Tennessee Health Officials Warn of COVID-19 Vaccine Scams

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) warned individuals about scammers attempting to sell COVID-19 vaccines or spots on the vaccine wait list. The messaging was addressed to all Tennesseans, but heavily emphasized relaying the warning to the elderly.

TDH listed several common tactics they’d learned were being solicited by door-to-door scammers. These scams encouraged individuals to issue a payment in order to obtain the vaccine, placement on a vaccine priority list, and early access to the vaccine.

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Tennessee Legislature Approves Modified Block Grant for State’s Medicaid Program

Tennessee’s General Assembly approved the Medicaid waiver, granting the state to apply federal healthcare funding to an aggregate gap model of spending. The legislature filed the bill when it first convened on Tuesday. Just three days after the bill’s introduction, legislators took their final votes on Thursday and Friday. The six subcommittees who reviewed the waiver all recommended its passage over the course of a few days.

The waiver allows the state to establish a self-imposed, fixed budget to last over a ten-year period, known as TennCareIII. It also allows the state to reserve a portion of the unused funds and apply them to other government programs, with potential for those savings to be matched with additional federal funds for healthcare programs.

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Tennessee Principal on Administrative Leave for Warning Students About Social Media Censorship

A Tennessee principal was placed on paid administrative leave after warning students about the dangers of social media censorship. Principal Barton Thorne recorded a homeroom video on Monday, reportedly sharing his thoughts via the Shelby County Schools (SCS) virtual learning platform to address several Big Tech companies’ recent decisions to censor various individuals and platforms.

In a recording of the video since deleted from YouTube, Thorne emphasized the need to allow for free speech and a “marketplace of ideas.” He condemned the Capitol Hill riot and stated that his statements had nothing to do with President Donald Trump.

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Georgia State Representative Kendrick Introduces Bills to ‘Promote Black Wealth’

State Representative Dar’shun Kendrick (D-Lithonia) introduced five bills that are aimed at increasing “Black wealth.” The bills propose racial compositions on Georgia corporations receiving state tax credits; reinstatement of the “Angel Investor” tax credit and qualifying historically Black colleges and universities (HCBU) as eligible; tax credits for HBCU entrepreneurship programs; racially diversify all boards, commissions, councils, or committees to reflect the state’s demographics; and annual reports on wealth within certain demographics.

In a press release, Kendrick claimed that Black communities are systemically marginalized within the economy. She added that the pandemic has only compounded the matter.

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Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case on Georgia Student Prohibited from Sharing Gospel on Campus

A Georgia Gwinnett College student appeared before the Supreme Court on Tuesday to defend free speech on campuses. The student, Chike Uzuegbunam, was prohibited by campus officials from speaking about the Christian faith on campus twice in 2016, following alleged complaints from other students.

A day before the Supreme Court hearing, Uzuegbunam published an opinion piece recounting his experience at the college and throughout the subsequent court hearings. Uzuegbunam explained that he was barred from passing out fliers and discussing his faith with fellow students publicly. According to his account, he was having one-on-one conversations with students when he was stopped by a campus official and told he needed to file a request for a speech zone.

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Tennessee Reports 90 Percent Decrease in Flu Cases Between Last Weeks of 2019 and 2020; Yet COVID Cases Increased

Despite COVID-19 cases spiking around the same time, Tennessee experienced a marked decrease in flu cases last month. Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) data sets from the last week of 2019 and 2020 revealed a 90 percent decrease in overall flu cases. The end of December registered a significant increase in COVID-19 cases, near the all-time high in the state’s positivity rates.

TDH recorded over 6,700 flu cases in the final week of 2019, as compared to just over 600 during the last week of 2020. Last month, the percentage of individuals with flu-like illnesses visiting the reporting healthcare sites was exactly 2 percent; the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) baseline for Tennessee sits at around 3 percent. According to the CDC, two or more consecutive weeks that fall under 2 percent reporting constitutes a “non-influenza week.”

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Tennessee National Guard to Send Troops to D.C. for Inauguration

The Tennessee National Guard will send troops to Washington, D.C. for the Presidential Inauguration. The measure is in concert with increased security preparations spurred on by the Capitol Hill riot and current reports of planned protests nationwide.

According to reports, the Tennessee National Guard will supplement additional personnel to include communications specialists, chaplain support, and Military Police.

