Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe Talks Biden Agenda Stall, Democrat Senate Seats, and McCarthy’s Dangerous Game

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Star News Network’s Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line to weigh in on Biden’s agenda, Democratic Senate seats, and Kevin McCarthy’s game plan.

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Spring Hill Lab Owner Charged in Massive Medicare Fraud Scheme

Person in lab gear

Federal officials have charged the owner and chief executive of the Spring Hill-based Crestar Labs, with aiding and abetting and violation of the anti-kickback statute for allegedly orchestrating a fraudulent Medicare billing scheme. This scheme, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee, related to genetic testing in cancer patients.

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Report: Japan Considers Banning Spectators at Olympics to Avoid Coronavirus Spread

The Japanese government has considered banning all spectators at the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics as COVID-19 cases have surged, according to Reuters.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is set to announce new measures to combat the rising COVID-19 cases on Thursday, and authorities have said that a state of emergency for Tokyo is likely, according to Reuters.

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Far-Left Activist Ibram Kendi, ‘Leading Thinker’ of Critical Race Theory, to Speak at Teachers’ Union Conference

On Wednesday, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) will be hosting one of the most far-left activists in America at their biennial conference, for the purpose of promoting Critical Race Theory, Breitbart reports.

Ibram Kendi, the author of numerous books that fuel racial division such as “How to be an Antiracist” and “Antiracist Baby,” will be a featured speaker at AFT’s Together Educating America’s Children (TEACH) conference. Other speakers who will appear during the five-day conference include Jill Biden, failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, and the Deputy Secretary of the Education Department Cindy Marten.

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Crom Carmichael Weighs in on Jon Meacham’s Claim That Republican Party Greater Threat to American Democracy Than China

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to weigh in on left-wing historian Jon Meacham’s claim that Republican’s more dangerous to democracy than CCP.

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Eric Adams Wins Democratic Primary in Race to Be New York City’s Next Mayor

Eric Adams

Former NYPD officer Eric Adams will be the Democratic nominee for mayor of New York City after updated vote tallies gave him a narrow lead over former city sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia.

Adams led Garcia 50.5% to 49.5% when the Associated Press called the race, a full point closer than last Wednesday’s results. The city’s Board of Elections the day before had mistakenly counted approximately 135,000 invalid ballots, though the original incorrect results mirrored those released Wednesday.

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CloutHub Founder Jeff Brain Reacts to Trump’s Big Tech Lawsuit

Jeff Brain

The founder of CloutHub, a free speech social media network, has responded to former President Donald J. Trump’s class action lawsuit against several Silicon Valley titans, which the forty-fifth president announced Wednesday. 

“I am pleased that President Trump is fighting back against Big Tech corporations after enduring months of blatant injustices,” Jeff Brain said in press release. “His lawsuit is based on the infringement of his fundamental free speech rights that powerful companies such as Facebook and Twitter imposed based on their own political bias; a bias that has no place with such important keepers of our national public square online.”

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Independent Women’s Forum Senior Policy Analyst Patrice Onwuka Talks Border and Kamala Harris Photo Op in El Paso

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Senior Policy Analyst for the Independent Women’s Forum Patrice Onwuka to the newsmakers line to discuss Kamala Harris’s El Paso photo op and the Biden administrations disservice to the American people.

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Center for Immigration Studies’ Director of Policy Studies Jessica Vaughan Predicts Porous Border Will Be a Political Loss for Biden Administration

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Law, Jessica Vaughan to weigh in on the ramifications of a broken immigration system.

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Biden EPA’s Web of Conflicts with Climate Groups Forces Ethics Waiver for One Official

The revolving door between climate change special interests and the Biden Environmental Protection Agency has swung open so often in recent months that the agency is being forced to grant an ethics waiver to one of its politically appointed lawyers allowing her to participate in cases involving a former client.

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Tennessee Gas Prices Near Lowest in Nation, Still on the Rise

Though Tennessee ranks tenth-cheapest in gas prices among all 50 states, prices for a barrel of unleaded fuel are still on the rise, and Tennesseans can expect that trend to continue. 

“AAA’s Tennessee Gas Price average is now $2.88 which is the same as one month ago and nearly 95 cents more than one year ago,” according to a WSMV report. 

