Majority Whip Johnny Garrett Explains Tennessee House Roles and 2024 Legislative Agenda

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Tennessee House of Representatives Majority Whip Johnny Garrett to the newsmaker line to describe the roles of legislators and the 2024 legislative agenda.

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OAN Reporter Neil W. McCabe Comments on Ye, Fuentes, Trump Lunch, McConnell’s Response, and DeSantis 2024

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed national political correspondent for One America News, Neil W. McCabe, to the newsmaker line to discuss the Trump, Kayne, and Nick Fuentes luncheon, Mitch McConnell’s response, and when Ron DeSantis will announce his candidacy for president in 2024.

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Crom’s Crommentary: Union Boss Randi Weingarten and the Demise of the Republic

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

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Sen. Mike Lee’s Amendment to Safeguard Religious Liberty for Americans Who Hold to Traditional Marriage Fails By One Vote

Senator Mike Lee’s (R-UT) religious liberty amendment to the Democrats’ same-sex marriage bill failed by just one vote, 48-49, an outcome that, if the legislation is signed into law, could give a green light to the federal government’s retaliation against nonprofit faith organizations, such as schools and businesses, whose religious beliefs are incompatible with gay marriage.

Senate Democrats voted Tuesday, 61-36, to codify same-sex marriage into federal law with the help of 12 Republicans, as the Senate Press Gallery noted.

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New Tennessee Titans Stadium Tax Fund Projected to Collect $2.9 Billion over 34 Years

A sales tax fund set to pay for Nashville revenue bonds on a proposed new $2.1 billion Tennessee Titans stadium is expected to collect $2.9 billion through 2056, according to projections from Metro Nashville.

The total does not include $500 million that the state of Tennessee has committed to the project and will bond separately.

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Dates Set for Special Election to Fill Late Democrat State Representative Barbara Cooper’s Seat

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Secretary of State Tre Hargett announced official dates for the special primary and general election in House District 86 to fill the opening left by the death of Democratic State Representative Barbara Cooper (D-Memphis).

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Disney CEO Pledges to Double Down on LGBT ‘Storytelling’ in Animated Kids’ Movies

Bob Iger, the newly appointed CEO of Disney, pledged to double down on LGBT “storytelling” in the company’s animated kids’ movies during a Monday town hall with employees, according to The New York Times.

Iger served as CEO for 15 years before retiring in late 2020; he was brought back in about a year later after his successor, Bob Chapek, was fired, according to the NYT. Tumbling stock prices marked Chapek’s tenure as CEO, as did public outrage over the company’s political engagement in Florida and its alleged efforts to inject sexual content into children’s shows, particularly through gay and transgender characters.

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Twitter Quietly Stops Enforcing COVID-19 ‘Misleading Information’ Policy

Twitter has quietly halted enforcement of its COVID-19 misinformation policies, with Twitter users first discovering the change Monday night, according to CNN.

Twitter issued a variety of measures since the pandemic’s onset in 2020, including a policy that allowed users to report misinformation directly to Twitter to another taking action against tweets that alleged vaccinated individuals could still spread COVID-19. The policy, which has suspended more than 11,000 accounts and removed more than 90,000 pieces of content on the social media platform, was praised by U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy as a model for how other companies could combat misinformation, according to CNN.

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Maine Fisherman Rips Whole Foods for Ending Purchase of Lobsters: ‘We Have Done Our Due Diligence’

Maine fisherman Jason Lorde joined a chorus of others who are denouncing a decision by upscale supermarket chain Whole Foods to stop purchasing Maine lobsters for its stores due to environmentalist pleas for the safety of the rare right whale, a move that affects the livelihood of hundreds of lobstermen.

The decision by Whole Foods has sparked outcry toward what many are describing as an example of environmental extremism.

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Ohio State University President Suddenly Resigns after Investigation

Ohio State University (OSU) President Kristina M. Johnson PhD, announced Monday night that she will transition out of her role as president in May 2023 at the end of the current academic year.

