Advocates Press Lawmakers to Pass Ohio Bill Lifting Statute of Limitations for Rape Cases

A group of parents, grandparents, and concerned citizens are backing a bill in the Ohio legislature that would lift the statute of limitations on rape cases in addition to a bill that aims to provide age-appropriate sexual abuse prevention education to school children.

A group of Ohioans, who call themselves Ohioans for Child Protection, gathered at the Statehouse on October 20th, to urge lawmakers to pass House bills (HB) 266 and 105 into law in the state of Ohio.

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Ohio Law Officers Enforce New Law Making Lights Mandatory on Amish Buggies

A new Ohio law HB30 that went into effect at the end of August is requiring Amish buggies and other animal-drawn vehicles to display a new type of high visibility tape and a yellow flashing light when on public streets.

As law enforcement in Northeast Ohio begins to enforce this law they have strived to educate the Amish community about the new requirements.

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New Ohio Law Gives All Women Access to Preventive Breast Screening

House Bill (HB) 371 “The Breast Cancer Bill” was signed into law Friday by Governor Mike DeWine. The new legislation brings more access to additional breast cancer screenings for all women throughout the state.

“The bill originally passed the Ohio House with zero opposition testimony, and 89 representatives voting in favor and only two against – a rarity for politics, even in Ohio. With bipartisan support, and unanimous support from Ohio’s medical community, HB 371 is a powerful example of what laws can accomplish,” the bill’s joint sponsor and State Representative Sedrick Denson (D-Cincinnati) said.

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Arizona Supreme Court Resurrects Omni Resort, Arizona State University Land Court Battle

Arizona State University sign

Both sides are declaring victory after the Arizona Supreme Court released a mixed opinion that ultimately allows Attorney General Mark Brnovich to go after a deal between hotelier Omni Hotels and the Board of Regents.

The state’s high court overturned two of four charges denied in an appellate ruling in State et al. v. Arizona Board of Regents et al.

Brnovich filed the lawsuit against the governing body of the state’s three public universities in January 2019 over a 60-year lease it struck with the hotel chain to build a new location on public land near Arizona State University’s Tempe campus. The deal entails benefits for the university at the hotel and allows the company to purchase the land at the end of the lease. In the meantime, the hotel would pay no property taxes.

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New Lawsuits Challenge Arizona Voting Law

Arizona’s newest voting law requiring a citizenship certification faces two legal challenges.

Late last week, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and Barton Mendez Soto PLLC filed the lawsuit on behalf of Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Arizona Students’ Association (ASA), and the Arizona Democracy Resource Center (ADRC). The organizations say that the state’s new measures to ensure that registered voters are U.S. Citizens restrict the right to vote in the state. 

“The law’s new registration requirements discriminate against voters such as college and university students, married people who change their name and naturalized citizens, creating unnecessary barriers that prevent them from freely exercising their right to vote,” a press release from CLC said. 

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Racine State Senator Files Ballot-Harvesting Complaint with Wisconsin Elections Commission

The Wisconsin Elections Commission is once again being asked to weigh in on who can return ballots.

Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, on Tuesday filed a ballot harvesting complaint with the Commission, claiming the city of Racine is allowing people to return ballots for other voters.

“The law has been clear for months – you must return your own ballot.” Wanggaard said. “Racine is intentionally ignoring the law. Not liking the law doesn’t make it okay. Hoping for a different Supreme Court ruling in a few months does not make it okay. The law is the law.”

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New Michigan Law Saves School Districts $8 Million in Interest

School bus

The School Loan Revolving Fund (SLRF) interest rate dropped to 1.19% last week, saving some local school districts about $8 million in interest.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law Senate Bill 618 that adjusted the SLRF interest rate.

“Every student, in every district, has a birthright to a phenomenal public education so they can pursue their potential,” Whitmer said in a statement. “With these cost savings, we will have even more resources to invest where they matter most – in our students, teachers, and classrooms. I am proud of the work the Michigan Legislature and I have done to close the funding gap between districts and increase per-pupil funding to its highest amount ever.”

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Whitmer Vetoes Michigan GOP Election Bills

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed two bills that aimed to keep voter roll lists updated – a security risk flagged by the state auditor in 2019.

House Bill 4127 and House Bill 4128 aimed to require the Secretary of State to send notices to registered electors with an unknown date of birth in the Qualified Voter File and to those who haven’t voted since the 2000 general election, within 90 days of the bill’s effective date. 