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Host Leahy and Carmichael Discuss Open Document Request by the Georgia Star News Mysteriously Goes Under Seal After April Release to GPB

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed All-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss the breaking news that the Georgia State election board will not provide open records request.

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Cities in Red States Show Best Economic Recovery from the Pandemic

As the country continues to climb back from more than a year of an economic downward spiral during the COVID-19 pandemic, cities in states with Republican-led governors that imposed fewer restrictions are experiencing a faster and more robust comeback.

A study by WalletHub ranked the top 180 cities in the country to determine where economic recovery is occurring.

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Rep. Diana Harshbarger Introduces Bill to Increase Transparency Within the Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Representative Diana Harshbarger (R-TN-01) introduced a bill on Tuesday that is aimed to increase the level of transparency associated with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The legislation, known as the DHS Contract Reporting Act of 2021, would instruct DHS to publish a public, daily report of all headquarters and component contracts related to the agency that exceeds $4 million.

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Oil Reaches Highest Price in Six Years Amid Low Supply, Output

Oil prices climbed to a six-year high Tuesday as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia continue to tamp down on global output, The Wall Street Journal reported.

An OPEC meeting was called off Monday, the WSJ reported. It was the group’s third attempt to discuss surging prices and an increase in oil consumption amid an opening global economy.

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Commentary: Republicans Troll Themselves into Accepting the Left’s War on Our Heritage

The House of Representatives voted last week to remove all Confederate-related statues from public view. Only 120 lawmakers—all Republicans—voted against the measure. One defender of the move was House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). He said it was a good idea because all the banished figures were Democrats.

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Federal Judge Denies Injunction Request to Stop Georgia’s Voter Integrity Law

A U.S. District Judge on Wednesday denied one group’s request that he issue a preliminary injunction against certain sections of Georgia’s new voter integrity law, Senate Bill 202. The Coalition for Good Governance requested the injunction for the July 13 runoff election for Georgia State House District 34.

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More Ohio Farmers Will Get Paid to Help Keep Lake Erie Clean

More Ohio farmers can be paid by the state to implement measurers officials say help protect Lake Erie as 10 more counties have been added to the H2Ohio program, which received a $120 million boost in the recently signed state budget.

The program, which offers funding to farmers who use proven conservation practices that limit agricultural phosphorus runoff from fertilizer, now includes 24 northwest Ohio counties. Officials said phosphorus runoff is the primary factor behind algal blooms in Lake Erie.

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Appellate Court to Decide Florida’s Cruise Industry Fight with CDC

Cruise ship next to dock

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will be hearing a case between the State of Florida and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over cruise industry COVID-related restrictions.

Last month, a federal district judge sided with Florida and issued an immediate injunction against the CDC-imposed COVID restrictions on the cruise industry, halting the restrictions temporarily.

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Florida’s May Revenues Exceed Expectations

Florida’s Historic Capitol and Florida State Capitol

State revenue projections for Florida in May have exceeded expectations, according to a new report from state economists. May’s state income reflected a tenth straight month of revenue exceeding state projections, which economists say is a good sign despite the cost of products and goods going up. 

The Florida Legislature’s Office of Economic & Demographic Research announced $3.6 billion in general revenue. The original projections had the state raking in over one-half million dollars less.

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Legal Issues May Arise as Tucson Ignores Arizona’s ‘Second Amendment Sanctuary’ Law

The city of Tucson passed a resolution recently declaring that it will defy Arizona’s “Second Amendment Sanctuary” law, which says the state will not comply with federal laws and regulations that violate the Second Amendment. Arizona’s law prohibits the police and sheriffs from enforcing those laws. The state passed the 2nd Amendment Firearm Freedom Act into law in April. 

Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik introduced the resolution last month. Democratic Mayor Regina Romero and the City Council unanimously passed the resolution on June 22, which they labeled an emergency.

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Uptown Minneapolis Annual Art Fair Canceled Due to ‘Unanticipated Challenges’

Uptown Art Fair

The Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis was canceled for 2021, because of “unanticipated challenges.” A statement from the executive director of the Uptown Association said that having the 2021 fair was “not something that we can feel comfortable with, for safety reasons and for our artists.” She cited dumpster fires and an increase in drag racing as some of the safety concerns.

