Having political parties at war can create a benefit for taxpayers.
Witness the Mississippi Republican Party’s exposing the approval given, apparently on his own authority, by House Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, for Rep. Tyrone Ellis, D-Starkville, to attend the National Democratic Convention with the people of Mississippi paying his way.
Within hours of Republicans exposing the expense, McCoy and Ellis agreed the public shouldn’t pay for what is essentially a purely political, purely partisan event.
“While attendance at the convention is very important to the state of Mississippi, I do understand that some feel it is wrong for the state to pay for this trip, therefore I will reimburse to the state the monies it granted to me and will pick up the cost of the trip on my own,” Ellis said.
Some? Not hardly. All 50 states and the District of Columbia will have delegates to the Republican and Democratic national huddles who are also public officials. Every one of the others clearly understands attending political events doesn’t create a public liability.
Further, rules say the House Management Committee, on which McCoy has one vote, is supposed to OK expense vouchers. Word is that no committee members were consulted before Ellis got the OK.
“The ineptitude of top Democrats in this state leaves me speechless,” said state GOP chairman-elect Brad White. “They claim to be for the working man, but are only interested in using our money to pay for their political junkets.”
Let the fur fly. In this instance, the rivalry saved the people a couple of thousand dollars, at least.
Vicksburg Post Editorial