Slate of Proposed Legislation Seeks to Preserve, Protect and Properly Display Tennessee Historic Artifacts and Memorials

Three bills filed in the General Assembly seek to preserve, protect and properly display historic relics, artifacts and memorials primarily related to the Confederate States of America and Tennessee’s involvement during the War Between the States.

All three bills are sponsored in the state Senate by State Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma) and in the state House by State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) on behalf of the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ organization.

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Dodge Ball: Pompeo Ducks When The Tennessee Star Questions His Support for TN-5 Carpetbagger Candidate Morgan Ortagus

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continues to duck the questions when The Tennessee Star asked for comment on his support for TN-5 carpetbagger candidate Morgan Ortagus.

After Ortagus’ recent appearance on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy, The Tennessee Star reached out to Secretary Pompeo’s CAV-PAC team for comment and to ask what consideration was given prior to endorsing Ortagus.

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Conservative Celebrities, Including John Rich, to Highlight Williamson County Election Kickoff Event Next Week

Members of the Williamson Families PAC are scheduled to host a County Election Kickoff event next week that features country music star John Rich, actress Leigh-Allyn Baker, and former professional baseball player Jeremy Slayden. The kickoff will reveal 19 candidates endorsed by Williamson Families PAC for the 2022 Williamson County election. The primary is scheduled for May 3, while the general election is scheduled for August 4.

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Commentary: Seven Major Failures of the Biden Presidency

Joe Biden

With President Joe Biden set to deliver his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night, it’s a good time to ask: How has Biden done as president and what is the actual state of our union?

According to the American people, things aren’t going great.

A CNN poll in early February asked Americans what they thought of Biden’s presidency and what he’s done right since entering office Jan. 20, 2021.

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Oversight Organization Battling National Institute of Health in Court over Chinese Involvement in COVID-19

A government watchdog Tuesday took the next step in its battle to expose Chinese connections to the National Institute of Health (NIH).

“Empower Oversight filed an amended complaint today against the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation for documents related to a request by Chinese researchers to remove genetic sequences related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus from a database controlled by NIH,” that group said in a press release. 

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State Senator Kerry Roberts Talks Quick Passage on Senate Bill Requiring Three-Year Residency in Tennessee to Run for Political Office

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed State Senator Kerry Roberts to the newsmakers line to weigh in on Monday’s Senate vote on SB2616 requiring Tennessee state primary candidates for House and Senate to be a resident for three years.

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Metro Nashville Council Passes Resolution in Support of Ukraine, Former Councilman Steve Glover Praised

At their Tuesday, March 1 meeting, Metro Nashville Council unanimously passed a late-filed resolution in support of the people of Ukraine.

Originally sponsored by councilmembers Kathleen Murphy, Tonya Hancock, John Rutherford, Ginny Welsch, and Courtney Johnston, the late-filed resolution is a “resolution recognizing the Metropolitan Council’s support of the people of Ukraine.” Every councilmember present was added as a prime sponsor of the resolution.

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Wyoming State Senate Passes Amendment to Defund University’s Gender and Women’s Studies Program

The Wyoming State Senate passed an amendment to the budget Friday that would eliminate funding for the University of Wyoming’s Gender and Women’s Studies program, with those who voted in favor of defunding arguing the program is lacking in academic rigor and offers students only “biased” education.

The amendment passed, in a 16-14 vote.

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Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Convinced That the 5th Congressional District Can Find a GOP Tennessean Candidate Out of 760,000 Residents

Andy Ogles

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in studio to examine the growing field of GOP candidates for Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District.

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State Representative Scott Cepicky Joins The Dan Mandis Show to Discuss Abuse Suffered by Teachers as Districts Fail to Abide by Teachers Discipline Act

Tuesday morning on The Dan Mandis Show, Mandis welcomed State Representative Scott Cepicky to the show to comment upon the abuse of teachers, districts’ failure to respond, and BEP funding bill.

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Senator Blackburn Introduces Resolution to Urge Biden Administration to Remove Russia from the UN Security Council

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), joined by Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (R-NY-22), introduced a joint resolution to ask the Biden administration to remove Russia from the United Nations Security Council.

