Metal Manufacturer Set to Invest $13.1 Million in Hawkins County

Governor Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Stuart McWhorter, and Symmco Inc. officials announced that the powdered metal manufacturer would invest $13.1 million to expand and locate new manufacturing operations in Hawkins County, Tennessee.

Symco Inc. will be creating 86 new jobs over five years, according to the press release. 

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Williamson County GOP Calls Special Nomination Convention for District 7 County Commissioner

The Williamson County GOP announced Tuesday that it would be holding a special nomination convention for District 7 County Commissioner.

The convention will take place on September 13 at 6:00 p.m. at the Cool Springs Marriott Convention Center at 700 Cool Springs Blvd. Franklin, Tennessee 37067.

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Senator Blackburn Explains Why Taiwan Is a Sovereign Nation

On Monday, U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) posted a video of an appearance she made on Fox Business where she discussed her position that Taiwan is an independent country.

“What we are doing is working towards protecting the Pacific Island nations, Taiwan included, from the Chinese Communist Party’s aggression. They are intent on being globally dominant by the time we get to the midpoint of this century. They have been very aggressive in how they have chosen to move forward in the last 18 months. That’s of concern to us,” said Blackburn to the Fox Business host.

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New Poll Shows Kari Lake with Small Lead, Blake Masters Down Three Percent

A new poll released by the Trafalgar Group shows Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake with a 0.7 percent lead over Democrat Katie Hobbs and GOP U.S. Senate nominee Blake Masters facing a 3.3 percent deficit to incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator John Kelly (D-AZ).

The poll was conducted from August 24 through August 27, had 1074 respondents that were likely general election voters, had a confidence rating of 95 percent, and had a margin of error of 2.9 percent.

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OH-13 Democrat Nominee Emilia Sykes Inserted Pay Increase into Legislation to Benefit First Responders Families

In 2018, as an Ohio legislative leader, OH-13 Democrat nominee Emilia Sykes inserted a pay raise for herself into legislation to benefit the families of fallen first responders.

Between December 2017 and December 31, 2018, Emilia Sykes served as the Democratic Whip in the Ohio House of Representatives. In the Ohio House of Representatives, the minority whip “is responsible for monitoring legislation and securing votes for legislation on the floor. The Minority Whip is elected by all members of the House and is responsible for monitoring legislation and security votes for legislation on the floor.”

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Nashville and Franklin Gun Stores Ban Wearing of Masks and Hooded Sweatshirts

On Saturday, the Nashville and Franklin Armories announced on social media that the company has banned the wearing of masks and hooded sweatshirts by customers seeking to purchase firearms or use the firing ranges at their locations.

“Effective immediately: The wearing of masks and hoodies are strictly prohibited and you will not be permitted in the store. If you are fearful for health reasons, we will have an online store available Mid September. If you have any concerns, please email [email protected],” the company said in a statement.

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Tennessee Comptroller Says Former White County Chief Deputy Clerk Stole More than $12,000

The Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury said Thursday that a “former White County Chief Deputy Clerk stole more than $12,000.”

“An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has resulted in the indictment of Laura Gardner, the former Chief Deputy Clerk in the White County Clerk’s office. The office’s daily operations include registering vehicles, issuing vehicle tags and titles, renewing vehicle tags, and collecting vehicle sales tax,” said the agency in the statement.

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U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn Meets with Taiwan President and Foreign Minister

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who is a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, met with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen at the Presidential Office in Taipei Friday.

Senator Blackburn also met with Foreign Minister Joseph Wu at the Taipei Guest House and then Wellington Koo, Secretary General of Taiwan’s National Security Council.

Later, Blackburn delivered remarks at Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (IDIA) and meeting with the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan.

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Tennessee Supreme Court Appoints New Reporter to Advisory Commission on Rules of Practice and Procedure

The Tennessee Supreme Court announced Monday that it appointed a new reporter to the Advisory Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure, Lynn Zehrt, who is currently a professor at Belmont University College of Law.

The previous Reporter to the Advisory Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure Jeffrey Usman, was recently appointed by Governor Bill Lee to the Court of Appeals.

