(ANMNews.com) – Today is the day that many states will hold statewide and executive office elections.
Gubernatorial elections will take place in Kentucky and Mississippi. Louisiana will hold their special election on November 21, 2015.
Various other elections will be held for officeholders in numerous cities, counties, school boards, special districts and others around the country.
It is a civic duty to get out and exercise your right to vote. Today is that day for local politics. Your voice and your vote matter.
Conservative Republican Matt Bevin who won his party’s primary by just 83 votes back in May takes on Democrat Jack Conway, Kentucky’s Attorney General.
This has been a toss-up throughout the campaign season and most insiders predict it will go down to the wire to determine who will become the state’s next Governor.
Bevin, a Louisville businessman, husband, and father of nine is pro-life, supports right-to-work, is against common core, wants to update and simply the tax code, and fix the public retirement system with pension reform.
Conway, the state’s Attorney General, a husband and father of two is pro-choice, against right-to-work, supports expanding early childhood education, and wants to continue with much of what current Gov. Steve Beshear (D) has implemented.
Governor Steve Beshear (D) is term-limited and cannot run for re-election.
Republican Whitney Westerfield, State Senator takes on Democrat Andy Beshear, attorney and son of Gov. Steve Beshear.
Attorney General Jack Conway (D) is term-limited and cannot run for re-election.
Secretary of State:
Republican Stephen Knipper takes on incumbent Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Republican Mike Harmon, State Representative takes on incumbent Democrat Adam Edelen.
Republican Allison Ball, attorney and former staffer to Sen. Mitch McConnell takes on Democrat Rick Nelson, attorney and State Representative.
Todd Hollenbach (D) is term-limited and cannot run for re-election.
Republican Ryan Quarles, State Representative takes on Democrat Jean-Marie Lawson Spann, businesswoman and agriculture activist.
James Comer (R) decided not to run for re-election. He ran for Governor and lost in the Republican primary by just 83 votes.
Kentucky polls are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Ohioans will decide if they will become the Buck-High state when they vote on Issue 3, which would amend the state constitution to legalize recreational marijuana use.
If it passes, Ohio will be the first state to do so without first allowing medical marijuana.
Ohio polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Voters are choosing a governor and seven other statewide officials, three public service commissioners, three transportation commissioners, all 174 legislators, and county officials.
They also vote on Initiative 42, which would allow the state legislature to have complete freedom in how they fund their public schools.
Mississippi polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Voters will decide which party controls the state’s Senate. All 140 seats in Virginia’s General Assembly are up for grabs.
Currently, Republicans control the Senate 21 to 19.
Virginia polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Again, today is the day for local politics. Be sure to do your duty and get out there and vote. Bring a friend and family member. Just vote. It matters.
Senator Chris McDaniel released the following statement regarding the resignation of U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner:
“Speaker Boehner has become a casualty of an unnecessary fight the GOP is having with it’s own base. Republicans took control of the House and Senate with the help of conservatives based on promises to fight ObamaCare and illegal executive actions. But the leadership under Boehner and Senate Majority Leader McConnell have capitulated time after time. They have taken steps to hand the leverage they have over to Democrats and the President, and have reduced the role of Congress to that of an overpaid rubber-stamp committee.
“I thank Speaker Boehner for his service. But, I also think this should be a lesson to establishment DC Republicans that Conservatives simply will not stand by silently and support weak and ineffective leadership. We want fighters who stand by the rule of law and reject the insiders game in Washington, D.C. The GOP must once again become a party of principle, and Conservatives plan to make it so.”
Much has been made about the present divide in the Republican Party. Mississippi is no stranger to the controversy. My U.S. Senate race against Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) in 2014 exposed deep divisions within the party, both state and national.
Incumbent U.S. Senator Thad Cochran had to rely upon thousands of liberal Democrats to win a Republican primary. In so doing, his campaign resorted to dirty, underhanded, and sleazy tactics that have been well-documented.
Not only did his campaign play the “race card” while openly encouraging liberals to cross-over and participate to the GOP primary, he openly campaigned like a Democrat — pushing for more big government, massive federal subsidies, pork-barrel spending, and increased food stamp participation. In what’s perhaps the most conservative state in the republic, he expressly repudiated the Republican platform for the state and country to see.
Though indefensible, it was a victory for the political class, lobbyists, D.C. insiders and corporate elites who see the federal government as little more than a banking institution for the big business special interest lobby. They, along with assorted establishment groupies led by Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), celebrated their pyrrhic victory, justifying their actions by slandering conservatives as somehow radical, extreme or unelectable.
Betrayed again by the D.C. machine, conservative frustration with the party establishment reached a record high. More than a year later, the anger is still very real. Conservatives are convinced the GOP’s leadership has openly abandoned the party’s conservative foundation.
But to fully comprehend why this is happening, we have to understand the background story. Central to the divide is how people, particularly the mainstream press, attempt to define the combatants.
Take my race, for instance. I have been a Republican since 1984, and have never been a member of a TEA Party group. Nevertheless, during my run for U.S. Senate in 2014, most attempted to improperly frame the ongoing GOP fight as TEA Party vs. The GOP Establishment. But nothing could be further from the truth.
What we are seeing, instead, is an ongoing struggle between true conservatives and moderate insiders — who presently control the GOP establishment — within the party structure.
On one side of the debate stands the thoughts of Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater (constitutional conservatives). On other side of the “fracture” is the moderate idealism of Nelson Rockefeller and Mitt Romney (establishment insiders).
Constitutional conservatives seeks structural reform, smaller government, constitutional balance and the maximum in individual liberty consistent with social order. The moderate establishment camp lauds the value of compromise, while fighting to preserve the status quo, so long as corporate welfare, favoritism to their donors and the growth of government suits their financial and personal needs.
Perhaps no one has expressed the divide as well as Redstate.com, an online news and opinion website for conservatives. In describing a recent poll for the 2016 GOP nomination for President, it declared: “Jeb Bush and John Kasich are tied. They are also fighting for the same demographic slice: moderate-to-liberal, high income voters. This is not surprising given their message of “hey, that status quo is working pretty good for me.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Ben Carson and Donald Trump are fighting to win the support of Ronald Reagan’s conservative coalition — a union of blue collar libertarians, economic, pro-defense, and social conservatives. Interestingly, these are the very people who have abandoned the establishment because they no longer believe that Republicans adhere to conservative principles.
Put simply, one side distrusts government and policies of centralization; the other simply seeks to control the D.C. machine, even if it means sacrificing principles. Conservatives claim liberty and Constitutional government as our combined end game; the other side desires power at any cost.
Although we’ve lived under the same tent for years, tension between the groups is rising, and some in the establishment camp have resorted to hostile tactics. Both Cruz and Trump, for example, have recently been slandered. And what was done in Mississippi last year was despicable.
Contrary to the attempts to brand conservatives, there is nothing radical or racist about our thoughts, ideals or policies. Robert Taft, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan were voices for our government philosophy, which is rooted in Jeffersonian liberty and the heritage of Western Civilization. It represents a consensus of reason operating within tradition, and it recognizes its origin as the 1787 Constitutional Convention.
Instead of allowing the establishment to define us, please consider the true conscience of a Goldwater/Reagan conservative:
- We believe that political solutions should be sensitive to the whole human being – mind, body and soul – conceding that the problems affecting society are the result of the complexity of human life and therefore cannot be quickly or efficiently rectified by government action, schemes of forced social improvement or similar one-size-fits-all approaches.
- We value self-government, believing that local governments are preferred because they are closest to the people and, therefore, the most responsive. Consistent with this idea, we believe states should retain all powers given to them by the Founders which ensures a system of state autonomy where state and local governments act as “laboratories” for democracy — a system where policies are created and tested pursuant to the Constitution’s 10th Amendment. This not only ensures social and fiscal experimentation, but also a balance of power between the central authority and the states, whereby individual liberty is preserved for future generations.
- Refusing to ignore the spiritual side of individuals, we hope to maintain a high moral tone in society, insisting that truths exist and are necessary for people to responsibly self-govern their own affairs. We trust in God, as He is our foundation.
- Our philosophy is characterized by respect for inherited institutions, in which individuals develop character by voluntarily cooperating with others in local associations designed to further the common good without government interference.
- Living within our means is a way of life for us, so we expect our government to do the same. We request the courtesy to earn a living, but do not desire the government to provide for our necessities. Work is always preferred to welfare.
- Before we look for government to save us from every perceived crises, we would rather depend on ourselves, our families and friends. Hero worship is not our norm, as we are not easily charmed by smooth-talking politicians desiring a cult of personality.
- It has been said that governments only expand because they do not trust the independent, free judgments of the people. But we understand that any movement whose main promise is a relief from personal responsibility is immoral in its effect, however lofty its good intentions.
- The acceptance of personal responsibility begins with the admission of a simple truth: government is not our ultimate protector and cannot be all things to all people; liberty is the result of individuals learning to rule themselves.
- We admire complexities, embracing blessed variations and stubborn particularities. Unlike liberalism, it is not our desire to override the wills of people and reform them into one master plan. The establishment seek to use the power of government to dominate others; we do not and would never.
- Since independence is a cornerstone of our philosophy, we believe people and corporations should accept the consequences of their actions, although failure or unhappiness may be the eventual result. Government bailouts offend our notions of justice and fairness.
- The rule of law matters to us; words have meaning. We consider the words and phrases of the Constitution to be sincere, and not subject to whimsical change by the dictates of a federal judge. It has set down for all to see the fundamental American principle that there are certain rights held by every individual which no government and no majority, however powerful, can deny.
- We reject philosophies rooted in collectivism, particularly when coerced by the power of the state. Consequently, we reject racism, sexism and other forms of identity politics. We see men and women as individuals and judge them respectively. We seek to empower the individual and his voluntary associations, not as collective groups, but as an American citizen entitled to dignity and respect.
- We likewise reject any system where the wealthy and well-connected are allowed disproportionate access to our governments. Each American citizen, regardless of wealth or power, should have an equal voice and right to petition the halls of power without the corrupting influences of political favoritism, cronyism and nepotism.
