161,000 Reasons

This morning, a few details of the Senate Health Care Bill were finally released to the public. Until today, this legislation has been kept a secret. The bill was never seen in ANY committee, has not been scored by the congressional budget office and the Republicans have not allowed a single amendment to the bill. This is wrong and Senator Cochran and Senator Wicker should know better.

These tactics have never been used in the 226 years of Senate history, this bill breaks a promise President Trump made during the campaign. We know that this bill will be a massive tax cut for the rich, we know that it will punish the elderly and the disabled, and we know it will increase premiums and lower essential health services for everyone who is insured. Maybe that's why it was such a big secret?

Election Results

Democrats have a lot to be proud of! We had great candidates running all over the State of Mississippi.  Some highlights from the night are:

  • Big wins in Meridian for Mayor Percy Bland! Democrats also winning city council seats in ward 2, 3, and 5!
  • Philadelphia elects Democrat for mayor, wins for Dems in Ward 4 and At-Large
  • Collins elects first African American woman as Mayor!
  • Huge victories for Democrats in Jackson and Vicksburg
  • In Booneville, Democrats take all seats on Board of Aldermen and Mayor's office
  • In Horn Lake, Democrats elect Lashonda Johnson Alderwoman and several other Democrats won in DeSoto County
  • Dr. William Truly elected Mayor of Canton
  • Starkville elects Sandra Sistrunk in Ward 2
  • Brookhaven Republicans lose city council majority

Remember all those folks wanting to switch parties in Itawamba County 3 weeks ago? Bad timing! Democrats in Fulton elected for Mayor and At-large. Big night for Democrats with elected officials in 140 towns around the state.  

All Politics Is Local

We hear it all the time, and it's true. All politics is local. Some of the most impactful work in our communities is done at the municipal level. We have great candidates running for Mayor, City Council, Clerk, or Police Chief in cities and towns large and small from Southaven to Bay St. Louis.

We have highlighted a number of specific candidates in the last two messages, but with Democrats running in at least 138 municipalities around the state, we are simply not able to accommodate all of the requests we have been getting!

The responses and feedback that is coming in is outstanding!
  
Please continue this enthusiasm and support for your local candidates in all of these municipalities around Mississippi by volunteering time and giving funds, if possible. Bring a car-load of friends and family to the polls, and let's make this upcoming Election Day a success.

Good luck to ALL of our candidates on Tuesday, June 6th!

More Rising Stars

We had such a great response from our previous email that we wanted to shine our spotlight on a few more candidates who are rising stars in our party.


CLICK HERE TO HELP


Alderwomen Mala Brooks currently serves in Ward 1 of Leland, MS.  She is running an impressive campaign challenging the incumbent Mayor and reached out for your support.


CLICK HERE TO HELP
 

In Brookhaven, we have David D. Smith leading the challenge against entrenched incumbent with deep financial backing and a strong relationship to the republican establishment.


CLICK HERE TO HELP


We also have an exciting new talent in Mike Favre who ousted a sitting two-term mayor in a very close primary and run-off contest already this year and will now face a republican opponent to be the next Mayor of Bay St. Louis, MS.

Democrats Helping Democrats

As we get closer to the June 6th Elections, we are beginning to see some of our most important campaigns around the state tighten into close races.  We are seeing signs that some of the best and brightest Mayors in our state are being targeted by the Republicans.  When elections get close, we all need to chip in to achieve a successful outcome and keep good Democrats in office.


CLICK HERE TO HELP


Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny Dupree is seeking re-election and pushing a strong platform of Education, Infrastructure improvement and Public Safety.  To learn more about Mayor Dupree please visit his website, or consider making a contribution directly to his campaign.


CLICK HERE TO HELP
 

We have another great Mayor in Ocean Springs.  Connie Moran is seeking re-election to continue building on the great accomplishments of her last term.  She has a wealth of great information on her website, www.conniemoran.com.  


CLICK HERE TO HELP


The last mayor we want to highlight is Meridian Mayor Percy Bland.  A great champion for education and civic participation, Mayor Bland has a great record of success and leadership in Meridian.  For more information about his campaign please visit his website, or consider making a contribution

They Can't Learn

State Representative Karl Oliver is famous AGAIN! Karl put Mississippi in the spotlight again and made the New York Times but not in a good way.
 