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TN-5 Democrat Nominee Heidi Campbell Emphasizes Her Support for Abortion

At a small pro-abortion rally held on Wednesday at Legislative Plaza in downtown Nashville, TN-5 Democrat nominee State Senator Heidi Campbell (R-Nashville) emphasized her support for abortion in a speech she gave.

Campbell gave the speech on the eve of when Tennessee’s anti-abortion law The Human Life Protection Act, which was triggered due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, goes into effect.

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U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn Visits Taiwan

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, arrived in Taiwan, according to a statement her office released on Thursday.

Senator Blackburn’s visit comes as part of an Asia tour that included stops in Pacific Island countries such as Fiji, the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea.

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Tennessee Congressional Delegation Reacts to Biden Announcement of Student Loan Cancellation

The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it was canceling $10,000 of student loan debt for individuals earning less than $125,000 per year, and several members of Tennessee’s congressional delegation voiced their displeasure.

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said in a tweet shortly after the announcement: “President Biden’s decision to waive student loan debt will increase inflation and is another gift to the rich. Tennesseans should not be forced to pay for coastal elites to get their PhD in gender studies.”

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Tennessee Department of Education Announces $10.2 Million Grant Opportunity for All Public School Districts

The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) announced on Wednesday that a $10.2 million investment grant is open for all Tennessee public school districts.

The agency said the Resilient School Communities Grant is available to address needs for school-based support, expand school-based initiatives, and increase staff capacity to best serve students.

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Political Consultant Discredits Democrat Heidi Campbell’s Internal Poll Showing Lead over Republican Andy Ogles

Political consultant Ward Baker of Baker Group Strategies issued a memo calling Tennessee 5th Congressional District Democrat nominee Heidi Campbell’s internal poll “bogus.”

Campbell’s campaign released on Monday what it called internal poll results that showed the Democrat TN-5 candidate with a 3 percent lead over Republican nominee Andy Ogles.

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Tennessee State House Republican Leaders React to Arrests of Casada and Former Aide

Tennessee State House of Representatives Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville), House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland), and House Republican Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) all reacted to the news that former Speaker of the Tennessee House Glen Casada and his former chief of staff Cade Cothren were indicted by a federal grand jury on Monday and arrested early Tuesday morning by the FBI by issuing public statements.

Sexton said on Tuesday that Tennessee will not “tolerate public corruption, defrauding our state, or bribery at any level.”

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Former Tennessee Speaker of the House Glen Casada and Aide Indicted in Alleged Bribery and Kickback Conspiracy

In a statement released early Tuesday, the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of ‘Tennessee announced that former Speaker of the Tennessee House Glen Casada and his former chief of staff Cade Cothren were indicted by a federal grand jury on Monday and arrested early Tuesday morning by the FBI.

According to the statement they were charged with conspiracy to commit the following offenses: “theft from programs receiving federal funds; bribery and kickbacks concerning programs receiving federal funds; honest services wire fraud; and conspiracy to commit money laundering.”

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Governor Lee Reissues Executive Order Granting Special Leave to Executive Branch State Employees Who Serve in the Military

On Monday, Governor Bill Lee issued an executive order granting special leave with partial pay for Executive Branch state employees who are called to active duty as members the National Guard or the Reserve.

Executive Order 98, signed on August 22, 2022, updates Executive Order 86, which was issued on August 25, 2021.

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Tennessee Comptroller’s Office Says Former Church Hill Court Clerk Stole Cash from the City

According to a press statement released on Monday from the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s office, a former Church Hill court clerk stole money from the city.

The statement detailed how Stacy Mayes, the former court clerk for the City of Church Hill in Hawkins County, was indicted after an investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office.

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Another Poll Shows JD Vance Leading in Ohio U.S. Senate Race

A new poll released by the Trafalgar Group shows Ohio Republican U.S. Senate nominee JD Vance with a 4.6 percent lead over Democrat nominee Tim Ryan.

The poll was conducted from August 16 through August 19 and contained the responses of 1087 likely general election voters with a margin of error of 2.9 percent and a confidence rating of 95 percent.

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Metro Council Poised to Approve Measure Banning LPR Use for Enforcement of Abortion Laws

A portable tripod-mounted Miovision Automatic License Plate Recognition data acquisition camera is set up at an intersection in suburban Illinois.

