Latest blog entries


November 19, 2014

Jackson NAACP: Hinds Elex Commish Connie Cochran Should Resign

By R.L. Nave

The Jackson branch of the NAACP is calling for the ouster of Connie Cochran, the chairwoman of the Hinds County Election Commission, for problems during the Nov. 4 general election.

Some precincts saw unexpectedly high turnout. Some of those polling places ran out of ballots late in the evening, which touched off a mad scramble to print more. Agitated by the long waits, some voters left without casting their ballots.

Later, Connie Cochran—the chairwoman of the Hinds County Election Commission—admitted that the commission failed to follow a state law mandating that enough ballots be printed for 75 percent of registered voters. Cochran took responsibility for making the call to save the county money.

Wayne McDaniels, president of the local NAACP, said through a press release: "Ms. Cochran violated thousands of Hinds County residents’ constitutional rights and broke the state law by not having enough election ballots at the time of voting. In addition, the Jackson City Branch NAACP is also asking for any other commissioner’s resignation if they voted with her or supported her actions."

Board Attorney Pieter Teeuwissen told supervisors that Cochran's statements to local media would likely result in legal action. He cited a state law that makes violating state-election requirements a misdemeanor, punishable by a $1,000 fee.

This week, supervisors took the additional step of formally asking Robert Shuler Smith, the county's chief prosecutor, and Attorney General Jim Hood to sanction the five-member election commission after amending a motion to single out Connie Cochran, the District 4 representative, for reprimand. District 4 Supervisor Tony Greer voted against the motion to ask for sanctions.

November 18, 2014

Governor Snubs Public Education Funding

By AnnaWolfe

Keeping with the status quo, Gov. Phil Bryant has shorted public education in his 2016 budget recommendation. Below is a press release from Better Schools Better Jobs.

JACKSON – Supporters of a citizens' initiative to require full state funding for K-12 education insist Gov. Phil Bryant's 2016 budget proposal does little to resolve chronic under-funding, saying it's a good reason Mississippi voters should support their cause.

“Gov. Bryant's budget once again shortchanges Mississippi's school children,” said Patsy R. Brumfield, communications director for Better Schools, Better Jobs, which gathered nearly 200,000 signatures earlier this year to support a constitutional amendment to require the state to fully fund its part of K-12 schools.

Monday, Bryant announced his latest budget plan, which he said increases public school funding by more than $52 million.

Initiative advocates said Tuesday the increase does not improve basic K-12 funding, rather chiefly funds the second year of a teacher pay raise, which isn't part of the basic funding formula passed by the Legislature in 1997 and fully funded only twice.

“If anyone were waiting for a reason to support the Better Schools, Better Jobs Initiative that will guarantee funding for our students, Gov. Bryant just gave them one,” Brumfield added.

Dr. Ray Morgigno, superintendent of Pearl Public School District near Jackson, was not impressed with Bryant's proposal.

“I am disappointed that this budget really doesn’t do much to address the underfunding we have been facing,” he said.

The governor's plan still leaves K-12 school funding about $260 million short of the standard recognized by the Legislature as “adequate.”

“Fully funding MAEP would help districts deal with the increase in basic costs along with all of the mandates that are put on districts each year,” Morgigno said. “Unfortunately, the governor's proposal shows no truly improved commitment to education in our state.”

He said Bryant's budget proposal does nothing to help shore up the underfunding for mandates such as more technology in the classroom and curriculum needs to prepare for the continually increasing testing requirements, among others.

“The other issue that we are not addressing are the increases to keep up aging facilities, air conditioners, heaters, buses and rising textbook costs,” the Pearl school leader said. “Energy costs to heat and cool buildings continue to climb each year.”

The constitutional amendment initiative goes to the Legislature, when it convenes in January.

November 18, 2014 | 1 comment

Stanford: Gun Carry Laws Linked To Increase in Violent Crime

By Todd Stauffer

So you know that conventional wisdom that says the people are safer with a lot of guns around?

