Monday, February 2, 2015

Holland & Moak: They were for it before they were against it.

The legislative fight over the MAEP initiative grown pretty hot at times as Republicans added an additional amendment to the ballot.  Needless to say, the measure did not go over well with Democrats.   Supporters of a an initiative to "fully fund" education under the MAEP formula obtained enough signatures to place the proposed amendment on the ballot.  However, the law allows the legislature to place alternate amendments on the ballot as well.  The Democrats had a few things to say about the vote:

Steve Holland: Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, said the House leadership’s development of an alternative to try to thwart the intent of the nearly 200,000 people who signed the initiative proposal was akin to the effort of then-Speaker C.B. “Buddie” Newman in the 1980s to block a vote on public kindergartens.

“There is no good reason except politics and confusion to vote to have an alternative,” Holland said. NEMDJ Article
Bobby Moak:  Opponents of the alternative vehemently disagreed. After Snowden's introductory remarks, a series of Democrats took the podium to slam the resolution and ask their colleagues to vote it down.

"This is about Amendment 42," said state Rep. Bobby Moak, D-Bogue Chitto. "I look at it personally as an effort to actually weaken the position of this ballot in November."

He said the state isn't doing its job and has failed to fully fund education, forcing educators to hold bake sales and spend their own money to buy classroom supplies.  CL article
Then there are the quotes mentioned in the Jackson Free Press:

Rep. Bobby Moak, D-Bogue Chitto, said the state's alternative will draw votes from the original proposed amendment.

"I look at it, personally, as an effort to actually weaken the amendment that's going to be on the ballot in November," Moak said. "When you look at the alternative, it looks simple. ... Under the alternative, the Legislature, of course, retains all discretion, and there's no mention of funding obligation so therefore, it makes 42 meaningless."...

 Democratic lawmakers characterized the act as a disingenuous ploy. Several of them in the House—including Moak and Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville—claimed that Republicans were acting unethically in speeding up the legislative process. They even suggested that some of the Republican legislators had been coerced to vote for the resolution. Article
Time for  a history lesson.  Its no secret that the legislature dominated Mississippi government for decades.  Indeed, the most powerful person in the state was often the Speaker of the House as one Speaker after another casually broke the careers of legislators.  Mississippi was one of the few states that did not have an initiative and referendum process.  The Clarion-Ledger and public interest groups pushed the legislature to pass a law creating one but it did so kicking and screaming as one can imagine.  The legislature added a poison pill to the bill as passed: the power to place an alternate amendment on the ballot next to any that gathered enough signatures.  Its mighty interesting to see who voted for the bill as passed and enacted into law.

JJ dug up the legislative journals from 1992.  Guess who voted for the bill? Holland and Moak (p.8 below)  as did other Democratic stalwarts such as J. Compretta and Ronnie Musgrove (p.11).   The legislature tightened up the law in 1996 after an initiative imposing term limits made it to the ballot.  

One must ask these Solons who scream loudly against the use of an alternate amendment why they voted for the bill in 1992. If they are so offended by its mere existence, why didn't they offer an amendment to strike that part of the bill when they passed twenty-three years ago?  It was 1992. The Democrats literally owned the legislature.   The Democrats added this language to the bill because they wanted, no, demanded the right to sabotage anything passed by the voters.   Now that someone actually payed attention to what they passed, they scream bloody murder.  In other words,  they were for it before they were against it. 


Anonymous said...

Yes, and Republicans screamed murder in the '90's.

Having worked to end the Democratic stranglehold on this State, and to get initiatives on the ballot, it's more than a little irritating to me to see the GOP doing the same or worse.

The idea , people, was to get less corrupt, more effective government, not to be as bad or worst than the other party!

The irony is that education suffers because the people are poorly educated... particularly on the characteristics that are key to a functioning government versus those of a " failed state" !

Corruption depends on ignorance! And, it depends on the ignorant refuses to imagine what they don't know and being focused on what they " feel" they know!

Anonymous said...

Good gracious, 8:50. I think you're still drunk.

Anonymous said...

What does fully funded mean? Is there an exact amount needed to meet "fully funded" or does fully funded mean keep giving until "we" say stop.

Also, are the educational standards increased when "fully funded" or do the standards remain the same?

Not being sarcastic, just do not know.

Anonymous said...

The reason our government is no better under Republican leadership is because the majority of voters, and candidates, are the se morons who were voting Democrat before they abandoned the party due to shifting demographics. They still crave pork, and they vote for those who deliver.

Anonymous said...

10:16 - think you nailed it.

Anonymous said...

Fully funded means being given the financial resources needed to implement everything required by the state and local government without it being an undue burden on local taxpayers. The state is not meeting that obligation.

Anonymous said...

Has it struck anyone that the two buffoons singled out by KF have been serving in the state legislature since at least 1992? Maybe the ballot box is not an effective "term limiter" after all.

Anonymous said...

In a hurry this morning 8:50 and saw the " worst" instead of " worse" and the "refuses " instead of " refusing" but ran out of time and imagined the point would not be lost.

I did also know the grammarians and critics would have something snarky to say.

fully fed up said...

1:12 - an awfully strange definition, and incorrect one at that - of fully funded.

First off, where do you think "state money" comes from if it is not from 'local taxpayers'.

Secondly, there is nothing to do with 'implementing everything required' included in the term 'fully funded'.

"Fully funded" is not even actually mentioned in the proposed amendment. It comes from the term of MAEP - a strange, unauditable formula devised in the late 1990s to "define" what it would take to make all school districts in the state have "adequate education" available to all students. Problem is, the definitions used in the formula vary from district to district.

