MCDANIEL: The Loretta Lynch Nomination: A Republican Test Case 


BY: Senator Chris McDaniel


Last November, President Obama nominated Loretta Lynch to replace Eric Holder as US Attorney General.  


On paper, she seems like a qualified candidate.  Originally from North Carolina, Lynch attended Harvard Law School, served as a federal prosecutor, and two separate stints as US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, having been appointed by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.  In between those posts, she worked at a major New York City law firm and served on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. 


But with her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, she caused alarm among the chamber’s conservative members, due to an obvious unwillingness to uphold existing federal law.  


Soon thereafter, serious and principled opposition to her candidacy has emerged around the country.


Liberal Democrats, in typical knee-jerk fashion, were quick to pounce on any hostility to the Lynch nomination as racism.  


Senator Dick Durbin, in a most abhorrent display, accused Republicans, on the 50th anniversary of Selma, of forcing her to “sit in the back of the bus,” an obvious reference to Rosa Parks.  Although his own opposition to Condoleezza Rice as the nation’s first female African-American Secretary of State on the 40th anniversary of Selma did not make the Senator’s speech, as South Carolina Senator Tim Scott reminded the Senate.


Despite the chorus of lies from the Left, there are serious reasons for opposing the nomination of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General, and race or sex has nothing to do with it.  


Her past actions as a US Attorney, along with her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, provide enough reasons.


Perhaps the biggest opposition to her nomination, and what drew the most condemnation, was her support of President Obama’s lawless executive order on amnesty and the legal reasoning the White House used to justify it.  She told the committee, “I don’t see any reason to doubt the reasonableness of those views.” 


Other answers to illegal immigrant questions were also very troubling.  When asked about the right of illegals to work in the United States, she said, “I believe that the right and the obligation to work is one that’s shared by everyone in this country, regardless of how they came here.”


When she was asked if she would oppose the extension of Obama’s executive amnesty to all 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States, she refused to answer, which means that she would support it.


Gun rights groups are also in opposition, with several pro-Second Amendment organizations calling her “Eric Holder 2.0” on the issue of guns.  She supports Obama’s position on banning “assault weapons,” including the popular AR-15, and she was evasive on answers to questions about the “Fast and Furious” gunrunning scandal and about firearm rights in general.


There have also been serious allegations made about her conduct as US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, most troubling being a lack of empathy for crime victims and even the possible violation of two federal laws, the Crime Victims’ Rights Act and the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act.


Despite such disturbing facts, on April 23, ten “Republican” Senators demonstrated their support for Lynch, helping the Democrats approve her nomination by a vote of 56-43.  


Inexplicably, Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi voted to confirm Lynch, despite loud objections from conservatives.   


It is troubling that these ten Republicans, including Thad Cochran, would relinquish their principles so quickly to ensure the Department of Justice is headed by another anti-Constitution, lawless radical.  


Even pro-amnesty Senator John McCain opposed her nomination and chastised the few Republicans who supported her.


Make no mistake, her nomination was seen by many as a test case for conservatives in the Senate and for the entire GOP leadership of Congress.  When given the opportunity, Republicans did not block this nomination to the nation’s highest law enforcement post.  Indeed, despite having a numerical majority in the Senate, ten Republicans expressly supported her.  We are therefore left to question the present leadership of our party.  


The nomination of Loretta Lynch should have been opposed by every Republican in the Senate, not because of her race or sex, but because she has disqualified herself by siding with lawlessness over the rule of law, with policy over principle, and with ideology over the Constitution.  


And those are not positions any Attorney General should ever take.


How is it possible to vote for such a nomination and be consistent with one’s oath of office to support and defend the Constitution?


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WALTERS: A House Divided: Governor Phil Bryant Vetoes SB 2161, Lt Gov. Tate Reeves Still Lying About Common Core


Senator Chris McDaniel’s United Conservatives Fund PAC instrumental in convincing the Governor to issue the veto.

Ryan S. Walters | @ryanswalters73

Thursday was a great day in Mississippi for those who seek to end the federal Common Core education standards, Tate Reeves’ lies to the contrary, and a bad day for those who secretly support it and were doing nothing more than seeking a political gimmick during an election year.

Governor Phil Bryant vetoed SB 2161, proving that he is serious about ridding the state of Common Core, while Senator Chris McDaniel and his UCF PAC are praising Bryant’s action, and deservingly so.

The bill would have created a commission to study and recommend education standards to the state superintendent, who, by the law, does not have to follow them. It’s quite likely that Superintendent Wright, who the state hired from Baltimore of all places, would discard any recommendations from the commission because she is committed to Common Core. So the commission, in essence, was worthless, except for political reasons.