If Russia were removed from the position, the country would no longer have veto power as a Permanent Member of the Council.

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Connecticut Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal’s Radical Abortion Bill Rejected by U.S. Senate

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal’s (D) radical abortion legislation that would have overridden state pro-life laws was defeated in the U.S. Senate Monday evening.

The Senate voted, 46-48, to reject a bill Democrats called the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have embedded abortion on demand, at any time during pregnancy, into federal law, making invalid most individual state pro-life laws.

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Republican School Board Candidate Kelli Phillips: ‘Our Kids Are Carrying the Weight of COVID, and It’s Not Okay’

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Republican school board candidate for District Four, Kelli Phillips to the newsmakers line to discuss her Democratic challengers and why she’s running.

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Former President Trump Highlights Gableman’s Report About Wisconsin 2020 Election

Former President Donald Trump highlighted the findings of an analysis from former Wisconsin Supreme Court Judge Michael Gableman about the November 2020 election.

Gableman, who was authorized by Republicans in the state legislature to investigate the process, produced multiple concerns and noted questionable legal procedures in his 136-page report.

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Georgia Speaker David Ralston Proposes Major Tax Reform Legislation

Speaker David Ralston presides over the Georgia House chamber

Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) and House Ways and Means Chair Shaw Blackmon (R-Bonaire) on Tuesday announced legislation that would, if enacted into law, lower Georgia’s maximum income tax rate. Ralston and Blackmon want to reduce Georgia’s maximum income tax rate from 5.75 percent to a single and flat rate of 5.25 percent. They said at a press conference that state residents would save an estimated $1 billion per year if and when the proposed cut goes into effect for calendar year 2024.

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As New Poll Shows Him Leading Pack, Ohio Senate Hopeful Mike Gibbons Tells The Ohio Star: ‘I Am Tea Party at My Roots’

Ohio Rep. Mike Gibbons

Cleveland investment banker Mike Gibbons, who shot from virtual unknown to frontrunner when The Hill-Emerson College poll of 410 Republican voters, conducted February 25 and February 26, put the banker in the lead, told The Ohio Star his political program is more Tea Party than Republican Party. “I’ve got Tea…

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Michigan High School Assistant Principal Charged for Alleged Child Sex Abuse

A high school assistant principal who stands accused of sex crimes with a 10-year-old family member has been suspended with pay from his position at the school as he awaits trial, according to several reports. 

“Melven Conway, the assistant principal at Ecorse High School was arrested at the school Monday morning on criminal sexual conduct charge,” WJBK reports. “The crimes allegedly happened about eight years ago and involved a relative of Conway who was 10 years old at the time.”

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Lawmakers Consider Requested 40 Percent Funding Hike for Pennsylvania State Police

At a Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee hearing Tuesday, representatives discussed the governor’s requested 40-percent state-police funding increase with department officials.

The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) received $629,342,000 this fiscal year. In a budget proposal unveiled last month, Governor Tom Wolf (D) asked the Republican-run General Assembly to fund the agency at $925,599,000 (in combined state and federal dollars). The governor, however, anticipates that PSP funding can be kept flat over the four fiscal years after next year.

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Miami City Manager Appoints New Police Chief

Miami’s City Manager Monday appointed the city’s interim police chief into the role permanently, ending a months-long process to find a new head of the Miami Police Department (MPD).

“After further evaluating Chief [Manuel] Morales’ performance during the first 100 days, I am extremely confident that he is eminently qualified, respected and admired by many and will continue to do a great job as Chief for the Police Department. Furthermore, this decision will ensure stability at the leadership level of the City’s Police department, ” City Manager Art Noriega said in a release.

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Arizona GOP Sues Arizona Secretary of State Hobbs to Stop Unmonitored Ballot Drop Boxes, Include Signature Verification Procedures, and Even Challenges Mail-In Voting

The Arizona Republican Party, along with its secretary Yvonne Cahill, has filed a lawsuit against Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs over more actions she has taken that appear to be making it easier to commit voter fraud. The AZGOP’s Application for Issuance of Writ Under Exercise of Original Jurisdiction asks the court to compel Hobbs to include signature verification procedures in the election procedures manual and remove the language she added authorizing the set up of unmonitored ballot drop boxes, and challenges “no-excuse” early ballots as violating the Arizona Constitution. 

