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Mr. Kelly goes to Washington



The first three weeks as the country’s newest congressman have been a learning experience for Trent Kelly.

“We were up there a week and the pace is pretty fast,” he said. “My days are mapped out on a pretty tight schedule. Some times it is hard to find five minutes during the day that are mine.”

A military man with 29 years in the National Guard, Kelly is accustomed to getting up and going to work. But the schedule Congress keeps is a lot different than the schedule most of Northeast Mississippi keeps.

“I go into the office each morning around 8 but a lot of times, they don’t start voting on things until 6:30 at night and go into the night,” he said. “We had one day last past midnight.”



Daily Journal
http://djournal.com/news/mr-kelly-goes-to-washington/
7/6/15

Posted July 7, 2015 - 5:21 am

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U.S. Senator: Strong Hand Needed To Deal With Putin, Islamic State


PRAGUE -- U.S. Senator Roger Wicker says "freedom-loving" countries have to be united and firm in responding to both an aggressive Russia and the rise of the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

Wicker (Republican-Mississippi) said in an interview with RFE/RL's Arbana Vidishiqi in Prague on July 4 that the world's response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions in Ukraine must include "resolve and a show of strength."

Wicker, the co-chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, said that Moscow's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and its support of separatist forces in Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine violate "almost every principle" from the Helsinki Accords, as well as the UN Charter.

He said it is important for the "free world" to "stand firm and speak the truth and let the rest of the world know that we recognize the actions of Mr. Putin for what they are."



Big News Network
http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/index.php/sid/234457733
7/6/15

Posted July 7, 2015 - 5:18 am

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RELEASE:


COCHRAN ANNOUNCES $1.4 MILLION IN FIRE DEPARTMENT GRANTS FOR MISSISSIPPI



16 Mississippi Fire Departments Will Benefit from Operations and Safety Grants



WASHINGTON, D. C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today reported that 16 Mississippi fire departments will receive more than $1.4 million in Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) to enhance their operations and safety efforts.



Administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration, the grants will assist the departments as they acquire new equipment and train their firefighters.



“Firefighters and other first responders protect and serve us at a great personal risk,” said Cochran, who serves on the Senate appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over FEMA. “I am pleased that these grants will help ensure that they are as well-equipped and well-trained as possible.”



The Assistance to Firefighters Grants, totaling $1,449,920, will support the following Mississippi fire departments:

· City of Greenville Fire Department, Greenville — $268,864

· Lafayette County Volunteer Fire Department, Oxford — $232,228

· Oktibbeha County District #5 Volunteer Fire Department, Starkville — $174,419

· Natchez Fire Department, Natchez — $147,191

· Town of Mathiston, Mathiston — $97,715

· Laurel Fire Department, Laurel — $85,932

· Shady Grove Volunteer Fire Department, Laurel — $70,858

· Longtown Fire Department, Crenshaw — $69,779

· Pope Volunteer Fire Department, Pope — $59,872

· Myrtle Volunteer Fire Department, Myrtle — $44,762

· Hickory Flat Volunteer Fire Department, Hickory Flat — $42,667

· Brandon Fire Department, Brandon — $40,910

· Mount Olivet Fire Department, Batesville — $39,155

· Hattiesburg Fire Department, Hattiesburg — $25,662

· Metcalfe Volunteer Fire Department, Metcalfe — $24,953

· Mount Olive Volunteer Fire and Rescue, Mount Olive — $24,953



AFG grants are awarded to enhance the readiness and firefighting ability of local fire departments. These grants are awarded by a competitive process overseen by fire service experts.


7/6/15

Posted July 7, 2015 - 5:16 am

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Chancery clerk race heats up in Harrison County



John McAdams was elected as Chancery Clerk in 1996. He says under his watch the clerk's office has undergone technological changes, streamlining county government.

"We've transformed the way we do business. It's more efficient. There's more accessibility for the public. There's a lot of information we can get out there in a different format," said McAdams.

Brian Carriere is a former Gulfport city councilman and currently a professor at Gulf Coast Community College. He's challenging McAdams in the GOP primary for Chancery Clerk because he thinks it's time for a change.

"Sometimes you just need a new set of eyes to look at the books and the way things operate. Sometimes we get used to a pattern and that's not always the most appropriate way," Carriere said.

But McAdams says that experience is an asset. He thinks the office is heading in the right direction.



WLOX
http://www.wlox.com/story/29485852/chancery-clerk-race-heats-up-in-harrison-county
7/6/15

Posted July 7, 2015 - 5:13 am

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Jeppie Barbour: We won't be 'bossed around by a bunch of Yankees'



JACKSON — The Confederate battle emblem should remain on the Mississippi flag because it honors ancestors who fought for the South in the Civil War, a brother of former Gov. Haley Barbour told about 40 supporters of the state banner at a rally Monday outside the state Capitol.

"They were fighting for the freedom of the South not to get bossed around by a bunch of Yankees," Jeppie Barbour told reporters after he spoke on the Capitol steps.

About 40 people — all of them white — participated in the rally. As a bagpiper played "Dixie," several Mississippi banners or freestanding rebel flags fluttered in breezes that brought little relief on a hot, muggy day. One man wore a T-shirt with a rebel flag and the slogan: "Fighting terrorism since 1861." Another carried a large Confederate battle flag emblazoned with the slogan: "I ain't coming down."



SunHerald
http://www.sunherald.com/2015/07/06/6309928_jeppie-barbour-we-wont-be-bossed.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
7/6/15

Posted July 7, 2015 - 5:07 am

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Sid Salter: Book offers look behind Barbour mystique



STARKVILLE – Slated for an Aug. 15 release, the book by former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is called “America’s Great Storm: Leading Through Hurricane Katrina” (University Press of Mississippi, 243 pages) and — with an able assist from writer Jere Nash and a moving foreword by former Biloxi newspaper publisher Ricky Mathews — it tells a remarkable tale of resilience, determination, hardball politics and perseverance by the most able politician I’ve ever known.

Books of this nature are usually exercises in self-aggrandizement. This one isn’t. It’s a true story about how a take-no-prisoners politician got thrown into the worst natural disaster in American history and came out the other side a public servant. Hurricane Katrina is the backdrop, but the story really is Barbour’s baptism-by-hurricane into a milieu in which winning was about more than election results — it was about people’s lives.



ClarionLedger
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/opinion/columnists/2015/07/05/salter-book-offers-look-behind-barbour-mystique/29676917/
7/5/15

Posted July 7, 2015 - 5:03 am

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Kemper refunds for Miss. Power customers to be discussed



JACKSON – Mississippi regulators plan to discuss at a Tuesday meeting how to obey a state Supreme Court order to refund about $350 million that Mississippi Power Co. has collected from customers to build a power plant in Kemper County.

The court ruled in February that an 18 percent rate increase was illegal because regulators didn’t conduct hearings to ensure Mississippi Power was spending prudently on the $6.2 billion plant. It also ruled that regulators used an illegal rate structure, didn’t notify all ratepayers and broke public meetings law by negotiating a deal in private.

The Public Service Commission, Mississippi Power and some business groups asked the court to reconsider, but the court reaffirmed its ruling in June.

Now, commissioners must sort out how the refunds will be issued.



ClarionLedger
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/2015/07/06/kemper-refunds-miss-power-customers-discussed/29796139/
7/6/15

Posted July 7, 2015 - 4:59 am

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RELEASE:


Palazzo Pleased with BP Agreement to Settle Regarding the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill


Washington, DC – Congressman Steven Palazzo (MS-4) released the following statement today after the announcement was made that BP has agreed to a settlement of an additional $1.5 billion with the state of Mississippi regarding the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster:

“I’m pleased with today’s announcement that BP has reached an agreement to settle with the State of Mississippi, more than five years after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This was the single largest man-made disaster in our history, and it not only devastated businesses and communities in our state, but cost some their lives. The settlement reached today has been a long time coming and is another huge step towards ensuring the long-term environmental and economic recovery of the Gulf Coast.

"Nearly $600 million of the settlement will be federal RESTORE Act funds, something that would not have been possible without the tireless work in Congress by our coastal delegation to ensure fine monies are returned to the affected states. Restoring and replenishing the Gulf Coast is more than just a responsible decision; it is the right thing to do.”


7/2/15


Posted July 6, 2015 - 6:44 am

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Hattiesburg lawyer withdraws from running for Lamar County circuit clerk over same-sex marriage


A Hattiesburg lawyer has withdrawn from running for Lamar County circuit clerk due to personal issues with same-sex marriage.

The Associated Press reports that Jay Jernigan, that he “does not feel comfortable” about the issuing of gay marriage licenses and therefore would not be able to perform his duties as a circuit clerk. His withdrawal came in letter form to the Lamar County Republicans Party Executive Committee.



WJTV
7/4/15

Posted July 6, 2015 - 6:39 am

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Former Southhaven Mayor Argues Judgment


Jackson, Miss. Attorneys for former Southaven Mayor Greg Davis will argue before the state Court of Appeals on July 21 that a judgment that he repay $73,000 to the city for the alleged misuse of public funds should be thrown out.

In briefs filed with the court, Davis' attorney argues Davis for legally reimbursed for money spent on city business. Attorney Michael A. Heilman says Davis's charges on the city credit card were approved and paid by the board of aldermen. He said the aldermen never rescinded approval of these claims.



WTOK
7/5/15


Posted July 6, 2015 - 6:34 am

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South Mississippians weigh in on potential state flag designs


Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran has even shared some of Vaughn's images on her Twitter page to show her support for a new design. But not everyone thinks that Mississippi's flag is the most important discussion to be had at this time.

"It's really a secondary issue. It's education, it’s hunger in the state, poverty in the state, those are more primary issues," said Chris Colby.

Governor Phil Bryant has already said he will not call lawmakers in for a special session to discuss the flag. Mississippians last voted on the flag in 2001, and an overwhelming majority voted to keep the design that has been in place since 1894.


WLOX
7/5/15


Posted July 6, 2015 - 6:31 am

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SUN HERALD | Editorial: Transparency questions surround BP deal


If we all remain diligent. We are hopeful our state officials will spend the money wisely and for the purposes it is intended. But we and others stand ready to verify how and where and with whom it is spent.

We believe we have reason to worry.

One word that was strangely absent in the settlement announcement Thursday was "transparency." That's strange because we were personally promised a transparent process when it comes to spending the windfall.

But that was a promise made by Trudy Fisher, who is no longer director of the Department of Environmental Quality.

Now we find the well-worn shroud of secrecy has already begun to fall.

The court filings, reported the Associated Press, have a confidentiality order that bars any of the parties from going into specifics. So, it appears the details will be worked out in secret.



