All-Star Panelist Roger Simon Weighs In on a Hypothetical Trump v. DeSantis Presidential Race

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist and The Epoch Times’ Editor-at-Large Roger Simon in studio to weigh in on a potential Donald Trump v Ron DeSantis match-up for President of the USA.

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Democrats Trying to Make Inroads in Republican-Controlled Sumner County

While every office in Sumner County in which a partisan election has been held is currently controlled by Republicans, Democrats are making a run at several seats during the 2022 election cycle.

On the August 4 combination ballot that includes the general election for county offices and a primary for state and federal offices, Democrats are vying for eight of the four dozen total seats electors will be voting on.

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Democrat Gubernatorial Candidate JB Smiley Jr. Receives Endorsement from AFSCME Local 1733

 AFSCME Local 1733 endorsed Democratic candidate JB Smiley, Jr. on Monday to be the next Tennessee governor. 

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is the largest trade union of public employees in the United States. The group “believes that every person working to sustain their community deserves respect.”

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ADN America’s Jeff Shapiro on Hispanic Americans: ‘There’s a Far-Left Party and an American Party, and They Want to Belong to the American Party’

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Jeff Shapiro to discuss the evolving landscape of Hispanic-American news, politics, and the coming red wave.

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Former President Donald Trump Endorses Abraham Hamadeh for Arizona Attorney General

Former President Donald Trump endorsed Republican candidate Abraham Hamadeh for Arizona Attorney General on Wednesday through his Save America PAC. Hamadeh is an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and a former prosecutor of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. He is running for current-AG Mark Brnovich’s position, who is now running for U.S. Senate.

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Tennessee Professional Fire Fighters Association Endorses Senator Jack Johnson for Re-Election

The Tennessee Professional Fire Fighters Association (TPFFA) endorsed Republican State Senator Jack Johnson for reelection in Senate District 27, the group announced Wednesday in a press release.

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Country Music Star John Rich Endorses Jody Barrett for State Representative

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy, conservative country music star John Rich endorsed Jody Barrett for State Representative.

Barrett is running for Tennessee State House District 69 in the Republican primary, which is scheduled to occur on August 4.

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Pennsylvania GOP Senate Race May Not See Winner Until June

The Pennsylvania Republican Senate primary is still too close to call and likely headed for a recount which could delay the declaration of a winner into mid-June.

Per the Associated Press, Dr. Mehmet Oz currently holds a narrow 1,079 vote lead over rival David McCormick, amounting to 0.08% of the 1,340,248 total votes.

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Republicans Dominate Turnout in Williamson County May 3 Primary Voting

Republicans dominated the voter turnout totals in the Williamson County May 3 primary elections.

According to the Williamson County government elections website, 20,550 total votes were cast countywide. 18,240 of those votes were cast in Republican primaries. 2,310 were cast in Democrat primaries.

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Virginia Governor Plans to Elevate His National Profile Ahead of 2024

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin is looking to raise his national profile by establishing two new political groups in the aftermath of becoming the first Republican to win statewide in over a decade, Politico reported.

The move will allow the recently elected governor to have a larger role in the upcoming midterm elections, Politico reported. Youngkin, who is limited to one term as governor, has not expressed any interest in a 2024 presidential run, but has not ruled out the possibility.

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Always Right with Bob Frantz Questions JD Vance on Prior Trump Criticisms after Endorsement

Tuesday morning on Always Right with Bob Frantz, weekday mornings on AM 1420 The Answer, host Frantz welcomed JD Vance to address tough questions about why he changed his mind about Trump and accepted his endorsement.

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State Senate Aide Tres Wittum Officially Announces Entry into TN-5 U.S. House Race

Longtime Tennessee state Senate aide Tres Wittum officially announced his entry into the GOP primary for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District seat.

In a video released by the campaign, Wittum said, “I’m Tres Wittum. I’m running for the 5th Congressional District. I’m in.”

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Support Grows Among Republicans for Naming a Special Counsel to Investigate Hunter Biden

Nearly 100 House Republicans are urging Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden’s foreign business deals, saying they had the hallmarks of an influence peddling scandal.

