Dear Editor,

I read with agreement your recent editorial (“House travel needs checking”
08/27/2008) regarding the Mississippi Travelgate in the House of
Representatives. Mississippians do not pay taxes to fund political
vacations for our legislators. The Mississippi Treasury is not the Billy
McCoy Travel Agency.

Democrat Representative Tyrone Ellis from Starkville was elected to
represent voters in Jackson. His job is not to represent Mississippi in
Denver, Colorado. If he wants to party on the red carpet with Barack Obama
on his own time and on his own dime, that is his choice and right. But we
should not pay for his trip to the Obama coronation.

Many Mississippi Republicans will be nominating Senator John McCain for
President at the Republican National Convention. But we won’t be using
taxpayer dollars to do it. In fact, when Speaker Billy McCoy offered
taxpayer dollars to the Mississippi House Republican Leader Mark Baker, Mark
refused. He said, “Never in my wildest dreams would I take taxpayer money
to go on a political trip.”

If taxpayer dollars have been misappropriated for unapproved or improper
purposes, we the taxpayers have a right to know. It is not enough to say,
“Since you caught me, I’m going to pay that money back.” There should be
punishment for anyone involved in any misappropriation. I agree with the
Tate County Democrat’s opinion that a full investigation by the House and by
the State Auditor should be conducted.

Brad White

Braxton, Mississippi

Chairman, Mississippi Republican Party