Dozens of Energy Orgs Ask Congress to Kill Bill They Say Would ‘Inevitably’ Lead to Carbon Taxes

Utah Rep. John Curtis

Dozens of energy policy and advocacy groups signed a Monday letter to Congress to express their opposition to a bill they say could be the first step toward carbon taxes or tariffs.

The letter urges House lawmakers to vote against the PROVE IT Act, a bill that has not yet been introduced in the lower chamber but is expected to be soon. The PROVE IT Act — which has already been introduced in the Senate — would have the Department of Energy (DOE) study the carbon intensity of goods, including aluminum, steel, plastic and crude oil, produced in the U.S. and the carbon intensity of products from other countries, according to E&E News.

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Corey DeAngelis Says Tennessee School Choice Bill Would Allow Students to Escape ‘One Size Fits All System’

Classroom Learning

School choice activist Corey A. DeAngelis joined Wednesday’s edition of The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy to discuss a rally he, Robby Starbuck, and Americans for Prosperity (AFP) held in Nashville supporting Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s universal school choice plan, known as the Education Freedom Scholarship Act.

On Tuesday, DeAngelis, Starbuck, AFP, and other school choice advocates held a Rally for School Choice & Parents’ Rights at the state Capitol in support of the governor’s school choice plan.

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Weed Advocates Are Ramping Up Lobbying Efforts and Notching Wins

Marijuana legalization advocates are hiring more lobbyists and otherwise ramping up their efforts to influence drug policy on Capitol Hill.

The weed industry’s lobbying efforts increased significantly between the first and second quarters of 2023, rising from $1.04 million to $1.39 million. Cannabis Freedom Alliance, a coalition of groups seeking to end federal prohibitions on weed, recently hired the Bose Public Affairs Group to lobby Congress on marijuana reform issues, according to lobbying disclosures.

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Undecided New Hampshire Voters Zeroing in Candidates

The New Hampshire primary and Iowa caucus are quickly approaching, making events like the Republican presidential debates more crucial, especially fastidious Granite State voters.

The New Hampshire chapter of Americans for Prosperity hosted a debate watch party in Manchester on Wednesday night. Organizers noted a different vibe with participants than the two prior debates, attributing it to voters “dialing in” on candidates.

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Former Walbridge Mayor Wilczynski Drops His Bid to Challenge Congresswoman Kaptur for Ohio’s 9th Congressional District

A political candidate looking to secure Ohio’s 9th Congressional District from U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-09) has ended his 2024 run.

Ohio Republican and former mayor of Walbridge, Dan Wilczynski, has officially dropped out of the race to unseat Congresswoman Kaptur in 2024 who is currently serving her 21st term in Congress.

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Ohio House Unanimously Passes Legislation to Clarify Bail-Setting Procedures

The Ohio House unanimously passed Republican-backed legislation that aims to give judges in the state clear guidance in setting bail.

House Bill (HB) 191, sponsored by State Representatives D.J. Swearingen (R-Huron) (pictured above, right) and Bill Seitz (R- Cincinnati) (pictured above, left), looks to codify Criminal Rule 46, a rule that provides all state courts with instructions regarding bail-setting procedures in the Ohio Revised Code.

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Biden Sets Leftist Tone for 2024 Re-Election Effort at Philadelphia Event

President Joe Biden held his first presidential re-election campaign event on Saturday at the Philadelphia Convention Center, making strong appeals to his left-wing base. 

Biden appeared alongside organized-labor activists and mentioned in the first few seconds of his oration that when he thinks of working Americans, he especially values the ones who associate with causes he finds politically congenial.

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Bipartisan Pennsylvania Bill Would Allow ‘Personal Option’ Through Association Health Plans

A bipartisan group of Pennsylvania state lawmakers are championing legislation enabling small-business association healthcare plans to offer workers affordable coverage. 

Such plans facilitate lower costs by allowing business and industry organizations to pool their members and negotiate insurance prices. The measure’s author, Representative Valerie Gaydos (R-Moon Township), was among numerous sponsors who told The Pennsylvania Daily Star they experienced firsthand how governmental burdens have made it harder for companies to provide their members with inexpensive medical coverage. Gaydos said this is particularly true since the Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed by President Barack Obama in 2010, heavily restricted association plans. 

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Pennsylvania House Approves Forced-Unionism Amendment

Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives this week passed a measure to enshrine forced unionism in the state Constitution. 

