YOUR OPINION: Letters to the Editor January 21, 2013

By NEMS Daily Journal

Top state leaders ‘obsessed’ with opposing president
I was amazed by the recent comments of Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov Tate Reeves regarding President Obama’s executive orders on gun control and their rejection of Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney’s filing an insurance exchange plan required by the Affordable Healthcare Act.
Both Bryant and Reeves vehemently rejected any form of gun control while opting for more and better mental health care as the only real deterrent to gun violence. In addition, both supported the National Rifle Association’s suggestion to arm both teachers and school administrators – an obvious introduction of arms in the classrooms. Are their positions based solely on protecting the money that flows to their campaign funds from the NRA?
Are not these the same two men who supported former Gov. Haley Barbour’s budgets that included cuts in spending for mental health? And are not these men among those who have never approved, or perhaps blocked, bills that would fully finance education in Mississippi? It seems to me that, even after a lost election, both gentlemen are still obsessed with opposing the president when we should be moving forward in a progressive way that will ensure the safety and improve the education of all our children.
As for the insurance commissioner’s filing of an insurance exchange plan, Gov. Bryant seems to think that he has sole power to make such filings. He seems to forget that Tupelo native Mike Chaney was elected insurance commissioner by the voters of Mississippi to represent them in such matters. This appears to be a political tactic on the part of the governor that will invite federal control of insurance in Mississippi rather than keeping it in the hands of the insurance commissioner elected by the people.
How simple it would be to follow the president’s executive orders on gun control. How simple it would be to fully fund education and mental health care in Mississippi. How simple it would be to support rather than oppose our elected insurance commissioner. What has happened to leadership in the two top offices in Mississippi?
Gene Asbury

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