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GOP Insider Trent Lott Tried to Broker a Kasich-Rubio Ticket to Thwart Donald Trump



The other day, I bumped into Trent Lott, the former Republican Senate majority leader who's now at the law and lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs...


... I noted that I had just finished listening to a Donald Trump speech. Lott rolled his eyes. I asked which candidate he liked best, though I had a good guess. Almost all the former Capitol Hill GOPers who are now lobbyists in DC are pulling for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and, sure enough, Lott declared he's on Team Kasich. And, Lott added, he had been trying to thwart Trump...


...This was Lott's plan: Kasich and Rubio would agree to run as a ticket, with Rubio in the veep slot, and the pair would keep this quiet and not announce the deal until days before the Republican convention. This dramatic, headline-grabbing move, in Lott's thinking, would dominate the news, as GOPers gathered in Cleveland, and potentially rewrite the narrative of the Republican race. That is, the Kasich-Rubio ticket would be the story, not Trump. This would "shake up the landscape," Lott said.

Lott told me that he had put some time into this idea but, alas, it was now probably dead.




Mother Jones
4/29/16

Posted May 2, 2016 - 7:13 am

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MPB
4/28/16

Posted May 2, 2016 - 7:11 am

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New Private Options May Ease Flood Insurance Costs



Hurricane season begins June 1st – 33 days and counting. Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says that’s why this is the time to talk flood insurance.

"If you need flood insurance, you must buy it 30 days before a flood occurs or is in the process of occuring," he says.

Chaney says there is some good news for consumers – within the past 2 years, five new private companies have begun offering flood insurance on the Mississippi gulf coast, often at lower rates than the federally backed National Flood Insurance Program.



MPB
4/29/16

Posted May 2, 2016 - 7:08 am

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Councilman Stokes will present new gun ordinance, vote against Gov. Bryant at city council



Also on the agenda, Councilman Stokes is presenting a “no confidence vote” in Governor Phil Bryant to be considered on Tuesday as well.

Councilman Stokes says this is in response to the Religious Accommodations Act, Confederate Heritage Month and the fact that Mississippi’s state flag hasn’t changed.

He wants to prove to the country that not all Mississippians agree with the governor, starting with the capital city.



WJTV
5/1/16


Posted May 2, 2016 - 7:03 am

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BILL CRAWFORD — Most 12th graders are not college or career ready



A look at “The National Report Card” for 2015 produced by the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) shows just 25% of U.S. 12th graders scored proficient or higher in math and just 37% in reading.

Andrew Ho, a measurement expert at the Harvard Graduate School of Education who sits on NAEP’s bipartisan governing board, told NPR’s Anya Kamenetz these scores reveal “under 40% of students score at college and career ready levels.” What “college and career ready” means is that students will be able to succeed in doing college-level academics, or, with on-the-job training, succeed in a career position requiring only a high school diploma.

Ho’s 40% applies to 12th graders nationwide. While no Mississippi 12th grade results were published by NAEP, our students scored well below the national average on NAEP 8th grade math and reading tests. Extrapolating the 8th grade scores to 12th graders indicates less than 30% of Mississippi’s graduating seniors may be college or career ready.



MBJ
5/1/16

Posted May 2, 2016 - 6:58 am

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Sid Salter: Are fantasy sports gambling? Absolutely



But are fantasy sports considered gambling by a substantial portion of the people who play it? Absolutely. Ask Joe Asher, operator of Nevada sports book operator William Hill U.S., who told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2015, “You put up of something of value, cash, to win something of value, cash. It’s the classic definition of gambling.”

A bill that would make playing fantasy sports legal in Mississippi is now awaiting Gov. Phil Bryant’s signature. Earlier in the 2016 session, the bill was amended to include authorization of a lottery in Mississippi — something that has been bouncing around Mississippi’s political landscape for the last 25 years or so.



Clarion Ledger
5/1/16

Posted May 2, 2016 - 6:51 am

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The Mississippi Religious Freedoms Bill is not as bad as you’ve heard. It’s Worse.

by Former Governor Ronnie Musgrove (D)



This law will have a profound economic impact on existing Mississippi businesses, however.

This is a state law, but it is an international issue. The U.S Navy recently moved a ship commissioning of the USS Portland from Pascagoula after the mayor of Portland refused to travel to Mississippi for the ceremony. Minnesota, New York, Washington and Vermont — have banned non-essential travel for state employees to Mississippi. There were more than 20 films made in Mississippi last year. Two projects have already cancelled plans to shoot there this year.



Huffington Post
4/29/16


________________________


Here's the Navy disputing this claim two weeks ago - April 12, 2016: Navy says Mississippi LGBT law did not affect ceremony location

Posted May 2, 2016 - 6:35 am

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Mississippi, the Two Flag State

by W. Ralph Eubanks


Since my return, I have been constantly reminded that resistance to changing anything in Mississippi, whether the flag or the heightened black poverty, is primarily a resistance to ideas that come from outside the state—from South Carolina, from Mississippi writers who have emigrated, from Washington, D.C., and, most often, from the Obama Administration. If the idea did not originate in Mississippi, the logic goes, it is not best for Mississippi. In 1965, the novelist Walker Percy described the Protestant Anglo-Saxon minority’s reaction to its common tragic past as resulting in a “chronic misunderstanding between the state and the rest of the country.” Around the same time, the historian and native Mississippian David Herbert Donald wrote of the “self-contained world” in which the Mississippian lived: “When he traded, it was with other Mississippians. When he read, it was his own local newspapers, edited by Mississippians. When he got an education, it was at Mississippi colleges, where Mississippians taught. . . . These people have no idea of a world beyond themselves.”

The Mississippi mentality implies that ceding any power to the federal government would result in losing all the power the state has. The same goes for ceding to cities like Jackson, in which the new is prized. Mississippi is still a state where, the Times found, more than seventy per cent of people who live here were born here, in towns like the one where I grew up, and are consequently resistant to changing things. It is telling that Mississippi has the lowest passport-issuance rate per capita in the United States—the product of low income, surely, but also of a clubby, connected familiarity.

It is difficult to admit that the very insularity that made me want to leave Mississippi after graduation has also made my return relatively easy. After the shock of reëntry, the soothing rhythms of the place have taken over; conversations seemed to pick up right where I left them.



New Yorker
4/30/16

Posted May 2, 2016 - 6:29 am

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State Auditor Special Agents arrested former Cafeteria Manager for the Jefferson Middle School of the Columbia School District

Jackson, Miss –State Auditor Special Agents arrested former Cafeteria Manager for the Jefferson Middle School of the Columbia School District, Marquette Magee of Columbia, Miss. He is accused of embezzlement – fraud in public office and for alteration of records.

Based upon the evidence collected during this investigation, Magee embezzled funds in the amount of $2,298.16 from the Jefferson Middle School Cafeteria between August 1, 2014 and October 14, 2014. He accomplished this by creating false documents to show a different amount of money than what was actually collected at the Jefferson Middle School Cafeteria. He then submitted the altered documents with the money to Columbia School District Central Office. Discrepancies of monies collected between Magee’s paperwork and the Lunchbox Computer program were discovered during an audit of the amounts.

“According to the evidence, Mr. Magee betrayed the students of Jefferson Middle School,” said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. “Our office will work to recover these funds as quickly as possible on behalf of the students and the school district.”

Magee resigned his position as Cafeteria Manager October 13, 2014.


4/29/16

Posted May 2, 2016 - 5:07 am

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Protesters call for religious law's repeal



Hundreds of people marched from the state Capitol to the governor's mansion in protest of the religious objection law.

Protesters rallied right outside of the gates, hoping to send a strong message to the governor inside.

"We are supposed to be the hospitality state," said Kelly Jacobs, "and we sure aren't acting like it."



WAPT
5/1/16



Posted May 2, 2016 - 4:57 am

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Geoff PENDER: 2019 right around corner on political calendars



Governor

For the first open gubernatorial race in eight years, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves is the Republican heir apparent. I think he’s been running for this office since higH school....



...All indications are that Attorney General Jim Hood, the “Last Democrat in Dixie” is at long last going to answer his party’s call to run for governor. Hood is an anomaly, a statewide elected Democrat who remains popular in a deeply red state. He can raise money, and at least make it a race.



Lieutenant Governor


...Hosemann is a likely candidate. Many others are said to be at least entertaining the thought: McDaniel, state Sens. Buck Clarke, Briggs Hopson, Terry Burton; Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney (a former state senator).

I’ve even heard that U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo has been considering a statewide run — lieutenant governor, auditor, etc. That, too, would be very interesting...



ClarionLedger
4/30/16



Posted May 2, 2016 - 4:47 am

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State agencies pondering cuts, layoffs with new budget




In order to cobble together a “balanced” budget amid shortfalls and deficits, Mississippi lawmakers shifted and raided so many accounts that state agency leaders are still trying to figure out exactly how much their budgets have been cut and how they’ll operate.

“We need guidance from someone,” said Dr. Mary Currier, head of the state Health Department. “… We’ve got lots of questions.”

For some agencies, the cuts are shaking out to be in the double digits percentage-wise, as bad as or worse than during the Great Recession and likely to cause layoffs and reduced services. With new budget rules, the Legislature also appears to have cut off some agencies’ access to federal money.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Jim Hood said the AG’s budget has been reduced by 18 percent for the coming fiscal year that starts July 1.





ClarionLedger
5/1/16



Posted May 2, 2016 - 4:43 am

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Treasurer Fitch warns bond bill spells trouble for credit rating



You can expect the confidence national debt rating agencies have in Mississippi’s debt repayment abilities will be diminished by the Legislature’s approval of about $560 million in new debt in a year revenues are $100 million below projections and dropping still further, state Treasurer Lynn Fitch warns.