And yet, conservatives do not presume to have all the answers, because they are not ours to give.
The collective knowledge of humanity, driven along by complex experiences good and bad, are far better teachers than any one movement, person or government could ever be. It was President Reagan who reminded us that his strength as a “great communicator” was always rooted in his communication of great things that came from the heart of a remarkable republic – our collective experiences, wisdom, and beliefs in the principles that have guided us for more than two centuries.
Perhaps there is no better description of our camp than an unyielding desire simply to be left alone. America’s greatness is derived from its free citizens, not the coercion of its government.
There is nothing radical about common sense, balanced budgets and the rule of law.
And if you wish to gain our support, be honest with us, then trust us to govern ourselves.
As we embark on an uncertain future, conservatives are confident in our principles and beliefs. But we are tired of politicians and disgusted by the lies and perpetual inaction on the part of so-called Republicans.
After my race against Thad Cochran last year, it took time for me to process the betrayal — not simply to me, but to the Republican platform and conservative ideas to which I had professed by loyalty and dedication. As part of my evaluation, the divide in our party became more apparent than ever before.
But also, my resolve was strengthened.
It became apparent that we conservatives are being targeted for marginalization by many within the party’s leadership.
Consequently, we must change our mindset by developing the spirit of reformers.
What does that mean?
Well, in 1902, William George Jordan published The Power of Truth. In it, he wrote, “Anyone can plant radishes; it takes courage to plant acorns and wait for the oaks. Learn to look not merely at the clouds, but through them to the sun shining behind them. When things look darkest, grasp your weapon firmer and fight harder. There is always more progress than you can perceive through your senses, and it is really only the outcome of the battle that counts.”
“And when it is all over and the victory is yours, and the smoke clears away, and the smell of the powder is dissipated, and you bury the relationships that died because they could not stand the strain, and you nurse back the wounded and faint-hearted who loyally stood by you, even when doubting, then the hard years of fighting will seem but a dream. You will stand brave, heartened, strengthened by the struggle, re-created to a new, better, and stronger life by a noble battle, nobly waged, in a noble cause. And the price will then seem to you . . . nothing.”
Perhaps, instead of conservatives, we are now simply reformers, pilgrims in an unholy land.
In any event, make no mistake, reform is coming.
This is our party. This is our republic. And despite the establishment’s money and power, we will fight to regain our rightful place.
As it was last year, so it is today: Now is the time.
PLUNKETT: A top-tier presidential candidate is coming to the state. Where’s the Mississippi Republican Party?
Maybe you’ve heard.
There is a major GOP presidential candidate coming to the state of Mississippi on Tuesday. But if you are aware, you didn’t get that information from the Mississippi Republican Party.
Ted Cruz, a favorite among conservatives, has been drawing huge crowds on his “SEC Bus Tour” since the first GOP debate on Thursday night. Just yesterday in Alabama, 1400 people swarmed an event that was initially expecting 400 to attend, forcing the entire affair outside.
Cruz has surged in the post-debate polls conducted over the weekend, and is now solidly in the top tier of candidates.
The events in Mississippi, one in Tupelo and the other in Olive Branch, have been broadcast across media outlets for weeks. Yet, the Mississippi Republican Party is quiet. The last communications via the parties social media page promoted Chairman Joe Nosef’s appearance on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ and the news that the debate on Thursday was the highest-rated primary debate in history.
Back in December of 2014 the party hosted presidential hopeful Rand Paul with the theme that the state GOP was “reuniting” following the bruising Senate campaign between Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel. They welcomed John McCain with open arms in June of 2014 as he campaigned for Cochran. They celebrated a visit by Jeb Bush to the state just a few months ago.
Where is the party support for Cruz?
Does this sound like a party that has “reunited”? Does is sound like a state party that truly cares about “reuniting”? Or does it sound like more of the same picking and choosing political favorites?
Keith Plunkett is the Policy and Communications Director for the United Conservatives Fund. He has worked on communications and policy issues with a range of public officials from aldermen to Congressmen, and a variety of businesses, government agencies and non-profits. He serves or has served as a board member of several non-profit, civic and political organizations. Contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Keithplunkett
Ted Cruz will campaign next week with Chris McDaniel, the insurgent conservative who mounted a high profile but ultimately unsuccessful primary challenge to Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran last year.
Cruz, the Texas senator and GOP presidential candidate, is planning a weeklong swing through the South. While in Mississippi on Tuesday, he’s set to stop in the northern cities of Tupelo and Olive Branch, and McDaniel is expected to accompany him during the trip and ride on Cruz’s campaign bus, Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier confirmed.
McDaniel initially edged Cochran in last summer’s primary election but fell just short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff. The GOP establishment rode to Cochran’s rescue in that runoff, and McDaniel further alienated many Republicans when he challenged the results of the second election.
But he is a hero to the deeply conservative grass roots, an important part of Cruz’s base, and he will help Cruz rally supporters in a region that was friendly to McDaniel in the Senate race. Cochran’s victory — aided by a coalition of Magnolia State and D.C. heavy hitters — was seen as a major victory for the establishment — and a warning to tea party challengers eyeing challenges to incumbents.
Cruz, who is at constant odds with his party’s leadership, did not endorse in the Senate race but backed McDaniel’s calls to investigate the runoff results.
A little under a year ago, I began looking into running for my local legislative seat. I received input from friends, family members, and various Mississippi politicians. Some responded positively, some negatively, and some even criticized. As for myself, I prayed, and ultimately decided to become a candidate.
At the time, Mississippi had the highest unemployment rate and was ranked last in economic freedom—not much has changed. It did not seem like there were many dedicated elected officials ready to lead that charge, and if I would not, who would?
The day before my announcement, I marched with the good folks of Mississippi, as we encouraged our elected officials to disband the highly unpopular Common Core standards in Mississippi.
Sitting in the old senate chamber, I looked around the room and saw concerned parents, grandparents, and citizens. What I did not see was more than a handful of legislators ready to take on that fight. In fact, they passed a bill later pretending to address the issue. That very day, I spoke to legislators, only to receive half-hearted responses and a few eye rolls. The people needed a voice.
Soon after, a friend and I sat in the floor of an apartment, and we prepared for an announcement. The next day, we came out swinging. My community was supportive, and I received messages from voters who felt disenfranchised by their representation in Jackson. I saw what they saw—our beloved state suffering.
As time progressed, so did my campaign. I revamped graphics, discussed policy more regularly, and prepared for a long, hot summer hitting the pavement. However, as push cards and signs arrived, so did what a “big time” politico in Jackson described to me as “Fascist Rankin County politics.”
Other challengers, including myself, found signs being damaged or stolen throughout our respective districts. It was even suggested by a candidate that maybe they were not stolen; just maybe, people realized I am “not the best candidate.”
Have you ever worked all day and night to meet a big deadline for work, and the next morning, all your work has been erased? That’s what I feel every time I pass a yard with a missing sign. Seemingly, more time is being spent replacing stolen signs than putting out new ones. It is like jogging backwards.
Just a few weeks ago, on my birthday, I received a text message threatening to blackmail me if I did not drop out. To my surprise, these things really happen. To quote my dad, “They could’ve at least found a candidate who cares what others say about him.”
Frankly, I do not care what people say, and I never have. However, this should not be a reality in politics; no one should be deterred from running for public office or to share his or her views.
Truth be told, I have lived my entire life with people making negative comments about me. Essentially, every aspect of my being has come under scrutiny at some point. Whether on the playground, in the college cafeteria, or the workplace, I’ve heard it all. Although these things may hurt at times, I choose not to allow it to damage how I perceive my campaign or myself.
I refuse to believe or accept politics in America as what I have experienced thus far running for office.
I refuse to believe, like some have suggested, I just play a part in the political game.
I refuse to believe the people of my district and of Mississippi do not deserve better.
I refuse to believe stealing signs, whisper campaigns, and veiled threats will define the state of our state.
Recently, I watched one of Carly Fiorina’s interviews. She criticized the permanent political class, and the damage it has done to our nation. In fact, an overwhelming majority of Americans agree with that very sentiment.
To be honest, where better is the professional political class personified than in Jackson, MS? The people want change—they want new, energetic, honest leadership, and it is time for us to demand it.
We often ask why good people don’t run for office. Why would they? Why even try?
That’s what I asked myself today on my drive home. As I looked to my left, where a highly supportive uncle lives, I saw for the second time in two days, his yard sign was missing. As I drove a little further down the road, I looked to my right, and the same situation haunted me. “Why even try?” I asked myself.
At that moment, my gaslight lit up, and I took a turn to the nearest gas station. I pulled up to the pump, got out, and put my debit card in the slot. When I looked up, I noticed the person before me only put five dollars in their gas tank.
When I started this campaign, I stated, “I’m running for the guy before me at the gas pump, who could only afford to pump five dollars [worth of] gas.” That is why I try; however, for those who follow in my footsteps, for the people of this great state—they deserve better. This is not how politics should be.
Chris McDaniel, Melanie Sojourner, Michael Watson, and Perry Lee are the Profiles in Courage in the Mississippi Senate.
“The true democracy, living and growing and inspiring, puts its faith in the people – faith that the people will not simply elect men who will represent their views ably and faithfully, but will also elect men who will exercise their conscientious judgment – faith that the people will not condemn those whose devotion to principle leads them to unpopular courses, but will reward courage, respect honor, and ultimately recognize right.”
So said John F. Kennedy in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage, where he profiled US Senators who showed tremendous courage during their tenures in office, including several who took such bold stands that it cost them their seats. Yet they stood courageously on principle. And courage was a virtue that Kennedy most admired, as should all of us.
In every legislative session, whether in Jackson or Washington, we see conservatives take audacious stands in support of unpopular causes. We all remember Ted Cruz standing alone on the floor of the US Senate passionately fighting against Obamacare and valiantly trying to persuade his fellow Republicans to join him in defunding it. Though he lost what he knew would be a rough fight, one for which he would face intense ridicule, he still took the principled stand.