Turns out maybe not so much.

"The totality of the evidence based on educated judgments about the best statistical models suggests that right-to-carry laws are associated with substantially higher rates" of aggravated assault, rape, robbery and murder, said Donohue.

Earlier studies (including the frequently debated and arguably debunked work of John Lott) suggested that carry laws were correlating with lower incidents of violent crime; by extending the amount of time studied, however, the National Research Council poured cold water on the Lott theory, and now Stanford's new study sees things trending even further in the direction that kinda makes more sense -- more guns equals more violent crime, particularly assaults with a deadly weapon.

Of course, how much is open to interpretation, but the notion that more guns equals less violent crime seems to be put to bed by its own number crunching.

November 13, 2014

Roger Wicker to Lead NRSC, but For How Long?

By R.L. Nave

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, the junior senator from Mississippi, will now be in charge of keeping the Republican's newly won majority in the upper chamber of Congress.

Senate Republicans, who will hold a majority for the first time since 2006, picked Wicker over Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, the home state of the outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, to lead the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

“I am thankful for the confidence and the support of my colleagues,” Wicker said in a statement released Thursday from his office. “I intend to roll up my sleeves immediately to ensure that we have the resources available to preserve our Republican majority. This Senate Republican leadership team is ready to go to bat for the American people, and I am proud to be a part of it.”

The role of the NRSC came into play during the Republican Senate primary in Mississippi this year. A media-buying firm that placed racially charged ads for a pro-Thad Cochran super PAC, All Citizens for Mississippi, was also used by the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Some members of the Republican party, including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, cried foul arguing that the NRSC should remain neutral in primary contests. Cochran went on to defeat his opponent, state Sen. Chris McDaniel of Laurel, in a run off and went on to win a seventh term in the general election.

By all accounts, Wicker will have his work cut out for him to keep the Senate from slipping back into the hands of Democrats in 2016 when several Republican seats are up for grabs in states where President Obama has done well the past two cycles.

If Democrats field a strong presidential candidate who can excite the base, Wicker's chairmanship could be short-lived.

November 10, 2014

Chaney, Goodman, Schwerner to Posthumously Receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom

By R.L. Nave

Verbatim press release from the office of the U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson:

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02) released the following statement regarding President Obama’s plans to posthumously award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner:

“Fifty years ago, the lives of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were taken away from us at a far too early age,” said Thompson. “These three young men, and countless others, paid the ultimate sacrifice in an effort to help bring equality to the state of Mississippi. Bestowing the nation’s highest civilian honor to these three men is a fitting tribute for their contribution toward making this country a more perfect Union. I commend President Obama for honoring these men and look forward to carrying on the spirit of their effort.”

On May 29, 2014, Congressman Thompson and members of the Congressional Black Caucus wrote to President Obama requesting for the Presidential Medal of Freedom be bestowed posthumously to James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner (letter attached).

Established by President John F. Kennedy, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor in the United States. The award has been awarded to over 500 recipients who have made meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. The awards will be presented posthumously at the White House on November 24, 2014.

November 10, 2014 | 1 comment

Reeves, Bryant Giving McCrory Donations to Charity

By R.L. Nave

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves will make a donation to a Mississippi charity in the amount his political campaign received from indicted Rankin County businessman Cecil McCrory.

McCrory was indicted last week along with former Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps in an alleged bribery and kickback scheme.

A former Rankin County Republican lawmaker turned businessman specializing in corrections consulting, McCrory has donated $1,500 to Reeves over the years. Reeves will donate that amount to the Girl Scouts of Greater Mississippi, his office said today. McCrory also contributed at least $1,300 to Gov. Phil Bryant, who told the Associated Press that he would give that sum to the Salvation Army.

Several other Republican elected officials have received similar donations from McCrory, including Public Service Commissioner Lynn Posey, Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall, Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney. Former Gov. Haley Barbour and former Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck also received contributions from McCrory as well.

