Pay Raises, Common Core and Rev. C.L. Bryant

By: Mike Biggs

The Mississippi State Capitol was abuzz today with legislators, lobbyist and staffers scurrying about but what was most notable was the presence of everyday Mississippians. Before the 2015 session was gaveled to order, citizens from across Mississippi gathered to let their representatives and senators know what issues they wanted to see brought to the forefront in what promises to be a very interesting session.

Dueling rallies were held on both ends of the capitol. Moral Movement Mississippi, a coalition of faith, labor, civil rights, immigrant, and various community organizations across Mississippi, held a rally on the steps of the capitol where dozens of state employees, teachers and activists gathered to call for pay raises for Mississippi’s state employees and teachers and for the legislature to fully fund the MAEP. MASE/CWA President Brenda Scott, MAE Executive Director Frank Yates and Tyson Jackson were just a few of the speakers who rallied the faithful. Scott opened the rally with her rendition of Pete Seeger’s “If I had a hammer” which has long been a staple of the progressive movement. Rep. Sherra Hillman-Lane of Waynesboro was there in support.

On the Senate side of the capitol, an anti Common Core rally was held and at times had a tent revival feel to it. Sens. Angela Burks Hill and Michael Watson, flanked by Sens. Tony Smith and Phillip Gandy, spoke to the packed room of supporters. Senators Hill and McDaniel have led the charge over the last 2 years and there just may be enough support now that Lt. Gov. Reeves has signaled he is on board and Gov. Bryant has lent his support. The star of the show however was Rev. C.L Bryant, a Shreveport Baptist preacher. Bryant opened his remarks by saying “today is a good day to fight a fight for the republic and strike a blow for freedom”.

There should be very little doubt that pay raises for Mississippi’s teachers and state employees, funding MAEP and common core will be the top political issues of this session and political season.

Twas’ A Month Before Qualifying: Year 2

By: Mike Biggs

Twas’ a month before qualifying, all across the Magnolia State, Candidates have been fretting, whether to jump into the race. Tate Reeves was flip-flopping and drinking the TEA while Hosemann was yet again plotting, this time to be the LG. Thad held on and his days appear sunny, thanks to Scooby and Bishop and Barbour’s “walk around money”. But don’t count out McDaniel whose knives seem to be sharper for he may just go after Bryant or Wicker or even Gregg Harper.

State Democrats are still figuring out how to get out of their hole but fret not fellow Dems cause’ all roads still lead to Rickey Cole. The party of Winter and Ronnie and Ray are hoping Brandon Presley will soon show them the way. Be not dismayed for there is still plenty of lower chamber action thanks to Jeramey and Snowden and yes, Lataisha Jackson. House Republicans are bolstered by an air tight majority and yet are still poised to pick off a few of the remaining House RWD’s.

State Democrats are active and out convincing too, Project 1776 is still working as it goes into year number two. House Dems have set their sights back on the speaker’s gavel; They’ll have rough terrain to defend if they can manage not to unravel. Twas’ a month before qualifying and no pols seem to be slumbered though one thing is certain, Kenny Wayne’s day’s as chair of the Black Caucus are numbered. If you think this session is going to be a bore all’s you’d have to do is look at the pandering around common core.

Now Blackmon and Bryan and Busby and Bain. On Watson and Doty and don’t forget Fillengane. To Hood and Pickering and Chaney with glee. To Sojourner and Aldridge and the lump of coal under your tree. So, Bob Evans and Cecil and Sen. Hill you can’t hide and let’s not forget Randall and Jason and Nickey “party-switchin’ to glide. With the session and election season soon to be in full bloom, the capitol is sure to be the place to see the biggest elephants in the room. Don’t forget the donkey’s for they will be in the mix; and at the receptions and at the podium and on the floor shaking their fists.

So to all of you who love a good political hob-knob, let’s focus all of our energies on pay raises for teachers, state employee’s and Better Schools, Better Jobs. The PULSE wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! and the defeat of the Heritage campaign and it’s vestiges of yester-year!