There have been numerous examples in this year’s session of the Mississippi legislature. Conservative senators, including McDaniel, Watson, and Sojourner, took a very courageous and unpopular stand on a bill that would mandate that health insurance companies provide autism coverage. The easy road was to simply vote “yea” and move on, saving oneself from tough questions and political attacks.
But tough votes and courageous stands tell us who is really a conservative and who is just playing one on TV for the voters. Hard decisions and bold votes separate the conservative wheat from the political chaff.
In the latest example, timely news broke today that Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves has won the endorsement of nearly every member of the Republican majority in the state senate. And, right on cue, the Republican Establishment jumped for joy at the announcement.
Alan Lange of Y’all Politics said that Reeves “played this like a fiddle,” outmaneuvering and outflanking the Conservative Coalition to win over seven of the eleven members of that McDaniel-founded group. But nothing could be further from the truth. This was simply an easy political decision made by politicians. These 28 Republican senators who chose to endorse the current leadership, even though many privately loathe Tate, did not make a courageous stand. They chose the easy path, which was to simply endorse Reeves and keep him off their back in an election year.
United Conservatives Fund spokesman Keith Plunkett had this to say about the endorsements: “It’s unfortunate that some politicians have a hard time fighting the temptation of self-interest and ambition, but thank goodness we have fighters like Chris McDaniel, Melanie Sojourner, Michael Watson, and Perry Lee, who put conservative principles first. We need more like them and that’s what we’re working for with the United Conservatives Fund.”
But let us not criticize those 28 senators who chose their own path. I would only remind them of words from our Lord: “For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction.”
Instead of mud-slinging, our focus should be on the four members of the Mississippi senate who took a noble stand against the powers that be – Senator Chris McDaniel, Senator Melanie Sojourner, Senator Michael Watson, and Senator Perry Lee. True courage can be found in these brave senators who chose not to open the wide gate and take the broad path, but made a decision that will likely place a political bulls-eye on their back.
But as Thomas Jefferson once advised his young nephew, “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”
These four senators chose to stand like a rock and they deserve our praise, not ridicule. And that is precisely the kind of courage and leadership that the United Conservatives Fund is seeking around the state, for it is the only virtue that will put our state and our country back on the right track.
Originally posted at Mississippi Conservative Daily.
The embrace of Judeo-Christian morality is an indispensable component of American life and conservative ideology, particularly in the State of Mississippi.
It is the acceptance of an astute understanding shared by the founders — a belief that moral truths exist and are necessary for people to responsibly self-govern their own affairs.
Although we are all imperfect, Mississippi conservatives believe that moral limits to human behavior are intertwined into our nature, not simply accidents of history. We regard such limits as something that must be conserved to protect character from avarice, envy, unhealthy ambition and destruction. As Russell Kirk noted in his masterpiece, The Conservative Mind, we have a “belief in a transcendent order, or body of natural law, which rules society as well as conscience.”
We recognize, as he did, that “political problems, at bottom, are religious and moral problems.” Consequently, we do not reject moral certainties; we accommodate them, understanding that good individuals make good citizens.
Self-government and moral order are intertwined. Without moral order, notions of liberty often slide into chaotic license, and expanding government rushes in to fill the void and reestablish order. The result is a corresponding and often devastating loss of personal liberty.
And yet, contrary to other political philosophies which embody the might of centralized authority, we do not propose that it should be the mission of government, by force of law, to dictate to others how they must live or to remake authority in an effort to micro-manage every individual’s whims and desires.
“We have,” as Kirk reminded, “not been appointed the correctors of mankind; but, under God, we may be an example to mankind.”
Such beliefs sew the seeds of personal responsibility, resisting calls for state sponsored uniformity, choosing instead to respect individualism and the treasures that originate with it. People are more than materialists with animal instincts.
Barry Goldwater, in 1962, explained this principle, when he wrote, “The root difference between the conservatives and the liberals of today is that conservatives take account of the whole man, while liberals tend to look only at the material side of man’s nature. The conservative believes that man is, in part, an economic, an animal creature; but that he is also a spiritual creature with spiritual needs and spiritual desires. What is more, those needs and desires reflect the superior side of man’s nature, and thus take precedence over his economic wants. Conservatism therefore looks upon the enhancement of man’s spiritual nature as the primary concern of political philosophy. Man’s most sacred possession is his individual soul.”
Put simply, not everything about human nature is reducible to society’s modes of production. A person is a moral, political and religious entity. And it is his natural complexity that we seek to conserve.
That is why, for Mississippi conservatives, the practice of politics must always take into account the whole human being – mind, body and soul – conceding that the problems affecting society are the result of the complexity of human life and therefore cannot be quickly or efficiently rectified by government action, schemes of forced human improvement or similar one-size-fits-all approaches.
Unlike liberalism, it is not our desire to override the decisions of people and reform them into one master plan.
Noble and lasting virtue is never forced; it is instead born out of respect for liberty.
BY: Derrick Tapp | UCF Executive Committee
Conservatives in Mississippi don’t agree on everything and we likely never will. We come from different socioeconomic backgrounds and different geographies. We have unique moral perspectives and family influences. Each of us is at a different point in our journey.
I have been an active member of the Libertarian Party for over 20 years and have often felt like a lone voice in the wilderness. I have promoted the Libertarian Party even when ridiculed for my stance in favor of smaller government, transparency and individual liberties. The Democrat I was in my teens because of family influences, and the Republican I was in my early twenties for moral reasons, would argue like there was no tomorrow with the Libertarian I have become in my forties.
The Libertarian I was in my thirties would even have a few disagreements with me today.
I believe dissent and debate to be the greatest of educators–and conservatives love to argue with each other. But those disagreements have provided our big government opponents an insultingly easy way to divide us for decades. Conservatives are principled, intellectual and strong willed as we should be. Yet we have to recognize that our big-government loving opponents have been laughing all the way to the bank at how easily divided we have been by using those attributes against us.
That is about to change.
Conservatives in Mississippi are uniting. We are shelving our differences and forgiving our past transgressions against each other to recruit conservative candidates to defeat the big government officials who have been responsible for keeping Mississippi last. We will defeat them without diluting our strongly held principles because the strongest friendships are built on mutual respect, not submission. (Tweet this)
Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. People now see that things have gotten worse, especially in regards to ever increasing government control over every facet of our lives.
Conservatives in Mississippi have always known that the dream world promised by proponents of big government is actually a nightmare existence of crippling debt and eroding liberties. It’s time for conservatives to unite with the goal of making Mississippi the most hospitable state in the nation to those who truly want economic prosperity for everyone in our state. (Tweet this) We do this by uniting to defeat the proponents of big government, to defeat those who hate transparency, to defeat those who want to keep Mississippi subservient to the whims and the power structure of Washington D.C.
Mississippians have been duped into electing candidates who maintain that we must take money away from our neighbors in other states in order to survive. Voters fall for this fear tactic because these candidates have convinced Mississippians that we don’t have the talents or assets in our state necessary to prosper. Mississippi partisans have been channeling those fears into recruiting the most skilled takers to run for elected office for decades. During this time Mississippi has consistently ranked last economically.
Mississippians are beginning to realize that maybe recruiting the best takers we could find to oversee our state finances has not been the wisest approach to promote economic prosperity in our state, after all. (Tweet this)
Some of the most talented people in the world come from Mississippi. We have assets to rival any other state. It’s past time we show the rest of the world what Mississippi can do with true conservative leaders in office.
Our state used to be known as ‘The Hospitality State’. Now we are just known as ‘The Poorest State’. We should reclaim the name of ‘The Hospitality State’ again.
It’s not hospitable to take from others against their will. We should focus on electing candidates who will work to create the most hospitable environment in the nation for large, medium and small companies.
It’s not hospitable for state officials to prop up their favorite ‘government business experiments’ to the detriment of new and existing Mississippi companies, families and taxpayers. We should elect candidates to office with the integrity and the economic expertise to ensure a level playing field so Mississippi’s new and existing companies can compete fairly. It is impossible for any company to compete if the government creates an unfair business environment. If a company needs millions of our tax dollars to be successful then that company does not have a good business plan, and if a company has a good business plan then that company does not need millions of our tax dollars to be successful.
It’s not hospitable to allow envy of the success of others to drive policy. (Tweet this) Most proponents of big government want us to think that if an individual or a company makes a profit then we should be jealous. However, profit is not a bad word. No one will go into business and create new jobs and opportunities in our state if they know the game is rigged against their ability to be successful.
I am happy to be a member of the United Conservatives Fund, because I believe with UCF we will reclaim the honor of once again being known as ‘The Hospitality State’. I believe with a unified approach to good policy we will attract the best and the brightest. I believe we will renew a commitment to freedom and to opportunity.
Only when we approach our state’s problems together as challenges to be overcome, rather than demands for politicians to fix, will we begin to see positive results.(Tweet this) We are a strong people. The United Conservatives Fund exists to unify that strength and focus it on what we can do together.
Derrick Tapp represents the Libertarian Party on the United Conservatives Fund Executive Committee. He has been an active member of the Libertarian Party for over 20 years. He has served as District One Representative for the Mississippi Libertarian Party and most recently Vice Chairman. He works in family retail, distribution, manufacturing and real estate.
It seems every few years a group of totalitarians in the Mississippi legislature conjure up what few brain cells they have that actually function to any reasonable degree and draft legislation that completely embarrasses our state and threatens our liberty.
In 2008, if you recall, several House members wrote a bill that would, I kid you not, make it illegal for restaurants in Mississippi to serve fat people. This joke of a bill was aimed at the chronically high obesity rate in the state. Representatives W. T. Mayhall, Bobby Shows, and John Read succeeded, not in getting the bill passed thank goodness, but in humiliating our state as word of the proposal made national news. They quickly backed off their crusade.