According to reports by The Columbus Dispatch, the university’s board of trustees asked Johnson to resign after an investigation was conducted by an outside firm into concerns about her which were raised by staff. What those concerns consisted of and the details of the investigation are not clear. Johnson allegedly had a contentious relationship with several members of the board and reportedly is being held personally responsible for the departure of at least two high-ranking university officials.

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Ohio Governor Awards $4.8 Million in Grant Funding to Rape Crisis Centers

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced on Tuesday that rape crisis centers and sexual assault survivor programs in Ohio will receive $4.8 million in grant funding.

Twenty-five rape crisis centers and survivor service providers from 24 Ohio counties received grant funding.

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‘Mega MAGA Bus Tour’ Bus Tour Launches to Support Walker, Lift Republican Turnout

A “Mega MAGA Georgia Bus Tour” to boost Republican turnout in the runoff election between Herschel Walker and Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA), a continuation of GOP efforts to get supporters to embrace early voting. The tour has nine scheduled stops beginning Tuesday morning on the outskirts of Atlanta before heading north, and organizers confirmed that Walker will attend some stops, although specific details are still pending.

The tour comes after the same organizers supported Trump-endorsed former Senator David Perdue in his efforts to primary Governor Brian Kemp, who easily defeated Perdue. That’s left some antipathy in the Georgia GOP at a time when the party can’t afford to lose either moderates or MAGA voters. Kemp has appeared at rallies for Walker, and both are supporting Walker while maintaining distance from each other. Fredericks sees the tour as a chance for party unity.

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Lawsuit Alleges the Counting of ‘Overvotes’ in Arizona Write-In Election

Arizona Attorney Tim La Sota has filed an Election Contest lawsuit against Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, alleging some votes cast in the State Senate race for Legislative District (LD) 22 were “overvoted.”

“The votes must be properly tabulated, and that may result in a different eligible candidate receiving the highest number of lawful votes. Immediate judicial intervention is necessary to secure the accuracy of the results of the November 8, 2022 general election, and to ensure that candidate who received the highest number of lawful votes is declared the next State Senator from legislative district 22,” according to the lawsuit.

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New TDOE State Report Card Shows Improvement in Some Areas, but Falls Short of Lawmakers’ Standard

The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) released the 2021-22 State Report Card on Monday. The Report Card serves as an annual reflection of lawmakers’ desires to bring greater transparency into how Tennessee’s schools are serving students and families.

State Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said in a statement about the report, “With the release of the State Report Card, Tennessee continues our firm commitment to providing families with clear, actionable information on how our districts and schools are serving students.”

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Ohio House Hears Package of Seven Bills Restricting Traffic Cameras

A package of Republican-backed bills designed to crack down on municipalities that employ photo-monitoring devices to enforce traffic, received its first hearing before state lawmakers Tuesday at the Ohio House Transportation and Public Safety Committee.

State Representative Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) is a long time critic of traffic cameras. He says that traffic cameras are a scheme that funnels cash to camera-friendly towns and does little to protect Ohio’s roadways.

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Commentary: FTX and the Root of Our Financial Crisis

Both liberal and conservative commentators, whether talking about the Great Recession, the financial collapse and bailouts of recent vintage, or now the FTX cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme, have neglected the cultural and moral reasons for these repeated episodes of economic mess and criminality. Unless those causes are addressed, all the finger pointing and proposed “solutions” will be about as helpful as putting a bandage on a tumor. 

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Virginia Department of Education Delays Implementation of New Transgender Policies While Trying to Review 71,298 Public Comments

A required minimum 30-day period for the Youngkin administration to review public comment on new draft transgender model policies ended, but the Virginia Department of Education is taking more time to review the 71,298 comments, according to Director of Communications and Constituent Services Charles Pyle.

“The model policies and guidance document has not been finalized and will not be – as stated by Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow – until the department has reviewed all of the comments received during the public comment period,” Pyle told The Virginia Star.

