Mississippi’s Giant House Party is in full swing and day one of political speechifying is in the books.
Here’s a look at some of the most notable action under the Founders Square Pavilion:
* Central District Public Service Commissioner Lynn Posey (R) brushed over the hottest topic facing the PSC – Mississippi Power’s Kemper Plant. He said that all aspects of the construction and rate requests were being monitored, noting that his job was to protect the rate payers. The majority of his time was spent highlighting the No Call efforts by the PSC.
* Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall (R) did not come out promoting a gas tax increase but he did call for Congress to reinstate earmarks. He praised previous Mississippi federal delegations for bringing home the bacon for transportation and chided the earmark ban ending the Congressional practice. Hall said the legislative branch should be able to appropriate funds but now Congress’ earmark power lies with the executive branch through grants. He noted that the White House has issued over $1 billion in grants to Illinois versus the $20 million Mississippi has received.
* State Auditor Stacey Pickering (R), one of the best speakers on the stump in the state, started out praising his staff for their national recognition for accountability pertaining to federal stimulus funds. Most of his time was spent promoting Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Pickering is Romney state chairman. He noted that the recent Mississippi Republican presidential primary ended in essentially a three way tie but now it was time to come together and elect Romney the nation’s next President.
* Attorney General Jim Hood (D) received a less than rousing welcome to the stage; Hood even commented that the crowd must have been sleepy. Hood focused his remarks on online crimes against children, counterfeit/illegal drugs over the internet, and domestic violence. He did not mention the legislative session or national politics, which isn’t a surprise.
* Lt. Governor Tate Reeves started off his speech by mentioning his daughters’ trip to see the ‘American Idol’ concert in Jackson and joked that if his daughters were judging AG Hood’s speech they would say it was a little pitchy. Reeves spent a good while on keeping the state fiscally responsible and praised that there wasn’t a bond bill this year, reigning in feel good projects on the state’s credit card. He then moved to education where he blasted the Board of Education for dropping graduation rates from school ratings. He said people deserve to know how schools are doing and that he was more worried about students then bad PR for adults. His message to both parties regarding education was to “buckle your seat belts; reform is coming” saying that the Senate passed a good charter school bill last session and the House killed it. Reeves said there was no good reason to deny parents choice in education and it was his priority next session.
Yall Politics will be back under the pavilion tomorrow morning to hear from Supreme Court candidates, Senate candidates, Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, State Treasurer Lynn Fitch, Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith, House Speaker Philip Gunn,Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, and Governor Phil Bryant.
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