Analysis: Influence of McDaniel-led Senate Conservative Coalition wanes

JACKSON, MISS. — Nearly two years ago, the newly formed Mississippi Senate Conservative Coalition was preparing to make life uncomfortable for Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, a fellow Republican whom the coalition’s leaders viewed as too willing to work across party lines.

Now, the coalition has mostly unraveled, and seven of its 11 original members have even endorsed Reeves for re-election.

Some former coalition members say the organization, led by Republican Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville, never lived up to its own billing as a study group to create serious policy proposals.

Republican Sen. Will Longwitz of Madison said he left the coalition within weeks.

“From the beginning, it was an organization to promote Chris McDaniel,” Longwitz told The Associated Press this past week. “I don’t see anything they have accomplished. It’s just policy losses followed by political fundraising. You lose, you whine, you raise money.”

In a separate interview with AP, McDaniel said Longwitz’s comments were “very disappointing … Will may talk like he’s a conservative, but his record proves otherwise. That’s the primary reason he received a Republican primary opponent.”

…McDaniel, Watson, Sojourner and Hill are the only coalition members who consistently stick together these days, but McDaniel said the group still exists.

“We all don’t think precisely the same way,” McDaniel said. “Some are more liberty-oriented than others.”

SunHerald
3/15/15