Cities Tap $222 Million in Federal COVID-19 Relief for ‘Guaranteed Income’ Programs

Democrats’ American Rescue Plan, sold as helping the nation recover from the economic crisis sparked by COVID-19, provided funds to begin “guaranteed basic income” programs in at least two dozen cities across the country. 

More than $222 million from the legislation has gone to some of America’s largest cities—including Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Seattle, New Orleans, and Chicago—for pilot programs that would dole out money to low-income residents, in most cases for one or two years. 

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Knoxville Community Empowerment Director Lomax Resigns to Run Local Urban League Chapter

Knoxville’s Community Empowerment Department Director Charles F. Lomax Jr. has announced today that he will step down from the position of director on December 9 to become the president and CEO of the Knoxville Area Urban League.

“I will always be grateful for Mayor Kincannon’s faith in me and the opportunity to serve as part of her administration. While I will miss my team at the city, I am excited to embark upon this journey and to serve our community in this new capacity. I look forward to working alongside the staff and board of the Knoxville Area Urban League as we empower communities to change lives,” Lomax said.

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Suspect Arrested in Katie Hobbs Burglary Scandal is a Repeat Offender from Angola

Phoenix Police announced on Friday that Daniel Mota Dos Reis, 36, was arrested Wednesday in connection with the burglary of Democrat gubernatorial nominee Katie Hobbs’s campaign headquarters.

“On October 25, 2022, Phoenix Police officers were dispatched to a commercial burglary call in the area of Central Avenue and Virginia Avenue. When officers arrived, they learned from the reporting party that an unknown man broke into their building the night before and stole multiple items,” according to the police report shared with the Arizona Sun Times.

The crime occurred on Monday when surveillance video captured Dos Reis leaving the commercial building in the evening. He reportedly stole an Apple keyboard, an Apple computer mouse, and a black Nikon camera worth $1180 in total. On Wednesday night, a patrol officer saw images of the footage showing Dos Reis, who the officer recognized as a suspect arrested earlier that day for a separate commercial burglary. He was still in jail for that separate crime and was about to be released before the officer contacted the jail, and Dos Reis was re-arrested. The stolen items were then returned.

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Democratic Secretaries of State Warn ‘Independent State Legislature Theory’ Would Upend Elections

Thirteen Secretaries of State led by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in Moore v. Harper, a case that will have the court considering the “independent state legislature” theory.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Moore v. Harper in December, a case brought forth after the Republican-controlled North Carolina Legislature adopted a new congressional voting map based on 2020 Census results. A group of Democratic voters and nonprofit organizations alleged the map was a partisan gerrymander that violated the state constitution and challenged it in court, according to Ballotpedia.

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Owner and CEO of Auto Masters Indicted for Multi-Million-Dollar Bank Fraud

Brentwood area businessman Mahan Janbakhsh and Steven L. Piper of Joelton were arrested by FBI agents on Thursday for their role in an alleged conspiracy to commit multi-million-dollar bank fraud.

According to the Department of Justice, the indictment charges Janbakhsh and Piper with conspiring to defraud Capital One and First Tennessee Bank (now First Horizon); five counts of defrauding these financial institutions; five counts of making false statements and over-valuing property and securities to influence these financial institutions; and three counts of making false representations during official proceedings.

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Democrats Dish Out Millions to Defend House District Strongholds

House Democrats are spending millions more on ads and sending top surrogates to areas of the country where they have traditionally won elections, as Republicans expect to benefit from a “red wave” in November’s midterms, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

House Majority PAC, a Super PAC allied with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, purchased ads in three districts surrounding New York City – New York’s 3rd and 18th Congressional Districts and New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District – which have Cook Partisan Voting Index scores of D+3, D+1 and D+5, respectively. In total, spending on these districts was $6.3 million, per the Washington Post’s examination of Federal Election Commission filings.

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The Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury Published an Audit Revealing that Tennessee State University Mishandled Five Years of Funding

The Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury published an audit on Thursday revealing that Tennessee State University (TSU) management mishandled over five years of funding.

According to the audit, “Management’s failure to adequately implement a system of internal control increases the risk of TSU not achieving key objectives related to financial reporting. When management and staff do not take adequate care when preparing financial statements and the accompanying notes to the financial statements, the risk of errors in the financial statements increases. Providing inaccurate financial information can negatively impact the decision-making ability of users of the financial statements.”