The letter led by Reps. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the chair of the House GOP Study Committee, comes as the U.S. attorney in Delaware enters his third year investigating Hunter Biden’s taxes, foreign lobbying and money movements.

In all, 95 House GOP members signed the letter.

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Conservative Candidates Win Big in Wisconsin School Board Races

Eric Bott

A lot of Wisconsin parents are not happy with their local school boards. Conservative and Republicans candidates for school boards did well in their races Tuesday, many of them new challengers who unseated longtime incumbents.

“Last night was a great night for parents looking to take back control of their children’s education and for liberty-oriented candidates generally,” Eric Bott with Americans for Prosperity in Wisconsin told the Center Square.

The Wisconsin Republican Party said party-backed and conservative candidates won two-thirds of the races where they were active.

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Always Right with Bob Frantz: Josh Mandel Talks New Campaign Ad and Ted Cruz Endorsement

Tuesday morning on Always Right with Bob Frantz, weekday mornings on AM 1420 The Answer, host Frantz welcomed Ohio senate candidate Josh Mandel to the show to announce how he’s been endorsed by Ted Cruz and taking on the Republican bosses in the US Senate.

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Opponents Blocked from Testifying on DFL’s Clean Fuel Bill, Say It Will Increase Prices

Representative Mary Franson

A Republican representative blasted a House committee chair this week for not allowing groups with opposing views to testify against a clean fuel standards bill.

House File 2083 seeks to bring California’s clean fuel standard to Minnesota in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2035. Enforcing the standard could raise gas prices by 20 cents a gallon, according to research from the Center of the American Experiment.

The House Climate and Energy Committee held an informational hearing on the bill Tuesday and allowed several pro-climate justice groups to testify in favor of the bill.

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Dr. Oz Tied for Lead in Pennsylvania GOP Primary: Emerson Poll

Dr. Oz

Television personality Dr. Oz is in a neck-and-neck race for first in the Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary race, according to a new Emerson poll

With 14% support of those polled, Oz ties businessman David McCormick for the lead, with no other candidates garnering over 10% support. Notably, 51% of voters remain undecided, suggesting the primary race remains anyone’s game.

Oz is running to replace retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey who served a single term in office after winning his seat in the 2016 election cycle.

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Grant’s Rants: ‘Power Is Derived from the People, and Our Rights Do Not Come from Government’

Vice President Kamala Harris participates in a meeting on her upcoming trip to Vietnam and Singapore in her ceremonial office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Monday, August 9, 2021. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed official guest host Grant Henry in studio for another edition of Grant’s Rants.

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Poll Analysis Gives New Insight on Latino Support for Democrats

Analysis from election forecaster Sabato’s Crystal Ball released Thursday argues that Latino voters’ recent shift toward the Republican Party may not be permanent.

Former President Donald Trump performed better with Latinos in 2020 than he did in 2016, but there does not appear to be a long-term shift in the demographic’s voting habits, wrote political scientist Alan I. Abramowitz.

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Commentary: Slimy Liz Cheney All but Begging Wyoming Dems to Help Her Battle Trump

Liz Cheney

No one ever said that the business of politics made good sense, but if you’re a politician, and the vast majority of your constituents — including a high percentage of those in your own party — no longer want you to represent them, shouldn’t you take their distaste as a hint and get the heck out of office?

Such is the case for notorious Donald Trump bashing RINO congresswoman Liz Cheney. As everyone knows by now, Cheney is the lone House representative from the huge but sparsely populated state of Wyoming, which means hers is the sole voice of every single Cowboy State resident and citizen in the lower chamber. Liz has never had an issue with winning elections in blood red Wyoming, which would seem to be an argument in her favor. But times and circumstances have changed markedly in the rocky mountain high plains and there’re hardly any folks there who hanker to send Cheney back to DC for another two years.

