Progressive Wing of Virginia Democrat House Ousts Filler-Corn as Minority Leader

The highest-ranking member in the Democrat Party’s House of Delegates was ousted in an effort led by the progressive wing of her own party.

“I thank the people of Virginia and my colleagues in the House of Delegates for allowing me to serve as the first woman and first person of Jewish faith to serve as Speaker in the 403-year history of our Commonwealth — truly the honor of my life,” Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) said. “I was proud of all that we accomplished after taking the majority in 2019 and was willing to step up as Minority Leader once more to regain that majority. Our caucus is made up of 48 talented and diverse individuals and I look forward to working with them to retake the majority.”

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Citizens United Doc ‘Rigged’ Knocks Zuckerberg’s Election-Skewing Nonprofits Out of 2022 Midterms

Neil W. McCabe, the national political editor of The Star News Network, interviewed David Bossie, the president and founder of Citizens United, about his new documentary ‘Rigged.’

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Tennessee House Bill Would Pave the Way for Transparency in School Library Books and Textbooks

A bill proposed by the Speaker of the Tennessee House would increase transparency into the library books and textbooks children are using in schools.

“Until today, no one has taken responsibility as to how library books have previously reached school libraries in the state,” House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) told The Tennessee Star Tuesday. “The Tennessee Association of School Librarians has since indicated librarians have been in charge of the process all along. This bill will establish a statewide process that includes both [Local Education Associations] and the Textbook Commission in the process for a uniform, approved list of school library books.”

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Misleading Claims Promoted About Disqualification of Ortagus and Starbuck from TN-5 Race

The aftermath of the Tennessee Republican Party’s removal of Morgan Ortagus, Robby Starbuck, and Baxter Lee from the TN-5 ballot has seen several news outlets, social media influencers, national political figures, and affected candidates have make misinformed claims.

CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Star News Digital Media Michael Patrick Leahy, which owns and operates The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network, provided a full step-by-step breakdown of what really happened that led to Morgan Ortagus, Robby Starbuck, and Baxter Lee’s disqualification from the TN-5 race.

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Actor Gary Sinise to Relocate Foundation from California to Tennessee

Actor Gary Sinise, who played “Lieutenant Dan” in the hit move “Forrest Gump,” is relocating his foundation from California to Nashville, Tennessee.

The organization, entitled the Gary Sinise Foundation, is veteran-focused and has a mission to support “unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities” for those who have served our country.

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Private Christian Baylor University Launches ‘Official’ LGBTQ Students Group While Side Group Pushes Radical Agenda

Baylor University has established an “official” group for LGBTQ students who say they require “safety,” “support,” and “resources,” though a longstanding “unofficial” group will continue to push its radical agenda inconsistent with the private Christian school’s biblical values.

“I feel like the administration got a better idea of the queer experience on campus and I feel like the students were able to get a better idea of the administration’s intentions,” said Lor Duncan, co-president of the new group called Prism, reflecting on the university’s decision to conduct “listening sessions” with students throughout the last semester.

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Disqualified TN-5 Candidate Starbuck Asks Supporters to Tell the TNGOP to Do What Is No Longer Under Its Authority

Disqualified TN-5 candidate Robby Starbuck is posting frequent calls on social media urging supporters to contact the Tennessee GOP (TNGOP) and demand that the State Executive Committee (SEC) vote to reverse its decision disqualifying him from seeking the Republican nomination.

There’s just one problem: The Tennessee Republican Party is not empowered to put Starbuck back on the ballot and couldn’t reverse its decision even if it wanted to.

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Commentary: Reaction to Musk Offer Suggests Content Moderation More About Control Than Safety

The reaction among the press and tech communities to Elon Musk’s efforts to purchase Twitter has been nothing short of apocalyptic. A common theme has been that democracy itself would be under threat if unelected billionaire oligarchs controlled what was allowed online. Yet this is precisely how social media works today. The Musk controversy, like the Cambridge Analytica story before it, highlights the real issue: the fight over content moderation is less about online safety and more about who controls the digital public square.

Only a year ago, the media cheered the unilateral decisions by a handful of billionaires to effectively banish then-President Donald Trump from the digital public square. Lawmakers and media outlets alike proclaimed the societal benefits of private companies controlling the digital public square beyond the reach of government. In contrast, the possibility of a libertarian-leaning billionaire like Musk wielding that same power has been presented as nothing short of an attack on democracy itself.

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Ocoee Whitewater Center, a Historic Olympic Site in Polk County, Deemed ‘Total Loss’ After Early Morning Fire

Early Tuesday morning, the Ocoee Whitewater Center in Polk County caught fire and was destroyed, according to a Facebook post by The Cherokee National Forest. Although the building is a “complete loss,” no one was injured in the fire, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

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DeSantis Signs Election Integrity Bill

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill earlier Monday related to election integrity. The Florida Legislature prioritized the legislation in order to ensure Florida’s elections process is safe and secure.