A ratings drop from the likes of Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poors would force Mississippi to pay more for the debt issued in 2016’s $308 million bond bill as well as the $254 million approved in a special legislative session to cover incentives for Continental Tire and TopShip.

The new borrowing, she said, will increase a per-capita tax-supported debt load in which a Debt Affordability Study she recently issued put at $1,747. By contrast, the U.S. median tax-supported debt per-capita is $1,012, the Debt Affordability Study reported.



MBJ
4/28/16

Posted April 29, 2016 - 7:02 am

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Haley Barbour: Fiorina Won't Make Any Difference for Cruz



Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour thinks Carly Fiorina is "very bright" and "she is articulate," but he doesn't think Ted Cruz's decision to pick her for a running mate will make any difference in next week's Indiana primary election or at other points moving forward.

"Most people don't vote for a presidential candidate because of their running mate," the one-time Republican National Committee chairman told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" show.

"I think it's unlikely this will make much difference."


Newsmax
4/28/16

Posted April 29, 2016 - 6:59 am

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Hosemann launches Delta Agricultural Theft Task Force



Copper thieves better beware as a new three-state task force is on the prowl.

Today at the Mississippi State University Extension Delta Research Center in Stoneville, Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann announced the launch of the Mississippi Delta Agricultural Theft Task Force.



Delta Democrat Times
4/28/16

Posted April 29, 2016 - 6:56 am

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RELEASE:



Wicker: Water Infrastructure Investments Advance

New Senate Legislation Would Improve Waterways, Ports, Flood Protection


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today voted in favor of advancing the “Water Resources Development Act” to the full Senate for its consideration. The bill would make targeted investments to the nation’s ports and waterways for the movement of goods and commerce, protect lives and property from floods, and restore vital ecosystems. The measure was passed by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

“The legislation represents a bipartisan commitment to investing in navigable and reliable water resources while boosting U.S. commerce, keeping prices down for consumers, and creating jobs,” Wicker said. “Updating these policies keeps American workers and businesses competitive. I am also pleased that the measure includes important funding to help small, rural, and underserved communities with their water infrastructure needs. Cities such as Greenville, Grenada, and Jackson could benefit from federal grants that would deliver safe, clean drinking water to people and offset the costs associated with burdensome unfunded EPA mandates.”

Additional benefits to Mississippi include:

• Dredging shallow draft ports located on the Mississippi River, such as Natchez, Rosedale, Greenville, Claiborne County, and Vicksburg;

• Authorizing the Army Corps to conduct regional assessments of coastal vulnerabilities and opportunities to increase resilience;

• Increasing the spending cap for needed environmental infrastructure projects, such as one currently being done in DeSoto County;

• Creating a Gulf Coast Oyster Bed Recovery Plan;

• Updating the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund by highlighting targets for increased funding, extending prioritization for donor and energy transfer ports and emerging harbors, and clarifying that the Corps can maintain harbors of refuge


4/28/16

Posted April 29, 2016 - 6:52 am

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4/28/16

Posted April 29, 2016 - 6:50 am

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Lottery considered during 2016 session, only fantasy sports survives



A proposal to establish a lottery in Mississippi, once incorporated into a bill legalizing the playing of fantasy sports, was defeated during the final, hectic days of the 2016 legislative session, which ended last week.

The bill allowing the playing of fantasy sports was approved and is now pending Gov. Phil Bryant’s signature...


...Only six states in the nation do not have a lottery. Reynolds said he had been opposed to a lottery but after seeing so many people buy lottery tickets in neighboring states, taking money out of Mississippi, he changed his mind on the issue.

But in conference negotiations late in the session, House and Senate negotiators removed the lottery provision from the fantasy sports legislation. Both Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who presides over the Senate, and Bryant had expressed opposition to the lottery earlier in the session.



Daily Journal
4/28/16

Posted April 29, 2016 - 6:46 am

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Rep. Kimberly Campbell retiring from Legislature



State Rep. Kimberly Campbell of Jackson is resigning her seat in the Mississippi Legislature.

The Democratic lawmaker, who has been in the Legislature since 2008, announced in a Facebook post she will resign by the end of May.

Campbell is leaving the Legislature to become the Mississippi state director of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).



Clarion Ledger
4/28/16

Posted April 29, 2016 - 6:42 am

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Bill Minor: GOP race stirs memories of party's 1964 campaign



Republicans' fear of Donald J. Trump's wild remarks, reminiscent of Goldwater, gives the Arizonian particular currency in today's Republican presidential campaign in which Trump, a real estate billionaire and former TV reality show host, leads in the polls.

Some of the rhetoric of today's Republican presidential candidates sound eerily reminiscent of Goldwater's observations that LBJ was presiding over a nation "not far from the kind of moral decay that brought on the fall of other nations and people." Goldwater added that it was "time to put conscience back in government."

The "stop Goldwater" campaign within the Republican Party was narrowly unsuccessful back in 1964. The question of 2016 is whether the "stop Trump" crusades of today will be any more successful.

It's important to note that Mississippi's incredibly large presidential vote for Goldwater came prior to the enactment of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and has no resemblance to the voter population of today with some 400,000 African-Americans on the voter rolls.



Clarion Ledger
4/28/16

Posted April 29, 2016 - 6:36 am

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NCAA sets hurdle for postseason baseball in Mississippi over HB 1523



The NCAA adopted a new process Wednesday that will put the pressure on Mississippi colleges to show that they will provide an environment that "is safe, healthy and free of discrimination, plus safeguards the dignity of everyone involved in the event."

The new state law, which is titled HB 1523, allows religious organizations, businesses and government employees to refuse service under specified circumstances to gay and transgender people. It will go into effect on July 1, after the baseball postseason.

The NCAA's new process will be a requirement for sites hosting or bidding on NCAA events in all divisions.



SunHerald
4/28/16



Posted April 29, 2016 - 5:32 am

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The Braves Play Taxpayers Better Than They Play Baseball



Sometime in 2003, when he was the mayor of Pearl, Miss., Jimmy Foster got a visit from a man he’d never met. The stranger, Tim Bennett, came to City Hall, an old brick schoolhouse on Pearl’s church-lined main street. “He just showed up in my office that day,” says Foster, “and started talking about baseball.” Specifically, Bennett wanted to know if Pearl might be interested in building a stadium for a minor league team.

A ballpark, it turned out, was just the kind of project Foster was looking for. Now 62, with gray hair and a potbelly, Foster, who spent 19 years as a policeman in Pearl before becoming mayor, was desperate to help his hometown shed its reputation as a poor neighbor of Jackson. “There just wasn’t a lot of commercial or retail in town,” he says. “And there wasn’t a lot of money.” The sewers, the streets—it all needed attention. “Having a baseball team in Pearl? That was a pipe dream.”...


...Over the last 15 years, the Braves have extracted nearly half a billion in public funds for four new homes, each bigger and more expensive than the last. The crown jewel, backed by $392 million in public funding, is a $722 million, 41,500-seat stadium for the major league club set to open next year in Cobb County, northwest of Atlanta. Before Cobb, the Braves built three minor league parks, working their way up the ladder from Single A to Triple A. In every case, they switched cities, pitting their new host against the old during negotiations. They showered attention on local officials unaccustomed to dealing with a big-league franchise and, in the end, left most of the cost on the public ledger. Says Joel Maxcy, a sports economist at Drexel University: “If there’s one thing the Braves know how to do, it’s how to get money out of taxpayers.”



Bloomberg
4/27/16



Posted April 29, 2016 - 5:18 am

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'76 a window into ugliness of a GOP contested convention



Clarke Reed and Billy Mounger still sound like they want to spit when they talk about each other — 40 years after the contested Republican National Convention where the Mississippi delegation split between President Gerald Ford and smooth-talking Ronald Reagan.

As the GOP stares down the possibility of a contested convention this summer if neither Donald Trump nor Ted Cruz wins enough delegates to secure the presidential nomination, that bitter fight in 1976 provides a window into just how ugly things could get.

Reed, who first supported Reagan but ultimately backed Ford, and Mounger, who stuck with Reagan, were once close friends who traveled to GOP functions together. The rift created by that chaotic, high-pressure convention was never repaired.



AP BigStory
4/28/16



Posted April 29, 2016 - 5:16 am

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BATHROOM WARS! GENDER IDENTITY AND HB 1523

BY BISHOP RONNIE C. CRUDUP SR.



Although, I have called for the repeal of HB 1523 on discrimination grounds, there is a side or part of the bill I do support. I want to say loudly that I am absolutely against any legislation that would give transgender men the legal choice of going into women’s restrooms. I understand that there is a push by the LGBT community, and those who sympathize with them, to seek legal choice for transgender persons to have public bathroom privileges according to their sexual identification and not their original biology. I personally think this decision would be dangerous, unfair to women and girls and socially unsustainable.

Allow me to explain. I think this kind of legislation would put women and children in harms way of intimidation and molestation, shocking, but true nevertheless. I cannot see a way to publically distinguish between those who have undergone surgical gender changes, a confused cross-dresser and a pervert.


Outfront MS
4/22/16



Posted April 29, 2016 - 5:09 am

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Palazzo Votes to Remove Private Flood Insurance Barriers

Washington, DC – Congressman Steven Palazzo (MS-4) released the following statement after supporting House passage of H.R. 2901, the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act:

“Flood insurance should be available and affordable. This bill takes a step in the right direction by removing artificial barriers for the private flood insurance market, giving consumers more options. It gives more power back to the states and will help lead to a robust and stable private flood insurance market.”

