By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
JACINTO – Only withering heat and high humidity eclipsed fervent political speaking and fanning supporters Wednesday at Jacinto’s 33rd annual July 4th festival.
The thermometer topped 100 degrees in the shade as elected officials, would-be successors, Native Indian dancers and venders took part in the holiday tradition.
Brad Morris of Oxford, the Democratic challenger to Republican U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee, added verbal fuel to the contest as he blasted his opponent’s party for pushing to cut back on programs that help middle-class families.
“Congress just doesn’t get it,” the Dorsey native told the crowd. “They spend too much time bickering and have forgotten why they’re up there.”
He accused Nunnelee and his colleagues of giving too much help to corporations to the detriment of the middle class.
“I’ll focus on policies to help the middle class … and make sure everyone pays their fair share,” Morris promised, if he’s elected Nov. 6.
Nunnelee of Tupelo defeated Morris’ former boss, Rep. Travis Childers, two years ago to win the First District seat in the U.S. House.
Nunnelee revisited his 2008 election success, praising the strong support he received in Tishomingo, Alcorn and Prentiss counties.
“We said no to Obamacare,” he said about the Obama Administration’s national health care program. “We said no more stimulus, no more federal intrusion into our lives.”
The former state senator said this year’s election “is about the future,” a defining moment for the next generations.
Nunnelee also said the election is important to “get government regulations off the backs of the job-creaters.”
Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Tupelo, spoke briefly and thanked area supporters for “taking a chance on me” in 1994, when he was first elected to the U.S. House.
He characterized this year’s election “a turning point” and an opportunity for Americans “to turn away from European socialism.”
Wicker’s opponents – Democrat Albert N. Gore Jr. and Constitution Party candidate Tom Cramer – pressed their own issues.
Gore of Starkville, a retired Methodist minister and Army chaplain, said he believes “people need a voice in government … I don’t believe we have it, but corporations do.”
He promised to support veterans benefits, Medicare and Medicaid.
Cramer of Van Cleave reminded the audience “the government answers to us, not us to the government.”
The 20-year Navy veteran blasted the 16th Amendment to the constitution, which authorized Congress to levy taxes, and other powers he viewed as unconstitutional over-reach by government.
Also among the day’s speakers were Mississippi Supreme Court candidates Flip Phillips of Batesville and Josiah Coleman of Oxford.