In his veto message, Governor Bryant said why he could not sign the bill:

“This bill provides no requirement that the Mississippi Board of Education or the Mississippi Department of Education must do anything to abandon Common Core. I remain firmly committed to ending Common Core in Mississippi. This bill does not accomplish that goal, and I cannot in good conscience sign it into law.”

After the veto, Senator McDaniel, UCF Chairman, released the following statement:

I commend Governor Bryant for being willing to stand up and state his position against Common Core and to veto this terrible legislation. Our UCF team did a great job bringing together conservatives and parents groups like MSFREE to get this done. Ultimately, the credit for this goes to the thousands of parents, grandparents, teachers and citizens of the state who took the time to make their voices heard. Now we must stay united and get to work to kill Common Core in Mississippi, once and for all.”

“As I said from the senate floor on March 31 when we voted on the bill, SB 2161 accomplishes nothing except to give politicians cover in an election year. Mississippians want elected officials to stand up and say whether they are for Common Core or against Common Core, not to develop commissions and boards to do our job for us.”

UCF’s Keith Plunkett also discussed the bill’s flaws and commended the veto:

“SB 2161 doesn’t guarantee Mississippi students won’t be subjected to consortia-driven testing that hands power over to unelected and unaccountable shadow groups and quasi-governmental entities. It doesn’t protect Mississippi students and their families from the collection and sharing of personal information with privately owned companies, and it doesn’t end Common Core, it simply renames it and gives it cover in the form of a politically appointed board. The truth is that MDE wants core-alignment and they want to share student’s personal data, because they want access to funds that come with it. They are more than willing to trade student’s future for the money. The Department of Education doesn’t own Mississippi students, and I’m glad Gov. Bryant has made that clear with this veto.”

And make no mistake, it was UCF that was leading the charge in pressuring Governor Bryant to veto the bill, everything from Senate floor debate by Senator McDaniel, a letter and media appearance by Senator Melanie Sojourner, and a petition drive that netted over 1,000 signatures.

So let’s be honest about the truth here.  As MCD has already reportedand Senator McDaniel has made clear, the bill was nothing more than political cover for politicians, namely Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who lashed out at the veto with more lies:

“Gov. Bryant’s veto of a bill that 93 Legislative Republicans supported ensures that Common Core will remain in Mississippi schools. SB 2161 ensured that student privacy would be protected, prohibited school districts from administering psychological or socio-emotional surveys, put in state law that PARCC test could not be mandated by the State Department of Education, and created a group of Mississippians (of which the Governor had more appointments than anyone) to create a set of high standards for Mississippi school children. To put this in simple terms, those that support Common Core are celebrating tonight.” 

But the veto does not ensure the continuance of Common Core. As Senator McDaniel said, it’s time for state leaders and the legislature to come together, do its job, and end it. And while we are at it, let’s get rid of the Superintendent from Baltimore and hire a native born Mississippian. Better yet, perhaps its time to change the law and have our Superintendent elected by the people of Mississippi for a change.

Although they are the top two leaders in state government and belong to the same party, Phil Bryant and Tate Reeves are the personifications of the split in Mississippi over Common Core. One side is committed to ending it; the other is more interested in lying and playing political games with the future of Mississippi’s kids than doing what’s right.

If Reeves and his 93 fellow Republicans that supported him were really serious about ending Common Core, then they would have passed legislation that did just that, like Senator Angela Hill’s 2014 bill, SB 2763, or her amendment to SB 2161, both of which would have completely ended it. But Tate Reeves, despite his lies, killed those efforts.

Right now Mississippi seems to be a house divided on the issue of Common Core.  But we deserve better than this – better schools and teachers for our kids and better leaders in Jackson!

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Lt. Gov. Reeves doubles down on disproven statements about SB 2161 after Governor Bryant’s veto, UCF issues rebuttal. 


Lt. Governor Tate Reeves released a statement following Governor Phil Bryant’s veto of SB 2161 reiterating the same incorrect statements he used following passage of the bill last month, when he claimed the legislation would “end Common Core”. 

“Gov. Bryant’s veto of a bill that 93 Legislative Republicans supported ensures that Common Core will remain in Mississippi schools,” Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said. “SB 2161 ensured that student privacy would be protected, prohibited school districts from administering psychological or socio-emotional surveys, put in state law that PARCC test could not be mandated by the State Department of Education, and created a group of Mississippians (of which the Governor had more appointments than anyone) to create a set of high standards for Mississippi school children.

The United Conservatives Fund quickly issued a rebuttal to the claims by Reeves showing the statements to be false. HERE

In an earlier press release commending Gov. Bryant for the veto and thanking parents and teachers for signing a petition, UCF spokesman Keith Plunkett said:

“SB 2161 doesn’t guarantee Mississippi students won’t be subjected to consortia-driven testing that hands power over to unelected and unaccountable shadow groups and quasi-governmental entities. It doesn’t protect Mississippi students and their families from the collection and sharing of personal information with privately owned companies, and it doesn’t end Common Core, it simply renames it and gives it cover in the form of a politically appointed board.”