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Walker and Warnock Tied in Latest Georgia Senate Runoff Poll

A new survey of likely voters in Georgia’s Senate runoff election reveals that Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican ex-athlete Herschel Walker are statistically tied, showing little movement from the Nov. 8 general election ahead of the runoff election day.

The survey, conducted by a consortium of pollsters led by COMPETE Digital, a progressive organization, reported that 50% would vote for either candidate. It paints the runoff as a true tossup just days before the election.

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Georgia, Other States Settle Smartphone Ad Case with Google, iHeartMedia

Georgia is set to receive nearly $1.2 million following a settlement with Google and iHeartMedia over a series of ads with “allegedly false endorsements” of the Google Pixel 4 smartphone.

According to a news release, in 2019, Google contracted iHeartMedia to record pro-Pixel 4 ads. However, the purported testimonials in the ads were from people who had not previously owned or used the Pixel 4 phone.

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Governor Wolf Bestows $2.5 Million in Taxpayer Funds on LGBT Center in Philadelphia

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) on Wednesday joined a number of state, federal and city officials to celebrate the awarding of $2.5 million in taxpayer funds to a gay and transexual activity center in Philadelphia’s “Gayborhood.” 

Wolf said the money from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) will go toward several major renovations envisioned for the William Way LGBT Community Center just south of City Hall. The grant comes in addition to $1 million the center received from the state in 2019 to improve the property’s heating, ventilation and cooling systems as well as to remodel the building’s front area. 

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Buckeye Institute Urges Ohio Legislators to End Late-Summer Special Elections

The Ohio Senate Local Government and Elections Committee held its third hearing on Tuesday regarding legislation to end the state’s late-summer special elections, drawing supportive testimony from Buckeye Institute Research Fellow Greg R. Lawson. 

Lawson’s Columbus-based center-right policy outfit backs the effort to eliminate these elections which feature nominating contests for state legislative offices, state-party committee votes and many ballot initiatives. The bill, sponsored by state Representative Thomas Hall (R-Madison Township), passed the state House of Representatives 68-22 last December and must pass the Senate and receive Governor Mike DeWine’s (R) signature in December to become law. All House members who opposed the measure last year were Democrats. 

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Michigan’s Underperforming Public Schools Require State-Mandated ‘Comprehensive Support’

Fifty-four Michigan school districts and 112 schools will receive required state partnership intervention, according to an announcement Tuesday from the Michigan Department of Education.

The department partners with districts with schools scoring in the bottom 5% on the state’s index accountability system, or that possess a four-year graduation rate below 67%, or that meet both criteria.

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GOP-Aligned Group Spent Money Against Endorsed, Incumbent Minnesota Republicans Again

A Republican-aligned committee once again spent money against two Republican candidates for the Minnesota House of Representatives, with both of them going on to lose to their Democratic challengers in the general election.

The Minnesota Jobs Coalition Legislative Fund, an independent expenditure committee affiliated with the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, spent a combined $55,134 in TV and direct mail advertising against incumbent Rep. Erik Mortensen and newcomer Mark Bishofsky during their primary elections, according to data from the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board.

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Connecticut Lawmakers Seek Hearings over Energy Rate Hikes

Connecticut lawmakers are calling for regional public hearings over a proposal by one of the state’s largest utilities to dramatically hike electricity rates.

In a letter to the state Public Utility Regulatory Authority, a group of 20 state senators wrote that they are “profoundly disturbed” by Eversource’s proposed rate increase, and called for hearings on the “exorbitant and punishing” rate increase. 

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DeSantis Blasts Apple in Dispute over Elon Musk, Twitter

Elon Musk says Twitter may now be removed from the Apple App store, prompting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to defend the social media company.

“Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?” Musk, the billionaire owner of Twitter and Tesla, tweeted Monday. “Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why. Who else has Apple censored?”

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Kari Lake Reassures Her Supporters That Fight in Arizona Is Not Over Yet

Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake released an update Monday telling her followers that she is not backing away from her fight for the governor’s office and election reform in the state.

