Exclusive: Pro-Life SBA List’s Candidate Fund PAC Endorses Beth Harwell for TN-5

Beth Harwell

In an exclusive announcement provided to The Tennessee Star, the Pro-Life Susan B. Anthony List’s candidate fund political action committee endorsed former Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives Beth Harwell, in the race for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District seat.

“Beth Harwell is a faithful champion of the unborn who proves that pro-life is truly pro-woman,” said Hon. Marilyn Musgrave, SBA List’s vice president of government affairs.

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Commentary: The 2023 Congress’ Opportunity to Stop the FBI’s Spying on Americans

The 18-member U.S. intelligence community (IC) has released the Annual Statistical Transparency Report Regarding the Intelligence Community’s Use of National Security Surveillance Authorities. One of the few to pay attention was historian Matthew Guariglia, a policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and an affiliated scholar at the University of California’s Hastings School of Law.

This government document, the ninth such report to be made public, “provides statistics and contextual information concerning how the Intelligence Community uses the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and certain other national security authorities to accomplish its mission.”

The law authorizes the U.S. government to engage in mass surveillance of foreign targets. As Guariglia discovered, FISA is “still being abused by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to spy on Americans without a warrant.” This abuse takes place under Section 702, an amendment to FISA.

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Green Berets Launch PAC to Put ‘Warrior-Diplomats’ in Congress

Veterans who served in special operations units announced the formation of a new political-action committee (PAC) to elect fellow “warrior-diplomats” to Congress in the wake of last year’s Monday, Fox News reported Monday.

“It is no coincidence that we are launching on Memorial Day, less than a year after we witnessed the Biden administration’s failed leadership contribute to the loss of American lives in Afghanistan,” Jason Bacon, a former Green Beret and previous congressional candidate said, according to Fox News. “It is imperative that we elect real leaders to Congress with the knowledge and experience to prevent this kind of travesty.”

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Tennessee’s U.S. Senators Bill Hagerty and Marsha Blackburn Commemorate Memorial Day

Tennessee’s U.S. senators Bill Hagerty and Marsha Blackburn commemorated Memorial Day and honored those that made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States of America.

Memorial Day is the federal holiday in the United States that U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the armed forces are commemorated and mourned.

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Tyler Kistner Within Striking Distance of Ousting Incumbent Democrat Rep. Angie Craig in MN-2: Poll

Voters in Minnesota’s Second Congressional District favor Republicans to Democrats by a 46-44% margin, according to internal polling obtained by Alpha News.

This is good news for Republican Tyler Kistner and bad news for incumbent Democrat Rep. Angie Craig.

Kistner is a former Marine Raider turned congressional hopeful. He nearly won in 2020, losing by just over 2%. This time around, a top GOP polling firm suggests the race will be even harder for Craig amid a wave of anti-Democrat sentiment as Americans recoil against President Joe Biden’s unpopular administration (40% approval).

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DeKalb Vote-Counters Conduct Recount by Hand After Machine Glitch

After a lengthy waiting period and multiple interruptions, the Democrat primary election for District 2 County Commissioner will finally be decided with a hand recount of the ballots. 

The recount for that position stems from a dramatic primary race between three Democrats. 

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Bills Aimed at Helping Law Enforcement Advance in Ohio House Committees

Penalties for fleeing police officers and making false 911 calls would increase if a pair of bills aimed at first-responder safety introduced in the Ohio House become law.

House Bill 580, which has had one hearing in the House Criminal Justice Committee, increases penalities for fleeing from a law enforcement officer in a motor vehicle from a first-degree misdemeanor to a fourth-degree felony at a minimum in all cases.

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State Lawmaker Alleges House Speaker Bowers Is ‘Playing Games’ with Election Integrity as Key Bills Fall Short

State House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa) considered sending armed Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers after two conservative legislators during remarks on the State House floor, despite State Representative Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek) telling multiple members of House leadership and their staff that there would not be enough legislators present for a vote to hear election integrity bills.

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Earle-Sears, Youngkin Deliver Keynotes at Memorial Day Events

Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears, a Marine Corps veteran, spoke at the Commonwealth of Virginia’s 66th Memorial Day Ceremony Monday, honoring the sacrifices made by service members and their families.