Sunherald
7/4/15


Posted July 6, 2015 - 6:28 am

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BP settlement should not be used for recurring expenses


Mississippi has been blessed with an additional $1.5 billion in settlement money from the 2010 BP oil spill. Half of that money is earmarked for environmental restoration and other projects on the Coast. The other half will end up in the state’s general fund for lawmakers to decide how to spend.

Lawmakers from the Coast have been quick to stake a claim to the funds for the three coastal counties, arguing that those areas were most damaged by the spill. Indeed, the Coast and south Mississippi should absolutely be the priority when deciding how to spend these funds.

Likewise, other projects should not be ignored simply because they are not on the Coast. If they have merit and can benefit the state as a whole, then it seems those projects should receive due consideration.



ClarionLedger
7/4/15

Posted July 6, 2015 - 6:18 am

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Challengers face Republican incumbents in DeSoto County



A conservative group called Empower Mississippi is pumping money into all six races, motivated by what it sees as failures by incumbents to sufficiently support charter schools and educational vouchers. Challengers say the incumbents have been too cozy with retiring school Superintendent Milton Kuykendall. Incumbents say their constituents oppose charter schools and they were only supporting a school system they view as DeSoto County’s most important asset.

“The people up here really don’t like charter schools,” said Wanda Jennings, the Southaven representative whom other incumbents look to as the leader of the county’s House delegation.

While Democrats hope to gain about 10 seats and take back the House in November, some Republicans are hoping for a wider majority in the lower chamber. The intramural battles indicate that some of the most important elections this year in Mississippi could come in the GOP primary.

House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, is endorsing incumbents, including at a June meeting of the DeSoto County Conservative Coalition where he was briefly heckled.



ClarionLedger
7/4/15


Posted July 6, 2015 - 6:11 am

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Two Mississippi judges honored for their work



Rankin County Court Judge Thomas H. Broome and Jurist in Residence John N. Hudson are recipients of this year's Chief Justice Award for their work improving the juvenile justice system.

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller, Jr. will present the awards on July 10 during the Mississippi Bar Convention in Sandestin, Florida.



WLBT
http://www.msnewsnow.com/story/29466430/two-judges-honored-for-their-work
7/2/15

Posted July 3, 2015 - 5:16 am

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Bill Minor: Both 1890 Constitution and flag should go



Gil Carmichael is an 88-year-old Meridian businessman and conservationist. A former GOP gubernatorial candidate, he is now one of a disappearing band of Republican progressives.

He says it’s time for the embattled Confederate-image state flag to go. But along with it, he insists the unloved 1890 horse and buggy state constitution must go. Aside from the constitution’s notorious suppression of black voters, Carmichael contends the ancient document has kept Mississippi stuck in last place.

Carmichael ran for lieutenant governor in 1984 on a platform calling for a new state constitution. He even created a statewide nonpartisan, biracial committee to study the question of a new constitution. It proposed a constitutional convention.



ClarionLedger
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/opinion/2015/07/02/minor-constitution-flag-go/29613345/
7/2/15

Posted July 3, 2015 - 5:12 am

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Three sentenced on bribery charges in Coast community action agency



Linda Harvey-Irvin, 62, of Jackson, Donald Walton, 51, of Vicksburg, and Markuntala Croom, 45, of Columbia, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden for bribery involving the Gulf Coast Community Action Agency, a non-profit organization, partially funded by federal grants, which runs the Head Start Preschool in Gulfport, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis, FBI Special Agent in Charge Donald Alway, Special Agent in Charge Jerome R. McDuffie with IRS – Criminal Investigation, and Mississippi State Auditor Stacey Pickering.

Linda Harvey-Irvin was sentenced to 85 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay $531,236 in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service.

Donald Walton was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and a forfeiture judgment in the amount of $31,000 was entered.

Markuntala Croom was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $531,236 in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service.



WDAM
http://www.wdam.com/story/29460668/three-sentenced-on-bribery-charges-in-coast-community-action-agency
7/2/15

Posted July 3, 2015 - 5:07 am

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RELEASE:


Voter Registration Deadline THIS weekend


Jackson, Miss.—The deadline to register to vote in the August 4, 2015 Primary Election is Saturday, July 4, 2015. The Attorney General’s Office has advised Circuit Clerk’s Offices must be open from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm on July 4, 2015 to accept voter registration applications.

“This is a big election year in Mississippi,” says Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. “Most statewide offices are on the ballot. We encourage you to take the time to educate yourself on the candidates and participate in the electoral process by registering to vote today.”

Mail-in voter registration applications must be postmarked no later than Friday, July 3, 2015, as post offices will be closed on July 4, 2015 in observance of the holiday.

Eligible military and overseas voters are given an extended registration period in Mississippi. The deadline for our military and overseas voters to register to vote is July 25, 2015.



Voter registration applications submitted after July 4, 2015 will be processed by the Circuit Clerk, but the voter will not be eligible to cast a ballot in the August 4, 2015 Primary Election.



Voter registration applications are available at your local Circuit Clerk’s office in the county of residence. This application may also be used to update your voter registration information if you have moved or had a name change. You may also download an application from the Secretary of State’s website at http://www.sos.ms.gov.


7/2/15

Posted July 3, 2015 - 5:04 am

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Mississippi AG says Legislature needs to step up on state flag issue



Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said Thursday that the state Legislature needs to consider changing the state flag.

“They need to step up and do it,” Hood said. “They’ll probably kick it out to a vote of the people. But I think it’s a decision of the Legislature.”



WAPT
http://m.wapt.com/politics/mississippi-ag-says-legislature-needs-to-step-up-on-state-flag-issue/33969650
7/2/15

Posted July 3, 2015 - 5:00 am

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Madison mayor supports "Clean Sweep"



As the August 4 election draws near, politics are heating up in Madison.

A sign proclaiming "Clean Sweep Madison County" has been hung on a vacant building on Main Street in the city of Madison.

Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler said she and "a very large group" of taxpayers are responsible for the sign...


...Butler said the group is named "Clean Sweep" because that's what they intend to do to the Madison County Board of Supervisors. Butler first mentioned the organization at her state of the city address in April.



ClarionLedger
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/local/madison/2015/07/02/madison-mayor-supports-clean-sweep/29635987/
7/2/15


Posted July 3, 2015 - 4:53 am

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Tunica superintendent resigns ahead of possible state takeover



The Tunica County Schools superintendent has resigned days ahead of a meeting where the state education department will consider potential state takeover of the school district.

On Thursday afternoon, Tunica Superintendent Steven Chandler resigned in a letter to Circuit Clerk Sharon Reynolds....


...The school district has recently been under the watch of the Mississippi Department of Education, which found several instances of noncompliance with accreditation standards in the district. In an investigative audit done earlier this year, the agency flagged issues in special education, federal programs, instructional programs, career technical education and child nutrition, according to the audit.

MDE said the district was in violation of a number of accreditation standards, including Accreditation Policy 2.1.



ClarionLedger
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/2015/07/02/emergency-declaration-tunica-county-school-district/29614465/
7/2/15

Posted July 3, 2015 - 4:50 am

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Mississippi Reaches Landmark Agreement in BP Oil Spill Disaster Case

Gov. Phil Bryant and Attorney General Jim Hood announced today in Biloxi that Mississippi has reached an agreement in principle with BP to settle claims related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The settlement will bring approximately $1.5 billion in additional relief to Mississippi over the next 17 years. Combined with $659 million in early funding, Mississippi is receiving a total of nearly $2.2 billion in compensation.

The Deepwater Horizon Macondo oil well drilling platform exploded on April 20, 2010. Eleven men, including four Mississippians, were killed.

“Mississippi suffered tragic losses as a result of the BP oil spill. Eleven men died, including four Mississippians.” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “For months, we battled to protect our shorelines and the unique ecosystems and natural resources of our beautiful Gulf Coast from millions of gallons of oil and chemicals.

“And for years, we have worked diligently to pursue all legal recourse and rightful compensation resulting from this disaster. Today is a victory for Mississippi and a victory for a treasured way of life on the Gulf Coast,” Gov. Bryant continued.

Under the $1.5 billion agreement in principle with BP, Mississippi will receive approximately $183 million in Natural Resource Damage Assessment payments and approximately $582 million in Clean Water Act penalties under the RESTORE Act. Mississippi will also receive $750 million in economic damages.

Attorney General Jim Hood stated, "Our office recovered about seven times more than the initial projections for economic damages. We worked well with other states and all of the cities and counties on our Coast to build an outstanding economic damages model."

Breakdown of New Agreement in Principle
The $1.5 billion agreement in principle includes:
• Approximately $183 million in Natural Resource Damage Assessment payments, to be paid over 15 years, which will be used primarily for environmental restoration;
• approximately $582 million in Clean Water Act penalties under the RESTORE Act. These funds will be paid over 15 years and used primarily for environmental projects, research and economic development;
• $750 million in economic damages paid over 17 years as a result of Mississippi’s own lawsuit against BP. Mississippi is scheduled to receive a payment of $150 million in 2016 and equal yearly payments of $40 million from 2019-2033. The funds will be available for appropriation by the Mississippi Legislature.

Breakdown of $659 Million in Early Funding
• $112.557 million in Natural Resource Damage Assessment Early Restoration payments;
• $106 million in early RESTORE Act payments;
• $356 million in National Fish and Wildlife Foundation payments;
• $85.168 in initial response payments.

TOTAL RESTORATION FUNDS TO THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI: $2.174 billion.

The agreement in principle with BP also provides up to $1 billion to settle claims in the five Gulf States between BP and local governments and other public entities. Settlement amounts for individual governments and public entities, including those in Mississippi, have not yet been determined. Discussions are ongoing, and an announcement is expected on or about July 12.

“We remain committed to ensuring that our coast counties and cities are included in any settlement and treated fairly,” added Attorney General Jim Hood. “I am pleased to say we are upholding our promise.” Hood continued, “The size and scope of this settlement is the result of a successful partnership of all the gulf states and our state agencies. Together, we held BP accountable for the damage it caused.”

“We have made significant progress since the BP disaster,” Gov. Bryant said. “Today’s announcement ensures that long lasting recovery will continue.”

Gov Phil Bryant Press Release
7/2/15

Posted July 2, 2015 - 7:14 am

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Choctaw Tribal Elections: Candidates Respond



Choctaw, Miss. Former Choctaw Chief Beasley Denson says he will contest runoff election results. A final tally Wednesday by the Choctaw Tribe's Election Commission reveals that Anderson defeated Denson by 161 votes.



WTOK
http://www.wtok.com/home/headlines/Choctaw-Tribal-Elections-Candidates-Respond-311352101.html?device=tablet&c=y
7/1/15

Posted July 2, 2015 - 5:58 am

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40 attorneys general support Hood's Google appeal



Forty U.S. attorneys general have filed an amicus brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Mississippi's appeal of a U.S. District Court injunction that granted Google at least a temporary reprieve from the state's investigation into the company's online conduct....


...States participating include: Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.