Republican Representative Oliver from Winona, in a social media post, told us how he would LYNCH ‘persons’ attempting to remove monuments of the Old South as is occurring in New Orleans. You may remember this is the same Karl Oliver that told a mother he ‘could care less’ about her.

Oliver, once again, forced the Mississippi House Speaker to call out another of his Republican supermajority leadership team on his comments and take him to the proverbial political ‘woodshed.’ The Republicans may need to get a bigger woodshed, though, because they have mighty busy embarrassing themselves, their party, and the whole state.

Oliver’s comments were agreed to and ‘liked’ on social media by his Republican brethren, state Representatives John Read of Gautier and Doug McLeod of Lucedale. But remember there were a few more incidents putting this Republican leadership team, and Mississippi with them, in a negative light.

Oliver’s comments mesh with Republican Representative Bubba Carpenter of Burnsville when he had to apologize for racial comments. However, this was just in a string of issues for Representative Carpenter. He had to apologize over telling women to use a coat hanger for abortions. He also had a couple of ‘double dipping’ on the state dime when he was caught several times with his hand in the taxpayer cookie jar. Republican Representative Tracy Arnold of Booneville also tagged along with him for the double dip payment plan on the lobbyist trip to Destin, Florida.
 
And don’t forget Republican State Representative Jeffrey Guice of Ocean Springs when he verbally backhanded a mother concerned about expensive medication for her daughter that she could not afford to pay for. 
 
Just as we have condemned the statements of those in the most recent past, we again condemn these of Representative Oliver and his Republican cohorts that agree his words were somehow commendable.

More Layoffs

Last year, the Mississippi Forestry Commission laid off approximately 32 employees; cost savings the Republican leadership said. Coincidentally, the Commission purchased approximately 32 new trucks at the same time. Looking out for our best interest, Republican leadership?

Here is one of those trucks that may have been purchased off the backs of laid off employees. It was parked at the Ole Miss Baseball stadium last weekend. Your tax dollars at work! Hotty Toddy!     

Today, it was announced that the Mississippi Forestry Commission will lay off 75 more workers with 50 of those being firefighters. Their last day will be June 30.
 
The Republican leadership has eliminated almost 10,000 state jobs and that's before the job cuts that will happen this year, including the 650 at the Department of Mental Health. That doesn’t even count the 27,600 jobs lost in our economy since December 2007. If job cuts shrank state government or closed the gaping hole of red ink that is the BUDGET MESS THIS REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP has gotten us into, it may a necessary plan. That is not the case.
 
You would think that with hundreds of millions of dollars cut to essential services like law enforcement, domestic violence programs, or hunter education and training, we would be short of funds. But no. That’s because it is all a Republican leadership shell game to fool the public.
 
You see, our taxes have not been cut. They just use your tax dollars to fund the tax breaks and giveaways to their corporate buddies and, in turn, have to cut essential services of state government. Then, when we need those services, they say tax yourselves at the local level. They are doing this now by asking counties and cities to put another 11 cents per gallon local tax on gas to make up for the road and bridge program they did not fund.
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Call your Republican legislator. Or, even better, call your county or city Republican leader (they’re up for re-election June 6) and ask them why they are not working with their party leadership to get our local essential services back.
 
Mississippi Republican Leadership. Skewed policies. Hurting families. Driving the Ship of State into the rocks.

Currie: We Have A Big Problem

This headline in the Brookhaven Daily Leader carried a front page story about the Mississippi Department of Transportation's Budget and state Representative Becky Currie’s comments on how to fix the lack of a state road and bridge program. A Special Legislative Session has been called in June to debate a MDOT budget because legislative leadership could not stop fighting among themselves and now we bear the additional associated cost, but that is just another beside the point lack of leadership.

To be fair, though, Currie was just setting out the Republican game plan to tax local folks and take from other programs to fund a road and bridge plan. She forgot to mention the super-majority Republican leadership is the main reason for failure of a budget and road or bridge program.

Currie: We Have A Big Problem

Carrying the Republican leadership team’s plan, Currie says that Speaker Philip Gunn has a seven-point plan to fix roads and bridges that includes:

  • having local counties raise their gas taxes up to 11 cents per gallon, which Mrs. Currie says is her favorite idea because “if they vote it down they can’t complain about their roads.” (Let Them Eat Cake somehow comes to mind)

We beg to differ, Rep. Currie. It is the Republican leadership that no longer sends our tax dollars back to our cities and counties for a road and bridge program. The locals have already paid in taxes for this program once. It is just that you and your Republican colleagues gave our tax money away to corporate campaign contributors in the form of grants and tax credits.

