Sunday, September 9, 2018

Bill Crawford: Is This a Kindler, Gentler Tate?

Was that a kinder, gentler Tate Reeves emerging from the recently concluded special session of the Mississippi Legislature?

Reeves said the public should note the session's bipartisan goodwill, wrote the AP's Emily Wagster Pettus in a wrap-up story last week.

Goodwill between the House and Senate much less bipartisan goodwill have not been at the forefront of Reeves' political agenda during his two terms as Lieutenant Governor.

A hint of the new Reeves appeared just ahead of the special session. He backed off the highly controversial road and bridge proposal he had rushed through the Senate during the regular session – one that required local matching funds – to generally accept a House plan he had rejected during that regular session.

“Many of these items were House proposals during the regular session, many if not most,” he told Mississippi Today in regard to the pre-session agreement he reached with House Speaker Philip Gunn. “I think this is definitely a step in fixing one of our most challenging issues.”

Reeves had been under the gun (no pun intended) to agree to a road and bridge plan. He also has been subjected to criticism for his heavy-handed and partisan control of the Senate.

Following this year's regular session when he killed the House's road and bridge bill, Gunn's lieutenants actually accused Reeves of being heavy-handed and not letting senators freely negotiate with the House, as reported by the Clarion-Ledger.

In response, Reeves said the House often attempted to spend more tax dollars on pet projects or incur more state debt than he was willing to accept.

However, the new Reeves just allowed debt and pet projects to flow through the special session, mostly for senators' pet projects. New debt of $50 million authorized during the special session will help fund a "Christmas Tree" of $111 million in pet projects.

It appears Reeves along with Gunn and Gov. Phil Bryant will lead the parade of elected officials touting this special session as the much needed cure to our escalating road and bridge crisis.

Regrettably, it's more a band aid than a cure.

The MEC Excelerate Mississippi program has documented the state has over $6 billion of unfunded road and bridge repairs. The program recommended increasing annual funding to MDOT by $300 million and to cities and counties by $75 million to make a serious dent in this problem over a 10-year period.

What the special session provided for MDOT was up to $80 million a year from the new state lottery once it is fully phased in plus new sports betting taxes of about $5 million. It also authorizes new one-time debt of $250 million for emergency road and bridge repairs. All this is far below the $300 million needed annually.

The special session did provide up to $120 million a year to cities and counties for local road and bridge repairs (plus water and sewer for cities). This will occur as the diversion of 35% of use taxes phases in over four years. (Use taxes are collected on out-of-state sales, now including Internet sales.)

While a kinder and gentler Reeves and fixes to local roads and bridges may be good things, letting most of the 24,591 miles of state highways in need of repair continue to crumble is not a good thing.

Crawford is a syndicate columnist from Meridian.


Anonymous said...

When you look at where the money actually ends up and how it gets spent, that special interests and self interest has been the hallmark of this administration and legislature becomes rather obvious.

They need to be given a reason to think they can't get by with everything and be forced to build more oversight into the system.

Anonymous said...

The proverbial “calm before the storm” is at play. Tate knows he’s in trouble with a strong challenger in Hood. He has run the senate with an iron fist and alienated a significant portion of the electorate (R’s and D’s). The 2019 election year is now looming and Tate will be scrambling to make good with many that he has ignored, trampled on and been vindictive toward. There is another proverbial idiom at play now. “You’ve made your bed now lie in it.” And that my fellow Mississippians, has Tate reeling with a Jim Hood challenge after trampling on so many.

Anonymous said...

The problem with your post, 9:27, is that 98% of the electorate has not been trampled on or mistreated by Reeves and 80% would not know him if they bumped into him at Kroger.

You and a few others in 'the club' may be pissed off and go with Hood, but that's not enough to elect him.

Anonymous said...

With God as my witness, I have voted Republican my entire life, save the times I could vote for Malcolm without discounting my Republican vote. Tate is an asshole....a "drunk with power" politician with "too big for their britches" advisors. A Pete Perry clone. I can not WAIT to vote for Jim Hood. Tate has zero long term vision....not does his staff or advisors.

His entire career has never addressed advancing our state, just the tired, stale, "I am cutting your taxes", populist mantra, while Rome burns, and our state actually loses population. He and Phil brag about how the state is doing great...when the world (other than stupid, gullible, redneck, small minded homies) know differently.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Dear God, please let someone besides Reeves OR Hood emerge to provide some real leadership. Both of these do-nothings are worthless, status-quo rednecks riding the gravy train.

Anonymous said...

Well, 12:07, before long we will have had eight long years to get used to that, so the transition will be seamless.

Google Account Post Removal Syndrome said...

Why do so many with Google Accounts remove their posts?

Anonymous said...

Trump thankfully has cancelled his Friday trip to Jackson. Tate will have to find another opportunity to suck up to the King of Slime.

Anonymous said...

@1:04, I too didn't want Trump in my state nor my city. Besides, he thinks we are all a bunch of dumb rednecks and uneducated hicks.

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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).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

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.

Note: Security provided by INS