H.R. 2901 clarifies that state insurance regulators can have the responsibility to determine the acceptability of insurance companies and flood policies in their state, the same power they have with regard to homeowners and other insurance products. It does not push any policyholders out of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), but allows someone to choose a private sector flood insurance policy is if they get a better product or price, or both.


4/28/16

Posted April 28, 2016 - 2:02 pm

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Mississippi Attorney General Withdraws Google Subpoena



Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has withdrawn a 79-page subpoena demanding that Google provide him with millions of documents related to online copyright infringement.

Hood sent Google a letter withdrawing the subpoena on Friday, two weeks after a federal appeals court allowed him to resume investigating whether the company enables online copyright infringement. But even though Mississippi's top law enforcement official dropped the subpoena, he told Google it was still bound by a June 2013 "litigation hold" letter, which directed the company to preserve evidence.

Google disclosed Hood's move in a motion asking the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its earlier decision in favor of Hood.



MediaPost
4/27/16

Posted April 28, 2016 - 7:12 am

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Special BP session would be bad for Coast, Reeves said



Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said a special session to discuss spending $110 million in BP settlement money is a bad idea for the Coast.

Some Coast lawmakers have been asking Gov. Phil Bryant for such a session and the governor has said it is a possibility.

He said keeping "the vast majority" of the BP spending on the Coast, which he supports, is tough enough in a regular session.


SunHerald
4/27/16



Posted April 28, 2016 - 7:09 am

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BRIAN PERRY/Reform campaign finance



While there is no legal enforcement or audit ability on deficient campaign finance disclosures (other than not filing them entirely), the “ethical questions” of the AG Opinion does raise the specter that use of campaign funds for personal use may need to be disclosed in another required state document.

Mississippi ethics laws require candidates and elected officials to file a Statement of Economic Interest annually that discloses their income sources to ensure no conflicts of interest. They must report “income” from any business exceeding $2,500 a year and failure to do so is a misdemeanor and potential $10,000 fine per violation. The state ethics law defines income as “money or thing of value received, or to be received, from any source, including, but not limited to, any salary, wage, advance, payment, dividend, interest, rent, forgiveness of debt, fee, royalty or any combination thereof.”

So if a candidate uses campaign funds for personal uses, and even if they pay income taxes, it would appear they should disclose that income on their Statement of Economic Interest. If they do pay income tax on it, that would appear to prove it is necessary to disclose it as an income source — if it reaches $2,500 in a year.

The hitch is whether a campaign committee is a “business” as defined by the ethics law which includes associations, organizations and legal entities. I believe if a campaign has the federal tax identification number usually required to open an account at a bank to receive and spend funds; if a campaign can be sued; if a campaign pays employment taxes, then it would be a legal entity. But for the disclosure I’m discussing, the law may need to be changed to explicitly include campaign committees.



Madison County Journal
4/27/16

Posted April 28, 2016 - 7:03 am

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Ground broken for solar energy facility in Hattiesburg



Mississippi Power Co. and Silicon Ranch Corp. are partnering to build the $100 million, 50 megawatt solar farm, which is expected to generate enough electricity to supply power to about 6,500 homes...


...The project, which will be located near Timberton, is expected to generate around 400 jobs during construction. It will sit on approximately 450 acres and feature more than 600,000 solar panels that will produce more than 100 million kilowatt-hours annually.

"We will be hiring the vast majority of this figure from the local labor force," Kisber said.



Hattiesburg American
4/27/16

Posted April 28, 2016 - 6:57 am

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Sid Salter: Ex-cons in state unlikely to gain voting rights



Estimates of Mississippi’s disenfranchised felons are as high as 182,000, and it is believed that 60 percent of that total is comprised of African-Americans.

Mississippi is one of 11 states (Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, Nevada, Tennessee and Wyoming) that most pervasively restrict the voting rights of felons even after prison, parole, probation and post-sentence obligations have been satisfied. There have been scattered efforts over the last 20 years seeking to change Mississippi’s felony disenfranchisement laws, but such efforts have failed in rather spectacular fashion...


...The likelihood of Mississippi’s laws changing on this issue any time soon would best be characterized as slim and none.


Clarion Ledger
4/27/16


Posted April 28, 2016 - 6:52 am

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RELEASE:



Wicker, Reed Lead Call for Improved Data on Child Participation in NIH Clinical Health Trials

26 U.S. Senators urge NIH to improve data collection on children participating in clinical health trials


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Jack Reed, D-R.I., today sent a letter with 24 of their Senate colleagues urging the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to improve data collection on children participating in NIH-funded clinical health trials.

NIH policy currently requires the inclusion of children in NIH-sponsored clinical trials unless there is reason to exclude them. However, NIH is not systematically tracking the ages of the children included in all of its clinical trials relevant to child health. This lack of data makes it difficult to determine whether children as a whole, or particular pediatric subpopulations, are underrepresented in federally-funded biomedical research. It also makes it difficult to determine how different pediatric subpopulations fare in these trials.

“The United States remains a global leader in biomedical innovations because of groundbreaking NIH research,” Senator Wicker said. “Medical research is instrumental to answering some of the toughest questions of our time. Understanding how new therapies and treatments impact children could prove to be invaluable. Improved data collection and transparency by NIH would be an important step toward ensuring that children benefit from scientific advances funded by the federal government.”

“Clinical research is critically important to our children’s health and NIH must improve its data collection process to allow children to reap the benefits of important scientific advancements,” said Senator Reed. “We need to ensure there is an appropriate amount of pediatric representation in these essential clinical trials so we can ensure there are effective treatments for children down the line.”

In addition to Senators Wicker and Reed, the letter was signed by U.S. Senators Casey (D-PA), Markey (D-MA), Capito (R-WV), Sullivan (R-AK), Coons (D-DE), Ayotte (R-NH), Gillibrand (D-NY), Murphy (D-CT), Stabenow (D-MI), Warren (D-MA), Durbin (D-IL), Franken (D-MN), Feinstein (D-CA), Blumenthal (D-CT), King (I-ME), Brown (D-OH), Kirk (R-IL), Schatz (D-HI), Schumer (D-NY), Murray (D-WA), Baldwin (D-WI), Booker (D-NJ), Hatch (R-UT), and Boxer (D-CA).

The text of the letter in its entirety can be found below:

Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD
Director, National Institutes of Health
Building 1, Room 126
1 Center Drive
Bethesda, Maryland 20814

Dear Dr. Collins:

We write to urge you to take steps to improve data collection on children participating in clinical trials funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Investment in child health research is critical, not only to guarantee that children benefit from important scientific advances, but also to better understand how chronic diseases develop and persist later into adulthood.

As you know, NIH policy requires that children be included in NIH-sponsored clinical trials unless there is reason to exclude them. This is in line with policies already in place at NIH requiring the inclusion of women and minorities in NIH research. However, we are concerned that NIH is not systematically tracking the ages of children included in all of its clinical trials relevant to child health. For example, there is a big difference between a clinical trial that enrolls one seventeen-year-old, versus a clinical trial that includes tens, if not hundreds, of children of varying ages.

As a result, we are unable to determine whether children as a whole, or particular pediatric subpopulations, are underrepresented in federally funded biomedical research. This also leaves researchers with little information about how different pediatric subpopulations fare in these clinical trials. While NIH-funded research is required to include women and minorities to allow for the collection of data on the sex/gender and race/ethnicity of enrollees in clinical trials, the same principal has not been applied to children enrolled in clinical trials, even though this information is readily available.

Therefore, we ask that you improve data collection and report on the numbers of children in the various pediatric age groups enrolled in clinical studies. We are pleased with the ongoing work in Congress to address this issue and to improve representation in medical research more broadly. Too often, children get left behind as treatments are developed for adults, and we appreciate the work you have done to reverse this trend and improve access to treatments for children. It is critical that we continue to make progress on this front and ensure that the pediatric research community has access to this data to improve pediatric representation in clinical trials.


4/27/16

Posted April 28, 2016 - 6:51 am

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Mississippi's public education system is underfunded again



Mississippi's public schools are underfunded yet again. And districts are having to make do with less money. Bigger class sizes and no text books to take home are the types of impacts that underfunding has on schools.

"These are very basic things that are not being provided for our students because the legislature is not meeting what the law requires in terms of funding for public schools," said Parents' Campaign Executive Director Nancy Loome...


...The other concern of the Parents Campaign is the big tax cut that was passed. The group says that's revenue that was desperately needed for K-12 education.



WLOX
4/27/16



Posted April 28, 2016 - 5:16 am

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More Overruns Plague Kemper Co. Coal Plant



Mississippi Power Co. says it will spend another $61 million on its overrun-plagued Kemper County power plant, pushing its total cost above $6.7 billion.

Although the unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. will absorb $35 million of the cost, customers could pay for $26 million in interest if the Mississippi Public Service Commission eventually approves.



WTOK
4/26/16



Posted April 28, 2016 - 5:13 am

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RELEASE:

Wicker Votes to Shed Light on FCC Rulemaking Process

Miss. Senator Supports Consumer Protection, Improved Oversight of Government Agency

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today supported efforts to rein in government overreach while strengthening protections for consumers. Wicker voted in favor of S. 421, the “Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Process Reform Act” authored by Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev. The measure now awaits consideration by the full Senate.

“With rapid advancements in communications and technology, Americans are increasingly impacted by the FCC and its rulemaking process,” Wicker said. “This bill aims to shed light on how the agency develops those many rules and orders. It could also lead to less red tape for consumers and businesses while improving the overall efficiency of the commission.”