The proposed law is identical to an Illinois Constitutional Amendment enacted last year. It would prevent lawmakers from adopting a “right-to-work” policy protecting nonunion workers from being forced to pay union dues. It would also counteract any state statute that checks labor organizations’ power, thereby vastly increasing public-sector unions’ bargaining clout. 

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Pennsylvania Republicans Consider Paths to Hospital Price Transparency

A committee of GOP Pennsylvania lawmakers on Thursday gathered in downtown Lewisburg to consider ways to make patients aware of hospital service prices ahead of time. 

At the House Republican Policy Committee hearing at the Open Discourse Coalition headquarters, policy experts testified that, despite a new federal rule requiring price transparency, many hospitals still fail to accurately inform patients of procedures’ costs. Representative David Rowe (R-Middleburg), who organized the event, recalled constituents telling him they’ve faced shocking examples of pricing opacity.

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Pennsylvania House Panel Passes Clean-Slate Bill

On Wednesday, Pennsylvania’s House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed a bipartisan bill to seal the records of those with low-level, drug-related felony convictions. 

In 2019, Pennsylvania became the first state in the U.S. to adopt automatic record-sealing for summary offenses and various nonviolent misdemeanors as well as arrests that did not result in a conviction. The change has benefitted more than 1.2 million commonwealth residents. 

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Americans for Prosperity Warns Wisconsin Lawmakers Against Spending Too Much

There was one group at Wisconsin’s budget hearing pushing for less. Americans for Prosperity warned Wisconsin lawmakers about spending too much of the state’s record $7.1 billion surplus.

Americans For Prosperity Wisconsin this week waited through hours of requests for more money at the legislature’s public budget hearings to make the simple case to spend less.

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Politically Diverse Groups Back Free Speech at Pitt After Pennsylvania Lawmakers Urge Event Cancellation

After two Pennsylvania lawmakers last week called for cancelling upcoming conservative appearances at the University of Pittsburgh, a politically diverse array of voices are responding in favor of free speech. 

Representatives Jessica Benham (D-Carrick) and Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia), who co-chair the state House LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, denounced the state-related university for permitting the presence of speakers who oppose liberal views of transgenderism. The guests they find objectionable include Cabot Phillips, senior editor of the The Daily Wire news organization, who is scheduled to speak this Friday; Riley Gaines, a former college swimmer and critic of biological males competing in women’s sports, who will appear on March 27; and Michael Knowles, a Daily Wire commentator, who will debate transgender economist Deirdre McCloskey on April 18. All speakers are being sponsored by student-led associations. 

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Another Lawsuit Filed Against Arizona’s New ‘Dark Money’ Law over Potential First Amendment Violations

The grassroots advocacy organization Americans for Prosperity (AFP) filed a lawsuit in the Arizona District Court Friday in opposition to Arizona’s newly enacted “dark money” law, alleging that it presents possible first amendment violations.

“The First Amendment safeguards the right of individuals to donate to private advocacy organizations without undue risk that they will be subjected to their identities being disclosed or other chilling by the government,” according to the complaint.

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Business Conservatives and High Ranking Pennsylvania Democrat Ally on ‘Clean Slate’ Legislation

Pennsylvania state Representatives Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia) and Sheryl Delozier (R-Camp Hill) on Friday reintroduced “clean slate” legislation to subject low-level drug felonies to automatic record sealing. 

The new bill boasts not only a bipartisan roster of legislative backers but also a philosophically broad range of supportive organizations including the pro-free-market Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry, the Faith and Freedom Coalition, the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, the Justice Action Network, Right on Crime and Community Legal Services of Philadelphia. 

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Pennsylvania House Republicans Prepare to Fight for Fiscal Reforms

Republicans lost their majority in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives last year, but on Tuesday GOP members voiced their hope that the state might still curb state spending and lighten the tax burden with which the commonwealth saddles residents and businesses. 

With that goal in mind, House Appropriations Committee Minority Chairman Seth Grove (R-York) led a roundtable discussion with several state fiscal-policy experts. 

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Senator Vance Cosponsors Bipartisan Resolution Challenging Biden’s ESG Rule Politicizing Americans’ Retirement Plans

JD Vance

U.S. Senator JD Vance (R-OH) is joining a bipartisan challenge alongside 49 other U.S. Senators in opposition to President Biden’s new Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) rule, which politicizes the retirement assets of millions of Americans in order to support Biden’s ideological viewpoints rather than obtaining the highest returns for Americans.