AZGOP Chair Kelli Ward, who has been out on the forefront combating election fraud since the 2020 presidential election, told The Arizona Sun Times, “We want to make sure that our elections are secure so we can restore voter confidence and strengthen our representative republic.”

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Virginia Governor Youngkin Aims His First Veto at Arlington County Civilian Review Board

Governor Glenn Youngkin vetoed a bill for the first time, he announced Tuesday. Delegate Patrick Hope’s (D-Arlington) HB 670 would have authorized counties operating under a county manager plan to hire an independent policing auditor to oversee its civilian review board; the bill passed out of the Senate along party lines, and out of the House of Delegates with some bipartisan support. Arlington County is the only Virginia county operating under the county manager plan.

“The best way to ensure that any bad actors within law enforcement are held accountable is to stand up for law enforcement, not tear them down or subject them to politically motivated inquiries,” Youngkin said in the press release.

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Minnesota Woman Concerned for Mother Stranded in Ukraine

Alina Sciorrotta

As the Russian invasion continues to intensify in Ukraine since it began Feb. 24, Ham Lake resident Alina Sciorrotta is overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety and helplessness.

Sciorrotta immigrated from Ukraine to the U.S. 10 years ago. Last month, Sciorrotta’s mom Zhanna made a trip to Kharkiv, Ukraine to take care of her elderly grandparents. Kharkiv is about an hour away from the Russian border.

“After multiple text messages from friends and family saying that the city was under attack along with other cities, that made me more concerned and worried for my mom. I contacted her right away and she confirmed the sounds of bombing, the explosions, the smoke in the air,” Sciorrotta told Alpha News.

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Senate Finance Adds Contingency Clause to House Bills; House Subcommittee Recommends Killing Two Constitutional Amendments; Plexiglass Gone from the Senate

RICHMOND, Virginia – As the legislature approaches its March 12 adjournment, legislators are working on budget negotiations, wrapping up their consideration of other bills, and continuing to return to pre-COVID-19 operations.

On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee advanced a number of bills from the House of Delegates, but at the beginning of the meeting Committee Chair Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) warned that the committee would add a financial contingency clause to several of the bills that aren’t currently funded in budget proposals. Health and Human Resources Subcommittee Chair Emmett Hanger (R-Augusta) presented the subcommittee’s report on many bills.

Addressing Howell, he said, “We had the issue that you referred to as you began the meeting where on a number of them, there was not an allocation of funds coming from the House. So, we’re going to have, obviously, resource issues as we enter conference in terms of whether or not we can support all these good ideas that we’re going to advance today with the clause.”

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Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Judge Michael Gableman Delivers Final Election Report, Testifies Before Legislative Committee

Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Judge Michael Gableman completed his review of the November 2020 election, issuing a 136-page report on his findings and testifying before the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections.

In his report, Gableman called for additional oversight and transparency for the state’s elections, detailing questionable actions taken by the Wisconsin Elections Commission and the Center for Tech and Civic Life.

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Despite Connecticut Governor Lamont Ending Statewide School Masking, Hamden Keeps Mandate

Although Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D) allowed the statewide school-mask mandate to end on Monday, the Hamden Board of Education (BOE) voted that evening to indefinitely extend its requirement.

The vote came down along party lines, with Republican BOE members Austin Cesare, Kevin Shea and Gary Walsh supporting the mandate’s cancellation; Board Chair Melissa A. Kaplan as well as fellow Democrats David Asbery, Siobhan Carter-David, Mariam Khan and Réuel Parks voted to keep it.

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Butler County GOP Endorses Jim Renacci for Governor

Ohio GOP gubernatorial contender Jim Renacci picked up the endorsement of the Butler County GOP, beating out incumbent Governor Mike DeWine.

The support complements the endorsement of the Clermont County Republican Party, who voted to support Renacci with 77 of the possible 106 committee members’ votes.

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Mike Gibbons Commentary: I Am 100 Percent Pro Life

I was 12 years old when I found out my mother had been adopted. I was raised in a religious, pro-life household, but I was 12 years old when my pro-life convictions were truly forged in steel.

