Centrists were ‘drowned out’, says former state senator

Centrists were ‘drowned out’, says former state senator

Centrists were ‘drowned out’, says former state senator

An unusual group in Tennessee politics gathered Tuesday night in a Nashville country club lounge: centrist conservatives and “Never-Trump” Republicans gathered in support of Principles First, a nonprofit group founded in 2019 as an alternative to the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Former Tennessee State Senator. Steve DickersonRepublican from Nashville, presented a list of speakers that included former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzaleznow dean of Belmont University School of Law, and Nancy Francesa former ghostwriter for famous Republican politicians and a conservative critic of former President Donald Trump.

“I think the voice of the centrist conservative is being silenced and I would like to give them a chance to flourish in the Republican Party in the future,” Dickerson told the group.

Principles First, founded by Heath Mayoaims to “elevate principled leaders across the country.” As a nonprofit group, it doesn’t endorse candidates, but it has cultivated a roster of speakers at events across the country willing to challenge party norms to criticize the direction of the GOP in the Trump era.

“The most important and critical segment of the electorate are the people who are not going to vote for someone simply because of the letter next to their name, whether they’re a Republican or a Democrat,” Mayo said. “But they are the people who are going to go into the voting booth and hold politicians, even their own party, accountable according to a code that is independent of the politician or the party. Those principles are what hold elected leaders accountable.”

Dickerson, speaking to the Nashville group, said he doesn’t believe centrist conservatives are “present” anymore at the local and county party levels in Tennessee.

“Let’s get active,” Dickerson said, prompting someone in the crowd to say he was “scared” to do so. “Believe me, like I said, I’ve been called a lot of names, I got a lot of threatening emails in 2016 when I said I wouldn’t vote for Donald Trump. I was on the ticket with him. You should have seen the hostility I got. They tried to kick me out of the Republican Party at the time.”

Lee backs Lundberg’s immigration record in new TV ad

Governor. Bill Lee headlines a Northeast Tennessee political ad endorsing the state senator. Jon LundbergR-Bristol.

Lee has already hit the campaign trail in support of Lundberg, the chairman of the crucial Senate Education Committee who is facing a challenge in the Republican primary. Bobby Harshbarger in Senate District 4. Harshbarger is the son of U.S. Rep. Diana HarshbargerR-Kingsport.

While Lee doesn’t mention the younger Harshbarger by name in the new ad, he does say that “some people will do anything to get elected.”

“They even spread lies about a statesman like Jon Lundberg,” Lee said, highlighting Lundberg’s military service and his conservative credentials around immigration issues.

“I can count on Jon Lundberg to put Tennessee in first place. You can, too,” Lee said.

The ad was paid for by the Senate Republican Caucus.

Senate Republican heavyweights have already harshly criticized Harshbarger’s campaign, with Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Ken YagerRepublican from Kingston, filed a campaign finance complaint in May alleging “collusion” involving the campaign.

Yager and the vice-governor. Randy McNally criticized a text message blitz organized by the East Tennessee Conservatives PAC earlier this summer that suggested Lundberg was soft on immigration issues.

Yager’s complaint alleged “efforts to circumvent campaign finance limits” by Diana Harshbarger’s congressional campaign, Bobby Harshbarger’s state Senate campaign and the East Tennessee Conservatives PAC through a text message campaign. The same treasurer, Thomas Datwyler, runs the PAC and the congressional campaign. Bobby Harshbarger’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment on the complaint.

New Poll: 69% of Tennessee Voters Support State Carbon Pollution Legislation

A new poll commissioned by Centerline Liberties has found broad bipartisan support among Tennessee voters for new investments in clean energy and manufacturing infrastructure. The survey, produced by New Bridge Strategy and Meeting Street Insights, two Republican polling firms, found that 65% of voters, including 48% of Republicans, say Congress should continue to invest in clean energy infrastructure, according to a memo from the firms obtained by The Tennessean.

There is broad support for efforts at the federal and state levels to reduce carbon pollution: 69% of voters say they would support legislation passed by their state government to reduce carbon emissions.

The poll found that 59% of Tennesseans, including 54% of Republican voters, support investments in hybrid and electric vehicle production in the state, and say the state’s investments in the industry have had a positive impact.

Tennessee voters also strongly support measures such as modernizing the electric grid, tax credits to support domestic energy supply, including investments in wind, solar and hydrogen energy, and efforts to help homeowners and businesses become more energy efficient.

Centerline Liberties is a nonprofit organization that advocates for limited government and free market policies.

Democrats highlight access to contraceptives with a 20-foot inflatable IUD

In an effort to draw attention to the growing controversy surrounding the legality of certain contraceptives following the Dobbs decision, a 20-foot inflatable contraceptive intrauterine device, or IUD, was displayed at four different locations in Nashville last weekend.

Rep. Gloria JohnsonD-Knoxville, and Sen. Charlane OliverD-Nashville, joined a rally organized by Americans for Contraception at War Memorial Plaza as the IUD was on display in front of the state Capitol.

“I want to make sure that everyone has access to the best birth control methods in this state,” Johnson said. “We need to make sure that all birth control methods are available in Tennessee.”

Republicans in the state legislature have repeatedly rejected measures proposed by Democrats to codify contraceptive protections.

Women’s sports activists rally in Redneck Riviera

A group of activists traveling the country seeking to prevent transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports stopped in Nashville for a rally at Redneck Riviera last week, organized by the Independent Women’s Forum.

The “Our Bodies, Our Sports” national bus tour seeks to raise awareness about new Title IX regulations set to go into effect on August 1, which the group says will “turn back the clock on women’s rights” by allowing “anyone who identifies as a woman to enter women’s spaces, opportunities and sports.”

Native of central Tennessee Riley Gainesa decorated former college swimmer at the University of Kentucky, spoke to supporters at the event. Gaines is part of a group suing the NCAA for alleged Title IX violations.

At the event, Gaines called the Biden administration’s Title IX regulations the “most anti-woman, anti-reality pursuit.”

Gaines has become a prominent voice in conservative media for her opposition to transgender women participating in women’s sports after tying for fifth place with transgender swimmer Lia Thomas in a 2022 NCAA championship event.

Catch up on the week

Appeals court says Tennessee can continue enforcing felony voter restoration policy for now

Tennessee election officials deflect questions about citizenship cards, citing lawsuit threats

U.S. Rep. Andy Ogles’ campaign is once again relying on support from super PAC Americans for Prosperity

What is presidential immunity? Supreme Court expands definition in Trump vs. United States case

Tennessee’s law blocking the code for firearm sales just went into effect. Here’s what it means

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