Strongsville GOP Leader: Why We Are Backing ‘Reliable Conservative’ Josh Mandel for Senate

The leader of the Strongsville GOP, Ohio’s largest grassroots Republican organization, told The Ohio Star why he, and his group, are backing former state treasurer Joshua A. Mandel in the fight for the Republican Senate nomination. “We had our endorsement meeting last month, and we had more than 150 members…

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20 Individuals Are Now Collecting Petitions for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District

two individuals signing documents on a table

Twenty individuals are now listed as collecting qualifying petitions for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District race as of last Friday by the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office.

Fourteen people are collecting qualifying petitions for the GOP primary, three are gathering petitions for the Democrat primary, and three independents are also accumulating petitions.

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USA Today Names Biden Transgender U.S. Health Official Rachel Levine a ‘Woman of the Year’

USA Today named transgender Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services Dr. Rachel (born Richard) Levine as a “Woman of the Year” Sunday.

In October, the pediatrician and former Pennsylvania health secretary became the nation’s highest-ranking transgender official in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps when Levine was sworn in as an admiral.

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Grant’s Rants: Lobbyists and the Incestuous Overlap of Government

statue in front of a man

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed official guest host Grant Henry in-studio for another edition of Grant’s Rants.

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Metro Council Unanimously Opposes General Assembly Legislation Aimed at Blocking Children From Receiving Materials that Promote LGBT Lifestyle

Frank Niceley and Bruce Griffey

Metro Nashville Council approved a late filed resolution asking the Tennessee General Assembly to block a bill aimed at keeping LEAs and charter schools from distributing textbooks or other materials to children that include the promotion of the LGBT lifestyle at its March 15 meeting.

The resolution was sponsored by councilmembers Brett Withers, Nancy VanReece, Russ Bradford and Emily Benedict and urged “the Tennessee General Assembly to reject HB0800/SB1216 seeking to prohibit LEAs from utilizing textbooks or instructional materials addressing LGBT issues or lifestyles.”

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Senator Rand Paul Introduces Amendment to Eliminate ‘Dictator-in-Chief’ Anthony Fauci’s Position as NIAID Director

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced an amendment Monday that would eliminate Dr. Anthony Fauci’s position as the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and decentralize it in an effort to ensure no one person can act as “dictator-in-chief” and make public health decisions for millions of Americans.

Paul’s office said in a press release the amendment seeks to replace the NIAID director’s position with three separate national research institutes.

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State Senator Joey Hensley Talks About His Background, Path to Becoming a Physician, and Step Therapy Bill

Joey Hensley

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed State Senator Joey Hensley to the newsmakers line to talk about his background, his path to becoming a doctor, and his step therapy bill.

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MNPS School Board Candidate for District 2 Mark Woodward Discusses Being a Voice for Parents and Pre-K Expansion

Mark Woodward of Tennessee

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Metro Nashville School Board candidate for District Two, Mark Woodward to the newsmakers line to talk about this background and his goals if elected.

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Commentary: Schools’ COVID-Aid Joy Ride Could Send New Hires off a Fiscal Cliff – Again

As school districts across the country grapple with declining enrollments induced by the pandemic, many are engaged in spending sprees like those of the past leading to widespread layoffs and budget cuts when federal money ran out.

Bolstered by $190 billion in pandemic relief funding from Washington, the nation’s public schools are hiring new teachers and staff, raising salaries, and sweetening benefit packages. Some are buying new vehicles. Others are building theaters and sports facilities.

Using such temporary support for new staff and projects with long-term costs is setting the table for perilous “fiscal cliffs” after COVID funding expires in 2024, some education budget analysts say. And that’s on top of doubts about whether money to battle the pandemic is being properly spent in the first place.

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Robby Starbuck Refuses to Answer Questions About His Tennessee Residency

Announced TN-5 Congressional candidate Robby Starbuck is refusing to provide documentary evidence to substantiate his claim that he meets a proposed three-year residency requirement to be eligible for the August 4, 2022 GOP primary ballot.

