Blount County Mayor Shares Comparison of Mask and No-Mask Counties in Tennessee

Mayor of Blount County Ed Mitchell took to Facebook last week sharing a comparison of how Tennessee counties have fared under mask and no-mask mandates.

Blount County, which is not under a mask mandate by Mitchell, has Maryville as its county seat and largest city.  It lies in Tennessee’s eastern grand division adjacent to Knox and Sevier counties, both of which have mask mandates in place.

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Tennessee’s Year-to-Date Budget Surplus is Up to $447 Million

Three months into the 2020-2021 fiscal year, Tennessee’s actual revenues have exceeded the budget to create a $447 million surplus.

The surplus represents revenues that are 13 percent over and above the budgeted revenues through October and the fourth month in a row of budget surpluses.

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Analysis Reveals Milwaukee Presidential Election Voting Irregularities

An analysis of the City of Milwaukee’s 2020 U.S. Presidential election votes reveals several irregularities related primarily to voter participation.

Wisconsin is a key battleground state with 10 electoral college votes. In 2016, then first-time presidential candidate Donald Trump won the state over Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton, taking a little over 47 percent of the state’s nearly 2.9 million votes.

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Obama-Biden Administration Denied Only Four Percent of Chinese Acquisitions of U.S. Entities: Report

A report that examined Chinese acquisitions in the U.S. revealed that the Obama-Biden administration only denied four percent of those that were subject to review by federal regulators.

In stark contrast, the Trump administration denied nearly half of the Chinese proposed acquisitions.

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Michigan: Ground Zero for Biden-Led Chinese Acquisition of Automotive Manufacturer with National Security Implications

A key presidential election battleground state of Michigan is also ground zero for a Chinese company’s acquisition of an automotive manufacturer with direct involvement by one of Hunter Biden’s businesses.

The transaction gave Chinese companies direct control of technology with possible military applications and, therefore, has national security implications.

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#WalkAway Rescue America Event in Nashville Doubles as a Trump Rally

A #WalkAway Campaign event held in Nashville Saturday at Legislative Plaza was every bit as much a Trump Rally, considering the attire of the attendees and their overwhelmingly enthusiastic reactions to mentions of the President.

Despite the downpours caused by tropical storm Delta, about 100 people turned out Saturday afternoon for the #WalkAway Rescue America Rally.

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Governor Lee Denies Nashville Mayor Cooper’s Request for $82.6 Million Additional Coronavirus Relief Funding

Governor Bill Lee responded in writing Thursday denying Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s request for an additional $82.6 million in coronavirus relief funding.

In addition to the letter, Lee addressed the issue during a press conference Thursday, saying “I have to believe the strategy that I’m investing in is one that is consistent and aligned with the state’s strategy and Nashville’s are not.”

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In Wake of Nashville COVID-19 Data Suppression Allegations, Mayor Cooper’s Press Secretary Attacks Character of Award-Winning Reporter

Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s Press Secretary Chris Song attacked the character of the reporter who broke the story about keeping information about COVID-19 cases secret during a press conference Thursday.

WZTV’s Fox 17 reporter Dennis Ferrier was the first to report on the “disturbing revelation” Wednesday based on emails he received from the Nashville mayor’s office.

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Sumner County Mayor Holt Calls Conservative Group ‘Radical,’ Bans Meetings in County Building

Sumner County Mayor Anthony Holt referred to a conservative-minded group as “radical,” and forbid any future meetings of the group from being held in a county building.

The “radical” group that Holt called out is the Sumner County Republican Assembly (SCRA), a chapter of the Tennessee Republican Assembly.

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Federal Judge Orders State to Pay $690K in Attorney’s Fees for Successful First Amendment Challenge of Tennessee’s Billboard Act

The state has been ordered by a federal judge to pay $690,084 in attorneys’ fees and costs resulting from a successful First Amendment challenge to Tennessee’s unconstitutional Billboard Act.

Just over a year ago, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an opinion in Thomas v. Bright (previously Thomas v. Schroer for the two most recent Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT commissioners) a case that goes back more than a dozen years.  The Sixth Circuit court affirmed that Tennessee’s Billboard Regulation and Control Act of 1972 was unconstitutional based on its content-based regulation of free speech, The Tennessee Star reported.

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Freight Railway Companies Petition for Modernization of Standards for the Industry’s Financial Health

A joint petition has been submitted to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) on behalf of the Canadian National Railway Company (CN), Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NS) and Union Pacific Rail Road Company (UP) freight-hauling railroad companies for the purpose of modernizing annual revenue adequacy determinations of the industry’s overall financial health.

