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WSJ: The Free Speech States

What do Alabama, Nebraska, Oregon and Utah have in common?

America’s media are obsessed with Washington, but in our federal system much of the law-writing takes place in the 50 states. This is one reason to welcome a new index detailing how well each state protects the First Amendment right to engage in political speech.

The Institute for Free Speech this week will release its first Free Speech Index, which is a report card on how every state treats political contributions. The ranking is based on the limits a state places on a person or group’s right to donate to political candidates. The scores rank from 0% to 100% and compare contribution limits based on factors such as population.

The results confound the normal blue-red divide. The top five finishers, all with a 100% score, are: Alabama, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah and Virginia. All “permit individuals, political parties, and PACs to contribute unlimited sums to the candidates, parties, and causes of their choice,” and ditto for unions and corporations. This should be a clue that allowing people to donate money in politics is not a fast lane to rule by Republicans.

The bottom feeders are notable, too, and a shout out to New Jersey for finishing 34th, instead of its usual dead last on any index about freedom. The least free are another odd assembly: Maryland, Colorado, Alaska, West Virginia and Kentucky. Alaska’s limits are so stringent that they’re caught up in federal court. In Colorado, individuals can donate a mere $200 to a state legislature seat. Only Montana’s limit is lower.

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Chicago Tribune: These 3,100 businesses love the NRA even as others pull back

You can't confuse Delphi Greek restaurant with Smith & Wesson. Delphi specializes in kebabs and baklava — not AR-15s and ammunition.

Yet the Los Angeles restaurant is one of about 3,100 U.S. businesses that still proudly stand with the National Rifle Association. At a time when major corporations like Delta Air Lines Inc. and Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. are rethinking their relationship with firearms, the NRA's legion of steadfast supporters in its Business Alliance provides a sharply different view of America's enduring gun culture.

These outfits are the business equivalent of the NRA's about 5 million claimed individual members. Most are small concerns. Many are associated with the firearms industry. And whether they're in liberal bastions or the reddest of red states, they tend to oppose any tightening of gun controls, despite the national outcry over the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

The Business Alliance, as the group is known, has members in 50 states. They range from a pawnshop in Hartselle, Ala., to a stone veneer contractor in Schuylkill Haven, Pa., to a hunting preserve in Kamuela, Hawaii. Businesses pay a yearly fee that members said can range from $40 to $150 per year, and in return they get visibility, a plaque and the chance to identify with a cause.

"The Second Amendment for me is very personal," said Roozbeh Farahanipour, who owns Delphi and fled his native Iran after leading student protests in 1999. "As long as I think that they're defending the Second Amendment, and it still is challenged by a group of people, I believe I need to support them."

The NRA still wields political clout. But the quick erosion of support among America’s largest businesses reflects its changing place in the national landscape. An NPR/Ipsos poll taken two weeks after the Parkland shootings found just 36 percent of Americans said the NRA represents their views, down 7 percentage points from October.

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TPC Proud To Support Ron DeSantis for FL Governor

The Presidential Coalition is proud to support our longtime friend and conservative champion Ron DeSantis for Governor of Florida!  Congressman DeSantis is a full spectrum conservative who has been enthusiastically endorsed by President Donald Trump.  

We’ve been supporting Rep. DeSantis from the beginning of his first campaign for the U.S. House in 2012. Since that time, Ron has kept his word and stayed true to his core conservative principles. Ron is an outstanding member of the conservative farm team!

Washington has not changed Congressman DeSantis because he’s a leader who fights for what he believes in day in and day out. Ron is a true reformer and a strong advocate for honesty and integrity in government.

That’s why we have full confidence he will continue to do an outstanding job for all Floridians as their next Governor!


Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is a great member of the conservative farm team in America!

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is a great member of the conservative farm team in America!  The Presidential Coalition is proud to support him!

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry with David Bossie

The Presidential Coalition Supports Term Limits at All Levels Of Government

Honoring the concept of the “citizen-politician” is a critically important attribute for the leaders of tomorrow.  Candidates for public office who share our mindset that out of touch career politicians with entrenched power are detrimental to common sense government reforms understand the importance of term limits. 

Our Founding Fathers envisioned representatives who would come to Washington (or their state capital or county office or town hall) to serve for a limited time and then return to their careers. The alarming rise of politicians who strive to make a lucrative career out of politics has made the need for term limits at all levels of government absolutely essential.

It’s critically important for state and local governments to enact term limits for their representatives. It’s also important to elect State Representatives and Senators who would vote in favor of amending the U.S. Constitution if a federal term limits amendment were to pass the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. President Donald Trump and many members of Congress currently support term limits.

A constitutional amendment must pass both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate with a two-thirds majority and then must be approved by three-fourths of the states. All 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution have been enacted in this manner. The other way to amend the Constitution is via Constitutional Convention, which would have to be called together by two-thirds of the states.


Sunshine State News: DeSantis Edges Out Putnam, Corcoran in Republican Gubernatorial Matchup

With a new year comes a new poll suggesting Florida Congressman (and President Donald Trump’s hand-pick) Ron DeSantis has a slight edge over his possible Republican gubernatorial opponents.

A new poll from Remington Research Group found DeSantis -- who has not officially declared his candidacy for governor, yet -- besting Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam and Florida House of Representatives Speaker Richard Corcoran by several points.

DeSantis routes both Putnam and Corcoran in a hypothetical matchup, taking 28 percent of the vote to Putnam’s 25 percent.

Corcoran received only three percent of the Republican primary vote in the hypothetical robopoll matchup, while a significantly larger portion of voters -- 44 percent -- said they are undecided as to who they’d vote for in the GOP primary.

When the options were narrowed to two -- DeSantis and Putnam -- DeSantis once again narrowly took the lead over the state Ag Commissioner, taking 30 percent to Putnam’s 29 percent.