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Commentary: Lo, the Era of Pretendians

I think we finally found Elizabeth Warren’s secret grandmother.

It turns out Elizabeth Warren told 1/1024th of the truth when she laid claim to being a Native American back in 2020.

Well, maybe it was 1/64th true – according to the results of the DNA test she took to back up those claims.

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Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Endorses Connecticut Republican Leora Levy for U.S. Senate

Connecticut Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate Leora Levy has received the endorsement of Mike Pompeo, who served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency and then U.S. Secretary of State under former President Donald Trump.

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Commentary: Let’s Talk Dropouts and Student Attendance

We have seen the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) grab headlines in recent days. Pundits are quick to proclaim that the sky is falling, but the truth is the scores have been consistent and relatively flat since 1970, particularly in reading. Not every student in a state takes NAEP, only a random sample of students – every two years. There is no individual data. I agree with historian Diane Ravitch, a big takeaway on NAEP is “that virtual learning is a fourth-rate substitute for a real teacher and interaction with peers.”

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Judge Rejects Progressive Groups Request for Restraining Order to Shut Down Ballot Drop Box Observers

Voters concerned about ballot harvesting are organizing volunteer shifts observing ballot drop boxes, but some progressive organizations have filed lawsuits attempting to stop them. An organization called Protecting Democracy Project filed a lawsuit this week against the organizers as well as some of the volunteer observers on behalf of the League of Women Voters (LWV). The Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans (AARA) and Voto Latino (VL) also filed a lawsuit.

The LWV lawsuit names Lions of Liberty, which is organizing ballot drop box watching in Yavapai County, its affiliate Yavapai Preparedness Team, Clean Elections USA, which is organizing nationwide efforts, and several individuals and John Does. The AARA and VL lawsuit named similar defendants. The latter lawsuit included a photo of some “Doe Defendants,” revealing three people dressed in normal clothing sitting on lawn chairs. 

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Opioid Epidemic in 2020 Cost Virginia Nearly $3.5 Billion

The opioid epidemic in Virginia cost almost $3.5 billion in 2020, according to a new cost calculator from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Virginia Commonwealth University. On average, over four Virginians died of an opioid overdose each day in 2020, according to a VDH announcement of the cost calculator.

“This burden is carried by Virginia’s workers, employers, and governments, and includes both future losses and current direct spending that could have been avoided,” the calculator’s site explains. “Virginia families and businesses take on a large amount of these costs, mostly due to lost future worker productivity. Federal, state, and local governments also see increased healthcare and government costs and lost future tax revenues. The cost burden of the opioid epidemic is split among several sectors.”

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Ohio’s Democratic U.S. Senate Hopeful Projects Police Advocacy While Voting to Defund Them

Ohio Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) is projecting a pro-police stance as part of his platform while simultaneously voting to defund them.

On March 3, 2021, Ryan voted against a motion to condemn calls to defund, disband, or abolish the police while at the same time also voting to allow for the federal government to micromanage local police and potentially defund them.

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Liz Cheney Drops $500,000 on Ads Targeting Kari Lake and Mark Finchem

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), who was defeated for reelection in the 2022 Republican primary after opposing and voting to impeach President Donald Trump, is buying ad time in Arizona opposing two popular Trump-endorsed candidates. Her PAC, The Great Task, purchased $500,000 in air time to run an ad critical of Trump-endorsed Kari Lake, who is running for governor, and Trump-endorsed State Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who is running for secretary of state.

During the ad, which features a clip from a speech Cheney gave at ASU sponsored by the McCain Institute earlier this month, Cheney stated, “I don’t know that I have ever voted for a Democrat. But if I lived in Arizona, I absolutely would.” She claimed that Lake and Finchem “will only honor the results of an election if they agree with it.”

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Fox10 Kerfuffle with ‘Test Graphic’ of Democrat Election Victory Spurs Arizona Lawmaker to Propose Measure to Curb Media Interference in Elections

Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s former TV news station, Fox10, ran a graphic during Thursday’s evening newscast showing her opponent Katie Hobbs winning the election 53 percent to 47 percent. Although the broadcaster insists the graphic was never intended for air, the incident prompted a sharp response from many – including State Rep. Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek), who said he will propose new legislation to hold the media accountable.