That registered elector would have to sign the notice, add a date of birth, and mail back a copy of an original birth certificate, current driver’s license, or state personal ID card.

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Child Rapist Given Light Sentence by Ketanji Jackson, then Caught Again

Ketanji Brown Jackson

Over a decade ago, a convicted child rapist was given a light sentence by Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, only to commit another crime after his sentencing.

According to the New York Post, Leo Weekes was convicted in 2010 of raping his 13-year-old niece in 2006. He was sentenced to serve 16 months in jail, plus 4 years of supervised probation, and was ordered to register as a sex offender for the next 10 years. Weekes subsequently failed to register and evaded authorities by lying about his residence, claiming in 2013 to be in Washington D.C. when he in fact lived in Temple Hills, Maryland.

In February of 2014, Weekes was brought before Brown, who was then U.S. District Court Judge of the District of Columbia, after pleading guilty to the charge of failing to register as a sex offender. The prosecutors requested that Weekes be sentenced to two years in jail with an additional five years of supervised release, while his defense attorneys requested a sentence of 10 months and three years of supervised release.

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Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Launches Veterans’ Diversion Program

Woman in Army uniform

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is launching a new pre-trial diversion program for military veterans. 

The Veterans’ Diversion Program, which begins on April 4, 2022, aims to provide evidence-based services and treatment to some veterans before a conviction.

The County Attorney’s Office notes that some veterans have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and cannot access treatment. The office notes that this can result in domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, mental health disorders, and suicide. 

The Veterans’ Diversion Program will try to identify and treat those issues, according to a press release issued on Wednesday this week. A veteran who completes the program can have their charges dismissed.

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Measure to Allow Gambling in Georgia Advances

interior of a casino with slot machines

Georgia voters soon could decide whether to allow sports wagering and casino gambling.

The House Economic Development and Tourism Committee signed off this week on versions of Senate Resolution 135 and Senate Bill 142. If approved, voters could decide on the measures as soon as November.

Legalizing sports wagering and casino gambling in The Peach State has been an on-again-off-again proposition for years. The passage of the most-recent legislation could face long odds as the state Legislature is in its final days.

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Commentary: More Problems Envelop the Scandalous FBI

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) - Minneapolis Field Office

“You’re in big f*****g trouble.”

So said an FBI agent to Julian Khater, one of two men accused of assaulting Capitol police officers with pepper spray on January 6, during a tense interrogation last year. Desperate to sustain the falsehood that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was killed by Trump supporters during the Capitol protest, the FBI claimed to possess video footage that showed Khater and his friend, George Tanios, attacking Sicknick and other officers with chemical spray. Khater was arrested on an airplane at the Newark airport on March 14, 2021 after he arrived home from a trip to Florida.

For more than two hours—shackled to a metal bar in a freezing room at the New Jersey FBI field office—Khater, who has no criminal record, was interrogated without a lawyer present. FBI Special Agent Riley Palmertree refused to tell Khater why he was under arrest until he agreed to proceed without counsel in the room, which Khater reluctantly did. Recently released video confirms Khater initially told the agents he “would feel more comfortable if I had a lawyer” answering questions on his behalf. An hour later, Khater again said he wanted his lawyer.

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Georgia House Approves ‘Constitutional Carry’ Legislation

person holding hand gun

Georgians soon could be able to carry guns outside their houses without a license.

The Georgia House voted, 100-67, Wednesday in favor of Senate Bill 319 to eliminate the need for a permit. Currently, Georgians must obtain a firearms license, which costs about $75 but may vary by county.

The “constitutional carry” measure now returns to the Senate to consider changes the House made to the bill. A similar piece of legislation, House Bill 1358, is pending in the state Senate.

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Wisconsin Election Managers to Mail ‘Movers’ Postcards This Week

Anthony LoCoco

The latest step in double-checking Wisconsin’s voter rolls begins this week.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission on Friday said it will send postcards to thousands of “movers” in the state to check if they are still living where they are registered to vote.

“WEC is required to make contact with these voters,” the Commission said in a letter to local election managers last week. “The postcard notifies voters that a transaction with the WisDOT Division of Motor Vehicles or a National Change of Address database update indicates their address may be different than their voter registration address.”

