Gov. Bill Lee Unable to Explain Why He Criticizes Removal of Morgan Ortagus from GOP Primary Ballot but Supports Removal of His Two Gubernatorial Rivals

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Governor Bill Lee could not explain why he believes Morgan Ortagus should be on the Tennessee 5th Congressional District Republican primary ballot when his Republican primary opponents’ were reportedly about to be disqualified from the ballot during a joint press conference held with U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN)after a law enforcement roundtable on border security Wednesday afternoon.
Hagerty and Lee briefly opened with statements on border security and the roundtable discussion that was held before they took questions. Lee was asked several questions about pending legislation before the Tennessee General Assembly before he was asked about Ortagus’ disqualification from the Republican primary.

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It’s Official: Carpbetbaggers Morgan Ortagus and Robby Starbuck Are Off the Tennessee 5th Congressional District GOP Primary Ballot

Scott Golden, the chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, submitted a letter on Wednesday morning in accordance with party bylaws and the state code to Mark Goins, the coordinator of elections for the state of Tennessee, officially notifying him that disqualified Tennessee 5th Congressional District candidates Morgan Ortagus, Robby Starbuck, and Baxter Lee are removed “completely from the Republican August primary ballot.”

The letter included a notification of the full list of candidates in a variety of races that the TNGOP voted to restore to the ballot, as well as the full list of candidates, in accordance with state law, that the party voted to remove completely.

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Probable Cause Found in Blystone Financial-Reporting Probe; Election Commission Books Expedited Hearing One Day Before Election

Joe Blystone

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Elections Commission (OEC) found probable cause to further investigate and decide two complaints filed against Ohio Republican gubernatorial candidate Joe Blystone’s campaign and booked a full-panel hearing for May 2, one day before the primary election.

Thursday, a Probable Cause panel comprised of commissioners D. Michael Crites (R), Charleta B. Tavares (D) and Ernest C. Knight (I) voted unanimously on an expedited investigation into cases that allege the Canal Winchester farmer and restauranteur improperly reported campaign contributions and expenditures and spent campaign funds for personal use.

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More Than 300,000 Votes Unverified in Georgia’s Fulton County in 2020, New Complaint Alleges

A new complaint to the Georgia State Election Board alleges that more than 300,000 ballots were unreliably recorded on unverified early voting poll closing tapes in Fulton County, Georgia in the 2020 election.

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Massachusetts Parent: ‘We’re Not Homophobic, They’re Trying to Take Parental Rights from Us, and That’s What We’re Fighting For’

A Ludlow, Massachusetts mother says parents in her school district are committed to fighting for their parental rights to oversee what their children are being exposed to at school.

Bella Soares told The Star News Network she became involved in the parents’ battle with Ludlow Public Schools officials over the issue of school library books the parents believe to be inappropriate for their children.

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State Senate Committee Removes Public Funding for Titans Stadium from Tennessee Budget

The Finance Committee of the Tennessee State Senate voted on Wednesday to remove public funding for the proposed $2 billion domed stadium for the NFL’s Tennessee Titans from the 2022-2023 budget for the state of Tennessee.

State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) proposed two amendments to the budget that (1) removed authorization for the state of Tennessee to issue a $500 million bond to be used for the construction of the proposed stadium and (2) removed $55 million in taxpayer funding to service the interest payments annually of that bond debt.

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Metro Nashville Council Approves over $62 Million in Appropriations, an Earth Day Resolution, and the Date for State of the Metropolitan Government Address

Nashville Metro Nashville Council this week approved over $62 million in appropriations and a resolution recognizing Earth Day, and set next Wednesday as the date for the State of the Metropolitan Government Address.

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Senator Hagerty to Tennessee Star on Border Security: Biden Administration Has Destroyed Most Important Tool

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty spoke about border security with The Tennessee Star in an exclusive one-on-one interview after a Wednesday afternoon joint press event held with Governor Bill Lee outside his Nashville district office.
Hagerty addressed the Biden administration’s gutting of Title 42 and his desire to see it expanded, not ended. He also addressed the migrant protection protocols which were put in place under the Trump administration. Hagerty believes they should be codified, whereas the Biden administration has destroyed them.

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Commentary: Obama/Biden Team Empowered Terrorist Networks in Syria

Hours after the Feb. 3 U.S. military raid in northern Syria that left the leader of ISIS and multiple family members dead, President Biden delivered a triumphant White House address. 

The late-night Special Forces operation in Syria’s Idlib province, Biden proclaimed, was a “testament to America’s reach and capability to take out terrorist threats no matter where they hide around the world.”

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National Political Editor Neil McCabe Reports Live from Union Square as Migrant Busing Continues

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed The Tennessee Star’s National Political Editor Neil McCabe to the newsmaker line live from Union Square in Washington, D.C. to report on the busing of migrants from the Southern border and the Senate race in Pennsylvania.