“The people we are here to honor, to remember, they don’t sit among us. If we are to see them, then we must visit their graves, whether they’re here or in some other country, and some, their whereabouts are unknown to us, known only to God,” Earle-Sears said from the Virginia War Memorial.

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Connecticut Town’s Third Teen Death in Two Months Places Mental Health at Forefront

Members of the community in Darien, Connecticut joined together in a Zoom call this past week to focus on the warning signs of suicide and mental illness in the wake of the death of a 16-year-old boy last weekend, the third death in two months of teen boys in the coastal town in Fairfield County, in the southwestern corner of the state.

“This is the third student that the school has grieved in the past two months,” said Darien Superintendent of Schools Alan Addley, according to CT Examiner.  “The pain of losing these beautiful young lives is unbearable. It is devastating for the families, the school and the town. Our school community is understandably hurting from these tragic losses of life.”

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State Audit Finds Just $314,000 Considered to Be ‘Questioned Spending’ in $21 Billion of Federal Money

State auditors say almost all of the nearly $21 billion in federal money that came to Wisconsin last year was properly spent.

The Legislative Audit Bureau released a report into state spending of federal dollars from the fiscal year 2020-21 state budget.

“In FY 2020-21, state agencies administered $20.8 billion in federal financial assistance, including $6.6 billion that was related to the public health emergency,” the auditors wrote. “Our audit focused on 24 federal programs that accounted for 82.3 percent of the federal financial assistance administered by state agencies.”

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Florida Universities Record Students’ Preferred Pronouns

Public universities in Florida are allowing students to add their preferred pronouns to various forms of university identification.

In Fall 2021, for example, USF student newspaper The Oracle reported on the school’s plan to begin allowing students, faculty, and staff to add preferred pronouns to their USF IDs.

The purpose of these new policies is to make campuses more inclusive and welcoming, University of South Florida [USF] Student Government (SG) Lt. Governor Kiara Brooks told Campus Reform.

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Poll: Fixing Michigan Roads Is Top Voter Issue

An EPIC-MRA poll shows that 93% of likely Michigan voters rated state roads as a “total negative,” with 65% rating them “poor.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ran and won her campaign in 2018 by promising to “fix the damn roads.” In the poll conducted between May 11-17 of 600 likely November voters, the results showed every demographic cited road repair as a priority.

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Push for Gun Control in Pennsylvania Expands to Body-Armor Control

A bill proposed last week by state Rep. Tim Briggs (D-PA-King of Prussia) would bar civilians from buying or possessing body armor in Pennsylvania. 

His legislation follows efforts on the federal level and in other states to prohibit civilians from acquiring protective shields. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called for a body-armor ban in 2019 after a mass shooting in Dayton, OH. The New York State Assembly has considered enacting state-level restrictions over the last few sessions, but a bill to do so has stalled.

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Telecommunications Giant Announces Expansion in Arizona, Will Add 1,500 Jobs

Viasat, a global telecommunications giant, announced an expansion in Arizona that will add 1,500 jobs in the state.

The new construction will include “a 135,000-square-foot building, an outdoor atrium, open space for events and employee recreation, and a parking structure,” according to a report from Community Impact. 

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Georgia Congressional Candidate Vernon Jones Attends NRA Convention

Georgia congressional candidate Vernon Jones attended the National Rifle Association convention in Texas over the weekend, as some officials opted to skip the event in the wake of the deadly shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

In fact, Jones, a former Democrat attempting to declare himself the true Republican in the race, took aim at his GOP opponent Mike Collins for his absence at the event.

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Arizona Border Patrol Arrests Previously Convicted Sex Offender

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Arizona says it has apprehended a convicted sex offender attempting to reenter the United States illegally. 

“Three Points Station agents encountered seven adults and two unaccompanied children west of San Miguel, AZ,” said Chief Patrol Agent John Modlin of CBP’s Tucson Sector. “A Guatemalan citizen in the group, Minor Chingo-Grave, is a registered sex offender.”

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New Arizona Law Prohibits Mask Mandates on Government Property

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) signed a bill recently banning mask mandates on Arizona government property.

“Citizens should not be required to wear a mask to access government services,” said the State Representative Neal Carter (R-Phoenix), who sponsored the measure.” This law prevents policy setting by unelected bureaucrats which, in my own experience, led to the public being denied entry to some county buildings that continued to impose mask requirements long after such mandates had been widely dispensed with or prohibited around the state.”