Nashville Metro Council passed a measure on second reading that prohibits the use of license plate scanner (LPR) technology to aid in the enforcement of “laws outlawing abortion or outlawing interstate travel to obtain an abortion as an allowed use of LPRs” and is poised to approve the ordinance at the September 6 meeting.

BL2022-1385, a bill that was on second reading and is now proceeding to the third is an “ordinance amending Section 13.08.080 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws pertaining to the use of license plate scanner technology to exclude assisting with enforcing laws outlawing abortion or outlawing interstate travel to obtain an abortion as an allowed use of LPRs.”

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Caroline Knight Sworn in as 13th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge

Caroline Knight was sworn in as the 13th Judicial District Circuit Court Part II Judge on Wednesday after winning the August 4 election as an unopposed candidate.

“I am ecstatic to officially be District 13’s Circuit Court Judge. I am deeply honored to serve my community in the Upper Cumberland and make certain that the rule of law is always upheld. I am sincerely thankful for each person who has believed in me and supported me along the way here. The days ahead of me will not be easy, but I eagerly look forward to working hard to ensure each and every citizen who appears before me in court is treated fairly, impartially and with respect,” said Knight.

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Sources Say Tennessee Has Withdrawn From Cooperation with Democrat Run National Academy for State Health Policy

Sources have told The Tennessee Star that the state of Tennessee has withdrawn from cooperation with the Democrat-run National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP).

The NASHP brands itself on its website as a non-partisan group, saying: “For over 35 years, The National Academy for State Health Policy has been a nonpartisan organization committed to developing and advancing state health policy innovations and solutions. NASHP provides a unique forum for the productive exchange of strategies across state government, including the executive and legislative branches.”

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Tennessee Firearms Association Questions Why FBI Wants Access to Handgun Permit Databases in Certain States

In an emailed statement released on Thursday, the Tennessee Firearms Association revealed their inquiry to the Tennessee Department of Safety which sought to find out if the FBI has requested access to the state’s handgun permit database in a similar manner to what the agency has done in Missouri.

In July 2022, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt wrote a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to confront the federal agency with reports that their agents had been in contact with local law enforcement officials in that state in order to attempt to perform audits that included onsite reviews of Missouri concealed weapons permits.

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Ohio Poll Conducted After Mar-a-Lago Raid Shows JD Vance with Three Percent Lead

In poll results released on Wednesday by Emerson College Polling, Ohio Republican U.S. Senate nominee JD Vance leads Democrat nominee Tim Ryan 45 percent to 42 percent.

The survey of Ohio voters was conducted between August 15 and 16. The FBI raided former President Trump’s Florida home on August 8.

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State Senator Mike Bell Named Senior Advisor at Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) named retiring State Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville) as the agency’s new senior advisor for legislative affairs and policy.

Bell announced in November that he was retiring after over 15 years in the Tennessee General Assembly.

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Metro Council Approves Workaround Attempt at Banning License Plate Scanner Use for Illegal Immigration Enforcement

Nashville Metro Council approved on Tuesday a workaround attempt to sidestep the Tennessee state law banning sanctuary city policies via legislation that bans the use of license plate scanner (LPR) technology.

BL2022-1115 amends “Section 13.08.080 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws pertaining to the use of License Plate Scanner (LPR) technology to exclude assisting with immigration enforcement as an allowed use of LPRs.”

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Tennessee Attorney General Herb Slatery Announces Settlement Agreement with Major Opioid Producer

Outgoing Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III announced via a press statement on Wednesday that his has reached an agreement in principle with the opioid maker Endo International PLC and its lenders that “would provide up to $450 million to participating states and local governments, ban promotion of Endo’s opioids, and require Endo to turn over millions of documents related to its role in the opioid crisis for publication in a public online archive.”

“In Tennessee, Endo’s tactics were especially profitable for them and devasting for us,” said General Slatery. “From 2009-2015, Tennessee’s Opana ER sales were the highest in the nation, and the drug was abused at three times the rate of the older formulation.”

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Tennessee Republicans React to the Total Arrests CBP Made at Southern Border in Fiscal Year 2022

In a statement released on Monday, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol announced over 1.82 million arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border for Fiscal Year 2022 and several Tennessee Republican leaders were quick to voice their displeasure with the statistic.

