BILL MINOR: Any defense of Gunn is hogwash

Hogwash. Speaker Phillip Gunn’s summary removal of Democratic Rep. Linda Whittington from the House Education Committee to replace her with a Republican was not political business as usual. Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know enough about Mississippi’s legislative history.

Never in my six decades of closely following state legislative history have I seen such heavy-handed use of power by a House speaker. Old timers who have served in the Legislature say the same. What especially stinks about the Whittington affair is that she was neither a committee chairman nor vice-chairman. Only they, historically, can hold hostage particular pieces of legislation.

Bill Minor
11/28/12