ClarionLedger
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/politicalledger/2015/07/01/jim-hood-google-appeal/29584779/
7/1/15

Posted July 2, 2015 - 5:50 am

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RELEASE from MSGOP:



Last week was one of the biggest political news weeks in recent history, with the reignited debate over our state flag and U.S. Supreme Court decisions upholding Obamacare and requiring states to recognize gay marriage. Mississippi's Republican leaders were engaged on the issues, responding to queries from constituents and the media, issuing statements, and announcing potential next steps in light of the decisions.

Bobby Moak, on the other hand, rather than engaging the issues, spent the week sending out swanky invitations to a “late afternoon reception,” July 7th, on Highway 30A in Seagrove Beach, FL, and issuing a written plea for money in the bizarre form of a review of the upcoming film The Free State of Jones starring Matthew McConaughey.

On the issues of the flag and gay marriage, as the Clarion Ledger put it, “. . . crickets.” Silence from the state Democrat Leader. And on the issue of Obamacare, merely a statement to reporters in favor of Medicaid expansion.

Perhaps the reason Bobby Moak is not talking about the issues is because he doesn’t want to remind people back home how far and irreversibly left his Party has veered under President Obama, forcing upon Mississipians the job-killing, rate-hiking, government takeover of health care that is Obamacare and liberal social policies.

At any rate, it’s time for Republicans across the state to unite and vote out Democrats like Bobby Moak, and send a clear and resounding message that in today’s Mississippi, you can be a conservative or a Democrat, but you can't be both.



7/1/15

Posted July 2, 2015 - 5:45 am

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AP: Bryant tells court it should affirm same-sex marriage ruling




Gov. Phil Bryant remains opposed to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, but he’s stopping his court fight against it.

In a letter Wednesday, Bryant’s lawyer asks the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to return a Mississippi gay marriage lawsuit to U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves in Jackson. That would allow Reeves to enter a final ruling aligned with the Supreme Court decision.



WJTV
http://wjtv.com/2015/07/01/bryant-tells-court-it-should-affirm-same-sex-marriage-ruling/
7/1/15

Posted July 2, 2015 - 5:43 am

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Court lifts stay; clerks will issue same-sex licenses



A group of Mississippi circuit clerks said they'll be issuing same-sex marriage licenses after meeting with Gov. Phil Bryant and a lawyer with the attorney general's office and receiving some "clarity."

And the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday lifted a stay that had caused confusion over whether Mississippi could begin allowing same-sex marriages.



ClarionLedger
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/politics/2015/07/01/guidance-clerks-issue-sex-licenses/29578875/
7/1/15

Posted July 2, 2015 - 5:41 am

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PERRY/Neshoba speakers

Senate president pro-tem Giles Ward (R-18) speaks on Wednesday, his final fair as an elected official after announcing his retirement at the end of this term at last year's Fair. He will be preceded by four Republicans seeking to fill his seat: Speedy Calvert, Curt Pace, Jenifer Branning and Mark Forsman. Candidates for district attorney and Central District Transportation Commissioner, as well as Representative Scott Bounds (R-44) will also be speaking.

Next, comes the fireworks. (Not literally - the fireworks literally come out Friday night at the close of the Fair - the metaphoric political fireworks.)

Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler takes the stage in her primary challenge against incumbent Republican State Auditor Stacey Pickering. Butler has a flair for the dramatic while Pickering is regarded as one of the best stump speakers today in Mississippi politics.

Libertarian Ron Williams and Democrat Tim Johnson speak prior to the person they are challenging: Republican incumbent Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves. Both Williams and Johnson were once Republicans. Williams lost a Republican primary bid for Governor in 2011 and switched to the Libertarians for an unsuccessful challenge to Republican Congressman Steven Palazzo in 2012. Johnson, an Elvis impersonator, formerly served in the state Senate and as a supervisor as a Republican before joining the Democrats earlier this year.



Brian Perry
Madison County Journal
7/1/15

Posted July 1, 2015 - 8:58 am

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Cochran, Wicker Back Biomass Energy
Miss. Senators Urge Agencies to Remove Uncertainties

U.S. Senators Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., are urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Department of Energy (DOE) to recognize and support biomass energy as a sustainable and economically significant energy source. Cochran and Wicker were joined by a bipartisan group of 44 senators in sending the letter.

“Wood-based bioenergy offers great potential for improving national energy security and job creation and should be a more important part of America’s comprehensive energy plan. Federal agencies need to remove regulatory barriers that hinder forest biofuel production, which could be more widespread throughout the Southern states,” said Cochran, who promoted biofuel provisions in the 2014 farm bill.

“Biomass could have an enormous impact on our nation’s energy capabilities, job creation, and economic growth,” Wicker said. “Cutting red tape is an important step as we work to unlock forest bioenergy as a realistic, renewable energy source.”

The letter – led by Senators Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. – highlights the importance of forest bioenergy and encourages the agencies to ensure that federal policies are consistent and reflect the carbon neutrality of biomass derived from residuals of forest products in manufacturing and agriculture.

Full text of the letter:


June 30, 2015


The Honorable Gina McCarthy The Honorable Tom Vilsack
Administrator Secretary
Environmental Protection Agency U.S. Department of Agriculture
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20460 Washington, DC 20250

The Honorable Dr. Ernest Moniz
Secretary
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20585

Dear Administrator McCarthy, Secretary Moniz, and Secretary Vilsack:

We write to support biomass energy as a sustainable, responsible, renewable, and economically significant energy source. Federal policies across all departments and agencies must remove any uncertainties and contradictions through a clear, unambiguous message that forest bioenergy is part of the nation’s energy future.

Many states are relying on renewable biomass to meet their energy goals, and we support renewable biomass to create jobs and economic growth while meeting our nation’s energy needs. A comprehensive science, technical, and legal administrative record supports a clear and simple policy establishing the benefits of energy from forest biomass. Federal policies that add unnecessary costs and complexity will discourage rather than encourage investment in working forests, harvesting operations, bioenergy, wood products, and paper manufacturing. Unclear or contradictory signals from federal agencies could discourage biomass utilization as an energy solution.

The carbon neutrality of forest biomass has been recognized repeatedly by numerous studies, agencies, institutions, legislation, and rules around the world, and there has been no dispute about the carbon neutrality of biomass derived from residuals of forest products manufacturing and agriculture. Our constituents employed in the biomass supply chain deserve a federal policy that recognizes the clear benefits of forest bioenergy. We urge you to ensure that federal policies are consistent and reflect the carbon neutrality of forest bioenergy.


Posted July 1, 2015 - 8:44 am

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HOOD FOLLOWS HURST’S LEAD ON EPA
It takes an election to get Hood to do his job

In May, Republican Attorney General Mike Hurst called on Jim Hood to respond to the EPA’s “water of the United States” ruling which would allow for federal bureaucratic overreach into the states and onto private property. Mississippi has now joined a lawsuit with other states against the EPA on this issue.

“It’s sad that it takes an election year campaign to wake up our part-time Attorney General and get him to do the right thing. He has been sitting idly by, in his words running the Attorney General's office from an iPad in Houston, while the federal government continues to encroach on the rights of Mississippians and our state. As Attorney General, I will fight for Mississippi all the time, not just a few months before an election every four years,” said Hurst.

Mike Hurst Press Release
7/1/15

Posted July 1, 2015 - 7:53 am

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John Mosley for Insurance Commissioner

I don't NEED this job - I WANT it. I want to fight for you and your family. I want to fight for the farmer who doesn't have fair policy options, for the business on the coast who is trying to rebuild after Katrina yet can't due to unfair flood insurance programs, and for the family who was treated unfairly after a car accident. I am reading every comment and every story, and I HEAR you. I'm here to fight for the consumer - for you, me, and our families. I can't do this without your help. We're nearly 30 days out. Are you ready to fight for a better Mississippi? Join me.

Posted by John Mosley for Insurance Commissioner on Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Posted July 1, 2015 - 7:16 am

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Meridian's CAO to Take Position with Mississippi Development Authority



The city of Meridian is losing its Chief Administrative Officer.

The Mississippi Development Authority announced Tuesday it has hired Mike McGrevey to be its deputy director. The MDA is the state's economic development arm, and McGrevey will serve as second in command. He has served as CAO for Meridian since last February. He has also served in a variety of government and economic development roles in this area over the last several years.



WTOK
http://www.wtok.com/home/headlines/Meridians-CAO-to-Take-Position-with-Mississippi-Development-Authority-311036301.html?device=tablet&c=y
6/30/15



Posted July 1, 2015 - 6:15 am

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Cobb Takes Over Role as 10th District Circuit Judge


Justin Cobb took an oath Tuesday to become a circuit judge for the 10th Judicial District, which serves Lauderdale, Clarke, Kemper and Wayne Counties. He replaces Robert Bailey, who is retiring. Cobb was appointed by Governor Phil Bryant.



WTOK
http://www.wtok.com/home/headlines/Cobb-Takes-Over-Role-as-10th-District-Circuit-Judge-311028191.html?device=tablet&c=y
6/30/15

Posted July 1, 2015 - 6:13 am

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No Supreme Court Action on Mississippi Abortion Clinic Law



The U.S. Supreme Court is taking no action before the fall on a dispute over a Mississippi law that could close the state's only abortion clinic.

The justices' silence Tuesday on an appeal by the state means a lower court order blocking Mississippi from enforcing the law will remain in effect for the foreseeable future.


WTOK
http://www.wtok.com/home/headlines/No-Supreme-Court-Action-on-Mississippi-Abortion-Clinic-Law-311037861.html?device=tablet&c=y
6/30/15

Posted July 1, 2015 - 6:11 am

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UPDATING: Choctaw Tribal Runoff Election Results



Choctaw, Mississippi Unofficial results in the runoff election for Chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians have Phyliss Anderson leading Beasley Denson by 54 votes with absentee ballots that will be counted Wednesday.




WTOK
http://www.wtok.com/home/headlines/Choctaw-Tribal-Runoff-Election-Results-311021121.html?device=tablet&c=y
6/30/15

Posted July 1, 2015 - 6:05 am

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CHARLIE MITCHELL: Changing rebel flag would make statement that needs to be heard around world




This state's flag, which incorporates the red, white and blue of the American flag as well as a battle flag of the Confederacy, has no magic. Like all flags, it's a piece of cloth. Changing to a flag without the battle emblem would not end racism any more than flowers at a funeral change the reality of death.

But it's time. Symbols do matter.

We can't undo the gunfire that killed nine people at a Charleston church service. We can make a visible statement.




SunHerald
http://www.sunherald.com/2015/06/30/6301852_charlie-mitchell-changing-rebel.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
6/30/15

Posted July 1, 2015 - 5:57 am

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Hinds County Chancery Court Judge Dewayne Thomas ruled in favor of the Office of the State Auditor today, ordering former Warren County Circuit Court Clerk Shelly Ashley Palmertree’s bonding company, Western Surety, to pay $300,000 to the taxpayers of Warren County.