DeSantis signed SB 524, which creates an Office of Election Crimes and Security within the Florida Department of State and will “investigate election law violations and increasing penalties for violations of election laws.”

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Georgia State Senate Candidate Shawn Still Wants to ‘Eliminate Drop Boxes’ in Georgia

During an appearance on The John Fredericks Show, Georgia State Senate candidate Shawn Still reminded the audience that he filed a lawsuit in 2020 against Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and stated very clearly how important election integrity is to him.

“I have been on the forefront on election integrity since all of this began, when we saw the election irregularities. When we saw that we knew the election results, that we knew the election had been stolen, I filed a lawsuit in State Superior Court in Fulton County against the Secretary of State,” said Still.

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Cambria County Prosecutor: Difficulty Recruiting Police Is Fueling Pennsylvania Crime

FBI data currently indicate that Pennsylvania’s violent crime rate exceeds any other northeastern state’s, and a county prosecutor told state senators this week he attributes much of that reality to difficulty recruiting and retaining police officers.

Cambria County District Attorney Gregory Neugebauer testified before the Senate Republican Policy Committee alongside other law-enforcement professionals to illuminate what is driving up crime in the Keystone State and what can be done about it. The hearing, held at the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensberg, was the first of several the panel is hosting this week to address crime prevention in conjunction with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

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As Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Wants to Spend $60 Million on Electric Vehicles, Study Shows Recycling and Storing Their Batteries Will Be a ‘Huge Issue’

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants to spend $60 million on electric vehicles (EV), including electrifying the state’s fleet. However, the production of EVs is beset by a supply chain riddled with shortages in addition to environmental concerns.

Whitmer’s proposed 2023 budget aims to spend $50 million to subsidize new EV sales or a $500 rebate for at-home charging equipment for new or used EVs. Another $10 million would start converting Michigan’s roughly 13,637-vehicle fleet to EV.

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Minnesota Principal Promoted LGBTQ Protest for 10-Year-Olds

The principal at Kenwood Trail Middle School in Lakeville, Minn., advertised a “day of silence” during which students refrained from speaking to protest for LGBTQ causes.

The principal, Kelly McDermott, promoted the event, which took place late last week, on the school’s Schoology page.

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Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Nan Whaley Announces Coalition of Mayors Who Have Endorsed Her Campaign

A gubernatorial candidate and her running mate have formed a coalition of more than 40 Ohio mayors who are supporting their bid Governor and Lieutenant Governor. 

“Today [Cheryl Stevens] & I are proud to announce a new coalition supporting our #OHGov campaign – Mayors for Whaley-Stephens! As two former mayors, Cheryl and I can’t wait to work with local leaders across Ohio to ensure each community has its own chance at economic success,” former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley announced on Twitter. 

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Wisconsin Rep. Brandtjen Warns Against Ending Gableman Investigation

One of the leading voices in the push to clarify Wisconsin’s election laws is issuing a warning to her own side about ending the investigation into the 2020 election.

Rep. Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls, on Monday said the investigation by Wisconsin Special Counsel Mike Gableman must be kept going until the mayors of Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Racine, and Kenosha answer questions about what actually transpired during the 2020 election.

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Connecticut Pro-Life Black Democrat: Many Democrats ‘Shut Out of Party’ over Views Against Abortion

Connecticut State Rep. Treneé McGee (D-West Haven) was one of 14 State House Democrats – among them ten people of color, including McGee – who voted against a bill that would expand abortion rights further in Connecticut.

A report at CT Insider featured McGee’s “voice of dissent” last week as she rose to speak against the bill, recalling numerous conversations she has had with black girls over the years about abortion.

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U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Reverse Appellate Court Decision Allowing Thomas Jefferson High School to Use Controversial Admissions Policy

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition that would have reversed an appellate court’s decision that is allowing Thomas Jefferson (TJ) High School for Science and Technology to continue using its controversial admissions policy for the incoming freshman class.

After the court’s Monday anouncement, Fairfax County Public Schools praised the decision in a statement.

“We continue to believe our new plan for TJ admissions is merit-based and race-blind,” Fairfax County School Board Chair Stella Pekarsky said. “We are confident that after considering the facts and the law, the appeals court will decide that our plan meets all the legal requirements and guarantees every qualified student will have the chance of being admitted to the finest public science and technology high school in the country.”

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Democrat Gubernatorial Candidate Katie Hobbs Seemingly Flip-Flops Position on Title 42

Democrat gubernatorial hopeful Katie Hobbs is, again, facing intense blowback during her campaign, as she seemingly flip-flopped her position on Title 42. 