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UNITED CONSERVATIVES FUND LEADERSHIP COMMENDS GOVERNOR PHIL BRYANT FOR VETO OF SENATE BILL 2161, THANKS PARENTS FOR SIGNING PETITION


April 23, 2015. (Laurel, MS.) – The United Conservatives Fund (UCF) leadership team today released the following statements thanking Governor Phil Bryant for his veto of Senate Bill 2161. UCF began three weeks ago uniting conservative groups, working directly with parent led anti-Common Core groups and coordinating efforts across the state to push for a veto of the legislation, an effort that resulted in several thousand calls and emails.

“I commend Governor Bryant for being willing to stand up and state his position against Common Core and to veto this terrible legislation,” said Senator Chris McDaniel, Chairman of UCF. “Our UCF team did a great job bringing together conservatives and parents groups like MSFREE to get this done. Ultimately, the credit for this goes to the thousands of parents, grandparents, teachers and citizens of the state who took the time to make their voices heard. Now we must stay united and get to work to kill Common Core in Mississippi, once and for all.”

“As I said from the senate floor on March 31 when we voted on the bill, SB 2161 accomplishes nothing except to give politicians cover in an election year,” McDaniel said. “Mississippians want elected officials to stand up and say whether they are for Common Core or against Common Core, not to develop commissions and boards to do our job for us.”

Senator Melanie Sojourner was one of the votes against SB 2161 in the senate and the first to publicly call on Governor Bryant to veto the legislation. She has warned over the past three weeks that if the legislation was allowed to become law it could have the effect of locking the Common Core Standards in place and make repeal tougher in the future.

“The groups of concerned parents, grandparents and teachers have worked hard educating the public on the realities of Common Core. They know that by forming a commission, as SB 2161 would have done, not only do we create another layer of government, but we empower politicians and bureaucrats to manipulate the process behind the scenes and away from the watchful eye of the tens of thousands of citizens who have fought against Common Core,” Sojourner said. “SB 2161 forms a commission that doesn’t have power to force the Mississippi of Department of Education to accept any recommendations, and MDE officials have stated their absolute dedication to Common Core. SB 2161 is nothing more than a way for politicians in Jackson to get rid of a thorny political issue without actually doing anything. With this veto Governor Bryant has shown the leadership in Mississippi that many others across the country will look to.”

UCF Director of Policy and Communications Keith Plunkett has researched and written extensively about the dangers of Common Core since 2011. He says there are loopholes in the language of SB 2161 that leaves open the implementation of core-aligned standards and doesn’t address the three major concerns of parents.

“SB 2161 doesn’t guarantee Mississippi students won’t be subjected to consortia-driven testing that hands power over to unelected and unaccountable shadow groups and quasi-governmental entities,” said Plunkett.“It doesn’t protect Mississippi students and their families from the collection and sharing of personal information with privately owned companies, and it doesn’t end Common Core, it simply renames it and gives it cover in the form of a politically appointed board. The truth is that MDE wants core-alignment and they want to share students personal data, because they want access to funds that come with it. They are more than willing to trade students future for the money. The Department of Education doesn’t own Mississippi students, and I’m glad Gov. Bryant has made that clear with this veto.”

 

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PENDER: What will Bryant do about SB 2161?


BY: Geoff Pender

Gov. Phil Bryant faces a Friday deadline to do something — or not — with Senate Bill 2161, the “anti-Common Core” bill that anti-Common Core folk are hounding him to veto.

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MDA closing 8 regional offices across state. 


The Mississippi Development Authority is closing its regional offices across the state, in an effort to streamline operations and on recommendation from a recent study.

The state’s economic development agency has operated the regional offices to assist local economic development agencies, chambers of commerce and Main Street programs.

MDA Chief Marketing Officer Marlo Dorsey said the move is based on recommendations from a recent competitiveness study of the state’s economic development operations “as well as the changing landscape of economic and community development in the last 20 years.”

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Attorney General Jim Hood files suit against State Farm over Katrina


Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has filed suit against State Farm Fire and Casualty Company to recover damages the state suffered as a result of an alleged scheme related to Hurricane Katrina.

Hood announced the suit, filed Tuesday in Circuit Court in Hinds County. 

The suit alleges State Farm “systematically mischaracterized Katrina wind damage (which its policies covered) as flood damage (which policies did not cover).”

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Opponents of #CommonCore finding difficulty with repeal across the country, but vowing to fight on. 


For many foes of the Common Core State Standards, this was supposed to be the year their advocacy and passion would translate into victories.