A search of state campaign-finance records show that Epps made two contributions totaling $225 to Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, who appointed Epps to MDOC's top post in 2003.

November 5, 2014

Neo-Confederates Introduce Heritage Initiative

By AnnaWolfe

The Secretary of State posted a new initiative to its website that reads:

Initiative #46 would amend the Constitution to restrict or define Mississippi’s heritage in the following areas: religion, official language, state flag, nickname, song, motto and state university mascots. Further, the initiative would prevent the consolidation of Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi University for Women, and Mississippi Valley State University, designate the month of April “Confederate Heritage Month,” and reinstate Mississippi’s Constitutional boundaries.

The initiative was filed by Arthur Randallson, Magnolia State Heritage Campaign Director and former Tea Party of Mississippi Chairman. Randallson also previously proposed an initiative to amend the constitution to designate Colonel Reb the official mascot of the University of Mississippi.

Some say his current initiative is a way to declare Christianity the official religion of Mississippi. This pretty clearly violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, so it doesn't seem that the initiative would pass tests of constitutionality. Either way, the amendment proposal won't appear on the ballot in 2015 unless the group gets 107,216 certified signatures.

November 5, 2014

MDOC's Chris Epps Resigns; Agency Looks for Temp Commish

By R.L. Nave

Christopher Epps, the long-tenured commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections has resigned effective today.

The letter of resignation he submitted to Gov. Phil Bryant did not state a reason for the unexpected departure nor has MDOC made one public.

The Clarion-Ledger cites "multiple sources" who confirm the existence of a federal probe, but the newspaper does not specify whether Epps is the subject of the investigation.

Epps had been the longest serving prison chief in state history.

Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove first appointed Epps to lead the agency in 2002; two subsequent Republican governors, Haley Barbour and Phil Bryant, kept Epps in place.

MDOC is searching for an interim commissioner.

November 4, 2014

5 Things I Wonder About this Election Day

By R.L. Nave
  1. What happened to Thad Cochran's black-vote turnout machine?

After the incumbent made it into a runoff against state Sen. Chris McDaniel, Cochran's campaign launched an all-out blitz aimed at getting African Americans who did not participate in the Democratic primary to vote in the GOP runoff. It worked then. But with the exception of a poorly attended rally in downtown Jackson and some ads in the Mississippi Link, Cochran isn't going as hard for blacks to show up at the polls today. Makes you go hmmmmm.

  1. What was Travis Childers thinking?

When he talked at the Neshoba County fair this summer about raising the minimum wage, equal pay for women and expanding health-care access, I thought those were solid populist issues that could appeal to traditional Democratic voters—blacks, women and young folks—as well as blue-collar whites. All he really needed to do was to go around the state hammering those three talking points into the heads of sensible people who'd tuned out the Cochran-McDaniel legal shenanigans. Childers didn't even need much money to do that. And as a successful businessman, could have driven around the state on his dime. Instead, he remained silent; his campaign ignored interview requests from reporters. And when it became clear that his opponent would be Cochran, all Childers wanted to do was talk about debates, which almost never works.

  1. Could there be a tea party 'Bradley Effect'?

When Tom Bradley, the first black mayor of Los Angeles, ran for governor of California in the 1980s, some polling organizations projected that he would win. After he lost, narrowly, the term "Bradley effect" came to describe where people tell polltakers they will support a minority candidate because it seems politically correct, but then vote for the white candidate in the booth. A lot of McDaniel supporters claims they won't vote for Cochran under any circumstance and are looking at Childers as viable alternative. I wonder, though, if we'll see some version of the Bradley Effect, where tea-partiers vote for the Republican Cochran, but tell people they cast a protest vote for Childers or another candidate.

