Gov. Lee Has Not Made Decision on Whether to Refuse Refugees

Gov. Bill Lee said Thursday he hasn’t decided if he’ll accept President Donald Trump’s offer to let states refuse to accept refugees, U.S. News reported. The governor added he has not spoken to his team about how he will respond to this executive order.

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U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty Leaves Position, Is Expected to Run for Lamar Alexander’s Senate Seat

  U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty has left the Land of the Rising Sun to return to the Volunteer State in a likely run for Lamar Alexander’s Senate seat. Hagerty tweeted, “Farewell Japan, and thank you for the incredible hospitality you have shown me and my family.  These past…

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The Tennessee Star Report: Rep. Mark Green Discusses How Democrats Want a ‘Different Country’

  During a discussion Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Gill and Leahy spoke to Congressman Mark Green about how he will not be running for the Tennessee Senate…

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Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty Endorsed by President Trump for U.S. Senate Seat

  President Donald Trump has endorsed Bill Hagerty, the current ambassador to Japan, in the U.S. Senate race in Tennessee. “Tennessee loving Bill Hagerty, who was my Tennessee Victory Chair and is now the very outstanding Ambassador to Japan, will be running for the U.S. Senate. He is strong on…

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The Tennessee Star Report Talks to Club for Growth’s David McIntosh About Tennessee Senate Race and the Freshman Democrats Running to the Left

  On Thursday’s Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Gill chatted with long time friend, David McIntosh, chairman of Club for Growth, about Bill Haslam’s decision not to…

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Tennessee Star Poll Shows Haslam Leads Green by 9 Statewide Among GOP Primary Voters in U.S. Senate Matchup, But Green Has Lead in Middle Tennessee

On Friday’s Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – the duo dissected the recent Tennessee Star Triton poll numbers which show former Gov. Bill Haslam leads Rep. Mark Green…

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Tennessee Star Poll: Haslam Faces Difficult Challenge If He Seeks GOP Nomination for U.S. Senate

A new Tennessee Star poll reveals that former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam could face a serious challenge if he seeks the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Lamar Alexander. As noted previously in the Tennessee Star, Haslam’s approval lags far below the support level for…

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Tennessee Star Poll: Bill Haslam Lags Far Behind Trump, Blackburn and Lee Among Likely Republican Primary Voters in Approval Rating

A new Tennessee Star poll reveals that President Donald Trump is retaining his consistently sky-high approval ratings among likely Republican Primary voter (87.7 percent), with Governor Bill Lee (73.5 percent) and Senator Marsha Blackburn (76.1 percent) also enjoying extremely strong support. However, former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam is slightly below…

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Haslam Talks About Possible 2020 Senate Run with His Friend, Vice President Mike Pence

Former Gov. Bill Haslam reportedly met with Vice President Mike Pence to talk about possibly running for the Senate, and Pence encouraged him to make the bid, Politico reported. Haslam has been interested in running for the seat being vacated next year by U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN). Haslam and Pence…

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Club for Growth PAC Airs Haslam’s ‘Dirty Laundry’ in Video, Website

Club for Growth Action, a conservative Super PAC, has a message for former Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam: You’re not welcome in the 2020 Senate race. Club for Growth Action last week released a 60-second digital ad, according to a press release here. The video is available to watch here.…

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Taxpayer-Funded TSBA Has $5.3 Million in Assets, Paid Top Two Execs $499k Annually, Offers Special Access to Business Affiliates

The taxpayer-funded Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA) had $5.3 million in assets at the end of 2017 and paid its top two executives $499,000 annually in 2016, according to audited financial statements and IRS Form 990 reports. The TSBA filed those reports, which The Tennessee Star obtained copies of this…

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Bill Haslam Joins Never-Trumper Bill Kristol and Abdul El-Sayed at Liberal DC Institute

Now that Bill Haslam has left office as Tennessee’s governor,  he has joined several Never-Trumpers as “spring fellows” instructors at American University’s Sine Institute of Politics in Washington, D.C. The fellowship’s website says, “As an incubator for policy innovation and convener of the best minds in the public, private, and…

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Governor Bill Lee Delivers Inspiring Inaugural Address Short on Specifics

NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Republican Bill Lee took the oath as governor on Saturday and then delivered a broadly inspiring, almost pastoral, inaugural address in a 15-minute speech that did not provide much in the way of the specifics of his agenda. The inauguration was held indoors at War Memorial Auditorium due to…

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Local Entrepreneur Robert C. Sherrill Receives Pardon from Gov. Bill Haslam

Robert C. Sherrill has been running for a long time. In 2002, he ran away from a youth halfway house that made him serve time in an adult prison when he was finally captured. His running, in his words, comes from being in a broken family. When his father passed…

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Company Accused of Screwing Up TNReady Wants Another Chance

Tennessee auditors may have recently put out a rotten review of how Questar Assessment, Inc. handled TNReady, but that is reportedly not discouraging company officials. According to the Chattanooga-based WRCBtv.com, Questar officials want the job again. Specifically, they want a new state contract to continue overseeing the same service in…

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OFF THE RECORD: Bill Lee Names Six Additional Commissioners as He Works Toward Completing His Cabinet

Governor-elect Bill Lee will be inaugurated on Saturday January 19. As that date approaches he and his team are working feverishly to complete the selection of his Cabinet and fill many of the top deputy positions in key departments of state government. Thursday afternoon, Lee announced six new commissioners: David…

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TNReady Problems Documented in Full Detail in New Audit

The TNReady online student assessment tests had login delays, slow servers, and software bugs, according to an audit Tennessee Comptrollers released Wednesday. As reported, earlier this year Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said TNReady “has had several hiccups” and that criticism of it “was earned.” Auditors, however, went into more detail…

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JC Bowman Commentary: Time to Address Teacher Morale

There is no one size fits all strategy that will work in every school or district.  This is a recurring theme among those who believe in local control in public education.  Together, we can work to address teacher morale issues.  Once a plan is in place, it is very important to examine, evaluate, and adjust as necessary. 