Title 42 is a public health order from the Trump administration that allowed border officials to turn away individuals due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. President Joe Biden’s administration is seeking to end the policy.

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CEO of Professional Educators of Tennessee, J.C. Bowman Has Not Endorsed the Tennessee Investment for Student Achievement Act

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed the Executive Director & CEO of Professional Educators of Tennessee, JC Bowman in studio to comment upon the Tennessee Investment for Student Achievement and Governor Lee’s relationship with Bill Gates.

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Grant’s Rants: ‘It’s Time for All of Us to Decide If the New Motto of Twitter Will Be the Following: I May Disapprove of What You Say, but I Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It’

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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Florida House Rep Accuses Candace Owens of Supporting DeSantis for ‘Coins’

In what appears to be a racially-motivated attack, a member of the Florida House of Representatives attacked conservative commentator Candace Owens for her support of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

“He knows how to break the law, violate constitutional rights, lie and bully. There I fixed it for you @RealCandaceO You should be ashamed of what #DeSantisDestroysFlorida is doing to Black communities in Florida. But of course…get them coins girls,” said State Rep. Angie Nixon (D-District 14) on Twitter.

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Committee Passes Bill to Adopt California Emissions Standards for Connecticut Trucks

Legislation to align Connecticut’s emissions standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks with California’s stringent regulations passed the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee on Monday and awaits consideration by the state House and Senate.

The regulations chiefly concern the discharge of nitrogen-oxide which is associated with worsening acid rain and smog as well as respiratory and cardiac ailments.

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Youngkin Announces DCJS Funds to Reimburse Public Schools for Creating Detailed Digital Maps for First Responders

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced $6.5 million in funding to support a digital mapping project of public schools for used by administration and first responders in emergencies. In the Monday evening announcement, Youngkin also touted his recent approval of Delegate Rob Bell’s (R-Albemarle) HB 741, which requires detailed floor plans to be included in already-required public school safety audits.

“This legislation and the Digital Mapping Program for Virginia K–12 Schools will help ensure the safety of all students, staff, and visitors who enter our schools,” Youngkin said in a press release. “It will likewise promote the safety of the brave men and women who keep our children safe.”

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Biden Pardons Athens Man Convicted for Facilitating Drug Trafficking

An Athens man who was convicted for the facilitation of drug trafficking was pardoned Tuesday by President Joe Biden.

“Dexter Jackson is a 52-year-old man who was convicted in 2002 for using his business to facilitate the distribution of marijuana in the Northern District of Georgia,” according to a statement from the White House. “Mr. Jackson was not personally involved in trafficking marijuana, but allowed marijuana distributors to use his pool hall to facilitate drug transactions.  He accepted full responsibility for his actions at the time he was charged, and pled guilty.”

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We the People Convention Endorses John Adams for Ohio Secretary of State

We the People Convention, an Ohio-based nonprofit that advocates for limited constitutional governance, endorsed former state Rep. John Adams for Ohio Secretary of State.

Adams is running in the GOP primary against incumbent Frank LaRose, who recently gained the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.

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Michael Patrick Leahy and Guest Grant Henry Discuss New Film Debuting Locally on Monday, ‘2000 Mules,’ Which Catches Blue-Ballot Harvesters Red-Handed in Georgia

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, hosts Leahy and Henry discussed the upcoming movie, 2000 Mules by Dinesh D’Souza debuting Monday at the Thoroughbred 20 in Franklin, Tennessee.

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Executive Director & CEO of Professional Educators of Tennessee J.C. Bowman Makes Predictions on TISA Passage in House and Senate

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed the Executive Director & CEO of Professional Educators of Tennessee, JC Bowman in studio to give his predictions on the passage of the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement act scheduled for a vote in both the House and Senate.

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Miyares Honors Victims’ Advocates, Commemorates National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

RICHMOND, Virginia – Attorney General Jason Miyares honored eight people for their service to crime victims in the fifth annual Unsung Heroes Award Ceremony on Tuesday. The ceremony was one of several stops Miyares is making this week in a tour commemorating National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

Miyares said a business owner once told him, “It’s really easy to wash away graffiti. It’s really hard to wash away fear.”

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Executive Director & CEO of Professional Educators of Tennessee, J.C. Bowman on Basic Education Funding, Dispersement, and Equity

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed the Executive Director & CEO of Professional Educators of Tennessee, JC Bowman in studio to discuss the equity and mechanics of the Basic Education Program funding and how it will be dispersed.

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Commentary: Our Spanish Civil War

From 1936 to 1939, the civil war in Spain became a European laboratory of new tactics, strategies, logistics, wartime morality, and weapons. Right-wing nationalists under General Francisco Franco finally defeated loyal supporters of an evolutionary socialist republic—but only after much of the Western world had variously weighed in.