House Bill (HB) 2453 received “unanimous support from House and Senate Republicans.”

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Atlanta Property Owners Forced to Pay Thousands After Settling Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

Three property owners in Atlanta agreed to pay thousands of dollars in order to settle allegations of racial discrimination from the Department of Justice.

Crimson Management LLC, Benefield Housing Partnership, and Cedartown Housing Associates will pay $83,000 to three individuals who formerly resided in their housing complex for potential violations of the Fair Housing Act, in addition to a civil penalty to the government.

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Radio Show Producers File for Restraining Orders Against State Senator Joe Morrissey

Two employees of a media company that produces the radio show of a controversial Virginia state senator has filed for a restraining order against the elected official, according to court documents obtained by The Virginia Star.

State Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) has a court date on June 3, stemming from petitions for restraining orders filed against him on May 20 by two employees of his radio show.

The Star redacted the employee’s name from one of the court documents for privacy.

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Arizona Attorney General’s Office Warns That Cartels Use Social Media to Recruit Teenagers in Smuggling Operations

Monday, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AGO) released a press release stating the cartel recruits American Citizens, including teenagers, to smuggle undocumented immigrants into the country through social media.

“Ads on social media intercepted by law enforcement are now offering load drivers up to $2,000 for each passenger picked up at the border and driven north to a specified location. The lucrative deal is not only attracting people as young as 14 years old from the greater Phoenix area but also men and women of all ages and even drivers from out of state, who come to Arizona to cash in on the commute for the cartel. Nearly all of the drivers stopped are U.S. citizens,” according to a press release from the AGO.

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Property Is Racist, Boston University Professor Says

A Boston University assistant professor deemed property racist while defending riots in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in a Wednesday video.

Boston University assistant professor Saida Grundy compared looting in the aftermath of George Floyd‘s death to black people “looting themselves” from slavery, according to a video posted by the university. Grundy also urged people not to judge communities’ reactions and to listen to them to address their needs.

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Democrats Worry About Spike in Obamacare Premiums Ahead of Midterms

Obamacare

As Democrats head into the November midterms with historically low approval ratings, another major factor could arise that will further contribute to the shrinking of their already-slim majorities.

As reported by The Hill, the Affordable Care Act – known colloquially as “Obamacare” – could face a significant increase in premiums due to a lapse in special funding provided by the coronavirus aid bill passed last year. That bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, temporarily increased financial assistance for Americans seeking healthcare through Obamacare; the increase was set to expire just one year after the bill’s passage.

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Biden Admin Blocks Yet Another Massive Mining Project, Hobbling Its Own Climate Agenda

The Biden administration proposed stringent clean water restrictions on a watershed in southwest Alaska Wednesday, a potential fatal blow to a planned critical mineral development project.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it would review a proposal to prohibit the use of the Bristol Bay watershed as a discharge site for the Pebble Project, a mining project that would produce about 1.5 billion tons of critical minerals, including copper and molybdenum, over 20 years. The rule, which the agency will publish Thursday, would protect Bristol Bay rivers, streams and wetlands that support the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world, according to the announcement.

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Congressional Budget Office: Debt to Surpass GDP at Record Level over Next Decade

The Congressional Budget Office released its economic outlook for the next decade and projected record high debt levels compared to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.

The CBO projected a decrease in the deficit compared to the major COVID-era spending spree that helped fuel inflation to its current high levels.

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Americans Flocked to Arizona Cities amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Whether it was following new opportunities or taking advantage of the untethering of remote work, Arizona’s cities saw significant population growth in 15 months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Census released its annual population estimates for cities and counties Thursday, reflecting changes in municipal populations as of July 1, 2021. Four Arizona cities – Queen Creek, Buckeye, Casa Grande and Maricopa – were among the top 10 in terms of largest percentage of growth in the 12 months ending July 2021.

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Virginia Budget Deal Includes Middle-Class Tax Cuts, Grocery Tax Cut

After months of debate about Virginia’s biennium budget, lawmakers reached a deal to provide an income tax cut for the middle class, a reduction in the grocery tax and a pay raise for teachers.

