Mike’s Missive’s: Let’s Get to Work!

By: Mike Biggs

As the dust settles from the 2015 campaigns I want to offer you my gratitude for your unwavering support of our Democratic candidates and the causes that bring us together as a party. Having spent time with and talked to voters across this great state, I am convinced that brighter days are ahead.

As we speak, the legislative and executive branches of our state government are now firmly controlled by the Tea Party fringes of the Republican Party. While disastrous as this may seem, it does should deepen our resolve.

While we wait for the final certification of the results there are many reasons for Democrats to be proud. We re-elected Attorney General Jim Hood to a 4th term and Democrats will have a majority on the Public Service Commission with the election of former state representative Cecil Brown.

Make no mistake about it; there were reasons to be disappointed. The House Democratic caucus was our last front against the radical Republican agenda. We need to rebuild just as we did last decade when we held as many as 75 seats in the house and 32 seats in the senate. We start today educating and organizing our base and re-building the party from the ground up.

On a personal note, several of my good friends fought valiantly and ultimately were unsuccessful but deserve our heartfelt thanks and adoration for their service to our state and party:

3rd CD:

Rep.Bobby Moak

House Democratic Leader Bobby Moak

4th CD:

Rep. Blaine “Bo” Eaton

Rep. Bo Eaton of Taylorsville

Rep. Sherra-Hillman Lane

Rep. Sherra Hillman-Lane

We also saw several members retire this year: Rep. Mary H. Coleman, Rep. Ferr Smith, Rep. Bennet Malone, Rep. Joe Warren, Rep. Johnny Stringer, Rep. Chuck Espy, Rep. James Evans, and Rep. Clara Burnett

It is time to create an agenda that provides opportunity for everyone. It is time to set goals that every Mississippi Democrat believes are worth fighting for. I hope you will take a moment to reflect on the enormity of the challenges we faced this year and the many reasons that we can be energized and optimistic heading into the future.

I believe we will prevail but more importantly we must begin the process of preparing for 2019 now. We can begin immediately to target increased voter turnout for the 2016 elections. We need at least 200,000 more Democrats added to the voter rolls to return a Democrat to the White House, all incumbents up for re-election and gain new Democratic seats where they may be competitive.

Let’s resolve to recruit Democrats who can win for Democrats and make Mississippi a better place to live, work and raise a family.

DeMiktric “Mike” Biggs

Mikes’ Missives: From Tim “Elvis” In Jackson

By Mike Biggs

Baria tantalizes with tweet

Rep. David Baria of Bay St. Louis provided, what has by in large been a run of the mill qualifying period, a much needed jolt last night when he teased that Mississippi Democrats would have a major announcement. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one calling, texting and emailing well into the wee hours trying to get the scoop. A rarity these days: Republican switching to join the Democratic Party.

Will it be Trent Lott? Is it Chris McDaniel? By midnight, I had almost been convinced it was Ron Williams, former GOP gubernatorial candidate. Finally about 1:30 a.m I received the most promising callback yet, it was Tim Johnson of Madison County. My initial reaction was coincidentally the same as several I’ve encountered throughout the day; “The Elvis guy”? Yes, Tim Elvis Johnson was holding a press conference to announce he was switching parties and running for Lt.Gov as a Democrat!

Switchin’ to Glide: Johnson singing a different tune

Johnson, flanked by his family and Democratic Party leaders, managed to do in one day what hasn’t been done in several years: energizing Mississippi Democrats and giving hope to the possibility of a much needed win. Tim Johnson served 2 terms in the state senate before serving 2 terms as a Madison County Supervisor. Prior to being elected to the legislature he served 1 term as a Madison alderman. He ran for Central District Transportation Commissioner in 2011 but was defeated by incumbent Dick Hall.

In explaining why he decided to switch parties, Johnson exclaimed “Republican leadership in Jackson has failed Mississippi families”. He went on to say “the failure of the Republican leadership in the senate to help sick people was the last straw for me”.

“All are welcome in the Democratic Party, even a reformed Republican like me”

Rickey Cole, Chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party sounded a similar tone saying, ” Tim is representative of the tens of thousands of Mississippians who are reconsidering their loyalty to a Republican Party that has lost its way”. Cole went on to say ” we are proud of the efforts of our veteran Democratic leaders, and are happy to welcome new “walk-on” recruits like Tim Johnson as we step up to offer the people of Mississippi clear choices in November”.

State Democrats Seek Changes With Pardons

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Clarion Ledger: State Democrats seek changes with pardons

House Democrats say they are introducing legislation that would require a public hearing before a governor could pardon a prisoner convicted of a felony crime.

Rep. Baria also said he intends to propose legislation that would end the trusty practice.

“It won’t help these folks today, but it will help those in the future who might be affected,” said Rep. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis, who sponsored the legislation, at a news conference today.

2012 Legislature: Power, Agenda in GOP’s Grip

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Clarion Ledger: 2012 Legislature: Power, agenda in GOP’s grip

The GOP will have more power than ever this legislative session, with Republicans in control of the state House and Senate for the first time since Reconstruction.

Lawmakers return to the Capitol on Tuesday, and Republicans are bringing long wish lists, including anti-illegal immigration measures, a law that would require reporting of suspected child sex abuse, charter school proposals and restrictions on the attorney general’s office, among others.

But many Democrats say they worry about the changes that Republican control could mean for the state.

“The question is going to be what do the people of Mississippi want?” said Rep. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis. “If they want drastic cuts in education, they’ll be happy. If they want drastic cuts to Medicaid, they’ll be happy.”