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Phoenix Nets Most Inbound Movers, Study Finds

Phoenix home

People are moving to Arizona in droves, especially the Phoenix area.

Last year, the Phoenix metro area took the top spot nationwide in terms of the number of people moving to the city compared to the rate at which people were leaving the city, according to a study conducted by Allied.

Meanwhile, Arizona as a whole was a popular state for people to move to, even outside of the Phoenix metro area; it ranked fifth among inbound states in the country last year. States that ranked ahead of Arizona on the list included: South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Florida. Meanwhile, Arizona ranked ahead of Texas on the list.

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Felony Suspect Bailed Out by Minnesota Freedom Fund Charged with Auto Theft Three Days Later

Ismail Hussein

The Minnesota Freedom Fund supplied bail for a suspect who had been in custody on a felony charge after being arrested in a stolen vehicle in Bloomington. Three days after being bailed out by the organization, the man stole a vehicle in Minneapolis and crashed it into a building while trying to flee, charges say.

The controversial nonprofit bail fund, MFF, which raised over $40 million in celebrity-fueled donations during and after the George Floyd riots in 2020, has come under fire several times since then. The organization raised millions on the premise that it would bail out any peaceful protesters arrested at the time. But instead, the organization has repeatedly bailed out offenders with violent or lengthy criminal histories, some of whom have subsequently been charged with new crimes while out on bail, including murder, sex crimes and serious assaults.

One recent repeat offender bailed out by MFF is Ismail Mohamed Hussein, 23, of Minneapolis. In addition to having ten prior convictions since 2019, including felony charges of theft and first-degree burglary of an occupied dwelling, Hussein was arrested at least four times in just 23 days in January of this year.

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Commentary: The Next Jan. 6 Trial Might Expose Another Justice Department Lie

empty courtroom

Federal prosecutors last week scored a big victory after a Washington, D.C., jury took less than three hours to find Guy Reffitt, the first January 6 defendant to stand trial, guilty on all counts.

The Justice Department’s winning streak might be short-lived, however. Prosecutors will have a tougher task with the trial starting Monday for Couy Griffin, the “Cowboys for Trump” leader arrested for his minor and nonviolent involvement in the Capitol protest on January 6.

Griffin was the subject of my very first article over a year ago on the Justice Department’s abusive prosecution of January 6 protesters in which, coincidentally, I asked the rhetorical question, “Where is the outrage over America’s political prisoners?” as official Washington was in a tizzy over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s imprisonment of his country’s star dissident.

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Commentary: Stimulus Checks Are the Latest Immigration Scam

A great plague of our contemporary political landscape is that one bad policy begets even more bad policies. Such is the case with many of America’s existing immigration laws.

Federal law, for example, calls for specific enforcement protocols. But our elected representatives have decided that some of those protocols simply should be ignored. This mindset led to ideas like catching and then releasing illegal aliens into our communities, preventing local law enforcement from working with federal law enforcement, and “sanctuary” cities where those who have broken our laws can hide from accountability.

From this witches’ brew of bad ideas has come the latest product rollout, one suited for our time: stimulus checks for illegal aliens. Using the economic damage caused by COVID-19 as a pretext, anti-borders activists and their allied politicians have found a way to sustain those here illegally while creating further incentives for even more foreign nationals to move here.

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Hunter Biden Ex-Partner Tries to Avoid Starting Prison Sentence, Prosecutors Object Strenuously

Hunter Biden’s ex-business partner was convicted nearly four years ago of securities fraud and still he has not spent a day in prison. And now Devon Archer’s lawyers are trying to delay his punishment yet again with a new appeal that did not amuse federal prosecutors.

Archer faces one year and one day in prison and was ordered last month to pay financial penalties of $15 million and over $43 million in restitution.

His arguments to appeal and postpone serving prison time have no merit, the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan told the trial judge Monday.

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Youngkin to Go After Unemployment Fraud, Gets Thanks from Virginia Businesses

Woman organizing table contents in restaurant

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced a deal aimed at cracking down on fraudulent unemployment claims, a move that garnered support from members of the business community.

The governor and Attorney General Jason Miyares signed an agreement with the Virginia Employment Commission, which allows the attorney general to represent the VEC in the prosecution of criminal unemployment compensation fraud cases.

“The VEC has asked that I take on this responsibility, and I enthusiastically agreed to the VEC’s request,” Miyares said in a statement. “Protecting the Commonwealth from crime is one of my top priorities as Attorney General. Fraudulent claims must be prosecuted and fraud on the unemployment fund diverts resources from those who need them most.”