The bill, which passed the committee by a vote of 13-11, would update FCC’s rulemaking process with regard to comment periods, the publication of ongoing status reports, and the publication of rule language prior to a vote. The measure would also permit a bipartisan majority of commissioners to meet for collaborative discussions subject to transparency safeguards.

Wicker is the chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, which is responsible for FCC oversight.


4/27/16

Posted April 28, 2016 - 5:12 am

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Posted April 27, 2016 - 9:40 am

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Sheriff eyes allegation of ‘malfeasance’ in Bay



Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam on Monday confirmed that his office is "looking into" allegations of possible criminal actions by members of the city of Bay St. Louis administration.

"We have been made aware of some things and we have been asked to take a look at it," Adam said. "We have an obligation to the citizens of Hancock County and Bay St. Louis to investigate any complaint. We are just starting to look into this, so we do not have any additional information to offer at this time."

"That's a complete surprise to me," Bay Mayor Les Fillingame said Tuesday, adding that no sheriff's department personnel had yet contacted him in the matter.



Sea Coast Echo
4/26/16

Posted April 27, 2016 - 6:53 am

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4/26/16

Posted April 27, 2016 - 6:46 am

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Charlie Mitchell: Session among most shameful in state's history



With near unanimity, the state’s media and a bevy of others, including the president and first lady of the United States, have railed with increasing intensity against the 2016 session. “Idiots” is one of the kinder words seen in social media.

In the movie, the passenger didn’t deserve a beating, yet it was funny.

Legislators do deserve the hits they are taking, and it isn’t funny.

The session will go down in history as one of the most pointless and shameful in history. Bills that made it to the governor’s desk didn’t do anybody much good and did Mississippians a lot of harm. Reactionary bills. Defensive bills. Shallow bills. Bills for their buddies.



ClarionLedger
4/26/16



Posted April 27, 2016 - 5:52 am

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Posted April 27, 2016 - 5:50 am

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Legislature offers no Youth Court remedy during session



Legislative efforts to aid a crowded Lee County Youth Court fell short last week when state lawmakers adjourned...


...Sen. Chad McMahan R-Guntown, and Rep. Jerry Turner, R-Baldwyn, had sponsored legislation in the Senate and House respectively authorizing such a position...


...McMahan and Brett both indicated the Mississippi Judiciary had some concerns about the legislation introduced this year.

According to McMahan, he was told that the Judiciary wanted to see his legislation introduced as a general bill next year rather than as a local and private bill.



Daily Journal
4/27/16



Posted April 27, 2016 - 5:44 am

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Letter from Roberta Kaplan to Phil Bryant re: HB1523



Posted April 27, 2016 - 5:36 am

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Bill Focuses on International Terror Threat, Ignores Danger at Home, Says Congressman Thompson



WASHINGTON– U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson (D, Miss) says that a bill being considered by legislators today ignores the fact that there are terrorists here in the United States.

Thompson says this bill, H.R 4820, known as the “Combating Terrorism Recruitment Act” is just a political move by the GOP to ignore the Obama Administration’s approach to countering all forms of terrorism. He says Republicans refuse to use the terminology “domestic terrorism” in the bill.



NewsMS
4/26/16



Posted April 27, 2016 - 5:32 am

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RELEASE:


Wicker, Coons Highlight World Malaria Day

Senators Introduce Bipartisan Measure to Support Global Fight Against Deadly Disease

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Chris Coons, D-Del., have introduced a resolution commemorating World Malaria Day, which was observed on April 25. Wicker and Coons are co-chairs of the Senate Malaria and Neglected Tropical Disease Caucus. The measure recognizes the significance of reducing malaria prevalence and deaths in an effort to improve overall child and maternal health across the globe, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

“I am pleased to support America’s continued leadership in the global fight against malaria,” Wicker said. “Prevention and control programs under the President’s Malaria Initiative, reinforced with groundbreaking research by the U.S. Army, have had a tremendous impact on fighting this preventable disease for the 3.2 billion people who are at risk of contracting it.”

“Malaria is a preventable, treatable illness, yet it is still a leading cause of death in many developing countries around the world,” said Senator Coons. “Malaria is a health, humanitarian, security, and economic challenge that requires us all to work together to solve. I’m proud to join Senator Wicker and a bipartisan group of colleagues in introducing a resolution affirming our commitment to ending preventable deaths from malaria once and for all.”

Malaria, a parasitic blood-borne disease spread by mosquitoes, is most prevalent in the developing world, with 90 percent of deaths occurring in Africa. Children under the age of five account for an estimated 70 percent of malaria-related deaths each year. In 2015, transmission of malaria occurred in 95 countries and territories. The President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) – started by President George W. Bush in 2005 – has helped reduce malaria deaths by 35 percent since its inception by partnering with local governments, the private sector, and faith communities and organizations.

In addition to Senators Wicker and Coons, cosponsors of the resolution include: Sens. John Boozman, R-Ark., Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Thad Cochran, R-Miss., Richard Durbin D-Ill., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla.


4/26/16

Posted April 27, 2016 - 5:30 am

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Convention confusion: Reaction over Harrison County Republican convention



Attendee Frank Genzer has been with the Harrison County Republican Party since 1988.

"The primary objective today was to elect new executive committee members, delegates to the state convention and alternate delegates to the state convention," said Genzer....


..."It gave every appearance in there that it was a done deal before those people walked in that room," said Murphy.

Genzer says nothing was done out of the ordinary.

"I'm sorry that they feel that way because we followed exactly what the rules of Harrison County, and the state, and they were handed out," said Genzer. "If anyone objected to the report of the nominating committee, they could have objected.



WLBT
4/23/16



Posted April 27, 2016 - 5:25 am

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Mississippi's Graduation Rate Up



The State Department of Education says the graduation rate has increased significantly from 2011 to 2015 while dropout rates have decreased.

In a news release Tuesday, the department said school districts showed a four-year graduation rate of 78.4 percent for the 2014-2015 school year. That marks a four-percent increase from a rate of 74.5 percent in the 2013-2014 school year.

The department says the increase brings Mississippi closer to the national average of 82 percent.



WTOK
4/26/16



Posted April 27, 2016 - 5:11 am

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Smart highway coming to Jackson County



JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Harnessing technology to improve traffic flow. That's the idea behind a project called Intelligent Transportation Systems. The Mississippi Department of Transportation is spending $10 million to enhance safety on Interstate 10 in Jackson County.

MDOT is installing 40 miles of fiber optic cable along the busy highway. It will provide the critical information highway that will allow MDOT to analyze traffic conditions and transmit that information directly to drivers....


...Along with the traffic flow initiative, MDOT is also about to begin work on a two-year, $40 million widening project on I-10 in Jackson County. The interstate will be widened from four to six lanes between the Ocean Springs and Vancleave exits.



WLOX
4/26/16



Posted April 27, 2016 - 5:07 am

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Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann appeared on SuperTalk's Paul Gallo Show Tuesday morning where he expressed his disappointment over the Mississippi Legislature failing to pass the election reform package his office offered this session after two years of study. Hosemann said the reforms would make it easier for Mississippians to vote while holding those who seek to game the system accountable for their actions.

Hosemann noted that the election reforms passed both chambers yet when the campaign finance reforms were debated Legislators allowed the election reform bill to die. He expressed dismay over the lack of transparency and communication between his office and the Legislature during the 2016 session, something that hasn't been an issue in previous sessions.

The Secretary told Gallo that he is asking Governor Phil Bryant to add the election reform package to a special session call.


4/26/16

Posted April 26, 2016 - 7:00 am

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MEMA budget cuts: Counties will 'suffer' after disaster



With 33 tornadoes already on the books this year, the Legislature has cut the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency's budget again...


...MEMA Director Lee Smithson said since he took office on Feb. 1, the state has seen 33 confirmed tornadoes and flooding in 42 of 82 counties, 26 of which were issued federal disaster declarations. The flooding is considered the worst statewide damage since Hurricane Katrina. In addition, this hurricane season is forecast to be the worst since 2012.

"We're doing so with the 48 percent of the budget, and that becomes a life safety issue," Smithson said. "We’re not first responders and don’t claim to be, but we’re the ones who help when the counties get into recovery mode and if we can’t do that, it’s the counties that suffer."



Clarion Ledger
4/25/16

Posted April 26, 2016 - 6:39 am

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SID SALTER: Debate over Ingalls shipyard subsidies has a global part




State Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, sharply criticized the majority of the Mississippi Legislature over their overwhelming approval of the $250 million “bond bill” – the mechanism whereby lawmakers authorize bonded indebtedness to pay for specific public infrastructure.

During the recent bond bill debate in Jackson, McDaniel strongly questioned the wisdom of state taxpayers providing $45 million in capital improvements at the Ingall’s Pascagoula facility: “We’re borrowing $45 million to give to a Fortune 500 company (the parent Huntington Ingalls Industries)...



...In an email exchange, I asked McDaniel to explain his position on the Ingalls support in the bond bill. He offered a lengthy, thoughtful explanation based primarily on two points – a belief that the taxpayers shouldn’t underwrite a Fortune 500 company and sharp disagreement with what he calls “crony capitalism” and “our state’s poorly-executed long-term economic plans, which is evidenced by irrational spending in many of our bond bills, not to mention a lack of reform in our overall business climate.”

While it was enlightening to digest McDaniel’s defense of his vote and his rhetoric, I strongly disagree with McDaniel’s assessment.