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New Initiative Seeks to Counter ‘Woke’ Corporate Policies

The Boardroom Initiative, a new joint project from the Job Creators Network Foundation (JCNF), Free Enterprise Project, and Second Vote, aims to counter “woke” policies in corporate America.

The group will be led by former president and CEO of McDonald’s Ed Rensi and hopes to focus corporations on their business goals, rather than political policies.

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Nashville Morning Show with Dan Mandis: TN GOP Chair Scott Golden, ‘We Set Out the Standards and Unfortunately the Candidates Didn’t Meet Them’

Wednesday morning on the Nashville Morning Show, host Mandis welcomed Chairman of the Tennessee GOP Scott Golden to the show to explain how Morgan Ortagus, Robby Starbuck, and Baxter Lee failed to meet the Republican Party’s candidate standards.

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Host Leahy Talks with Metro Nashville District 2 School Board Candidate Mark Woodward Talks Background, Quitting Job to Work with Nashville Youth

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed School Board Candidate for District Four, Mark Woodward in studio to talk about his background.

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Massachusetts Parents Sue School District Alleging Officials Violated Parental Rights by Secretly Encouraging Gender Transition

Parents in Ludlow, Massachusetts, filed a federal lawsuit that alleges school officials secretly promoted their children’s gender transition and violated their parental rights by choosing not to inform them about issues related to their children’s health and well-being.

The parents, Stephen Foote and Marissa Silvestri, and Jonathan Feliciano and Sandra Salmeron, claim in their lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Springfield Division, the Ludlow School Committee and district officials “have exceeded the bounds of legitimate pedagogical concerns and usurped the role” of parents “to direct the education and upbringing of their children, make medical and mental health decisions for their children, and to promote and preserve family privacy and integrity.”

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Crom’s Crommentary: Joe Biden Is Head of a Democratic Party That Now ‘Operates Like an Organized Crime Family”

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio for another edition of Crom’s Crommentary.

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Kari Lake Calls Primary Opponent ‘Doug Ducey in a Dress’

The Arizona gubernatorial race is heating up in the Republican primary, as candidates attempt to distinguish themselves from each other. Former news anchor Kari Lake, who is leading in polling and has Donald Trump’s endorsement, has been calling out Karrin Taylor Robson’s record, referring to her as “Doug Ducey in a dress.” Lake is highly critical of Ducey’s record on COVID-19 restrictions, lack of action on border security, and, she says, being weak on election integrity.

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Minnesota Students Assigned Controversial Anti-Christian Novel Laden with Sexual Themes

Students at Centennial High School in Circle Pines, Minn., are assigned to read “The Poet X,” a novel that has been banned in other districts which are concerned about its sexual content.

The Poet X is a collection of poems that tell the story of a young girl named Xiomara and “the conflict between Xiomara’s religion and the expression of her sexuality,” per Carnegie Mellon University’s Banned Books Project. This central theme is “explored in depth” throughout the work, the project reports.

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On ‘420 Day,’ Republican and Democratic Senators Push for Marijuana Legalization

Pennsylvania Senate sponsors touted their proposal to permit its recreational use by adults on Wednesday, April 20, i.e. 4-20, the day marijuana users celebrate their indulgence and clamor for its legalization.

“Legalization must be done the right way, and my bill ensures a legalized Pennsylvania market is implemented safely and responsibly, with a thoughtful approach that provides opportunities to medical and recreational consumers, farmers and small, medium and minority-owned businesses,” State Senator Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) said in a statement.

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National Right to Life Backs Herschel Walker for U.S. Senate, Issues Rare Primary Endorsement

National Right to Life, a leading national Pro-Life organization, has endorsed Herschel Walker in the Georgia U.S. Senate race.

This is an uncommon step for the organization, as they don’t typical endorse candidates before the nomination has occurred.

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Youngkin Wants to Add Two Marijuana Misdemeanors for Possession of More Than Two Ounces and More Than Six Ounces

Governor Glenn Youngkin has asked the General Assembly to approve creating two new marijuana misdemeanors: a Class Two misdemeanor for possessing more than two ounces and less than six ounces of marijuana, and a Class One misdemeanor for possessing more than six ounces but less than one pound of marijuana, the felony limit. Youngkin introduced the changes in an amendment to Senator Emmett Hanger’s (R-Augusta) SB 591, a ban on selling marijuana products in the shape of a human, animal, or fruit.

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Atlanta Nonprofit Group Stands Up ‘Woke’ Coca-Cola, Papa John’s over BLM Support

A black-run nonprofit this week is standing up to “woke” companies like Papa Johns, Coca-Cola and others who have pledged their support to Black Lives Matter (BLM). 