As I learned the story, my mother was the product of what we now call a crisis pregnancy. And yet through the grace of God, my mother’s biological mother gave her newborn child up for adoption. My grandparents provided my mother with a loving, nurturing home, and it was in her adoptive home where she learned the values of love, charity, hard work, and dedication to family that she passed along to us.

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Virginia State Senate Judiciary Committee Kills Local Gun Control Repeal

The Senate Judiciary Committee killed HB 827, a bill that would remove local authority to pass gun control ordinances. In its Monday meeting, the committee also killed several other Republican gun bills. Although a few bills are still working their way through the legislature, Monday’s committee meeting largely concludes the current General Assembly session in terms of gun policy, with few gains made by either firearms advocates or opponents.

“The session looks to be a wash for both sides, except for one bill on the serial numbers, and then a switchblade bill,” Virginia Citizens Defense League President Philip Van Cleave told The Virginia Star. “That’s not totally unexpected, but you never know.”

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Georgia Redistricting Causes Democrat Incumbent U.S. Representative Lucy McBath to Flee the State’s 6th Congressional District

Georgia’s redistricting process has caused Democrat Incumbent U.S. Representative Lucy McBath to flee the 6th Congressional District, leaving an open seat.

McBath has left the race for the Sixth district and is running in the much bluer neighboring new Seventh district, taking on fellow Democrat incumbent U.S. Representative Carolyn Bourdeaux. The new GA-7 has a partisan rating of D+16. According to the FEC, McBath has raised $3,199,954.75 and has a war chest of $2,452,731.80 cash on hand. Bourdeaux has $2,005,771.81 cash on hand and has raised $2,406,048.45 for the 2022 election cycle.

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Minnesota Representative Tom Emmer Calls for Energy Independence Amid Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Tom Emmer

Congressman Tom Emmer (R-MN-06) called for increased energy independence from the United States amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to attack the neighboring country, the U.S. and other European allies have issued direct sanctions on the Russian economy and removed some banks from a crucial financial messaging service that connects banks and other institutions around the world.

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Gov. Lamont Visits Connecticut High School to Check In After First ‘Mask Optional’ Day

Ned Lamont shaking hands with students during school visit

Connecticut’s Democrat governor Monday made an awkward visit to meet and greet high school students after they finished their first day of classes wherein COVID-19 masks were optional. 

“I’m doing good, I wanted to see what this first day was like,” Governor Ned Lamont (D) told one Glastonbury High School student as they shook hands. 

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Biden Approval Rating Continues to Plummet Amid Growing Economic Crisis

Joe Biden’s approval rating has fallen even further in another mainstream poll, returning once more to the 30s in approval.

The Hill reports that Biden scored a mere 37 percent approval in the latest ABC News and Washington Post poll, with 55 percent disapproving of his performance. The remaining seven percent had no opinion one way or the other. The same poll back in November recorded a 41 percent approval rating.

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Head Start Teachers in Ohio, Virginia, and Louisiana Suing over Biden Administration’s COVID Vaccination Mandate

Head Start teachers in Louisiana, Ohio and Virginia are suing the Biden administration over a nationwide COVID-19 vaccination mandate for the federally funded program.

Elizabeth Etherton, a preschool teacher at Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court over a threatened termination Monday for failing to take a COVID-19 vaccine.

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25 States Line Up Against Biden Attack on Natural Gas Industry

Half of all U.S. states penned a letter to the Biden administration, arguing against its decision to reverse a Trump-era rule allowing energy firms to transport natural gas via rail.

The 25-state coalition said that proposed prohibition of natural gas rail transport would have “devastating effects” on the economy and national security, according to the letter led by Republican Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry. The Monday letter was addressed to Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Acting Administrator Tristan Brown.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Signs Bipartisan Bill Letting Part-Time Workers to Keep Aid

A bipartisan bill, intended to clear confusion over an apparent contradiction between state and federal law over who actually qualified to receive benefits during the pandemic, is now law.

Senate Bill 445 amends the Michigan Employment Security Act to allow certain unemployed workers eligible for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) to keep benefits.