Daily Journal
4/25/16



Posted April 26, 2016 - 5:42 am

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Mississippi GOP has no plans to stack delegates, strategist says




Republican Party strategist Austin Barbour said he attended the county party elections last weekend and said there is no plan to stack delegates.

“Donald Trump won Mississippi (and) Ted Cruz did well, too,” Barbour said. “We need to make sure the people that filled those delegate slots for the national delegate spots truly support those two candidates.”

State rules say even though a delegate may be assigned to cast a ballot for Trump, Cruz or Kasich, if a presidential nominee is not decided after the national convention’s first vote, those delegates can then vote for the candidate of their choice.



WAPT
4/25/16



Posted April 26, 2016 - 5:37 am

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Former Mississippi governors respond to backlash from religious objection law



"The passing of House Bill 1523 will serve as one of the most detrimental pieces of legislation that has been passed in terms of recruiting business in industry to Mississippi,” said Ronnie Musgrove, a Democrat who was governor from 1996 to 2000...


..."I think Mississippi is a really nice place to live. Regardless of what you might think, I think it's a nice place to live,” said Haley Barbour, a Republican who was governor from 2004 to 2012. “I can’t tell you what people are going to do or what any companies are going to do, but we'll see."...


..."When we start to get very narrow points of view, from a religious standpoint, involved in political issues, then we are getting into trouble,” said William Winter, a Democrat who was governor from 1980 to 1984.




WAPT
4/25/16



Posted April 26, 2016 - 5:32 am

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WTVA
4/25/16

Posted April 26, 2016 - 5:29 am

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March Mississippi casino revenue dips as coast gambling lags



Dipping Gulf Coast casino revenue dragged down Mississippi’s statewide gambling totals in March.

Figures released last week by the state Revenue Department show casinos won $188 million in March, down 5 percent from $198 million in March 2015.
Gamblers lost $103 million at the 12 coastal casinos, 4 percent less than last March. It’s only the third decline for coastal casinos in the last year.



WJTV
4/25/16



Posted April 26, 2016 - 5:24 am

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Bay St. Louis mayor pays back city debt



An overt admission from Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame came Monday afternoon. The two-term mayor admitted to recently paying back money the state auditor’s office said had to be paid back to the city.

Fillingame said he wrote a personal check for more than $780 to cover a pay raise he recently granted to members of the city fire department before getting approval from the city council.



WLOX
4/25/16



Posted April 26, 2016 - 5:19 am

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Today, the Clarion Ledger presented a much-ballyhooed "breaking news" story that Pastor Jeffrey Stallworth has filed a federal lawsuit against Phil Bryant and the MS Legislature over the bill recently signed into law seeking more regional representation in the airport.

The complaint below is worth the read.

Stallworth v. Bryant - Airport



But perhaps even more interesting is the complaint filed 10 days later where Stallworth sues Bryant and the former Governor of the State of Maryland for not rescinding his status as a sex-offender.

Stallworth v. Bryant/Maryland



There's myriad interesting background to Stallworth.

Here's a good background of the start of his issues.

Here's another where a $200 million countersuit from Stallworth was dismissed.

Those in Jackson who were looking for a vehicle to fight the airport issue will likely be dismayed that this was the first case that will ostensibly carry the banner in that fight, if history is any indication.

Posted April 25, 2016 - 2:50 pm

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Methodist ministers pen open letter on Mississippi religious freedom law

As United Methodist ministers of the Mississippi Annual Conference, we commit ourselves to speak out against injustice and discrimination of any kind, based on the very principles that we have in our own Book of Discipline. We believe that any attempt to legislate and sign into law discriminatory practices against any group of people is sinful and does harm to the body of Christ and to the well being of the communities both church and government are called to serve. We commit ourselves to be in ministry to all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, age, gender, disability, status, economic condition, sexual orientation, gender identity or religious affiliation.

We echo the voices of those brave 28 men who spoke out against racial injustice in 1963, and their prophetic witness has renewed our own convictions. With them, we stand against the powers and principalities of evil that seek to exclude those who are different because of their race, color, national origin, ethnicity, age, gender disability, status, economic condition, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religious affiliation.



Clarion Ledger
4/25/16

Posted April 25, 2016 - 8:11 am

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Hinds Republicans convened yesterday

JJ videotaped the Hinds County Republican Party convention yesterday at the War Memorial Building in downtown Jackson. 99 delegates selected delegates to attend the state GOP convention in May. The delegates also voted for members to serve on the Hinds County Republican Party executive committee. The delegates were elected at precinct caucuses held that morning. Pete Perry chaired the convention.

The convention elected three delegates from the Third Congressional district to attend the state convention. The three delegates are Ashby Foote, Pete Perry, and Austin Barbour. The vote was 71-28 for the slate of nominations. Those interested in standing for election as a delegate had to submit a declaration of intent to the party nominations committee. The convention also voted 68-31 to accept a slate of delegates from the Second Congressional District.


Kingfish
4/25/16

Posted April 25, 2016 - 7:47 am

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America's Largest Black Boarding School Is Thriving

The Piney Woods Country Life School is America's largest historically black boarding school, and one of the few remaining, with a sprawling campus of pine trees and rolling farmland just 20 miles south of Jackson. It opened in 1909 as the vision of an educated African American man from St. Louis who felt a desire to teach the illiterate children of freed slaves how to farm and read. In the face of hunger, poverty, and lynching threats, Dr. Laurence Jones and his wife fought to keep the school open in the segregated South.

Now, more than 100 years later, the vocational agriculture school has transformed into a rigorous, college-prep high school for low-income African American students from across the United States.

Expectations at Piney Woods are high, and so is the pressure. Graduating is a given—every student here is expected to go to college. It doesn't matter if they come from a ghetto in the Bronx or the suburbs of Detroit. Some 97 percent of students who graduated from Piney Woods last year got into schools such as Spelman College in Atlanta and Kings College in Pennsylvania.


The Atlantic
4/25/16

Posted April 25, 2016 - 7:43 am

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Neighboring States Pass Income Tax Cuts In The Same Week



In the same week Americans from coast to coast scrambled to get their taxes filed by the April 18 deadline, legislatures of two southern states bordering one another – Tennessee & Mississippi – passed major tax reform packages that make their tax codes more competitive and will provide welcome relief to taxpayers...



Forbes
4/23/16



Posted April 25, 2016 - 6:57 am

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WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi


WLOX
4/24/16

Posted April 25, 2016 - 6:51 am

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GEOFF PENDER: The rule makers don’t need no stinking rules



Mississippi lawmakers will get all up in every state and local agency’s bid-ness — take them over, pass strict regulations, tell them how they can and can’t spend money.

And by God, they’ll slap some of that ree-form on you in a heartbeat, whether you think you need reforming or not.

But when it comes to regulating themselves — whoa, hold on now. And when it comes to reforming a setup that lets them launder special-interest money and put it in their pockets tax free — why, that’s heresy. The rule makers don’t need no stinking rules.



ClarionLedger
4/23/16



Posted April 25, 2016 - 5:55 am

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More charters, fewer districts 2016 education legacy



Education policy had an interesting time of it this legislative session under the Republican supermajority’s leadership, leaving a legacy of charter school expansion, appointed superintendents and more school district consolidations.

"School choice" was the buzzword when lawmakers gaveled in, and by the end of the session, House Education Chairman John Moore told representatives on the floor he “doesn’t care what the (education funding) formula says,” referring to the Mississippi Adequate Education Program...



...But as the session ended, only a handful of “school choice” bills made it through the process. Despite calls to allow students in any area of the state to cross district lines to attend charter schools in other areas, the Senate eked out a bill allowing only students in districts rated C, D and F to do so.




ClarionLedger
4/24/16



Posted April 25, 2016 - 5:49 am

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Mississippi Delegate Calls Donald Trump ‘Incoherent,’ Says RNC Spring Meeting Is ‘Dry Run’ for Open Convention



“It’s problematic. At times [Trump] is incoherent. That’s a real problem and I think that’s an advantage for Cruz, because everybody knows where Cruz stands,” Barbour said today.

“Trump has really tapped into voters who are dissatisfied with the status quo and are really concerned about the country, and they are like, you know what, we need somebody that’s bold who’s gonna be strong," Barbour added. "Whether he really is that way -- I haven’t a clue.”



ABCNews
4/22/16



Posted April 25, 2016 - 5:45 am

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Haley Barbour: GOP convention bounce more likely a dip



"I promise you, there will be hurt feelings,” says Haley Barbour, who during a half-century in politics has served as Mississippi governor, Republican National Committee chairman and White House political director. “And I suspect when the convention is over, where you normally want a bump ... I don’t think we’ll get a bump. No matter what the outcome — Trump wins, (Ted) Cruz wins, (John) Kasich wins, somebody else wins, two ballots, three ballots, whatever — I think we’ll get a dip.”...


..."Abraham Lincoln did not win on the first ballot,” he said. “Abraham Lincoln finished second on the first ballot and won the nomination on the third ballot. So give me a break. Ronald Reagan got a million more votes in 1976 than Gerald Ford, but when Gerald Ford won the nomination based on the rules, did Ronald Reagan whine? Did he call for riots? No, because he knew what the rules were, and he played by the rules and the rules are, in both parties, you must get a majority of the delegates.”



Hattiesburg American
4/24/16



Posted April 25, 2016 - 5:31 am

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BILL CRAWFORD: Responsible governance has had its day in Mississippi



Yes, it seems clear, the politics of self-interest and special interests now dominate the Republican dominated Legislature. Responsible governance, espoused by the early fathers of the modern Republican Party in Mississippi and championed by former Gov. Haley Barbour, has had its day.