“While we come together on this unifying issue of restoring honesty to our elections, rest assured, Arizona, nothing will stop me from putting everything I have into reforming elections here in Arizona and in America,” Lake said.

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Ohio Mayors, Cities, and Planning Agencies Support Reconnecting the State Through Passenger Rail

In a display of support of passenger rail service in Ohio, a bi-partisan alliance of Ohio mayors in partnership with several of Ohio’s regional planning agencies, have formally requested the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to include a list of Ohio rail lines in its Corridor Identification Program (CAP).

According to FRA, the CAP, established earlier this year, institutes a pipeline of projects ready for funding, allowing them to be implemented faster and with greater coordination. The Corridor ID Program is anticipated to help expand intercity passenger rail service beyond the Northeast Corridor.

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Mohave County Supervisor Ron Gould Was Told He Must Certify Election by County Attorney and Secretary of State’s Office

Ron Gould, a Mohave County Board of Supervisors (MCBOS) member, appeared in a video shared by the Kari Lake Campaign Monday, saying that he had been threatened with being arrested and facing a felony should he vote against canvassing the 2022 General Election. Gould told The Arizona Sun Times via the phone that this warning came to him partially from an official within his county.

“Actually, our county attorney [Matthew Smith] advised us that if we did not canvass by the deadline, that we would be in violation of ARS § [16]-642,” Gould said.

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Ohio Lawmakers Aim for Strict Rules for ‘Clean Energy’ Lending Programs

Ohio lawmakers will consider this far adding consumer protections to “clean energy” lending programs in a response to concerns that they can burden vulnerable homeowners.

Last year, a statewide clean-energy lending program stalled prior to making any loans. Republican lawmakers aim to add protections for consumers in the instance the program resurfaces.

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Seattle Subjected White City Employee to ‘Racially Hostile Work Environment,’ Lawsuit Alleges

A former Seattle municipal employee filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle earlier in November for allegedly creating a “racially hostile” working environment.

The plaintiff, Joshua Diemert, alleges that he was denied opportunities in his career in Seattle’s Human Services Department because of his race, forced to sit through race-based training sessions, urged to join “race-based affinity groups” and accused of benefiting from “white privilege.” Diemert seeks a declaration that Seattle’s policies and practices violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as well as damages up to $300,000.

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Remote School Districts Saw Larger Enrollment Declines, Report Finds

School districts that stayed remote as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic saw larger drops in their enrollment compared to in-person school districts, according to a Monday report by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

During the 2021-2022 school year, remote learning school districts lost at least half a million more students than school districts that returned to in-person learning, according to a report by AEI. Remote school districts’ enrollment dropped 1.3% more than school districts that were in-person 90% of the year.

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Commentary: The Horrors of the Holodomor Must Not Be Forgotten

Maria Katchmar was 7 when the troops came to her farm. 

The soldiers entered her home in Cherkasy Oblast — a region of Ukraine along the Dnieper River — and immediately began to break everything. Windows and doors. Paintings and linens. Even pots for cooking. Her father was ordered to drown his livestock. When he refused, he was sent to Siberia — and the Soviet troops confiscated the animals anyway.

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Poll: Most Americans Trust Elections Less If Results Take ‘Days or Weeks’

Americans are less likely to trust the fairness and accuracy of an election if results take “days or weeks” to be counted, according to a new poll.

When asked if results that took “days or weeks” to tabulated were more or less trustworthy, 33.9% of respondents said that it is “much less likely,” and 20.9% said that it is “somewhat less likely,” according to the Trafalgar Group/Convention of States Action poll. Across party lines, 62.7% of Republicans, 27% of independents, and 10.4% of Democrats said that they were “much less likely” to trust results that took “days or weeks” to tabulate.

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Phoenix Officials Recommend $500 Million in Spending to Phoenix City Council

The General Obligation Bond Executive Committee of Phoenix approved many spending recommendations on Monday.

The GO Executive Committee agreed on how it will recommend the Phoenix City Council will spend $500 million for a 2023 GO Bond Program.