“While I understand the need for internal planning by news stations, errors like this that are broadcast live to the public pose a legitimate threat to our Republic and serve only to undermine the confidence that Arizonans have in the integrity of their vote,” Hoffman said in a statement, which Lake tweeted. “What if this had happened on election night or the day before the election? The impact to our democratic process would be devastating.”

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Susan B. Anthony List Endorses Tennessee Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger for Re-Election

Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List, one of the country’s top pro-life organizations, endorsed Tennessee Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger (R-TN-01) for re-election.

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Suspended Vermont Student and Coach Father Sue School District for Retaliating After Complaint About Biological Male in Girls’ Locker Room

A Vermont high school volleyball player who was suspended from school and her father, the team’s coach, who was suspended from his job, are suing the school district for retaliating against them following their complaint about the policy that allows biological males in the girls’ team locker room.

Blake Allen, 14, a student at Randolph Union Middle School, and her father, Travis Allen, who coaches his daughter’s volleyball team, spoke out against a biological male, claiming to be female, being allowed in the girls’ team locker room while they were changing. Now, the family is suing the school district after Blake was suspended and Travis was fired from his job, asserting the district retaliated against them, the Daily Signal reported Thursday.

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Board of Elections Reminds Ohio Voters to Bring Identification

Person with mask on at a computer.

As early voting is well underway in Ohio, the Board of Elections reminds voters to bring a form of identification to the polls.

The law in Ohio requires that every voter upon appearing at the polling place to vote on Election Day, must announce his or her full name and current address and provide proof of identity.

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Drug Enforcement Administration Encourages Tennesseans to Participate in This Year’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The Drug Enforcement Administration is encouraging Tennesseans to participate in its 23rd National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, October 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time.

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Commentary: Violent Crime Is Driving a Red Wave

Two weeks before the 2022 midterms, fear of crime is second only to worries over inflation and recession. Both issues – personal security and economic security – affect voters directly. They arise every time voters ride the subway, walk down a dark street, pay the cashier at the grocery, or fill up their truck. That’s why survey after survey says they are the top issues motivating voters this November. That’s bad news for Democrats. Pollsters say Republicans hold huge advantages on the economy, inflation, and crime, the issues that matter most to voters.

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Office of State Inspector General Investigating $268,000 Virginia Tourism Contract with Youngkin-Favored Ad Agency

The Office of the State Inspector General (OSIG) is investigating a contract for a $268,000 Virginia Tourism Authority (VTA) ad featuring Governor Glenn Youngkin made by Poolhouse, a firm used heavily by Youngkin. Democratic leaders in the General Assembly requested the investigation in a letter earlier in October, hinting that through the contract, Youngkin may have used tax funds to buy the equivalent of a campaign ad.

“The chosen vendor has no history of working with the state or the VTA,” Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax) and House Minority Leader Don Scott (D-Portsmouth) wrote in the letter obtained by The Richmond Times-Dispatch. “The Authority has never featured a Governor in advertising of this type in prior campaigns. It is well-known that the Governor is conducting a preliminary campaign for the Republican Nomination for President and has opened two federal campaign accounts – ‘Spirit of Virginia’ and ‘America’s Spirit’ – to support his activities and federal candidates in anticipation of his Presidential run and such an ad would confer taxpayer benefits on him while he builds his name identification and familiarity with persons outside of Virginia in anticipation of his run.”

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Michigan Supreme Court Could Decide Warrantless Government Drone Spying Lawsuit

An appeal filed with the Michigan Supreme Court says the government must get a warrant before it can surveil private property for evidence.

The Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm, says the government violated the Fourth Amendment when it used warrantless drone surveillance to snap pictures of Todd Maxon’s 5-acre property in Long Lake Township where he repairs cars, as proof of zoning violations.

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Former Minnesota AG Ellison Staffers Say His Office Could Have Done More to Stop ‘Feeding Our Future’ Fraud

Attorney General Keith Ellison scrambled to defend his oversight of Feeding Our Future after two of his former staff members spoke out in a Star Tribune article published Thursday night.

The article highlights the state’s shortcomings in preventing the fraud and culminates with the analysis of two former senior members of Ellison’s team, both of whom asked to remain anonymous “for fear of retribution.”

