Tennessee U.S. Rep. David Kustoff Explains the Democrat Strategy to Work Around Senate Filibuster with NASA Bill, Now Stuffed with Nationalization of Election Provisions

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Republican Congressman David Kustoff (R-TN-08) to the newsmakers line to shed light on the attempt by Democrats to circumvent the filibuster and nationalize elections.

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Judge Rules Absentee Ballot Drop Boxes Illegal in Wisconsin, Regulators Must Retract Guidance

People at a voting location, voting early at polls

A Wisconsin judge has ruled that the absentee ballot drop boxes widely deployed during the 2020 election are not allowed under state law, a decision that could dramatically impact voting ahead of the swing state’s midterm elections.

Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Michael Bohren ordered on Thursday the Wisconsin Elections Commission to retract its instructions to election officials on how to use drop boxes. Bohren declared that the WEC had overstepped its authority in issuing the guidance in the first place.

Bohren called the WEC’s guidance a “major policy decision that alter[s] how our absentee ballot process operates,” that was significant enough that it should have required approval by the Legislature.

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Rep. Green: No Data to Suggest Massive Disparity in Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Hospitalizations

A Tennessee member of the U.S. House of Representatives appeared on Fox News’ “Varney & Co.” with host Stuart Varney to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

An incredulous Varney opened the segment asking Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-07), a physician, about Americans who are vaccinated against COVID-19, but still contracting the virus. 

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Tennessee Comptrollers Detail Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Local and State Agencies in 2021

Between July 2020 and June of last year, more than 650 people tipped of Tennessee Comptrollers to various and alleged instances of waste, fraud, and abuse in local, state, and federal government agencies. And Comptrollers said they acted on those tips and learned several contained substantive allegations.

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Potential Tax Relief Available to Tennesseans Impacted by Recent Storms, Department of Revenue Says

On Thursday in a press release, the Tennessee Department of Revenue reminded Tennessee residents impacted by December’s severe weather that they are potentially eligible for sales tax refunds on home appliances, home furniture, and home building supplies, as they rebuild after storms.

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Commentary: Moms for Liberty Responds to Attempted American Dream Conference Cancellation

According to nearly every poll, Americans believe race relations are deteriorating. Clearly, it’s never been more important to ask the question: how can we better live up to Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream that we and our children “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”?

This weekend, Dr. Carol Swain, president of Be the People Project and Moms for Liberty will be hosting the American Dream Conference here in Franklin, Tennessee. The goal of the conference is to engage in a fearless, wide-ranging discussion about race in America, as the nation celebrates and commemorates MLK.

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Tennessee Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Redistricting Releases Its Plan

The Tennessee Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Redistricting released their plans and maps for congressional and state senate redistricting.

The Senate version of congressional redistricting is substantially similar to the House plan, which was released on Wednesday. These plans split Nashville amongst three congressional districts. Under the current district lines, Nashville is in the 5th Congressional District and is represented by Congressman Jim Cooper. The current 5th District consists of all of Davidson and Dickson counties, and part of Cheatham County.

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Tennessee Senators Blackburn and Hagerty React to 40-Year High Inflation in the U.S.

Tennessee Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) both released statements this week after the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that inflation in the U.S. had soared to its highest level since 1982 in December of 2021.

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Army Corps of Engineers to Study Trace Creek in Humphreys County

The United States Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District announced this week they would study Trace Creek in Humphreys County, Tennessee. This is the same creek that flooded in Waverly, Tennessee in August of 2021. 

The team will “look at site-specific data on obstructions to flood flows, flood formation, and timing; flood depths, stages, or floodwater velocities; the extent, duration, and frequency of flooding; information on natural and cultural flood plain resources; and flood loss potentials before and after the use of flood plain management measures.”

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458 Police Officers Died on Duty in 2021, the Deadliest Year on Record

The year 2021 saw the highest number of police officers killed in the line of duty in modern history, with 458 officers dying over the course of the year.

As reported by Fox News, the number is the highest since record-keeping first began, surpassing the previous high of 1930, which saw 312 officers killed on the job. The report was released on Tuesday by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), pointing out that the numbers reflected an increase of 55 percent over the 2020 total of 295 deaths. The comprehensive report includes officers at every level, including municipal, county, state, and federal, as well as military, territorial, campus, and tribal law enforcement.

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Biden Administration Is Implementing Trump’s Remain in Mexico Policy After Fighting It

The Biden administration is returning migrants in small numbers to Mexico as it rolls out the resumption of the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy, also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), it fought for months to end.

The policy requires border officials to return asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while waiting for immigration court hearings.

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U.S. Marshals Arrest Two Additional Suspects Wanted for Killing Rapper Young Dolph in Memphis

Three suspects wanted for the murder of rap star Young Dolph have been captured as of Tuesday, according to the U.S. Marshals.