This session saw four representatives do something far worse than merely embarrassing the state; they introduced a bill that is downright dangerous to the future liberty of our people. House Bill 1261, known as the “Dangerous Dog Bill,” has two primary sponsors, Representatives Larry Byrd (District 104) and Tommy Taylor (District 28), but is also supported by Randy Boyd (District 19) and Lester Carpenter (District 1), who just so happens to be the chair of the House Conservative Coalition.
Now there’s nothing wrong with having a few laws with specific punishments for those who are not responsible in caring for their dogs and, out of irresponsible behavior, allow the dog to injure someone. But there should be enough on the books to handle those cases. This bill steps over the line, way over the line. In fact, no other state in the Union has ever passed anything like this.
Let’s look at the language of the bill itself. After first laying out exactly what kind of dogs are not permitted under this law, and how we are supposed care for them, our masters spell out our punishments, and here is where it gets hairy.
Section 3, Paragraph 8: “In order to determine if there is a violation … a law enforcement officer, at any time, may enter the premises where a dangerous dog is kept, or is believed to be kept, for an on-site inspection of the premises.”
So a cop can enter my home “at any time” for an “on-site inspection” of my house to determine if I have a dangerous dog or not, and to determine if I am in compliance with the law. Say, gentlemen, didn’t they do that in Nazi Germany?
Well, fascist countries don’t have a Bill of Rights. But thankfully we do! Here is the text of the Fourth Amendment for those who don’t know it by heart:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
What part of “shall not be violated” do these illustrious legislators not understand? It’s plain English. It simply means private property – one of the great pillars that supports our republic – is protected and can’t be searched or any property seized without a warrant, and cops can’t get a warrant without probable cause. Probable cause does NOT give a police officer the right to break–in to a home, search, and seize anything because it is believed something bad is going on. A cop must get a warrant first, that is a warrant based on probable cause, not guesswork and hunches. Got it?
Read more at Mississippi Conservative Daily.
TUPELO, Miss. — U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee is now resting at home after doctors found a new tumor and informed him that no further medical treatment was possible, a spokesman for the Mississippi congressman said Friday.
“After seven months of bravely fighting brain cancer and a stroke, Congressman Alan Nunnelee was informed last Friday that a new tumor has developed and no further medical treatment is possible. On Monday of this week, Alan came home and is resting comfortably with family,” Morgan Baldwin, a campaign consultant who has worked for Nunnelee, said in a prepared statement Friday.
“The family continues to ask for your prayers and requests privacy out of respect for Congressman Nunnelee,” Baldwin said.
Nunnelee had a stroke back in June while surgeons were removing a brain tumor. He is 56 years old and resides in Tupelo, Miss. with his family.
The U.S. Representative was hospitalized in December for treatment of a bleeding problem in his left leg. He was unable to travel to Washington to be sworn in to his third two-year term as he was hospitalized at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. A federal judge was authorized to administer his oath of office.
In 2010, Nunnelee unseated Democrat Travis Childers for north Mississippi’s 1st District seat.
Before he was elected to Congress, Nunnelee served 15 years in the Mississippi Senate and was chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Senator Chris McDaniel launches ‘United Conservatives Fund’, will discuss future political plans on five-city tour
LAUREL, Miss. — Senator Chris McDaniel today announced a week-long series of events across Mississippi to discuss the official launch of a new state political action committee. McDaniel said the United Conservatives Fund (UCF) was organized by conservative thought-leaders, grassroots volunteers and community leaders from across the state.
“Following what happened in the Republican Primary runoff for the U.S. Senate on June 24, 2014, Conservatives are more ready for mobilization and action than ever,” said McDaniel. “I have the enviable position of having the best of the best thought-leaders in the state and across the country ready to devote their time, money and effort to do what is needed to be sure the truth of conservatism is never again misrepresented by the politically powerful like it was here.”
McDaniel says the executive committee members and more details regarding the organizational structure and objectives of UCF will be announced in the next week at events across the state in a five-city tour.
“I said repeatedly over the past year that the campaign was not about me and I meant it. I know that can be a foreign concept for the politically and personally motivated,” said McDaniel. “My only political ambition today is what it has been all along; to make sure our conservative movement is strong and gaining ground, solving problems and communicating effectively. The working people of this state can and must unite for the survival of our republic. If we fight for one another then we will win together.”
McDaniel also commented on his personal political future.
“I understand that my name has been mentioned as a possible candidate for a number of different offices and I am considering those carefully with the counsel of my friends and family,” he added. “Whether I run for higher office or not, it makes little difference unless other Conservatives are provided the resources and support to step up where they live.
“This task does not rest on any one man’s shoulders. Simply stated, if we are divided we will fail. My driving purpose right now is to make sure we are not divided, but united.”
Events will be held:
Friday: January 23, 6:00 PM
Tupelo City Hall: City Council Chambers
71 E Troy Street
Monday: January 26, 6:00 PM
Trustmark Park Holiday Inn
Tuesday: January 27, 6:00 PM
Fillin Station Grill
4840 Venture Drive
Thursday: January 29, 6:00 PM
Forrest County Chancery Building
641 North Main Street
Friday: January 30, 6:00 PM
MS Gulf Coast
The United Conservatives Fund is a donor member-led political action committee focused on advancing the conservative movement and electing true conservative candidates. More information is available at www.unitedconservativesfund.com.
JACKSON, Miss. – State Sen. Chris McDaniel has been back at work and hard at it in the Mississippi State Senate meeting constituents, writing legislation and attending to upcoming committee duties, but some in the media are attempting to paint a very different picture.
Geoff Pender, a reporter for the Clarion-Ledger writes in a recent article, “McDaniel was on the Senate floor Jan. 6, the first day of the session, but has since been missing from the chamber most days of the session.”
Pender goes on in his opinion piece about how McDaniel is supposedly “Present, but unaccounted for” during session.
Chris McDaniel, the popular State Senator who took on a 42-year, statewide elected incumbent in Thad Cochran in last year’s heated Republican US Senate Primary continues to live rent-free in the heads of those who wish to keep government as is.
McDaniel has been questioned on his presence in the legislative session by Pender before in questioning whether McDaniel’s heart is still in his state senate job. According to McDaniel spokesman Keith Plunkett the Jones County Senator is very focused.
“Sen. McDaniel has not only been at the Capitol every day working for the voters,” says Plunkett. “He has also been there in the past week when the body was not even in session, meeting constituents, writing legislation and attending to upcoming committee duties. I’ve met with him there on several different occasions. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him more rested and ready.”
Geoff Pender writes of McDaniel, “On Wednesday, when he was greeted by his colleague, he came in about 45 minutes into heated debate on an education bill. But McDaniel has been marked present, if unaccounted for, each day.”
Plunkett explains that this is just another sad attempt to paint a mythical picture for someone else’s gain.
“You would think the media would have more to write about at the state Capitol than who saw whom and who was seen by whom,” Plunkett wrote in an emailed statement to ANM News. “The Capitol press corps in Jackson should be taking coverage a bit more serious than the writers of a VIP section in a lifestyle magazine.”
Plunkett said that “both instances which Mr. Pender mentions seeing Sen. McDaniel on the floor of the Senate were the only two days out of the eight so far that the body was gaveled in.”
“As to any claims about attendance, Mr. Pender should check the journal,” he said.
McDaniel has not only been at the Capitol every day and had numerous meetings regarding the details and language of bills he was drafting, but he has visited with constituents visiting and even provided one group with a tour of the Capitol.
McDaniel met with supporters at the Common Core Rally at the Capitol in Jackson on Tuesday, January 6 and took time to listen to their frustrations.
Kelly Watson of Gautier who met with Sen. McDaniel said, “Chris McDaniel told us that it was a wonderful thing what we were doing, taking a stand against a Trojan horse like common core. He was very kind and thanked us for what we were doing, & encouraged us to continue the fight. He told us that he would continue to fight common core, and help us rid our state of this nightmare.”
Watson also told ANM News, “Chris McDaniel is one of the rare political figures, who acknowledges that he works for the public, and his actions prove that to be true.”
While Pender’s article claims it is difficult to truly validate someone’s attendance from the Senate records, just last year those very records were used in an attempt to attack McDaniel’s presence on the job.
“Hopefully Mr. Pender and others in the press corps will soon get beyond this level of childishness and move towards the seriousness of reporting on the actual work Sen. McDaniel and others are doing,” said Plunkett. “The work of managing the people’s business is about more than being seen by reporters. It is unfortunate that more, including the members of the media whose job it is to inform the public, don’t take that work as seriously as Sen. McDaniel does.”
Many political pundits and pollsters have shown when it comes to Republican voters Chris McDaniel defeated Thad Cochran, not once but twice. While he may not have been allowed to go on to represent the GOP in the general election, he continues as a force to be reckoned with in the conservative movement in Mississippi and across the country.
McDaniel started something with the U.S. Senate campaign that has taken the conservative movement by storm and shows no signs of slowing down. Despite the actions of those like Mr. Pender who believe McDaniel is “unaccounted for,” the people see things much differently.
All indications are that this is a fight that is only just beginning, and Mississippi is at the center of the storm.
LAUREL, Miss. — Senator Chris McDaniel today released the following statement in support of National Religious Freedom Day.
National Religious Freedom Day commemorates the adoption of Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom that became the basis for the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.
Senator McDaniel authored Mississippi’s landmark Religious Liberty Law in 2013 that re-established the state’s commitment to the rights of all to freely worship.
“I join today with millions across the country to celebrate National Religious Freedom Day and with those who believe that if we are ever going to get our country back on track, it is going to start in our churches,” Senator McDaniel said.
“The foundation of everything we believe, the cornerstone of society, is religious freedom. It is the driving force of engagement and involvement that comes from that freedom that has made our country the most prosperous in history. It is not man-made designs but our faith in a higher calling and purpose to serve one another that has created prosperity.
“God has shined the light of his blessings upon our willingness to serve. It is the millions of unknowable transactions of neighborly kindness and prayer that we all take for granted every day.
“This is the foundation of a country of traditions that is worth preserving.