The deal earned approval from Republicans and Democrats in a joint conference committee, but still needs to pass the House of Delegates and the Senate and be signed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Republicans narrowly control the House and Democrats narrowly control the Senate.

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Larry Sand Commentary: American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten Needs to Get a Grip

My Dearest Randi,

What is going on! It has been a year since my last missive, and I have not heard a peep from you. This is not the first time you have snubbed me, however. When I tried to say hi to you outside the Supreme Court after the Janus oral arguments in 2018, you refused to even look at me, and then turned to a newsman and launched into a kooky rant, insisting that unions “actually make communities safer and…the right-wing is threatened by that.”

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Elite High School Ends Merit-Based Admissions

Students at San Francisco’s Lowell High School received significantly more failing grades at the end of the fall 2021 semester following the school board’s decision to end merit-based admissions.

The San Francisco Board of Education voted to end merit-based admissions in February 2021 and switched to a lottery-based admission system at the beginning of the fall 2021 semester. Lowell High freshmen admitted through the lottery program received three times the amount of Ds and Fs than those of the previous two years, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

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Lee Signs Tennessee Campaign Finance Reform Bill into Law with Reporting Requirements for Nonprofits

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a campaign finance reform bill on Friday that adds reporting requirements for political action committees, political candidates and some nonprofits.

Senate Bill 1005 went to conference committee before being approved by the Legislature on April 28 before being signed by both speakers and sent to Lee on May 18.

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Commentary: Memorial Day Is About Remembering Those Who Sacrificed for Our Freedom

On this Memorial Day, we honor and remember military service members who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving the United States of America. 

Memorial Day is a day in which we commemorate the men and women who died while fighting against the evils of tyranny, radical terrorism, slavery, and religious persecution. Yet it is also a day in which we are grateful for what their sacrifices have meant for our nation and our people.

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Tennessee’s College-Going Rate Dropped 11 Percent Since 2017

The college-going rate for Tennessee students after high school graduation has dropped from 63.8% for the Class of 2017 to 52.8% for the Class of 2021, according to a report from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

There has been a 9 percentage point drop since the Class of 2019, which matches a national trend where there was a 9.2% decline in freshman college enrollment from fall 2019 to fall 2021.

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Milwaukee School Counselor Under State Investigation for Opposition to Transgender Ideology

An elementary school counselor from Milwaukee is refusing to resign or change her mind about gender identity, even after the state opened an investigation that could cost her her job.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction sent Marissa Darlingh a letter on April 29, explaining that she was under investigation for what she said at a rally in Madison just six days before.

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Despite Calls to Withdraw, Earle-Sears Doubles Down in Speech at NRA Conference

Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears blamed a lack of virtue for the U.S.’ “present-day woes” in a Friday speech at the NRA Women’s Leadership Forum. After the May 24 shooting and mass murder at a Texas school, Earle-Sears faced pressure to withdraw from the speaking commitment, but instead doubled down, publishing her speech in a Friday press release and excerpts on Twitter.

“They did not want me to come, thinking you are monsters, that you are culpable in the murder of the children,” Earle-Sears’ written remarks state.

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Federal Court Imposes Unconstitutional Maps for Ohio State Legislative Primaries

Federal judges made good on a promise at midnight Saturday by implementing Ohio state legislative district maps that were previously ruled unconstitutional twice by the Ohio Supreme Court.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, by a vote of 2-1, also ordered the state to hold its second primary Aug. 2.

“Given the factual record before us, two reasons justified our approach. First, no map had wo the approval of both the Commission and the Ohio Supreme Court. And second, Map 3 gave the state the most time to fix its own problem. That broke the tie,” the order, signed by judges Amul Thapar and Benjamin Beaton, read.

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Arizona House Passes a Bill Prohibiting Teachers from Promoting Judgment Based on Race or Ethnicity

The Arizona House Floor passed a bill Wednesday that addresses how teachers can discuss topics of racism in classrooms.

“We’ve heard that this [Senate Bill (SB) 1412] is going to keep us from teaching real history. Later language in the bill specifically says that this [bill] does not prevent teachers from identifying and discussing historical movements, ideologies, or instances of racial hatred or discrimination, including but not limited to slavery, Indian removal, the holocaust, or Japanese American internment. If a teacher can’t teach these things without placing blame or judgment on the basis of race, they shouldn’t be teaching,” said State Representative Michelle Udall (R-Mesa) in defense of SB 1412.