“Officials with Concerned Communities for America (CCA) today delivered a pledge for signing by Papa Johns CEO Robert Lynch and Coca Cola CEO James Quincey to signal support of the women and men who serve their communities as police officers,” according to a Wednesday CCA press release. “This pledge is in response to Papa Johns’ and Coca Cola’s blind support, vocally and/or financially, of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation and its affiliates.”

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DeSantis Signs Bill to Increase Transparency in College Curriculum

Florida’s governor Tuesday signed into law a bill that will increase transparency into the curriculum at state-funded colleges, as well as updated guidelines for tenured faculty members.

SB 7044, signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis (R), ensures that colleges are openly disclosing textbooks, syllabi, and other course-related material on their websites. This way, the bill says, prospective students, as well as parents, can see what students are being taught.

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ADF Says College’s Settlement with Professor a ‘Victory for Free Speech’

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is celebrating a court victory for one its clients, a professor who was punished by his employer for refusing to use the preferred gender pronouns of a student. 

“Dr. Meriwether’s victory is a free speech victory for professors all across the country,” Tyson Langhofer, senior counsel and director of the Center for Academic Freedom at ADF told The Ohio Star Wednesday. “The court rightly decided that his First Amendment rights were likely violated and vindicated these rights for all professors. No one should be forced to say something they believe is untrue and we are grateful the court has recognized that.”

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Music Spotlight: Michael Rix

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The first time I recall seeing Michael Rix was when he played banjo in the Bank of America marketing campaign commercial for Ken Burns’ PBS documentary Country Music. Even though the banjo originated in Africa, seeing a black, banjo-playing country musician in the 21st century is/was not very common.

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Florida Cabinet Officials Take Shots at Biden over Mask Mandate ‘Misery’ and Medical Marijuana Patients’ Rights

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) are both taking shots at President Joe Biden’s administration simultaneously. While each official’s reasoning for opposition to the Biden administration is rooted in different policy priorities, it shows a unique circumstance in which Fried and DeSantis, who are usually at opposite ends of the spectrum, are directing their angst to Washington.

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Bruce LeVell Commentary: ‘Woke’ Corporations Need to Wake Up and Get on the Right Side of History

It’s time for America’s “woke” corporations to wake up. Their pandering to and support of the Marxist, anti-American organization known as the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) is hurting the country and costing the lives of some of our finest citizens.

Before I continue, let’s get one thing straight: Black lives do matter. I say that as a Black man myself, but the concept isn’t really in dispute among ordinary, right-thinking Americans of any race or ethnicity. The BLMGNF does everything it can to cultivate the opposite impression because it profits off grievance politics – but its narrative couldn’t be further from the truth.

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Ohio Doctor Accused of 14 Murders Found Not Guilty

Dr. William Husel

An accused Ohio serial killer and doctor was found not guilty Wednesday by a jury of his peers, after more than one week of deliberations in the high-profile case. 

Dr. William Husel was criminally charged with 14 murders between 2015 and 2018 – and suspected of up to 25 – when prosecutors alleged that he gave dying patients at Mount Carmel West Hospital enough fentanyl to kill them. 

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Commentary: Energy Myths Are Triggering a New Dark Age in Europe

Europe has an energy crisis. Factories are halting operations in the face of soaring energy prices; families are paying 50% more for heating (or opting to freeze in their homes), and  Europe as a whole continues to destabilize its political position by making itself dependent on Russia for natural gas.

Europe shows what happens when you adopt policies based on false ideas—myths about energy that all but guarantee high prices, power blackouts, and a crashing economy.

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Cook Political Report Changes VA-07 to Toss-Up

The Cook Political Report has moved Virginia’s seventh congressional district, currently held by Representative Abigail Spanberger (D), from Lean D to Toss Up, expanding the number of Democrat-held seats that are Toss Up or favor Republicans. That list already included VA-02, held by Representative Elaine Luria (D). Republicans also hope to win VA-10, occupied by Representative Jennifer Wexton (D); Cook rates that race among 155 Solid Democrat seats.

Former Prince William County GOP Committee vice chairman Willie Deutsch said both VA-10 and VA-07 outcomes depend on President Joe Biden’s approval rating in November.

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Exclusive: U.S. Senate Candidate Mike Gibbons Launches ‘Women for Gibbons’ Coalition

U.S. Senate candidate Mike Gibbons, who is running in a crowded GOP primary field, launched a new “Women for Gibbons” coalition.

According to information provided exclusively to The Ohio Star, the group is led by Caitlin Shea, the candidate’s daughter, and co-chaired by Lisa and Lucy Stickan.

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Donald Trump, Jr. Headlines Medina County Republicans’ Lincoln Day Dinner with Gubernatorial Hopeful Jim Renacci

Donald Trump, Jr. was on the campaign trail in Ohio with gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci who looks on as the 45th President’s eldest son speaks to supporters at a private reception at the Republican Party of Medina County Lincoln Day Dinner held at the Galaxy Banquet Center Wednesday evening.