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Representative Mark Green Condemns Last-Ditch Impeachment Efforts

Representative Mark Green (R-TN-07) denounced the Congressional efforts to remove from office or impeach President Donald Trump.

In his press release, Green alluded to President-elect Joe Biden’s consistent call for unity – the hallmark of his campaign and official theme for his upcoming inauguration. 

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Representative Cooper Submits Letter to Biden Requesting Revocation of Modified Medicaid Block Grant

Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN-05) submitted a letter to President-elect Joe Biden requesting the revocation of the recently-approved TennCareIII. In his concluding remarks, Cooper claimed that the agreement was unethical and accompanied by potentially criminal affairs.

“There is still information surfacing about this unprecedented waiver, including secret side agreements that are unprecedented and probably illegal,” wrote Cooper. “As we learn more, enabling us to further evaluate our state’s cruelty to its deserving poor and its vulnerable hospitals, I will be back in touch with you.”

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Metro Nashville Police Prepare for Possible Inauguration Day Protest at State Capitol

Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) revealed that it would be adopting a “heightened security posture” at the State Capitol on Inauguration Day. MNPD informed the Metropolitan Council of these measures less than a week after the Capitol Hill riot took place.

In a copy of the letter obtained The Tennessee Star, Chief of Police John Drake informed the council that several unique protests would occur leading up to and on Inauguration Day. He reassured them that there wasn’t any “indication of an imminent threat of violence or danger.”

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Georgia Secretary of State Classified Trump’s Private Call a ‘Threat’ During 60 Minutes Interview

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger called President Trump’s remarks a “threat” during a 60 Minutes interview aired Monday. The interview also included previous Voting System Implementation Manager Gabriel Sterling, currently the Secretary of State’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer.

Raffensperger was referring to a secretly-recorded, leaked call in which the President questioned the merits of Georgia’s elections systems, voter fraud allegations, and election irregularities. At several points, Trump criticized Raffensperger for stating that there wasn’t any evidence of criminality within the 2020 general election. The President also likened Raffensperger’s unwillingness to assign credibility to election fraud claims with criminal activity.
Raffensperger was referring to a secretly-recorded, leaked call in which the President questioned the merits of Georgia’s elections systems, voter fraud allegations, and election irregularities. At several points, Trump criticized Raffensperger for stating that there wasn’t any evidence of criminality within the 2020 general election. The President also likened Raffensperger’s unwillingness to assign credibility to election fraud claims with criminal activity.

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Georgia’s Newly-Elected District Attorney for Athens-Clarke, Oconee Counties Implements List of Progressive Prosecution Reforms

District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez implemented over 40 new policy changes posing alternative, more progressive forms of prosecution. In a lengthy memorandum titled “Fairness and Equity in the Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney Office,” Gonzalez stated that the changes would take effect immediately. 

Gonzalez cited that these efforts would end their circuit’s “participation in mass incarceration and the school to prison pipeline.”

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Georgia House Democratic Caucus COVID-19 Subcommittee Petitions Governor for Mandatory Shelter-in-Place, Mask Mandates, and Social Gathering Restrictions

The Georgia House Democratic Caucus Subcommittee on COVID-19 requested that Governor Brian Kemp implement more emergency regulations to address the new COVID-19 strain. Subcommittee members are State Representatives Rhonda Burnough (D-Riverdale), Viola Davis, (D-Stone Mountain), Shelly Hutchinson (D-Snellville), Donna McLeod (D-Lawrenceville), Sandra Scott (D-Rex), and Kim Schofieeld (D-Atlanta). 

The letter requested that Kemp expand the emergency orders to require everyone to either shelter-in-place, or do a combination of the following: cease all in-person schooling; further limit gatherings in bars, clubs, and restaurants; impose a statewide mask mandate; and establish moratoriums on evictions and utility cutoffs for all of this upcoming year.

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Amazon Investing Portion of $2 Billion to Increase Affordable Nashville Housing

Amazon pledged a portion of $2 billion to provide affordable housing within the Nashville community for lower-income families. The remainder of the Housing Equity Fund will be granted to expand affordable housing opportunities within two of its headquarter locations in Washington and Virginia.

According to their press release, Amazon’s funding will impact 20,000 homes in the areas surrounding those three locations. 

