Musgrove gets in budget dig

JACKSON — For people with a sense of Mississippi political history, former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove’s appearance Aug. 2 (election night) on a Jackson television station as a political analyst had a sense of irony.

Musgrove referred to a $1.2-billion budget shortfall the Legislature would face in 2012. A spokesperson from Gov. Haley Barbour’s office called in to ask Musgrove to correct that figure.

Musgrove calmly explained he got that number from the report he was holding in his hand — done by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Musgrove, paused, and said surely everyone has a great deal of respect for the Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber is, generally speaking, a Republican-leaning organization that supported Barbour who defeated Musgrove in 2003 — partly by hammering him on what candidate Barbour said was a $700 million budget deficit.

Musgrove disputed that figure — just as the outgoing Barbour is disputing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce figure.