Tennessee Representative Rose Calls Out Biden Claim That ‘Crime Is Down’

In House floor remarks on Thursday, Representative John Rose (R-TN-06) called out President Joe Biden for insisting in a CNN Town Hall with host Don Lemon a week ago that “crime is down” even as murder rates rise.

The current rise in violent crime has been broadly acknowledged by an array of journalistic and academic observers, and even by liberal outlets like the Atlantic Monthly.

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Conservative Virginia Supreme Court Justice Mims Retiring

Bill Mims

Virginia Supreme Court Justice William C. Mims, a Republican who earlier served as a state lawmaker and state attorney general, has announced his plans to retire from the court next spring.

Mims, who would have been eligible for reappointment in anticipation of his term ending March 31, wrote in a letter to Gov. Ralph Northam (D), House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Springfield) and Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-Alexandria) that he wants to “discern other opportunities to serve” as he turns 65 next year.

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Tennessee’s Fired Immunization Chief Blasts Health Commissioner on COVID-Testing Contract

Dr. Michelle Fiscus, the recently fired director of the Tennessee Department of Health’s (TDH) Vaccine-Preventable Diseases and Immunization Program (VPDIP), blasted Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey this week for the latter’s handling of a $26.5 million COVID-testing contract.

“We knew that she was not being truthful with that committee,” Fiscus said to NewsChannel 5, referring to testimony Piercey gave before the state legislature last December.

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Tennessee Sen. Blackburn Introduces Legislation to Check Adversaries’ Power in United Nations

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and U.S. Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX-10) introduced a bill Wednesday to counteract authoritarian regimes’ clout within the United Nations. 

The legislation is designed to contravene “malign influence, require transparency, and promote accountability within the United Nations system.…”

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Tennessee Watchdog Nonprofit Wants Investigation into a Nashville Schools’ COVID Contractor

Meharry Medical College

The Beacon Center of Tennessee, a Nashville-based policy institute and fiscal watchdog, has added its voice to those calling for an investigation into Metro Nashville Public Schools’ (MNPS) contract with Meharry Medical College Ventures. 

The contract provided COVID-19 testing and other services, including a COVID website for the school district—one that cost about $1.8 million.

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Nine Suspected Members of Salvadoran Gang Indicted in Nashville

Nine suspected members of the Mara Salvatrucha (or MS-13) Salavadoran criminal gang received a 60-count indictment from a federal grand jury in Nashville, TN, the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Wednesday. 

The alleged gangsters face charges of seven murders and other racketeering-related offenses, including kidnappings, thefts, assaults and drug purveyance.

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Michigan Gubernatorial Candidate Craig: Leftist Officials Who Use Private Security Should Stop Bashing Police and Gun Owners

Former Detroit, Michigan police chief and Republican gubernatorial candidate James Craig, speaking on Fox News on Monday, denounced progressive public officials who retain security professionals while bashing police and firearm owners. 

Craig expressed his reprehension in response to reports of campaign-finance documents showing Representative Cori Bush (D-MO-1) has spent $70,000 on private security professionals.

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Ex-Parent Teacher Organization Head in Gibson County, Tennessee Indicted for Stealing Association Funds

Spring Hill School

Kacey Criswell, formerly the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) president and treasurer at Gibson County’s Spring Hill School, allegedly stole at least $17,586 from the organization from July 2015 and November 2019, the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office stated Tuesday.

After officials of the elementary school reported that the PTO was missing funds, a county grand jury was empaneled and investigatory findings were presented to District 28 Attorney General Frederick Hardy Agee on July 12th supporting an indictment for theft of property over $10,000. 

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Michigan Reading Scholarship Advocates Lament ‘Anti-Voucher’ Rhetoric Used Against Vetoed Program

When Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) line-item vetoed a $155 million program for K-5 reading scholarships in the $17 billion school budget she signed earlier this month, teachers’ unions and other school choice opponents likened the scholarships to vouchers. 

Many proponents of the scholarship expenditure are responding that while they would welcome broader choice-oriented education reform, a plain reading of the program does not jibe with unions’ and school administrators stated concerns about impact on public education.

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Jury Selection Begins for Accused Murderer of Dickson County, Tennessee Sergeant Daniel Baker

Group of people in room, waiting for jury selection

On Monday, jury selection commenced for the trial of accused murderer Steven Wiggins in Knoxville, with 23rd Judicial District Judge David D. Wolfe presiding.

Wiggins, who has been in jail in Robertson County prior to his transfer to Knoxville for trial, is alleged to have shot to death, and subsequently incinerated, Dickson County Sergeant Daniel Baker on May 30, 2018.