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Federal Government Approves Tennessee’s Medicaid Proposal, Swapping a Block Grant for an Aggregate Cap

The federal government approved Tennessee’s proposed Medicaid aggregate cap, granting a lump sum for a self-imposed, fixed budget. The ten-year agreement, referred to as “TennCare III,” is the first of its kind nationwide. It also allows for the state to reserve any unused funds and apply them to other government programs, with up to 55 percent of those savings potentially matched by additional federal funds for state health programs.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) described the measure as an “innovative financing approach.” Unlike what various reports claimed, federal officials explicitly stated that this agreement wasn’t a block grant. This agreement allows the state government to be flexible with its spending cap under certain circumstances – like last year’s pandemic and related unemployment crisis. 

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GOP Incumbent Secures Close Win in Re-Election to Public Service Commission Runoff Race

Republican incumbent Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, Jr., narrowly secured re-election in the runoff race to represent District 4 in the Georgia Public Service Commission (GPSC). McDonald secured over 50 percent of the vote totals, while his Democratic opponent, Daniel Blackman, trailed McDonald by 1 point. 

The win marked McDonald’s fourth time being elected to the position. He has served GPSC for 16 years.

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Georgia Ethics Commission Dismisses Investigations into Governor Kemp; One Investigation into Stacey Abrams Still Unresolved

Governor Brian Kemp and Democratic voting rights activist Stacey Abrams were both cleared of some wrongdoings in their respective 2018 gubernatorial campaigns. While the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission maintained that the complaints against Kemp had no merit, they only dismissed several of the complaints against Abrams.

The unresolved complaint raised against Abrams alleged that her campaign illegally coordinated with a political action committee (PAC) through a voting rights nonprofit that she founded. Abrams’ nonprofit, New Georgia Project, and a similarly-named PAC, New Georgia Project Action Fund, reportedly operated in the same office under some of the same individuals. In an attempt to investigate the complaints further, the commission petitioned a court for a subpoena to access more of Abrams campaign documents; the judge denied the request. It is unclear whether the investigation is still ongoing. Commission members may not comment on active investigations pursuant to the state’s Rules of Professional Responsibility.

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University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Assistant Football Coach Fired for Tweet Criticizing Stacey Abrams

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s (UTC) assistant football coach, Chris Malone, was fired for a tweet criticizing Democratic activist Stacey Abrams. Due to her voting rights organizations and work mobilizing voters, Abrams was given much of the credit for the projected wins of Georgia’s two Democratic Senate candidates during the runoff elections this week. 

The tweet was published just before midnight on Tuesday. Malone’s Twitter account has since been deactivated.

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Senator Kelly Loeffler Reversed Decision to Object to Electoral College Results Following Capitol Riots

Senator Kelly Loeffler reversed course following the riots at the Capitol, accepting rather than objecting as promised to the Electoral College certification. Her acceptance of the results also followed her projected loss to Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock in their runoff election.

Loeffler shared that the protestors who breached the barricaded Capitol grounds and infiltrated the Capitol itself were the reason why she changed her decision.

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Georgia House Speaker Announces New Special Election Integrity Committee; Fellow Legislator Questions Motives

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) will select a committee to address election integrity, but a fellow legislator questioned his motives. 

During a press conference on Thursday, Ralston revealed that the General Assembly would address election law reforms as early as next week. He noted that he would appoint a special committee to undertake election integrity reforms and investigations to ensure confidence in future elections.

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Henry County Superior Court Judge Files Temporary Injunction on Fulton County Mail-In Ballots

Chief Judge Brian Amero filed a temporary injunction ordering Fulton County to preserve their general election mail-in ballots. Plaintiffs in the case organized by Voters Organized for Trusted Election Results in Georgia (VoterGA) had hoped to obtain an order from this hearing allowing them to conduct a forensic inspection of the county’s mail-in ballots. The hearing took place virtually at 4 p.m. EST with Henry County Superior Court. Fulton County Elections Director Rick Barron was present on the line; the other election board members didn’t attend the hearing.

Attorneys from the Cheeley Law Group represented the plaintiffs. Their contentions concerned the events from State Farm Arena on November 3rd after 10:30 p.m. EST. Multiple reports noted that poll workers and media were informed that vote counting was finished for the night, and that they should leave. They requested to share the video evidence from that night with the court, but Amero declined.

