The Clarion-Ledger, 6/6/8

A nonprofit coalition in Mississippi that lobbies for economic development is at odds with presumptive presidential nominee Sen. John McCain over money.

The Mississippi Delta Grassroots Caucus, which backs initiatives of the Delta Regional Authority, has tried for months to pin McCain down on whether he’d support increased funding for the authority, according to Lee Powell, the caucus’ director.

“We just wanted a straight answer, and all we’ve gotten from McCain so far is ‘Funding decisions should be based on policy, not politics,’ ” Powell said.

The authority works to attract investment and improve infrastructure in 240 counties and parishes in parts of eight states, including much of Mississippi. Lobbying Congress to increase the authority’s funding was at the top of the agenda this week as the Mississippi Delta Grassroots Caucus met in Washington.