Radio razzing: Lawmaker irks GOP colleagues

After the House adjourned Friday, Rep. Gary Chism, R-Columbus, acknowledged to The Associated Press that he had gone on Paul Gallo’s Supertalk Mississippi show Thursday and criticized a bill filed by Baker, Snowden and 23 other House members, all of whom are attorneys.

“I said it was the ‘Lawyer Full Employment Act,’ ” Chism told AP.

The bill would require an attorney to take part in the closing of residential mortgage loans that involve an escrow transaction. The bill has passed the Judiciary A Committee and awaits consideration of the full House.

“I hate that I hurt their feelings, but the truth is the truth that they’re trying to pass a law that requires a lawyer to get another fee,” Chism, an independent insurance agent, said Friday. “And they do have a pecuniary interest.”

Snowden, during his speech to the House, said he was offended that his colleague – Chism – made the radio remarks at the end of a discussion about a judicial bribery scandal.

“I’m hurt by that,” Snowden said. “Frankly, I was shocked by that.”

Snowden and Baker had been guests on the Gallo radio show Thursday shortly before Chism.

Snowden said he forgives his colleague for the remarks about the bill and he stands by his own reputation.

“I don’t think I’m open to a charge of serving here because of greed, personal greed,” Snowden said.

Clarion Ledger
2/23/8