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Georgia Senate Approves Bill to Ban Teaching ‘Divisive Concepts’

Bo Hatchett

Georgia teachers would be banned from teaching “divisive concepts” in the classroom under legislation signed off on by the Georgia Senate.

Senators voted, 34-20, in favor of Senate Bill 377. The legislation now heads to the state House, where lawmakers previously passed similar legislation, House Bill 1084.

The bill outlines nine “divisive concepts,” including that one “race or ethnicity is inherently superior to another race or ethnicity” and that an “individual’s moral character is inherently determined by his or her race, skin color, or ethnicity.”

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Lamont: Family First Prevention Plan Gains Federal Approval

Ned Lamont

A plan that provides greater access to mental health services and substance abuse treatment has received federal approval, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced the Family First Prevention Plan was approved by the U.S. Children’s Bureau. The plan is drawn from the Family First Prevention Services Act that was signed into law as part of the U.S. Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

“This prevention plan is designed to enhance the well-being of all of Connecticut’s children, youth, and families,” Lamont said in the release. “I am very proud of the collaborative and deliberate approach taken by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families to lead this effort. This is Connecticut’s plan and one that will lead to our children having a brighter future.”

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Proposed Law Would Stop Ohio Communities from Prohibiting Vacation Rentals

Sarah Fowler

Ohioans who want to rent their homes on a short-term basis as vacation rentals or an AirBNB could not be stopped by local governments if a bill recently introduced in the Ohio House becomes law.

House Bill 563 would prohibit local regulations that would place outright bans on short-term rentals and limit the duration of use. It would not stop local municipalities from regulating the rentals but would require those regulations are the same as long-term rentals.

“Ohioans should always have the right to use what is often their most valuable asset, their homes, as an investment to make money through short-term rental,” Rep. Sarah Fowler Arthur, R-Ashtabula, said. “Short-term rentals also help drive traffic to countless small businesses – restaurants, shops and tourist attractions – across the state. Eliminating short-term rentals hurts Ohio’s economy.” 

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Minneapolis City Report Describes Leadership Failures During George Floyd Riots

George Floyd protest in Minneapolis with "I can't breathe" cardboard sign

The Minneapolis City Council received an 86-page report Tuesday from independent auditors that offers the most in-depth look yet at the city’s failure to respond effectively to the George Floyd riots.

The highly-anticipated report, conducted by an outside firm called Hillard Heintze at the city’s request, devotes an entire section to “Leadership Issues.”

The report’s authors state that “minimal direction” came from Mayor Jacob Frey’s office and other city departments.

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Commentary: The FBI Goes on Trial in the Whitmer Case

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Jury selection begins in a Grand Rapids courtroom Tuesday morning in the federal trial of four men accused of conspiring to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020.

The long-awaited trial centers on the question of whether a loose band of misfits angry at pandemic lockdowns hatched a sinister plot to abduct Whitmer from her vacation cottage and possibly kill her—or if the foiled caper was yet another successful attempt by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to interfere in a election and sabotage Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Timing of the trial could not be worse for the scandal-plagued agency quickly losing the trust of the American people. Top FBI officials refuse to account for its role in the events of January 6, 2021, raising concerns even among some in Congress that FBI assets acted improperly before and during that day. The first trials of January 6 defendants start this month but the Justice Department has yet to make hundreds of thousands of FBI files available to defense attorneys.

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Ohio Bill Takes Aim at Workers’ Compensation Injuries at Home

Ohio Rep. Brian Lampton

Workers’ compensation injuries taking place at home would look more like injuries suffered in an office if a bill passed recently by the Ohio House eventually becomes law.

House Bill 447 would eliminate at-home injuries suffered by employees working from that were not a direct result of a typical work. State law does not currently differentiate injuries from injuries sustained by work-from-home employees that are outside of the employer’s control.

“The pandemic changed our lives dramatically,” Rep. Brian Lampton, R-Beavercreek, said. “With that change, legislators should act to modify laws that reflect the world we live in today. House Bill 447 codifies that injuries sustained by work-from-home employees qualify for workers’ compensation if the injury was caused by their employment and within the control of their employer.”