CN, NS and UP are three of the seven railroads remaining in the U.S. from the 41 that operated in 1979 designated as Class I by the STB, based primarily on the annual operating revenue of the railroad company.

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State Revenues $115.1 Million More than Budgeted for First Month of Fiscal Year 2021-2022

Tennessee revenues exceeded budgeted estimates for the first month of the state’s 2021-2022 fiscal year by $115.1 million, Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley reported Monday.

Total state revenues for August, the first month of the fiscal year on an accrual basis, were $1.16 billion, which is $22 million more than August 2019 and 11 percent more than the budgeted estimate for the month.

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Constitutional Experts to Joint Ad Hoc Committee on Emergency Powers: The Legislature is the Check on Executive Powers

In Thursday’s meeting of the Joint Ad Hoc Committee to Study Emergency Powers, two experts on constitutional law said, that with the deference the courts afford the executive branch, it is up to the Tennessee General Assembly to put checks on the broad powers of the governor during an emergency.

In the second of three meetings, committee members heard testimony from seven individuals:  Glenn Reynolds, Professor of Law, University of Tennessee; Larry L. Crain, Crain Law Group; Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General of the State of Tennessee; Patrick Sheehan, Director TEMA; Dr. Lisa Piercey, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Health; Clark Milner, Deputy Counsel to Governor Bill Lee; Brent Easley, Legislative Director to Governor Bill Lee.

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Tennessee GOP Votes to Affirm Eddie Mannis as House District 18 Primary Winner Potentially in Violation of State Law

The Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee (SEC) in a meeting held via conference call Wednesday evening voted to affirm the August 6 results of the House District 18 primary that was won by Eddie Mannis, potentially in violation of state law.

The vote was 43 to 18 by the SEC, which functions as the State Primary Board (SPB) in a primary contest.

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State GOP to Take Up House District 18 Primary Challenge Wednesday, Votes to Charge Candidates a Fee to Run as a Republican

At Saturday’s meeting of the Tennessee Republican Party (TRP) State Executive Committee, the majority voted to charge candidates for certain offices a fee to run as a Republican and won’t take up the issue of the House District 18 primary challenge until Wednesday.

TRP Chairman Scott Golden told The Tennessee Star he wasn’t sure why some people thought that the challenge to the House District 18 primary results would be taken up at Saturday’s meeting and said it wasn’t “because it’s against the law.”

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Metro Councilman-at-Large Steve Glover About RNC Watch Party and Protest: We Want to Build Up America, Not Tear Down America

At the conclusion of the Republican National Convention watch party and protest Thursday evening, Metro Councilman-At-Large Steve Glover said of Republicans, “We want to build up America, not tear down America.”

Glover was referring to the hundreds of attendees at the event that was his brainchild on the grounds of Barbara Mandrell’s former estate, Fontanel, in Nashville.

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Trump RNC Acceptance Speech Watch Party in Nashville Thursday Will Include FOX Nation’s Tomi Lahren

Tomi Lahren of FOX Nation will join the Trump Republican National Convention acceptance speech watch party in Nashville on Thursday evening.

Lahren, who moved to Nashville several months ago from Los Angeles, recently referred to Mayor John Cooper as a “little tyrant” in a near five-minute rant during her Final Thoughts segment that called out the orders, arbitrary mandates, closures and curfews handed down by the Democrat.

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‘Tennessee Stands’ Files Lawsuit Claiming Statute Deeming Governor’s Executive Orders Having Full Force and Effect of Law Unconstitutional

Citizens for Limited Government and Constitutional Integrity, Inc. doing business as Tennessee Stands filed a lawsuit in Davidson County Chancery Court Monday against Governor Bill Lee on the grounds that the state statute deeming the governor’s executive orders have the full force and effect of law is unconstitutional.

Tennessee Stands founder and president Gary Humble along with Rodney Lunn, the plaintiffs in the case, reference Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.) 58-2-107 which dates back to 2000.

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Democrat Crossover Voting Prompts Contest to Tennessee Republican Party Over House District 18 Primary Results

One of the candidates from the House District 18 Republican primary has notified Chairman Scott Golden and State Executive Committee (SEC) of the Tennessee Republican Party (TRP) that they are contesting the results, because of crossover voting from Democrats.

A member of the SEC, who wished to remain unnamed until it was discussed with the chairman, provided The Tennessee Star with a copy of the emailed letter from House District 18 Republican primary candidate Gina Oster dated August 18.

