On Tuesday, we got a first look at who the Republican candidates are for the third Congressional district. On Wednesday, the candidates went more in-depth with Mississippi issues in a debate at the two Mississippi Museums.
The first issue the candidates were tasked with was the state, and weaning itself off of federal spending without getting Mississippi into financial trouble.
HATTIESBURG AMERICAN – Democratic U.S. Senate candidate donated to Republican incumbent Roger Wicker
And, in a curious twist, one of the Democratic candidates vying to challenge Wicker in the general election actually made two contributions totaling $5,000 to the incumbent Republican last summer.
Howard Sherman, an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, is the husband of Meridian native Sela Ward, and claims residency in her hometown. However, a Beverly Hills address is listed on the Federal Election Commission report detailing the 2017 donations to Wicker.
In addition to Wicker, Sherman has donated to other Republicans, like former Mississippi U.S. Sen. Trent Lott in 2006 and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, then a U.S. senator from Alabama, in 2003.
Despite this political activity, records show Sherman has not voted in Mississippi, though he’s been registered to vote in the state since 2009.
Sherman’s own campaign finance report was not available on the FEC website Tuesday. Reports for two of his fellow Democratic primary candidates — state Rep. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis and Rep. Omeria Scott, D-Laurel — were also not available.
Federal delegation announces safe room funding in Forrest County
Today, @SenHydeSmith, @CongPalazzo, and I announced a $1 million @fema grant to construct a safe room in Forrest County. This grant will mean hundreds more Mississippians can seek refuge from our state’s unpredictable and sometimes dangerous weather. https://t.co/64UA3pEyoS
— Senator Roger Wicker (@SenatorWicker) April 18, 2018
First Lady Deborah Bryant joined more than a dozen women to build a home in Gulfport on Wednesday.
The project is part of the Habitat for Humanity’s 11th annual Women Build. Bryant said she’s glad to be a part of Habitat’s mission to promote a need for affordable housing.
“I think that service is very important for everyone. I think that if you give of yourself, that you’re going to be rewarded so many times over. So it’s just making a difference in your community and its a lot of fun actually,” she said.
The report by PEER, which provides oversight responsibilities for the Mississippi Legislature, goes on to say since 2013 that 26 states plus the District of Columbia “have enacted legislation that will increase or may increase their overall gasoline taxes.”
Most states depend on the motor fuel tax on gasoline and diesel as the primary source of state funding for their transportation needs.
Despite what most agree are critical transportation needs on both the state and local levels, increasing the 18.4 cent per gallon tax on motor fuel has been a non-starter for the Mississippi Legislature.
Delbert Hosemann didn’t have any big announcement to make, but the Mississippi Secretary of State did have a plethora of information to share with those attending the monthly Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday.
The Vicksburg native, who has been rumored to be making a run for the office of lieutenant governor, said education and economic development should be the focus and priority of improving the lives of Mississippians.
EPA Administrator Pruitt signs $107 million action on Pascagoula site heralded by Sen. Wicker, Gov. Bryant, Congressman Palazzo
RELEASE FROM EPA:@EPA Administrator Pruitt Signs $107.6M Action Memorandum to Clean Up the Mississippi Phosphates Corporation Superfund Sitehttps://t.co/uZyv1hmXA7 @WLOX @WXXV25 @sunherald @gulflive @PhilBryantMS @SenatorWicker pic.twitter.com/mn3CnezlRc
— City of Pascagoula (@PascagoulaCity) April 18, 2018
After more than 25 years kicking the can down the road on the issue, the U.S. Supreme Court is now poised to bring some clarity to the issue this summer. South Dakota and 35 other states have asked the high court in the current South Dakota v. Wayfair to declare that the “nexus” or “physical presence” rule established in 1992 in Quill is outdated and punitive to bricks-and-mortar retailers at a time when Americans are increasingly doing their shopping online.
Without the Quill case to give them political cover, a Wayfair case decision that eliminates the “physical presence” obstacle to full collection of online sales taxes will leave state Republican leaders hard pressed to continue to avoid letting 2018 technologies finally catch up with a 1932 Mississippi tax initiative.
Infrastructure and old bridges are just a few issues that this “no new tax” revenue source could fund that desperately need attention in our state.