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Minnesota Representative Jim Hagedorn Diagnosed with Kidney Cancer Again

Minnesota Representative Jim Hagedorn (R-MN-01) announced that he has kidney cancer again after having his cancerous kidney removed. In his official statement he said, “Be assured, I will continue to fight for America and serve the people of MN01 with the highest level of energy and enthusiasm.”

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Veto Places 136 At-Risk Kids’ Lives into Uncertainty, Critics Say

When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed House Bill 4945, she threw into uncertainty the futures of 136 at-risk Detroit kids, supporters of the measure say.

Possibilities include prison, the streets, or shipping them across the state to another Strict Disciplinary Academy (SDA) instead of allowing them an education through Ace Academy in Highland Park.

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U.S. Capitol Police Announce Field Offices in Florida and California

As a result of an increase in threats to members of Congress since January’s Capitol riot, the United States Capitol Police (USCP) announced its plan to establish field offices in Florida and California to investigate said threats.

As clarified in an email sent to the News Service of Florida, the specific locations within the two states will be the Tampa and San Francisco areas.

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Former Governor Harry Byrd, Sr. Statue Removed from Virginia Capitol

The statue of former Governor and U.S. Senator Harry Byrd, Sr., was removed from Virginia’s Capitol Square on Wednesday. Byrd was a renowned Democratic politician who helped stimulate economic growth and a better road network. But he’s more well-known for orchestrating efforts to fight integrating Virginia’s schools despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision.

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Arizona Attorney General Says He ‘Will Not Tolerate’ Biden Adminstration’s Plan to Go Door-to-Door for Unvaccinated Americans: ‘This Is a Severe Breach of Privacy’

Attorney General Mark Brnovich

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich called President Joe Biden’s plan to go door-to-door encouraging COVID-19 vaccinations “alarming.” In a letter submitted to the president Tuesday, Brnovich told Biden that he wouldn’t tolerate breaches of privacy concerning Arizonans’ vaccination status.

“I, along with many Arizonans, was greatly alarmed by your White House indicating that it might be in possession of medical records revealing the contact information for Americans who have not been vaccinated,” wrote Brnovich. “If this is the case, this is a severe breach of privacy, and I will not tolerate such intrusions within Arizona.”

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Involvement in Virginia Local School Board Politics Is Increasing

Public comment periods at the Loudoun County School Board have repeatedly gone viral as hundreds of parents and activists speak out against new transgender policies mandated by law and Critical Race Theory (CRT) equity initiatives. There’s also an effort to recall six of the school board members. But Loudoun County Public Schools isn’t the only Virginia school district to see new growth in public involvement in school politics.

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University of Minnesota Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity Receiving $300,000 to Research Maternal Care Racial Inequity

The University of Minnesota’s Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity will be getting $300,000 to research maternal care inequities. The funding was given to the center in the newly passed Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act.

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New Arizona Law Aims to Improve Civilian Review Boards on Police Misconduct

One of the bills passed this year in the Arizona Legislature and signed by the governor, HB 2567, adds rules for independent community oversight of Arizona police departments. Although Arizona isn’t plagued like some states by high-profile incidents involving law enforcement, overall community concern led to the legislation.

John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, who comes from a law enforcement background and sponsored the bill, said, “I’m not throwing cops to the wolves, especially politically motivated wolves.

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Uncle of Girl Who Filmed Viral George Floyd Video Killed in Minneapolis Police Squad Car Crash

Minneapolis Police Department Squad Car

The uncle of Darnella Frazier, the Minneapolis teenager who was recently awarded an honorary Pulitzer for filming the viral video of the arrest of George Floyd, which led to his death at the hands of ex-Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, has died after a collision with police. 

While officers from the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) were pursuing a suspect in an armed robbery Tuesday morning, one officer’s squad car struck an unrelated vehicle. 

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Davidson County Election Chair Splits from Private Job After Support for Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act

Jim DeLanis, the chairman of the Davidson County Election Commission and a former attorney at Baker Donelson law firm, is no longer with the firm after voting to support the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act.

In a commission meeting, DeLanis voted to appeal a ruling from a Nashville judge that canceled a special referendum that was to be held with the goal of reducing the city’s substantial tax hike.

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