The only other major declared candidate besides Putnam, former Sen. Jack Latvala, who resigned last month as a result of a sexual misconduct scandal, was not included in the poll.

DeSantis has represented Florida’s 6th District in Congress since 2013 but widely flew under the radar until recent months when political insiders began speculating he would make a bid for Florida governor.

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Maryland Matters: Jessica Haire Seeking Anne Arundel Council Seat

Jessica Haire, a lawyer and civil engineer who is married to Maryland Republican Party Chairman Dirk Haire, is running for a seat on the Anne Arundel County Council.

Haire held a campaign kickoff event Wednesday night at Mike’s Crab House in Riva.

"I am running for Anne Arundel County Council because we need tax relief, safer streets, and better schools," Haire said in a statement. "I am frustrated that the current Council has failed to support County Executive [Steve] Schuh's property tax. I will vote to cut your property taxes."

Haire instantly becomes the frontrunner to succeed Councilmember Jerry Walker (R), who is term limited and running for the House of Delegates in 2018. Jonathan Boniface, a school advocate in the Crofton area, has also declared for the Republican primary. Michelle Corkadel, an aide to Schuh, had been gearing up to run for Council but now seems more likely to seek a seat on the school board.

Haire, who lives with her husband and children in Edgewood, close to Gov. Larry Hogan's (R) home, will have GOP establishment support and easy access to campaign funds. That will serve as a contrast to Walker, who has run afoul of Schuh and many Republican insiders – and was recently the target of attack mailers put out by state House Republicans.

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The Presidential Coalition releases radio ad in support of Ed Gillespie for Governor.

The Presidential Coalition releases radio ad in support of Ed Gillespie for Governor.

Listen to the spot here:


Politico: Poll: Gillespie, Northam deadlocked in Virginia governor race

Three new public polls show next month’s Virginia gubernatorial race within the margin of error.

A Monmouth University poll — the most recently conducted of the surveys, all released Tuesday — shows Republican Ed Gillespie, a former Bush administration official and Republican National Committee chairman, in front of Democrat Ralph Northam, the commonwealth’s lieutenant governor, 48 percent to 47 percent.

Libertarian Cliff Hyra is at 3 percent, and 3 percent of likely voters are undecided.

Last month, Northam had a 5-point lead in Monmouth’s polling, 49 percent to 44 percent. The shifts in both candidates’ vote shares are within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Taken together, the Monmouth poll — along with new surveys from two Virginia schools, Christopher Newport University and Roanoke College — point to a close race in the most closely watched election of 2017. Both parties are using the Virginia contest to test-drive messages and read tea leaves ahead of next year’s midterms, when 36 states will hold gubernatorial elections.

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Bossie: The Las Vegas attack's unsung heroes - say a prayer of thanks for our first responders

Monday was a dark day in American history.   The massacre of innocence in Las Vegas that left 59 dead and more than 500 wounded and injured at the hands of a shooter perched on the 32nd floor of a high rise casino hotel is a real-life nightmare that reminds us that there is "pure evil" in the world. 

President Trump delivered a stirring tribute to those who perished as well as the unsung heroes of the Las Vegas massacre. First responders ran toward an active shooter situation that became a mass casualty event. As scores of terrified concert goers ran for their lives, police, fire, and other emergency personnel acted quickly to subdue the gunman and treat the wounded.

Today we should all stop and say a prayer of thanks for our police men and women - the thin blue line – who quietly and without fanfare, go about their jobs knowing that a tragedy may come their way at any moment. We’ve already started hearing the stories about the bravery of those who sacrificed their lives so others might live as concert goers responded to the call of their fellow citizens in need.

Sunday night unthinkable tragedy came to Vegas and our first responders, police, fire, and emergency workers, stepped up with extraordinary valor and their acts of courage saved lives. As a volunteer firefighter/EMT in Maryland for over fifteen years, I know that the scene from last night's attack will be seared into the minds of the first responders for the rest of their lives. When these American heroes arrived at the scene, little did they know that they would be entering a war zone with a battlefield of dead and wounded. These first responders didn't think twice, they went to work - just like they always do. These unthinkable images will have a deep psychological impact on the police and first responders who found themselves on the front line of terror. They deserve our deepest gratitude.

Now the doctors and nurses and hospital workers will work around the clock to saves lives and heal the wounded. Like New York City, Sandy Hook, Boston, Orlando, and others before, the Las Vegas community will rise to the occasion and come together. Americans from around the country will hold them up in prayer every step of the way. President Trump will do his part and lead by example as comforter-in-chief when he visits Nevada on Wednesday. His respect for the men and women of law enforcement, fire service, EMS, and hospital medical staff is apparent and that makes me very proud of our president.

These are the dark times when petty partisan politics and the left's desperate assault on the 2nd Amendment should take a back seat. All of us should be reflecting about what is truly important in our lives and in our country instead.

When violent events take place, when horrific acts unfold in any town at any moment in our country, I am grateful for our everyday heroes, our first responders and leaders like President Trump and Vice President Pence who take time to honor their service.

David N. Bossie is President of Citizens United, a Fox News Contributor and the former Deputy Campaign Manager for Donald Trump for President.

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Latest Headlines

WSJ: The Free Speech States

What do Alabama, Nebraska, Oregon and Utah have in common?

The Presidential Coalition Supports Term Limits at All Levels Of Government

Honoring the concept of the “citizen-politician” is a critically important...

Sunshine State News: DeSantis Edges Out Putnam, Corcoran in Republican Gubernatorial Matchup

With a new year comes a new poll suggesting Florida...

Politico: Poll: Gillespie, Northam deadlocked in Virginia governor race

Three new public polls show next month’s Virginia gubernatorial race...

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