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Democratic Senate Candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff Declared Victory as Counting Continued

Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff claimed victory in their respective U.S. Senate runoff elections as vote counting continued. Warnock declared that he’d won late Tuesday evening, while Ossoff waited until Wednesday morning to declare his win.

At the time of press with over 98 percent reporting in for both races, Warnock led Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) by over 55,600 votes, or just over 1 point. Ossoff led Republican incumbent David Perdue (R-GA) by over 18,400 votes, or just over half a point.

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REPORT: Georgia Secretary of State’s Spokesman Gabriel Sterling Negotiated Pay Raise to Work as Independent Contractor from November 2019 to December 2020

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Gabriel Sterling negotiated a $200,000 annual contract for himself last year to oversee the new voting technology from Dominion Voting Systems. Under that position, it’s reported that he worked as an independent contractor rather than as a government employee. However, he identified himself in that position as a full-time employee.

Sterling’s stint last year as an independent contractor aligned with the state’s decision in 2019 to award Dominion a $107 million contract for its voting systems. Prior to working as an independent contractor for the state, Sterling worked under one of his current positions: Chief Operating Officer. He earned much less under that government position – around $114,000 annually. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained the information on Sterling’s contracts through an open records request.

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‘Pray for Truth and Pray for Trump’ Rally Planned for Downtown Nashville as Congress Meets to Certify Electoral College Vote

A prayer-centered rally will take place at Tennessee’s State Capitol ahead of the Electoral College vote certification. The event organizers intended it to be an alternative for those unable to attend the rally supporting President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C.

A virtual promotional flyer obtained by The Tennessee Star explained that the event would offer “prayer and truth for Trump.”

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Fulton County Voter Reports Dominion Voting Scanners Ran Out of Battery Power in His Precinct

Georgia voter Richard Hendrix reported that the Dominion Voting Systems (Dominion) scanners ran out of battery power at his Fulton County voting location at Heards Ferry Elementary School on Tuesday morning.

Hendrix stated that he filed a complaint with the Secretary of State’s office, and sent copies to Senator Burt Jones, Republican Party of Georgia Chairman David Ralston, and Governor Brian Kemp.

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Georgia Voter: Spalding County Precinct Voting Machines Broken, No Paper Ballots Offered

A Spalding County voter told The Georgia Star News early Tuesday that voting machines broke at a Griffin-area polling place, and instead of receiving paper ballots, workers sent the voters waiting in line away.

In an interview with The Star News, the voter stated that she’d arrived at her polling place at Union Baptist church early because she works several jobs and wanted to ensure she could cast her vote.

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Secretary of State Raffensperger on the Defense as Trump Presses on Difficult Questions About Drop Boxes, Signature Matching in Leaked Call

A private call between President Donald Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was leaked by The Washington Post on Sunday afternoon. The call reportedly took place almost exactly a day prior to the time that the audio was leaked.

Others on the call included White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Trump’s attorneys Cleta Mitchell and Kurt Hilbert, Georgia’s Secretary of State General Counsel Ryan Germany, and Georgia’s Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs.

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Fulton County’s Ballot Inspection Hearing Faces Last-Minute Delay After Sudden Transferral to Another Judicial Circuit

A hearing to decide whether Fulton County would be ordered to allow public inspection of their general election ballots was transferred suddenly. The hearing was scheduled for Monday at 11 a.m. EST with the Fulton County Superior Court under Judge Rachelle Carnesale. 

Instead, the hearing will occur in another county within another judicial circuit. The plaintiffs, election integrity organization Voters Organized for Trusted Election Results in Georgia (VoterGA), sued for constitutional rights violations. On Monday, Judge Carnesale decided the case was truly an election case and therefore not within her jurisdiction.

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‘I Believe in Heroes’: Downtown Features Mural Honoring Police Who Responded to Nashville Bombing

Downtown Nashville now features a mural honoring the six police officers who evacuated residents ahead of the Christmas Day bombing. Sergeant Timothy Miller and officers Brenna Hosey, Amanda Topping, Tyler Luellen, Michael Sipos, James Wells are depicted on a rendition of the famed “I Believe in Nashville” mural series. Their version of the mural reads, “I Believe in Heroes.”

The mural is located at the corner of 2nd Avenue and Broadway, just ahead of the site of the bombing. The street is still blocked off due to the wreckage being cleared away. The groups behind the popular Instagram pages dedicated to the Nashville community and the “I Believe in Nashville” mural series painted the mural with the permission of the building owner, Hard Rock Cafe Nashville. The mural is expected to remain until the window underneath is replaced. After that, it will be framed and hung inside the building.