Rapper Young Dolph, whose real name was Adolph Thornton Jr., was gunned down in a daylight ambush at Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies in Memphis on November 17. Young Dolph was admired for charitable works in Memphis. He organized Thanksgiving food giveaways, donated thousands of dollars to high schools, and paid rent and covered funeral costs for people in the Castalia Heights neighborhood where he was raised. When he was killed, the 36-year-old rapper was in Memphis to hand out Thanksgiving turkeys and visit a cancer center, NPR reports.

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Tennessee Lawmakers Target Organized Street Racing with Proposed Bills

Two Tennessee lawmakers are targeting organized street racing.

State Representative John Gillespie (R-Memphis-HD97)  and State Senator John Stevens (R-Huntingdon-SD24) have teamed up to introduce identical bills, HB1661 and SB1673. These bills create a new offense in the state code, aggravated reckless driving.

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Report: More Than 50,000 Illegal Immigrants Released into U.S. Don’t Show for Court Hearings

More than 50,000 illegal immigrants released into the U.S. by Immigration and Customs Enforcement failed to report to their deportation proceedings during a five-month period analyzed last year, according to a report provided by the Department of Homeland Security to U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin. The report also states that ICE doesn’t have court information on more than 40,000 individuals it’s supposed to prosecute.

“Between March and August 2021, as a result of the Biden Administration’s failed border policies, over 270,000 illegal aliens have been dispersed into the United States with little chance for removal,” Johnson said in an announcement accompanying the report, which didn’t include data from the other seven months of the year.

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Biden’s Approval Rating Hits New Low, Least Popular Among Hispanics

President Joe Biden’s approval rating continues to drop as voters grow increasingly dissatisfied with his handling of key issues, according to the results of a new poll.

Biden’s approval rating dropped to a new low of 33%, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, with 53% of Americans saying they disapprove of the president’s performance. The rating is down 3% since November 2021, when Biden held a 36% approval rating.

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Another Key Inflation Indicator Surges to Record High in 2021

The Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures inflation at the wholesale level, surged to 9.7% on a year-over-year basis as of December 2021, marking the highest rate in history, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced Thursday.

The BLS reported that the PPI grew 0.2% in December as prices continued to soar amid growing supply chain disruptions and COVID-19 concerns. As of November, the measure grew 9.6% on a year-over basis and 0.8% in that month alone.

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Thousands of Federal Workers to March Against Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

Thousands of federal employees will peacefully march in protest of President Biden’s vaccine mandate, Defeat The Mandates DC organizers announced in a press release Thursday.

Over 6,000 members of Feds For Medical Freedom, a national grassroots coalition consisting of federal workers, announced that they would join firefighters, first responders, medical professionals and more in the March to Defeat the Mandates in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 23, the press release said.

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JC Bowman Commentary: School Funding, Vouchers, and the ASD

It is back to work for state legislators. The first week of the legislature has been very busy. While criticizing politicians is a national activity and a form of amusement for many, the truth is that most of these folks are good people, working hard, and trying to do the right thing for our state. It is always the good, bad, and ugly in any political system.

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General Assembly Session Day Two: Filler-Corn Criticizes Speaker Gilbert for Tweet About Northam State of the Commonwealth

Eileen Filler-Corn

In a Wednesday tweet, Speaker of the House Todd Gilbert blasted Governor Ralph Northam’s final State of the Commonwealth address, leading House Minority Leader Eileen Filler-Corn to respond in a floor statement on Thursday.

“Ralph Northam is leaving office as his own lost cause, condescendingly lecturing us all from some assumed moral high ground because he read the book ‘Roots’ and then went on a non-stop reconciliation tour. Saturday can’t come fast enough,” Gilbert wrote.

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Georgia Legislator Wants to Prohibit 1619 Project, Critical Race Theory in Public Schools

State Representative Brad Thomas (R-Holly Springs) on Thursday filed a bill that he said would, if enacted into law, prohibit Georgia public school officials from teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT) and the 1619 Project. Thomas did not return The Georgia Star News’ request for an interview Thursday. He said in an emailed press release that his bill, HB 888, “would prohibit curriculum that could be considered discriminatory on the basis of race from being taught in public schools.” HB 888 also includes a transparency requirement that would allow all parents to view the educational materials given to Georgia students.

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State Rep. Munson Responds to New Minnesota COVID Vaccine Incentives for Kids: ‘Bribery and Coercion’

State Representative Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal) responded to Minnesota’s new COVID vaccine incentives for kids, calling it bribery and coercion. The State of Minnesota and Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced that they will be giving every family of 5 to 11 year old children $200 for getting fully vaccinated in the months of January and February.

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Wisconsin Rep. Fitzgerald Introduces Motion to Protect Veteran Benefits from Biden Vaccine Mandate

Wisconsin Representative Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI-05) introduced a motion to protect veteran G.I. Bill benefits from the Biden Administration’s COVID vaccine mandate. Fitzgerald shared his concerns on the floor, saying, “the Secretary of Defense issued a directive requiring mandatory COVID vaccination for all service members, including those in the Ready Reserve, and the National Guard. Despite the challenges this vaccine mandate currently faces in court, the Defense Department has proceeded to discharge those who refuse the vaccine.”