Palmertree dismissed her lawsuit against Warren County and the State Auditor. Judge Thomas then entered a judgment against her on March 31, 2015; however, the judgment did not address Western Surety’s liability. In his order Judge Thomas wrote, “The Court finds no merit in Western Surety’s assertions……The law is clear that Western Surety is liable to the State Auditor for the extent of its coverage of Palmertree.”

“The public officials and the companies that insure them will be held accountable to the taxpayers of Mississippi,” said State Auditor Pickering.
Palmertree is currently serving 10 years in custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with five years to serve and the remaining five years suspended for embezzlement.

State Auditor Stacey Pickering Press Release
6/30/15

Posted June 30, 2015 - 2:41 pm

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Grenada Circuit Clerk resigns over same-sex marriage

In a letter to the board of supervisors, Grenada County Circuit Clerk Linda Barnette announced her resignation on Tuesday, citing the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

Barnette has been the circuit clerk for 24 years, and announced that her resignation is effective immediately.

"The Supreme Court's decision violates my core values as a Christian," she wrote. "My final authority is the Bible. I cannot in all good conscience issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples under my name because the Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is contrary to God's plan and purpose for marriage and family."



Clarion Ledger
6/30/15

Posted June 30, 2015 - 11:03 am

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All 22 Sheriffs elected as Republicans in Mississippi gave their support to Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and his bid for re-election today.

Under Lt. Gov. Reeves’ leadership, Mississippi has enacted laws to increase protections for victims of violence and strengthen punishment for violent crimes.

“Law enforcement officers have a strong ally in Tate Reeves,” said Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge. “We’ve worked together on legislation to keep the public safe, and he recognizes the dangers law enforcement officers face on the streets.”

Over the past four years, Lt. Gov. Reeves has supported tougher punishments for criminals who prey on children and vulnerable adults.

“I support Tate Reeves’ re-election because he is committed to strong partnerships with local law enforcement agencies,” said Desoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco. “He recognizes the importance of law enforcement officers whether it’s responding to a victim’s emergency call or helping our communities recover from natural disasters.”

Lt. Gov. Reeves also has toughened sentences for violent crimes.

“I am honored to have the support of law enforcement officers across Mississippi,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “These Sheriffs and their deputies risk their lives daily to make sure the rest of us can raise our families in a safe environment. They represent the best of what makes Mississippi a great place to live.”

Sheriffs endorsing Lt. Gov. Reeves include:
Calhoun Co. Sheriff Greg Pollan
DeSoto Co. Sheriff Bill Rasco
George Co. Sheriff Dean Howell
Hancock Co. Sheriff Ricky Adam
Harrison Co. Sheriff Melvin Brisolara
Jackson Co. Sheriff Mike Ezell
Jones Co. Sheriff Alex Hodge
Lamar Co. Sheriff Danny Rigel
Lauderdale Co. Sheriff William "Billy" Sollie
Lawrence Co. Sheriff Joel Thames
Leake Co. Sheriff Greg Waggoner
Lee Co. Sheriff Jim Johnson
Lincoln Co. Sheriff Steve Rushing
Lowndes Co. Sheriff Mike Arledge
Madison Co. Sheriff Randy Tucker
Marion Co. Sheriff Berkley Hall
Neshoba Co. Sheriff Tommy Waddell
Newton Co. Sheriff Jackie Knight
Pearl River Co. Sheriff David Allison
Pike Co. Sheriff Mark Shepherd
Rankin Co. Sheriff Bryan Bailey
Simpson Co. Sheriff Kenneth Lewis


Tate Reeves Press Release
6/30/15


Posted June 30, 2015 - 8:49 am

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Cities May Ban Caffeine Products



JACKSON, Miss. – Cities and counties across Mississippi are now able to ban the selling of “dangerous” caffeine products to minors.

Earlier in the year, Rep. Tommy Reynolds proposed Noah’s Law after the accidental death of Noah Smith, who died from overdosing on caffeine pills....


...On June 19th, the Attorney General’s Office issued an opinion stating that since state law does not cover the issue, cities and counties have the right enable the law themselves.



NewsMS
http://www.newsms.fm/cities-may-ban-caffeine-products/#sthash.xsNoJuTL.dpuf
6/29/15

Posted June 30, 2015 - 5:27 am

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Runoff Election for Choctaw Chief to Take Place Tuesday


Voters with the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians will select a new chief on Tuesday.

Incumbent Chief Phyliss Anderson is facing off against former chief Beasley Denson in a runoff election between the top two vote getters from the primary earlier this month. Anderson beat Denson four years ago to get the job. The polls will be open Tuesday from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. in the evening, at all tribal polling locations.


WTOK
http://www.wtok.com/home/headlines/Runoff-Election-for-Choctaw-Chief-to-Take-Place-Tuesday-310776021.html?device=tablet&c=y
6/29/15

Posted June 30, 2015 - 5:20 am

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Mississippi bans text-and-drive, repeals inspection sticker and other changes



Starting Wednesday, people driving in Mississippi can be penalized for sending text messages or posting to social media sites while they're behind the wheel.

But, the state is also giving drivers a break by eliminating the $5 annual vehicle inspection sticker




Gulflive
http://www.gulflive.com/news/index.ssf/2015/06/mississippi_bans_text-and-driv.html#incart_river
6/29/15

Posted June 30, 2015 - 5:15 am

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Moak weighs in on ... Free State of Jones?



Several folks have sent me a copy of an unusual fundraising email from state House Democratic Leader Bobby Moak, D-Bogue Chitto.

Moak, as I pointed out in a post Friday, still hasn't weighed in on the state flag or gay marriage issues -- which is sort of strange. But in his fundraising letter, he focuses on the Free State of Jones -- Jones County's secession from the secession during the Civil War -- and the upcoming movie about it starring Matthew McConaughey.

Not really sure what he's trying to say here. Look away, look away? Don't sweat the flag issue (especially in an election year)? He just wanted to write a movie review?



ClarionLedger
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/politicalledger/2015/06/29/moak-free-state/29459911/
6/29/15

Posted June 30, 2015 - 5:11 am

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Group: Change flag of 'hatred and bigotry'



Former mayoral candidate Antar Lumumba said the Mississippi state flag represents the vestige of the "noose South."

Lumbuma's group Stand Up Take It Down held its first anti-flag event Monday at the Capitol, starting with a press conference and concluding on the building's south steps.

"There are a lot of things we can hold pride in in the state of Mississippi, but the flag is not one of them," said Lumumba, whose father, Chokwe, served as Jackson mayor until his death last year. "It is known for hatred. It is known for bigotry. And instead of making every effort to disavow a narrative that links us to injustice, we fly the very emblem that embodies that hate over our state Capitol every day. This problematic and exclusionary emblem restricts Mississippi a noose South, instead of the pride of a so-called new South."



ClarionLedger
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/2015/06/29/confederate-flag-mississippi-hatred-bigotry/29470787/
6/29/15

Posted June 30, 2015 - 5:07 am

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Legislator tells Jackson County supervisors to let their attorney go



State Rep. Charles Busby, R-Pascagoula, went before the Jackson County Board of Supervisors and told them to end their relationship with Ocean Springs attorney Billy Guice, who is investigating the hospital system.

The county hired Guice months ago to find out why the county hospital pension plan failed and to look at hospital financials. Recently, Guice has spoken out about the ineffectiveness of a new open-hospital law that Busby had a hand in authoring.

Busby said he asked the board, "not to go hiring attorneys and forensic auditors and making defendants of yourself."

But he said they did that anyway and suggested they look where it got them. He pointed out that they have spent more than $340,000 on attorneys fees with Guice.

But instead, the board made an additional move Monday to look into the county hospital system's financial past.

The board voted to hire Rushing & Guice on a contingency basis -- meaning it won't cost the county anything unless the suit is successful -- to sue KPMG, the accounting firm that handled the hospital system audits in 2009 through fiscal year 2012. KPMG also audited the SRHS pension fund in some of those years, in a separate audit, supervisors said in a statement explaining their action.



SunHerald
http://www.sunherald.com/2015/06/29/6299623/legislator-tells-jackson-county.html#storylink=cpy
6/29/15

Posted June 29, 2015 - 1:11 pm

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AG gives clerks OK for same-sex marriage licenses



The AG's move on Friday was criticized by an attorney for the plaintiffs and by constitutional law expert and professor Matt Steffey.

On Monday, the Attorney General sent an e-mail to clerks that his directive on Friday "seems to have been misinterpreted as prohibiting Circuit Clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. The statement was merely meant to explain that an order of the Fifth Circuit would be necessary to lift the stay."

Despite the fact the stay has not yet been lifted, the letter continued, "Obergefell is the law of the land. If a clerk has issued or decides to issue a marriage license to a same sex couple, there will be no adverse action taken by the Attorney General against that circuit clerk on behalf of the State … On the other hand, a clerk who refuses to issue a marriage license to a same sex couple could be sued by the denied couple and may face liability."



ClarionLedger
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/2015/06/29/ag-oks-same-sex-licenses/29465835/
6/29/15

Posted June 29, 2015 - 1:09 pm

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RELEASE:


Wicker, Blumenthal Propose Fair Regulation of Amateur Radio Operators

Bipartisan Measure Would Allow for Transparency, Equality in Regulatory Process



WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., have introduced bipartisan legislation titled the “Amateur Radio Parity Act” that would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide regulatory parity for amateur radio operators.



“This legislation would ensure that our nation’s amateur radio operators can continue to provide critical communications support at no cost to taxpayers. This would be particularly beneficial in Mississippi and other rural states,” Wicker said. “During Hurricane Katrina, Mississippians learned firsthand the value of amateur radio and its ability to provide information that could save lives in times of natural disasters.”



“This measure ensures ‎increased access to and availability of critical resources and communication tools to our integral first-responders. We have seen the effectiveness of these systems and the need to provide these emergency response systems to Americans regardless of where you live is evident,” Blumenthal stated.



Because of private land restrictions, a large segment of amateur radio operators are prohibited from installing functional outdoor antennas at their homes. This bill would call on FCC to apply the reasonable accommodation policy evenly to all types of residential land use regulations and offer amateur radio operators the ability to negotiate with subdivisions that now have restrictions that preclude amateur radio antennas completely. This could be accomplished without taking any jurisdiction away from homeowners associations and would protect neighborhood aesthetics.



In times of emergency, amateur radio operators provide communications network backup when first responder network repeaters and infrastructure are not working. During and immediately after Hurricane Katrina, amateur radio operators restored communications lines with FEMA, the Red Cross, and other disaster relief entities when the primary emergency response network was down.