Daily Journal
4/24/16



Posted April 25, 2016 - 5:27 am

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Senators approve Frierson, 4 other Mississippi agency chiefs



Republican Rep. Herb Frierson of Poplarville was approved to become revenue commissioner, leading the state tax collection agency for six years beginning July 1. He will succeed Ed Morgan, a former state senator and Hattiesburg mayor.

Former Tupelo Mayor and Tennessee Valley Authority chairman Glenn McCullough was confirmed to lead the Mississippi Development Authority. He has been serving in the MDA job since June.



Daily Journal
4/22/16



Posted April 25, 2016 - 5:23 am

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Several legislators make impression in ’16 session



Mississippi legislators last week ended their 2016 session, their first gathering of a four-year term. With 122 members in the House and 52 in the Senate, a few stood out from the crowd...

Rep. Jeff Smith, R...

First year Sen. Jenifer Branning, R...

Rep. Andy Gipson, R...

Rep. Bryant Clark, D...

Sen. Josh Harkins, R...

Rep. Mark Baker, R...



Daily Journal
4/25/16



Posted April 25, 2016 - 5:17 am

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Michelle Obama implores JSU grads to overcome discrimination with excellence



She also referenced House Bill 1523 one day after her husband, President Barack Obama criticized North Carolina and Mississippi's laws for being discriminatory.

"We see it right here in Mississippi, just two weeks ago, how swiftly progress can hurdle backward, how easy it is to single out a small group and marginalize them because of who they are or who they love," she said. "So we've gotta stand side-by-side with all our neighbors: straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, Jew, Christian, Hindu, immigrant, Native American. The march for civil rights isn't just about African-Americans, it's about all Americans."



WLBT
4/24/16



Posted April 25, 2016 - 5:07 am

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As session ends, talk turns to tax study



Within minutes of the 2016 session ending Thursday replete with the largest tax cut in the state’s history, House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, committed to trying to pass comprehensive tax reform in the coming years.

On the other side of the state Capitol, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, the primary champion of the Taxpayer Fairness Act, which passed this session and that he touted as comprehensive tax reform, did say he supported the speaker’s effort of additional study of the tax structure for possible revisions.

When asked why the Legislature passed the bill to reduce taxes $415 million (about 8 percent of the total state general fund) over 11 years, if he wanted to undertake “comprehensive tax reform” in the coming years, Gunn said “That is why it was delayed for two years” from being enacted.

“You are talking about two of all the taxes,” he said. “My hope is to put it off two years and do a comprehensive approach.”



Daily Journal
4/22/16

Posted April 22, 2016 - 7:11 am

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Kelly sees first bill clear U.S. House



The first bill authored by the region’s freshman congressman has passed the U.S. House of Representatives.

Rep. Trent Kelly, a Republican, introduced the legislation, H.R. 4332, in January. It passed the House Tuesday on a voice vote.

Kelly has now been in office almost a year after winning a special election last June. In November’s election, he’ll stand for a full term, facing Democratic opponent Jacob Owens.

H.R. 4332 is intended to ensure that small businesses have an opportunity to competitively bid for federal contracts, according to Kelly.



Daily Journal
4/21/16


Posted April 22, 2016 - 7:08 am

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WJTV
4/21/16

Posted April 22, 2016 - 5:37 am

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Wife of elected official banned from Belk after pleading guilty to shoplifting



FLOWOOD, Miss. —The wife of a state lawmaker pleaded guilty Thursday to shoplifting charges in Flowood.

Amanda Miles, who is married to District 75 state Rep. Tom Miles, will be sentenced May 19. Miles, 46, of Forest, has been banned from Belk stores.




WAPT
4/21/16



Posted April 22, 2016 - 5:32 am

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MS state flag removed at U.S. Capitol



WASHINGTON, DC (WLOX) - Mississippi's state flag and other items bearing the Confederate battle emblem have been removed from the halls of the U.S. House of Representatives. This move comes after U.S. Congressman Bennie Thompson filed a resolution last year requesting to remove the image from House-controlled spaces in the U.S. Capitol.

"I am pleased that the Architect of the Capitol will no longer display symbols of hatred and bigotry in the esteemed halls of the United States House of Representatives," Congressman Thompson wrote on his Facebook page. "As I said last summer, this is the People's House and we should ensure that we, as an institution, refuse to condone symbols that seek to divide us."

The flags had been displayed on the wall in the tunnel that runs between a House office building and the Capitol. Congressman Candice Miller said all of the items removed will eventually be replaced with prints of each state's commemorative coin.



WLOX
4/21/16



Posted April 22, 2016 - 5:26 am

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'Go-cup' bill awaiting governor's signature



WLOX) - "Go cups" may soon be legal in Mississippi. A bill awaiting Governor Bryant's signature would allow cities to designate specific areas where people would be allowed to carry an alcoholic beverage outside of a bar or restaurant.

Rep. Scott DeLano was the primary author of the bill. He said it's something a lot of people have wanted for a long time, and would give an economic boost to restaurants who invest in downtown areas.


WDAM / WLOX
4/21/16



Posted April 22, 2016 - 5:23 am

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Mississippi Legislature Adjourns 2016 Session



The Mississippi Legislature has concluded its 2016 session.

The House of Representatives adjourned for a final time Thursday after meeting briefly and disposing of a procedural block on one bill. That measure allows people in designated districts in certain places to carry alcoholic beverages outside the location it was served.



WTOK
4/21/16



Posted April 22, 2016 - 5:20 am

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Freshman Democrat state Rep. Jay Hughes requested Gov. Phil Bryant call a special session before the Mississippi House adjourned Sine Die.

But the Governor did not play Hughes' game.

Bryant sent Hughes a response stating that all such requests should come through the Speaker's office to "prevent the appearance of political grandstanding."

And as this session as proven, Hughes is a pro at grandstanding.

Bryant to Hughes letter 4/21 photo image_zpsfbkntkub.png
(Photo taken from Twitter)

4/21/16

Posted April 21, 2016 - 9:50 am

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John McCain bows out of Republican convention



House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told CNN yesterday that Republicans thinking about skipping the party’s national convention in July should think again. “I think that we should go,” Ryan said. “This is our convention making our nominee, so I think everybody should participate.”...



...Around the same time, however, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told The Hill that vulnerable GOP incumbents might want to skip this year’s gathering, looking instead for “more unifying events” where there’s less likelihood of a “brouhaha.”

John McCain has apparently decided to listen to Wicker and ignore Ryan. Politico reported late yesterday:

The 2008 Republican presidential nominee will not attend the party’s national convention in July. Arizona Sen. John McCain told reporters Tuesday that he may forgo attending what’s expected to be a contested convention this summer in order to campaign for his Senate seat.



MSNBC
4/20/16

Posted April 21, 2016 - 7:21 am

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Bernie faces Southern revolt



An influential group of Democrats is piling on Bernie Sanders for portraying Hillary Clinton's Southern victories as a product of a conservative region that is out of step with the rest of the country’s thinking...



...In a stern, roughly 800-word letter sent Wednesday via post to Sanders’ Burlington, Vermont, headquarters, a high-profile group that includes the Democratic Party chairs of South Carolina, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi expresses its concern about his characterizations of the South, which they contend “minimize the importance of the voices of a core constituency for our party”: African-Americans.

“We commend you on running a spirited campaign that has energized and mobilized a new generation of voters, but we are concerned about the way you and your campaign have characterized the South,” write South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison, Louisiana Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson, Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant, Democratic Party of Georgia Chairman DuBose Porter, Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman Rickey Cole, former South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges, and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Don Fowler, each of whom now supports Clinton.




Politico
4/20/16

Posted April 21, 2016 - 7:09 am

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RELEASE:


Wicker: Senate Updates U.S. Energy Policy

Comprehensive Energy Bill Passes Chamber for First Time Since 2007


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today voted in favor of legislation to modernize the nation’s energy infrastructure, lower utility bills for consumers, and promote job creation in the energy sector. The “Energy Policy Modernization Act,” S. 2012, authored by Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., is the first comprehensive energy bill to pass the Senate in nearly a decade. The bill passed by a vote of 85-12.

“This was an opportunity that we simply could not afford to miss,” Wicker said. “America’s energy landscape has changed dramatically since the last energy bill passed in 2007. Updating these policies helps to support new technologies and innovations that lower energy bills, diversify our options, and ensure a stable and reliable network. This bill is also designed to help spur job creation in the energy field, countering years of burdensome regulations and mandates imposed on the industry by this Administration.”


4/20/16

Posted April 21, 2016 - 7:00 am

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Treasurer Fitch critical of state borrowing




Treasurer Lynn Fitch called the Legislature's decisions on borrowing for special projects deeply disappointing and hypocritical in a letter to state leaders.

She said some of the state's bonds don't meet the qualifications for tax-exempt status, are vague and could threaten the state's credit rating.

"Several items in the over $308 million bill ... lack any specificity. Bonds are borrowed to cover specific projects, not simply for 'paying costs associated with infrastructure and infrastructure related projects,'" Fitch wrote.



ClarionLedger
4/20/16



Posted April 21, 2016 - 5:35 am

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Sid Salter: Mississippi wades into immigration fight




The current eight members of the Supreme Court will determine the fate of millions of undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. illegally for a number of years. At best, the Obama administration initiatives could protect as many as 4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation and enable them to legally work in the U.S.

Mississippi, through Gov. Phil Bryant, is a party to the lawsuit. Mississippi is one of 25 states supporting the state of Texas in its assertion that the Obama administration’s immigration policies represent an abuse of executive authority.