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Senator Raphael Warnock’s Campaign Donors Overwhelmingly Come from Outside of Georgia

Senator Raphael Warnock’s re-election campaign has overwhelmingly been funded by out-of-state donors, according to the latest disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Warnock has set records in the fundraising battle, as he announced raising more than $13 million in the most recent quarter.

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Masters Outraising Opponents in Arizona Senate Race

An insurgent candidate for U.S. Senate in Arizona outraised his opponents – including the state’s Attorney General – over the past year. 

According to records from the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), venture capitalist Blake Masters raised $3,577,745.06 between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022. The campaign registered $3,293,712.58 in itemized contributions, defined as contributions over $200, and $257,932.48 in unitemized contributions during that time period. 

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Google Announces More Investment in Its Virginia Facilities, Plans to Be a Lab Schools Partner

Governor Glenn Youngkin joined Google officials at the company’s location in Reston, Virginia, where Google announced $300 million more in investment into its Virginia presence. The company also announced a $250,000 grant to CodeVA to partner with stakeholders to create computer science lab schools; additionally, the company will partner with Virginia’s community colleges to provide professional certifications.

“Google’s investment and partnership announcement is a timely and exciting development for the Commonwealth. Code with Google and CodeVA will prepare the next generation of Virginia’s students for careers in computer science. As governor, I am committed to creating workforce development opportunities, expanding our computer science opportunities for Virginia’s students, and reestablishing high expectations in education,” Youngkin said in a press release.

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Florida Surgeon General Criticizes Federal Directives Related to Treatment for Gender Dysphoria

The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) provided guidance Wednesday on treating gender dysphoria for children and adolescents in response to information recently provided by the federal government.

The FDOH press release noted that “gender dysphoria is characterized by a strong, persistent cross-gender identification associated with anxiety, depression, irritability, and often a wish to live as a gender different from the one associated with the sex assigned at birth.”

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo issued a statement criticizing the federal directives.

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States Launch ‘Border Strike Force’ to Challenge Biden on Lack of Enforcement

President Joe Biden has faced heavy criticism over the surge in illegal immigration since he took office, and now a coalition of states has formed to challenge the president on the issue.

So far, 26 governors have signed on to the creation of the “Border Strike Force,” a coalition of state leaders working together to fight Mexican cartels and to slow the massive spike in illegal immigration since early last year.

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Details Lacking in Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul’s Clergy Sex Probe

Wisconsin’s attorney general said his investigation into clergy sex abuse across the state has resulted in 1,000 calls to his tipline, 204 reports, and one criminal case. But there are some questions the AG is not answering.

Kaul launched his investigation into the Catholic Church in Wisconsin one year ago. On Tuesday, he provided an update on his progress.

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Feds Could Limit Water Flow to Arizona, Other Western States

The federal agency that regulates water in Lake Powell warns that it may have to limit downstream water flow, affecting drinking water in Arizona and other western states.

Tanya Trujillo, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science for the U.S. Department of the Interior, wrote governors’ offices of seven states about the continually falling water level in Lake Powell.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine, 16 Other Governors Oppose Federal Charter School Intervention

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine joined 17 other governors in a letter calling on the Biden administration to remove a proposed rule that could limit charter school creation.

The administration’s rule would require new charter schools to demonstrate sufficient demand for the proposed school. The governors believe that means a relevant school district would have to be “over-enrolled” for a charter school to be able to apply for federal funding.

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Georgia Policy Group Warns That State’s Labor Force Participation Rate Lags Behind Other States

While state officials touted their recent unemployment numbers as an all-time record, a state organization says a deeper analysis of the numbers shows a troubling undercurrent.

Georgia’s unemployment rate in March dropped to an all-time low of 3.1%, down from February’s revised rate of 3.2%, as the number of employed Georgians also hit a record high. Georgia is tied with Arkansas for the 16th lowest unemployment rate, according to an analysis from the Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO).

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Biden Admin to Reverse Trump-Era ‘Conscience’ Exemption for Healthcare Workers

The Biden Administration’s Department Health and Human Services (HHS) has confirmed that it plans to eliminate a policy implemented during the Trump Administration that allows healthcare workers to cite religious or moral beliefs when seeking exemptions from performing certain acts in the line of duty.

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A Lead Prosecutor in Michigan Gov. Whitmer ‘Kidnapping’ Trial Withdraws from Case

Following a stunning defeat in federal court earlier this month, one of the lead prosecutors handling the trial of four men charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 has withdrawn from the case.

Andrew Birge, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, announced in a filing yesterday that Jonathan Roth “withdraws his appearance as an attorney for the United States,” Roth and assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler represented the government during the three-week trial, which resulted in the acquittal of two men and a mistrial for two others.

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