Gene Taylor says Steven Palazzo cast three unforgivable votes

Gene Taylor said he’s confident voters in South Mississippi will return him to Congress because U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo has made so many mistakes in his 3½ years in office.

Taylor said Palazzo voted against flood insurance payments for victims of Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast; voted for the Biggert-Waters overhaul of the flood insurance program; then helped broker a deal to overhaul it that still raises flood insurance rates “18 percent per year forever.”

“Those were three unforgivable votes on the part of South Mississippi’s congressman,” Taylor said.

And, he said, though Palazzo’s “Fire Pelosi” campaign in 2010 defeated him, Palazzo voted with the Democratic minority leader to cut the defense budget, a vote Taylor said threatens the existence of Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi.

Palazzo’s role in the government shutdown prompted Taylor to say the word “stupid” four times. Taylor said that role “hurt the citizens first of all. You hurt the federal employees.”

“Then was the hat trick of voting to shut down the government, then showing up to move the barricades for the Honor Flight that couldn’t get in to see the World War II memorial. Well heck, you voted to shut down the government. You’re the reason that barricade is there in the first place.”

Taylor said he could retain his seniority even though he switched to the Republican Party and he definitely would retain his credibility.

For example, he said, phone calls he made in the immediate aftermath of Katrina to contacts in the military brought hospital ships and National Guard troops.

“That wasn’t a study,” he said. “That wasn’t legislation.

“That was two phone calls to people who knew I didn’t exaggerate — if I said we needed help, we needed help. And it happened.”