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Wisconsin Treasurer Wants to Dump Russian Investments

Wisconsin Treasurer Sarah Godlewski

Wisconsin’s state treasurer is the latest to look to pull the plug on the state’s Russian investments.

Treasurer Sarah Godlewski on Monday released a letter to the State of Wisconsin Investment Board that asks for a report on any investments the state has in any Russian companies or funds, and asks for a plan to dump them.

“The Wisconsin Retirement System is one of the largest public pension funds in the U.S., and it is our prudent obligation to act,” Godlewski wrote. “I’m calling on the State of Wisconsin Investment Board to immediately identify any direct investments in Russia held by the Wisconsin Retirement System, the State Investment Fund, and other state trust funds; and develop a plan to divest from these holdings.”

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Gov. Evers Signs Law That Exempts Restaurant Revitalization Grants from State Taxes

Gov. Tony Evers holding up recently signed legislation

Another Republican-driven tax cut has been signed by Gov. Tony Evers.

Evers on Monday signed AB 717, which exempts any and all Restaurant Revitalization grants from state taxes.

“This will ensure that these funds are treated like the Paycheck Protection Loans by making them state-tax-exempt,” Evers said.

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$800M Opioid Settlement to Start Paying Out in 2022

pill bottles spilled onto a table

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined local leaders to announce the next steps of Michigan’s anticipated receipt of $800 million opioid settlements over the next 18 years. 

The settlement includes the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen – and opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.

“I took legal action once I took office to try to recoup money for the devastating impact that the opioid epidemic has had on the communities across our state,” Nessel said in a statement. “I am pleased to see our work pay off with this historic settlement that will bring Michigan communities millions of dollars to support abatement efforts. I know that no amount of money will make whole the thousands of Michigan families impacted by opioids, but this is an important victory in a hard-fought battle.”

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Federal Court Rules in Favor of Navy SEALs Who Refuse to Take Vaccine

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (Dec. 15, 2020) – Hospitalman Roman Silvestri administers one of the first COVID-19 vaccines given at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) to Lt. Cmdr. Daphne Morrisonponce, an emergency medicine physician, Dec. 15. NMCP was one of the first military treatment facilities (MTF) selected to receive the vaccine in a phased, standardized and coordinated strategy for prioritizing and administering the vaccine. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Imani N. Daniels/Released)

On Monday, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of a group of Navy SEALs who defied the U.S. Navy’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, dealing one of the biggest blows yet to the military mandate.

As reported by The Daily Caller, the court’s ruling was similar to a previous decision by a district judge in Fort Worth, Texas in January, who ordered a temporary halt to the Navy’s vaccine mandate while the case moved forward. The lawsuit was filed by a group of 35 Navy SEALs who all sought religious exemptions from being forced to take the vaccine.

The appeals court ruled that the Department of Defense failed to prove that the vaccine mandate served “‘paramount interests’ that justify vaccinating these 35 Plaintiffs against COVID-19 in violation of their religious beliefs.” The court noted that despite the Navy claiming to have a “compelling interest” in forcing all sailors to get vaccinated, it “undermined” its own mandate by preparing unvaccinated SEALs for deployment while the pandemic was still ongoing.

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Head Start Teachers in Ohio, Virginia, and Louisiana Suing over Biden Administration’s COVID Vaccination Mandate

Head Start teachers in Louisiana, Ohio and Virginia are suing the Biden administration over a nationwide COVID-19 vaccination mandate for the federally funded program.

Elizabeth Etherton, a preschool teacher at Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court over a threatened termination Monday for failing to take a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Signs Bipartisan Bill Letting Part-Time Workers to Keep Aid

A bipartisan bill, intended to clear confusion over an apparent contradiction between state and federal law over who actually qualified to receive benefits during the pandemic, is now law.

Senate Bill 445 amends the Michigan Employment Security Act to allow certain unemployed workers eligible for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) to keep benefits.

“As we continue to grow our economy, my top priority is working toward bipartisan solutions to save Michiganders time and money,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement commemorating her signing the bill. “I’ve always said that Michiganders should not be penalized for doing what was right at the time they applied for federal pandemic benefits. The changes in this legislation will streamline our unemployment system and provide relief to Michiganders who needed these federal benefits to pay their bills, keep food on the table, and continue supporting small businesses.”