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Florida Law Enforcement Officers Seize Enough Fentanyl to Kill State’s Entire Population

Fentanyl

 In the past few months, Florida law enforcement officers have seized enough fentanyl to kill the state’s entire 22 million population.

Attorney General Ashley Moody announced massive seizures of illicit fentanyl pouring into Florida after being smuggled across the southern border as her office continues to fight the Biden administration in court over its immigration policies.

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Poll: Walker Now Has a 5-Point Lead over Warnock in Georgia U.S. Senate Race

A new poll by Rasmussen Reports gives Republican challenger Herschel Walker a 5-point lead over Georgia Democratic U.S. Sen. Rafael Warnock in their race, one of several pivotal to control of the U.S. Senate.

The key demographic for Walker is independent voters, which he leads Warnock by a 14-point margin, 49% to 35%. And this despite Warnock’s three dollars to every dollar the former Heisman Trophy winner’s campaign has raised.

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Election 2022 Report: Ohio Voters Carry Little Power

Ohio voters carry less weight than voters around the country, according to a new WalletHub report released earlier this week.

The report calculated the number of elected officials in the federal government per the adult population in each state for the most recent election years. For example, the report ranks California’s votes weak based on the number of people each of its senators must represent, while Wyoming’s votes are strong based on the same reasoning.

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Legislative Report: Wisconsin Not on the Hook for as Much if Kenosha Casino Opens

A new report says Wisconsin shouldn’t have to pay $240 million if a new casino opens in Kenosha.

The report from the Legislative Reference Bureau says the cost to the state is not as big under the latest gambling compact with the Forest County Potawatomi as it was under the last.

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Commentary: Democrats Race to Save a Blue State Gone Purple

With Election Day less than a month away, Democrats and Republicans are duking it out to secure majorities in Congress. While both parties funnel record-breaking millions of dollars into several traditional battleground states like Pennsylvania and Nevada, Democrats could lose a state they’ve won since the late 1980s – Oregon.

Though the state is all but guaranteed to re-elect longtime Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, there’s a real possibility Oregonians might just elect their first Republican governor in nearly 35 years. Thanks to a well-funded independent spoiler candidate and an unpopular outgoing governor, Democrats are facing a tight race with serious implications as major issues like abortion are tossed to the states.

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Articles of Impeachment Filed Against Philadelphia DA by Republican Officials

Republicans in the Pennsylvania House have introduced articles of impeachment against Philadelphia’s district attorney Larry Krasner. 

The lawmakers introduced the measure Wednesday to impeach Kranser and said they might add days to the legislative session to complete the effort before the two-year legislative term expires next month, according to local TV station ABC6 News. 

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A Guide to Arizona’s 10 Statewide Ballot Measures

On November 8, Arizona voters will decide on 10 statewide ballot measures. This is the highest number of measures on the Arizona ballot since 2010, when there were 11 measures on the ballot. In 2020, the previous even-year election, there were two measures on the ballot, both of which were approved.

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On Musk’s First Day, Twitter Flags Just the News On-the-Record Story on Election Ballots as ‘Unsafe’

On the day Elon Musk took over Twitter, the social media platform flagged a post by Just the News Editor-in-Chief John Solomon aboutt Florida Gov. GOP Ron DeSantis’ administration asking for a police probe into a Democrat politician’s whistleblower complaint about voting irregularities.

Solomon argues Twitter action Thursday night unfairly flagged the post – with the note “Warning: this link may be unsafe” – and is asking Musk, who has vowed to stop the platform from unjustly censuring content, to intervene.

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Commentary: The War over ‘Transgender’ Kids

America is in the throes of a cultural and political war over gender ideology, featuring high-profile conflicts over everything from school curricula to athletics to pronouns.  

But among the most explosive battles unfolding within the broader war is that over transgender children. In an inhospitable election year for the left, Democrats, far from being on the back foot, have pushed ahead on this front, including this fall in California, New York, and Virginia with moves to curb parental rights. 

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Majority of House Seats Now Lean Republican, Election Forecaster Says

A majority of seats in the House of Representatives now lean Republican, according to a new election forecast from Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia.

Competitive races are breaking heavily in favor of Republicans, and analysts moved four House races in New York, Oregon, California and New Mexico from “toss up” to “leans Republican” from last week’s predictions. The GOP is now slated to win 218 House seats by Sabato’s forecast, taking control of the chamber.

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