Emboldened by last year’s experience, when three states—Indiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina—decided to at least nominally reject the common core, opponents of the standards aimed to keep the ball rolling in the 2015 state legislative season.

But with the clock ticking on many of those sessions, the opponents have little to cheer about so far.

To date, 19 states this year have considered bills to repeal the common core, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures—but none has adopted such legislation. In ArizonaMontanaNorth Dakota, and South Dakota, repeal proposals have lost what amounted to do-or-die votes, while states including Mississippi and West Virginia have changed repeal proposals into legislation requiring a review of the standards instead.

“I treated it as if I were teaching a lesson,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Martirano, who successfully lobbied against a repeal effort in his state this year, but has initiated a review of the standards in the state. “There was a lack of understanding on the basic knowledge of what people were trying to repeal.”

Common-core opponents, meanwhile, have pledged to continue the fight both in legislatures and in the public arena. And some activists believe the battle is a long-term one that ultimately involves many issues.

“You can blame it on rhetoric, you can blame it on misinformation, you can blame it on whatever you want to blame it on. But the bottom line is that people don’t like it,” said Louisiana Rep. Brett Geymann, a Republican who is supporting legislation that would repeal the standards in Louisiana this year.

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Governor Phil Bryant Signs Measure to Provide Tax Relief to Employers Who Hire Veterans


Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a bill to provide tax relief to employers who hire unemployed veterans. House Bill 33, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2016, provides tax credits to employers who hire honorably discharged military veterans who have served on active duty on or after 9/11 and who have been unemployed for at least six months.

“We owe the men and women who defend our freedom a debt of gratitude,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “Veterans make excellent employees and bring a unique skill set to the table. This bill will serve those who have served us by helping connect more of these men and women with job opportunities.”

House Bill 33 was authored by Speaker of the House Philip Gunn.

“Our veterans make huge sacrifices to provide us with the freedoms we enjoy,” said Speaker of the House Philip Gunn. “We love our veterans. We are also serious about job creation. Through this bill, we bring together our love for veterans and hopefully create more job opportunities for them.”

The bill provides a five-year tax credit of either 10 percent of the hired veteran’s salary or $2,000, whichever is greater. It applies to military veterans who have served on active duty on or after 9/11 and who have been unemployed for at least six months, including Guard and Reserve who have served on active duty during the current war.

“The majority of our National Guard men and women are veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some have experienced employment challenges resulting from these deployments,” said Maj. Gen. Augustus L. Collins, the adjutant general of Mississippi. “House Bill 33 would provide welcomed assistance for our soldiers, airmen and their families.”

Estimates indicate more than 23,000 post-9/11 veterans live in Mississippi.

“Employment opportunity, and the sustained ability to provide for themselves and their families, is a top priority for our returning veterans,” said Randy Reeves, executive director of the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board. “HB 33 helps create employment opportunity for Mississippi veterans by encouraging employers to hire these skilled professionals. That’s a win-win.”

In 2013, Gov. Phil Bryant announced Pledge to Hire Mississippi Heroes. Through this effort, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security works with companies to identify veterans as candidates for job opportunities. More than 160 companies have signed the pledge.

Gov. Phil Bryant Press Release

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Hill and Thigpen discuss MS Economic Council’s role in watering down anti #CommonCore legislation. 


In an article out yesterday by the Heartland Institute’s School Reform News both Sen. Angela Hill and Mississippi Center for Public Policy President Forest Thigpen discuss the role of the Mississippi Economic Council in pushing Common Core, and how the organization helped water down repeal efforts earlier this year. 

State Sen. Angela Hill (R-Picayune) says the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC), the state’s chamber of commerce, deserves much of the blame for the lack of strong (Common Core) repeal-and-replace legislation. 
“I believe the state chamber of commerce’s support of Common Core is the greatest hindrance to getting a strong bill out of the legislature,” Hill said. “[Its] corporate influence has helped shape education policy such as state-funded pre-K and putting more students under the jurisdiction of the Mississippi Department of Education, whose track record of immense support for Common Core down to the K–3 level is contrary to the will of the electorate.”

Thigpen refers to MEC’s move to quietly work behind the scenes that came after conservative state senators pushed back against Common Core and the Governor came out with an executive order stating his administrations opposition to federal encroachment into the states authority over education. Months later, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves public ally flip-flopped his support of Common Core. 

Forest Thigpen, president of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, says the review of Common Core (SB 2161) may not leave opponents of the standards any better off than they were before.
“I don’t know that anyone is entirely happy with this compromise,” Thigpen said. “A lot of grassroots people, a lot of parents, and a lot of superintendents do not like Common Core, and they want it changed. There are other superintendents who are happy with Common Core.”
Thigpen says MEC was less vocal in its support of Common Core than in previous years.


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