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Commentary: Justices Must Stop the Legal System from Becoming a Quick-Return Investment Scheme for Trial Lawyers

United States Supreme Court building

In the interest of a return to normalcy, we take this short break from COVID and Ukraine coverage to bring to your attention an actual conservative policy matter. The pesky trial lawyers and their junk science “experts” are at it again, providing certain justices of the Supreme Court an opportunity to show us they can still do the right thing. 

I’m not pointing fingers at say, Justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh, but certain esteemed members of the court who had less than smooth sailing in their confirmation battles and for whom conservatives stormed the ramparts (figuratively speaking of course), have left us wondering if they were worth the battle scars. Here’s some low hanging fruit for them to pick off and make everyone breathe a little easier. All they have to do is vote to take a certain case.

The case involves a long-running dispute brought by the inventor of a special warming blanket called the Bair Hugger (now owned by 3M) which has proven to reduce post-operative infections and other complications and has been used in over 300 million surgeries worldwide to maintain patients’ body temperatures. The inventor, Dr. Scott Augustine made a fortune on this device but lost his rights to the product and its proceeds when he pled guilty to Medicare fraud in an unrelated matter. Dr. Augustine then invented a competing device and waged a campaign to discredit the Bair Hugger claiming that it caused infections. He then hired “experts” and funded studies to back up his claim. Except one of the actual authors of the studies called those studies “marketing rather than research.” As in not based on facts. The FDA admonished Dr. Augustine to stop the false campaign. And not a single physician who uses the Bair Hugger, or a single epidemiologist or any public health officials have supported Dr. Augustine’s contention. 

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State Official: More Money Needed for Ohio Primary Elections

Frank LaRose of Ohio

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose wants more money from the General Assembly to conduct the state’s May 3 primary after continued delays in creating new district maps increased pressure on county boards of elections.

LaRose, who also is a member of the Ohio Redistricting Commission that twice had maps thrown out by the Ohio Supreme Court, also ordered county boards to start taking steps to place candidates for the General Assembly on the ballot, even though the court has yet to approve a third set of maps passed late last week.

“The General Assembly has the legal authority to set the time, place, and manner of our elections, and they’ve made it clear that the state House and Senate contests will be placed on the May 3 ballot,” LaRose said. “I’ve also communicated to the legislative leaders the risks associated with rushing this process. Elections officials across Ohio are concerned about the compressed timeline for candidate certification, ballot preparation and the programming and testing of voting equipment.”

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American Bar Association Requires Law Schools to Educate Students on ‘Bias, Cross-Cultural Competency, and Racism’

Man in a suit writing on paperwork at a table

The American Bar Association House of Delegates has approved new law school accreditation standards at the 2022 ABA Midyear Meeting, of which two amendments were focused on “diversity.”

In order to eliminate bias and enhance diversity, the ABA’s amended Standard 303(c) requires that “a law school shall provide education on bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism: (1) at the start of the program of legal education, and (2) at least once again before graduation.”

To fulfill this requirement, “Law schools must demonstrate that all law students are required to participate in a substantial activity designed to reinforce the skill of cultural competency and their obligation as future lawyers to work to eliminate racism in the legal profession.”

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Rochester Schools Collect Dossier, Call Employers on Critical Parents

Rochester Community School (RCS) officials were sued for compiling a dossier on parents who commented negatively on the school’s virtual learning policy. One official even called a parent’s employer, which possibly resulted in the parent’s termination.

Parent Elena Dinverno sued the district in 2021, claiming school officials called her place of work in the fall of 2020, and told her employer Dinverno was part of a group threatening the school district. She was fired in December 2020.

The Detroit News first reported the story.

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Minnesota Democrats Introduce $13 Million Plan for Meeting Demand for Police Officers with Strong Moral Character

Group of people walking outside on a sunny day

Democrats announced a plan Monday to promote police officer recruitment that mirrors proposals of Gov. Tim Walz and Republicans.

House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler authored the bill, HF 3581, which was developed in consultation with the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association, Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, and Minnesota Department of Public Safety. He said at a news conference announcing the bill that law enforcement leaders want to recruit officers who reflect the community, have a high social-emotional set of skills and are committed to community services, but they’re struggling to do that.

“[The bill] is built on the premise that Minnesota can recruit, can hire, can train and can retain the kinds of police officers who reflect our communities’ values,” Winkler said.

