McDaniel lands big endorsement from Gun Owners of America

Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund endorsed Republican candidate Chris McDaniel in his campaign for U.S. Senate today.

“Larry Pratt and Tim Macy are two of the nation’s top defenders of Second Amendment rights, and I could not be more please to have their support,” said McDaniel. “The threat from Washington, D.C. to our God-given right to bear arms is a real one, and I’m proud to stand with GOA in the fight to defend the rights of the people.”

“It’s good to know that we have men like Chris McDaniel running for US Senate. He is a strong leader and stalwart defender of the Second Amendment,” said Larry Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America.

“During his time in the Mississippi State Senate he sponsored and co sponsored numerous pieces of pro-gun legislation, and we can count on him to do the same in Washington,” Pratt concluded.

“When it comes to no compromise pro-gun candidates, Chris McDaniel proudly stands in the top tier of successful leaders,” added Tim Macy, Vice Chairman of GOA.

Widely considered to be among the staunchest defenders of gun rights, Gun Owners of America is dedicated to restoring the Second Amendment and representing the views of gun owners whenever their rights are threatened.

Chris McDaniel is a constitutional conservative running for United States Senate. He represents District 42 in the Mississippi State Senate in his second term where he fights for individual liberty, free markets and fiscal responsibility in government.

McDaniel has been endorsed by a wide array of elected officials and organizations, including Sarah Palin, Gary Bauer, Phyllis Schlafly, Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, Madison Project, Senate Conservatives Fund, Tea Party Express, and Tea Party Patriots, Coalition to Reduce Spending, and Young Americans for Liberty.

McDaniel for Senate Press Release

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HARRISON: State GOP needs TEA Party support.

BY: Bobby Harrison

The McDaniel/Cochran campaign has the potential to attract many newcomers to the Republican Party primary. The race, it appears by the number of television commercials already being aired and the animosity already being displayed by both campaigns, will be hotly contested. And there is no party primary on the Democratic side of any significance. Cochran, of course, is the sixth-term incumbent and deeply entrenched as part of the state Republican Party organization. McDaniel is the upstart, the Tea Party favorite. Now, in many instances, Tea Party members have been long-time, entrenched Republicans. But in other instances, Tea Party members, although socially and fiscally conservative, have never identified with the Republican Party, other than to vote for the Republican candidate with whom they felt most closely aligned. Many of these people have become politically active for the first time thanks to the Tea Party, though they have been long-time Republican voters.

The McDaniel-Cochran race is quickly morphing into a contest between those Tea Party members and the state’s Republican Party establishment, or GOP old guard. After all, the Barbours, as Republican establishment as can be found, are running an independent group touting Cochran and speaking rather despairingly of McDaniel and of groups supporting him.

Haley Barbour called the national Tea Party-affiliated groups supporting McDaniel “out-of-state phonies.” The former governor – the most prolific political fundraiser in the state’s history – was never averse to out-of-state support when he was campaigning.

Many others associated with the state’s Republican Party establishment also have gone after McDaniel and his supporters with a particular zeal. The establishment Republicans have depended on the Tea Party-like voters – many of whom are supporting McDaniel – to turn Mississippi into one of the most dependable red states. They will continue to need that support whether McDaniel wins or loses.

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Southern Company agrees to share Kemper County power research with Chinese firm

Southern Co. has signed a deal with a state-owned Chinese coal and energy company to help develop coal technologies, based in part on the coal gasification and carbon capture technology that Southern subsidiary Mississippi Power Co. is deploying at the $5 billion Kemper County power plant.

The deal, signed April 8, calls for Atlanta-based Southern to work with Shenhua as well as universities and government agencies.

Southern spokesman Tim Leljedal said Tuesday the technology Southern uses at Kemper is “central” to the partnership.

The electric utility has a deal with Houston-based engineering firm KBR to market the technology.

In a 2013 settlement with the Mississippi Public Service Commission of lawsuits over the Kemper plant, Southern agreed to give Mississippi Power ratepayers 10 percent of after-tax licensing revenue from power plants.

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PULLMAN: Regulations Threaten School Choice

BY: Joy Pullman

Some state lawmakers and the Obama administration have attacked school choice programs in Louisiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin from behind, through regulations. In a lawsuit brought by the Obama administration, a federal court has ruled Louisiana must supply the feds the name, address, race, and desired school of every child who wants a state voucher so federal bureaucrats can decide whether the applicant children are the right race to receive it. Yes, really.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed into law more regulations on voucher schools this week. One would require private schools to start sending the state far more information about students, including graduation rates, family income levels, enrollment numbers, and scores on annual state tests, and to submit to the state their annual budgets. These will usher private schools that accept vouchers into the state’s forthcoming annual report cards.

