Gallo Notes With Paul Gallo

After teasing the story on location Friday from MSU and then breaking the full story on this morning’s show, I still think taxpayers are a bit numb that things like this really happen. State Representative Tyrone Ellis-(D) District 38 is going to Denver on the taxpayers’ hard earned dollars for a political event that has absolutely nothing to do with State business.

Here’s a brief synopsis of the nascent story.

From Representatives Rita Martinson and Mark Baker I learned that the Management Committee recently met and apparently Speaker McCoy and Speaker Pro-Tem /Management Chair J.C. Compretta conveniently failed to take up this item. Both Martinson and Baker noted that outside McCoy and Compretta, being on the Management Committee is more ceremonial than substance.

I’m not sure if this is what happened, but I’ll bet I’m not far off. I think Rep. Tyrone Ellis went to McCoy or Compretta and requested the voucher. McCoy‘s indebtedness to the Black Caucus is monumental , so he used a loosely worded Statue to approved the voucher without Management oversight. That Statute basically states that a lawmaker with an official position of power within the legislature may attend certain functions at the taxpayers’ expense. For those who didn’t get the press release or an invitation to the celebration, Mr. Ellis has been designated the Majority Leader.

A few calls later, I learned that Rep. Mark Baker was the Minority Leader. Baker, not one to take misuse of tax dollars lightly, was asked if he now wanted to request a similar voucher for the Republican Convention. Rep. Baker declined the offer saying it was ridiculous and wrong that anyone would take taxpayers’ money from the State’s Contingency Fund for a personal trip. As most of you know, if you’re chosen as a delegate to your Party’s convention, it’s on your own dollar.

The shamefulness of McCoy’s action here are numerous. First, the VPAC that McCoy created to keep him and his Yellow Dogs in power is reportedly stoked with cash. That’s where the money should have come from, not from Mississippians who couldn’t afford to take a vacation this year because of high gas prices. Maybe McCoy is using those VPAC funds wisely knowing that future trial lawyer contributions won’t be coming from a renewal resource!

Speaker Billy McCoy and his Yellow Dog boys, in allegiance with the Black Caucus, prolonged the just ended Un-Special Session long enough to generate over $600,000.00 in extra legislative income. He did that because he wanted a tobacco tax. Now that rumors were flying of another Special Session upon completion of the Tax Study, McCoy is against it. Remember, this is the same real McCoy that is worried about the “working man”.

The bad news is that this Speaker of the House has flushed the Constitution down the toilet and established Billy’s Rules and Regulations since day one. The good news is that people are getting fed up with this kind of political crap in Mississippi. In doing research for this morning’s show and seeking information from the State Auditor and Governor’s offices as well as hearing from Representatives Martinson and Baker, the citizens deserve a full investigation. The Auditor’s office, the Attorney General’s office, the PEER Committee and the Ethics Commission should demand a return of the taxpayers’ money, and where applicable a full legislative review of the Management Committee.

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