“I will continue my dedication to those traditions and to the rights of the people to freely worship where ever they may be, whether in the classroom or in the public square. I will continue my service to the people that they may have a voice and a place to share their unique God-given gifts with others.
“Religious Freedom is what allows that Power to bring us into individual renewal and prosperity.
“We must never allow the divisive schemes of secularism and the cultural worship of ourselves to hide that from the world. We must renew our commitment to the spiritual guidance only available to us by our Creator. Christians must stand now like we have never stood before, and we must do everything within our power to maintain that right without compromise.”
Senator McDaniel is an attorney, conservative commentator and was a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2014. He has represented the 42nd District, which encompasses part of South Mississippi, since 2008. He resides with his family in Ellisville, Mississippi.
PRESS RELEASE: Wesley Wilson declares his candidacy for the Republican Primary in Mississippi’s 62nd House District
Wednesday, January 7, 2014
Richland, Miss. — Wesley Wilson of Richland has filed papers with the Mississippi Republican Party, officially declaring his candidacy for the Republican Primary in Mississippi’s 62nd House District.
Fiscal responsibility, economic revival and a thriving educational system are three issues that Wilson will urge the House to address. Wilson will fight tirelessly to ensure every voice is heard and strongly represented.
Wilson, a longtime resident of Richland, MS, graduate of Richland High School and Mississippi College, is ready to take a stand for his community. “This is my home, these are my neighbors, friends, and family. It troubles me to know individuals in District 62 are without strong conservative leadership.”
Wilson will bring a new generation of leadership to Jackson. With energy and enthusiasm, he will ensure District 62 will have a conservative leading the fight for a better Mississippi.
Scroll down for more updates
PANOLA COUNTY, Miss. – Jessica Chambers, a 19-year-old woman was doused with a flammable liquid and set on fire this past Saturday night in Courtland, Miss.
Authorities say that Jessica was found burning near her car that was also engulfed in flames. A passerby called the Panola County sheriff’s office about the burning car along Herron Road, near Highway 51 in Courtland. She was flown to Regional One Health in Memphis, Tenn. but later died. Her family members are desperately seeking answers in this bizarre and heinous murder.
Chambers was the daughter of a Panola County Sheriff’s Department maintenance worker.
The 19-year-old had left her home to go clean out her car and to get something to eat, her mother Lisa Chambers said. “[She] said ‘Bye, I love you, Mama. See you in a little while,” Chambers said. She would never make it back home.
Her father, Ben Chambers,said his daughter tried to tell responders who killed her.
“When the fire department got there, she was walking down the road on fire. Only part of her body that wasn’t burned was the bottom of her feet,” he said.
Her father also says, “They squirted lighter fluid down her throat and in her nose, and apparently they knocked her out. She had a big gash on top of her head.”
There is a huge support on social media from family, friends, and strangers demanding answers as they use the hashtag #JusticeforJessica.
Assistant District Attorney Jay Hale knows someone in the community knows something and is pleading for help. Detectives are working to learn who the 19-year-old may have been with before her murder.
“We’re trying to go through the information that we have, certainly interviewing all the potential witnesses we can and going through and using the phone records we can,” Hale said.
“The sheriff called me this morning he told me, he said, ‘I’m working hard,'” Chambers said. “They took something from me I can’t ever get back. Not ever, you know? It’s a part of me gone forever.”
Jessica’s mother hopes for a tip that could lead to her daughter’s killer or killers. “Even if they don’t think it’s information, if it’s just something they heard, to please call the sheriff’s department,” Lisa Chambers said.
Several people are being questioned by detectives, but no arrests have been made. The teen’s car, and any potential clues inside, are charred black. Investigators did find a cell phone at the scene.
Investigators will not disclose at this time what Jessica was able to tell them at the last moment, but the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case.
News video via WMC News 5:
This is a very sad and gruesome story indeed and while the family seeks justice, the question remains of when a crime such as this occurs, where is all of the outrage? There have been no protests, riots, or looting to have taken place up to this point. Also, MIA so far are any national media attention personalities arriving on behalf of Jessica Chambers. Perhaps, they’re in route.
Anyone with information on the murder is urged to contact the Panola County Sheriff’s Office at 662-563-6230.
There are no official accounts of anyone in custody at this point, but social media accounts of the victim’s friends state they have had a suspect in custody. Other friends are alleging that police are waiting to make extra sure they have the right person before releasing his name.
ANM News is told that police do not have anyone in custody currently, but are following up with leads. To correct some earlier confusion, Jessica did not have a boyfriend according to her family. She got out of an abusive relationship with a man approximately two years ago. Sources tell ANM News that he no longer lives in the state of Mississippi.
We are still unclear as to the motives behind this gruesome murder, but one thing is certain, Jessica was loved by many.
Jessica’s mother Lisa Chambers tells ANM News, “My daughter did not see color. We loved her dearly and are just seeking justice regardless of skin color,” she said.
One thing to take from this case, unlike the death of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, Jessica’s death seems to have been premeditated murder. We cannot confirm this at this time, but we will continue to update this story as an investigation proceeds.
There has been a Facebook page created by Jessica’s sister Amanda Prince, “Justice for Jessica“, which has received over 42,000 “Likes” to date. The page has received posts from around the country from friends, family members, and strangers who are all praying and seeking justice for Jessica.
According to an interview with KTSM, Amanda, a Fort Bliss (El Paso, Texas) Army wife will be heading home to Mississippi to be with family when her husband, who is on his way home from overseas arrives on Tuesday.
A gas station just one mile from the horrendous murder captured video footage of Jessica just hours before her death. The M & M Quick Stop is on Highway 51 in Courtland, Miss. showing Jessica Chambers walking toward the gas station before being called away by someone out of the camera’s view.
As of Wednesday, Mississippi investigators still don’t know who killed 19-year-old Jessica Lane Chambers
Investigators are questioning several possible witnesses, reviewing Jessica’s cell phone data for clues and reviewing the video footage that shows her walking towards a gas station 90 minutes before first responders discovered her on fire about one mile from the M & M Quick Stop.
In the video footage, you’ll see a man wearing a striped shirt filling up a gas can before walking in the same direction as Jessica.
According toWISTV, the police cleared the man wearing the striped shirt.
PEOPLE reports: As the investigation continues, family members grieve.
“No one can believe this really happened to a child,” her father, Ben Chambers, tells PEOPLE. “She was burnt alive. This was cold-blooded murder. They have every person you can think of working on the case. They are checking all leads. It doesn’t matter how big or little.”
“She had her hands up,” says Chambers. “One of the paramedics took his coat off and placed it around her.”
Chambers says his ex-wife spoke to his daughter at 7:20 p.m., about two hours before she died.
“She told her mother she would be home soon but she first was going to stop and get something to eat and clean her car out. She told her mother, ‘I love you, Mama. I will see you in just a little while.’ ”
Right now, no arrests have been made in the case. People are being questioned, but investigators are not calling anyone a person of interest or a suspect in the case.
Nancy Grace has now picked up Jessica’s story.
It’s almost more than I can take in.
Video via NBC News:
The mother of the 19-year-old Mississippi woman burned alive and left for dead says her daughter won’t be at peace until her killer is caught. “She cannot rest,” mom Lisa Chambers told NBC affiliate WMC of her daughter, Jessica, a popular former cheerleader. “She knows who did this. She has told who did this.”
The Facebook page, “Justice for Jessica” created by Amanda Prince, Jessica’s older sister is approaching 100,000 “Likes”.
After obtaining warrants and cracking a password, police were able to access Jessica Chambers’ phone records and are following up on leads, a prosecutor said Thursday.
Police are searching her data and text records after obtaining warrants Wednesday that compelled Google and her cell phone provider to give police access to her phone’s content, said John Champion, district attorney for Mississippi’s 17th Circuit.
The prosecutor on Thursday also updated information he had given CNN the previous day that indicated Chambers had attended a party but police couldn’t find anyone who had seen her there. Police have now spoken to witnesses who claim to have seen Chambers at the party, the prosecutor said.
John Champion, district attorney for Mississippi’s 17th Circuit, told CNN that Chambers had been able to speak to firefighters as they arrived on scene, but would say only that what she told them, “has certainly given us a lead we’re following up on.”
Prosecutors say information from Jessica’s cell phone is providing some leads as to what may have happened to the her in the hours leading up to the attack on her.
Among the clues investigators are examining: surveillance video showing Chambers at a gas station, cellphone records from numerous people, unspecified evidence from her car and interviews with potential witnesses.
“There’s just not a lot of street talk out there about who may or may not have done this,” Champion said at a news conference. “We feel like somebody out there has heard something.”
Anyone with information on the murder is urged to contact the Panola County Sheriff’s Office at 662-563-6230.
Authorities have not made an arrest in the killing of Jessica Chambers.
“And we don’t anticipate one in the near future at this point,” Desoto County District Attorney John Champion said at a news conference Thursday.
No reliable forensic evidence and a lack of what Champion called “street talk” have caused investigators to lean on witness interviews. So far, those have not provided anything that would help develop a suspect, Champion said, adding that it’s impossible to formulate a motive without one.
A candlelight vigil is being held for Jessica on Saturday on the Courtland town square in Batesville, Miss. at 5 p.m.
- A reward of $11,000 is now offered and that amount is expected to increase.
- The U.S. Marshals Service has added $10,000 to the $1,000 crime stopper reward being offered for information relating to the death of Jessica Chambers.
WMC Action News 5 reports:
Jessica Chambers was last seen on store surveillance video when she went to a convenience store near her Courtland home. The clerk, Ali Fadhel, said he was surprised she bought so much gas and joked with her. He said Chambers usually purchased $3 or $4.
“Like, wow, why you spending $14 in gas,'” said Fadhel.
He says Chambers told him she was going somewhere, but that he did not know where she was going. Fadhel also says Jessica never mentioned any problems to him and he says she probably would have.