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Gwinnett County Sheriff Ends 287(G) Program Participation Checking Immigration Status of Detained Persons in Georgia

Gwinnett County will no longer participate in the 287(g) Program, meaning their officers will no longer perform immigration law enforcement functions. The county’s newly-elected sheriff, Keybo Taylor, announced his decision the same day he was sworn into office.

Gwinnett County first entered into the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program in 2009. Under the agreement, officers were trained by ICE to become federal immigration officers. They could interrogate, arrest, process, detain, transport, and issue immigrant detainers to individuals in regard to their immigration status and any related violations. 

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Tennessee’s New Laws Taking Effect in 2021

The Volunteer State gained a set of new laws that took effect on the first day of the new year.

These laws impacted tobacco purchasing, emergency alert systems, pregnant employees and their employers, 911 operators, Department of Veterans Services staff, correctional officers and emergency medical personnel, animal owners, and those who rent out their homes or cars.

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Only Nine Georgia State Senators Signed Petition for Special Session

Only 9 out of 35 Republican state senators signed a petition to call a special session determining Georgia’s 16 electors and addressing election fraud. In order for the petition to go through, at least 29 senators needed to sign onto it. 

The state senators who signed the petition were: Brandon Beach (R-GA-Alpharetta), Burt Jones (R-Jackson), Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming), William Ligon (R-Brunswick), Matt Brass (R-Newnan), Tyler Harper (R-Ocilla), Marty Harbin (R-Tyrone), Bruce Thompson (R-White), and Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega).

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Judge Abrams Gardner Now Says Provisional Ballots Allowed, but Change of Address Isn’t Proof of Ineligibility to Vote

Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner reversed part of her ruling late Wednesday night, allowing Muscogee County to impose provisional ballots for challenged voters. However, Gardner maintained that the challenge of eligibility can’t be made solely on the basis of National Change of Address (NCOA) registry data. Gardner’s updated order followed shortly after an original ruling prohibited two counties from imposing provisional ballots for over 4,100 challenged voters. 

Gardner is the sister of Stacey Abrams, the Democratic activist leading several organizations and a political action committee dedicated to voters rights. Despite the pair’s connection and Abrams’ interest in the case, Gardner refused to recuse herself. She published an explanation on Thursday, several days after her first order.

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Nashville Police Say There Was ‘No Evidence or Reasonable Suspicion’ of Anthony Warner Building Bomb Last Year

Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) stated that last year’s investigation into the Nashville bomber yielded no evidence or suspicion of a crime. Chief John Drake revealed those details in a statement on Anthony Warner, the bomber linked to the Christmas Day explosion in downtown Nashville.

Drake explained that MNPD were called by an attorney to address a suicidal woman with two guns last August. The woman at the scene was Pamela Perry, Warner’s girlfriend at the time. She reported to police that Warner was making bombs in his RV trailer, and stated that both guns belonged to him. The attorney, Raymond Throckmorton III, reportedly represented both Warner and Perry.

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Representative-Elect Diana Harshbarger Joins Coalition to Object to Electoral College Results

Representative-elect Diana Harshbarger announced Thursday that she will object to the Electoral College results during next week’s certification.

“On Jan 6 when the Electoral College meets, I will join my other GOP [colleagues] in objecting,” wrote Harshbarger. “I stand for free and fair elections, and I am ready to fight for Tennessee and our Country.”

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Hearing Granted in Georgia on Forensic Inspection of Fulton County’s Mail-In Ballots

Fulton County Superior Court has granted a hearing for a forensic inspection of Fulton County’s mail-in ballots. Voters Organized for Trusted Election Results in Georgia (VoterGA) relayed the news in an email sent to The Georgia Star News on Thursday. The announcement followed Georgia Senate Judiciary Subcommittee’s motion to request all absentee mail-in ballots from Fulton County on Wednesday. The next day, the subcommittee sent their formal request to the county.

The hearing will take place Monday at 11 a.m. EST. The Senate subcommittee hasn’t filed a petition with the court, but instead has sent a letter to Fulton County officials, requesting a response by noon Thursday. Their request would include all absentee mail-in ballots processed at the State Farm Arena. VoterGA organized voters into plaintiffs a little over a week ago to obtain a court order granting similar relief.