“As we continue to grow our economy, my top priority is working toward bipartisan solutions to save Michiganders time and money,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement commemorating her signing the bill. “I’ve always said that Michiganders should not be penalized for doing what was right at the time they applied for federal pandemic benefits. The changes in this legislation will streamline our unemployment system and provide relief to Michiganders who needed these federal benefits to pay their bills, keep food on the table, and continue supporting small businesses.”

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Biden, Allies Again Tap Emergency Crude Oil Stockpiles Amid Ukraine Crisis

President Joe Biden will join other Western nations in releasing a total of 60 million barrels of crude oil amid the Ukraine crisis, the coalition announced Tuesday.

Overall, 31 member nations of the International Energy Agency (IEA), including the U.S., agreed to coordinate the release, according to the Paris-based group. The decision was made in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its subsequent effects on global energy security.

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Georgia Elections Chief Vows to ‘Follow the Money’ in Harvesting Probe, Prosecute if Warranted

Georgia’s election chief is vowing a full-scale investigation into allegations Democrats may have illegally harvested ballots in the 2020 election, saying his team is preparing subpoenas to “follow the money” and bring prosecutions if warranted.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger sought to dispel whispers in conservative circles that he is slow-walking the probe he announced in January, explaining to Just the News that the only delays are related to administrative changes on the State Elections Board. That panel possesses the power to issue subpoenas Raffensperger says his investigators need to solve the case.

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Commentary: Revitalizing K-12 Education with 10,000 New Charter Schools

The American K-12 education system has been failing too many students for too long. And the problem has only gotten worse amid pandemic-era school closures and remote learning.

Increasingly, parents are venting their frustration at local government bureaucracies and teachers’ unions that they believe have too often failed to put the interests of kids first — and some are voting with their feet.

Throughout Covid-19, traditional public school enrollment has dropped by 3.3% (1.45 million students) while charter school enrollment has increased by 7.1% year over year (237,000 students). Families are increasingly taking advantage of other non-traditional schooling options as well: according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate of homeschooling nationwide increased by 5.6 percentage points between April and October 2020.

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Ukraine, Russia Fail to Reach Ceasefire Agreement During Belarus Border Meeting

Ukrainian and Russian delegations met at the Belarus border Monday morning but as of Tuesday afternoon they had yet to reach an agreement in the ceasefire talks.

On a Sunday phone call with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to send a delegation to meet with a delegation from Russia, announced a spokesperson for Ukraine’s president’s office, according to ABC News.

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Connecticut Gov. Lamont: Economic Summit with Israel Strengthens Business Ties

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont

Six Israeli countries pitched business ideas business leaders from Connecticut in a recent economic mission trip, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor, having returned from the four-day economic summit to the nation situated along the Mediterranean Sea, said discussions focused on building and strengthening relationships with members of the country’s innovative business sector.

Meetings were held with venture capitalists, incubators, accelerators, and thought leaders during the four-day trip, Lamont said.

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Florida Representative Deutch Won’t Run for Reelection, Becomes 31st House Democrat to Step Down in 2022

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch

Florida Representative Ted Deutch says he won’t seek reelection in November, making him the 31st House Democrat to drop out this year.

Deutch, the chairman of the House Ethics Committee, has served in Congress since 2010. He will join the American Jewish Committee, according to CBS News.

Last year, Deutch was one of the members of his party to publicly criticize fellow House Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib for anti-Semitic comments the Michigan congresswoman and Muslim made during a chamber debate regarding Israeli defense funds.

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Ortagus Campaign D.C. Fundraiser with Never Trumpers and Fired State Dept. Staffer Still Scheduled to Take Place on Ash Wednesday

Despite it falling on Ash Wednesday, sources tell The Tennessee Star Morgan Ortagus, a candidate for Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District and former State Department spokesman, still has a scheduled out-of-state fundraiser in Washington, D.C. with a host committee that includes Never Trumpers and a fired State Department staffer who tweeted that President Trump was unfit for office.

The Star previously reported that the point of contact for the fundraising event is professional fundraiser Lisa Spies, a former staffer for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012 and a 2016 Never Trumper who has a history of opposing President Trump.

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