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Louisiana Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne offers state aid to keep ‘Duck Dynasty’ on the air

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Jay Dardenne, the lieutenant governor of Louisiana whose responsibilities include promoting tourism, wrote an open letter to cast of Duck Dynasty in which he offered “to use his influence among Louisiana’s growing motion picture industry to seek out alternative production options” should A&E decide to cancel the program.

Lt. Gov. Dardenne has a long history of encouraging film and television production in the state. As a state senator, he authored the Louisiana Motion Picture Tax Incentive Act, which is credited for making the state’s industry the third most productive in the nation, trailing only California and New York.

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In his statement, he noted that his offer was not tantamount to an endorsement of Phil Robertson’s positions on homosexuality, same-sex marriage or race. In a GQ interview, Roberston is quoted as having said, “Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers –” they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

Robertson also contended that “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person…they’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people.’ Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

“Regardless of one’s views on Phil Robertson’s statements,” Dardenne wrote, “Duck Dynasty has been an important representation of the state of Louisiana, inspiring prospective visitors and investors since its debut. Their show draws tens of millions of viewers each year, reaching an audience eager to visit Sportsman’s Paradise.”

The state’s tourist industry currently accounts for 1 in 10 jobs in the state, the highest level since the state started keeping employment statistics. Because of this, Dardenne wrote that “[i]f the Robertson family cannot come to an agreement with A&E and wants to continue the show, Louisiana already has the infrastructure in place to maintain their record-breaking program.”

[Image via Jay Dardenne]

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BUSTED: Trump task force member’s senate campaign got a $2.5 million loan from bank he helped run

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Bill Hagerty, a former U.S. ambassador to Japan who is now a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Tennessee, has secured campaign funds from a number of people and corporate entities connected to the White House economic recovery council — of which he's a member.

Since September, the Hagerty campaign has pulled in $33,000 in campaign contributions from corporations and individuals on the task force. The campaign also took out a $2.5 million loan from Pinnacle Financial Partners on March 27, the same day that President Trump signed the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

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Trump threatens to ‘close down’ social media companies if they don’t stop fact-checking his tweets

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to "close down" social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter if they didn't stop fact-checking his tweets about mail-in voting.

"Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices," the president wrote on Twitter. "We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen."

Trump's angry tirade was sparked when Twitter added a link at the end of one of the president's tweets that offered users additional facts about mail-in voting, which the president has falsely claimed is rife with fraud.

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2020 Election

Trump ‘frustrated and angry’ that Americans care more about COVID-19 than his Biden smears: White House reporter

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President Donald Trump sees himself as the real victim of the coronavirus pandemic, and a White House correspondent says that's why he can't show sympathy for the 100,000 dead.

The president just can't bring himself to act as "consoler-in-chief," Associated Press reporter Jonathan Lemire told MSNBC's "Morning Joe," because he's frustrated over COVID-19's damage to his re-election campaign strategy.

"This is a president who has been from the very beginning of this crisis has been frustrated and angry this has happened to him, and ill-prepared," Lemire said. "He was going into this year expecting to run for re-election on the back of a strong economy against what he thought would be a weak Democratic foe, and that all went away."

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