ClarionLedger
4/20/16



Posted April 21, 2016 - 5:31 am

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Senate calls it a year; House back for one more day




The 2016 Mississippi legislative session is set to sputter to a close on Thursday after an angry House member held a bill on a motion to reconsider in protest of consolidation of schools in his district, forcing the House back in for one more day after the Senate called it a year on Wednesday.

Rep. Bryant Clark, D-Pickens, attempted to get House members to reconsider their passage of consolidation of Holmes County and Durant public school districts. When a majority voted instead to send the bill on to the governor, Clark held a bill allowing alcoholic go-cups to be carried outside in entertainment districts on a motion to reconsider, preventing the House from ending the session Wednesday.

It's expected to take the House only minutes on Thursday to dispose of the motion, legalize carrying drinks out of bars in some areas and end the session "sine die," Latin for without day of return set.



ClarionLedger
4/20/16



Posted April 21, 2016 - 5:28 am

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Pay attention to issues, not ‘1980s rocker’ who canceled show, Bryant says



“All of a sudden we have one guy from the 1980s that canceled a concert and we all want to talk about that. It is interesting (that) the media says 'Y’all ought to be dealing with all these important issues and not some issue about someone's deeply held religious beliefs,'” Bryant said. “I often wonder if people aren’t taking advantage of that type of thing. You haven’t been heard from in a long time, maybe you’re dropping out of the entertainment business and all of a sudden you think it’s a pretty good way of getting attention.”...


...“If you’ll read the bill, it deals with marriage. It deals with deeply held religious beliefs. It’s not going to take anyone’s rights away from them,” Byrant said. “It simply says the government cannot discriminate against people of faith or religious organizations, which is the same law -- if I can get anyone to look at that –--that Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo signed into law in New York in 2011. He signed the same law, almost the same language. Ours is expanded to people who have deeply held religious beliefs, only in the area of marriage.”



WAPT
4/20/16



Posted April 21, 2016 - 5:21 am

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Governor says he will sign Jackson airport takeover bill



Gov. Phil Bryant said he will sign a measure that will change the Jackson airport board as soon as it hits his desk.

“I think it’s important that we have regional representation for what is, for all practical purposes, a regional airport,” Bryant said. “Hopefully it will generate more revenue for the city of Jackson and its citizens.”

The Mississippi Senate voted 29-14 Wednesday to remove the Jackson-only appointed governing board and replace it with a regional one. The author of the bill, Sen. Josh Harkins, said it is not a power grab measure, but one that brings in more voices about how the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport operates.



WAPT
4/20/16



Posted April 21, 2016 - 5:18 am

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Miss. not adding domestic violence as grounds for divorce



Mississippi will not add domestic violence as a reason for divorce.

A final version of a bill that would have allowed divorces for that reason passed the House on Wednesday, but died in the Senate a short time later.



WTVA
4/20/16



Posted April 21, 2016 - 5:11 am

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Possibility of Miss. auto insurance increase



State Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says he's concerned about how the disturbing trend might impact insurance rates, and is working to minimize the pain on Mississippi motorists.

"We estimate and what we're being told by the industry is that we're looking at something between 10 and 20 percent, or even higher, in automobile insurance increases. What we're doing at the insurance department is calling companies in and having a dialogue to make certain that we don't have these staggering increases. I have five rate increases on my desk. I have not granted any of them and don't plan to grant what they've asked for," said Chaney.



WLOX
4/20/16



Posted April 21, 2016 - 5:08 am

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Bryant Makes Another Round of Budget Cuts



Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says he's making budget cuts of $25 million and will take $10 million out of the state's rainy day fund.

This is the round of cuts to the $6 billion state budget since fiscal 2016 started last July, because state revenues are falling short in a sluggish economy.

Bryant says he is making across-the-board cuts to of less than one-half of 1 percent to budgets of most agencies Wednesday.



WTOK
4/20/16



Posted April 21, 2016 - 5:05 am

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The infamous Noel Fritsch strikes again.

Yes, the same Noel Fritsch of 2014 Mississippi Senate campaign fame who just won't go away.

The same Noel Fritsch who more recently used the National Association for Gun Rights to send mailers attacking Republican legislative candidates and whose group was fined for seeking donations and avoiding registering with the state as required by law.

Now Fritsch has chosen to take on Mississippi Republican Party chair Joe Nosef and Gov. Phil Bryant over a private text conversation between Nosef and Donald Trump state chair Mitch Tyner. Nosef and Tyner are acquaintances.

How Fritsch came to obtain the text messages has yet to be determined. A question sent to Tyner via Twitter asking how this came to be has yet to receive a reply.

However, it would appear that Fritsch shopped a story around claiming Nosef and Gov. Bryant were threatening to have Trump and Ted Cruz supporters hauled out of the upcoming county caucuses based on the text messages. Not surprisingly, a few hard up sources who love to stir half truths finally bit.

LifeZette, a fairly new website started by radio personality Laura Ingraham, grabbed the story and inflated it from the very first line, writing, "LifeZette has obtained evidence that supporters of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in Mississippi have been threatened with possible arrest should they refuse to elect pro-Establishment delegates to the state’s GOP convention on April 23."

The piece went on to quote Fritsch as saying, "Establishment Republicans in Mississippi will stop at nothing to keep conservatives out of the political process, whether it’s buying votes for Thad Cochran, or threatening to arrest conservatives with arrest for supporting Donald Trump or Ted Cruz,” Fritsch said. “Under the leadership of Phil Bryant, Tate Reeves, and Speaker Gunn, Mississippi’s political process is nominally more free than your average banana republic dictatorship,” he continued.

Fritsch knows how to sound like an authority on issues he knows little to nothing about, facts and context be damned. But that's nothing new for him.

The text messages between Tyner and Nosef were more of a friendly banter between the two. Nosef likely was a little loose in his tone given their relationship and perhaps due to his frustration with how the Trump and Cruz camp remain at odds which negatively effects the party as a whole. Yet even still, Nosef laid out a strong position where all candidates were to be treated fairly and to set the tone where shenanigans (of which we've seen from these persons on more than one occasion) would not be tolerated.

To claim that Nosef was insinuating that Gov. Bryant and he were in some manner attempting to rig the system is outlandish and conspiratorial, but yet it does play right into the distorted narrative Fritsch and others like him continue to spin after being slapped around royally over the past few years.

And the far right fringe and social media trolls have taken the bait hook, line and sinker.

When asked for comment on the accusations, Nosef responded to Y'all Politics by saying, "This angle and this story is the opposite of the truth. I was expressing frustration because the two campaigns local leadership had no interest in working with us to ensure they didn't end up in Cleveland in a delegate fight with each other about delegates."

Nosef continued, "Secondly the part about security at the state convention is there because our people deserve and expect that we will have a professional, secure environment. No one will use our state convention to grandstand or try to intimidate people into voting a certain way. We owe it to our people for them to be safe."

In any other sane dimension, having a state party chairman declare that he will seek to have a fair process without intimidation and grandstanding of those in attendance at the county caucus level would be appreciated.

But in Fritsch's world and now those on his conspiratorial bandwagon such a strong view is seen as threatening or attempting to tip the system in some way.

###

UPDATE: Mitch Tyner, sounding out of breath and on the defensive, told Paul Gallo in an interview on SuperTalk Friday morning that he himself sent the messages to Fritsch. Tyner went on to say that he wouldn't call him "Lyin' Joe" but that "Disingenuous Joe" must go as state party chair.

Posted April 20, 2016 - 5:56 pm

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RELEASE:



COCHRAN COMMENDS LYNN MEADOWS DISCOVERY CENTER ON PRESTIGIOUS NATIONAL AWARD

Gulfport Children’s Museum Receives Nation’s Highest Award for Museums and Libraries


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today congratulated the many hard-working staff and volunteers at the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center for Children in Gulfport on receiving the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the highest honor given to American museums and libraries.

The Lynn Meadows Discovery Center is one of only 10 institutions nationwide to receive the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, which is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The award recognizes museums and libraries for exceptional service to their communities.

“This is a well-deserved honor for the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center. This museum serves as a valuable community resource in Gulfport and throughout South Mississippi,” said Cochran, who recommended the Gulfport museum for the award. “I hope this award will fuel the museum’s drive to continue to inspire and educate young people on the Gulf Coast for many more years.”

The 10 recipients of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. this June.

Opened in 1998, the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center for Children was the first children’s museum in Mississippi. The non-profit museum is dedicated to inspiring children, families and communities through interactive educational experiences and exploration.


4/19/16

Posted April 20, 2016 - 7:07 am

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RELEASE:



Wicker: Law Prohibits Taxpayer Funds From Being Used for UN Climate Change Convention

UNFCCC Grants Membership to ‘State of Palestine,’ Triggering Ban of U.S. Funds


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., joined a group of 28 senators in sending a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that called on the Administration to prohibit taxpayer funds for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The letter was led by Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo.

Under the 1994 “Foreign Relations Authorization Act,” the U.S. government is barred from providing federal money to affiliated organizations of the United Nations that grant full membership as a state to certain groups, such as the Palestinians. Last month, the “State of Palestine” was recognized as a full member of the UNFCCC.

“We request that you ensure that no disbursements of U.S. funds are made to the UNFCCC and its related entities after March 17, 2016,” the senators wrote. “We believe that your failure to do so will constitute a violation of current law. …We implore the administration to hold the Palestinians accountable for their actions in circumventing the peace process, and to abide by current law prohibiting U.S. taxpayer funds for the UNFCCC and its related entities and other UN affiliated organizations that recognize the ‘State of Palestine.’”