“Joe Biden’s ESG investing rule is a brazen attempt to funnel Americans’ retirement savings toward far-left special interest groups,” Vance told The Ohio Star.

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Conservative Group Pushes for More Transparency in Tennessee’s Upcoming Legislative Session

Americans For Prosperity is pushing for more transparency as Tennessee’s legislative session is set to begin.

That transparency request applies to everything from House committee votes on bills to posting bill amendments to government contracts to the process of school of choice statewide.

Tennessee State Director Tori Venable said Monday improvements in transparency can start with the rules for the session.

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Herschel Walker’s Million-Man March Through Georgia on Game Day

Strong turnout in Republican areas at the end of early voting in the Senate runoff in Georgia is giving conservatives hope that Herschel Walker can close a 200,000 vote gap Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) is estimated to hold. For Walker to win, Election-Day turnout, expected to favor the Republican, needs to hit at least one million votes.

On the day of the November 2022 General Election, about 1.5 million voters turned out, according to Mack Parnell, executive director of the Georgia branch of the nonpartisan Faith and Freedom Coalition.

“Obviously, you know, it’d be a miracle to get that same 1.5 million out, so you’re probably not going to do that. So the magic number in order to make up the margin that can be ascertained for Raphael Warnock, it’s got to be at least a million voters to come out” Parnell said, noting that would give Walker and Warnock even chances.

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Americans for Prosperity Calls Out Oracle for Reported Layoffs While Receiving Taxpayer Money

Following a report that tech company Oracle has begun laying off workers from its Nashville location, the libertarian conservative political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity is calling on state and local leaders to scrutinize the company especially after it received “nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in taxpayer money.”

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Gilbert Runs Hard Against Pelosi Speakership in Close Race for Ohio’s 13th Congressional District

When U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) came to Shaker Heights, OH this week to fundraise for Democratic 13th-District congressional candidate Emilia Sykes, Republican hopeful Madison Gesiotto Gilbert was happy to let constituents know about it.

This wasn’t the speaker’s first major show of support for Sykes; Pelosi cut her a $30,000 check via her campaign organization in July. When Pelosi flew east to support Sykes,  a state representative from Ohio’s 34th Legislative District who the National Republican Congressional Committee calls Pelosi’s “protégé,” Republican spokesperson Courtney Parella put out a statement saying, “Emilia Sykes is bought and paid for by Nancy Pelosi and would serve as a rubber stamp for Pelosi’s failed economic agenda.”

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Americans for Prosperity Gives 31 Florida Legislators an A-Plus

Americans for Prosperity-Florida (AFP-FL)  unveiled its 2022 Florida Legislative Scorecard Wednesday highlighting Florida’s elected officials who, according to AFP-FL, “championed solutions that will create more opportunity for all Floridians while standing up against harmful public policy change.”

AFP-FL stated that the scorecard “lets you know which lawmakers have championed policies that empower all Floridians to realize their potential, help others, and achieve their version of the American dream. It’s a tool for activists, the media, and the general public to learn how each senator and representative has voted and hold them to account for their decisions.”

According to the scorecard, 31 lawmakers scored an A+, 72 received an A, 35 received a B, 17 received a C, 3 received a D, and 2 lawmakers –Rep. Jervonte Edmonds and Sen. Perry Thurston— received an F.

The Florida lawmakers to receive an A+ in 2022 are all Republicans.

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Tennessee Group Wants Property Seizure Reform After Indictment of Knox County Sheriff’s Supervisor

The Tennessee chapter of Americans for Prosperity is pushing to reform the state’s forfeiture law after a former Knox County Sheriff’s Office supervisor was accused in a federal indictment of taking seized drug assets and using them for personal use.

Former Assistant Chief David Henderson, head of Knox County’s Narcotics Unit, entered a not guilty plea Friday in court, according to WBIR-TV.

Henderson is accused of using cash and narcotics unit credit cards for the purchase of personal items, including $138,000 worth of Apple products between 2011-2018, $13,000 in Yeti coolers, $2,200 for a Google Nest indoor security system and more, according to the report.