  1. Why is Chuck C. Johnson so quiet?

Remember when Johnson, a California-based blogger, blew into Mississippi and got the whole state all a-twitter during the Republican Senate primary? Remember how local media spent weeks chasing anti-Cochran "stories" that Johnson broke on his website. Apparently, Johnson got bored with us and headed up to Ferguson, Mo., to write about the protests surrounding the shooting death of 18-year-old Mike Brown. After that, he got really interested in Ebola. So interested in fact that he was booted from Twitter for publishing the home address of a nurse who had worked with an Ebola patient. Considering his heavy involvement—some might even say influence—in #mssen, it's a mystery why has yet to weigh in McDaniel's once-and-for-all defeat at the Mississippi Supreme Court.

  1. Maybe Blacks should just vote in GOP primaries from now on

If Thad Cochran returns ...

November 4, 2014

Let's Keep Abortion Safe, Legal for All Women.

By AnnaWolfe

What Rev. Joseph Dyer has done in his column published in The Clarion-Ledger today is suggest that white women, who he stresses are inherently more privileged, should have more rights than women of color. His column is called "Let's keep abortions safe, legal for white women," and he calls this proposal a "compromise."

"This compromise tells the children of black women that they are worthy, and desirable, and have been from the moment of their conception ... My compromise means that they will always know that their lives were protected, not just by their mother, but also by the law of the land," Dyer, pastor at St. Michael Parish in Forest, Miss., writes.

Leaving the option of abortion only up to white women, he says, tells white children "that the larger society was iffy about their value and worth at that time in their vulnerable lives."

He acknowledges that his "compromise" is horrible and racists, "but isn't that what compromise means, putting up with the disgusting to bring the nice a little closer?"

I assume the "nice a little closer" Dyer is referring to is the abolition of abortion for women of color. Only, Dyer seems oblivious to the fact that abortion is currently a right of all women in every state in the country (despite the fact that it is quickly being diminished by anti-abortion activist attempts).

To say that abortion should only be legal for white women is to say that abortion should be illegal for black women, which would only strengthen systematic oppression and racism against them. To "keep abortion safe, legal for (only) white women" is to make abortion dangerous for women of color.

Dyer says that his compromise will tell black children they are worthy, but instead it tells black women that they are not worthy of choosing when to become a mother and strips them of their autonomy.

October 28, 2014

Carroll Waller, Former Mississippi First Lady, Dies

By R.L. Nave

The following is a verbatim press release about the death of former First Lady Carroll Waller. She was the mother of Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller:

Former Mississippi First Lady Ava Carroll Overton Waller, 87, of Jackson, died Tuesday, October 28, at Manhattan Nursing Home after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s. Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, October 31, 2014, at First Baptist Church, Jackson. Visitation will be in the Fellowship Hall of the church from 11 a.m. until the funeral service that day.

Carroll Waller was the widow of former Mississippi Governor William L. (Bill) Waller. They were married for 61 years.

The former Mississippi First Lady leaves a legacy of historic preservation. She spearheaded efforts to restore the Governor’s Mansion. The executive residence, built in 1842, had fallen into such disrepair that former Gov. John Bell Williams and his family moved out in 1971. Gov. Waller was in office 1972-1976. During that time, Carroll Waller led efforts for the architecturally correct restoration of the Governor’s Mansion and the construction of the neoclassical gardens which surround the Mansion. Although the Waller family lived in the executive residence for only a few months, their efforts preserved the landmark for the enjoyment of future generations.

Carroll Waller spearheaded efforts to have the Mansion designated a National Historical Landmark, which was the second executive residence in the nation so designated. She also provided leadership for the purchase and restoration of the historic Manship House in Jackson. For these projects, she received an Award of Merit from the Mississippi Historical Society in 1980. Carroll and Dr. David Sansing co-authored the book The History of the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, with the proceeds used for the upkeep of the Governor’s Mansion.

As First Lady, Carroll was also instrumental in securing passage of legislation which designated Mississippi’s state animal as the white-tailed deer; a state fish, the large-mouthed bass; a state water mammal, the porpoise; a state sea shell, the oyster; and a state water fowl, the wood duck. At her request, a beautiful red rose known as the Mississippi Rose was hybridized for the state. The Carroll Waller Camellia was hybridized especially for her. These and native plants of distinction are part of the landscape of the Mansion grounds.