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Tennessee Sen. Blackburn: White House Plans to Silence Critics in Run-Up to 2022

Sen. Blackburn: White House

Speaking to iHeartRadio host Sara Carter on Thursday, Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn condemned the Biden administration’s professed “flagging” of what it terms “disinformation” regarding COVID-19 for social-media companies.

“What they’ve set up is basically a premise that if your message is not government-approved, then what you’re going to experience is state-sponsored censorship….” Blackburn said.

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Tennessee State Building Commission Votes to Remove Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Bust

Tennessee’s State Building Commission voted Thursday to remove Confederate Army General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s bust from the State Capitol building. 

The statue will be relocated to the Tennessee State Museum, along with the busts of Admirals David Farragut and Albert Gleaves.

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Tennessee’s U.S. Congress Members Harshbarger, Burchett, Rose, Green, and Kustoff Urge Democracies to Support Free Cuba

TN Cuba Freedom Support

Five members of Tennessee’s congressional delegation co-signed a letter from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23) this week urging the world’s democracies to support freedom in Cuba.

Representatives Diana Harshbarger (R-TN-1), Tim Burchett (R-TN-2), John Rose (R-TN-6), Mark Green (R-TN-7) and David Kustoff (R-TN-8) joined the Republican leader and other colleagues in exhorting democratic nations to back a number of steps toward effectuating Cuban democracy.

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Opponents of Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf’s COVID Orders Present Case to Third Circuit Court

Before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia on Thursday, legal counsel for several Pennsylvania counties as well as numerous public officials and private companies, argued Governor Tom Wolf (D) abused his police powers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, the private-sector compainaints charge that the governor’s shutdown of and other demands on businesses during parts of 2020 and 2021 violate the takings clause and the due-process clause of the U.S. Constitution. All plaintiffs, governmental and private, further insist that the governor’s restrictions on public gatherings over the past year violated the rights of assembly, association and religion secured by the First Amendment. 

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It’s Official: Retired Detroit Police Chief Craig to Challenge Michigan Governor Whitmer

James Craig, who served as chief of Police in Detroit, MI, since 2013 and retired this spring, is running for governor of the Great Lake State, he announced to Fox News’s Tucker Carlson Wednesday night.

Craig has formed a gubernatorial exploratory committee to begin his run against Democratic incumbent Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

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Tennessee Rep. Kustoff Condemns Ben & Jerry’s Boycott of Jewish West Bank Settlements

Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop

Calling Israel America’s “greatest ally in the Middle East,” Representative David Kustoff (R-TN-8) on Tuesday decried the decision of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Company to cease selling its products in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and contested parts of East Jerusalem. 

“This shouldn’t even be a debate,” he told Sean Spicer and co-host Lyndsay Keith on a broadcast of Newsmax’s Spicer & Co. “They shouldn’t have started this controversy.” 

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Emergency Hospitals Created in Nashville and Memphis for COVID Patients Decommissioned Having Treated No COVID Cases

According to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), the now deconstructed Memphis and Nashville COVID-19 overflow emergency hospitals, created with a $51 million federal grant, never treated a single patient.

The facilities were intended to receive patients with “low to moderate acuity” cases of the novel coronavirus but with too high severity to warrant discharge home. They anticipated that patients would stay an average of four days.

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Rep. John Rose Joins Bipartisan Group of Colleagues Urging Reopening of International Travel

Representative John Rose (R-TN-06) tweeted Monday in support of a bipartisan group of fellow congresspersons asking President Biden to more quickly reopen travel to the U.S.

“We should fully reopen international travel to the U.S.,” Rose wrote. “I joined with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to urge President Biden to reopen travel to the U.S. in order to accelerate our economic recovery.”

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Tennessee AFL-CIO Rallies at Sens. Blackburn and Hagerty’s Nashville Offices for Bill Outlawing Right-to-Work

Tennessee AFL-CIO

Tennessee’s AFL-CIO chapter rallied Tuesday afternoon outside the Nashville offices of Republican Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty in favor of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.

The legislation would forbid states from maintaining right-to-work policies which allow workers who chose not to join a union to decline to pay union dues. The bill would also redefine many independent contractors as employees for purposes of collective bargaining—thus placing what many consider a heavy burden on freelancers—and would impose numerous other pro-union provisions. 

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Virginia Redistricting Commission Replaces Marvin Gilliam with Virginia Trost-Thornton

Virginia Trost Redistricting Committee

Virginia Trost-Thornton became the newest member of the Virginia Redistricting Commission (VRC) on Monday, replacing Republican citizen member Marvin W. Gilliam Jr.

Made up of both state legislators and other appointees, the VRC is tasked with the redrawing of congressional and state legislative districts.

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