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Americans for Prosperity-Backed Bill Could Make Tennessee Politicians Think Twice Before Raising Property Taxes

A bill making its way through the Tennessee General Assembly would, if enacted into law, force local government officials to show homeowners exactly how much a property tax increase would take out of their bank accounts. Americans for Prosperity -Tennessee (AFP-TN) spokesman Grant Henry on Tuesday identified this legislation by two different names: Stop Surprise Taxes or Truth in Advertising.

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Americans for Prosperity Talks Future Strategy After Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act Cancelled

The cancellation of the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act referendum has prompted officials with Americans for Prosperity – Tennessee (AFP-TN) to renew their efforts to pass a state law to control a city or county’s reckless spending habits. AFP-TN Grassroots Engagement Director Grant Henry explained the proposed law this week on YouTube.

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Supreme Court Rules Against California Requirement That Exposes Non-Profit Donations

In a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court struck down a California requirement, pushed by Vice President Kamala Harris while she was Attorney General, that would force the disclosure of donations to various non-profits.

In an opinion siding with the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) and Americans For Prosperity (AFP), who both sued the state, Chief Justice John Roberts stated, “The government may regulate in the First Amendment area only with narrow specificity, and compelled disclosure regimes are no exception.”

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Historic Income Tax Overhaul Reduces Burden by 13 Percent for Most Arizonans

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is expected to sign a budget bill the Arizona Legislature sent to him on Friday that includes a historic tax reform package. HB 2900 implements the lowest flat tax in the country, 2.5%. The average Arizona family will see a 13% income tax reduction, about $350 per year. According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, Arizona previously had one of the highest marginal income tax rates in the country. 

The budget bill also eliminates taxes on veterans’ retirement pay and prevents a 77% increase on small business taxes. It reduces property taxes by 10% on small businesses and job creators by 10%, capping the maximum tax rate on businesses at 4.5% and reducing commercial property taxes. According to a report by Ducey, 43% of Arizonans in the private sector work for small businesses. HB 2900 increases the homeowner’s rebate so the state covers half of homeowners’ primary property taxes.

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U.S. Rep. Mark Green on ‘End Washington Waste’ of Joe Biden’s $4 Trillion Infrastructure Plan at Americans For Prosperity Event in Nashville

Congressman Mark Green (R-TN-07) was the featured speaker along with Americans For Prosperity (AFP) President Tim Phillips at an “End Washington Waste” event hosted by AFP-Tennessee Monday evening.

The discussion focused on President Joe Biden’s $4 trillion infrastructure proposal, which was called out several times throughout the evening for being a “tax and spend” bill.

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U.S. Rep. Mark Green and Americans for Prosperity Schedule Nashville Event to Warn About Joe Biden’s $4 Trillion Infrastructure Plans

Mark Green

Members of Americans for Prosperity — Tennessee (AFP-TN) have scheduled an event where they will host U.S. Mark Green (R-TN-07) and AFP President Tim Phillips to discuss what they say are significant problems with U.S. President Joe Biden’s $4 trillion infrastructure proposal. The event, which AFP officials have titled the End Washington Waste Event, is scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. Monday, May 24, at the Bold Patriot Brewing Company at 410 39th Ave. N. in Nashville.

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Commentary: Open Borders Oligarch Charles Koch Re-Emerges to Oppose Trump and ‘America First’

The billionaire financier Charles Koch abandoned the Republican Party in the age of President Donald Trump, but he has returned on a white horse following the disputed election to preach the globalist cosmopolitan doctrines that previously had turned the GOP into a national laughingstock.

Koch penned an op-ed for CNN last week in which he urged Republicans to support amnesty for illegal aliens. He framed it as if allowing illegal immigrants to break the law is the “one thing we should all agree on” across the political spectrum.

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‘Vindictive’ Americans for Prosperity Foundation FOIA Lawsuit Targets Conservatives Working to Repeal Section 230

The Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF) has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) against the U.S. Department of Commerce seeking access to communication records of conservative individuals and groups that are fighting to repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Their FOIA request with Department of Commerce sub-agency, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) targets “emails,  text messages, and other communications from NTIA Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce Adam Candeub, who was recently named to a senior position at the Department of Justice, and others.”

