McDaniel undecided in 2015

In the Clarion-Ledger report “McDaniel ‘would prefer federal position’” by Geoff Pender, Sen. Chris McDaniel hinted at a possible 2016 run for the 4th Congressional District seat currently held by Rep. Steven Palazzo. In the interview, McDaniel indicated that he will seek re-election for the District 42 state Senate seat that he currently fills. Officially, McDaniel has only stated that he will not run for Governor.

In lieu of an official announcement, some indications have pointed to a possible run for Mississippi Lieutenant Governor. McDaniel has openly objected to Lt. Gen. Tate Reeves’ control over the state Senate as stripping control from the people.

As a Tea Party favorite, McDaniel garnered national attention during the 2014 election campaign in which he pushed Sen. Thad Cochran to a run-off in the Republican Primary.

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Education bills approved in the Senate

The Mississippi Senate passed SB 2695, Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act, on Wednesday. The measure is designed to help special needs students by providing a $7,000 voucher, provided on pre-paid debit cards, to seek educational services outside the public school system. If enacted into law, it will be limited to 500 students in the first year. The estimated $3.5 million first year cost would be paid from the state’s general fund and not the Mississippi Adequate Education Program earmarked funds. Funds could only use the funds at Mississippi Department of Education approved vendors.

Gov. Phil Bryant and the National Excellence in Education Foundation praised the passage. However, the Parents Campaign opposes SB 2695 because it does not help all students with disabilities and sees it as a step toward privatization of public schools.

SB 2695 will proceed to the House for consideration where a similar bill, HB 294 sponsored by Carolyn Crawford of Pass Christian, awaits passage.

Senate Bill 2161 was passed yesterday and will establish the Mississippi Commission on College and Career Readiness to recommend new education standards to replace the Common Core States Standards adopted.  Several Tea Party conservatives, namely Senators Chris McDaniel, Melanie Sojourner, and Michael Watson, protested since the Senate refused to add language making the adoption of the commission recommendations mandatory. Those objecting to SB 2161 also fear that the Commission could recommend standards that simply mirror Common Core standards.

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Cochran’s 42 years of influence summarized

The Washington Post caught up to Sen. Thad Cochran on Friday and wrote an extensive article, Cochran promotes D.C. influence to fend off tea party challenge, on issues ranging from longevity and compromise to ObamaCare, the Tea Party, and his opponent in the Republican Primary, state Sen. Chris McDaniel.

In the article, Cochran appeared to make a critical misstep by saying, “I think we need to monitor any federal programs that provide services and assistance to people who need help, and this is an example of an important effort by the federal government to help make health care available, accessible and affordable.”  Later on the campaign trail, Cochran’s staff clarified the statement by saying that the Senator though he was addressing the VA scandal and Cochran stated himself that he has always been against the law.

Cochran has continued to promote the political clout he has gained by 42 years in Washington.  Cochran says, “I’m convinced that if that phone call would have not been made to a Cabinet member, we wouldn’t have been able to keep the hospital open.”

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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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Tea Party candidates winning

Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) promised to “crush them everywhere” but Tea Party candidates are still winning elections.  Despite the establishment GOP’s recent claims of  victory over the Tea Party, both West Virginia and Nebraska elected Tea Party candidates on Tuesday. 

Breitbart reports that the focus will now turn to Mississippi’s June 3rd primary where Tea Party-backed Chris McDaniel is in a dead heat with 36-year incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran. 

McDaniel has used Cochran’s long tenure in the U.S. Senate to draw contrasts with his opponent.  In the Sun Herald, McDaniel says he does not want to represent Mississippi simply to get along but to fix Washington, DC.  And that can only happen with new leadership that knows they work for the people and then fights to create a more responsive government.

And McDaniel vows to fight.  He says he will fight Obamacare, the federal debt, party politics and the political aristocracy, and the national dependence on federal spending. 

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GOP battling the Tea Party with cash

Incumbent Republicans have been emphasizing their Tea Party challenger’s dependence on “out-of-state” cash leading up to the 2014 Primaries.  But the Tea Party has no corner on such contributions to the Republican Primaries.  After being caught by surprise in 2010 and 2012, establishment Republicans are equally cashing-in on Political Action Committees’ donations as incumbents attempt to thwart  more Tea Party upsets.  The National Journal published the following chart to illustrate the influx of cash into just 3 races in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Mississippi:

Featured in the National Journal's report "Outside Money Pours Into GOP Senate Primries"

Featured in the National Journal’s report “Outside Money Pours Into GOP Senate Primaries”

On the heels of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s announcement that he intends to crush opponents back in March, the establishment has not only relied upon endorsements but upon massive amounts of money.  The GOP is also being much more aggressive at exposing any and all weaknesses of their upstart challengers.

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Republican Primary U.S. Senate Candidate: Chris McDaniel

A lawyer and former state Senator, Chris McDaniel is attempting to upset incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran to become the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.  The Christian Science Monitor listed McDaniel as the top candidate that could be “the next Ted Cruz.”

Representing Jones County in the Mississippi Senate since 2008, he is a Partner at Hortman, Harlow, Bassi, Robinson and McDaniel, PLLC, a general civil and trial practice in Laurel.  McDaniel’s attorney profile lists his practice areas as general litigation, insurance defense, personal injury, commercial litigation, constitutional law (civil rights), education law, consumer products litigation, mass tort litigation, and complex multi-party litigation.

The following positions were taken from McDaniel’s campaign website:

  • Healthcare:  Volunteered his time in Mississippi’s suit against Obamacare.  Opposed Medicare expansion, supports defunding, repealing Obamacare.  Desires commonsense healthcare reform, increased choice, health savings accounts, and allowing insurance across state lines.
  • Taxes:  Believes the tax code is a mess and must be reformed.  Supports scrapping the existing tax code and moving to a simpler, flatter tax system.  [Stated in an interview with Bryan Fischer that he did know whether the Fair Tax or the Flat Tax was best.]
  • Education:  Desires to repeal No Child Left Behind, eliminate federal government control over education, and restore education to the states, local communities, and parents.  Supports school choice.  Opposes Common Core.
  • Immigration:  Opposes amnesty and supports enforcement of existing laws including securing the border.  Introduced the Employment Protection Act to require all companies to check legal status of potential employees.
  • Energy:  Reduce foreign oil dependence by expanding domestic energy use.  Supports offshore drilling, drilling in ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge), Keystone pipeline, and opposes subsidizing alternative energy forms.
  • Agriculture:  Unleash agriculture from federal regulations and control from Washington.  Supports repealing the Death Tax in its entirety to enable the transfer of farms to children without penalty.
  • Economy:  Regulations are strangling jobs and small businesses.  Washington is addicted to spending and our country is on the verge of financial crisis.  Must cut spending, pass a Balanced Budget Amendment.  Supports making permanent the temporary ban on earmarking.
  • 2nd Amendment:  Opposes all efforts to undermine the 2nd Amendment.  Sponsored legislation that required the state to honor any valid concealed carry permit issued by another state.
  • National Security:  Will fight for the men and women of the military to ensure support in and out of uniform.  Wary of engaging in foreign entanglements but acknowledges the need to remain vigilant of many threats.  Wants to reevaluate foreign aid process.  Will oppose all treaties that compromise American sovereignty.  Committed to the U.S. military remaining the strongest in the world and will not appease our enemies.
  • Abortion:  Pro-life and believes in the responsibility to protect unborn life.
  • Marriage:  Believes marriage is between and man and a woman and will vote to protect that definition.

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