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Gov. Whitmer Launches State Parks Electric Vehicle Charging Network

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer celebrated the installation of two of the 30 eventual electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at state parks. She made the announcement at Holland State Park.

“This partnership to install charging stations in our state parks speaks to the collaborative approach we are taking to grow our economy and address climate change head-on through clean, reliable energy,” Whitmer said in a statement. “These charging stations along the Lake Michigan EV Circuit build on our rich Pure Michigan tradition of exploration and bringing together communities and businesses to ensure that we honor our past as the place that put the world on wheels and continue to invest in our workforce as we lead the transition to electric vehicles.”

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Georgia Taxpayers to Provide $3 Million Grant for New Jack Link’s Snack Meat Plant

Georgia awarded a $3 million grant for a new Jack Link’s manufacturing facility in Perry to help upgrade infrastructure.

The company plans to build a 500,000-square-foot snack meat production plant as part of a $450 million investment, a project that officials nicknamed “Project Birdcage.” The new facility is on a 120-acre Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development certified site near Interstate 75 in Houston County.

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Rothman Proposal Would Make Death Penalty Likelier for Killings at Pennsylvania Schools, Certain Other Settings

Pennsylvania state Rep. Greg Rothman (R-Camp Hill) last week announced he intends to introduce a measure allowing courts to impose the death penalty for killings based on their taking place in some settings including schools.

Currently, a convict can receive a death sentence in the Keystone State if a court finds he or she committed a murder to which at least one of 18 statutorily defined “aggravating circumstances” and no “mitigating circumstances” apply. Aggravating circumstances include the victim having served as a police officer or other first responder, the defendant having committed the killing for hire or the killer having held the victim hostage. Mitigating circumstances include the perpetrator having no prior criminal history or the killer having committed his or her crime under “extreme duress.”

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Haskell Bill Would Limit Connecticut Gun Purchases to One Per Month

Connecticut state Sen. Will Haskell (D-Bethel) last weekend took to the airwaves in support of his proposal to limit gun sales in the Constitution State to one per month.

“We know that handguns sold alongside other handguns in a bulk sale, they’re 64 percent more likely to be used in a criminal manner,” he told WCBS News Radio 880. “Most of the hunters in my district tell me that they don’t really purchase more than one gun per month, typically. I hope that they’ll come to the table on a very commonsense restriction that will save lives.”

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Commentary: No Duty to Protect

The May 24 massacre in Uvalde, Texas outrages the conscience, though not for the facile and stupid reasons spewed by every prominent Democratic Party politician, half-witted newspaper columnist, and vapid television talking-head. 

Liberals and other simpering dunderheads make fetishes of objects, focusing on the tool rather than the tool’s misuser. “Nobody needs an AR-15,” goes the refrain, when need has nothing and right has everything to do with it. “But the tool is so easy to misuse and abuse!” comes the ovine rebuttal, when we know as a matter of fact the tool is used in a small fraction of violent crimes.  

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Dems Try Third-Party ‘MAGA’ Name Change to Trick GOP Voters: ‘We Don’t Give a S**t If It’s Unfair’

Minnesota Democrats apparently tried to launch a scheme to intentionally deceive Republican voters in the upcoming gubernatorial election.

Minnesota has long been host to a party called the Grassroots Legalize Cannabis Party. However, conniving activists want to change the party’s name in an attempt to split the GOP vote.

A slew of DFL operatives attended a recent meeting to plan the name change including DFL Rep. Aisha Gomez, House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler’s chief of staff Paul Cumings and Sen. Erin Murphy’s campaign manager Daniel Cox.

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Butch Miller Concedes to Burt Jones in Republican Lieutenant Governor Primary

Republican lieutenant gubernatorial candidate, Butch Miller, conceded the primary race to Trump-endorsed candidate, Burt Jones, on Friday.

“I don’t know what God’s plan is for my future or how I might be of service to Him and my fellow man, but I rely upon Him,” said Miller in a statement sent to supporters.

Miller, who served in the State Senate since 2010, received just over 31 percent, or 346,795 votes, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. Fellow State Senator Burt Jones (R-Jackson) narrowly avoided a runoff with 50.07 percent, or 557,994 votes.

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