The House version of the bill is sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill. There are currently 84 bipartisan cosponsors, including Mississippi’s Rep. Gregg Harper.



6/29/15

Posted June 29, 2015 - 1:06 pm

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BILL CRAWFORD: Speaker should stick to beliefs




Meanwhile, our flag fight is 15 years old. Our sandbox mentality doesn't care if the Confederate emblem in the flag has racist overtones and offends others, much like we felt for years about Ayers.

Now comes one of our young, dynamic, conservative leaders, House Speaker Philip Gunn, courageously saying we should put Christian values ahead of selfish desires and take down the flag.

Stay the course, Mr. Speaker. We make it hard to settle race-tainted issues in Mississippi.



SunHerald
http://www.sunherald.com/2015/06/27/6297735_bill-crawford-speaker-should-stick.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
6/27/15

Posted June 29, 2015 - 5:28 am

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Mississippi Flag missing from track and field championships




EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Only 49 state flags are being displayed at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships in Eugene this week.

Mississippi's state flag, which features a Confederate banner in one corner, is not on display at the tournament that concludes Sunday.

The Oregonian newspaper reports (http://is.gd/tN7hA1 ) TrackTown USA president was not available to comment on the flag earlier this weekend.



WLOX
http://www.wlox.com/story/29426354/mississippi-flag-missing-from-track-and-field-championships
6/28/15

Posted June 29, 2015 - 5:22 am

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Sen. Wiggins, Jackson County supervisors divided over hospital transparency law




State Sen. Brice Wiggins said Sunday he won't attend Monday's meeting of the Jackson County Board of Supervisors to explain a new law he helped author to put public hospitals under increased scrutiny.

"As I have just finished reading the most recent Sun Herald article and (board attorney Billy) Guice's comments concerning the legislation, I do not feel that I can add anything more to the conversation and therefore I will not be attending the meeting," Wiggins wrote in an email to the board Sunday morning.

An article in the Sunday Sun Herald previewed the meeting with comments from both sides.

"It is clear that Mr. Guice values his role as your attorney," Wiggins wrote. "Seeing as how Mr. Guice's legal advice and services have reached upwards of $350,000, and that you also have the board attorney's advice, I would not want to impinge on this attorney-client relationship."




SunHerald
http://www.sunherald.com/2015/06/28/6298230/sunday-sun-herald-story-strikes.html#storylink=cpy
6/28/15

Posted June 29, 2015 - 5:17 am

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Voter Registration Deadline Quickly Approaching






"The deadline is going to be Saturday, July 4th at noon. Anybody can come in and register to vote if they want to be on the poll books," Johnson says.

The deadline to register, in Mississippi, is always 30 days before the election.



WTOK
http://www.wtok.com/home/headlines/Voter-Registration-Deadline-Quickly-Approaching-310404671.html?device=tablet&c=y
6/28/15

Posted June 29, 2015 - 5:14 am

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Sam Hall: Flag issue defining our state leaders



House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, caused a tempest this week when he announced support for changing the state flag. Since then, many a politician have spoken on the issue, many more have stayed noticeable quiet. Only few have shown the courage of their convictions as Gunn did.

Let me be clear: those supporting a change in the state flag are not the only brave ones. No, those who have come out in favor of keeping the state flag and made a clearly reasonable argument why are just as brave. I personally disagree with the positions of Sens. Chris McDaniel and Melanie Sojourner, but they stood up and said they didn't support changing the flag. They weren't ambiguous, and they didn't pass the buck. That takes political courage....


...It's a simple question, but it's amazing how many people are ducking our inquiries, have refused to answer or who say they still need to think about it. While some issues are complicated and worthy of more reflection, this is not one of them. It's an ages old issue with no new arguments to make.



ClarionLedger
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/opinion/columnists/2015/06/27/hall-column-flag-issue-mississippi-leaders/29410945/
6/27/15

Posted June 29, 2015 - 5:06 am

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Sid Salter: Marriage ruling faces procedural roadblock in MS




In his ruling, Judge Reeves held that Mississippi's same-sex marriage ban violated the 14th Amendment by failing to protect individual rights against the beliefs of the majority of voters.

Given the politically-incendiary nature of the question and the fact that statewide courthouse-to-statehouse elections loom, it's unlikely that state government will take any action on same-sex marriage until after November. State government options are rather severely limited.

What is likely — given the basic legal finality of the high court's ruling — is a great deal of political posturing by those on both sides of the debate. While the legal question is now settled law from a federal standpoint, the political question will likely continue to roil.



ClarionLedger
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/opinion/columnists/2015/06/27/salter-same-sex-marriage-ruling-roadblock/29392135/
6/27/15

Posted June 29, 2015 - 5:04 am

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Has anyone seen this House leader?



Usually outspoken and providing a counterpoint to most anything Gov. Phil Bryant or other GOP leaders say, House Democratic Leader Bobby Moak, D-Bogue Chitto, has been noticeably silent so far on the state flag and gay marriage ruling issues.

Moak hasn't responded to multiple calls/requests for comment/stance on the state flag issue all week, and on the gay marriage ruling today. His silence is unusual and, deafening.



ClarionLedger
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/politicalledger/2015/06/26/moak-notably-absent/29352141/
6/26/15

Posted June 29, 2015 - 5:02 am

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MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS


WLBT
6/28/15

Posted June 29, 2015 - 4:58 am

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RELEASE:


Wicker Statement on Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Ruling



WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision on Obergefell v. Hodges:


“I have always believed that marriage should be between a man and a woman, a belief shared by many Americans. There are people who hold strong views on both sides of this issue, and reasonable people can respectfully disagree. I will continue to work to protect the First Amendment rights of those who, based on their religious convictions, oppose same-sex marriage.”



Wicker is a cosponsor of the “First Amendment Defense Act,” which would prevent the federal government from discriminating against any individual or institution that defines marriage as a union of one man and one woman. It would also bar the government from denying any federal grants, contracts, licenses, or tax exemptions from individuals or groups based on their beliefs.


6/26/15

Posted June 29, 2015 - 4:49 am

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RELEASE:



COCHRAN STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT RULING ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodgesin that overrode states' rights to redefine marriage and legalize same-sex marriages in all 50 states:

"The Supreme Court decision does not and cannot change the firmly held faith of most Mississippians. I believe marriage is defined as the union of one man and one woman. The court's decision raises questions about the protection of religious liberties and First Amendment rights, which the Congress may have to address. It is important that this ruling does not result in individuals, businesses, and religious-oriented schools and organizations being penalized by the government for their belief in the traditional definition of marriage."


6/26/15

Posted June 29, 2015 - 4:46 am

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Lawmaker: State could stop marriage licenses altogether



State House Judiciary Chairman Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, said he's still studying the ruling, but that one option might be for Mississippi to get out of the marriage business altogether.

"One of the options that other states have looked at is removing the state marriage license requirement," Gipson said. "We will be researching what options there are. I personally can see pros and cons to that. I don't know if it would be better to have no marriage certificate sponsored by the state or not. But it's an option out there to be considered."

Oklahoma lawmakers this year considered a bill that would have had clergy and notaries sign off on marriage paperwork, taking state judges and county clerks out of the process. In Alabama, at least one county stopped issuing any marriage licenses months ago.

Gipson, an attorney and Baptist minister who opposes gay marriage, caused a stir last year when he said: "I believe the time has come for people of faith in Mississippi to prepare for the overturning of our constitutional ban on it," noting then that Friday's high court ruling was inevitable.



ClarionLedger
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/politicalledger/2015/06/26/bryant-gay-marriage/29327433/
6/26/15

Posted June 29, 2015 - 4:43 am

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AG Hood: Supreme Court gay marriage decision not immediately effective in Mississippi



Attorney General Jim Hood issued a statement Friday regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage. AG Hood said the decision is not immediately effective in the state of Mississippi.

Below is his statement that explains why:

“The Supreme Court’s decision is not immediately effective in Mississippi. It will become effective in Mississippi, and circuit clerks will be required to issue same-sex marriage licenses, when the 5th Circuit lifts the stay of Judge Reeves’ order. This could come quickly or may take several days. The 5th Circuit might also choose not to lift the stay and instead issue an order, which could take considerably longer before it becomes effective.”



WJTV
http://wjtv.com/2015/06/26/ag-hood-supreme-court-gay-marriage-decision-not-immediately-effective-in-mississippi/
6/26/15

Posted June 29, 2015 - 4:34 am

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PENDER: First look: Former Gov. Haley Barbour’s Katrina book



On the afternoon of August 29, 2005, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour knew someone had to be in charge after Hurricane Katrina’s winds died and storm surge receded and realized “for better or for worse, that was me.”

“America’s Great Storm: Leading through Hurricane Katrina” is co-authored by the former two-term governor and Mississippi author and politico Jere Nash. Long in the works — and put on the backburner for at least a couple of years by Barbour’s own admission — it’s set to hit book stores Aug. 10, shortly before the 10th anniversary of the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.

The book is not a storm thriller. It’s devoid of breathless hyperbole or purple prose about the killer storm, and it’s not a deeply personal memoir. It’s more a well-sourced, analytical and historical account of how Barbour and the state coped with Katrina before, during and in the year following the storm. It should be issued to every state’s governor, and required reading for them and their emergency management leaders.



ClarionLedger
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/politics/2015/06/27/first-look-former-gov-haley-barbours-katrina-book/29405773/
6/27/15

Posted June 29, 2015 - 4:29 am

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Analysis: Confederate emblem affects Miss. election dynamic



JACKSON, MISS. — The racially sensitive topic of the Confederate battle emblem on the Mississippi flag was clearly was not on Republican Gov. Phil Bryant's agenda entering this election year.

Debate is unavoidable now, because the massacre of nine worshippers at a black church in South Carolina has prompted people to re-examine the prominence given to symbols of the Old South....


...Gunn is unopposed in his House district, so he faces less pressure than Bryant and Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who are on the statewide ballot. They have to keep conservative flag supporters happy while also acknowledging that some in the state see the Confederate emblem as an offensive reminder of slavery and segregation. Bryant and Reeves have said that if the flag is revisited, the issue should be decided by voters.

Longtime Democratic state Rep. Ed Blackmon, a member of the Legislative Black Caucus, said putting the issue on the ballot again would have the same result as in 2001 — a racially divided vote to keep the Confederate symbol. He said legislators should step up and change the flag.

"To do otherwise is an admission that we are incapable of doing our jobs on one of the more important issues of race relations in our state," Blackmon said.




SunHerald
http://www.sunherald.com/2015/06/28/6296140_analysis-confederate-emblem-affects.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
6/28/15

Posted June 29, 2015 - 4:23 am

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Governor Bryant Issues Statement on Supreme Court Obergefell Decision

Gov. Phil Bryant issues the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell et al v. Hodges et al:

“Throughout history, states have had the authority to regulate marriage within their borders. Today, a federal court has usurped that right to self-governance and has mandated that states must comply with federal marriage standards—standards that are out of step with the wishes of many in the United States and that are certainly out of step with the majority of Mississippians.”