“I’ve already provided proof of my residency to The Tennessean and to world-renowned journalist John Soloman [sic].  I’m not taking away from my kid’s spring break after a year of our family campaigning to satisfy the long list of requests made by the Star,” Starbuck emailed in The Tennessee Star on March 14, 2022.

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16 Months After the Election, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger Makes New Claim About Why Trump Lost the Election in Georgia

The reason that President Trump lost in the state of Georgia, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is now claiming 16 months after the November 2020 general election, is that 28,000 Georgians skipped the race.

“The brutal truth is that 28,000 Georgians skipped the presidential race. And that’s why President Trump came up short,” Raffensperger said. Meanwhile, Georgians voted down-ballot for state representative, state senator, congressman, but did not vote for anyone for president, according to Raffensperger’s latest claim, Rome News-Tribune reported.

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Former EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler Gets Role as Senior Advisor After Being Blocked from Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources

Former Trump-era EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler will serve as a senior advisor to Governor Glenn Youngkin after the Virginia Senate blocked Wheeler’s confirmation as Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources. Deputy Secretary Travis Voyles is acting secretary.

Wheeler was a controversial pick among Democrats both for his link to former President Donald Trump and for the policy direction the EPA took during Wheeler’s tenure. E and E News reported Monday that Wheeler said Democrats had planned to block a nominee even before he was announced.

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Minnesota Ranks Among States with Highest Income Tax, New Report Shows

Minnesota ranks among states with the highest income tax, a new report from the Tax Foundation shows.

The organization, a nonpartisan nonprofit that analyzes tax policies from each state, ranked the governments based on the impact of their individual income taxes, as Minnesota was placed at number 43 in the country.

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Wisconsin Governor Evers Reverses Race-Based Grants Following Constitutional Concerns

Tony Evers

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers opted to remove the consideration of race from a mortgage-assistance program after the Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty (WILL) highlighted several constitutional concerns.

The group pointed out that Evers intended to expand eligibility for “socially disadvantaged” groups, defining those as “any racial or ethnic group besides non-Hispanic/Latinx White.”

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Michigan Attorney General Nessel: Report Refutes Allegation State Undercounted Nursing Home COVID Deaths

A January 2022 Office of Auditor General’s (OAG) report alleging Michigan undercounted COVID nursing home deaths by 42%, or 2,386 is being refuted by an analysis shared by Attorney General Dana Nessel. 

Nessel released a further analysis tracked by the Health, Education, and Family Services Division within the Department of Attorney General.

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Pennsylvania House Education Committee Issues Letter Opposing Wolf’s New Charter School Regulations

Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives Education Committee Tuesday issued a letter opposing new regulations Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has imposed on the state’s charter schools.

All 15 Republicans on the committee voted to authorize the letter to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) while all 10 Democrats voted against it. Majority Chairman Curt Sonney (R-Erie) said the panel is not voicing opposition to every new rule on the list published last month but merely those that frustrate reputable charter schools’ ability to operate.

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Two Arizona GOP State Senators Vote with Democrats to Kill Election Integrity Bills

Republican State Senators Paul Boyer (R-Glendale) and Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-Scottsdale) defeated several key election integrity bills in the Arizona Legislature as the only Republicans siding with Democrats. Republicans have a one-seat majority in the Senate, and since Boyer has angered Republicans for frequently voting with the Democrats against bills and thwarting election integrity efforts, he will not be seeking a third term after this year’s session. Former President Donald Trump endorsed former State Rep. Anthony Kern (R-Glendale), a champion of election integrity, to replace him.

SB 1055, sponsored by State Sen. Kelly Townsend (R-Apache Junction), made any contractor who failed to provide election services or products guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor and liable for liquidated damages of the amount of the contract. Boyer was the only Republican to oppose it.