Yet onward Liz trudges. Because Cheney has fallen so far out of favor with conservatives and Republicans in her jurisdiction, she’s now relying on Democrats to try and (literally) save her seat. The optics alone are odd, but reality is even weirder. In a piece titled “Liz Cheney turns to Democrats to save her hide,” Tara Palmeri wrote at Politico:

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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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Morgan Ortagus: I Am Not A Carpetbagger Because ‘I Am Not A Politician’

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District GOP candidate Morgan Ortagus in studio to discuss her residency and voting record.

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Retired Murfreesboro Police Department Lieutenant Tom Sissom Launches Campaign for Rutherford County Sheriff

Tom Sissom

Tom Sissom, a retired Murfreesboro Police Department lieutenant, announced his candidacy for Rutherford County Sheriff on Monday. Sissom, who has served 34 years with the Murfreesboro Police Department, will be on the Republican ballot in this May’s primary, according to a press release by his campaign.

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Former Trump Cabinet Member Ric Grenell Endorses Morgan Ortagus for TN-5, Pulling Prior Robby Starbuck Endorsement

Former Director of National Intelligence and the first openly gay cabinet member in U.S. History, Ric Grenell, has endorsed Morgan Ortagus for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional district seat.

Prior to redistricting, Grenell had endorsed Robby Starbuck but he has pulled that endorsement. Both the Ortagus campaign and the Starbuck campaign have confirmed that Grenell’s previous endorsement of Starbuck was pulled.

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Pompeo Endorses Morgan Ortagus for TN-5, But Dodges Questions on Her Carpetbagger Status

Former Trump administration Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has endorsed Morgan Ortagus in the race for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Tennessee Star reached out to Secretary Pompeo’s team for comment on his endorsement of Ortagus and Secretary Pompeo’s team dodged the issue of her recent immigration to Tennessee.

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Former Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell Talking to TN-5 Voters, Possibly Nearing Decision on Whether to Run

Beth Harwell

Former Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell may be nearing a decision on whether to run for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional district seat.

Speaker Harwell told The Tennessee Star that she’s still considering whether to run. “I’m in the process of doing that right now.”

Harwell said that she has three factors in mind when considering a congressional bid. “One, you need to talk to people in the district and see what they want from their U.S. Representative in Congress. Two, you need to make sure your base of political and financial support is in place.”

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Ohio University Employees Are Donating to Democrats Ten-to-One over Republicans

With midterm elections this year, Ohio’s 2022 congressional redistricting plans are under scrutiny. The state lost one congressional district last year, bringing the total number down to 15.

The Ohio Supreme Court recently struck down new redistricted maps and gave the Ohio Redistricting Commission until Feb. 17 to draw new maps. As the deadline approached, the Commission decided they were at an “impasse” and negotiations came to a halt as of this writing.

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Morgan Ortagus’ Campaign Says Her ‘Voting Record Shows She Voted in Every Election’ She Was Eligible For

Former Trump administration State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus’ campaign said her voting record shows that she voted in every election she was eligible to vote in. Ortagus announced her candidacy for the GOP nomination in Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District earlier this month.

The Tennessee Star obtained a document that is believed to be Morgan Ortagus’ New York voting records. This document shows that Ms. Ortagus voted in the 2016 GOP presidential primary and the general elections in 2014, 2016, and 2018 in New York State. According to these records, she did not vote in the NY 2018 statewide GOP primary or the NY GOP 2014 primaries.

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Morgan Ortagus Makes Dubious Claim About Why Trump Endorsed Her in National Publication

Former Trump administration State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus made a dubious claim about why President Trump endorsed her in a national publication.

Ortagus recently sat down with the Jewish News Syndicate to discuss her candidacy for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional district seat.

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Bedford County Mayor Chad Graham Announces Re-Election Campaign

Bedford County Mayor Chad Graham officially announced his re-election campaign on Friday in a press release.

“For many years, our county lagged behind surrounding counties in benefiting from regional economic growth,” Mayor Graham said in a statement. “While we certainly want an improved economic environment, we also don’t want to sacrifice our quality of life to unbridled growth, traffic congestion and crime. I believe we have the right approach and now is the time to continue building on our recent successes for the sake of future generations and make Bedford County even better.”