Gov. Phil Bryant Press Release
6/26/15
6/26/15


Posted June 26, 2015 - 8:36 am

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Business leaders say Mississippi flag will stunt economic growth

MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS


WLBT
6/26/15

Posted June 26, 2015 - 7:27 am

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Ole Miss, MSU Issue Statements in Support of Removing Confederate Emblem from State Flag

University of Mississippi Acting Chancellor Morris H. Stocks issued the following statement:

“The University of Mississippi community came to the realization years ago that the confederate battle flag did not represent many of our core values such as civility and respect for others. Since that time, we have become a stronger and better university. We join other leaders in our state who are calling for a change in the state flag.”


Mississippi State University Office of Public Affairs issued the following statement:

“Like all people of good will, Mississippi State University abhors the senseless violence that was visited on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and we grieve with the families of the victims. In 2001, the MSU Faculty Senate voted overwhelmingly in support of changing the state flag of Mississippi prior to the failed statewide voter referendum on that question. Other than lawful displays of the state flag, the symbols in question are not associated with our university. As the most diverse university in the Southeastern Conference and the most diverse of the original land-grant universities in the country, Mississippi State remains committed to diversity, inclusion, equal opportunity and a culture of fellowship, tolerance and peace. That’s true in our academic offerings and in our athletic programs as well.”

Hotty Toddy
6/26/15


Posted June 26, 2015 - 7:23 am

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Hattiesburg Mayor orders removal of state flag



Mississippi flags have been removed at the City of Hattiesburg police and fire stations.

Mayor Johnny DuPree's spokesperson, Chinika Hughes, says Mississippi Flags have been removed per the mayor's order.

"While there were state flags that were flown at city-owned buildings, the state flag at City Hall has not been up for several years," said Mayor Johnny DuPree. "We have removed the state flags to honor the lives of the nine individuals slain in the church shooting in Charleston, SC, their families, and community as they mourn. We are extending the same show of support as they did during our time of distress," he said.



WDAM
http://www.wdam.com/story/29410121/hattiesburg-mayor-orders-removal-of-state-flag
6/25/15

Posted June 26, 2015 - 5:29 am

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MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS


WLBT
6/25/15

Posted June 26, 2015 - 5:24 am

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Hattiesburg Mayor Asks for Contempt of Court Ruling to be Lifted


HATTIESBURG, Miss.- Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree has requested a circuit court judge to drop the contempt of court charges against him. A motion was filed on Tuesday in Forrest County Circuit Court by way of his attorney, Ottowa Carter Jr.



NewsMS
http://www.newsms.fm/hattiesburg-mayor-asks-for-contempt-of-court-ruling-to-be-lifted/#sthash.6jAbXhA6.dpuf
6/25/15

Posted June 26, 2015 - 5:21 am

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A FORMER MISSISSIPPI GOVERNOR SAYS THE STATE FLAG IS MORE THAN A SYMPBOL





Republican State Representative Charles Busby.

"The flag belongs to the people. I would not vote to change the flag in the legislature. I would however, support a new referendum to allow the people to speak again, said Busby.



MPB
http://www.mpbonline.org/blogs/news/2015/06/25/as-passions-rise-over-state-flag-a-former-governor-says-its-more-than-a-sympbol/
6/25/15

Posted June 26, 2015 - 5:14 am

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A FORMER MISSISSIPPI GOVERNOR SAYS THE STATE FLAG IS MORE THAN A SYMBOL



Former Democratic Governor Ronnie Musgrove was in office in 2001, when the majority of voters decided to keep the flag. He says people get caught up in the emotion of the issue. But Musgrove believes the confederate emblem represents deep-seated institutional racism and it's hindering Mississippi in job creation, healthcare and education. State democratic lawmakers support changing the flag. Republicans are on both sides of the issue.

"And to simply say we're going to get caught up in the moment with the symbol, and then not do something to address the problem and the issues that really do face the state, means we're not really serious about tackling the real problem," said Musgrove.




MPB
http://www.mpbonline.org/blogs/news/2015/06/25/as-passions-rise-over-state-flag-a-former-governor-says-its-more-than-a-sympbol/
6/25/15

Posted June 26, 2015 - 5:11 am

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Slater: Mississippians are dying while Bryant calls names



Vicki Slater, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, weighed in on Gov. Phil Bryant's response to the U.S. Supreme Court's Affordable Care Act ruling. She said in a releae from her campain:

"We should be celebrating the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act, but Phil Bryant has resorted to calling names and attacking the President, the Supreme Court and Congress instead of being a leader for Mississippians. Phil Bryant’s refusal to accept Medicaid dollars is an injustice for people in our state.
“It is wrong to deny working Mississippians access to health care, which would keep Mississippi families healthier and more financially secure. It would also grow our economy, creating thousands of new jobs and keeping hospitals across the state from closing. But Governor Bryant is letting our money go to other states.

"There are Mississippians dying because they do not have access to health care, and all Phil Bryant is doing is calling names. This is yet another example of Phil Bryant's failed leadership.”




SunHerald
http://www.sunherald.com/2015/06/25/6293911_slater-mississippians-are-dying.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
6/25/15

Posted June 26, 2015 - 5:05 am

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It’s time to change the flag
A tattoo on our face
By Alan Lange


What do you see when you look at this picture? Some might say Mike Tyson or the former heavyweight champion of the world, but the honest answer is that damn tattoo. It’s an indelible mark that literally governs how you see him. If your child came and asked if they should get a tattoo on their face, you’d (hopefully) say no. If they came home with a tattoo on their face, you’d set a land-speed record for googling tattoo removal.

Mississippi, we have a tattoo on our face. Our flag literally governs how outsiders see and interact with us and indeed how we interact with ourselves. We also have the power to remove it.

In the almost 11 years of Y’allPolitics, it’s hard to recall such a groundswell of bipartisan support on a particular item, particularly one so historically controversial. Speaker Philip Gunn was certainly the prime mover that set the table of support for a new flag followed most notably by Senator Roger Wicker. There have certainly been others and there have also been some predictable resistance.

Ultimately, I think that Mississippians will fall into one of two categories on the flag. The first group will be pro-change/agnostic. There will be a lot of folks that seem to want the change and there will be folks that will probably won’t do much to help make the change, but probably won’t get in the way. The Governor and the Lt. Governor may well fall into the latter part of this category. The other category of folks that are going to be vehemently anti-change. At this point, it looks like this category will be composed of Tea Partiers, flaggers and Confederate supporters.

Not surprisingly, the first person to come out against the flag change was none other than Chris McDaniel. Bless his heart, can you imagine if the statement he put out about the flag using words like “historical cleansing” came as a US Senator? Washington DC would have had a meltdown. It would have been a facepalm for the ages. Not that he’s against black folks . . . he was just willing to fight all the way to the Mississippi Supreme Court that they shouldn’t be allowed to vote as Republicans. Part of his (and others’) rationale against changing the flag is that “we already voted on it”. But that did not stop his group for advocating against term limits even though Mississippians 20 years ago roundly shot term limits down at the ballot box (twice). I’m just waiting for the first UCF fundraising email on the flag issue.

Sid Salter did a really good job of recounting the circumstances around the flag vote 14 years ago. But the main problem with that vote was that it was an “elephants vs. donkeys” issue. On one side, you had Ronnie Musgrove and William Winter, but it was very much a political fight held on political lines. It had all of the hallmarks of a “cram down”. The design of the other flag was horrible and the fight was made as a political one. This time, it appears it could be different. If the effort to change the flag is to be successful, it must not be an elephants vs. donkeys fight.

What next?

While I think most of the political world tries to figure out which side it’s on, there are some immediate practical issues that folks who want to change the flag need to start to consider. First, we are six months away from a legislative session. There’s a lot of energy right now, but not much of a vehicle to channel it into. That’s a real problem. The one man who can expedite that schedule is Phil Bryant via a special session call. Right this minute, that looks fairly unlikely.

From my personal vantage point, having another statewide flag referendum without at least the legislature voting to make the decision to abandon the current flag would be a disaster. It would be a political bomb with a 12-18 month fuse and you would have homegrown and imported wackos on both sides that would make it their mission in life to demagogue the issue to death. At the very least, voting to change the flag is an issue that squarely needs to be decided in the Mississippi legislature. I know that's a tough ask. Gunn looks like the champion of that effort and if bipartisan support holds, it can get to the Governor’s desk. And there's precedent for it. Sen. Michael Watson led the effort last session to change the state seal. Changing the state flag or at least voting to authorize a new one shouldn’t be that much bigger of a deal. Several political leaders have suggested we return to the Magnolia Flag or Bonnie Blue Flag, but the state seal change was trumpeted by so many, perhaps they could just drop the new state seal on a blue background and presto: a new flag.

There are a few things to keep in mind that can derail this effort quickly.

1. Pro-flag change people conflating this with other issues or trying to overplay their hand. This is a big issue. Democrats in particular have been pretty beaten up on the statewide political front. Here’s an issue that would be good for them, but if they over politicize it or try to parlay it into something else, they’re going to lose. Remember, in Mississippi elephants are winning. Turning this into elephants vs. donkeys is a losing strategy. Someone might need to put a gag order on Rickey Cole and steal David Dallas' computer and hijack Bill Minor’s typewriter until this is all over. Democrats, work with Republicans and win this one. Don’t overreach!

2. Pro-change flag forces should keep outside influence to a minimum. Flaggers and Tea Party Groups will certainly swoop in if there’s a real effort at hand to try and raise money and blood pressures. But folks who want a new flag just need to focus on organizing and whipping legislative support.

3. Not keeping everyone’s eye on the ball. There will be all sorts of hyperbole. You’ll hear everything from wanting to ban the movie “Gone with the Wind” to renaming counties to forbidding people from putting confederate flag stickers on their pickups. This is about none of that. This is ONLY about making the official flag of the taxpayers of the state not have the Confederate emblem on it. Period.

I’ve been pretty vocal that I think that Republicans have on balance not done a good job of making black Mississippians feel included as voters in support of our candidates and as candidates themselves. A bipartisan effort to do something that’s meaningful that has real Republican participation (which this flag effort looks like it does) could literally change the math. That’s certainly a secondary consideration, but one that (for Republicans) should not be forgotten.

And Democrats, it’s time to be politically smart. For instance, today, the head of the MS Black Caucus publicly advocated for a special session. That was a poor tactical move because that ask of Governor Bryant, whose ultimate support is important, should really be bipartisan and well-planned . . . not knee-jerk. That’s the sort of bad political checkers that needs to be avoided in this effort. On their own, Democrats cannot win this issue. They can only demagogue it. They need real Republican votes and support to get this done.

