2014 State and National General Election Summary

The 114th U.S. Congress started earlier this month following a wild 2014 midterm election. The following websites capture those 2014 election results in various formats and perspectives:

2014 Election results by Congressional District (Courtesy of the New York Times).

2014 Election results by Congressional District (Courtesy of the New York Times).

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“Business as usual” vs. “Sacrifice” at issue in campaign

Sen. Thad Cochran is firmly established as a gentleman in the U.S. Senate.  Years of working across the aisle with Democrats has gained him the respect of Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) as well as fellow Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Unlike his opponent, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who says that compromise is part of the problem, Cochran makes no apologies for the tactic.   In their endorsement, the Sun Herald even called him a “respected conciliator.”  Cochran’s negotiation skills have pushed through many deadlocked bills and brought millions of dollars in federal funds to Mississippi.

McDaniel was identified as an “up-and-comer” from the moment he took office as a state Senator in 2008.  But he is equally unapologetic in his commitment to fight compromise.  “The liberals always win.  That’s not compromise.  That’s called surrender.”

Concerned for the country’s future, McDaniel says every state depends on federal funding, an addiction that must stop:  “. . . every state is going to have to make sacrifices to save this union.”

With one day left until the primary election, Geoff Pender says both McDaniel and Cochran are consummate gentlemen.  In a very close race for Mississippi’s U.S. Senate seat, personality may be vital to turnout and victory while statesmanship will be vital for whoever wins.

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The real work remains in Hobby Lobby vs. Obamacare

The experts say Hobby Lobby had a good day in the Supreme Court yesterday:

Even if what the Cato Institute tweeted is true, the work has just begun as Dr. Chuck Harding points out:

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Advocates push Gay rights in Mississippi

After claiming credit for stripping language from Senate Bill 2681 that would have allowed individuals to deny service based on religious beliefs, the Campaign for Southern Equality is continuing their push for gay rights in Mississippi.

Via their “WE DO Campaign,” the Campaign for Southern Equality is seeking a sympathetic, local elected official in the south to grant a marriage license to a gay couple.  Short of that goal, homosexuals around the state of Mississippi and the South are planning to apply for marriage licenses on March 25th.  Since gay marriage is not legal in the state, gay rights advocates expect to us the denials as evidence of the harm that is caused by prohibitions against same-sex couples.  Undoubtedly, gay rights advocates will use those experiences in law suits to force their will upon the people.

Human Rights Campaign LogoProdded by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), three Mississippi cities, Starkville, Hattiesburg, and Oxford have passed resolutions this year that recognize the “dignity and worth of . . . lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender [residents].”  HRC’s mission statement declares, “HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender] citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.”  Vice President Joe Biden addressed HRC on March 22nd and stated, “Barack [Obama] and I believe that the rights of  [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender] people is an inseparable part of America’s promotion of human rights around the world.”

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Religious Freedom Restoration Act Passes in Miss. Senate

In addition to adding “In God We Trust” to the state seal as previously passed, Mississippi Senate Bill 2681 affirms the right of individuals to exercise their religion. Exercise of religion is defined as “the practice or observance of religion” and includes “the ability to act or refusal to act in a manner that is substantially motivated by one’s sincerely held religious belief.”

The ACLU claims  that the bill is “simply a license to discriminate” and special interest groups label the bill as “anti-gay” even though SB 2681 names no specific groups.  The discourse has been amplified recently by the Arizona State Legislature’s passage of a similar bill, Arizona Senate Bill 1062, which was subsequently vetoed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.

Gov. Phil Bryant has remained neutral on the current discussion.  Mississippi House Bill 929, “Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” appears to be the companion legislation to SB 2681 but HB 929 died in committee in early February 2014.  According to the Sun Herald, the Mississippi House Judiciary Committee B is considering SB 2681 and may remove parts that allow people to refuse service to others based on religious beliefs.  As modified, it appears the bill will prevent the state from burdening an individual with respect to religious freedom but does not protect individuals from being burdened by other private entities.

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Former Governor Musgrove Supports Gay Marriage & Gay Adoption

In an op-ed written for the Huffington Post, Former Governor Ronnie Musgrove (D-MS) announced his support of gay marriage and adoption.  This announcement reversed a position he once held when, as Governor, he signed a law making it illegal for gays and lesbians to adopt in the state of Mississippi.

The governor stated that his previous action had been guided by his faith.  After some soul-searching inspired by Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-OH) reversal of opinion, Gov. Musgrove now believes that signing into law that prohibition was wrong.  Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) changed his of position on “Gay Rights” following his son’s announcement that he was gay in March of 2013.

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