She gave leadership to the creation of a learning resources system in the Department of Education, including provisions for the evaluation of all children suspected of having learning disabilities. She served as National Library Week chairman and sponsored the Mississippi Library Commission’s bicentennial project, the collecting of autographed books by Mississippi authors for the Mansion. She served as chairman for numerous organizations across the state. Her service included two five-year terms on the Mississippi Arts Commission, Keep Mississippi Beautiful Committee, Board of the Municipal Art Gallery, the Board of the Mississippi Historical Society, the Board of Bookfriends of the University Press, and Regent of the D.A.R. Rebecca ...

October 21, 2014 | 1 comment

'Black Genocide' Prophecy Coming True?

By AnnaWolfe

At a press conference at Mississippi's last abortion clinic last week, "stone the gays" Pastor James Manning told a group of mostly white protestors that McDonald's would cease to exist in three to seven years due to abortion.

His logic: abortion is a racist institution, abortion providers target black people and, as a result, companies that target black customers will begin to collapse due to the decreasing population of black people.

As absurd as it sounds, Manning might be going somewhere. A report released today shows that McDonald's has lost 30 percent of it's quarterly profit. Could Manning's prophecy be true?

We're not convinced.

One explanation for the loss in revenue is a major meat scandal in China—inspectors found that a Shanghai food supplier was selling expired meat to McDonald's this summer.

But people in China are not the only ones who are no longer "lovin' it." An emphasis on health has likely deterred people in United States—and all over world—from enjoying meals at the massive fast food chain.

McDonald's acknowledges a significant decrease in revenue in the United States, but not because of "black genocide"—which is what Manning calls abortion.

The chain has received negative publicity due to the poor wages of its workers. That and a push to chose healthier food options can be be blamed for the decrease in revenue.

Manning would likely say "that's what they want you to think." What do you think?

Stay tuned for a more in-depth analysis of the preacher's statements publishing tomorrow.

October 15, 2014

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Gives $2.3 Million to Civil Rights Museum

By AnnaWolfe

JACKSON, Mississippi – Building on its more than 40-year legacy in the state of Mississippi, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation today announced an endowment to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) in support of developing educational programs that will be operated by the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.

The $2.3 million endowment from the Kellogg Foundation will fund a partnership between MDAH, the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation and the Medgar & Myrlie Evers Institute. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum will educate Mississippians about the struggle for civil rights and provide a venue where visitors may come together to engage in meaningful public dialogue and programs that foster reconciliation and promote healing.

The museum endowment will fund numerous educational initiatives in the lead-up to and after the opening of the museum, including: · Summer teacher training programs and school workshops to prepare educators to teach an expanded civil rights curriculum and utilize the resources of the museum. · Digitizing important historical documents from the Evers collection to be housed at the museum for use by scholars, teachers and students. · Supporting the Medgar Wiley Evers Lecture Series throughout the state to engage communities in the museum’s programs.

“We’ve come to understand that racial equity and healing are essential if we are going to accomplish our mission to support children, families and communities in Mississippi,” said WKKF President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron. “The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum will help us all take an honest look at the past in a state that was, in so many ways, the epicenter of this struggle in our county. It’s important to heal the wounds of the past, so that we can move forward together and put racism behind us for good.”

“We are thrilled that the W.K. Kellogg Foundation made this grant in honor of Myrlie Evers and Gov. William Winter, two leaders who have been instrumental in making the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum a reality,” said H.T. Holmes, director, MDAH. “We thank the Kellogg Foundation for making this extraordinary investment in Mississippi’s future and connecting the collections of MDAH with the people of Mississippi.”

Myrlie Evers said, “I can’t wait for the day that the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum opens its doors to people from Mississippi and throughout the country and the world.” Gov. William F. Winter added that young people visiting the Civil Rights Museum will learn lessons of sacrifice, courage and determination that will help them make a difference in Mississippi and the world.

