By The Mississippi Tea Party

Cleaning House: Exposing Liberals in the Mississippi House of Representatives

Exposing Brandon Jones

Brandon Jones is as liberal as they come, receiving an abysmal “F” on the Mississippi Tea Party’s grading scale. So why is he selling himself to his constituents in the 111th House District as a pro-business, pro-family, and pro-taxpayer conservative? In 2007 Jones narrowly squeaked by his Republican challenger, winning election by just 11 votes. That same election year, Haley Barbour won 76% of the votes in Jones’ district. Jones’ only hope for re-election is to disguise himself as a conservative. However, throughout his four years in office, Jones has been anything but pro-business, pro-taxpayer, or even pro-family. He may have fooled some conservative voters in 2007, but his liberal voting record proves he is a steadfast liberal. Conservatives won’t be so easily fooled this time.

Right after Jones won election, he voted to re-elect one of the most liberal men in the State, Billy McCoy, to again be Speaker of the House. Jones’ vote was not trivial, as McCoy won re-election by only two votes. Neither was his vote simply a vote along party lines, as he had the option of supporting then Democrat candidate Jeffery Smith, as 13 other Democrats decided to do. Instead, Jones voted with the most liberal of the liberals to keep a diehard partisan liberal in control of the House. You can bet that if re-elected, Jones will support one of the equally liberal candidates for Speaker, such as Bobby Moak or Cecil Brown. That means that four more years of Brandon Jones could mean four more years of a liberal House agenda, liberal committee chairs, and more of the dirty back room politics that characterized McCoy’s eight years as Speaker.

Jones has worked tirelessly to expand the liberal power base in the State for the past four years. This past March, Jones voted in favor of the badly gerrymandered Reynolds/McCoy House redistricting scheme. This now dead plan drew conservative challengers out of several incumbent Democrat’s districts, loaded as many Republicans into as few districts as possible, and spread Democrat voters across as many districts as possible, all in order to dilute conservative voting power and ensure Democrats retain control of the House. Jones was quoted in the Biloxi Sun Herald as saying that redistricting is “partisan warfare,” and he used it to his full advantage by having the 4 conservative precincts which he lost in 2007 carved out of the 111th District in the Reynolds/McCoy scheme.

Last year Jones voted in favor of another Democrat pet bill, HB 160, which would have allowed nearly automatic expunction of most non-violent crimes from the records of convicted felons within two years of the completion of their sentences. Of course, the majority of those felons, who currently are ineligible to vote, lean Democrat. One thing is for sure, if Jones is re-elected he will continue to vote in ways that strengthen liberal control of the House of Representatives.

On his web site, Jones describes himself as “promoting business and creating jobs.” Again, his voting record exposes this deception. Jones voted in favor of business harming bills such as HB 958 and 961 which raised various user fees for businesses manufacturing, marketing and using pesticides. He has also voted to increase unemployment compensation benefits, the cost of which is borne by employers. To be fair, Jones has voted to make it easier for ineffective school teachers to keep their jobs by promoting teachers’ unions. In 2010 and 2011, Jones voted in favor of bills allowing union dues to be deducted straight from teachers’ salaries.

At the same time, Jones also claims to “listen to the taxpayers.” If the taxpayers know his voting record, they will tell Jones loud and clear that they don’t like his liberal politics. Jones voted to dramatically increase the State’s indebtedness by voting in favor of a $425 million bond bill, HB 1701, in 2010. In 2008 he voted to suspend a rule ensuring the Legislature does not over-spend projected revenue at a time when the State’s economy was struggling and revenues were shrinking. He has consistently voted to increase fees and taxes and to create new programs. Even his claim to be pro-family is suspect. In 2011 he supported HB 999 which mandates that public schools enact sex education programs and allows them to replace the State’s abstinence-only standard for a sex education curriculum with an open-ended “abstinence-plus” curriculum.

Brandon Jones’ voting record is out of line with his conservative constituency – the same constituents he attempted to jettison from his district by gerrymandering them out of it through the Reynolds/McCoy scheme. Clearly, Jones thinks he would be better off if there were fewer conservatives in the 111th district. He certainly does not promote their interests. Now is the time for those conservatives to rally together to jettison Jones from office.

Released from Mississippi Tea Party
8/31/11