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More Than 500 Exemptions Protect Companies Getting Secret Taxpayer-Funded Deals, AFP-Tennessee Says

FRANKLIN — There are companies in Tennessee have accepted government incentives. The taxpayers who had to pay for it aren’t allowed to know about most, if not all the details because of a series of exemptions, at least 538 at the state level. This, according to members of Americans For Prosperity – Tennessee, who hosted their 2019 Legislative Preview Thursday at their Franklin headquarters. AFP members showcased their priorities for the coming legislative session in Nashville. Transparency, according to literature AFP organizers released Thursday, “is for the government and privacy is for the people.” That’s why AFP members said they will support what is known as the Fairness Accountability and Clarity in Tax Subsidies Act. AFP members said this bill “will lift the veil on tax incentives” and provide much needed accountability and transparency. “We believe that if government passes out your tax dollars then you should be aware of it. They should be held accountable so that if a business says they’ll bring 5,000 jobs and they only bring 500 jobs then they will not actually get that full payout,” said AFP-Tennessee State Director Tori Venable. “We are an income tax-free state. We would like to see the tax…

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Gubernatorial Candidate Mae Beavers on the Gas Tax Increasing IMPROVE Act: ‘The Joke Is On The People Who Put the Plan Together’

MOUNT JULIET, Tennessee — Gubernatorial candidate Sen. Mae Beavers at an Americans For Prosperity Town Hall meeting Monday evening honoring her and Rep. Mark Pody for voting against the gas tax, said “I think the joke is on the people who put the plan together.”  Sen. Beavers was referring to the IMPROVE Act, 4 cent gas and 6 cent diesel tax increases set to go into effect July 1 and then an additional 1 cent and 2 cents, respectively, on July 1, 2018, just before the state primaries are held on August 2, 2018. Given the results of the recent Tennessee Star poll where 48.1 percent of likely Republican primary voters responded that they were more likely to support a gubernatorial candidate who promises to repeal, Sen. Beavers may be right about the impact to State House and Senate incumbents who voted for the gas tax. Sen. Beavers is the only one of three declared gubernatorial candidates who is making the repeal of the gas tax a major topic of her campaign platform. “Most of you know, I was around for the state income tax fight, and this was completely different,” said Beavers of the IMPROVE Act.  “It seems like…

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American for Prosperity Launches Major Campaign to ‘Un-Rig’ the U.S. Economy Through Pro-Growth Tax Reforms

Tennessee Star

  Americans for Prosperity (AFP) announced Friday it has launched the first in a series of ads calling on members of Congress to “un-rig” the U.S. economy by passing pro-growth tax reform. The ad campaign will run in the six-figure range, and appear on digital platforms targeting abut a dozen members of Congress as a part of a summer-long push to shape the House of Representative’s tax-reform efforts around five pro-growth principles. Rep. Black chairs the Budget Committee and is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which will write the tax reform bill the House will consider later this year. AFP – Tennessee’s State Director Andy Ogles said in a statement, “Americans want a tax system that is honest and fair, which will grow the economy and create jobs.” Ogles added: We hope Rep. Black will fight back against the current rigged tax system by leading the effort to pass pro-growth tax reform based on AFP’s 5 Principles of simplicity, efficiency, equitability, predictability, and no new burden on taxpayers. That means opposing a border adjustment tax – a trillion-dollar tax on consumers masquerading as a tax on imports. Included in the first round of ads is one…

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70 Grassroots Activists Honor Gas Tax Opponents at Knoxville Event

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Seventy grassroots activists came out to hear a debriefing Tuesday evening on the recently concluded legislative session by Knoxville Republican gas tax opponents Representatives Roger Kane and Jason Zachary at an Americans For Prosperity (AFP) West Knoxville Town Hall.  Kane and Zachary were recognized by AFP’s Deputy State Director, James Amundsen, as the only two Knoxville representatives who voted against the gas tax increase. Representatives Zachary and Kane gave opening comments to the standing room only crowd at O’Charley’s on Parkside Drive in the Turkey Creek section of Knoxville followed by a question and answer session for an event that ran more than an hour. Zachary started his comments by passing out and reviewing two handouts printed on his official letterhead, “Under Conservative Leadership, Tennessee is a Better Place To Live, Work, And Raise A Family” and “Bills Passed On Behalf Of District 14, 2017 Session.”  As he went through the six bills, HB 0055, 0056, 0057, 0362, 0368 and 0469, Zachary explained how they came about through requests by individuals, making the point that “especially at the state level, one person can make a tremendous difference.” Kane made a similar point when he said, “We actually…

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AFP Sponsors ‘Day at the Capitol’ for Key Vote in Louisiana Gas Tax Hike Battle