WMC Action News 5 – Memphis, Tennessee Anyone with information on the murder is urged to contact the Panola County Sheriff’s Office at 662-563-6230.
Saying goodbye to Jessica.
Friends, family, and Panola County community members attended Jessica Chambers’ visitation Friday night, telling WREG they want anyone with information about her death to contact authorities.
Many of Jessica’s former classmates at South Panola High School attended the visitation. A group of them made t-shirts with her picture that they’re selling online to remember her.
Chambers’ funeral is Saturday at 2 p.m. at Wells Funeral Home in Batesville, Miss.
To say the last 24 hours of research has uncovered significant information would be the understatement of the year.
There are reports that the gas station owner who has been on every news station commenting about when Jessica came into his store could possibly be connected to this heinous murder. His name is is Ali Alsanai, aka Basem Alsanai, a 19-year-old entrepreneur and owner of the M & M Quick Stop in Courtland, Miss.
This story seems to have taken a big turn and we may now know why people are not talking to law enforcement.
Again, read a breakdown on The Conservative Treehouse for more information on the connection between this 19-year-old gas station owner, the local law enforcement, and the increased activity of gangs in and around the Panola County area.
Jessica had two older brothers, two older sisters, and a younger sister. Allen Chambers, Jessica’s eldest brother, died in a car crash in May 2012.
There has been a GoFundMe page setup to help the family with expenses as they go through this very difficult time.
Here is Jessica’s obituary with details of arrangements.
Anyone with information on the murder is urged to contact the Panola County Sheriff’s Office at 662-563-6230.
* A correction and updates have been made to this story.
ANM News will continue to update this developing story.
Mississippi Conservative Daily reports:
Well if you didn’t know it was election time in the state of Mississippi, you should know by now. Our illustrious Lt. Gov, Tate Reeves, has now decided it’s time for the state to dump the federal Common Core education standards and create our own. Anyone with any little dab of common sense knows this is all political pandering to the conservative base, much like Governor Phil Bryant has done previously. With rumors abounding about possible challenges next year, Tater is hearing footsteps behind him, conservative footsteps, and he’s attempting to shore up the base, the same base he went against in the Senate race last year.
But this should be blatantly transparent to every conservative in Mississippi. It’s even more infuriating when you consider the fact that Reeves once fought FOR Common Core! Senator Chris McDaniel, head of the Mississippi Senate Conservative Coalition, said as much today: “Although I’m pleased to see him ‘change’ his position, it was Tate Reeves who fought against the Senate Conservative Coalition when we fought for repeal and/or the defunding of Common Core. It’s a matter of public record. He has been an advocate for Common Core and has killed our bills and amendments to repeal it. We don’t need him to create a task force, WE NEED A FULL REPEAL OF COMMON CORE.”
Earlier this afternoon, Senator McDaniel released the following statement on his Facebook page:
I am pleased to see Tate change his mind on Common Core, but I fear this is little more than election year pandering,” said McDaniel. “The Mississippi State Senate Conservative Coalition has stood strong against Common Core from the beginning, and the Lt. Governor stood in the way and dismissed our efforts at every opportunity.
Leaders like Senator Michael Watson, Senator Angela Hill, Senator Melanie Sojourner and all of our coalition members have taken our message to the people across Mississippi and we have shown time after time that this is another federal scheme in a long line of federal schemes. Mississippi parents and Mississippi educators can do better.
The Lt. Governor’s call to name a task force to look into Common Core is not necessary. We know what Common Core is. We know what it is attempting to do. We just need the courage to stand up for Mississippi parents, teachers and students and end this now. That’s what we tried to do in the 2014 session. That is what we will do again in 2015.
Tate Reeves’ shift should be no surprise to true conservatives in Mississippi, and it probably won’t be the last one we will see. He’s a typical politician who is only looking out for his job and his political future. He is unprincipled and cares little for the common man in Mississippi. It’s time to send this selfish little man home next year.
Read more at Mississippi Conservative Daily
Back in September the left-wing website Politico named the Chris McDaniel campaign as one of the worst of 2014, comparing his effort to those of serial liar Wendy Davis of Texas, the drab Pat Roberts of Kansas, and others, many which were actually flops. Unsurprisingly, the establishment hacks at Y’all Politics couldn’t resist reprinting the nonsense on its site the same day.
Nor could Sam Hall, who, in his Clarion Ledger column took the same shot at McDaniel by citing the Politico story.
So, who really cares what Politico has to say anyway? It’s a Democratic, leftist site created solely to challenge the Drudge Report. Their opinions are irrelevant to conservative Mississippians. But desperate to tear down Senator McDaniel and his insurgent campaign to take down the entrenched Cochran/Barbour establishment machine, these useful idiots will get into bed with just about anybody they can, even liberal Democrats, since they share a common enemy and want to see the continuation of the status quo, despite the current poll-supported opinions of a majority of Americans.
But what of this silly notion of a bad McDaniel campaign? Let’s look at the key facts, shall we? And I do stress FACTS, not media or establishment drivel.
Senator Chris McDaniel, who represents Jones County and parts of Forrest County, took on a 42-year, statewide elected incumbent who was thought by many to be unbeatable. Henry Barbour scoffed at the notion of McDaniel challenging Cochran, telling the media that “he will get his head handed to him and he will deserve it.” Hinds County Boss Pete Perry, who never met an honest election he liked, predicted McDaniel would lose 80-20. The political “genius” Frank Corder of Y’all Politics, who couldn’t even successfully manage his own bid for mayor of Pascagoula, thought McDaniel would do a bit better, but would still get no more than 40 percent of the vote.
Yet all these so-called political virtuosos, who still joyfully rip into Senator McDaniel, as well as his staff, on an almost daily basis, were wrong and hugely so. They could not even read the pulse and mood of their own electorate. But Chris McDaniel could.
Having no organization to counter the mighty Cochran/Barbour machine, Senator McDaniel had to build one from scratch. And he did so in spectacular fashion, organizing in nearly every county and raising millions of dollars. If you want to know the real reason why Chris McDaniel is so hated by the establishment, this is it. The politically animalistic Barbours want no competition to their rule over the state of Mississippi and McDaniel’s group has brought a serious challenge to that monopoly.
In the 8-month campaign from October to June, Senator McDaniel crisscrossed the state, traveling tens of thousands of miles, speaking to hundreds of groups, and shaking an incalculable number of hands. He wanted a campaign based on the great political issues before us, and held townhall meetings to talk directly to the people. He invited Senator Cochran to join him for these public forums, and to debate on television before all Mississippians. But the aging Senator took a different approach. He chose to ignore the issues, snub the people, and run a campaign based largely in the gutter.
What were the results? Chris McDaniel, against all odds, defeated Thad Cochran on primary night, June 3. In the runoff election three weeks later, McDaniel won nearly 60 percent of the Republican vote and gained a Republican record 187,000 votes, a record for a Republican primary in Mississippi. Talk about party building! Senator McDaniel greatly expanded the Republican Party base across the state.
Though the media and the Cochran camp obsessed over the “outside money” that came in to help McDaniel, the establishment spent $15 million, much of it coming from out-of-state crony organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, to take down the insurgent, yet still failed. The only way Cochran, Barbour & Company could defeat Senator McDaniel and his conservative army in the runoff was to bring in more than 42,000 Democrats, thousands of which we know voted illegally, and many of whom were likely paid to do so. Those that weren’t paid, voted out of sheer fear, ginned up with one of the worst race-baiting campaigns in modern memory.
And while we are on the subject of facts, it is important to note that Senator McDaniel needed not a single Democrat to defeat Cochran but Cochran needed tens of thousands to beat McDaniel. That is the bottom line to Cochran’s whole sorry campaign. He couldn’t rally the conservative Republican base around him so he chose to go after voters who think more like he does in seeking to expand government services, an ideology he has held his entire political career.
Yet we hear not a word from Y’all Politics, Sam Hall, or the rest of the media in Mississippi about these facts. They are still fixated on these manufactured scandals, and any attack against McDaniel, and are busily carrying water for Attorney General Jim Hood, a Democrat who seems to be infatuated with the idea of nailing the McDaniel camp with something they had nothing to do with but has made no effort to peer into the real scandal of Mississippi 2014 – the Cochran vote-buying scheme.
Just like on the national scene, though, conservatives know that we will never get the real story from the media, or from all these political prognosticators, the little Karl Roves of Mississippi, who are more often wrong than right, and never more so than in 2014. They are only interested in keeping their hands in the taxpayer-supported cookie jar, not in any real, meaningful political reforms.
Like it or not, Chris McDaniel beat Thad Cochran, not once but twice, and ran not the worst but perhaps the best campaign this year. He did better than any Tea Party/insurgent candidate in America, terrified the establishment in Mississippi and in Washington, and has built a serious organization to strengthen the conservative movement, not only in Mississippi but across the country. And only with true conservatism, the McDaniel brand, will we finally be able achieve serious reforms for our state and for our nation.
Chris McDaniel has been fighting what he believes is a corrupt system following his unexpected loss in the GOP Senate run-off in Mississippi. His opponent, incumbent Thad Cochran, was accused, with evidence, of paying black voters to illegally vote in the run-off, as they had already voted in the Democrat primary and had no intention on voting Republican in the general election, and using another sleazy, lie-based tactic.
The Cochran campaign and its supporters stooped to disgusting race-baiting tactics to lure black Democrats to vote, accusing McDaniel of being associated with the KKK and telling them McDaniel would work to bring segregation back to Mississippi.
McDaniel has been fighting the irregularities and corrupt tactics in the election ever since the loss and has refused to concede. Neither the state nor the national GOP would back his investigation or consider its findings. But now, his fight has new and powerful political life breathed into it.
A Mississippi High Court has agreed to hear McDaniels case in the GOP primary dispute. As reported by the AP via the Houston Chronicle.
Attorneys for six-term Sen. Thad Cochran told the Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday that a challenger waited too long to file a lawsuit seeking to overturn Cochran’s victory in the June 24 Republican primary runoff.