The proposed amendment requires enough money to provide 'adequate education' according to how a Hinds County Chancery Judge might determine the word 'adequate'. The chancellor could pay attention to the MAEP formula, or could totally ignore it.

Anonymous said...

We will never address education in Mississippi until 1) those who can pay for alternative education see the value of an educated populace 2) education isn't one of the primary sources of income and social status in very poor communities 3) consolidation of limited resources and the ability to take advantage of economies of scale is understood as necessary in a poor state.

Our population is smaller than that of some cities in this Nation and yet we have more school districts, more universities, more junior /community colleges than the states in which those large cities dwell.

We pay for educators to go to conventions and retreats where there are no results. We are top heavy in administrative costs but nothing is done at any level. We pay for " studies" that legislators know is nothing but a funnel of funds to IHL . We build new schools where new isn't needed and old is so dilapidated as to prevent a good learning environment.

While some private schools and home schooling systems are good, ours are too often a joke.

But, when parents fear their children will be more educated than they, when they feel their children are their property, when they don't have faith that what they believe can withstand critical comparison, this is what you get.

Look at the costs in large cities that have a greater population than ours and look at what we do.

If your notion of " excellence" is based on myths you wish were true, you'll never rise to the level of excellence in anything.

If your " philosophy" ( no philosophy has proven flawless) doesn't allow for pragmatism, then you are doom to fail because YOU can't recognize the shortcomings in your philosophies and adapt accordingly!

Kingfish said...

Lets be honest. Forget how supposedly conservative the state is.

We love our government. The more of it, the better. 82 counties. All these school districts. Had six in one county at one point. A county that was rural, small, and broke. 22 junior colleges. 8 universities. Boards, Commissions. No consolidation of law enforcement between counties and cities. Thus you have cops that have to share guns and radios as they are struggling on their own.

Then there is the legislature. Rural state and a legislature that has two houses and meets every year for three months.

Never a suggestion to change anything. We love our gummint.

Anonymouse Madison Dumbass said...

Have always thought them Bogue Chitto's Hotties would be a nice addition to our action in ReUnion!!!

Anonymous said...


I appreciate the history lesson, but I am disappointed with your post.

Let me see if I follow your logic:

1) Citizens obtain enough signatures to place amendment 42 on ballot to fully fund education under MAEP formula.

2) Holland and Moak express that other legislators passing an alternative amendment did so to confuse voters.

3) The legislators expressing this opinion against the alternative amendment voted on the bill in 1992 which allowed for the possibility of alternative amendments.

4) Because of this, their opinion is invalid.

An either or fallacy combined with a red herring.

So because they voted for the possibility of alternative amendments are you suggesting that they must be for all alternative amendments or against all alternative amendments? Are you suggesting that their dissent and view of this particular amendment as tactics to confuse is somehow invalid because of their vote?

"Democrats demanded the right to sabotage anything passed by the voters" sounds a little emotional and like you are reaching a little. I'm not sure if the "alternative amendment" option is necessary, but I guess it could provide a failsafe for either party for some kind of crazy <1% populist movement scenario, for example.

I expect this kind of logic at the Press. Not from you.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and ironically it is all the "liberal" state governments in the Northeast and California that have consolidated counties and smaller governments.

Decimal Pernt said...

"We build new schools where new isn't needed and old is so dilapidated as to prevent a good learning environment."

Help me understand that, 5:48. And while you're at it, give an example of a new school being built where none is needed.

KF defender said...

6:21 - you obviously missed KF's point. The fact that Holland and Moak disagreed with the alternative amendment wasn't the issue.

The point is - as I see it - was that Moak and Holland complained about the legislature passing an alternative that they claim will 'confuse' the voters; that was done against the 'clear intent of the voters' based on the supposed 200000 signatures; etc.

If they think the legislature putting an alternative on the ballot should not be done, they shouldn't have provided this possibility back when they (were in control of the legislature) voted for this possibility. Its their bitching about the legislature actually using the process they created that causes the hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

Look people, the " alternative amendment " was nothing more than a ploy to prevent the voters from being able to weigh in on an issue that was of concern to them.

It was to " muddy the waters".

At the time, the legislature was more than a little smug about how hard they had made it to get an amendment on the ballot, but just in case, the " alternative" would be the poison pill.

As it turns out, the deep pockets have used the amendment process to further agendas that have little to do with the best interest of Mississippians.

Please, please, try not to be so gullible!

Kingfish said...

4:44 nailed it.

Anonymous said...

4:44 and Kingfish,

I disagree.

They are disagreeing with the use of the process for this specific alternative amendment.

Like I said, allowing for the possibility of alternative amendments is not necessarily a bad thing, it can be a failsafe.

Your logic only holds up if they have been against every single alternative amendment that has been proposed since that law went into effect, and against it for the fact that it is an alternative amendment.

If that's the case, then yes, their statements are "hypocrisy." I doubt this to be the case.

444 again said...

4:06. I do agree with the statement that they are disagreeing with the use of the process for this specific alternative amendment.

But look at what they had to say in disagreeing - according to their theory - because it is on this particular amendment that they happen to favor - is that putting an alternative is against the voters!! Its against the will of all the people because there were 116,000 signatures that say so.

That would be true with any alternative amendment. To use their argument on this particular situation where they favor the amendment, then the alternative shouldn't ever be allowed.

But when the Dems controlled everything and some folks wanted to get some positive things accomplished in this state that the legislature was constantly stopping (including Moak and Holland) - the I&R was developed. But the Dems made sure they had a way to do just what these two are now complaining about on a deal that they favor.

Say it again. Hipocracy at its finest.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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