In comparison, there were 1,662,167 arrests in Fiscal Year 2021 and 405,036 for Fiscal Year 2020, the last year of former President Trump’s term.

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Senator Hagerty Says the Biden Administration’s Weakness Emboldens China

On Monday, U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN)  joined America Reports on Fox News in order to discuss the state of U.S. support of Taiwan in the face of aggression from the Chinese Communist Party the Asia-Pacific region.

Hagerty stated that he believes China is emboldened by what he calls the weakness of the Biden administration.

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Senator Marco Rubio Denounces Roger Waters’ ‘Antisemitism’ in Op-Ed

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) decried what he described as Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters’ antisemitism.

“Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters describes himself as ‘pro dialogue, pro peace, [and] anti authoritarian.’…[But f]ar from standing ‘in defense of Mistress Liberty,’ Waters has become an advocate for antisemitism, Vladimir Putin’s imperialism, and the Chinese Communist Party’s genocide,” said Rubio on Tuesday, in an opinion piece published in The Floridian.

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Governor Bill Lee Announces New Governor’s Office Appointments

In a statement issued on Monday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced new appointments to the Office of the Governor, including the appointments of Erin Merrick to succeed Jonathan Skrmetti as Chief Legal Counsel, effective September 1, and Casey Black Sellers to succeed Laine Arnold as Director of Communications, effective September 2.

The Tennessee Supreme Court announced last week that Skrmetti will assume the role of Tennessee Attorney General and Reporter, succeeding outgoing Attorney General Herb Slatery who did not seek re-appointment to the role.

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Report Finds That Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Have Taken Over the University of Tennessee

As part of a statement released on Tuesday, The National Association of Scholars (NAS) released a new report examining the implementation of the Diversity Action Plans at the University of Tennessee (UT).

The Anatomy of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Takeover: A Case Study of the University of Tennessee “finds that the University of Tennessee’s series of plans further entrench the dominance of diversity, equity, and inclusion, espousing an ideology that makes narrow identity categories a central learning objective.”

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Metro Council Considers Bill That Prohibits License Plate Scanner Use for Enforcement of Tennessee Abortion Laws

Nashville Metro Council is proceeding with legislation that prohibits the use of License Plate Scanner (LPR) technology to aid in the enforcement of “laws outlawing abortion or outlawing interstate travel to obtain an abortion as an allowed use of LPRs.”

On Tuesday, August 16, Metro Council will consider BL2022-1385, a bill on second reading that is an “ordinance amending Section 13.08.080 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws pertaining to the use of License Plate Scanner (“LPR”) technology to exclude assisting with enforcing laws outlawing abortion or outlawing interstate travel to obtain an abortion as an allowed use of LPRs.”

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OH-13 Democrat Nominee Emilia Sykes Receives Donations from Pharmaceutical Companies

OH-13 Democrat Nominee Emilia Sykes has criticized Republicans for voting against capping costs for life saving drugs, and has promised to fight to lower drug costs but has taken over $12,000 from pharmaceutical companies that have raised the prices of lifesaving drugs, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On August 3, 2022, Emilia Sykes tweeted that as an elected official, she “will fight to lower the cost of prescription drugs.”

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Tennessee Republican Leaders React to Attorney General Garland’s Statement Approving Raid on Trump’s Home

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Thursday that he approved the FBI raid on former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home and several Tennessee Republican leaders voiced their displeasure with both the raid and the attorney general’s role in it.

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) was one of strongest and most prolific voices in reacting to Garland’s statement.

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Marsha Blackburn Says the World Must Be Wary of the New Axis of Evil

In a letter to the editor submitted to The New York Times on Wednesday, U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) warned “that the world must not turn a blind eye to the dangers posed by the New Axis of Evil.”

Senator Blackburn’s letter was in response to a piece entitled “A New Axis?,” which was written by David Leonhardt and published on Tuesday, August 2.

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Andy Ogles Condemns ‘Falsely Named Inflation Reduction Act’

TN-5 Republican nominee Andy Ogles on Thursday criticized the Inflation Reduction Act.

According to the Thursday statement obtained by The Tennessee Star, Ogles expressed “strong opposition to the so-called ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ rammed through by Democrats in the Senate over the weekend without a single Republican Vote.”