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Fox News Gives Jon Ossoff Uninterrupted Air Time – He Accuses Kelly Loeffler of ‘Campaigning with a Klansman’

Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff accused incumbent Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) of campaigning with a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) member, ignoring her remarks to the contrary. He made his accusations during an impromptu interview with Fox News on Wednesday. Ossoff’s allegation was based on a viral photo of Loeffler with a former KKK leader, Chester Doles, taken earlier this month.

“We have two United States Senators in Georgia who have blatantly used their offices to enrich themselves. This is beyond partisanship,” stated Ossoff. “Here’s the bottom line: Kelly Loeffler has been campaigning with a klansman. Kelly Loeffler has been campaigning with a klansman. She is stooping to these vicious personal attacks to distract from the fact that she’s been campaigning with a former member of the Ku Klux Klan.”
“Right now, we have a crisis of corruption in American politics. And since we’re live on Fox right now, let me take this opportunity to address directly the Fox audience. We have two United States Senators in Georgia who have blatantly used their offices to enrich themselves. This is beyond partisanship,” stated Ossoff. “Here’s the bottom line: Kelly Loeffler has been campaigning with a klansman. Kelly Loeffler has been campaigning with a klansman. She is stooping to these vicious personal attacks to distract from the fact that she’s been campaigning with a former member of the Ku Klux Klan.”

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Teachers and Educational Staff Moved Up into First Phase of Vaccine Priority List

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) announced Wednesday that it would be moving teachers and educational staff up on the vaccine priority list. TDH estimated that teachers and educational staff may receive vaccines starting around February or March of 2021.

This updated plan for vaccine distribution occurs in months-long waves: Phases 1a1, 1a2, 1b, 1c, 2a/b, and 3. Teachers and educational staff fall into Phase 1b. The last several phases don’t have projected dates as of yet. Those who qualify solely through age-based criteria will be eligible to receive their vaccine beginning in Phase 1a2, starting with those over 75 years old.

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Biden and Harris to Stump for Warnock, Ossoff in Georgia Ahead of Senate Runoffs

Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will visit Georgia to support the Senate election runoff candidates, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, next week.

Biden and Harris will arrive in the days preceding the runoff elections, according to a press release from their team. Harris will precede Biden by a day, showing up to Savannah on Sunday. Biden will arrive on Monday in Atlanta. 

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Georgia Senate Hearing on Election Integrity Concludes with Order for Fulton County to Turn Over All Absentee Ballots to Investigators

Georgia State Senate Judiciary Subcommittee held another hearing on election fraud on Wednesday. Chairman William Ligon (R-GA-White Oak) oversaw the hearing.

Witnesses testified to multiple variants of election integrity issues, including the voting machines, voting systems, poll workers and adjudicators, and even the printed QR ballots themselves. A consistent message throughout the testimonies reflected a lack of helpfulness from the secretary of state’s office.

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Mimi Groves’ Lawyer Contradicts University of Tennessee Over Viral Video: ‘She Was Forced Out’

Mimi Groves is the epicenter of a social media backlash over a three-second video taken three years ago. According her new lawyer, Groves was forced by the University of Tennessee (UT) to withdraw, and the person who originally posted the viral video was her friend.

CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Shanlon Wu, defends college students in university proceedings. He took on Groves as a client this past summer, long before The New York Times released their article on the incident the day after Christmas. The renewed focus centered on Galligan’s role in making the clip go viral.

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Tennessee’s Representatives Split on Party Lines for $2K CASH Act: Republicans Vote No, Both Democrats Vote Yes

The U.S. House passed the Caring for Americans with Supplemental Cash (CASH Act) last evening; Tennessee’s representatives faced a partisan split on the bill. The act tacks on $1,400 to the $600 payments within the massive year-end package signed by President Trump on Sunday.

The CASH Act passed in the House with a majority of 275 to 134, and 21 abstained from voting. One of the representatives who abstained their vote was Representative David (Phil) Roe (R-TN-01). Of all House Republicans, 44 voted for the act, and 130 voted against it.