And Ohio lawmakers are working to close a “loophole”: voucher schools aren’t required to administer the same third-grade reading tests public schools are, nor are they required to hold students back if they fail the test. That’s not a loophole. It’s a feature.

The main reason public schools must submit to myriad state regulations is they are accountable not directly to parents but to taxpayers through their elected representatives and whatever bureaucracies have accumulated since states began. That’s why principals and superintendents can afford to ignore and anger parents–because parents can’t choose not to pay school administrators’ salaries.

Private schools function on a different kind of accountability, to families. If those schools fail to manage their money well, they will fold. Unlike school districts, private schools will not be perpetually bailed out by taxpayers. If private schools fail to educate children well, parents will know it quickly and can choose to send their kids elsewhere. In short, private schools have a built-in, natural accountability mechanism that public schools do not. This is why private schools do not need to be pushed into “accountability” schemes demanded and designed by people who oppose school choice.

Second, a central reason for establishing a school choice program at all is to offer parents access to education options outside the public school system. If choice programs instead absorb private schools into the public school system–where they test the same, teach the same, use money the same, and so forth–there is little reason to have a school choice program at all.

Joy Pullmann ( is a research fellow of The Heartland Institute and managing editor of School Reform News, a national monthly publication. In that capacity, she has interviewed and produced podcasts with many of the leading figures in school reform. She previously was the assistant editor for American Magazine at the American Enterprise Institute.

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Mississippi ranks 14th in nation for economic competitiveness, 39th in economic performance.

Mississippi ranks 14th in the nation in terms of future economic performance, according to a report released this week from the American Legislative Exchange Council.

The 2014 economic outlook ranking is a forward-looking measure of how each state can expect to perform based on 15 policy areas that have proven, over time, to be the best determinants of economic success, according to the report.

That includes personal and corporate income tax rates, state minimum wage, average workers’ compensation costs and labor policies, among other factors.

“Each of these factors is influenced directly by state lawmakers through the legislative process,” the report says. “Generally speaking, states that spend less — especially on income transfer programs — and states that tax less — particularly on productive activities such as working or investing — experience higher growth rates than states that tax and spend more.”

Alabama ranked 20th on the list, and Louisiana ranked 29th. The top-ranked states were Utah, South Dakota, Indiana, North Dakota and Idaho, while New York came in 50th.

The report also showed Mississippi is ranked 39th in the nation in economic performance, which is a backward-looking measure based on the state’s gross domestic product, absolute domestic migration and non-farm payroll employment.

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PLUNKETT: It’s time for Republicans who will answer questions and lead.

BY: B. Keith Plunkett @Keithplunkett

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”-John Maxwell

Mississippi Republicans should be thrilled! We should be ecstatic. We have been given an opportunity in this state unlike any in my lifetime to reshape the national conversation, if only we will show the courage.

Over the years, I have worked many a festival, knocked many a door, and handed out many a push card. I’ve planted thousands of signs and driven tens of thousands of miles across Mississippi.

I’ve volunteered for the Republican Party. I and my wife have helped organize and attend meetings, rally’s and meet-and-greets for numerous Republican candidates, and have promoted many Republican causes.

I have studied and researched policy, and continue to do so every day. I am confident in my conservative beliefs. I know that they have worked throughout history, and I know the research that shows how they would work today. These positions match with my chosen parties stated platform.

Why then are there those in my own party, the one I have worked for, telling me and those like me that these principles no longer apply? Why are those who are commonly referred to as ‘Republican leaders’ going on national television and talk shows and telling others that I don’t belong? Why are they saying we must now reject parts of our own platform?

And, maybe more importantly, why won’t they have the discussion with those of us who have worked in the trenches? Why won’t they defend their position? Why won’t they show those of us how this proposal to reject the platform will result in success? Better yet, why won’t they show us where it ever has?

I am old enough to remember the conservative movement that allowed Ronald Reagan to become President. Despite his administrations imperfections, I remember the incredible things accomplished in pulling our country back from the brink of economic disaster and world war, and how people began engaging again in their communities.

I also remember the hard push by a scrappy group of Republican Congressmen in the House of Representatives in 1996 that resulted in the ‘shutdown’ of the federal government. I remember that the Washington media heaped blame upon them, much as they did Senate conservatives last year. Despite the blame-game in DC, two years later the American people rewarded the fight by giving Republicans control of the House again, and even electing two new Republicans to the Senate.

