BILL MINOR: Democrats of old mostly more hues of conservatism

For decades Will’s description perfectly fit what passed for the Mississippi Democratic Party. Nominal Democrats held virtually all public offices, but in reality they belonged to no party…

…Looking back at the heyday of Democrats in mid-20th century you find segregationist Democratic Gov. Ross Barnett in 1960 writing a “right to work” amendment into the constitution that killed the labor movement in Mississippi. Or “Democrat” Walter Sillers, the powerful House speaker, opposing education money going to black children and refusing to reapportion legislative seats that could open the way for blacks to elect members of their race.

Yet, somehow along the way in the last century enough progressive Democrats were elected to enact laws that have endured until today….

…The Education Reform Act and the visionary 1987 highway construction program were not accomplished without raising taxes. Will the cocky GOP super-majority crowd dare raise some tax revenue to save vital state services from dying of starvation?

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