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JC Bowman Commentary: What I Didn’t Say About the Departure of TN Dept. of Education Commissioner Candice McQueen

Tupac Shakur said, “Behind every sweet smile, there is a bitter sadness that no one can ever see and feel.” I spent time with Commissioner McQueen as more than a casual observer. Her heart and passion were always for the children and teachers in Tennessee.  She fought battles which nobody knew about and which, despite the lofty title in front of her name, she had little control. 

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New Studies Explore Good, Bad, and Ugly on Tennessee’s Fiscal Health

Tennessee Capital building

Two different organizations released good and bad news Tuesday about Tennessee’s fiscal health. The Washington, D.C.-based Cato Institute called out Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Haslam for “substantial spending increases in recent years.” The Mercatus Center at George Mason University, meanwhile, ranked Tennessee in the top five of the 50 states…

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Tennessee Star Poll: Governor Bill Haslam Retains Relatively High Approval Rating

Bill Haslam

As Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam moves closer to full lame-duck status when his successor is elected on November 6 it appears he will leave office with a relatively high approval rating from Tennessee voters. A Tennessee Star survey of likely November general election voter conducted in early September shows the…

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TV and Film Producers Who Cheat Tennessee Taxpayers Might Go to Jail

tv film production

A federal appeals court just ruled that states that hand out TV and film credits — as Tennessee does — can prosecute people who lie or mislead to get those corporate welfare benefits. Tennessee gave out millions of dollars in incentives to the fictionalized TV drama “Nashville” and more than…

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Gov. Bill Haslam Says Don’t Throw in the Towel on TNReady

Bill Haslam

Before he packs up and vacates the Tennessee governor’s mansion early next year, Bill Haslam wants a dialogue with you about ways to improve TNReady. Haslam, at the state capitol Tuesday, announced what he described as a listening tour to do just that. The current governor and a team of…

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JC Bowman Commentary: A Few More Thoughts on Testing in Tennessee…

students in class

All stakeholders want to get testing right.  However, the emphasis on testing misses the bigger issue:  student academic growth measured by flawed testing.  Then the results being used in educator evaluations.  This is certainly more problematic to educators than the actual tests themselves. 

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Tennessee Mayor Questions Certain TDOT Spending Priorities

James Mayberry

Take two pieces of infrastructure. Maybe one is a road. Maybe the other is a sidewalk. Both of those things are under the oversight of the Tennessee Department of Transportation. One project might need more attention than the other. Sometimes the project that doesn’t need as much attention is TDOT’s…

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Bill Lee Embraces Gov. Haslam’s Legacy

Steve Gill

On Tuesday’s Gill Report, broadcast live on WETR 92.3 FM in Knoxville, conservative pundit and Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill contemplated the contradiction of Bill Haslam’s endorsement of Bill Lee – whose base was turned off by Randy Boyd’s campaign because of his ties to Haslam. “As the campaign…

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Governor Bill Haslam Wades Into Governor’s Race with Endorsement for Republican Bill Lee

Bill Haslam, Bill Lee

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, current Chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA), is working to ensure that while he works to keep or expand the number of Republican Governors across the country he doesn’t drop the ball in his home state. He’s endorsed Republican nominee Bill Lee in a new…

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Ignore the Man Behind The Curtain: Haslam Conspires to Block Diane Black Endorsement by Trump

In the audio below, conservative political commentator and Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill of The Gill Report, broadcast live on WETR 92.3 FM in Knoxville, called out “Never-Trumper” Bill Haslam for his attempts to block a Trump endorsement for Tennessee’s Diane Black in the Tennessee Governor’s race and whether…

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Randy Boyd Is Silent As Far Left and Big Business Interests Push Gov. Haslam to Veto Anti-Sanctuary City Bill

Randy Boyd and Bill Haslam

The anti-sanctuary city legislation sponsored by State Sen. Mark Green (R-Clarksville) and State Rep. Jay Reedy (R-Erin) and passed overwhelmingly by the Tennessee General Assembly has been signed by Speaker of the House Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) and on Thursday was formally transmitted to…

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Mae Beavers Calls on Randy Boyd to Return and Refuse Donations from Haslam Family

Tennessee Star

Mae Beavers released the following statement today on the NFL protests, Randy Boyd, and the Haslam family’s support for the radical leftists pushing the un-American protests of the National Anthem. “Randy Boyd should immediately return any donations the Haslams have made to his campaign,” Beavers opened. “What’s more, Randy Boyd…

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Commentary: Are the Haslams the First Family of the Never Trumpers?

There may be plenty of “Never Trumpers” on the Republican side of the aisle, with John Kasich and Jeb Bush immediately coming to mind, but no family can claim more current political power in the “Never Trumper” sphere than the Haslam family of Tennessee. The controversial NFL protests against the…

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