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Florida Gov. DeSantis Touts Legislative Victories After Legislative Session Ends

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis touted many of the conservative policy victories and personal legislative victories in a speech Monday. The speech took place during the closing of the 2022 Florida legislative session. The session, this year, had been described as a “culture war” and DeSantis and Florida’s Republicans passed a number of priorities.

One of the hallmarks were DeSantis dubbing this year’s session as “year of the parent in the state of Florida.”

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Ohio Gov. DeWine Signs Constitutional Carry Bill into Law

Governor Mike DeWine

Ohio’s governor Monday marked a milestone for gun rights in the state, signing into law a bill colloquially called “Constitutional Carry.” 

SB 215 became law Monday evening, to the applause of conservative groups in the state and nationwide. 

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Connecticut Social Worker Sues Massachusetts State University Over Request to Defend Her ‘White Privilege’ in Job Interview

A Connecticut social worker seeking a job teaching sociology at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts has filed a lawsuit against the school claiming she was asked during the interview to defend her “white privilege.”

Donna Johnston said she was stunned in June 2021 by the interviewer’s request that she think about her “white privilege,” reported the Boston Globe, and, then, by the follow-up statement, “Black students may not be able to relate to you because of your white privilege.”

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Michigan Lawmaker Introduces Legislation to Strengthen Ethics Requirements

Michigan State Senator Jon Bumstead (R-Newaygo) on Tuesday introduced legislation to reform the state’s ethics requirements, aiming for greater transparency for lobbyists.

Under the new plan, lobbyists would face stronger financial reporting requirements, mandating that the individuals file reports monthly.

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Stacey Abrams Debuts First Campaign Ad of Election Cycle

Stacey Abrams walking and talking with group of people

A Georgia Democrat making her second attempt at securing the state’s highest office released her first campaign ad Tuesday, touting her determination to this time win the election. 

“I was raised that when you don’t get what you want, you don’t give up,” Stacey Abrams said in the ad. “You try again. You try because it’s how things get better. It’s how the world moves forward. I don’t quit, because Georgians deserve leadership, and that’s what a leader does.”

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Connecticut’s Joint Judiciary Committee Weighs 12 Criminal Justice Bills

Connecticut State Capitol

In a day-long session Monday, Connecticut’s Joint Judiciary Committee, comprised of members of the State House and State Senate, weighed 12 bills, mostly related to criminal justice reform. 

Last year, the state saw a drop in overall violent crime statistics but a massive increase in robberies, shootings, and carjackings, leading to the flurry of bills that are currently on the legislative docket.

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After Review, 11 Books Remain in Bedford County High School Libraries

Books will remain in Bedford County Public School high school libraries after concern expressed in November public comment. Committees determined that one of the 12 books, ‘Two Boys Kissing,’ was not in school libraries. Parents can ask school librarians to keep their children from checking out the books.

“In December, the committee reviewed one book, “Beloved.” That was the first book that was challenged, and so we looked at that book, and the decision of the committee at that time was to keep the book in all of our libraries and continue to use it for AP coursework at the high school level. The committee felt it had instructional value, and was on the list of AP-recommended books for the course,” Chief Learning Officer Dr. Karen Woodford told the school board at its March 10 meeting.

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Lamont Proposes Connecticut Gas Tax Suspension; Republicans Press for Vote

Gov. Ned Lamont (D) this week proposed a holiday from the state’s 25-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax to last through the month of June.

He said he does not believe the gas-tax break can be extended beyond July 1 insofar as Connecticut’s acceptance of federal funds under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) restricts the state as to how much it can reduce taxes. The governor also voiced concern that a longer tax holiday would compromise the state’s ability to fund transportation. The gas tax’s suspension will cost the state over $90 million.

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Michael Ray Releases Video for ‘Holy Water’

Michael Ray grew up in a family compound off a dirt road in the small town of Eustis, Florida, just a few miles from a tiny old country church where Sunday service would be held, where communion often carried over to tall tales of his grandparents’ days running moonshine up the East Coast.

