[Just In] Barbour Starts ‘Rapid Response' Web Campaign | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[Just In] Barbour Starts ‘Rapid Response' Web Campaign

Today, Gov. Haley Barbour launched a Web site to get supporters to help him get what he wants out of the special session. The site lists e-mail addresses for letters to the editor (not of the JFP), talk show call-ins, etc., and asks people to c.c. "Bo Kabala ([e-mail missing]) on any letters to the editor!" Click on the link to view his media instructions. Following is the letter to friends posted on the site ...

[verbatim]
Dear Friend,

I have called the Legislature back for a Special Session beginning today, Wednesday, May 18, at 1:00 p.m., to address the state budget and other important, timely issues. Please find attached information on how to contact your legislators, letter to the editor links, and radio talk shows around the state. I need your help communicating to the Legislature that the people of Mississippi want an honest budget with no tax hikes, high tech jobs in Mississippi, and fiascos like the Beef Processing Plant put behind us once and for all.

Tax revenue is flowing into state coffers at a record pace – proving what we have been saying: Mississippi taxpayers are already doing their part – we don't need a tax hike. With new tax revenue now identified, the Legislature should take this Special Session as an opportunity to act quickly and pass the first structurally balanced budget for Mississippi in five years. We need an honest '06 budget with no pre-planned deficits and no tax increases.

Momentum Mississippi – the $27 million economic development package organized by business leaders from across the state – will also be one of the items considered by lawmakers. In order to remain competitive for high tech jobs and to encourage industrial expansions here at home, Momentum Mississippi must be enacted – now.

With the recent announcement of the state's settlement in the tax case with MCI, I will be including legislation relating to the settlement in the Special Session call. It is important to remember that this settlement money is one-time money – it should not be used for recurring expenses. With that in mind, I will ask lawmakers to consider bills to use the $100 million settlement to repay the Mississippi Department of Transportation for road funds diverted from the agency in 2003 and to pay off the state's debt for the Mississippi Beef Processors Plant as an alternative to paying millions in bond interest on the project over the next two decades.

Finally, due to the rightful public outrage over the $14 million paid to private attorneys in the MCI settlement, I am asking lawmakers to pass a bill that would require legislative review, and public disclosure, before private lawyers make big bucks on state cases. Mississippi taxpayers deserve to know, beforehand, how much private attorneys will be paid when they are representing the state in these large cases.

So please – write or call your legislator, submit a letter-to-the-editor, and/or call in to a local radio show. We have a lot of work to do on behalf of the citizens of Mississippi. I look forward to working with you during the Special Session. Together, I am confident that we will get the job done for the good of all Mississippians.

[Signed: Haley Barbour]

Previous Comments

ID
137971
Comment

I suppose a good assumption would be that people who do NOT agree with the governor's plans for the special session could also take advantage of this taxpayer-funded media tool. ;-D

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-18T15:42:59-06:00
ID
137972
Comment

due to the rightful public outrage over the $14 million paid to private attorneys in the MCI settlement Huh? What about the public's outrage over no budget for education or other services? This wasn't even on anyone's radar screen until this week, but it deserves a to be on a special session agenda? The $14 million seems steep but keep in mind that the fee was negotiated directly between Langston and MCI and NOT PAID BY THE STATE. Also, the legislation will require the legislature to review and approve these contracts, not the Contract Review Board (I.e., the State Personnel Board) as is currently the law. This will make the whole process of hiring outside attorneys a political quagmire! But this deserves a place on the Special Session Agenda?! Yeah right

Author
GDIModerate
Date
2005-05-18T15:52:36-06:00
ID
137973
Comment

I do like what i hear out of Momentum MS, and that is not a project spearheaded by the governor. He has embrassed it per the recommendation of the MEC. It really is a good tool to help increase businesses to MS. Can they expand that legal bill to tell us how much attorneys make off suits against cities too?

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-05-18T15:55:01-06:00
ID
137974
Comment

Okay, aside from the fact that the letter is poorly written (this sentence is hard to read - I need your help communicating to the Legislature that the people of Mississippi want an honest budget with no tax hikes, high tech jobs in Mississippi, and fiascos like the Beef Processing Plant put behind us once and for all.. Plus, it lists 3 items. Barbour then goes on to address 2 of them, then switches out the Beef Plant for the MCI settlement. Let's not settle for mediocrity in communication directly from the Gov's office, please.). And aside from the fact that he's doing all this in special session, I actually agree with 2 of his 3 points. High Tech jobs in the state would be good. Transparency in all financial dealings for all gov't agencies and corporations is good. Plus, he gets points for an appropriate use of internet technology as a way to promote communication.

Author
kate
Date
2005-05-18T16:00:55-06:00
ID
137975
Comment

My concern is that budgets, especially the education budget, was nowhere on the agenda. As of this morning it seems Babar has relented and added the budget to the call.

Author
GDIModerate
Date
2005-05-19T07:16:07-06:00
ID
137976
Comment

I obviously need more coffee.. That should read "budgets...WERE..."

Author
GDIModerate
Date
2005-05-19T07:17:17-06:00
ID
137977
Comment

That I understand the budgets have not been added yet....however the Senate appropriations chairman and some House members are talking with LBO about state budgets and trying to shore them up. But I don't think any of the budgets have been added yet.

Author
JenniferGriffin
Date
2005-05-19T19:00:04-06:00

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