Mississippi is one of four priority places in the United States for the foundation – along with the city of New Orleans and the states of Michigan and New Mexico. The foundation’s endowment to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum comes one year after the foundation committed grants to 25 organizations across the state whose work focuses on setting Mississippi’s young men of color on a path to success. That $3.8 million initiative is designed to help young men of color in ...

October 11, 2014

What's At Stake For MSU and Ole Miss This Weekend And Beyond

By bryanflynn

As College Gameday prepares for their second visit in Mississippi for the second week in a row, and the first time at Mississippi State, the stakes keep getting higher for the Rebels and Bulldogs. Both teams are tied for third in the AP Top 25 football poll, and the eyes of the football world are once again on the Magnolia State.

Neither the Rebels nor Bulldogs are out of the playoffs with a loss this weekend. That is, unless the voters decide both we're frauds and dump our teams down the polls.

Texas A&M has more at stake this weekend than Ole Miss. The Aggies are coming off a lose to Mississippi State, and a Rebels victory would put an end to Texas A&M's playoff hopes.

Ole Miss must get past the Aggies to get a break in their schedule. Well, at least as much of a break you can get in the SEC.

The Rebels get Tennessee next Saturday at home before traveling to LSU. The Volunteers are an improved football team, and LSU is young but playing in Tiger Stadium is never an easy win.

A win this weekend means the Rebels could climb all the way to up to No. 2 or take sole possession of third place. It would be a step closer to the playoffs and a SEC West title.

Beating the Aggies would leave just Auburn and Mississippi State as the major tests left on the schedule. Sure, Arkansas is in the mix but, even as improved as the Razorbacks are this season, the Rebels should get a win like against LSU and Tennessee.

After this weekend, the road is wide open for the Rebels. Just about all the major stumbling blocks will be out of the way.

Mississippi State has a chance to move up to No. 2 in the nation with a win over Auburn. Much like Ole Miss, the road for the Bulldogs gets a lot lighter for a while after this weekend.

MSU gets Kentucky and Arkansas in SEC action. The Wildcats are improved like the Razorbacks, but that shouldn't trouble the Bulldogs much.

The road gets harder after that with road trips to Alabama and Ole Miss to finish out the season with a home date against Vanderbilt sandwiched between those two games.

This weekend sets up a nice stretch for both the Rebels and Bulldogs. After this weekend, much of the heavy lifting is over.

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott has the most at stake this weekend. He can become the Heisman front runner with a solid-to-great game and a win. His counterpart Nick Marshall of Auburn could also take the lead.

Prescott can put a lock on the award with his normal play against Auburn. He can lock up the award with big games against Kentucky, Arkansas, and UT-Martin.

Keys to Rebels and Bulldogs wins

Things are easy for the Rebels. Just use the ...

October 9, 2014

Rep. Andy Gipson Caves on Gay Marriage; Our Work Here is Done.

By R.L. Nave

Twice this week the unthinkable has happened in Mississippi.

First, Ole Miss rallies back and upsets the Crimson Tide.

Now, Republican state Rep. Andy Gipson is acceding on the issue of marriage equality.

Gipson, a Baptist minister and attorney from Braxton, told the Clarion-Ledger for a story today: "I am opposed to same-sex marriage, but I believe the time has come for people of faith in Mississippi to prepare for the overturning of our constitutional ban on it."

Gipson is one of the Legislature's most conservative members, having introduced legislation in recent years aimed at undocumented immigrants and abortion rights—including a (successful) fetal heartbeat bill and a (successful) 20-week abortion ban.

In 2012, Gipson came under fire for referencing Bible passages implying that gay people be put to death. The remarks came in response to President Barack Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage after years of waffling on the question. Gipson called same-sex marriage "horrific social policy," adding:

"Unnatural behavior which results in disease, not the least of which is its high association with the development and spread of HIV/AIDS; 2) Confusing behavior which is harmful to children who have a deep need to understand the proper role of men and women in society and the important differences between men and women, and fathers and mothers; and 3) Undermines the longstanding definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, a definition which has been key to all aspects of social order and prosperity."