However, attorneys for the challenger, tea party-backed state Sen. Chris McDaniel, argued that current Mississippi law does not specify a deadline for filing a challenge of election results. McDaniel is asking justices to revive lawsuit that was dismissed in late August. The circuit judge who dismissed the suit agreed with Cochran’s attorneys that McDaniel waited too long to file.
Justices spent nearly two hours listening to arguments and asking questions of both sides. They gave no indication of when or how they might rule.
Cochran and McDaniel were not in court Thursday.
If justices side with McDaniel, the lawsuit could go to trial and he could try to prove his claim that the runoff was tainted by irregularities such as people voting in the June 3 Democratic primary and then crossing over to vote in the June 24 Republican runoff. Mississippi does not register voters by party, but it bans people from voting in one party’s primary and the other party’s runoff in the same election cycle.
You can watch the recorded video from Thursday’s Supreme Court hearing:
Breitbart reports: Mississippi Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Travis Childers today became the first Democrat to sign an anti-amnesty pledge from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a unexpected and extraordinary play that could significantly change the dynamics of his campaign against incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS).
Childers, a former Congressman, signed the pledge Thursday that was seized on by Cochran’s Republican primary challenger, state senator Chris McDaniels, to draw a contrast with Cochran on the issue of immigration. The pledge includes language about amnesty but is also against increases in legal immigration.
The primary race, one of the most bitterly fought contests in recent memory, has left deep wounds in Mississippi, and some conservative activists said Childers’ choice to sign the pledge could sway them to vote for the Democratic candidate.
“It looks to me like Mississippi voters have a choice,” Kevin Broughton, a Mississippian and spokesman for a national grassroots conservative organization, told Breitbart News. “One candidate is on the record opposing amnesty for illegal aliens; has never voted ‘no’ on building a fence on the Southern border; and has never, to my knowledge, played the race card against conservatives. The other is Thad Cochran.”
Cochran won the primary after his allies used polarizing racial appeals to Democratic voters to sway them to vote in the GOP primary. Without Democratic votes, experts have said, Cochran would have lost the race.
JACKSON, MS –The Mississippi Supreme Court is set to hear Chris McDaniel’s election challenge Thursday morning at 10 am cst.
It’s not clear when justices will rule.
A circuit judge dismissed McDaniel’s lawsuit in August, saying the McDaniel campaign waited too long to challenge the results of the June 24 primary runoff. The judge agreed with Cochran’s attorneys, who cited a 1959 state Supreme Court ruling that a candidate must file a challenge within 20 days. McDaniel waited 41.
McDaniel’s attorneys say state law was rewritten in the 1980s and doesn’t specify a deadline.
Cochran won the runoff by 7,667 votes. McDaniel claims the election was tainted by voting irregularities.
Watch the hearing LIVE here.
Mobile users can watch the live stream here: http://shout.lt/GkQb
UPDATE: Watch the hearing recorded here.
JACKSON, Miss. — The 2014 primary election cycle has certainly been interesting and fun to watch, but being part of it and seeing first-hand the measures in which the Republican establishment will go has been infuriating. Down in Mississippi, the number one most corrupt state in America, a battle for the Republican seat for United States Senate has been going on for months. The duel has been between 36-year incumbent Senator Thad Cochran and new blood State Senator Chris McDaniel.
This race has been the most intense and highly watched in the nation. First, we had State Senator and challenger Chris McDaniel who won over the Republican voters in the “Republican” Primary on June 3 with 49.5 percent of the votes to 49 percent for Cochran. Due to neither candidate receiving more than 50 percent which is state law, they were forced to a runoff. On June 24, again Chris McDaniel won over the Republican voters in the “Republican” run-off. He received more Republican votes in both races than the incumbent Thad Cochran. Cochran was announced the winner though only by receiving 45-65,000 Democrat votes. Many of these were indeed cross-over votes (illegal) who were misguided, lied to, and bribed to in order to show up and vote for Thad Cochran.
This race woke up a lot of people both inside and outside of Mississippi to the corruption and deception known as the Barbour Plan. Former Governor of Mississippi and well-known lobbyist Haley Barbour, through his Mississippi Conservatives Super PAC was able to use funds and radio ads to mislead Mississippi voters about Chris McDaniel. Haley’s nephews Austin and Henry Barbour are very close to Thad Cochran. Austin is the senior Cochran campaign adviser and Henry is the Republican National Committeeman and also runs Haley’s Super PAC. These are the people, including Pete Perry, GOP Chairman for Hinds County who were hand selected as part of the Barbour Plan to keep Thad Cochran in office no matter what. Yeah that Pete Perry. The guy who raked in $171,000 from the Pro-Cochran Super PAC to “Get Out the Vote” for Thad Cochran.
The Cochran campaign knew they lost on June 3 and also realized they could not win in the runoff without the help of Democrat voters. They soon rolled out a plan that would almost guarantee a victory for the Senator that had absolutely no idea he was even in a race. The Barbour funded campaign used racist radio ads that aired only in the heavily populated Delta area where the majority are black Americans and Democrat voters. A Mississippi radio station aired an ad warning voters that the Tea Party would “take away” food stamps and other welfare benefits before the run-off. The ad certainly appeared to target black voters.
Today the conservative movement took a backseat to liberal Democrats in the state of Mississippi. And the most conservative state in the republic this happened and if it can’t happen here, it can happen anywhere,” he said after the Associated Press called the race for Cochran. “And that is why we will never stop fighting.” – Chris McDaniel
Cochran “allegedly” edged out McDaniel in the runoff by 7,667 votes. He did so due to election fraud. He did so due to monies from Republican Political PAC’s. He did so due to Haley Barbour. He did so due to Mitch McConnell. He did so due to racist political ads paid for by Haley Barbour. He did so due to the Republican Party establishment hacks who wanted to hold onto their power and puppet-dangling control with Thad Cochran. They had more money. They had more power. This is the problem America.
Here’s the breakdown:
Of the 82 counties in Mississippi and out of those the McDaniel campaign was able to gain access to (within reasonable time), there were a total of 15,372 illegal votes. These were found by reviewing poll books (original and redacted), signature logs, voting machine tapes, and countless other electoral resources. The problem with all of this is that this isn’t even half of the issues because the campaign was not granted full access to what was required to fully investigate. They were stopped at every turn and given countless excuses on why they were not allowed to view the election material.
There were 35 counties who flat-out denied access to review poll books. Of those counties that were allowed to be reviewed, there were 14 counties with ballot boxes unlocked, 26 counties with seals broken, 29 counties with a broken chain of custody, and so many other irregularities that cannot even be explained because the court houses were such a mess.
When McDaniel’s attorney, Mitch Tyner filed the challenge, he did so in 41 days. Judge Hollis McGehee ruled on August 29 that McDaniel waited too long to file his challenge with the state Republican Party. McGehee said that under state law the challenge had to be filed within 20 days. They cited a 1959 Mississippi Supreme Court ruling that said an election challenge must begin within 20 days of the election. McDaniel argued that the 20 day deadline was no longer the law. McDaniel’s lawyers filed an appeal September 5th with the Mississippi Supreme Court to overturn McGehee’s judicial decision rejecting McDaniel’s challenge.
The Mississippi State GOP, Party Chairman Joe Nosef, and the Mississippi judicial system put up all kinds of road blocks to stall the actual McDaniel filing. It certainly appears the ‘stalling’ was a deliberate ploy with this legal maneuver of the 20 day time limit as the back-up plan for a court challenge. The frustrating part about this is initially this judge was viewed as being fair after his remarks about the upcoming challenge, as he indicated his authority to unseat Cochran if he were elected in November. The judge also communicated in a letter to circuit clerks that they should preserve the election records for the trial. He was adamant about his authority and showed a backbone at the 1st hearing. So, he didn’t know about the filing date issue at that time? Something just isn’t right here. Seems somebody came to him at the end with the “20 day filing” save.
The judge ruled on a technicality for the Cochran campaign and all of the very telling evidence that was put together over weeks of time has not been reviewed thus far. That is a problem. Enough of the charades from the Cochran campaign and favors from all of their high-profile, influential people who are the decision makers, it is time to review the data and start fixing the GOP. The time is now.
Thad Cochran lost in Mississippi to a better candidate in Chris McDaniel and the Republican establishment chose to throw grenades at their own people in order to secure power and influence. This is sick and not right for the integrity of our elections. Chris McDaniel is a great man. A man of character, faith, family, and integrity, but also a man who is a proven fighter. He clearly has taken the most heat from any political candidate this election cycle, but he has taken it from his own party.
I pray we’ll get justice. We need our chance to present our evidence. And the people of this country and this state need to finally see the ugly, ugly under belly of some elements of the Republican Party. And those elements, as bad as they’ve behaved, they have no business being the party of freedom or being Reagan’s conservative party.” – Chris McDaniel
The son of Mississippi may have fallen down momentarily, but rest assured, he will rise again. The fight is far from over. McDaniel started something down in Mississippi that was very much-needed for the entire Republican Party. It woke up a lot of sleeping giants. This is no longer the party of Reagan, but the party Reagan would fight. We conservatives must continue to fight. Fight we will.
Are you a McDaniel Republican? #RememberMississippi
An article out this week by Tim Carney references a Mississippi success story in how one woman overcame protectionist government regulations here to inspire a new industry. The story is about Melanie Armstrong from Tupelo, Mississippi and Conservatives should take notice.
If you peer even further into the interesting nooks of the non-corporate economy, you see people engaging in business who probably wouldn’t even call themselves self-employed. The stay-at-home mom who runs a small day care out of her home — really babysitting three kids — may not think of herself as a businesswoman, but rather a mom who hustles to make ends meet. Same with the hobby photographer who shoots weddings to fill the family’s vacation fund. Or the single mom on welfare who paints postcards to calm her nerves, and then sells them.
These people might not fit your definition of entrepreneurs, and they’re not the standard image of small businesspeople. And again, they may not even think of themselves as “self-employed.”
