WJTV – U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel responds to national TV backlash

WAPT – Sen. Chris McDaniel under fire

 

Gov. Bryant, MSGOP Chair Smith condemn McDaniel comments

 

SUNHERALD – Chris McDaniel was a rising GOP star. Now he’s fighting for political survival.

Down in the polls, short on cash, and running out of time, Republican conservative firebrand Chris McDaniel says he’s far from cooked in his bid to win a U.S. Senate seat from Mississippi that he believes was stolen from him four years ago.

But polls say otherwise.

“When I first ran four years ago, what did the establishment say? ‘Not a chance, he may get 15 percent of the vote, his political career is over.’ Didn’t happen,” McDaniel said. “We were one of the first ‘Drain the Swamp’ candidates. We’re going to be fine.”…

…Still, McDaniel is reeling. The millions in campaign contributions that poured into McDaniel coffers from tea party and conservative political action committees in 2014 have slowed to a trickle, if they come at all.

And the celebrity-filled Tea Party Express campaign tour bus that roared through Mississippi on McDaniel’s behalf in 2014 won’t be there in 2018, according to Sal Russo, a co-founder and strategist for the group.

“Tea Party Express has always been a believer of (conservative commentator and author) Bill Buckley’s rule to support the most electable conservative,” Russo said. “We’re not afraid of taking a chance, but we have to see a path to victory.”

#MSSen: Hyde-Smith campaign: Does McDaniel think Trump is weak?

 

#MS04: Anderson releases new web ad

 

DAILY JOURNAL – Analysis: Legislative transparency a matter of perspective

A Republican leader of the Mississippi House says the Legislature operates more transparently now than ever. But a longtime Democratic senator says the Legislature falls short of even its own past practices of conducting public business out in the open.

House Speaker Pro Tempore Greg Snowden of Meridian and Sen. Hob Bryan of Amory presented contrasting views last week at a forum sponsored by the Capitol press corps and Mississippi State University’s Stennis Institute of Government.

Snowden was elected to the House in 1999. He said when he first arrived at the Capitol, the only way to read a bill was to fetch a paper copy. Now, he said, bills are posted online, and amendments that are offered during House or Senate debates often appear online within minutes. The floor debates themselves are available live on the legislative website .

“It’s really, from my view, a much more open process than it’s ever been,” Snowden said.

Bryan was first elected to the Senate in 1983, and served about the first half of his Capitol career in the majority party when Democrats controlled the Legislature. Republicans gained control of the Senate before the House, and they have held a majority in both chambers since the 2011 election.

Bryan said that during a special session in late August, too little time was spent debating important details of bills, including one authorizing a state lottery.

MBJ – Bill Crawford: Good policies without adequate funding won’t close skills gap

The underlying issue for both labor participation and job growth is workers lacking needed skills. This fact was highlighted at the summit by Ron Wanek, founder and chairman of Ashley Furniture Industries, the world’s largest furniture manufacturer and retailer that employs 3,200 people at its facilities in Ecru, Ripley and Verona, and Hassell Franklin, founder and CEO of Franklin Corp., a motion furniture plant that employs 1,000 people in Chickasaw County.

So, politicians, what are y’all doing to get our lowest-in-the-nation labor participation rate and skill levels up?

Not nothing, but clearly not enough.

State policies addressing the issue are pretty good.

Gov. Phil Bryant’s State Workforce Investment Board designed its comprehensive Mississippi Works Smart Start Career Pathway Model to address these problems. It covers the spectrum from basic skills for high school dropouts to high-tech skills for advanced manufacturing. It involves all kinds of partners, including community colleges, schools, rehabilitation centers, and WIN Job Centers.

Bryant’s Third Grade Reading Gate and the Mississippi Department of Education push to reduce high school drop-out rates and improve graduation rates have had some success. And Bryant led a revamp of the state’s Early Childhood State Plan.

But state funding to implement these policies is inadequate.

MEC takes out full page ad thanking Mississippi leaders on infrastructure “homerun”

 

HATTIESBURG AMERICAN – Ex-official could go back to prison for not repaying money

A former Mississippi state official could be going back to prison for failing to pay restitution.

Bill Walker, who led the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, was called into federal court Thursday in Gulfport. Probation officials filed a summons saying in August that Walker was failing to pay $5,000 a month in restitution. He was released from prison in November and was supposed to begin paying the money 30 days later.

A hearing is set Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett on revoking Walker’s supervised release.

Gov. Bryant chairs Southern States Energy Board in Biloxi

 

WCBI – Mississippi University for Women has a new school President

WLOX – Mississippi agency says it won’t buy from Nike over ads

Mississippi’s state police agency says it will no longer buy Nike products, with Public Safety Commissioner Marshall Fisher saying he won’t spend money with “vendors who do not support law enforcement and our military.”

It isn’t immediately clear how much gear the agency buys from Nike or if it purchases directly from the company.

But Mississippi’s Republican establishment is jumping to support the cause, with Gov. Phil Bryant lauding his appointee’s decision.