The Republican Party's municipal leadership has evidently not been working with their Jackson party leadership to repair roads and bridges either. They need to be held accountable for conditions in their cities by demanding their super majority party leadership put in place a road and bridge repair program that does not double and triple tax the citizens with take it or leave it games as Rep. Currie suggested by raising local gas taxes.

Local governments are now issuing bonds to fix local roads and bridges. When counties and cities do that, it is just another tax on the people to pay those bonds back for the same local programs they have already been taxed for.

  • Take some of the monies that builds roads and bridges on the Coast and in the river region. Rep. Currie says, The Gaming Road Fund "has more money in it than needs to be.” We doubt the river and coast regions agree.
  • Stop building roads. Hey, that’s a great economic game plan, Republican leadership! It’s also one of the reasons Mississippi is ranked 49th among states in which to do business.
  • Remove state road workers from the Personnel Board oversight so they can be fired. The Republican leadership has already tried this by eliminating 10,000 state jobs with more on the chopping block. The salaries of fired transportation workers will not fill the budget hole this leadership team has gotten the state into and is no way to fulfill their promise of ‘shrinking government.'

Skewed Priorities…Failed Leadership

Trumpcare: What We Know So Far

Today, in Congress a vote was held to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It was announced at the last minute, and has not yet been scored by the Non-Partisan Congressional Budget Office. We will all find out in days to come what the full impact of this will be.

But we do know this much.

1. Congressman Trent Kelly, Congressman Gregg Harper, and Congressman Steven M. Palazzo voted yes for this bill.  Then went and celebrated in the Rose Garden at the White House. 

2. Congress added a provision exempting themselves from the bill.

3. Trumpcare will impact Employer Provided Plans.  According to the Wall Street Journal, "Many people who obtain health insurance through their employers - about half the country - could be at risk of losing protections that limit out-of-pocket cost for catastrophic illnesses."

4. Trumpcare cuts special education services.  According to the New York Times, "The bill would hurt school districts' ability to provide special education services by allowing states to no longer consider schools eligible Medicaid providers."

5. Immediately after passage the bill was condemned by the American Medical Association.

6. Then there is the issue of pre-existing conditions.  In the state of Mississippi alone 1,195,900 people under the age of 65 will be impacted (49% of the population); 173,700 of those are children.
-299,400 in Rep. Trent Kelly's District 1
-302,300 in Rep. Gregg Harper's District 3
-307,400 in Rep. Steven M. Palazzo's District 4

In 553 days these folks will face re-election. There is work to do and we need your help.

Town Halls

United States Senators and Representatives are back home spending time in their districts during this time of recess from the Capitol. One of the activities taking place in almost all states is town hall meetings attended by their respective members of Congress, except here in Mississippi.
 
Our national elected officials have not scheduled district or state constituent meetings here at home. Instead, if there have been any town halls they have been organized around the state by concerned citizens where Senators and the local Representative has been invited. There has not been acceptance of invitations or attendance by any officials at these meetings.
 
There has been a misconception that these meetings are set ups to embarrass elected officials. It is also been suggested the ordinary folks attending these meetings are paid by some unknown source. The problem with both of these claims is that they lack a basis in fact. Those persons repeating this spin should step forward with some proof.
 
These town hall meetings have been set up by folks because elected officials, save the 2nd Congressional District, have not seen fit to take it upon themselves to meet with constituents. All these organizers want to do is ask questions like; Why did you vote to allow the sale of my internet usage to private companies, make it easier to sell public land, or allow my child to be removed from my health plan?
 
These elected officials are adults that sought votes to represent everyone. Not all meetings with constituents may be as fun as having a steak dinner with a lobbyist back on the Hill, but it is a duty they assumed when they were elected by the people.
 
It is a basic tenant of our representative form of government that electors want to at least be informed on the issues. If an elected official put enough effort and thought into making a particular vote, it is not too much to ask that they expound on the reasoning why a particular vote was made. It is time for these elected officials to grow up, do their duty and at least offer transparency on the process that we elected them to perform on our behalf without berating the citizens trying to find answers by inviting them to a community town hall meeting.