Bill Lee Agrees With Gov. Haslam That Transgender Bathroom Issue Does Not Need Leadership From the State

Bill Lee

Governor Haslam and Bill Lee propose the same approach to the use of school bathrooms and locker rooms by students whose choice of gender and anatomy may not match. Both Haslam and Lee have said that this issue does not require leadership from the state but instead, should be problem-solved at the local level. Shortly after a May 2016, “dear colleague” letter was issued by the Obama Department of Education advising school districts to protect access by students to bathrooms and locker rooms “consistent with their gender identity” or risk violating federal law and jeopardizing federal funds, Haslam issued the following statement: The White House itself has said what they issued last week is not an enforcement action and does not make any additional requirements under the law. Congress has the authority to write the law, not the executive branch, and we disagree with the heavy-handed approach the Obama administration is taking. Decisions on sensitive issues such as these should continue to be made at the local level based on the unique needs of students, families, schools and districts while working closely with the local school board counsel, understanding that this is an emerging area of law that will ultimately…

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New Poll Shows Bill Lee Leads GOP Gubernatorial Primary

Bill Lee, Randy Boyd, Diane Black

A new poll released by JMC Analytics and Polling on Monday morning shows that Bill Lee now leads the Republican gubernatorial primary. The poll of 500 registered Republican voters conducted between July 18 and July 21 puts Lee in first place with 26 percent, followed by Randy Boyd in second with 20 percent. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-06) in third with 19 percent, and Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) in fourth place with 16 percent. Seventeen percent are undecided. “The main takeaways are as follows: (1) Donald Trump remains popular among Tennessee Republicans, and (2) with the primary less than two weeks away (and as of this past Friday, 179,504 have early voted in the Republican primary), Bill Lee leads in the race, and the other three major contenders are not far behind, although his “lead” is at the periphery of the margin of error, depending on whether undecided “leaners” are included,” JMC noted in its statement accompanying the release of the poll Monday. The poll has a margin of error of 4.4 percent and has plenty of caveats. First, the poll was of registered voters only, not likely Republican primary voters. Just 71 percent of the poll respondents…

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Judson Phillips Commentary: Diane Black and Freedom

One of the issues I have worked on for several years has been IRS abuse. The attitude and actions of the Internal Revenue Service towards conservatives has been nothing short of shocking. IRS employees gave 94% of their political contributions to Hillary Clinton. IRS workers were busted for telling people to vote for Barack Obama. Lois Lerner, the infamous former IRS executive, targeted conservative and Tea Party groups. Lerner and her ilk did not simply delay non-profit approval for these groups. Conservatives and conservative groups were targeted for auditing and worse. In 2014, every 501(C)(4) group that was audited by the IRS was a conservative group. What a lot of people do not know is that when the IRS scandal broke in 2013, Lerner and Obama appointees from the Department of Justice were conspiring to prosecute conservatives for the crime of being conservative. All of this leads to something called Schedule B and Diane Black. Schedule B is an addendum that has to be filed by non-profit groups, listing their donors. Left wing groups and left wing Attorneys General want these documents. Why? Because with a donor list, they can harass the donors for conservative organizations and some of these…

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Diane Black To Hold Major Campaign Fundraiser in Washington, D.C. for Re-Election to Congress, Not Gubernatorial Run

Rep. Diane Black is holding a major campaign fundraiser at a high end restaurant in Washington, D.C. on Thursday night. But the event is to raise money for her re-election campaign to Congress, not her long rumored but yet-to-be announced gubernatorial campaign. Thursday night’s fundraiser will be held at Ocean Prime, one of the premiere eating establishments on Capitol Hill. The menu, which features a Ribeye Steak for $52 and Dutch Harbor King Crab Legs for $65, is well suited to Washington lobbyists, but a far cry from the Cracker Barrels that dot the I-40 corridor of the Sixth Congressional District Black represents in Tennessee. The news of Black’s Congressional fundraiser has veteran political tea leaf readers across the state of Tennessee scratching their heads. Does Black intend to run for governor, or will she drop that effort, where she will face stiff competition from three announced candidates–Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd, Williamson County businessman Bill Lee, and State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet)–and opt for the safe route of an easy re-election in 2018 to represent Tennessee’s Sixth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives? “Her chairmanship will undoubtedly boost her haul from the fundraiser,” a Capitol Hill insider…

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Seven Republican Candidates For Governor To Speak At Rutherford County Event

  Republican candidates for Tennessee governor will speak at this year’s Reagan Day Dinner sponsored by the Rutherford County GOP. The lineup for the May 25 event will include seven “announced and expected Republican gubernatorial candidates,” according to promotional material. They include businessmen Randy Boyd and Bill Lee, Congresswoman Diane Black, State Senators Mark Green (R-Clarksville), Mark Norris (R-Collierville) and Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet), and Speaker of the State House of Representatives Beth Harwell (R-Nashville). Only Boyd and Lee have announced to date. Part of the mission of local chapters of the Republican Party is to inform voters about candidates running for office, said Donna Barrett, chair of the Rutherford County GOP. “What better way than to have the candidates present at functions where we can personally hear where they stand on issues?” Barrett told The Tennessee Star. On the most important state issues in 2017, the gas tax increase included in the IMPROVE Act passed by the Tennessee General Assembly and signed by Gov. Haslam, the seven announced and expected Republican gubernatorial candidates hold positions that range from support to opposition to no comment so far. State Senator Mark Norris and Speaker of the House Beth Harwell voted yes…

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