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Blue States Consider Letting Anatomical Males into Women’s Prisons, Hiding Their Backgrounds

barbed wire fence, outiside of a prison yard

As West Coast states deal with the fallout of putting anatomically male inmates in women’s prisons, the East Coast is looking to join the club.

Maryland is considering legislation similar to a California law that lets inmates choose their correctional facility based on self-declared gender identity, an option that concerned even transgender inmates in the Golden State.

A purported draft executive order by President Joe Biden would do the same to federal prisons, prompting GOP Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas to introduce opposing legislation.

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Soros-Backed, Prosecutor’s Office in Virginia’s Loudoun County Hired a Registered Sex Offender Without Background Check

Close-up of barbed wire at a prison

The Virginia Office of the Commonwealth Attorney, in the state’s Loudoun County, unknowingly hired a registered sex offender, having failed to submit the successful applicant to a background check.

The unidentified male was hired as a paralegal and fired days later.

In an interview with a local Fox News affiliate, the man, identified only as John, said he is trying to rebuild his life following five years in prison, in which he spent his time studying legal issues.

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Commentary: The Outcome if Government Unions Get Control of an Entire State

Chicago Teachers’ Union protesting

Chaos. Disruption. Uncertainty.

The Chicago Teachers Union provides a real-world example of what happens when a government union has too much power.

CTU has gone on strike three times in three school years. In the latest work stoppage, over 330,000 schoolchildren missed five days of school. Parents were notified of the walkout after 11 p.m. on a school night, leaving them just hours to develop a back-up plan after the union decided not to show up.

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State Labor and Industry Department Addresses Unemployment Fraud for Pennsylvania House Committee

Representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry and the Office of Administration discussed ongoing fraud and other issues in the commonwealth’s unemployment system Thursday during a House hearing.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Labor & Industry Jennifer Berrier told the House Labor and Industry Committee that “overall the (unemployment compensation) system is in a good place,” but acknowledged a raft of ongoing issues, from hundreds of millions of dollars stolen through fraud to large backlogs of unresolved claims and fraud cases.

Berrier said the unemployment compensation system has processed more than 611,000 claims since the modernized system went live in June, paying out about $3.4 billion in benefits. During the height of the pandemic, the department faced a backlog of 300,000 nonmonetary determinations, or those involving eligibility, that since has been whittled down to 95,000, she said.

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Commentary: High Pressure Tactics in FBI Coverup Surrounding Whitmer Case

Gretchen Whitmer

For months, the lawyer representing Kaleb Franks—one of six men charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020—has produced some of the most detailed and damning reports to make a case for FBI entrapment. Defense attorneys last year discovered that at least a dozen FBI agents and informants were intimately involved in the abduction plot, brought to a dramatic conclusion in October 2020 when the men were arrested after an FBI informant drove them to meet an undercover FBI agent to buy materials for explosives.

With the trial date just weeks away, the Justice Department’s case is imploding amid numerous scandals.

The timing could not be worse for the government, especially the FBI, which is now under scrutiny for its suspected role in fomenting the Capitol breach on January 6, 2021. After all, the two events share many similarities, including plans to “storm” Michigan’s state Capitol building, the use of militia groups reportedly loyal to Donald Trump, and official designations that both represent “domestic terror” attacks.

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Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi Sue Biden over Minimum Wage Hike for Federal Contractors

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration again Thursday, this time for requiring federal contractors to pay a $15 an hour minimum wage. It’s the 21st lawsuit the attorney general has filed against the administration. Joining him are the attorneys general from Louisiana and Mississippi.

“The president has no authority to overrule Congress, which has sole authority to set the minimum wage and which already rejected a minimum wage increase,” Paxton argues.

Their lawsuit follows one filed last December by the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of outdoor adventure guides, Arkansas Valley Adventures (AVA), ​​a licensed river outfitter regulated by the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, and the Colorado River Outfitters Association (CROA). The CROA, a nonprofit trade association, represents more than 150 independent operators who primarily conduct business on federal lands using special use permits through Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management.

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Michigan County to Repeal School Mask Mandate

students working on school work and wearing masks

The Ingham County Health Department will repeal its mask mandate on Feb. 19 at midnight for thousands of students.

“We are at a point in this pandemic in which public health strategies will begin to shift more towards personal responsibility as we learn to live with COVID-19 long-term,” Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said in a statement. “As a public health agency, we will continue to support local school districts by recommending evidence-based public health measures, educating on current guidance and practices, and making recommendations for staying safe and healthy.”

