Today, U.S. Senator Thad Cochran’s campaign launched a new television ad about the major success of legislation approved in the Mississippi Legislature in 2010 that has reduced crystal meth production by 93% in Mississippi—and how Chris McDaniel voted AGAINST this important legislation. In fact, McDaniel was one of only four State Senators who voted against the bill that is now being called “the most significant drug enforcement legislation in the history of Mississippi.”
The new ad highlights the problem that Mississippi faced in 2009 when crystal meth production was reaching “epidemic proportions.” Law enforcement needed help fighting the meth problem as the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics recorded more than 700 meth labs in the state—the highest number ever recorded in one year. That same year, there were more than 120 drug-endangered children reported in Mississippi, many that were taken into state child protection services and some who were physically and sexually abused.
The Mississippi Legislature answered the challenge by passing H.B. 512 with overwhelming support—including the support of then-Governor Haley Barbour and then-Lt. Governor Phil Bryant. While the legislation was being considered, Haley Barbour said law enforcement was convinced this bill would be “the most effective way available to us to knock down the scourge of methamphetamine in Mississippi,” and Phil Bryant stated, “We need to stop this plague that’s been imposed on our children.”
Inexplicably, State Senator Chris McDaniel voted AGAINST this bill. Chris McDaniel was only one of four members of the Senate who opposed the legislation that has reduced crystal meth production by 93% in Mississippi.
News reports have highlighted how effective the anti-meth production legislation has been in Mississippi as a “huge victory for drug enforcement in this state.” Statewide syndicated columnist Sid Salter recently wrote, “Mississippi was among national leaders in an initiative to do something proactive to impede the manufacture of methamphetamine in Mississippi – an enterprise that had reached epidemic proportions prior to the courageous 2010 act of the Mississippi Legislature in adopting key legislation to make meth manufacture substantially more difficult in the state.”
Amazingly—even with the indisputable evidence showing a 93% drop in meth labs in Mississippi since the bill became law—just ten days ago (April 14), Chris McDaniel bragged about his vote AGAINST the anti-meth legislation in a letter he wrote to the Mississippi Libertarian Party. In that letter, McDaniel cites ten reasons why he claims to be aligned with libertarian views saying his “record speaks for itself”—and highlighting his vote against the anti-meth bill as the second item in his list to prove it.
“The more voters in Mississippi find out about Chris McDaniel’s record, the more troubling it is—and the more questions it raises about his priorities,” said Jordan Russell, Communications Director for U.S. Senator Thad Cochran’s campaign. “As we’ve seen recently, Chris McDaniel has a history of not voting in elections that are important to Republicans in Mississippi, and his record for missing votes in the State Senate earlier this year was one of the worst. Now it’s even more troubling to see that Chris McDaniel was one of only four State Senators who voted against legislation to fight crystal meth labs. It’s legislation that has been very effective in reducing meth labs by 93% in our state. When Haley Barbour, Phil Bryant and almost every member of the Mississippi Legislature pulled together to help law enforcement protect our citizens in the fight against crystal meth, Chris McDaniel against this important bill. Even though out-of-state Washington, D.C. groups continue spending millions to fund advertising campaigns for Chris McDaniel, the facts are clear that when Mississippi needed Chris McDaniel to help fight crystal meth drug crime, he refused to help.”