Mississippi’s Giant House Party concluded today with day two of political speechifying.
Here’s a look at some of the most notable action under the Founders Square Pavilion:
* U.S. Senate also rans Thomas Cramer (Constitution Party) and Albert Gore Jr. (Democrat) spoke to only a handful of people under the pavilion. Cramer used the Bill of Rights as his speech, outlining how Congress has “eroded” the Constitution. He flipped back and forth between promoting his differences with incumbent Senator Roger Wicker to praising the Republican. Gore started out with an off color joke about being “screwed” by business and it went down hill from there. He praised Obamacare and said the public should pay for the healthcare of those who can’t afford it. The Democrat also pushed for public financing of campaigns and bashed ALEC and the conservative legislators that are a part of the organization.
* Supreme Court candidates Rep. Earle Banks (D) and incumbent Chief Justice Bill Waller took different approaches on the stump. Banks was careful not too refer to many Democrat talking points since it’s a non-partisan race, however he did reference his relative (former Justice Fred Banks), Mike Chaney and even threw in a Haley Barbour quote. He spoke on his legislative experience, family, hunting, fishing and forestry, striving for a populist message. Waller stuck to the law and judicial matters, focusing a large part of his speech on drug courts. He repeated his theme that there should be a fair, efficient and independent judiciary. Governor Phil Bryant endorsed Waller when he spoke.
* State Treasurer Lynn Fitch said she and her staff hit the ground running. She focused on her work with the legislature and budgeting as well as highlighting the state’s AA bond rating, college savings and unclaimed property efforts. Fitch also pushed for financial literacy for young people.
* Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney was one of the most anticipated speakers given the health care issues looming in the state. Chaney first praised the Fire Academy as being number one in the nation as well as his office’s efforts on arson arrests, rebates to local communities and home inspections. He then spoke on health care and exchanges. Chaney said that he doesn’t like the Affordable Care Act, that it’s not in best interest of our state. But it is the law, and as Commissioner, he has to abide by law. He said that if Mississippi halts the healthcare exchanges now we turn over implementation to the federal government and Mississippi doesn’t need that. He said that your presidential vote can change the health care law and affect the implementation in the state.
* Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde Smith kept low key, focusing on the importance of the agriculture industry on Mississippi jobs and the economy. She pushed for increased funding to update the Coliseum in Jackson as well as promoted the Ag Museum and its offerings to the public.
* Besides Governor Bryant, Speaker of the House Philip Gunn received one of the most rousing welcomes, especially from the many House members (a large portion freshmen) in attendance. Gunn pointed out the legislative successes of redistricting, conservative budgeting, Voter ID, Child Protection Act, and the AG Sunshine Bill. He pointed out that these wins couldn’t have been achieved if the House had not flipped from D to R as the majority. When speaking of legislation, he was quick to name House members who were influential in the passage, spreading the love. He said charter schools would be back this session. Gunn concluded by saying Republicans were just getting started and noting the we can’t go back to the past.
* Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann outlined the difference between the Mississippi way versus the Washington way. He spoke on business reforms, Voter ID, actively being in the precincts and going after voter fraud. In dealing with the Department of Justice on voting issues, Hosemann said that he feels like he’s dealing with the Real Housewives of the Justice Department sometimes. He said that changes are made at the ballot box and the Washington way wasn’t working. He encouraged everyone to go vote “for the Romney of your choice.”
* Governor Phil Bryant was welcomed with a standing ovation that was repeated when he finished. Bryant focused on jobs and economic development, touting Mississippi’s industries and strong workforce. He called for more funding for workforce training for community colleges. Bryant stated the need to keep kids in school, lower dropout rates, and to implement performance based teacher compensation. As he did on the campaign trail, he spoke on the importance of holding father of teenage mothers accountable and lowering the teen pregnancy rate. Bryant said he can’t expand Medicaid and spend the state’s money on Obamacare and be fiscally responsible. He said it was important to to elect Mitt Romney president in November. Bryant also mentioned the “young leaders” he’s pleased to work with, calling Speaker Gunn, Lt. Governor Reeves, Treasurer Fitch, and Congressmen Harper, Palazzo and Nunnelee the “farm team.”
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We’ll see you next year at the Fair!