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Expert Testimony on Study of Emergency Powers: Governor Lee’s Executive Orders Consistent with Powers Granted in State Law

In testimony to the Joint Ad Hoc Committee to Study Emergency Powers Thursday, retired Tennessee Supreme Court Justice and president and dean of Nashville School of Law William C. Koch, Jr. said Governor Bill Lee’s executive orders are entirely consistent with the inherent power in his office and granted to him in state statute.

The 17-member ad hoc committee, consisting of five senators and 12 representatives, was established by the respective speakers of each house at the request of members in light of the emergency status caused by COVID-19.

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Sumner County Commission Goes Against Pleas of Citizens, Votes to Advance ‘The Meadows’ 1,115-Unit Housing Development and $500,000 for Comer Barn

Against the pleas of numerous citizens who spoke publicly at the meeting, the Sumner County Board of Commissioners voted Monday to advance The Meadows 1,115 mixed-used housing development in north Gallatin and to spend $500,000 on the Comer Barn.

The backdrop for the meeting was a mandatory mask order extended to August 29 by County Mayor Anthony Holt and forced social distancing through benches where every other one was taped off and the remainder were marked for six-foot spacing.

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Joint Legislative Committee Will Meet to Study Emergency Executive Powers in Tennessee Thursday

The Tennessee General Assembly Joint Ad Hoc Committee studying emergency powers of the executive branch will include presentations from by retired U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and retired Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William C. Koch, Jr.

The meeting to be held at the legislature’s home of the Cordell Hull Building is scheduled for Thursday.

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Sumner County’s ‘The Meadows’ Housing Development Land Battle Goes Back at Least a Decade and Includes Bribery Allegations

The land battle over Sumner County’s “The Meadows,” proposed to be a 1,115-unit housing development under consideration by the Sumner County Board of Commissioners on Monday, August 17, has a history that goes back more than a decade and includes allegations of bribery by a former Gallatin councilman.

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Analysis: Republican Crossover Voting for Democrats in August 6 Primary Election in Knox County

Analysis of the Knox County voting data for the August 6 primary and general election reveals difference-making Republican crossover votes for Democrat candidates.

At the same time there was the primary election for state and federal level offices, there was also a county general election race.  In a combined primary/general election, voters can pull a Republican, Democrat, or general election only ballot.

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Tennessee Revenues for July Exceed Budget Estimate by $667.1 Million

Tennessee tax revenues for the month of July exceeded the budgeted estimate by $667.1 million, Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley announced Thursday.

Overall revenues of $1.86 billion in July were $689.4 million more than state revenues in July 2019.

The higher-than-expected revenues for July has the state finishing the 2019-2020 fiscal year in a surplus position of $369.2 million against the budgeted estimate and 2.42 percent above last year, despite the impacts of the COVID-19 economic slowdown.

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Rep. John DeBerry’s Democrat Opponent Condemns Vote for Enhanced Penalties for Assaults Against First Responders and Damage to Property During Protests

State Rep. John DeBerry’s Democrat opponent in the November election condemned the long-time legislator’s vote for a bill that increased penalties for committing assault against a first responder or damaging public and private property.

DeBerry is running as an Independent in the November 3 general election for House District 90, having been ousted by the majority White Executive Committee from the Tennessee Democrat Party after serving in the Tennessee House of Representatives as an elected Democrat for nearly 26 years.

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Comer Barn: Sumner County’s ‘Gift’ from Rogers Group Inc.

The Comer Barn was a “gift” to Sumner County from Rogers Group Inc. by way of a deed that had no funds involved, County Executive Anthony Holt announced to Sumner County Board of Commission members at several committee meetings in April 2016.

The old and picturesque stone horse barn, considered by many as a historic structure, is located on Highway 31 between Gallatin and Hendersonville on the property of one of Rogers Group’s quarries.  Rogers Group is a road paver and builder, asphalt supplier and the largest privately-owned crushed stone, sand and gravel mix company in the U.S.

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Tennessee General Assembly Wraps up Extraordinary Session, Passing the Anticipated Legislation

The second session of the 111th Tennessee General Assembly wrapped up Wednesday evening after passing the legislation called for in Governor Bill Lee’s proclamation.

Over the course of three legislative days, the state Senate and House passed measures related to COVID-related liability protection, expansion of telemedicine and criminal laws related to protests.

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Special Session Bills Move Through Tennessee Senate and House Committees

Several bills addressing the issues outlined in Governor Bill Lee’s proclamation for an extraordinary session of the 111th Tennessee General Assembly were taken up in Senate and House committee meetings Tuesday.