As an affiliated organization to the United Nations, the UNFCCC and its related entities – including the Secretariat, the Conference of Parties, and the Green Climate Fund – are barred from receiving U.S. taxpayer funds since UNFCCC recognizes the “State of Palestine.”

Full text of the letter:

April 18, 2016

Dear Secretary Kerry:

On December 18, 2015, the Palestinians submitted to the United Nations its instruments of accession to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). On March 17, 2016, the “State of Palestine” was allowed to become a full member of the UNFCCC. That action triggered a statutory restriction under current law that now prohibits the U.S. government from providing U.S. taxpayer funds to the UNFCCC and its related entities, such as the UNFCCC Secretariat, the Green Climate Fund, the Conference of the Parties (COP), and the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP). We request that you ensure that no disbursements of U.S. funds are made to the UNFCCC and its related entities after March 17, 2016. We believe that your failure to do so will constitute a violation of current law.

In 1994, Congress passed and the President signed into law a prohibition on the distribution of U.S. taxpayer funds to “any affiliated organization of the United Nations which grants full membership as a state to any organization or group that does not have the internationally recognized attributes of statehood.” The UNFCCC, through its operating entities, constitutes an “affiliated organization of the United Nations.” For example, the UNFCCC secretariat is connected and linked to the UN in many ways, including the following:

• The UN secretary-general appoints the executive secretary of the UNFCCC secretariat.
• At the first Conference of the Parties, the UNFCCC decided that its secretariat “shall be institutionally linked to the United Nations.” According to its website, they remain “institutionally linked” today.
• The UN serves as Depository for the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol.
• The UN’s proposed budget for the biennium 2016-2017 supports the UNFCCC.
• The UN Campus in Bonn, Germany houses the UNFCCC secretariat, which the UN lists as one of 18 organizations that represents it and that are part of the “UN presence” in Bonn.
• The UNFCCC secretariat is subject to UN rules and regulations regarding procurement and other matters.
• The UNFCCC secretariat supports what it describes as the “largest annual United Nations conference” – the COP held together with the CMP.

The U.S. government does not recognize the “State of Palestine,” which is not a sovereign state and does not possess the “internationally recognized attributes of statehood.”

Therefore, the UNFCCC, as an affiliated organization of the UN, granted full membership to the Palestinians, an organization or group that does not have the internationally recognized attributes of statehood. As a result, current law prohibits distribution of U.S. taxpayer funds to the UNFCCC and its related entities.

The only realistic and sustainable path to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The unilateral actions of the Palestinians to seek statehood recognition through UN affiliated organizations, treaties, conventions, and agreements serve only to circumvent direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The accession of the Palestinians to the UNFCCC and its efforts to secure full membership in other UN affiliated organizations undermine those negotiations and make achieving a comprehensive peace agreement more difficult.

The inability of the U.S. government to block the Palestinians from being admitted for membership as a state by the UNFCCC and other UN affiliated organizations is extremely troublesome. We urge the administration to clarify, both publicly and privately, that the United States does not consider the “State of Palestine” to be a sovereign state, and to work diligently to prevent the Palestinians from being recognized as a sovereign state for purposes of joining UN affiliated organizations, treaties, conventions, and agreements. We implore the administration to hold the Palestinians accountable for their actions in circumventing the peace process, and to abide by current law prohibiting U.S. taxpayer funds for the UNFCCC and its related entities and other UN affiliated organizations that recognize the “State of Palestine.”


4/19/16

Posted April 20, 2016 - 7:05 am

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RELEASE:


Wicker: FAA Reform Bill Clears Senate

Passenger-Friendly Legislation Includes New Robust Consumer Protections


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today voted in favor of a bipartisan initiative to reauthorize and reform the mission of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The legislation, H.R. 636, was approved in March by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, on which Wicker serves as a senior member. The Senate passed the measure by a vote of 95-3.

“This FAA bill will make air travel safer by improving airport security and strengthening cybersecurity,” Wicker said. “Many of these passenger-friendly reforms are long overdue. Mississippi would see advancements to our aerospace industry under new standards for unmanned aircraft systems by FAA and the UAS Center of Excellence at Mississippi State University. I am hopeful that the Senate’s action will soon be replicated in the House before the short-term extension expires in July.”

Provisions to strengthen airport security include improving airport employee vetting, expanding enrollment in the TSA PreCheck program to minimize security lines, and enhancing security for international flights bound for the United States. The legislation also addresses growing cybersecurity threats facing aviation and air navigation systems.

Wicker successfully included a measure to create a process that would allow electric utilities to use unmanned aircraft systems in emergency response situations. Rapid restoration of utility services aids in emergency recovery efforts and mitigates the severity of harm suffered during a crisis.

Another proposal supported by Wicker would require the FAA to issue a new rule to ensure that aircraft medical kits include medications and equipment to meet the emergency medical needs of children.


4/19/16

Posted April 20, 2016 - 7:04 am

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4/19/16

Posted April 20, 2016 - 7:03 am

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State GOP chairman Nosef speaks to Lamar County Republicans




Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Joe Nosef was in Lamar County Tuesday night, speaking about the party's upcoming caucuses and county conventions...


..."I'm the chairman of the party, but our popular governor is seen as the leader of our party and we just hope people will come out and support him this weekend and support our local leaders as well, so we can not only have a good, strong party for this presidential election, but for the next four years," Nosef said.



WDAM
4/19/16

Posted April 20, 2016 - 6:57 am

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NPR
4/19/16

Posted April 20, 2016 - 6:51 am

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Blogger at center of Rose Cochran photo scandal paroled




Blogger Clayton Kelly, the man at the center of the Rose Cochran photo scandal back in 2014 is out of prison on parole. He was paroled on March 17.

Kelly was accused of sneaking into a nursing home and taking a picture of Rose Cochran, Senator Thad Cochran's wife, on Easter Sunday, 2014. He then used the photo in a video on his blog.



WLBT
4/19/16

Posted April 20, 2016 - 6:44 am

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MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS


WLBT
4/19/16

Posted April 20, 2016 - 6:39 am

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Legislature Considers Auditing Welfare Recipients



A joint House-Senate committee filed the latest version of House Bill 1116 Monday. It would have an outside company build an electronic records system for Medicaid. Officials would periodically verify recipients' financial information and residency to determine whether they're still eligible for aid.

A discrepancy would result in someone losing aid indefinitely if that person doesn't respond to auditors in writing within 10 days.

The bill also says Mississippi's food stamp and welfare programs can't be any more generous than required by federal law.



WTOK
4/19/16



Posted April 20, 2016 - 5:45 am

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Mississippi House Turns Back Campaign Cash Rules





The Mississippi House may have killed a bill that would have restricted personal use of campaign money on a voice vote, with no record of how individual members voted.

Tuesday's vote on House Bill 797 followed a debate in which a number of longtime House members complained about proposed restrictions, including ending the ability to take money for personal use to repay undocumented campaign expenses.



WTOK
4/19/16



Posted April 20, 2016 - 5:41 am

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Bill to Change School Funding Formula Dies


Lawmakers won't rewrite Mississippi's K-12 school funding formula this year.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Gray Tollison, an Oxford Republican, says House and Senate negotiators couldn't reach agreement on possible changes. House Bill 458 died Monday when the House and Senate failed to file a conference report.



WTOK
4/19/16



Posted April 20, 2016 - 5:38 am

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Tax cuts.

You've heard them touted on the campaign trail, tossed out on the stump like red meat but very rarely if ever do you see them put into practice by our elected leaders.

That's not the case in Mississippi this year. They have followed through with their promise.

And as such, heads are spinning this morning in the cubicles of state media - namely the Clarion Ledger - and among Democrats as the Republican led Mississippi Legislature has passed a significant tax cut phase-in that eliminates the 3 percent income tax bracket for all Mississippians and the corporate franchise tax while also giving tax relief to small businesses.

The Clarion Ledger used a full front page editorial to beg the Governor to "stop the madness" while also heavily cross promoting Attorney General Jim Hood's op-ed calling the Legislature ignorant and irresponsible for not heeding his suggestions on where to spend tax dollars instead of cutting taxes.

CL 2016 Stop the Madness photo image_zpsbgss40bt.jpeg

State Sen. Hob Bryan (D) told Paul Gallo on SuperTalk Tuesday morning that the Clarion Ledger was "dramatically understating" the impact of the Taxpayer Pay Raise Act. Oh, the wailing and "woe is me."

Just last year, the Clarion Ledger was celebrating Democrats killing a similar tax cut plan.

CL 2015 Dems thwart tax cuts photo image_zpshdzxcxsg.jpeg

What a difference a year and an election makes.

The dooms day prophesying is quite something to watch, even a bit comical. It speaks to the willingness of many to continue to feed the machine and grow state bureaucracy.

Be wary when you read media reports or hear Democrats talking of tax cuts as "costing" the state, like it is money that they deserve without considering the source.

It is not unreasonable for government to cut back, require less of taxpayers, and reduce its footprint. Media types and liberals may not like it, and that's OK. But the notion that shrinking the size of government over time is ignorant and irresponsible comes from a vastly different ideology than shared by most conservatives in this state.

I noted in an article last week that at the very least, as a core conservative principle, legislative Republicans owe taxpayers of all stripes a pay raise this session given their gains at the ballot box and the conservative message voters endorsed.

By strong votes in the House and Senate - and even with a few crossover votes from Democrats - they have done just that. Republicans have kept their word, much to the chagrin of state media pundits and Democrats.

Posted April 19, 2016 - 6:31 am

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