Gipson isn't exactly endorsing marriage equality, but the fact that he appears to be telling fellow evangelical conservatives to save their energy fighting gay marriage.

Calling recent federal court decisions affirming gay marriage "the writing on the wall," Gipson said:

“It’s coming. People of religious conviction need to be processing what this means for the culture, and how we will respond to these issues in coming years – how we will maintain our religious convictions in this environment.”

Of course, Gipson is absolutely correct. More people today support marriage equality than don't; this is especially true of young people.

Through a news release, Rob Hill, the Mississippi state director of the Human Rights Campaign and a former pastor said: “Like Rep. Gipson, I am a person of faith, and our faith teaches that we are all God’s children. We also believe in the Golden Rule, to treat others as we would treat ourselves. ... These conversations are not easy and we welcome the opportunity to meet with Rep. Gipson to discuss ways to make our state inclusive for all Mississippians.”

October 9, 2014

Ashby Foote in Ward 1 Contest

By R.L. Nave

Ashby Foote sent the following verbatim news release:

Today, Ashby Foote announced his campaign for the Ward 1 Jackson City Council seat vacated by Quintin Whitwell.

“I want to make Jackson stronger: a stronger Jackson economy, better working infrastructure, and safer streets and communities,” said Foote, President of Vector Money Management, an investment advising firm he founded in 1988.

Foote continued:

“This isn’t about political aspirations. I’d never entertained the idea of running for office before now. This is about serving my neighbors and city. I love Jackson. My wife and I have made it our home for thirty years. We want Jackson to succeed and Jacksonians to prosper.”

“Jackson is a great city, but like many cities we face economic, infrastructure and crime challenges and it is not easy to simply shrug one’s shoulders and sit on the sideline. I believe my extensive background in finance and economics can bring value and private sector vision to the decision making process at City Hall.”

“I want Jackson to perform up to its economic potential. That takes leadership at the neighborhood and city level. Strong neighborhoods are crucial building blocks for successful cities. It requires reliable infrastructure. It requires safety for citizens and businesses; crime is an economic killer. But business safety is more than just crime. Jackson must be hospitable to new enterprises looking for places to locate and good neighborhoods and schools for their employees. Businesses want a transparent, limited government that plays by the rule of law the same for everyone; cronyism is an economic wet blanket. We need a city government that focuses on the essential roles of government and does those efficiently while freeing up other areas for free markets and the private sector. This will help city government to live within its means and improve tax rates. Economic capital, intellectual capital, and creative capital flow to where they are well treated and safe. Jackson can be just such a place.”

Foote said he would be rolling out his campaign in coming days and said he looked forward to an active and vigorous campaign.

Ashby Foote is President of Vector Money Management, an independent registered investment advisory firm he founded in 1988. Foote graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1974. He served our country as an artillery officer and in the Army Reserves for over 10 years. Foote is recognized as a leader in economic development and economic growth, having held leadership positions on numerous boards in Mississippi as well as serving as a member of the investment committee for the West Point endowment funds. Ashby and Suzie Foote have been married for 30 years and have four children, Turner, Sarah Ashby, Stuart and Tommy. The Footes are members of Christ United Methodist Church.

October 8, 2014

Mississippi Roster For 28th Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Game

By bryanflynn

Earlier today, the coaches and players were announced for the Mississippi roster of the 28th Annual Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Game. The Mississippi Association of Coaches made the announcement.

The game will be played on Saturday, December 13th in Montgomery, Alabama. The game will be televised on WLBT.

Local metro coach, managers, and players are in bold.