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Judge Who Reversed Controversial Voter Roll Cleanup Ruling Is Stacey Abrams’ Sister

Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner blocked two counties from purging over 4,000 voters from the rolls for Georgia’s upcoming runoff elections. Gardner is the sister of Democratic activist and failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Abrams is the leader of Fair Fight Action, a voter rights organization, and the founder of New Georgia Project, which is under investigation currently by the secretary of state’s office. 

The defendants requested that Gardner recuse herself due to her relationship with Abrams and Fair Fight. Their reasoning concerned Fair Fight’s current engagement in a similar federal court-level lawsuit, filed on the same day last week as their lawsuit. The defendants noted that the lead counsel in both cases are also the same.

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President Trump to Stump for Loeffler and Perdue in Georgia the Eve of Election Runoff

President Donald Trump will host another Georgia rally in a show of support to incumbent Senators Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA). The “Victory Rally” will occur January 4th, one day before the runoff election date for the two senate seats.

Others joining Trump at the rally are incumbent Georgia Public Service Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, Jr., and a coalition of unnamed Republicans. McDonald will also appear on the January 5th election runoff ballot, defending his District 4 position for the Georgia Public Service Commission (GPSC). The incumbent will face Democratic challenger Daniel Blackman. Prior to serving as commissioner, McDonald served two decades as a state representative. 

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Senators Loeffler, Perdue Send Letter to Acting U.S. Consul General on Behalf of Georgia Teen Jailed for Breaking Cayman Island Quarantine

Senators Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA) submitted a letter to the U.S. Embassy’s Acting Consul General requesting the release of Skylar Mack. The senators expressed concern for the welfare of Mack, an 18-year-old college student jailed for breaking the Cayman Islands’ quarantine rules. 

In their letter, Loeffler and Perdue acknowledged the impact of COVID-19 and the Cayman Islands’ authority to impose its pandemic-related regulations and sentencing. However, according to the two senators, Mack has reportedly received a substantial amount of death threats for the incident.

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Data Recovery Center in Vicinity of Nashville Bombing No Longer Owned by Silver Lakes – the Parent Company of Compromised SolarWinds

Following the Nashville bombing, a viral post alleged a connection between SunGard, a nearby data facility, and SolarWinds’ parent company, Silver Lake. However, Silver Lake only owned SunGard from 2005 until 2015. After that, Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) assumed control once SunGard filed for bankruptcy. Since 2017, Silver Lake hasn’t held any shares in FIS.

“Please help dig on Solar[W]inds, SunGard data center, and 211 Commerce Street in Nashville,” wrote Ron Watkins, former 8Kun administrator. “Interested in finding correlations between these subjects.”

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Two Georgia Representatives to Challenge Electoral College Votes

Two of Georgia’s representatives plan to challenge the Electoral College votes during the January 6th session of Congress. Representative Jody Hice (R-GA-10) and Representative-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA-14) will join a congressional coalition in objecting the electoral college votes.

Hice met with the President Donald Trump to strategize their objection to the Electors earlier this week. Others in the meeting included Trump’s legal team, Vice President Mike Pence, members of the House Freedom Caucus, Greene, and several other congressional members.

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Ossoff Campaign Emphasized His Business Savvy: New Reports Indicate His Media Company Is Struggling

Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff won’t disclose the financial struggles of his media company, despite using it throughout his campaign as proof of his business prowess. During an interview with The Washington Post, Ossoff dodged questions regarding his financial management of Insight TWI: The World Investigates (TWI).

According to The Post, Ossoff assumed the media company after investing a quarter of a million from his inheritance. Ossoff’s late grandfather, Hyman Ossoff, created the Ossoff Leather Company with his brother, and later formed the Suncook Tanning Corporation in New Hampshire. The total inheritance that Ossoff received is unknown.

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Police Video Drops of Raphael Warnock’s Domestic Abuse Incident: Ex-Wife Told Police Warnock is a ‘Great Actor, Phenomenal at Putting on a Really Good Show’

Police footage of the domestic abuse allegations against Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock by his ex-wife, Ouleye Ndoye, surfaced late Tuesday night. Fox News released clips of the footage during a segment of Tucker Carlson Tonight.

Warnock’s ex-wife, Ouleye Ndoye, explained to police that Warnock had run over her foot while attempting to drive away with their two children. Warnock and his ex-wife, Ouleye Ndoye, stood in front of police, each giving their account of what occurred. Warnock claimed that he believed Ndoye wasn’t near his car and “didn’t believe” what Ndoye was telling police.

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