new dem logo@300.png

Old Times Here are NOT Forgotten!

Bobby Moak, Chair, Mississippi Democratic Party

State Representative Karl Oliver is famous AGAIN! Karl put Mississippi in the spotlight again and made the New York Times but not in a good way.

Republican Representative Oliver from Winona, in a social media post, told us how he would LYNCH ‘persons’ attempting to remove monuments of the Old South as is occurring in New Orleans. You may remember this is the same Karl Oliver that told a mother he ‘could care less’ about her.

Oliver, once again, forced the Mississippi House Speaker to call out another of his Republican supermajority leadership team on his comments and take him to the proverbial political ‘woodshed.’ The Republicans may need to get a bigger woodshed, though, because they have mighty busy embarrassing themselves, their party, and the whole state.

Oliver’s comments were agreed to and ‘liked’ on social media by his Republican brethren, state Representatives John Read of Gautier and Doug McLeod of Lucedale. But remember there were a few more incidents putting this Republican leadership team, and Mississippi with them, in a negative light.

Oliver’s comments mesh with Republican Representative Bubba Carpenter of Burnsville when he had to apologize for racial comments. However, this was just in a string of issues for Representative Carpenter. He had to apologize over telling women to use a coat hanger for abortions. He also had a couple of ‘double dipping’ on the state dime when he was caught several times with his hand in the taxpayer cookie jar. Republican Representative Tracy Arnold of Booneville also tagged along with him for the double dip payment plan on the lobbyist trip to Destin, Florida.

And don’t forget Republican State Representative Jeffrey Guice of Ocean Springs when he verbally backhanded a mother concerned about expensive medication for her daughter that she could not afford to pay for. 

Just as we have condemned the statements of those in the most recent past, we again condemn these of Representative Oliver and his Republican cohorts that agree his words were somehow commendable.

The Joke's on Us

By Bobby Moak, Chair, Mississippi Democratic Party

Last year, the Mississippi Forestry Commission laid off approximately 32 employees; cost savings the Republican leadership said. Coincidentally, the Commission purchased approximately 32 new trucks at the same time. Looking out for our best interest, Republican leadership?

Here is one of those trucks that may have been purchased off the backs of laid off employees. It was parked at the Ole Miss Baseball stadium last weekend. Your tax dollars at work! Hotty Toddy!

Today, it was announced that the Mississippi Forestry Commission will lay off 75 more workers with 50 of those being firefighters. Their last day will be June 30.

The Republican leadership has eliminated almost 10,000 state jobs and that's before the job cuts that will happen this year, including the 650 at the Department of Mental Health. That doesn’t even count the 27,600 jobs lost in our economy since December 2007. If job cuts shrank state government or closed the gaping hole of red ink that is the BUDGET MESS THIS REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP has gotten us into, it may a necessary plan. That is not the case.

You would think that with hundreds of millions of dollars cut to essential services like law enforcement, domestic violence programs, or hunter education and training, we would be short of funds. But no. That’s because it is all a Republican leadership shell game to fool the public.

You see, our taxes have not been cut. They just use your tax dollars to fund the tax breaks and giveaways to their corporate buddies and, in turn, have to cut essential services of state government. Then, when we need those services, they say tax yourselves at the local level. They are doing this now by asking counties and cities to put another 11 cents per gallon local tax on gas to make up for the road and bridge program they did not fund.

Call your Republican legislator. Or, even better, call your county or city Republican leader (they’re up for re-election June 6) and ask them why they are not working with their party leadership to get our local essential services back.
Mississippi Republican Leadership. Skewed policies. Hurting families. Driving the Ship of State into the rocks.

Posted May 19, 2017

MDOT: We Have a Big Problem

By Bobby Moak, Chair, Mississippi Democratic Party
This headline in the Brookhaven Daily Leader carried a front page story about the Mississippi Department of Transportation's Budget and state Representative Becky Currie’s comments on how to fix the lack of a state road and bridge program. A Special Legislative Session has been called in June to debate a MDOT budget because legislative leadership could not stop fighting among themselves and now we bear the additional associated cost, but that is just another beside the point lack of leadership.

To be fair, though, Currie was just setting out the Republican game plan to tax local folks and take from other programs to fund a road and bridge plan. She forgot to mention the super-majority Republican leadership is the main reason for failure of a budget and road or bridge program.

Carrying the Republican leadership team’s plan, Currie says that Speaker Philip Gunn has a seven-point plan to fix roads and bridges that includes:

  • Having local counties raise their gas taxes up to 11 cents per gallon, which Mrs. Currie says is her favorite idea because “if they vote it down they can’t complain about their roads.” (Let Them Eat Cake somehow comes to mind)

We beg to differ, Rep. Currie. It is the Republican leadership that no longer sends our tax dollars back to our cities and counties for a road and bridge program. The locals have already paid in taxes for this program once. It is just that you and your Republican colleagues gave our tax money away to corporate campaign contributors in the form of grants and tax credits.

The Republican Party's municipal leadership has evidently not been working with their Jackson party leadership to repair roads and bridges either. They need to be held accountable for conditions in their cities by demanding their super majority party leadership put in place a road and bridge repair program that does not double and triple tax the citizens with take it or leave it games as Rep. Currie suggested by raising local gas taxes.

Local governments are now issuing bonds to fix local roads and bridges. When counties and cities do that, it is just another tax on the people to pay those bonds back for the same local programs they have already been taxed for.

  • Take some of the monies that builds roads and bridges on the Coast and in the river region. Rep. Currie says, The Gaming Road Fund "has more money in it than needs to be.” We doubt the river and coast regions agree.
  • Stop building roads. Hey, that’s a great economic game plan, Republican leadership! It’s also one of the reasons Mississippi is ranked 49th among states in which to do business.
  • Remove state road workers from the Personnel Board oversight so they can be fired. The Republican leadership has already tried this by eliminating 10,000 state jobs with more on the chopping block. The salaries of fired transportation workers will not fill the budget hole this leadership team has gotten the state into and is no way to fulfill their promise of ‘shrinking government.'

Posted May 16, 2017