Team Mississippi

Head Coach

Jamie Mitchell (Starkville)

Assistant Coaches

Toby Collums (Itawamba)

Chad Cook (Ripley)

Trent Hammond (Tupelo)

Lance Mancuso (Bassfield)

John Perry (Pearl)

Tony Vance (Hattiesburg)

Scout Coach

Jeff Breland (Lake)


Armani Linton (Walnut) - DB

Cameron Myers (Oak Grove) - DB

Chris Stamps (Warren Central) - DB

Ephrain Kitchen (South Panola) - DB

Jarvis Wilson (Tupelo) - DB

Richaud Floyd (Gulfport) - DB

Fletcher Adams (Brandon) - DL

Jauan Collins (Pascagoula) - DL

Marshean Joseph (Pascagoula) - DL

D.J. Henderson (Clinton) - DL

Keontye Garner (Murrah) - DL

Michael Godley (Starkville) - K

Fred Walls (Olive Branch) - LB

Joseph Dillon (Tylertown) - LB

Jamal Peters (Bassfield) - LB

Justin Clifton (Tupelo) - LB

Johnathan Abram (East Marion) - LB

Tijan Jallow (Olive Branch) - LB

Leo Lewis (Brookhaven) - LB

Tommy Champion (Callaway) - OL

Jordan Bradford (St. Stanislaus) - OL

Jarien Barksdale (South Panola) - OL

Thad Roberts (Petal) - OL

Ryan Gibson (St. Stanislaus) - OL

Rishard Cook (Hattiesburg) - OL

Javon Patterson (Petal) - OL

Drake Dorbeck (St. Aloysius) - OL

Marquez Griffin (Lake Central) - OL

Austin Riley (DeSoto Central) - P

Brady Davis (Starkville) - QB

J'mar Smith (Meridian) - QB

Darrell Henderson (South Panola) - RB

Ladarious Galloway (Gentry) - RB

Jordan Wright (Pearl) - RB

Terrance Davis (Southaven) - WR

Keenan Barnes (Madison Central) - WR

Willie Hibbler (North Panola) - WR

Malik Dear (Murrah) - WR

Trey Smith (Madison Central) - WR

Raphael Leonard (Starkville) - WR


Dylan McCollom (South Panola)

Daniel Baxter (Brandon)

October 8, 2014

'Tis the week for new music...

By tommyburton

A wide variety of new releases...

October 6, 2014 | 1 comment

Dem U.S. Senate Hopeful Travis Childers Defends Anti-Amnesty Pledge

By R.L. Nave

Last week, former U.S. Rep. Travis Childers became the first Democratic congressional candidate to sign a pledge to protect American workers.

The move brought criticism from some Democratic-leaning not so much because of his stance against amnesty for undocumented people—a position he has held going back to his days in the U.S. House of Representatives—but because of the reputation of the organization behind the pledge, the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Because of FAIR's advocacy of limiting immigration into the U.S., some civil-rights organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center have called FAIR extremist and racist.

In a release to news media this afternoon Childers defended position on amnesty, saying:

“As I travel the state of Mississippi, I try to listen to people more than I talk. I ask Mississippians about the issues that are important to them, and I believe it's equally important for me to provide them with answers on where I stand and how I would vote if elected to the U.S. Senate. In every town I visit, voters continue to voice their serious concerns over high unemployment and the lack of job opportunities in our state and want to know where I stand on closing the gap. I continue to believe that Mississippians would be well served by hearing both candidates debate these tough issues, but in the absence of agreement on a public debate from Thad Cochran, I'll continue to explain my positions on the issues."

"Today, Mississippi’s unemployment rate remains one of the highest in the nation. Until we get Mississippians back to work, I can neither support legislation that would grant work authorization or amnesty to people that came here illegally nor can I support increases in guest foreign workers — many of whom accept work at sub-standard wages. There are too many corporations in our state and across the nation who are hiring illegal immigrants and guest workers instead of providing unemployed Mississippians with opportunities to perform hard work at a decent wage. Washington insiders backing Senator Cochran argue that these corporations just can’t find Mississippians willing to do the hard work. However, I know that if the jobs are actually offered to Mississippians and provide livable wages, the people of our state would readily accept the work and do it proudly."