2015 Ballot Battle Over MAEP Set

With proponents obtaining enough signatures to place Initiative 42 on the 2015 Ballot, the State Legislature acted to create an alternative, HCR 9 or Initiative 42A, which the House and the Senate passed this week.

If approved by voters in November, Initiative 42 would change the Mississippi Constitution to read as follows (underlined and struck-through text indicates added or deleted language):

SECTION 201. To protect each child’s fundamental right to educational opportunity, The Legislature the State shall, by general law, provide for the establishment, maintenance and support of an adequate and efficient system of free public schools upon such conditions and limitations as the Legislature may provide. The chancery courts of this State shall have the power to enforce this section with appropriate injunctive relief.

Proponents say that this constitutional amendment will require fully funding K-12 education in Mississippi per the MAEP formula that was adopted in 1997 to determine funding. Opponents say that Initiative 42 strips the Legislature of control over education and places that control in the hands of the Chancery Court of Hinds County.

Initiative 42A would change the constitution as follows:

SECTION 201. The Legislature shall, by general law, provide for the establishment, maintenance and support of an effective system of free public schools.

Proponents of this alternative argue that this will keep control of education in the State Legislature and focus on results (i.e. the insertion of “an effective system”). Opponents say Initiative 42A only confuses voters and does not allow for a simple “up or down vote” on Initiative 42 by the people of Mississippi.

To pass, a proposal must win a majority and at least 40% of the total votes cast. With competing proposals, passage of either is more difficult. If voters are uneducated before going to the polls, the ballot could also be very confusing.

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Sun Herald’s Hampton declares Tea Party Dead. . . maybe

In his May 24th Sun Herald opinion “Up to our necks in mud – and sinking in the Mississippi Senate race,” Paul Hampton attempted to write the epitaph for the Tea Party tombstone.   “But it’s clear 2010 was a fluke and this party is over.  Of course, you could make the argument the party isn’t over — the Tea Party has just ‘purified’ the GOP.  You know, sort of like when the Democrats lurched to the left and its more conservative members jumped ship.”

Then comes the following tweet from Paul Gallo:

To put it a bit more clearly, Sen. Thad Cochran is running the same campaign a Democrat would use to defeat Chris McDaniel and there is nothing that Cochran has done that the Democrats can run against!  So much for “purification.”

With Republicans continuing to be “Democrat-light,” conservative groups within the party will always attempt to reform it.  Existing campaign finance laws have made that a certainty.

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Democrat Primary 4th Congressional District Candidate: Matt Moore

This is not Matt Moore’s first campaign to represent Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District.   However, finding any information online about him is a little difficult.  All information about Moore is drawn primarily from what was written about him in 2012.

As a late add due to the withdrawal of Democrat nominee Michael Herrington in 2012, Moore claimed 28.8% of the General Election vote.  Even though he crushed Reform Party Robert W. Claunch (6.3%) and Libertarian Ron Williams (0.7%), he was far behind Rep. Steven Palazzo’s 64.1% of the vote.

Per the Wall Street Journal in 2012, “Moore says he’s running because he wants to provide better constituent service to the 4th District. He says Palazzo is too much of a party-line Republican and has fallen short in representing a wide range of opinions in the district.”

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McDaniel defends himself to Libertarians

After decade-old audio was discovered from his radio program “The Right Side,” U.S. Senate challenger Chris McDaniel emailed the Libertarian Party of Mississippi to emphasize that his criticisms were of the candidate and not the Libertarian Party in general.

Within the lengthy email, posted below from Facebook, McDaniel articulates his record and support for Liberty.  Undoubtedly Libertarians will be important to McDaniel if he expects to upset Sen. Cochran in the June 3rd Primary.

With the media combing through numerous hours of audio, McDaniel can expect much more analysis and questioning should he win the Primary Election against Sen. Thad Cochran.

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Tea Party Rumblings in South Miss.

Four candidates are vying to represent the Republican Party in the race for Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District.  Two of those candidates are well-known (incumbent Rep. Steven Palazzo and former Democrat Rep. Gene Taylor) while the other two (Tom Carter and Ron Vincent) are lesser known.

Paul Hampton reports in Reading the Tea Party’s tea leaves in District 4 that these lesser known candidates may have caused a splinter in the Tea Party support that could weigh heavily on the June 3rd Primary.  Ron Vincent received the early endorsement of the South Mississippi Tea Party but that was recently retracted.  Hampton opines just how such a split could affect Primary especially if Tom Carter should receive Tea Party endorsement.

The Blessings of Liberty was unable to find the endorsement or retraction on the South Mississippi Tea Party Facebook Page or their webpage but Y’all Politics also announced it today.  The South Mississippi Tea Party webpage does indicate that Tom Carter will be at their next meeting on April 21st.

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Democrat Primary 4th Congressional District Candidate: Trish Causey

If the Republican Candidates for Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District all look too similar for you to make a choice, look no further than the Democrat candidates.

As outlined by Paul Hampton, Trish Causey labels herself as “Staunchly progressive.”  Described as an artist and grassroots activist, Causey calls herself a lifelong activist on her campaign website.

  • National Security:  A pacifist; repeal the Patriot Act, close the prison at Guantanamo Bay.  The “humanitarian side of the military [as in post-disaster relief] should be lauded and fostered.”
  • Gay Issues:  Fully supports equal rights and privileges for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender persons.
  • Abortion:  Supports  unrestricted abortion.
  • Education:  Raise teacher pay, make student loans more available, and teach “students skills they will need for college and in the real world.”
  • Public Health:  Support marijuana legalization, expand Medicaid, supports Obamacare.
  • Economy:  Supports a “living wage” (increasing the minimum wage, legalizing and taxing marijuana, pro-union, and supports “fair pay and equal representation” for women.
  • Environment:  Address climate change, promote alternative fuels, ban genetically modified foods, preserve natural resources, protect the environment.

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Republican Primary 4th Congressional District Candidate: Ron Vincent

Ron Vincent is one of 5 candidates certified by the Miss. Republican Party for the June 3rd Primary election.  Vincent squared-off against Steven Palazzo in the 2012 Primary and received 18.7% of the vote to Palazzo’s 73.9% according to Ballotpedia.

Born in Hattiesburg, Vincent retired from GE Energy and has international business experience according to his campaign website.  He is listed as the organizer of the Hattiesburg Tea Party, a member of Main Street Baptist Church, and was honorably discharged after 3 years in the U.S. Army.

Based on his website, the following are his positions on various issues:

  • Economy:  Remove barriers to business and growth, develop domestic energy sources, reform and strengthen education system.
  • Constitutionally Limited Government:  Supports term limits and abolishing the EPA, HUD, and Department of Education.  Wants to restore constitutional checks and balances and restore government by legislation instead of regulation and executive order.
  • Fiscal Responsibility:  Wants to balance the federal budget, pay-off national debt, eliminate government bailouts and corporate take-overs, reform of entitlement programs, and audit the Federal Reserve.
  • Tax Reform:  Supports the Fair Tax and abolition of the IRS.
  • Obamacare:  Supports the complete repeal of Obamacare.
  • National Defense: Secure the borders and enforce immigration laws.  Restore military strength, end fighting undeclared wars.  End foreign treaties and get out of the United Nations.

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