And even though he did not write the song, when he first heard “Holy Water” it took him right back to being a boy in that church, sitting in a wooden pew listening to some of the greatest truths that he holds onto to this day.

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Diaper Tax Break Comes to Florida

Anna Eskamani and Lauren

During the negotiations for the 2022-2023 Florida budget’s tax package, lawmakers included a provision that would include a diaper tax break in Florida. Diapers would become tax-free in Florida for one year starting July 1.

The effort was bipartisan in nature, but Florida Democrat lawmakers Sen. Lauren Book (D-Plantation) and Florida State Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando), were the ones who spearheaded the effort.

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Republicans Target Arizona’s 4th Congressional District for Takeover

Tanya Contreras and Kelly Cooper

The race for Arizona’s 4th Congressional District is shaping up to be a very competitive one.

Redistricting changes to the district lines and the national environment are thought to be the main reasons why Republicans are targeting the seat.

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Commentary: A Win for Hospital Patients in Virginia

Thanks to a rare bipartisan effort in Richmond, patients in Virginia will soon have fewer costly surprises on their hospital bills.

After passing unanimously through the Senate and House of Delegates last week, HB 481, which requires Virginia hospitals to make public a list of standard charges for all items and services provided, now heads to Gov. Youngkin’s desk for his signature.

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Wholesale Price Inflation Reaches Double Digits

The Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures the prices suppliers charge businesses and other customers, surged 0.8% on a month-over-month basis as of February as consumer demand continues to spur inflation, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced Tuesday.

The PPI grew 10% on a year-over-year basis as of February, the BLS reported Tuesday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones estimated wholesale prices would increase 0.9% on a monthly basis in the latest report.

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Commentary: Civics Education Is More Important Than Ever

At its founding, American K-12 public education was meant to prepare young people to be active participants in our democratic republic. That should still be its highest purpose, especially when it comes to teaching civics.

Historically, public schools held fast to the principle that effective education must be non-partisan. Knowing they had great power to influence young minds, teachers used to be careful to choose content and pedagogies that restricted their ability to impose their personal political views on schoolchildren.

Today, maintaining non-partisanship is more important than ever in classrooms. Sadly, it’s increasingly dishonored. Civics has become a hot-button issue of late, particularly after remote learning allowed more parents to see what their children were actually being taught. Many were not happy with what they saw, and the debate over civics education is symptomatic of the larger divide that has become such a looming threat to American society.

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Commentary: Biden and Obama Must Answer for Russiagate

What did Barack Obama and Joe Biden know about the Russiagate collusion hoax their fellow Democrats ginned up to kneecap Donald Trump – and when did they know it? How much did their chicanery contribute to Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade the Ukraine?

Those questions are coming into sharp relief following a definitive report by my RealClearInvestigations colleague Paul Sperry last week that places the worst political scandal in our nation’s history and Putin’s brutal war directly inside the White House.

Drawing on a wide range of documents, many never previously reported, Sperry details how the Obama administration worked closely with the Clinton campaign and a foreign government – Ukraine – in a “sweeping and systematic effort” to interfere in the 2016 election. It turns out Democrats were guilty of every false charge they lodged against Trump.

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Shrinking Food Supplies, Soaring Prices Could Trigger Global Unrest, Key GOP Lawmaker Warns

Rep. Austin Scott

With U.S. and world food prices set to soar due to inflation and supply shortages stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a key GOP lawmaker is asking the Pentagon to study the potential for conflict if the global food supply shrinks by 5%.

U.S. farmers will pay $300-$400 more per acre to grow crops this year due to inflation and costs associated with the war in Europe, Georgia Republican Rep. Austin Scott warned Monday on the Just the News TV show.

Shipping is another issue, as trade is throttled by war-related disruptions and tough economic sanctions against Russia.