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Walmart’s Walton Family Funds LGBT Events for Kids in Arkansas

Second- and third-generation heirs of Walmart founder Sam Walton’s fortune have funneled millions of dollars into LGBTQ-related causes in their home state of Arkansas.

Among other things, these Walton-funded groups and the Walmart Foundation have sponsored local drag shows and story hours for kids; “teens only” events for LGBTQ-identifying youth; and other progressive causes such as diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in public schools and the state university in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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Thousands of Pedophiles Released from California Prisons After Less than a Year: Report

More than 7,000 pedophiles convicted of “lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age” were released from California prisons the same year they were convicted, according to the Daily Mail.

The crimes included child rape, continuous sexual abuse of a child, sodomy with a child under 16 and kidnapping a child under 14 “with intent to commit lewd or lascivious acts,” according to the Daily Mail. The outlet analyzed data on thousands of convicts in California’s Megan’s Law database and found that individuals convicted of sexually abusing children were serving only months in jail or prison; Megan’s law requires that certain information about convicted sex offenders be made public.

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Senate Passes Respect for Marriage Act

The Senate on Tuesday evening passed the Respect for Marriage Act to require that states recognize lawful marriages from other states while providing protections for religious liberty.

The bill passed with crossover support from Republicans, allowing it to clear the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster threshold. It will now move to the House of Representatives, which previously passed a similar package. The final count was 61-36.

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Tennessee Textbook Commission Member Laurie Cardoza-Moore Describes Publishing Monopoly Supplying Inappropriate Material Through Public School Libraries

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Tennessee State Textbook Commission member Laurie Cardoza-Moore to the newsmaker line to describe the textbook publishing monopoly pushing age-inappropriate books in public school libraries.

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All-Star Panelist Aaron Gulbransen on Freedom of Speech and the Fight for the Public Square

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Aaron Gulbransen in studio to discuss freedom of speech, the press, and the battle for the public square.

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Fox News Contributor Raymond Arroyo Appearing Saturday at Cool Springs Barnes and Noble, Authors New Book, ‘The Wise Men Who Found Christmas’

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed author and Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo to the newsmaker line to discuss his new book The Wise Men Who Found Christmas and book signing this Saturday at Barnes and Noble of Cool Springs Galleria.

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Arizona Counties’ Election Certification: Lawsuits, Testimonies, Supervisors ‘Under Duress’

As the deadline for Arizona counties to certify the 2022 midterm election passed on Monday, Maricopa County certified while residents urged them not to, one county chose not to certify despite the threat of a lawsuit, and another certified with two supervisors voting “under duress.”

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Senator Sounds Alarm for Same-Sex Marriage Bill as It Clears Another Hurdle with GOP Support, ‘Without Sufficient Protections for Religious Liberty’

A bill that would enshrine same-sex marriage in federal law progressed further in the Senate Monday evening with significant Republican support, but without sufficient religious liberty protections, and is now headed to a vote on Tuesday.

The Senate voted, 61-35, with four senators not voting, to end debate on the House-passed bill, dubbed the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA), that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act which defined marriage in federal law as between one man and one woman.

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Textbook Commission Hears from School Librarians as They Develop Guidelines for Schools and Reading Materials

In an effort to assist the Tennessee Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission with crafting a library policy mandated by state law, the Tennessee Department of Education pulled together state school librarians to craft a set of recommendations. Kate Capshaw, the current president of the Tennessee Association of School Librarians (TASL), and Blake Hopper, a past president, presented their recommendations in a workshop session on Friday.

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Transgender Psychologist: ‘Serious Error in Judgment’ for Schools to Hide Gender Transitions from Parents

A transgender psychologist from Berkeley, California, has filed an amicus brief against a Maryland school district that allegedly hid children’s gender transitions from parents.

“It’s well established that one of the most important factors in helping gender-questioning children is family support,” the psychologist, who now uses the name Erica Anderson, Ph.D., told Fox News Digital. “So to deliberately deprive a child of support at a time potentially when they most need it is, I think, a serious error in judgment.”

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