|August 26, 2009||Farm Bureau waiting on voter ID initiative effort||no comments|
|August 03, 2009||Barbour sounds like national candidate||1 comments|
|July 29, 2009||lieutenant governor doesn't mention hospital tax at fair||4 comments|
|July 28, 2009||Neshoba Fair political speakings attendees not uninformed||no comments|
JACKSON -- Gov. Haley Barbour's speech at the historic Neshoba County Fair Thursday sounded like that of a politician running for president in 2012.
He focused more on national politics than state politics, though, in fairness, he did try to connect what is happening nationally to how he believes it will affect Mississippi.
He blasted President Barack Obama and "the liberal Democrat Congress" for overspending, saying their health care program and energy program would be bad for America.
Barbour has some real political baggage that would impede his run for national office. But he is being mentioned more and more as a likely candidate in 2012.
Whether he will be remains to be seen. But it is obvious Barbour, highly respected from his successful stint in the 1990s as chair of the Republican National Committee, is and will continue to be a much-listened-to voice in Republican circles on the national level.
PHILADELPHIA -- Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant pointed out correctly at the political speakings at Wednesday's Neshoba County Fair that he, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Alan Nunnelee, R-Tupelo, and others slowed the budget negotiations to ensure that $60 million was set aside to be used in 2010 or beyond.
That is true. But the lieutenant governor did not point out that he and Nunnelee also slowed the budget negotiations to ensure that the tax on hospitals was increased.
By coincidence, the tax on hospitals was increased $60 million. Legislators could have just as easily not transferred $60 million to future budget years and used that money this year in lieu of a hospital tax increase.
If the additional $60 million was needed in future years, legislators could have increased the hospital tax then.
That would be another option. But Bryant, Nunnelee and Gov. Haley Barbour were intent on increasing the tax on hospitals now.
JACKSON -- Few people who attend the annual Neshoba County Fair political speakings these days fall into the category of the uninformed voter looking to be educated.
For the most part, people who attend the political speakings are:
* Supporters of a candidate or political party looking to provide vocal support.
* A lobbyist or other type of worker who depends on government actions for his or her pay.
* Members of the media.
* People at the historic fair for other purposes, such as the horse racing, concerts or midway rides, either get lost and end up at the Founders' Square Pavilion during the speakings or have a healthy curiosity and decide to wander over for a few minutes.
This will be a quiet year at the fair with statewide elections still two years away. Still, all the statewide elected officials are scheduled to speak either Wednesday or Thursday. Some news might be made.
A disturbing trend in recent years has been audience members heckling candidates they do not support. I'm all for free speech, but people come to hear the candidates not members of the audience. Hopefully fair officials will start to get that conduct under control.
It's one thing to give vocal support to your candidate. It is another to try to deprive your candidate's opponent from being heard.