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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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New TN-5 Hopeful Ortagus Brings Star Power, National Media to Race for GOP Nomination in District That Now Leans Republican

A newly announced TN-5 candidate is receiving a lot of national attention.

Former Trump administration State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus’ first week as a candidate in the Republican primary for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional seat included several national interviews.

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Questions About TN-5 Candidate Morgan Ortagus’ Voting History Remain Unanswered

Questions continue to surround a candidate’s voting history in the race for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional seat.

Former Trump administration State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus’ voter history remains unclear. Davidson County election officials say Ortagus registered to vote in Tennessee on November 29, 2022.

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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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Records Shock: House Hopeful Morgan Ortagus Does Not Live in the 5th Congressional District

Morgan Ortagus

Records indicate that a candidate running in the Tennessee 5th Congressional District Republican primary does not live in the district.

Records read to The Tennessee Star say that former Trump administration State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus’ current address is in the 7th Congressional District, not the 5th District that she is seeking to represent.

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Former Brig. Gen. Kurt Winstead Files FEC Forms, Signals Entry into TN-5 GOP Primary

Gen. Kurt Winstead

Former Brig. Gen. Kurt Winstead has filed federal candidacy forms with the Federal Elections Commission, signaling his entry into the TN-5 race.

General Winstead filed his FEC forms on February 7, 2022. Winstead retired from the Tennessee National Guard on February 6, 2022.

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Morgan Ortagus Officially Enters GOP Primary Race in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District

Morgan Ortagus

Former Trump Administration State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus officially announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination to represent Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District early Monday morning.

Ortagus’ campaign sent out a press release announcing the candidacy, along with a campaign video. Ortagus then joined Nashville’s Morning News with Dan Mandis to discuss her candidacy. Mandis immediately asked her about her previous comments disparaging President Trump.

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President Trump Reiterates Support for Ortagus, Says He Didn’t Know Starbuck but Heard ‘He Voted for Obama’

President Donald J. Trump says he stands by his offered endorsement of Morgan Ortagus and that he didn’t know Robby Starbuck but heard that he voted for Obama.

President Donald J. Trump appeared on the Newsmax program Rob Schmitt Tonight on Tuesday. He was asked about the blowback his offered endorsement of potential candidate and former Trump Administration State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus received.

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Commentary: The GOP Can Reclaim the Child Tax Credit – And Use it to Win in 2022

family of three eating pizza

As part of his Contract with America, House Speaker (and my former boss) Newt Gingrich helped first introduce the Child Tax Credit (CTC), passing it in 1997. Originally the idea of President Ronald Reagan, the CTC was founded on the conservative principles that raising children is God’s work, and parents should not be punished or held back for choosing family in a country that is always moving forward. President Trump continued this tradition by doubling the CTC in 2017. As Speaker Gingrich said during a 1995 speech, “We believe that parents ought to have the first claim on money to take care of their children rather than bureaucrats.”

Democrats reformed the CTC in 2021, as part of their wildly overdone American Rescue Plan. They’ve sought to continue their changes to the CTC in the even-more-overdone Build Back Better Act (BBB), a hulking Frankenstein of bad Democratic ideas. But the new version of the CTC may be an exception. It continues fulfilling Speaker Gingrich’s contract, empowering families to work and earn, and to raise their children with their own values. The spirit and core of that policy is even better reflected by flat, poverty-busting monthly disbursement of the credit. It’s the only salvageable ship in the sinking BBB fleet.

The CTC – in its 2021 form – does not stray too far from the $500-per-child tax cut that was initially passed in 1997. The payments, which provided eligible families with up to $300 per month for each qualifying child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each qualifying child aged 6 to 17, stimulated regional economies, protected families from rising costs, provided direct cash relief, and removed bureaucratic hurdles.

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Trump’s Preferred Potential Candidate for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, Morgan Ortagus, Had History of Bashing Him Before Joining His Administration

President Trump is strongly encouraging Morgan Ortagus to run for Congress in the race for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District but the former state department spokesman has had strong words for him in the past.

When she was a spokeman for the Jeb Bush campaign, Morgan Ortagus referred to President Trump’s words as disgusting and expressed on MSNBC that she was unsure if she would vote for him if he was to become the Republican nominee.