Tennessee Star

  If it seems like every other State in the Union has either raised their fuel tax – or is working on it – it’s because they are. A full 21 states’ legislatures have proposed raising the gas tax, and more of those proposals have been successful than not. California and Tennessee consumers will see a sharp increase in prices at the pump thanks to increased taxes; while South Carolina’s governor just spared his constituency by vetoing a gas tax hike. Louisiana is up next, with a vote Tuesday in the powerful Ways and Means Committee which will determine the fate of a years-long battle to raise the gas tax there. Americans for Prosperity (AFP), whose Tennessee state group opposed the gas tax in Tennessee, is sponsoring a “Day at the Capitol” through its Louisiana state group. Activists are called to gather Tuesday, May 16 in Baton  Rouge from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Ways and Means Committee room. The hearing begins at 9:30 a.m. The Hayride reports: There are 19 members of the House Ways And Means Committee – 12 Republicans and seven Democrats. HB 632 by Rep. Steve Carter, which is the gas tax bill, has eight…

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80 Percent of Speaker Beth Harwell’s Constituents Contacted by AFP Door Knocking Oppose Gas Tax Increase

  Americans for Prosperity (AFP) Tennessee organized a Day of Action Saturday during which volunteers knocked on doors in Speaker Beth Harwell’s (R-Nashville) district asking constituents whether they were in favor of a gas tax increase, or wanted revenues from the $2 billion surplus to be used for funding of road projects. Shawn Hatmaker, AFP Tennessee’s Field Director told The Tennessee Star that the overwhelming majority, 80 percent in fact, of respondents said they were opposed to a gas tax increase and wanted existing revenues to be used. As her constituents, respondents were encouraged by AFP volunteers to contact Speaker Harwell to urge her to push forward with the plan she announced last week.  The plan, which Speaker Harwell addressed briefly Thursday, that does not raise any taxes, but simply transfers sales tax revenues already collected on new and used vehicles from the General Fund to the Highway Fund. Respondents as well as those not at home were left with a door hanger that provided an overview of Governor Haslam’s gas tax increase plan versus Speaker Harwell’s proposal that also included contact information for her office. Ed Smith is a Heritage Action Sentinel as well as an AFP volunteer who…

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Americans For Prosperity To Hold ‘A Gas Tax Day Of Action’ In Speaker Harwell’s District

Tennessee Star

  Americans For Prosperity-Tennessee (AFP) announced ‘A Day of Action’ in the fight against the gas tax hike in the home district of Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville), in order to encourage her to oppose the unpopular measure. Volunteers will be door-knocking all day Saturday, April 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Belle Meade, Forest Hills and Oak Hill areas of Nashville. Full details are available on AFP’s Facebook page. The gas tax increase is the more common term applied to Governor Haslam’s IMPROVE Act – recently renamed the “Tax Cut Act of 2017” – which, in its current form, includes a 6 cent per gallon gas tax increase and a 10 ten cent per gallon diesel tax increase. The tax hikes are slated to be phased in over a three-year period to fund the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT) list of 962 projects that currently carry a $10.5 billion price tag. Speaker Harwell has played a key role this session in the advancement of the gas tax through the Tennessee House of Representaives. At the outset of the current 110th Tennessee General Assembly, she assigned the members and picked the chairmen of the House Committees and Subcommittees including the critical…

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Fifty Leading Tennessee Conservatives Send Open Letter to State Legislature Opposing Gas Tax Increase

Fifty leading Tennessee conservatives have sent an open letter to the Tennessee General Assembly opposing Gov. Haslam’s proposed IMPROVE Act, which includes a 7 cents per gallon gas tax increase and a 12 cents per gallon diesel tax increase. The letter was released Tuesday morning, on the same day the House Transportation Committee is scheduled to vote on the IMPROVE Act. Conservative political strategist Steve Gill noted: “The names on this letter should raise concerns among Republican legislators. These are the exact types of conservative political activists who run in Republican primaries, recruit others to run in Republican primaries, and help those who run in Republican primaries.” Gill said that a gas tax increase, if passed, will likely be THE issue in 2018 Republican primary races. “Voters will essentially have a referendum to repeal the tax by replacing those who voted for it with those who will vote to repeal the tax increase,” Gill noted. “The mail pieces and radio adds against the tax increasers almost write themselves.” Another Republican political consultant pointed out the ideological impact of the current internal policy battles in the Republican Party at the state and national level. “The Ryan Obamacare-lite plan may expand the…

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