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Vaccine Promotion and American Rescue Plan Spending Highlight Metro Council’s Meeting Agenda

Metro Nashville Council posted the meeting agenda for its Tuesday, August 16 meeting, highlighted by a resolution accepting a grant to promote vaccines and resolutions spending over $50 million in American Rescue Plan funds.

RS2022-1708, sponsored by councilmembers Burkley Allen, Erin Evans, Ginny Welsch, Zulfat Suara, and Joy Styles, is a “resolution accepting a grant from the State of Tennessee, Department of Health, to the Metropolitan Government, acting by and through the Metropolitan Board of Health, to promote the proper use of all recommended vaccines and respond to vaccine preventable diseases in collaboration with the CDC and other partners.”

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Ohio Congressional Hopeful Used City Council Office to Coordinate with Wife’s Company

Ohio’s 1st Congressional District Democrat nominee Greg Landsman used his official office to coordinate and introduce a partnership with a company where his wife works as an executive.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Landsman coordinated and introduced a partnership with 84.51 to retrieve data and identify areas of need in the area.

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Tennessee’s State Republican Leaders Praise Jonathan Skrmetti’s Appointment as New Attorney General

Top Tennessee state Republicans celebrated the decision of the Tennessee Supreme Court on Wednesday to appoint Jonathan Skrmetti as Tennessee’s next attorney general. 

Lt. Governor Randy McNally said in a tweet, “Congratulations AG @JSkrmetti! Jonathan’s legal acumen and conservative principles are unquestioned. Having worked with him in his role as @GovBillLee’s counsel as well as when he served as Deputy Attorney General, I am confident he will be an outstanding Attorney General.”

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Tennessee GOP Chairman Scott Golden Reacts to FBI Raid on Former President Trump’s Home

Tennessee Republican Party Chair Scott Golden issued a statement on Tuesday after the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.

Golden said the last 36 hours had been a “wake up call and a rally cry” for Republicans who care about America. 

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Tennessee Supreme Court Picks Jonathan Skrmetti as State’s New Attorney General

The Tennessee Supreme Court announced in a statement released on Wednesday that they have selected Jonathan Skrmetti to serve as the state’s next Attorney General and Reporter.

“Mr. Skrmetti has dedicated the majority of his career to public service and has the breadth of experience and vision necessary to lead the Attorney General’s office for the next eight years,” Chief Justice Roger A. Page said. “He is an accomplished attorney with a deep understanding of Tennessee government and our judicial system.”

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U.S. Representatives Harshbarger and DesJarlais Join GOP Doctors Caucus Letter to Pelosi and Schumer

U.S. Representative Diana Harshbarger (R-TN-1) and U.S. Representative Scott DesJarlais (R-TN-4) signed on to a letter sent by the GOP Doctors Caucus to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer warning them of grave impact government drug price control will have on patient care in the reconciliation package.

The GOP Doctors Caucus consists of Republican members from both chambers of the United States Congress.

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TN-5 Republican Nominee Andy Ogles Condemns DOJ ‘Weaponization of the FBI’

Republican nominee for the 5th Congressional District and Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles critcized the “Department of Justice weaponization of the FBI to advance a partisan political agenda solely aimed to ‘get Trump'” in a campaign press statement issued on Tuesday that decried the FBI raid on the former president’s Florida home.

Ogles emerged from the nine candidate field in the August 4 Republican primary and will face Democrat nominee, State Senator Heidi Campbell (D-Nashville) in the November general election.

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Faith and Freedom Coalition Executive Director Timothy Head Calls Mar-a-Lago Raid a ‘Partisan Political Attack’

Faith and Freedom Coalition Executive Director Timothy Head called the FBI raid on Monday at Mar-a-Lago a partisan political attack. 

Head also compared the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home to “the way of Mao, Stalin, and Castro.”

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Tennessee Republican Leaders Condemn FBI’s Mar-a-Lago Raid

Tennessee Republican leaders condemned the unprecedented Monday FBI raid on the Florida home of former President Donald Trump.

U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty slammed the raid and pointed out the hypocrisy of the move given the fact that neither former President Bill Clinton nor former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received the same treatment.

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