Those previous comments appear to be water under the bridge for President Trump and Ortagus’ relationship. It was previously reported that President Trump issued the following statement on Morgan Ortagus’ potential candidacy:

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Rift Forming in Republican Race for Wisconsin Governor

Kevin Nicholson and Rebecca Kleefisch

It looks like bad blood is forming in the Republican race for governor, and the race hasn’t officially begun yet.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Wednesday suggested that Kevin Nicholson not run for governor against Rebecca Kleefisch.

“If Kevin Nicholson is listening, you need to not run for governor,” Vos said at a political lunch meeting in Madison. “You need to be able to focus on something like 2024.”

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Federal Judge Tosses Lawsuit Challenging Biden’s Authority to Block Keystone Pipeline

Keystone XL Pipeline

A federal district court judge granted the Biden administration’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by more than 20 Republican attorneys general challenging the Keystone XL Pipeline’s permit revocation.

Judge Jeffrey Brown, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, ruled that he couldn’t determine the constitutionality of President Joe Biden’s action because TC Energy, the pipeline’s developer, had abandoned the project. On June 9, TC Energy announced its intention to permanently halt construction of the pipeline, saying it would focus on other projects.

Biden canceled the pipeline’s federal permit immediately after taking office on Jan. 20 in an executive order. The order said the U.S. “must prioritize the development of a clean energy economy” and that the Keystone project would undermine the nation’s role as a climate leader on the world stage.

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At Least Nine Republican Senators Demand Answers from DHS on Afghan Refugee Vetting

Ron Johnson, Josh Hawley and Rick Scott

At least nine Republican U.S. senators are continuing to pressure the Department of Homeland Security for answers over its vetting process of Afghan evacuees entering the U.S.

Three Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee members sent a letter last week to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and to Secretary of State Antony Blinken requesting information about Afghan evacuees. This week, six additional senators sent a letter to DHS asking for an overdue report they were supposed to have received Nov. 30.

Their letters followed news reports that the State Department didn’t have reliable data on everyone who evacuated Afghanistan and what types of visas they qualified for, and after a convicted rapist on an evacuation flight reached Washington-Dulles Airport. The letters also were sent after assaults and arrests were reported at military bases in New Mexico and Wisconsin where evacuees were being housed, and after several of the senators expressed concerns at a senate committee hearing in September.

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‘Political Uncertainty’: Energy Firm Abandons Oregon Pipeline Project After Years of Environmentalist Pushback

The newest inflatable pipeline prop had it's debut action at the Capitol in Salem, OR. 350Eugene mobilized the creative imagery joining with people across the state to call on the governor to take concrete action to halt the proposed LNG pipeline and export facility in Jordan Cove. The prop was used to highlight the first life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions analysis and climate impacts of the project from the fracking in Colorado, Wyoming or Canada, to the export facility and the burning of gas overseas. The rally in Salem, Oregon during Lobby Day with Governor Brown and Legislators amplified the call to end the Pacific Connector Pipeline and Terminal plans for Jordan Cove, Coos Bay, Oregon. Activist from all over the state took part with diverse rally speakers, songs, chants, a skit with bobble head Puppet Gov Brown & the actions she must take to halt the project. They walked the pipeline to the Department of State Lands Board building then back to Capitol steps. Photos by 350Eugene, Don Ewing.

Canadian energy firm Pembina Pipeline Corp. pulled the plug on a years-long project that would have led to greater natural gas exports from to Canada to the U.S.

The multi-billion-dollar Jordan Cove project included plans to construct a marine export terminal, which would have been the first of its kind in the continental U.S., and a 230-mile pipeline across Oregon, The Associated Press reported. The terminal would have liquefied up to 1.04 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day for export and hosted two full-containment storage tanks on site, according to previous federal permit records.

But the project, which dates back to 2004, was fiercely opposed by environmentalists while state officials created permitting roadblocks that Pembina struggled to hurdle. In 2020, the Republican-majority Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the project, but the agency rescinded approval in January, upholding Oregon’s rejection of the plans.

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