The cost to the Spanish people of such brutal and vicious strife was horrific. Over 500,000 Spaniards would die in a little over two-and-a-half years. The country was left in shambles.

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U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments in ‘Remain in Mexico’ Lawsuit

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a major immigration case, one of several key legal battles working their way through the federal judicial system as illegal immigration soars.

In Biden v. Texas, the attorneys general of Missouri and Texas sued after the Biden administration ended the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy.

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Report: House Republicans to Impeach Mayorkas If They Retake the Majority

Reports have emerged that Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives is planning to impeach Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, in the event that they retake the majority in November’s midterm elections.

According to Axios, plans to impeach Mayorkas are already being laid out by the Republican Study Committee (RSC), the largest conservative coalition in the House, with over 150 members. On Monday, an open letter was sent to Mayorkas that was signed by 133 members of the RSC, including Chairman Jim Banks (R-Ind.), and Brian Babin (R-Texas.), co-chair of the Border Security Caucus; although the letter did not mention impeachment, it nevertheless made the case by listing a number of complaints that the group has about Mayorkas’ open-borders and mass amnesty approach to immigration.

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Harvard to Shell Out $100 Million to ‘Redress’ Its ‘Legacies with Slavery’

Harvard University will allocate $100 million to study and address its history with slavery, according to a Tuesday announcement from the university’s president.

The university released a report from the Committee on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery and announced a $100 million fund to implement the report’s recommendations, according to an announcement from President Larry Bacow. The report listed numerous recommendations including how Harvard “can redress” its “legacies with slavery” through teaching, research and service.

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Analysis: Professors and Media Tout Powerful COVID-Killing Technology

Near the top of its home page, the New York Times has published an essay by three professors about a “highly effective” technology to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in “high-risk environments” like nursing homes and places prone to “superspreader events.” Based on more than 500 hours of research, the institute Just Facts identified the same technology in September 2021 and promoted it to scholars, public officials, journalists, and commentators. However, most of them ignored the research while big tech suppressed it, thus costing countless lives.

The technology, called ultraviolet air disinfection, has been proven to stop the spread of contagious respiratory diseases in settings like schools and hospitals for more than 80 years. It is so effective that when it was used in a wing of a California VA hospital during the Asian influenza epidemic of 1958—not a single patient caught the disease. In contrast, the epidemic struck the other wing of the same hospital “with explosive force,” producing a “severe, prostrating illness” among 19% of the patients.

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Lawmakers Want Ohio’s State Vehicle Fleet to Transition to Electric

When the state of Ohio buys new vehicles, 25% of those would be electric in less than three years if a bill introduced in the Ohio House becomes law.

State Reps. Kent Smith, D-Euclid, and Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson, want all new vehicles for state’s fleet of 12,405 to be completely electric by Jan. 1, 2030.

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Arizona Doubles Victim Protection Order Duration

Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill to protect the victims of crime.

Ducey on Friday signed House Bill 2604, sponsored by Rep. Shawnna Bolick, R-Phoenix. The bill increases the length of protection, letting victims of crime have more time to protect themselves. It passed with unanimous support in both chambers of the legislature.

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Milwaukee Leaders Target Guns Following Most Violent Weekend of the Year

There’s a lot of talk about doing something about guns after Milwaukee’s most violent weekend of the year.

Milwaukee Police say more than 20 people were shot in separate shootings Saturday and Sunday. Three of the gunshot victims died, including a 10-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl.

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Music Spotlight: Dakota Poorman

From Maple Valley, Washington, 29-year-old singer/songwriter Dakota Poorman is a breath of fresh air in the stale pop-country atmosphere.

As a child he recalls, “I really loved music. I was bathed in a very eclectic taste in music. I listened to Bob Seger, John Fogerty, Pink Floyd, The Doors, the Eagles, and even Patsy Cline and Muddy Waters. I was exposed to a ton of great music back when music was music and had meaning.”

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On Crime, Drugs, Mental Illness, Pennsylvania Local Authorities See a Resource Problem

A Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee hearing on crime and public safety dwelled on two issues: the need for more funding and officers to address crime, and the lack of mental health support for struggling people.

Two panels spoke to a number of Republican senators; one comprised local law enforcement officers and the other a state judge, public defender, and district attorney.

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Sean Hannity Got Facts Completely Wrong in Radio Monologue on TNGOP Disqualification of Morgan Ortagus

Sean Hannity got the facts completely wrong in a monologue he gave on the Monday, April 25 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program on the Tennessee Republican Party’s action disqualifying carpetbagger Morgan Ortagus from the Tennessee 5th Congressional District August 4 Republican Primary race.

On his radio show, Hannity accused the TNGOP of “actually being willing to change the rules in the middle of the game.”

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