Two years later, again due to the willingness to fight, a Democrat President was forced to sign the first balanced budget in generations. He also signed a major reform of welfare pushed by Republicans that went on to lift millions of children out of poverty.

These are the GOP principles in action that I remember. What they illustrate to me is that when Republicans are willing to fight for conservative principles and not just their next election, then the people of this country win.

Why is this no longer a valid approach? Can one of my GOP leaders explain?

  • Can they explain why the Republican leadership no longer believes illegal immigration should be illegal?
  • Can they explain why the push for a simplified tax code is only given lip service, when our history clearly shows that reducing taxes and doing away with the thousands of tax loopholes increases economic prosperity for everyone and actually increases tax revenue?
  • Can they explain how the more the federal government has spent and regulated, the less people have worked and participated in their own communities?
  • Can they explain how the states receiving the most in federal funds have created the fewest full-time jobs?
  • Can they explain how money sold as disaster relief can end up in the pockets of political friends and family members of the politicians in charge instead of the victims? Can they explain how states nowhere near the Gulf Coast should have received money from Hurricane Katrina relief?
  • Can they explain how federal legislation intended to prop up industry and markets is now a good thing and why it rarely ends once it begins?
  • Can they explain how two-thirds of the taxpayers money is taken and handed out to others who have not worked to save their own?
  • Can they explain why they fund agencies that create laws by creating regulation that restricts some people while rewarding others?
  • Can they explain why they vote to give billions of dollars to other countries and international agencies every year who then question the validity of U.S. citizens God-given rights within our own borders?
  • Can they explain why they vote to fund practices and create laws while in office that they tell us they are against when they are running for reelection?
  • Can they explain why discussion of cutting benefits to Veterans comes up, but never discussion of cutting Congressional benefits?

When leaders have the faith of those they are leading then it is easy to take the fight forward. But, it is difficult for anyone to lead when they refuse to speak, inspire and answer questions. It is impossible to lead when the answers to the questions have become the exact opposite of what people believe and want. When that happens, the conversation ends, just like it has with Senator Thad Cochran. That is why he has refused to debate.

The only person in the race for U.S. Senate who is having a conversation with the people right now about how we move forward as a state and a nation is Senator Chris McDaniel. He is the only person answering difficult questions and addressing topics of the economy, education, jobs and healthcare. He is the only person presenting his ideas and engaging in a discussion. He is the only person that’s record shows he has fought and will continue to fight for conservative principles espoused by our Republican Party.

To my friends in the GOP who are fretting about the future, for the sake of our party tell our leaders to stop fighting the debate we all know is necessary.

For those old bastions who refuse to listen and would rather personally attack than have the debate, thank you for your past service. But, you are now part of the problem.

I believe it was Haley Barbour who said, “Good policy is good politics.” To recognize that is to take part in the ongoing important discussion, to refuse is to prolong the GOP’s misery.

About Keith: Keith Plunkett is Policy Director for McDaniel for U.S. Senate. He has worked on communications and policy issues with a range of public officials from aldermen to Congressmen, and a variety of businesses, governmental agencies and non-profits. He serves or has served as a board member of several non-profit, civic and political organizations. Contact him by going to or follow him on Twitter @Keithplunkett

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PENDER: How politics killed no-texting bill.

“Nooooo!” an obvious majority of the Mississippi House —Republican, Democrat, black, white — yelled in unison loud enough to rattle the stained glass. And like that, in one of the more baffling legislative moves in recent years, Mississippi remains one of the few states without a law against adults texting while driving.

“The No’s appear to have it,” House Speaker Philip Gunn announced as only three or four members stood, far shy of the 13 required to demand a recorded vote on the electronic board. “The motion fails.”

In its last, late-night major action before adjourning for the year, the Mississippi House killed House Bill 484, a day after passing it overwhelmingly. Its passage April 1 by both House and Senate after years of similar, failed efforts had been heralded statewide.

Gov. Phil Bryant said he looked forward to signing the bill, “in hopes of protecting lives on Mississippi roadways.” A recent poll showed that 93 percent of Mississippians favored joining 43 other states in banning texting and driving.

It looked like a done deal. Until it wasn’t.

The bill died a sudden and unexpected death in the last moments of the legislative session from a strange confluence of politics, parliamentary procedure, late-session brinksmanship, confusion and an odd collection of political bedfellows.

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