BREAKING: House Speaker on GOP Hit List | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

BREAKING: House Speaker on GOP Hit List

The House Republican Conference officially declared war on House Speaker Billy McCoy today. The conference agreed this afternoon that GOP members will vote together as a group to elect a new House speaker to replace McCoy, D-Rienzi, at the next legislative session in 2008. "We're going to have a new speaker next January, and it's not going to be Billy McCoy," said Assistant Republican Leader Greg Snowden, R-Meridian, in a Republican Party press release. "… He cannot be re-elected Speaker without Republican votes, and it is clear he will have none."

"Ours is a conservative state, and our people want a conservative-led Legislature," said Rep. Herb Frierson, R-Poplarville.

With McCoy at the helm, the House led an aggressive progressive agenda in the last session, pushing for more unemployment benefits and a state minimum wage hike. Under McCoy, the House also passed bills advocating an increase in the state's cigarette tax—the lowest in the nation of any state that doesn't depend on tobacco as a cash crop. McCoy also battled for a lower state grocery tax and vehemently opposed the governor's removal of 65,000 elderly and handicapped Mississippians from the state Medicaid rolls.

"It comes as no surprise to me that they would like to play a part in his political demise," Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Dowdy said today.

Republicans do not currently hold a majority in the Democrat-led House, though members of the coalition proclaimed today that their united stance, merged with those of conservative Democrats, could successfully dethrone McCoy and his ghastly progressive ways after the November elections.

McCoy could not be reached for comment, but Rep. Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, said he believed the Republicans were counting their chickens too soon.

"I think they're wrong in their calculations. I don't think they're counting correctly. The speaker's been a good speaker, and he'll be re-elected," Brown said.

Some Democratic seats are open to contest this year, including Reps. Bennett Malone, D-Carthage, and Pat Montgomery, D-Pontotoc. With a few new Republican faces, the House conservative lobby could push hard for a new speaker, though the candidate would stand a better chance if he or she were a Democrat.

Conservative Democrat Rep. Jeffrey Smith, of Columbus, is vying for the speaker's position, though few House members feel his name can stand against McCoy's popularity among the brunt of the House.

Dowdy said the Republicans are reaching too far if they're expecting to bring home any new seats this year to help them in their coup.

"Based on what I'm hearing, we'll do well in November and we're very optimistic that we'll gain a seat or two, and even a few in the Senate," Dowdy said.

Previous Comments

ID
95236
Comment

Jeff Smith is a fool. He became irrelevant a couple years ago and I guess is now attempting a stab at power.... He is a republican just scared to run as one. He has always sided with them, just scared to put an R in front of his name, since he gets there votes anyway and wants to stay in the Majority so he gets SOME chair seat. he ought to be stripped of his seniority and his seats... The republicans in congress taught me how to punish and reward. I am with their stance of you with me, or against me.. (obviously some disagreement is OK. However, however, when you side with the other party 90+% of the time, CHANGE PARTIES or get OUT) AGamma627

Author
AGamm627
Date
2007-08-30T22:53:15-06:00
ID
95237
Comment

Do you remember a time when politicians weren't out for their own power but actually ran for the people? Hmm.....

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-08-31T06:43:26-06:00
ID
95238
Comment

Salter blogged about the McCoy challenge within an hour of Adam breaking this yesterday.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-31T09:56:41-06:00
ID
95239
Comment

Lots of luck, guys. Though I hardly see what's progressive about the State Legislature.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-09-01T16:06:03-06:00
ID
95240
Comment

Is the phrase "ghastly progressive ways" a quote? If so, who is the author? EP

Author
**Previously Banned Member**
Date
2007-09-03T16:22:21-06:00
ID
95241
Comment

With the GOP's batting average these days the speaker should be just fine. I'm surprise the public is still letting them to the plate.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-09-04T11:29:33-06:00
ID
95242
Comment

[quote]Do you remember a time when politicians weren't out for their own power but actually ran for the people?[/quote] LC... When was this utopian time? Surely it hasn't been in the past 6000+ years of human history.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-09-05T14:24:44-06:00
ID
95243
Comment

Adam: "Ghastly progressive ways." Its author, please. EP

Author
**Previously Banned Member**
Date
2007-09-06T06:18:54-06:00
ID
95244
Comment

It's great to see the various political writers around the state following up on this story that Adam reported on Aug. 30. Our favoriate political reporter, Bobby Harrison, had a good one yesterday.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-09-12T09:50:10-06:00

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