The call for the special session limited the legislation that could be taken up to COVID-related liability protection for persons and entities, electronic delivery of health-related services, protection of private and public property and personnel as well as the appropriations related to the legislation passed during the special session.

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The First Day of Special Session Reveals Legislation That Will be Considered Regarding COVID-19 Liability, Telemedicine and Protesting

The first day of the Tennessee General Assembly’s special session Monday called by Governor Bill Lee, revealed the legislation related to COVID-19 liability, telemedicine expansion and protesting that will be considered.

Only legislation related to the topics specifically contained in the governor’s proclamation can be considered during the special session, which began at 4 p.m. on Monday with both the House and Senate going into a floor session.

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This Week’s Special Legislative Session Could Cost Tennessee Taxpayers More Than $100,000

The special session of Tennessee lawmakers scheduled for the week of August 10 will likely cost Tennessee taxpayers more than $100,000.

Legislators were called to the special session by Governor Bill Lee through an August 3 proclamation to address three issues, the first two which could have been addressed during the previous legislative session.

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Metro Nashville Council Member Wants People Not Wearing a Mask to Be Charged with Murder or Attempted Murder

Metro Nashville At-Large Council Member Sharon Hurt said Wednesday during a virtual meeting of the Joint Public Safety and Health Committee that there should be stronger legislation for those not wearing masks and suggested they be charged with murder or attempted murder.

Hurt said that she works for an organization that, “If they pass the virus, then they are tried for murder or attempted murder.”

Hurt thinks the same standard should apply to the general public.

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Tennessee General Assembly Primary Results

While there were 115 Tennessee General Assembly seats open for Thursday’s primary, most went uncontested.  In fact, there was just a fractional 36 primaries yielding some surprising results.

In the Senate, all of the incumbents won their primary bid.

In the House, Representatives Micah Van Huss and Matthew Hill both lost their primaries.  Coupled with Representative Timothy Hill leaving the House to run in the U.S. House District 1 Republican primary, which he also lost, the representation of the northeast corner of the state will undergo dramatic changes.

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Dr. Manny Sethi to Supporters: Continue the Fight

At about 9 p.m. Dr. Manny Sethi gave his concession speech to several hundred people just down the road from where he grew up in Coffee County, telling supporters three separate times to continue the fight.

With 15 people in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Lamar Alexander, Sethi got about 240,000 votes or 40 percent of the vote against the winner Bill Hagerty with just over 300,000 votes or 50 percent.

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Complaint Filed Against State Sen. John Stevens for Misuse of Campaign Funds

A sworn complaint was filed against State Sen. John Stevens to the state’s Registry of Election Finance alleging the improper use of campaign funds for the August 6 Republican primary.

Stevens is finishing up his second term as senator for the state’s 24th district, having first been elected in 2012.  District 24 includes the counties of Benton, Carroll, Gibson, Henry, Obion and Weakley.

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Sen. Rand Paul in Knoxville for Dr. Manny Sethi: ‘I Have Never Seen a More Sincere Opponent of Obamacare’

Sen. Rand Paul, who was in Knoxville Saturday for a town hall event in support of Dr. Manny Sethi for U.S. Senate, said he has never seen a more sincere opponent of Obamacare.

“I guess that’s what sort of bothers me is that people would lie about that,” said Paul. “Obamacare has really messed up healthcare. I think it’s been a disaster for the country.”

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Rep. Bruce Griffey Questions Lee Administration About Not Sharing Data with the U.S. Census Bureau That Would Help Estimate Illegals in Tennessee

State Representative Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) sent a letter to Governor Bill Lee on Friday questioning why Tennessee was not sharing data with the U.S. Census Bureau that would help estimate the number of illegal aliens living in Tennessee.

The issue arises out of President Trump’s memorandum this week to the Secretary of Commerce that excludes illegal aliens from the apportionment of the U.S. House of Representatives that follows the decennial census.

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Sen. Ted Cruz Supports Dr. Manny Sethi Because ‘Washington Needs Strong Conservative Fighters’

MT. JULIET, Tennessee – At the last of three events held in the state Friday, Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said he was in Tennessee supporting Dr. Manny Sethi because Washington needs strong conservative fighters.

The support rally featuring Cruz was held at the Music City Baptist Church in Mt. Juliet, was attended by nearly 400 fro all over middle Tennessee who filled out the main auditorium and an overflow room to a standing-room-only situation that started filling up more than a half-hour before the official start time.

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Nashville Physician’s Analysis of Excess Deaths in the U.S. and Tennessee: Not Due to COVID-19

Dr. Damon Petty, a Nashville-area physician, presented to the Conservative Caucus Saturday his analysis of data related to the excess in deaths and found they are not due to COVID-19.