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Commentary: High-Octane Solutions to the New Energy Crisis

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and soaring energy prices are a bracing wake up call to the West to abandon our anemic energy policies, which have pretended to be green but in reality have only shifted the dirtiest parts of our energy supply chains to bad actors like Russia and China. Western energy dependence on hostile powers limits our ability to preserve peace, to reduce our supply vulnerability, and to find the most cost-effective climate change solutions.

President Biden has acknowledged some of these problems, conceding that gasoline prices are too high and promising to do “everything in my power to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump.” But gas prices continue to rise, up by 10% in the last week.

One option President Biden has not yet explored is working with Congress to fix our incoherent domestic fuel policy to improve fuel efficiency across the board and reduce the amount Americans pay for gasoline. Currently, the EPA regulates fuels and automobiles separately, instead of as a single system. Automakers have the technological know-how to make much more efficient car engines, but regulatory barriers prevent them from doing so because they do not permit the use of cleaner fuels that would reduce carbon emissions and enhance performance.

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Commentary: With the Session Over and Budget Delayed, Virginia Dems Sense Blood in the Water

This is a long one. Which probably doesn’t surprise long-time TRS readers, but bear with me — I’m going someplace with this one.

One of G.K. Chesterton’s observations is that it’s not always that people don’t understand the answer but that they never properly understood the question. That is probably true with most elections.

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Russia Reverses Gas Flow via Key Pipeline Serving Europe

Part of a key pipeline transporting natural gas from Russia to Europe suddenly reversed its flow direction Tuesday, Reuters reported.

Flows in the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which sends natural gas to Germany via Poland, were recorded going eastward away from Europe on Tuesday morning, data from the European firm Gascade showed, Reuters reported, citing data from German network operator Gascade. Flows leaving Germany were moving at a whopping 4.3 million kilowatt-hours per hour at one section of the pipeline.

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Hunter Biden Ex-Partner Tries to Avoid Starting Prison Sentence, Prosecutors Object Strenuously

Hunter Biden’s ex-business partner was convicted nearly four years ago of securities fraud and still he has not spent a day in prison. And now Devon Archer’s lawyers are trying to delay his punishment yet again with a new appeal that did not amuse federal prosecutors.

Archer faces one year and one day in prison and was ordered last month to pay financial penalties of $15 million and over $43 million in restitution.

His arguments to appeal and postpone serving prison time have no merit, the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan told the trial judge Monday.

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Most Minnesota School Districts Facing Budget Shortfalls amid Enrollment Decline

empty hallway

Minnesota school districts belonging to the Association of Metropolitan School Districts (AMSD), a lobbying organization, are facing a collective budget shortfall of $235.3 million for the upcoming 2022-23 school year.

That figure comes from the results of an AMSD survey taken by 45 school districts across the state.

For example, Minneapolis and Saint Paul Public Schools are facing respective shortfalls of $59.5 million and $42.8 million — approximately 43% of the combined shortfall. Only eight school districts that took the survey reported no projected shortfalls.

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Analyses of CDC Data Show Massive Spike in Excess Mortality in Millennials After Vaccine Mandates

Former BlackRock Portfolio Manager and Investor Edward Dowd is accusing the United States government of democide after an analysis of Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data showed an 84 percent increase in excess mortality in millennials in the fall of 2021.

During a recent appearance on Steve Bannon’s War Room Pandemic, Dowd said that an insurance industry expert analyzed the CDC’s aggregate data and broke down the number of mortalities by age and created baselines for each age group. All age groups experienced excess mortality, especially millennials, he said.

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Vote Expected Next Week on Tennessee ‘Divisive Concepts’ Bill

man in a blue dress shirt and gray vest pointing and speaking

A Tennessee bill that would, among other things, mandate that public universities stop teaching “divisive concepts” to students will be voted upon next week. 

“I believe the bill will pass,” the bill’s sponsor, State Sen. Mike Bell (R-Athens) told The Tennessee Star Tuesday. “It was rolled last night only because the house had added an amendment and I needed a little more time to consider whether to accept the House amendment or to go forward with the Senate version.”

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