Palazzo received praise from local leaders at the meeting for the job he’s been doing, including his help in passing the RESTORE Act, which will direct billions of dollars of BP fine money from the oil disaster to Mississippi and other Gulf states instead of keeping it in Washington.
Gautier Mayor Tommy Fortenberry welcomed Palazzo, praised his work in Washington and also gave a “Semper fi” to his fellow former Marine.
In the Q-and-A session, Woodrow Gibbs of Ocean Springs said many Mississippi cities were going smoke-free and asked Palazzo his take on tobacco and possible federal legislation against its use in public.
“Good question, but not one I was expecting,” Palazzo said. “I believe it’s pretty much a state issue. I’d rather see things like that decided on the state level than federal. I support the 10th Amendment … Winston Churchill said the great thing about Americans is that eventually they’ll do the right thing after they’ve exhausted every other option.”
Joan Brashears of Gautier advised Palazzo: “What we need to do is something about the mainstream media. They’re sewn up by the Democrats and very little of what’s really going on is getting out.”
Resident Bo Alawine criticized Palazzo’s presentation, particularly about the health care act.
“The information you presented a little earlier … was simplified to the point it’s misleading,” Alawine said. “I expected better … The Supreme Court has declared it constitutional. Deal with it. You have yet to make a floor vote on any replacement legislation … You talk about how many pages the bill is. How many pages was the defense reauthorization you passed? Did you read every page of it?”
Some audience members booed Alawine as he criticized the freshman Republican, but Palazzo thanked him for his comments, and for a conversation they had before the meeting.