Well, here we are. YallPolitics is now in it’s 10th year of providing news and commentary on the Mississippi political scene. A new year always brings change, and 2013 will be no different.

First and foremost, Frank Corder, who has carried the torch for the last year or so for YP has officially qualified (today) to run for Pascagoula mayor. That effort will take all of his time and attention, so for now, I am back in the saddle helping to bring news and commentary through YallPolitics. Frank has done an outstanding job on YP. Without his efforts, I feel pretty sure that the site would have been shut down. But I am now back in a position where I can spend some time on YP and am looking forward to
re-engaging. Again, Frank has my utmost thanks for a job well done and he may drop in from time to time.

I am hoping to make some improvements to the site along the lines of more “inside the dome” coverage and some technology enhancements along the lines of a mobile platform. I don’t know exactly when those will happen, but I am always open for suggestions and comments at [email protected]

2013 will be an interesting year. There will be municipal elections around the state, which is always good fodder for news. However, the big stories will be (1) the Mississippi legislative session and (2) the national political/budget environment and how our Mississippi delegation factors into that equation.

The long knives will be out for Charter Schools. If Bryant, Reeves, and Gunn play their cards correctly, long time “education supporters” will be put in a position of being against education enhancement measures that will most directly help kids in our lowest performing school districts. Expect wailing and gnashing of teeth from parents groups, and I guarantee that there will be groups that heretofore have never been heard of (on both sides) spending independent money to move the needle. Parents groups will
hide behind American flags and groups of kids on the Capitol steps. We will do our best to find out who will be writing checks and driving the message behind those groups.

Nationally, there will obviously be “fiscal cliff” and “debt ceiling” debates. Over the last few days, Senators Wicker and Cochran and Rep. Bennie Thompson supported the fiscal cliff deal. Reps. Harper, Palazzo and Nunnelee all voted against it. The next vote will come sometime in the next 6 weeks. It will be interesting to watch that dynamic.

One more pet issue that I will be paying particular attention to is the media establishment here in Mississippi. I think you will see further consolidation of media platforms and reduction of printing days from at least one or two major papers in 2013 and those few media vets that will survive cuts and reductions of services will view themselves and their roles as activists as more important than ever. That activism will be more dangerous than ever. Over the last decade, I have learned a lot about the workings of the media. I think you will see activists roles play out more in the media in 2013 than ever before (locally and nationally). New media is the balancing force, which is why I am committed to keeping YallPolitics going.

There will be lots more to watch and document. As we have for the last 10 years, we will be here doing it every day.