Good things can come out of horrible tragedy. It has certainly happened in our history before. The murders of Emmitt Till and Medgar Evers are cases in point. These horrible tragedies refocused our thinking and help make needed change possible.

This is time to do something good (literally for goodness sake). It should be on the Mississippi Legislature to make this happen.


Posted June 25, 2015 - 4:28 pm

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Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus Chairman News Release

June 25, 2015

For Immediate Release


The Honorable Phil Bryant
Governor, State of Mississippi
501 North West Street
15th Floor, Woolfolk Building
Jackson, MS 39201

Dear Governor Bryant:

I as Chainman of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus request a Special Legislative Session to bring true dialogue and full resolution regarding the removal of the confederate emblem from the Mississippi state flag. In light of the recent actions of the Governors of South Carolina, Virginia and Alabama and conservative leadership of this state, we feel that this matter must be dealt with urgently. It is a travesty to continue to wave the present state flag, with its obvious divisive and violent connotations that resonate hatred in every headline across the nation; yet still defines our great state. While this has been proven time and time again, it was most recently depicted in the massacre at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

In an effort to serve all of the citizens of this great state, I urge you as our Chief Executive Officer to call a Special Legislative Session for the purpose of dialoguing and discussing the future of our State and how we are depicted in the eyes of the rest of the nation.
Governor Bryant, though it is long overdue, we must at this time, all come together to talk about the right thing to do.

Very truly yours,


Mississippi District 21 Senator
Kenneth Wayne Jones
Chairman
Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus


Posted June 25, 2015 - 4:23 pm

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Posted June 25, 2015 - 2:26 pm

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The Mississippi Manufacturers Association today endorsed Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves for re-election.

In his first term, Lt. Gov. Reeves has supported policies that help Mississippi companies compete with businesses all around the world. He has made lowering taxes a priority while emphasizing the importance of a strong workforce.

“Lt. Gov. Reeves has worked tirelessly to create an environment that encourages manufacturers across Mississippi to invest in their businesses and their employees,” said Trent Mulloy, Chairman of the MMA Board of Directors and President of Laurel Machine & Foundry Co. “We are fortunate to have a leader like Tate that understands pro-growth policies, and we are proud to support his re-election.”

In his first term, more than 18,000 jobs have been created as companies recognize the benefits of locating in the state.

“The manufacturing sector in Mississippi employs tens of thousands of my friends and constituents,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “From Desoto County to the Gulf Coast, Mississippi manufacturers play a key role in growing our economy and improving our communities. I really appreciate having the support of the folks who are investing capital, creating jobs, and producing products that make Mississippi competitive in today’s global marketplace.”


Tate Reeves Press Release
6/25/14

Posted June 25, 2015 - 2:06 pm

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Commissioner Mike Chaney issues statement on Supreme Court Health Care Ruling

Commissioner of Insurance Mike Chaney –

“Today the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling in the King v. Burwell case, in favor of the defendant, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, which means federal tax credit subsidies can legally continue to be applied in states where the

Individual Health Insurance Marketplace, commonly called the Exchange, is operated by the federal government. Since Mississippi’s Marketplace is operated by the federal government, this ruling means that over 100,000 Mississippians who purchased individual health insurance through the Marketplace will continue to receive health insurance coverage.

“Although I may not agree with everything in the Affordable Care Act, it remains the law of the land and I will continue to work within the framework of the law to regulate health insurance for the benefit of all Mississippians.”

Mike Chaney Press Release
6/25/15



Posted June 25, 2015 - 9:50 am

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Governor Bryant Issues Statement on Supreme Court Obamacare Ruling

JACKSON—Gov. Phil Bryant issues the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell:

“Today’s decision does not change the fact that Obamacare is a socialist takeover of health care forced down the throats of the American people without proper review, and it does not slow the massive and unprecedented transfer of wealth that is at the heart of the subsidy system. Make no mistake—Obamacare is not about helping those in need or improving health care delivery. It is about destabilizing our health care system, ceding more control to centralized government and replacing individual liberty with government dependence.

“It is incredibly troubling to me that a majority of United States Supreme Court justices—including, again, the Chief Justice—have found yet another way to uphold a portion of this disastrous law. Those who voted in the majority have set a dangerous precedent of blatantly disregarding the plain language of a bill as enacted by Congress.

“Mississippi was right, as were numerous other states, not to willingly entrench Obamacare by establishing a state-based exchange, and I will continue to resist any efforts that attempt to shove Obamacare deeper into this state.

“Republicans know there is a better way, and I call on Mississippi’s congressional delegation to immediately renew its efforts to repeal and replace this train wreck of a law.”

Gov. Phil Bryant Press Release
6/25/15


Posted June 25, 2015 - 9:49 am

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U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) released the following statement today after the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruling, which in effect establishes the federal exchange subsidies under Obamacare as constitutional:

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court of the United States is simply disappointing. This ill-conceived and poorly written law has been patched together by an Administration more concerned with saving face than providing quality health care for all Americans. I will continue to work to repeal and replace this arduous and expensive law and to forge a conservative alternative that ensures patients and doctors are the real decision makers.”

Rep. Gregg Harper
6/25/15



Posted June 25, 2015 - 9:48 am

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U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision on King v. Burwell:

“Today’s ruling does not change the fact that the President’s health-care law is unworkable and unaffordable for millions of Americans. Too many people have suffered for too long from the law’s skyrocketing premiums, canceled plans, and website failures. There is a better way to provide access to health insurance that works for people. I hope House and Senate members can work together to reform the nation’s health-care system in a way that broadens access, increases choice, and lowers costs.”

Roger Wicker Press Release
6/25/15

Posted June 25, 2015 - 9:47 am

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REPRESENTATIVE JOEY HOOD RELEASES STATEMENT REGARDING STATE FLAG

June 25, 2015. (Ackerman, MS.) – Representative Joey Hood today released the following statement regarding calls to change the state flag of Mississippi.

“With regard to the idea of changing our state flag, I will continue to respect the will of the voters of District 35 who voted overwhelmingly along with nearly a half-million other Mississippians against the proposed change.

If a movement to change our flag occurs, that decision should once again be made by the voters rather than by legislative action in Jackson.

I will not ignore the clear voice from the constituents of my district regarding our flag.”

Joey Hood Press Release
6/25/15

Posted June 25, 2015 - 9:45 am

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Candidates sound off at Conservative Coalition meeting

Campaign season kicked off with political fireworks as right wing candidates gathered on Tuesday at the Madison County Conservative Coalition in preparation for the primary election in August.

Mississippi State Senate candidate Bill Billingsley and incumbent Will Longwitz spoke at the event in competition for the District 25 seat. Joel Bomgar, a candidate for District 58 of the Mississippi House of Representatives, was also in attendance.

Bomgar will run against Bruce Bartley, whose absence did not go unnoticed. The final speaker was Cory Wilson, a fellow house hopeful who has run unopposed for District 73 since his opponent dropped out earlier this month.




Madison County Journal
6/25/15

Posted June 25, 2015 - 7:27 am

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Mississippi's State Flag May Be The Next To Fall In South's Confederate Sweep




“The recent debate on the symbolism of our flag, which belongs to all of us, presents the people of our state an opportunity to consider a new banner that represents Mississippi," Sen. Thad Cochran (R) said a few hours later.

Following Gunn's lead, other lawmakers such as U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D), state Rep. Brad Mayo, (R) and state Sen. David Blount (D) climbed on board, applauding the House speaker's initial rallying cry.

Particularly adamant was state Sen. Kenny Wayne Jones (D), the chair of the Black Caucus, who told the Clarion-Ledger he would lead a bi-partisan effort to change the flag.

"We're looking at it very seriously," Jones said. "We believe the state is more progressive (than it was in 2001). We don't want to step on the historical aspect of it, but it's so offensive to so many people. That flag as a representation of the state has no right to be here."



TPM
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/mississippi-flag-confederate-symbolism
6/25/15

Posted June 25, 2015 - 6:39 am

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CNN
6/23/15

Posted June 25, 2015 - 6:36 am

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Tony Yarber: Mississippi flag issue needs leadership




I applaud all the elected leaders who support the removal of the Confederate battle cross from the flag. The job of elected officials is to act on behalf of those who placed them in office. Our legislative leaders have the ability to bring this discussion to an end. Removing the Confederate emblem requires leadership, not votes. The flag issue doesn't need a ballot. It needs leadership.

This topic has the potential to take our sights off more pressing issues that impact Mississippi citizens, such as education, economic development and health disparities. We should be working together to lift this state and the quality of life for its citizens.




ClarionLedger
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/opinion/2015/06/24/yarber-mississippi-flag-issue-needs-leadership/29237609/
6/24/15

Posted June 25, 2015 - 6:21 am

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Flag flap: Change in state flag hot topic



State Rep. Pat Nelson, R-Southaven, said he is following the wishes of his constituents who are against changing the state flag.

"My personal opinions aside, I was elected to represent them," Nelson said. "I believe it will be discussed in January. I will represent them (constituents) as best that I can. When I was elected, I promised with the oath that I took that I was elected to represent my constituents. I try to represent them and their views. I was elected to represent them and their views. They come first. I've talked to as many as I could as I go door to door in my campaign. My constituents do not want to change the flag. They voted overwhelmingly in 2001 not to change the flag."



DeSoto Times
http://www.desototimes.com/news/flag-flap-change-in-state-flag-hot-topic/article_e8495522-1ac3-11e5-8d5b-a77e4ea1d1ec.html
6/24/15

Posted June 25, 2015 - 6:15 am

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BRIAN PERRY/The Speaker and the flag




Mississippians voted overwhelming to keep the 1894 Flag in 2001. Should we revisit that decision? As one of the people who voted for the current flag and who has changed my own perspective, I think it is a discussion worth having.

If fellow Mississippians feel - with good reason - our State Flag represents state sponsored oppression based on race, I think we make an easy change to a historic alternative and put the issue behind us. If fellow Mississippians feel - with good reason - our State Flag is fine as it is and doesn't need to be changed, I'm certainly not going to question their hearts or motivations.




Madison County Journal
http://onlinemadison.com/main.asp?SectionID=3&SubSectionID=3&ArticleID=30370
6/24/15

Posted June 25, 2015 - 6:03 am

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Why business fought the Confederate flag



And in Mississippi, attention is also turning to the state flag, which includes the Confederate flag in the left top corner. The state's Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn said his state flag had become "a point of offense that needs to be removed."

Former Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott, famous for past racially charged remarks, told CNN this week that the state flag should be changed to the Bonnie Blue flag -- "because that's what the Mississippians carried at the Battle of Monterrey" -- and commended Haley and her fellow South Carolinians for coming together in the face of tragedy.

"I've just been moved to tears by the way they've handled this," Lott said.



CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/23/politics/business-confederate-flag/
6/23/15

Posted June 25, 2015 - 5:55 am

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State Rep. Bubba Carpenter made this statement on Facebook late Wednesday evening regarding the Mississippi flag:

"In 2001 the voters of Mississippi overwhelming voted for their Mississippi flag, I nor any other politician can override the will of the Mississippi voters. The Mississippi Flag will fly proud until the voters of Mississippi say take it down, not a politician." [errors copied from original]



6/24/15

Posted June 25, 2015 - 5:50 am

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RELEASE:



Wicker Supports Far-Reaching Highway Bill

DRIVE Act Offers Long-Term, Broad Transportation Solution



WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today voted in favor of a six-year highway funding bill titled the “Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act.” The legislation would provide a long-term strategic plan for critical transportation and infrastructure projects, including improvements in Mississippi. The measure awaits consideration by the full Senate following review by the Senate Finance Committee, Senate Banking Committee, and the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.



“Continued investment in our infrastructure would allow us to remain economically competitive, create jobs, and provide stability for local communities,” Wicker said. “Mississippi and other rural states will benefit from these important federal investments in transportation.”



Wicker was successful in adding an amendment that would specifically allow local governments and metropolitan planning organizations to receive grants under the Technology and Innovation Deployment Program.



The bill also includes the reauthorization of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), which would approve $100 million annually over the next five years, including $10 million a year to improve rural broadband services. ARC is a regional economic development agency that funds projects to increase job opportunities, strengthen the capacity of the people of Appalachia, develop and improve Appalachia’s infrastructure, and build the Appalachian Development Highway System.



“Mississippi has continually benefited from ARC’s critical, job-creating investments in rural areas. This package would also help establish necessary improvements to rural broadband service that promise to have an enormous impact on economic growth throughout the region.”



Authorizations and programs in the bill would:



Fully fund highway programs for six years, reauthorizing the federal-aid highway program at an increased funding level from FY 2016 through FY 2021. In Mississippi, the apportionment for FY 2016 is more than $501 billion and – when adjusted for inflation – increases to more than $562 billion for FY 2021.


Increase support for core formula programs by maintaining the MAP-21 program structure, including:
National Highway Performance Program;
Highway Safety Improvement Program;
Surface Transportation Program; and
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program.


Prioritize bridges and large, nationally important facilities by dramatically increasing funding required to be spent on projects to maintain bridges off of the National Highway System.


Provide substantial new funding to focus on freight and goods movement by establishing a formula-based freight program that funds all states to improve transportation of goods. This program – potentially impacting Mississippi’s Interstate 69 – was established in MAP-21 but not funded until now. Mississippi is estimated to receive more than $24.6 billion for FY 2016, which would increase to $30.7 billion for FY 2021.


Accelerate project delivery and increase flexibility by continuing to speed up the project delivery process formed in MAP-21 while protecting the environment and public health.


Expand flexibility and opportunities for infrastructure investment in rural areas by offering new options to bundle small projects together to increase efficiency. This would empower states to work with the Department of Transportation to develop ways to help fund small community projects.




6/24/15

Posted June 25, 2015 - 5:48 am

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Pascagoula company awarded bid to build Deer Island pier



BILOXI, Mississippi -- Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann announced Wednesday that a Pascagoula company has been awarded the bid to construct a public pier at Deer Island.

"We could not be more pleased construction of the new pier will be performed by local Mississippians with an extensive background in construction on the Mississippi Gulf Coast," Hosemann said during a Wednesday press conference.

Walters Diving and Marine submitted the winning bid of $298,887.10 -- lower than the $309,476 cost estimate by engineering firm Brown & Mitchell. Construction will begin this summer.




Gulflive
http://www.gulflive.com/news/index.ssf/2015/06/pascagoula_company_awarded_bid.html
6/24/15

Posted June 25, 2015 - 5:46 am

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Breaux, Lott to Stay at Squire Patton for Another Year




Washington’s two most eligible lobbyists are off the market for another year. Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and former Senator John Breaux, who co-chair the public policy practice at Squire Patton Boggs, have signed a one-year extension with the firm. Their contract was set to expire this month.

If Breaux and Lott had left this year, a noncompete agreement would have restricted them from working for Squire Patton Boggs clients—aka their clients—for a year. The noncompete agreement will end at the same time as their new contract does in 2016, so they would be free to consider more professional options next spring, according to four people familiar with the agreement.




National Law Journal
http://www.nationallawjournal.com/legaltimes/id=1202730393502/Breaux-Lott-to-Stay-at-Squire-Patton-for-Another-Year#ixzz3e4c0Au8c
6/24/15

Posted June 25, 2015 - 5:43 am

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Salter: Has Mississippi changed since 2001 flag vote?

The bedrock state business group called the Mississippi Economic Council — known widely as the “state chamber of commerce” — was heavily invested in the 2001 state flag vote. After the effort failed, MEC president Blake Wilson told The New York Times: “It wasn’t a real surprising vote. This is a long-term issue, and the people of Mississippi just need more time to get there.”

Clearly, Wilson’s 2001 statement has proven prophetic. But it also begs the question some 14 years later of whether Mississippi has “gotten there” on changing the state flag.

A fundamental political lesson looms from the 2001 voter referendum — both black and white voters were fairly apathetic about engaging on the issue.

Black Mississippi voters were conspicuously absent and apathetic on the flag issue in 2001. Need evidence? Look at the Mississippi Delta region — the heart of this state’s black voter population. In those counties, the 1894 flag won a 60 percent margin of approval. Records in the secretary of state's office show voter participation in the 2001 flag referendum in black majority counties was significantly down from prior elections.


Clarion Ledger
6/24/15

Posted June 24, 2015 - 5:00 pm

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We can write our own chapter of Mississippi history

"Forget, hell!" has been our battle cry too often on the road from then to now, and too many of our leaders have used the sentiment like a narcotic to dull the pain of our economic and educational deficits.

The tragedy in Charleston has launched a stirring new sentiment within that seems to speak to many and offers a new will across the South for us throw off the weight of the past and to embrace a new day.

If in these days of reflection we can remove the battle flag from our public spaces and retire them to museums and books, we will have written our own chapter of Mississippi history, one in which we can say WE THE PEOPLE honored those victims of hatred with this inestimable gift of understanding and even peace.

It is the next step on our journey to a more perfect union, and it is a gift to our children and theirs that will allow them to be free of a symbol of the past we have carried far too long.

Sun Herald Editorial
6/24/15

Posted June 24, 2015 - 4:15 pm

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I have always favored Mississippi’s first official flag, adopted in 1861 - the Magnolia Flag, and believe the 2001...

Posted by Billy Hewes on Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Posted June 24, 2015 - 4:09 pm

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In 2001, I voted NO on changing Mississippi's flag. In 2016 or at any point in the future, I will vote NO on changing Mississippi's flag.

Posted by Wanda Jennings on Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Posted June 24, 2015 - 4:06 pm

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Jefferson Davis' great-great-grandson says Confederate flag should come down

Bertram Hayes-Davis says he agrees with local and state politicians that it's time to change Mississippi's flag. And he said if a statue of his great-great-grandfather, Jefferson Davis, is so offensive to people after they know all the facts of the Confederate president's life, then it should be removed from the Kentucky capital or the campus of University of Texas at Austin.

Sun Herald
6/24/15

Posted June 24, 2015 - 3:48 pm

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Posted June 24, 2015 - 3:35 pm

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Tomorrow, Jim Hood will be getting a big fundraiser thrown for him by consummate big-money Democrat Beltway insiders. The Katz Watson Group, which features clients such as Hillary Clinton, DAGA, Tom Udall, the DSCC and the Democratic Leadership Council, have organized the event.

KatzWatson also does the fundraising for his largest campaign contributor, the Democratic Attorneys General Association – which you might remember appeared to be a funnel of $400,000 in contributions from Joey Langston and Dickie Scruggs, around the time Hood named Scruggs a “confidential informant” to protect him from a judge. You’ll remember Langston, a Special Assistant Attorney General at the time of his conviction, improperly got a $14 million fee from a deal with Hood to represent the state in the MCI settlement, and Hood refused to recover the money for the state. Hood also refused to prosecute Scruggs and Langston on state charges in the multiple judicial bribery schemes.

Posted June 24, 2015 - 3:23 pm

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Democrat Wants Vote to Nix Mississippi State Flag at U.S. Capitol (Updated)




As the only black Democratic member of the Mississippi delegation, Thompson is getting ready to force a House floor vote on the issue as early as this week. The question: Should Congress remove the Mississippi flag from its place among the 49 other state flags that line the walls of the tunnel connecting the Capitol to the Rayburn House Office Building?


The flag’s design — which contains the “Southern Cross” of the Confederacy in the upper-left corner — was the subject of debate long before the June 17 massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Thompson, who has been in Congress for 11 terms, has never displayed the state flag outside his congressional office. He’s fought against the design for decades, supporting unsuccessful state-level votes to redesign it and fruitless lawsuits to force Mississippi to take action.

Though members have been rapidly changing their minds on this matter over an emotional few days, Thompson’s planned privileged resolution faces an uphill climb.

Privileged resolutions offered by the minority almost always fail, but House rules dictate the chamber has to take the proposal up within a certain number of legislative days after filing. Republican leaders could just make a motion to table, or kill, the measure — the typical reaction when a member of the minority party tries to insert new legislative business into the schedule out of turn — but Thompson can expect overwhelming support from Democrats during an inevitable roll call vote.

That could force Republicans into a tricky political calculus: Vote to keep Mississippi’s flag flying in the hallway, or vote it out in a blow to states’ rights.



Roll Call
http://blogs.rollcall.com/218/mississippi-state-flag-congress-capitol-bennie-thompson/?dcz=
6/24/15

Posted June 24, 2015 - 12:59 pm

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RELEASE:


COCHRAN STATEMENT ON THE STATE FLAG OF MISSISSIPPI

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today issued the following statement regarding the state flag of Mississippi:

"As a proud citizen of Mississippi, it is my personal hope that the state government will consider changing the state flag. The recent debate on the symbolism of our flag, which belongs to all of us, presents the people of our state an opportunity to consider a new banner that represents Mississippi. I appreciate the views of my friend and colleague Roger Wicker, and agree that we should look for unity and not divisiveness in the symbols of our state."




6/24/15

Posted June 24, 2015 - 12:55 pm

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State Sen. Chris McDaniel posted the following comment on Facebook in response to U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker's comments on the Mississippi flag:


To use scripture as a justification for changing a state's flag is intellectually disingenuous. If the state is to...

Posted by Senator Chris McDaniel on Wednesday, June 24, 2015


"To use scripture as a justification for changing a state's flag is intellectually disingenuous.

"If the state is to remove ANYTHING that is offensive to ANYONE, then NOTHING would be left. Including scripture."


6/23/15

Posted June 24, 2015 - 12:34 pm

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