The emergency orders issued on Sept. 2, 2021, require masks in schools and details quarantine and isolation rules.

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State Budget Makers Approve $194 Million for Childcare in Wisconsin

three kids holding hands

Republican lawmakers and Gov. Tony Evers are, perhaps surprisingly, on the same page when it comes to spending more money on childcare in Wisconsin.

The state’s budget-writing panel, the Joint Finance Committee, on Wednesday unanimously approved a plan to spend $194 million in federal funds to support childcare across the state.

“$194 million is a lot of money,” Rep Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton, told lawmakers. “This is our job as a committee and members of the legislature to have a voice in how these programs are supported or created or expanded. Or in some cases not created and not expanded.”

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Commentary: GoFundMe and How the Left Came to Despise the Working Class

Blue Collar Worker

What irony!

Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger must be turning over in their graves.

Bernie Sanders must be having sleepless nights.

The left-wing anthem “Which Side Are You On?” is no longer about whether you’re a “union man” or a “thug for J.H. Blair.” It’s about the size of your stock portfolio or when to go public with your start-up.

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Commentary: No Shot at a Fair Trial for January 6 Defendants in the Swamp

Large group of people storming Washington D.C. in protest on January 6.

The first set of trials for the hundreds of protesters charged in the Justice Department’s sweeping criminal investigation into January 6 begins later this month. Since the Capitol building is considered the scene of the crime, every trial will be held in the District of Columbia—which means the jury pool will be composed solely of residents living in the nation’s capital.

To say this is a problem for Trump supporters facing even minor charges is a huge understatement.

January 6 defendants already have suffered the wrath of D.C.-based federal judges who’ve imposed unusually harsh prison sentences for low level misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies while routinely berating defendants from the bench.

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Arizona Attorney General Demands GoFundMe Preserve Documents Related to Removal of Freedom Convoy Fundraiser

Arizona AG Mark Brnovich

Republican Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office sent a letter to crowdfunding site GoFundMe on Monday requesting the company preserve documents related to its deletion of a fundraiser supporting a protest against Canadian COVID-19 restrictions.

The letter, addressed to GoFundMe general counsel Kim Wilford, questioned whether GoFundMe violated Arizona laws relating to “fraud, deception, and unfair treatment” when it deleted the “Freedom Convoy 2022” fundraiser, a donation initiative intended to support individuals currently protesting Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for truck drivers and other coronavirus restrictions. Brnovich’s office demanded the company preserve all documents related to the fundraisers’ removal.

“GoFundMe is hereby on notice to preserve materials of any kind, including but not limited to, all documents, drafts, emails, voicemails, text or communication app messages of any kind, and social media communications relating in any way and all times to the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser,” wrote Joseph Sciarrotta, Jr., civil litigation division chief.

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Department of Labor Expands Michigan’s Federal Jobless Waivers

The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) granted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s request to expand the eligibility for waivers for Michiganders who wrongly received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) because of the state jobless agency’s mistake.

“Michiganders should not be penalized for doing what was right at the time they applied for federal pandemic benefits,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Coupled with the waivers we applied earlier, we are looking to help Michiganders who needed unemployment benefits to pay their bills, keep food on the table, and continue supporting small businesses. I look forward to working with our legislative partners to continue putting Michiganders first and keeping more money in their pockets.”

The USDOL updated its waiver guidance to approve five new scenarios for consideration of a waiver may apply blanket waivers for recovery of overpayments:

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Ohio Attorney General Loses Motion to Relegate Democrats to ‘Friend’ Status in Redistricting Lawsuit

Senator Vernon Sykes and Allison Russo

The Ohio Supreme Court agreed with two Democrats on the Ohio Redistricting Commission and denied a motion from Attorney General Dave Yost to relegate the two to “friend of the court” status in ongoing legal challenges to new state legislative districts.

Commission co-chair Sen. Vernon Sykes, D-Akron, and House Minority Leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, called Yost’s motion an attempt to silence the two, who had voted against the original maps and ones reconfigured by order of the court.

“I am relieved to see that a fair process is continuing in the courts,” Russo said. “We spoke up for the people against unconstitutional maps, while the Attorney General tried to silence us. AG Yost should not have tried to put his thumb on the scale in this process. Now, we wait the court’s decision on the submitted maps and let the process play out with greater transparency.”

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