CLARION LEDGER – Why are Bryant, McDaniel splitsville?

They were once staunch conservative tea party Republican political allies — Gov. Phil Bryant and state Sen. Chris McDaniel — but last week appeared to mark the end of any political relationship they still had…

…McDaniel accused Bryant of being cuckolded by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Washington, D.C., “swamp.” Bryant called this “the silliest thing I’ve ever heard” and vowed he and his pal swamp-drainer President Trump would help put a thumping on McDaniel in November.

McDaniel supporters held a rally demanding Bryant appoint McDaniel to the vacant seat until a special election. Bryant said McDaniel is not even on his short list.

Bryant said he wants to appoint someone who can look out for Mississippi’s economic, education and other interests in Washington and help unite Republicans at home. He indicated McDaniel, known as a flame thrower, not a consensus builder, was not suited for that job.

Chris McDaniel tells Pascagoula’s Ingalls Shipbuilding, workers, “Some sacrifices will have to be made…” if he’s elected US Senator


WTOK – Rep. Harper discusses RAISE Act importance

Congressman Palazzo: Proud of state, Gov. Bryant for standing up for unborn


WLOX – Gulf Coast state representative kicks off congressional campaign in Hattiesburg

The Democratic candidate for Congress in the 4th District officially kicked off his campaign in Hattiesburg Saturday morning.  State representative Jeramey Anderson of Moss point hosted a rally downtown at the Historic Train Depot.

“Onward” is his campaign theme.

“No more of doing the old ways, no more of thinking this regressive thought,” said Anderson. “We’re moving onward towards a new Mississippi, towards a new, innovative and progressive way of thinking.”

WDAM – Mississippi lawmakers hope to widen property tax break

Mississippi lawmakers want to open one of the state’s richest tax incentive programs to smaller projects, in hopes of helping the state recruit more businesses.

Senate Bill 2479 , which passed the Senate on Thursday, awaits Gov. Phil Bryant’s signature or veto. It would allow local governments to cut local and school property taxes by two-thirds on economic development projects worth $60 million or more.

Right now, the project must be worth $100 million or more to qualify.


WLOX – Will the money stay with MDOT? Legislators work on funding bill

Funding to fix Mississippi’s roads and bridges is still up for debate as lawmaker continue to figure out Senate Bill 3046, the so-called ‘Bridge Act,’ at the capitol.

This weekend, lawmakers from the House and Senate meet to work out details. Mississippi Department of Transportation Commissioner Tom King, with the Southern District, is hoping they come out with a bill to benefit the department.

WLBT – Pending legislation could provide tax credits that would benefit foster care system

Foster families in Mississippi are making big sacrifices. But a bill pending at the State Capitol would give them some financial help. House Bill 1566 could pave a new way to help foster families and children in Mississippi.

“Everybody can do something and that’s what we’re asking everybody to really think about here,” explained Ron Matis, Governor’s Faith and Community Partnerships Advisory Council Chairman.” Here’s an opportunity for those who may not be able to bring someone into their home, may  not be able to adopt a child, they can give some money to an organization that promotes that to go a long way in addressing this issue.”

The new tax credit would be for people who donate to charities that serve foster kids.

DAILY JOURNAL – $8 million was available earlier for education, will it still be in final budget deal?

Earlier this session, the Mississippi House passed legislation to provide an additional $8.2 million for the basic operation of local school districts for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1.

At the time, House leaders were counting on the local school districts being provided funds through a new school funding formula – not through the Mississippi Adequate Education Program that was adopted in 1997.

But with efforts to rewrite the MAEP thwarted earlier this session, the question is whether legislators will still provide that $8.2 million to the local school districts or will they be funded at the same level they were in the 2017 session. They were funded in the 2017 session at a lesser level than they were in the 2016 session.

“It (the additional $8.2 million) is going to stay in education,” said House Appropriations Chairman John Read, R-Gautier. “We are working on some stuff right now. But it will not be pulled out of education.”

DAILY JOURNAL – What would happen if Bryant appointed Reeves to Senate post?

But if Reeves was appointed to the office, there are conflicting views on how the then-office of lieutenant governor would be filled. At least some state senators and others believe that Bryant also would be responsible for filling the then-vacant office of lieutenant governor.

A general law says “when vacancy other than in the Legislature shall occur … in any state or district office, which is elective, and there is no special provision of law for the filling of said vacancy, the same shall be filled for the unexpired term by appointment of the governor.”…

…But the Mississippi Constitution, which trumps general law, seems to provide other instruction in addressing a vacancy in the office of lieutenant governor.

Section 39 of the Constitution says “the Senate shall choose a president pro tempore to act in the absence or disability of its presiding officer.”

CLARION LEDGER – They said it: Colorful quotes, and attire, from the Legislature

“Lady, can you tell me if the Country Palace is still open in Vaiden?” — Sen. Chuck Younger, R-Columbus, to Sen. Lydia Chassaniol, R-Winona, during discussion of a restaurant tax to fund tourism efforts in Vaiden.

“Sen. Younger, you would probably know more about that than I would.” — Chassaniol responded. The Country Music Palace is a well-known, sometimes boisterous honky tonk.

“I can assure you I’m not up here to talk about raising anything. A person my age has trouble raising things.” — Rep. Bob Evans, D-Monticello.

MBJ – BILL CRAWFORD: McDaniel switcheroo shifts hot seat from Wicker to Bryant

Assuming his billionaire funders stick with him, McDaniel may be right about the pathway, but he displayed some cavalier opportunism in ducking Wicker…

…Who can beat McDaniel is the overriding concern facing the Governor along with other state GOP leaders. Bryant might be toughest for McDaniel to beat. Many have encouraged him to go for it, including President Donald Trump. But Bryant told the Clarion-Ledger last week, “I’m never going to run for office again.”

Another strong candidate would be former Gov. Haley Barbour. While unlikely, a Barbour vs. McDaniel contest would resemble the extraordinary race four years ago between Cochran and McDaniel.

Another interesting race would be Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves vs. McDaniel. There is no love lost between these two. Reeves has kept McDaniel in a box in the Mississippi Senate.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann would have a chance. Others, such as House Speaker Philip Gunn and Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith, would have to build name ID and run hard to catch McDaniel.

And, if more than one strong Republican gets in, they would split votes needed to beat McDaniel.