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DeSantis Awards $20 Million to Panama City for Hurricane Michael Damage

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced by press conference yesterday that the City of Panama City has been awarded $20 million through the Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Rebuild Florida Mitigation General Infrastructure Repair Program.

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Opposition to Pennsylvania State House Map Getting Voluble, and Not Just Among Republicans

Pennsylvania Capitol Building

Across the Keystone State, more and more observers are raising concerns about the proposed district map for state representatives.

The redistricting plan, crafted by a majority-Democrat Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC), has received reproach for unduly advantaging Democratic candidates, lacking competitiveness and diluting minority-voter strength. The period during which the LRC is hearing public comments on the map continues until next Tuesday, Jan. 18.

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Report: Youngkin Will Appoint Anti-Critical Race Theory Former Trump Official to Education Role

According to a report in Daily Wire, Virginia’s Gov. Elect Glenn Youngkin (R) will appoint a staunch opponent of Critical Race Theory (CRT) to his education team. 

Elizabeth Schultz will become the state’s Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction, according to the report. 

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Michigan’s 2020 Teacher of the Year Hangs BLM, Pride Flags in Classroom

Michigan’s 2020 Teacher of the Year openly promotes his political beliefs in his high school classroom. 

Owen Bondono teaches ninth grade at Oak Park High School. He won Michigan’s Teacher of the Year in the 2020-2021 school district. He is also a TikTok personality, clocking in at over 11,000 followers. 

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Ohio Supreme Court Rules State Legislative Redistricting Maps Must Be Redrawn

The Ohio Redistricting Commission has 10 days to redraw state legislative maps after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday recently drawn maps that favored Republicans did not attempt to avoid party favoritism.

The court also retained jurisdiction to review the new maps.

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Trump Calls Politicians ‘Gutless’ over Vaccine Status, Hints at DeSantis

Former President Donald J. Trump (R) criticized politicians who have not announced if they have received their booster shot referring to them as “gutless” Many pundits theorized that Trump was hinting at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

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Georgia Governor Brian Kemp Says He’ll Fight Critical Race Theory and Push for a Parental Bill of Rights

Governor Brian Kemp delivered his year State of the State address Thursday, where he announced his policy priorities for the 2022 session of the Georgia General Assembly, and they include reducing crime and reforming public education “From the classroom to the ball field, there are those who want to divide our kids along political lines, push partisan agendas, and indoctrinate students from all walks of life. This is wrong, it’s dangerous, and as long as I’m governor, it will not take root in Georgia,” Kemp said.

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Wisconsin Law Firm Challenges State Housing Program That Gives Less Help to White Families

There’s another challenge to another coronavirus stimulus program that gives more benefits to non-white families in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty sent a letter to Gov. Tony Evers urging him to change the specifics of the Wisconsin Help for Homeowners program.

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Businessman Dave McCormick Launches Pennsylvania GOP Senate Campaign

Dave McCormick, a businessman and former Bush administration official, officially launched his campaign for the U.S. Senate.

In the Thursday announcement, McCormick entered the crowded GOP primary field that includes almost a dozen Republican candidates.

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Ohio National Guard Stationed at Dayton Children’s Hospital

Some members of the Ohio National Guard, part of a group of 1500 deployed last week to help hospitals handle the Omicron surge of the COVID-19 pandemic will be stationed at Dayton Children’s Hospital’s Springboro campus. 

According to several reports, the Guardsmen will be working at a testing site at the hospital, where testing is in high demand. 

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‘Total Breakdown’ of Electronic System for Collecting Candidates’ Petition Signatures Under Arizona Secretary of State Hobbs

Candidates running for office in Arizona are reporting difficulty collecting signatures online due to a “total breakdown” of Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ website, as Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Gaynor described it. Hobbs, a Democrat, is also running for governor. New redistricting maps have been established, and although candidates are allowed to collect signatures from either their old district or their new district, if they’ve filed to run in the new district, the E-Qual system will only accept signatures from the old district with that number — which might be a completely different area.

Labeling the technical difficulties a “total breakdown,” Gaynor said in a statement, “The breakdown of the E-QUAL system is a slap in the face to Arizona candidates and voters, and all the hard work that has been done during the AIRC process. Secretary Hobbs has utterly failed to protect our election process, and her mismanagement of the E-QUAL system is the latest indication that Arizona’s elections are not in safe hands.”

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Williamson County Schools Post Highest COVID Numbers Since August, Approximately 600 Students Absent

Williamson County Schools on Tuesday posted the highest number of students who tested positive for the coronavirus since August. 

In total, 590 students were absent because they were infected with the virus, in addition to approximately 200 staff members across the district.

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