An economics-degreed Harvard graduate who then went on to medical school, Dr. Petty’s goal was to analyze the data in order to make his presentation reflect the University’s veritas – or truth – shield.  The motto of the University, “Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae,” translated from Latin meaning “Truth for Christ and the Church,” was adopted in 1692.

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272,000 Legal Immigrants Arrived in the U.S. in 2016 with Entitlement to Welfare Programs Like U.S. Citizens

272,000 legal immigrants arrived in the United States during 2016 with an entitlement to the full menu of welfare programs, just like any U.S. citizen, attendees were told at the Conservative Caucus in Murfreesboro on Saturday.

The information was presented by one of the afternoon’s speakers, Don Barnett, a fellow with the Center for Immigration Studies who has followed refugee resettlement for over 20 years.

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Dr. Ming Wang’s Answer to a Polarized World: Common Ground Network

MURFREESBORO, Tennessee –Dr. Ming Wang, at the Conservative Caucus held in Murfreesboro Saturday with a few hundred people in attendance, discussed his vision for addressing a polarized world through his Common Ground Network.

Wang, who is not only a world-renowned laser eye surgeon but a philanthropist and community activist, provided financial support for the Conservative Caucus.

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Dr. Manny Sethi the Clear Favorite for U.S. Senate at the Conservative Caucus

Dr. Manny Sethi was the clear favorite as the candidate for U.S. Senate at the Conservative Caucus held Saturday in Murfreesboro.

The unofficial vote came through the applause and cheers of the audience, as one of the event organizers Representative Bruce Griffey held his hand above the heads of the four candidates who had just participated in about an hour-long candidate Q&A session.

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Inaugural ‘Conservative Caucus’ Held in Murfreesboro Saturday

  MURFREESBORO, Tennessee — The inaugural Conservative Caucus, a free event attended by a few hundred people, was held across several ballrooms at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Murfreesboro Saturday. The event was organized for those who intend to honor the nation’s forefathers with the Constitutional rights they laid out…

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State Capitol Commission Votes to Move Nathan Bedford Forrest Bust from Capitol After In-Person Request by Gov. Lee

After Governor Bill Lee weighed in on the State Capitol Commission (SCC) vote regarding the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust from the second floor of the State Capitol, by a 9 to 2 vote the body complied with his request.

The original motion of removing just the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest was amended to include the monuments to two of Tennessee’s other military heroes, Admirals David Farragut and Albert Gleaves.

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Gov. Lee Says Nathan Bedford Forrest Bust Should be Removed from the Capitol

Governor Bill Lee, on the eve of a vote by the State Capitol Commission (SCC) on the fate of the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust, said it should be moved from the second floor of the State Capitol to the Tennessee State Museum.

The consideration of the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust is the only item up for discussion by the SCC WebEx meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. on July 9, according to the agenda.  

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Governor Bill Lee Endorses Incumbent Matthew Hill for State Representative

Governor Bill Lee endorsed incumbent Matthew Hill for the state House of Representatives’ 7th District of the eastern portion of Washington County, according to an announcement by the House Republican Caucus.

Hill, who has been a member of the Tennessee House since first elected in 2004, is being challenged by Rebecca Keefauver Alexander in the August 6 Republican primary.

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Government Retaliation Prompts Expansion of Lawsuit Against Mayor Cooper and Governor Lee Over COVID-19 Orders

A legal complaint brought by a local bar owner against Nashville Mayor John Cooper and Tennessee Governor Bill Lee for violating constitutional rights with their respective orders related to COVID-19 has since expanded due to more recent retaliatory events.

The original complaint was filed in late May, The Tennessee Star reported, with an amended version filed with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee about a month later.

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State House Passes Resolution to Address Adjourning with Unfinished Legislation

As Tennessee’s 111th Tennessee General Assembly wound down to adjourn, the House passed a resolution recognizing the need to address legislation passed by one chamber but left unfinished by the other.

When Tennessee’s 111th Tennessee General Assembly came back to their second session after the three-month COVID-19 recess, the Senate only wanted to take up bills that were budget-related, time-sensitive, or COVID-19 related, while the House planned to complete all of their work.

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Behind the Scenes Takeaways From President Trump’s Tulsa Rally

  TULSA, Oklahoma – At an event as big, complex and scheduled on short notice as President Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa Saturday, there are innumerable behind-the-scenes tidbits that never make it to click-bait headlines or a story. Here are a few such takeaways. Rally Attendees Tulsa rally-goers ranged from…

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