How do we create a climate that seriously discourages corruption? Corruption that stifles the small businessman and handicaps the underdog candidate. Look at any study and see that Mississippi suffers from the lowest per capita personal income of any state. Our students score the lowest of any state on national assessment tests. We’re ranked at the tops of both unemployment and teen pregnancy. Maybe it’s not so odd that there are four corruption convictions a year per every 10,000 Mississippi state employees.
It’s pretty simple. If you want to keep your nose clean, all you have to do are two things: Keep your pants up, and don’t take or do anything with money that you’re not supposed to have.
Unfortunately, for some local and state officials, that hasn’t been the easy part. We’ve simply got to do better, and those who cross the line need to be held accountable — immediately and harshly.