Sunday, December 30, 2018

Bill Crawford: 2019 Big Year for Miss. Politics

It’s upon us, the new year, the much anticipated big political year for Mississippi. Yep, 2019 is the year when most state, regional, and local officials will be up for re-election and/or replacement. But, the really big thing will be the gubernatorial showdown between Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and Attorney General Jim Hood.

Oh, that November confrontation is not a sure thing just yet. Both will have August primary challengers, though none so far with much money or name recognition.

Meanwhile, the big time jockeying for the Reeves vs. Hood battle has begun.

It started with Hood's November proclamation that state retirees can serve as legislators and keep getting retirement benefits. PERS regulations require retirees to put benefits on hold should they become a state elected official.

While this has been a contested issue for years, Hood suddenly weighed in against PERS, arguing legislators are part-time employees so thousands of retirees, mostly retired teachers, can serve without giving up benefits. (There is one big flaw in Hood’s reasoning. PERS credits legislative service as full-time. Hood’s action would reduce that retirement credit to part-time. Otherwise legislative service would somehow be full-time and part-time at the same time).

PERS said it had not been consulted by Hood and has his ruling under advisement. It will be interesting to see if PERS revises its regulations, but more interesting to see if the Republican controlled legislature acts to undo Hood's ruling.

You see, it's pretty clear from the reaction of pro-education advocates that their hope is for many retired teachers of the Democrat persuasion to challenge Republican incumbents in next year's elections. This would benefit Hood by increasing Democrat turnout next November. It could also undo the GOP super majorities in the house and senate and boost chances for increased school funding.

The jockeying continued in December with the revelation that Gov. Phil Bryant has been quietly looking into expanding Medicaid in Mississippi, a la the conservative approach then Governor, now Vice President, Mike Pence put in place in Indiana.

Expanding Medicaid has gained somewhat in popularity in Mississippi and is seen as one of Hood's major campaign issues, as well as a potential financial rescue for many rural hospitals and clinics. Sliding a conservative version through the upcoming legislative session could boost Reeves.

So far, Bryant has not commented on the story published in Mississippi Today. If this moves forward it will be interesting to see if the GOP legislative majority will go along. There is also the possibility Bryant could expand Medicaid by executive order.

All this supports rumors that Bryant and Reeves have mended fences in order to hold off a Democrat surge in November.

In another December jockeying maneuver, Speaker of the House Philip Gunn told reporters that lawmakers will abandon attempts to rewrite the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) funding formula in the upcoming session. Changing the formula has been a major Republican goal since the defeat of the school funding referendum in 2015. Taking it off the table will tamp down an inflammatory issue for pro-school advocates and teachers, e.g., likely Hood supporters.

Intriguingly, Reeves, so far, has been quiet on Republican jockeying. No doubt because changing course on Medicaid and school funding won't play well with part of his base.

Yes, 2019 will be a big year for Mississippi politics.

Crawford is a syndicate columnist from Meridian.

Kingfish note: Some food for thought.  Robert Shuler Smith and his supporters are pretty peeved at the Attorney General.  Will they get a Black Democrat to run against Hood just to give him some grief or is the war over? Then there is the Chief Justice, who leaves the bench in a month.  Will he run and if so, will he run as a Democrat or Republican?  Things to ponder during the Silly Season. 


Anonymous said...

After the actions (and inaction) of the republican leadership in Mississippi, one thing is for certain, my days of voting republican are over. I’m not a politician. I’ve never been a politician. I’m not a high profile person. I’m simply a voter (not from Jackson, but lived here most of my adult life). The Republican Party has run this state in the ground. I’m done.

Anonymous said...

RS Smith`s mother runs the show. She isn't worried about that kind of stuff. That's not to say someone might seek her support if they run. They get the same turnout with a K. Stokes endorsement too.

Anonymous said...

11:37 - You and me both. So much self congratulating among the Republican officials in a state where health care, education, economic growth, infrastructure and decent paying jobs are terrible.

The leadership of this state must live in a bubble to get up everyday and proclaim how much they have done for "the people".

Anonymous said...

I agree with 11:37 AM. I won't vote dimocrap, so I guess I'm out too. I actually like Jim Hood vs. Reeves, but I don't see any politician voting non-partisan this day and time. Thank you Barbours, Cochran, Bryant, CHSmith, Monger, and others, for their lame BS, and giving us tRump. BTW, the feds aren't any better. They better dig deep, if they expect to maintain their present status. I don't see tRump getting his $35 Billion fence, so that will oust him.

Anonymous said...

Is there a limit on the number of times ONE person can post on the same Blog Thread? Republicans? This idiot has no idea how long Democrats were in charge of this state.

Anonymous said...

But, Tate said at Neshoba that “Mississippi is thriving.” Thank goodness. Otherwise no telling how bad things might be.

Anonymous said...

Some speculation that Waller runs as independent

Anonymous said...

12:31; you failed to mention a long, long line of democrat Mississippi governors that preceded and followed Fordice in office. Any certain reason you skipped over them? You sound like just another local yokel who claims to be hunkered in his bunker ready for Armageddon.

Anonymous said...

The same 2-3 JJ anti-conservative trolls recycling their same comments over and over and over again.

Anonymous said...

The Democrats that used to run MS were essentially Republicans.

Anonymous said...

11:59, Damn - bet that would come as a shock to Ray Mabus, that he was really a Republican. Or to Ronnie Musgrove as well. I'm sure William Winter will have to reset he defib once he learns that he was once a Repub along with his other friends.

Just which of the former Democrat Governors are you considering to have been Republicans?

Anonymous said...

It's alarming that someone who thinks Winter was a Republican is actually able to master the art of typing.

Anonymous said...

1:31 pm The rest of the country knows that Southern Democrats were historically more conservative and often supported Republican policies and positions.

They were once called " Dixiecrats", not Democrats.

I would remind you that Winter and Mabus were fiscally conservative and that supporting education and rooting out corruption was not considered " liberal" but " normal" in other states.

Do list the liberal policies and actions you attribute to MS's Democratic governors. Appointing women and people of color perhaps? Is that all you got?

Anonymous said...

They were euphemistically called Dixiecrats and it is their vestiges still remaining among Mississippi Democrats that Jim Hood can't win without.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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