But these are people trying to improve their own lot, or their own family’s lot through independent hard work. Conservatives concerned with helping people ought to think about these people more.
I thought of all of these matters because of this infuriating story by Melanie Armstrong, who took up African hair-braiding, only to run into insane regulations that politicians claim are for consumer-protection, but are instead for protecting incumbent businesses.
Mississippi finally changed the law to allow hair-braiding without the insane regulations. Armstrong overcame them and expanded, like a true entrepreneur. It’s an awesome American dream capitalism story. But we shouldn’t stop at thinking about her. This was the part that struck me:
Since 2005, I have trained more than 125 women who have gone on to earn a living as natural hair braiders. In addition, my shop in Tupelo has provided jobs for 25 women, affording them the dignity and pride of a regular paycheck.
Most of those 125 women she has trained won’t become hair-braiding moguls. Many will be content to braid on their own back deck, never getting a storefront. They won’t be job creators. But there are many more of them than there are Melanie Armstrongs.
These are the stories of survival and community we should be striving to tell. This is how putting people first and inspiring them to fight for their dreams to create their own opportunities works. This is what reducing big government in favor of people does.
“Progressives spent a generation imposing taxes and other expenses on urban populations as though the taxpaying middle class would not relocate. They protected the defective cartel system of public education, and the union money and votes associated with it, as though middle-class parents would not move to places that had better schools. They imposed burdens on businesses, in exchange for more union money and votes, as though businesses would not shift production elsewhere. They imposed policies that disincentivized stable family arrangements as though doing so would have no social cost.
And they did so while adhering to a political philosophy that holds that the state, not the family or the market, is the central actor in our lives, that the interests of private parties — be they taxpayers or businesses — can and indeed must be subordinated to the state’s interests, as though individuals and families were nothing more than gears in the great machine of politics.”
Melanie’s story is one of thousands around us that show that Conservatism in practice is the solution to the failures of progressive policies. Reality over rhetoric is what relates these facts better than any political game.
Mississippi Personnel Board Director denies allegations that Gov. Bryant influenced rejection of #CommonCore testing contract.
ANM News partner MississippiPEP.com is reporting that Mississippi State Personnel Board Director Deanne Mosley issued a statement Friday night regarding the rejection of a four-year contract for Common Core testing denying allegations that Gov. Phil Bryant influenced the decision.
“It is unfortunate that there have been allegations that politics entered into the decision or that Governor Phil Bryant directed me, as Chair of the Personal Service Contract Review Board, to deny Superintendent Wright’s request to approve the contract,” Mosley said in the statement. “Those allegations are not true. No one had to influence me to follow the law and ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent properly and legally.”
The state Board of Education was forced to approve an emergency contract Thursday following the Personnel Board’s rejection of the original four-year contract. That means Mississippi’s public school students will take multistate tests this year to evaluate student mastery of the Common Core state standards.
The board approved the $8.3 million emergency contract with a unit of Pearson PLC in a closed session.
The Personnel Board ruled that the Department of Education should have solicited proposals from other vendors. The Department of Education withdrew the contract early Friday.
Governor Phil Bryant was in Japan this week for an economic development conference.
Mississippi will have to sign a new contract after this year, opening the possibility that students will take whole new sets of tests two years in a row. Mississippi can’t return to the prior exams administered last year, also written by Pearson, because tests are supposed to align with standards.
Some local school superintendents want Mississippi to adopt tests written by the ACT organization. Opponents of Common Core want Mississippi to drop both PARCC and the standards.
John Hart of OpportunityLives.com has an excellent commentary out this week about why Republicans should be talking about solutions. When I first read it I felt like I had heard a faint echo in the wilderness. I’ve been talking and writing about the need for this type of politics for a long time. Unfortunately, while there has been some agreement, there has been no real action by our political leaders.
Our dialogue here in Mississippi, as in much of the country, continues to be more about rhetoric than reality. I have suggested that a change in the dialogue would do more to solidify a place for the thousands of newly engaged Conservatives than anything else we can do. That led to me being personally attacked online by an anonymous assailant who, obviously, is against changing the dialogue.
I suppose if you’ve got nothing else . . .
We obviously have a long way to go. But just like the song goes, we also have a short time to get there (for those under the age of 40 that’s a Smokey and the Bandit reference. Look it up and enjoy). Demographic data clearly points to the fact that the audience is changing, and the first rule of any good communication is to know your audience.
Hart offers 5 reasons in explaining why Republicans should run on solutions and a positive agenda. It is also applicable to Conservatives, whether my detractors like it or not.
1. Offering solutions is a better political strategy.
Hart writes that the deadly rationalization in todays politics is that in order to “do good things” one first has to win. He writes that this leads candidates to refuse to put forward “bold and risky solutions that can be attacked” during a campaign.
This is very well illustrated by the slow unraveling of the connection between social and fiscal conservatism by the consulting class that have controlled the Republican Party for the past nearly twenty years. Rather than grasp the message and educate the public of how social conservatism is necessary in a free society, GOP leaders chose to downplay social conservatism completely. We see the results of that reflected in our culture today.
When the voices of those Republicans who believed in the importance of character, integrity, family and Faith were quashed, there was no longer a platform to spark discussion.
Fast forward to today and the nation has more people on some form of government welfare than people who are working. We spend more on poverty programs than ever, yet the poverty rate is unchanged. We have a larger number of young people putting off marriage and starting a family. We have a growing chasm between the political class and the working class that is not only economic but also cultural. The economic problems we face today are a direct result of moving away from talking about social conservatism and traditional values that drive work ethic and character.
The perfect political moment never arrives to “do good things”. There is always another election to be worried about. So refusing to discuss solutions for fear of losing only means we never get to the solutions, just the next election.
The restaurant analogy is spot on. Normal people don’t go to a restaurant to read a menu. They go for a meal. Political movements are the same. Voters don’t want opinions; they want answers and specifics.
2. You’ll be defined on your terms rather than someone else’s.
As Hart puts it in his article:
“If you are not defining what you are for, the other side will do that for you. Leaving a blank slate is dangerous. Write your own narrative in the language of specifics.”
This may be the most important for us right now in Mississippi. Back in 2012 I began putting together plans for a group called Generation Mississippi. The idea is simple. We have to start presenting solutions to the audience that will be the next generation of voters. It has garnered a little more interest of late for obvious reasons.
In both Mississippi and the nation the conservative message is not connecting with minorities or young voters. In most cases this is not because of a lack of agreement, but rather a lack of communication. Conservative ideas need not change. The way we communicate and engage about those ideas does. We tend to dismiss those who disagree rather than engaging in the discussion. In order to see a move towards a Constitutionally sound conservatism this lack of engagement must end.
Assuming population growth remains the same in our state, in less than 10 years the non-white to white population will be 50-50. That’s only 2 or 3 election cycles aways. I’m no mathematician, but that sounds like we ought to be getting to work.
With all the gnashing of teeth over the race-baiting ads used in the U.S. Senate race, I’ve yet to hear too many people look past their anger to ask a simple question: “Why do you suppose that worked so well?”
My answer: It’s because Conservatives gave up on communicating solutions with minority groups. We did them a disservice by not offering them solid solutions, they did us one back by being easily manipulated to think conservatism is about hurting minorities and minority communities.
Conservative policies will work for minorities. They work for those who want a good education and a good job. They work for those who want to see their communities prosper. They work for those who recognize there are moral issues society should address. All of these opportunities to communicate exist in minority communities in Mississippi, and beyond, and we should be discussing them in a positive way. We should be defining conservatism as a solution so the shysters don’t get to come in, as they did here in Mississippi, and define it for us.
3. You’ll have a mandate.
Politicians and candidates that talk about generic ideas and refuse to discuss solid solutions inspire a generic following and and audience that is easily distracted by slick advertising and branding. Governance is about solutions. It’s about a system that allows people to work for their dreams and to produce something of value to the community. If people can’t make the connection between a candidate’s message and how that would solve problems and allow opportunity then support is at best blind allegiance, an army without a cause. Don’t tell me what you’re against. Tell me what you are for.
Any politician who wants to be a leader has to lead. That means providing the army of followers with a mission, and it means if one finds themselves elected to office they will have, as Hart puts it, “an army at their back.” This means getting things done. Isn’t that the point?
Messaging today is not linear. It spreads like a fire, capturing the tender around it that is ready to burn and occasionally throwing off a spark that starts a whole new blaze. A solid message built on solutions and substance is the match that ignites the flame.
4. It’s your job.
Most of us who are politically active weren’t drawn into it for the pay and benefits. I understand that some lobbyists campaign for clients and get paid big bucks because of the legislation they get pushed through. But for the most part these are the guys that are just throwing money at candidates. Those of us grunts who work on campaigns will be the first to tell you we aren’t getting rich. We do this because we believe in what we do and why we do it.
Thanks to social media, K-Street has taken a big hit. People and conversations are much more important now than back room deals. The ability of people to pull together an army of outrage over an issue can happen in hours.
But, with that comes some responsibility. Conservatives need to be careful to educate themselves and not to jump on just any bandwagon. We must demand a candidate explain what he or she will do specifically.
The way to remind those who want to run for public office that this is more than a beauty contest is to already be talking about the issues, the problems, the solutions and the specifics. The message should be clear: “We don’t need a savior, we need a representative. This is what we believe. If you believe this too we may consider voting for you. But, get over the self-importance right now and realize, if you win, we expect you to do your job.”
In other words, don’t just say you work for us. Do it.
5. The country needs solutions.
For some, it is apparent that politics is a game, campaigns are something we put into a win/loss column. But for people now struggling with putting food on the table for their kids this is more than a sporting event, its about survival.
Drive through a small town in the Mississippi Delta and tell me the people there care one whit about who won the last election. Join me for coffee at my local diner one morning and see how the working class men who start their day there talk about politicians and government. There is a reason the approval rating of elected officials remains consistently in the cellar and why so few people even bother to vote anymore.
Give me liberty? You bet. But give me a reason to want it and believe in it, and you have a winning message.