BY: B. Keith Plunkett @Keithplunkett
While others continue to drum up drama in the U.S. Senate race to keep from talking about the issues facing our country, Mississippians want to know what their options are in the election to be held on Tuesday, June 3.
Others may refuse to talk about the record, but I won’t. Below is a list of 31 reasons based on solid legislative work by Senator Chris McDaniel.
Keep in mind Chris has been in the state senate since only 2008. Have you seen a list this long of reasons to vote for Senator Cochran who has been in Washington for 42-years? Wonder why not?
Don’t be fooled by the con-job. Vote on June 3 for the man that best represents your values.
Chris wrote the “Mississippi Student Religious Liberties Act of 2013” that protects students’ right to express religious belief individually and separately from public school endorsement. The bill requires a disclaimer to be provided at graduation ceremonies and other situations that allows students to engage in religious free speech. (LINK)
This legislation was signed into law. (LINK)
Chris authored a bill that makes terrorism a crime punishable by death in a state court. The legislation adds an aggravated factor that makes it easier to impose the death penalty in state courts in cases of terrorism. This legislation was signed into law. (LINK)
Chris wrote and introduced the Employment Protection Act in 2008. Also known as the E-Verify law, it requires all Mississippi companies to use an Internet-based system to check the legal status of potential employees. This legislation was signed into law. (LINK)
Chris also introduced a number of other pieces of legislation relating to immigration, including bills to prohibit federal and state benefits to undocumented workers (LINK), to prohibit the creation of sanctuary cities in Mississippi (LINK), and to require undocumented aliens to pay out-of-state tuition at state schools. (LINK)
Chris led the challenge against ObamaCare as lead counsel in a suit against the federal government for imposing taxes on people who don’t have health insurance. (LINK)
Although the Supreme Court declared Obamacare constitutional, Chris has continued his fight to defeat ObamaCare. (LINK)
He vocally opposed and voted against legislation aimed at implementing ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion in Mississippi. (LINK)
Protecting Small Businesses
Chris sponsored legislation designed to give owners of small businesses more say about state regulations that could affect their livelihoods. The bill established a 12-member Small Business Regulatory Review Committee that would examine state rules and laws that could impact businesses with fewer than 100 full-time employees and less than $10 million in gross annual sales or revenues. The bill passed and was signed into law in 2012 (LINK)
Chris has been a vocal supporter of Second Amendment rights in Mississippi (LINK).
He sponsored legislation to require Mississippi to honor any valid concealed carry permit issued by another state, and to confer enhanced carry benefits to members of the military . This bill, which was passed and signed into law, also grants the Department of Public Safety continued authority to enter into written reciprocity agreements with other states if those states require such an agreement before recognizing Mississippi carry permits (LINK).
Chris authored the “Mississippi Opportunity Scholarship and Educational Improvement Tax Credit Act of 2012” to provide scholarships to low- and middle-income students in low performing districts to pay tuition at a different public school or private school. It also would allow parents sending their children to private school to get a state income tax credit for the private school tuition (LINK).
Chris has also fought fight against Common Core, arguing that local communities and teachers should decide how best to educate our children (LINK).
He co-sponsored legislation to halt implementation of Common Core (LINK).
Chris introduced legislation that would require recipients of public assistance to be subject to random drug and nicotine testing (LINK).
Chris gave back portions of his salary to the state’s general fund (LINK).
Chris was one of only two state senators to vote against a $196 million borrowing bill that included millions of dollars for projects, including a Grammy museum in Cleveland, the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, and $1 million for a museum to house the country music collection of singer Marty Stuart in Philadelphia (LINK).
Fighting for Constituents
Chris authored Nathan’s Law which honors five-year-old Nathan Key of Jones County who was killed in 2009 when he was struck by a vehicle that passed his stopped school bus. The law permits felony charges against anyone who passes a stopped school bus and harms or kills a child and allows for misdemeanor charges against motorists who get too close to parked buses. The law requires motorists to stay at least 10 feet from a stopped school bus with fines up to $750 for a first offense. On a second offense, violators face a fine and up to a year in prison. Nathan’s Law was passed and signed into law (LINK).
Chris also authored Karen’s Law in honor of a Jones County teenager who was kidnapped, raped and killed in 1987. The killer pleaded guilty to manslaughter and received the maximum prison sentence allowed of 20 years. Chris authored Karen’s Law to increase the sentence for manslaughter to a maximum of 30 years for any adult who kills a minor. The bill was passed and signed into law in 2013 (LINK).
Chris has worked through legislation to protect Mississippi’s children and mentally disabled from sexual predators. He authored a bill to increase penalties on sexual abusers of children and the mentally disabled (LINK).
Chris also introduced legislation that raises the penalty for filing a false police report and mandates that crime victims are entitled to a free copy of initial police incident reports.The bill was signed into law in 2012 (LINK)
Private Property Rights
As a first-term senator in 2010, Chris led the fight to protect private property rights when he took on then-Gov. Haley Barbour, a fellow Republican, and urged his fellow state senators to override Gov. Barbour’s veto of eminent domain legislation that would prevent government from taking private land for use by private companies (LINK)
The override effort failed by two votes, but began a grassroots ballot initiative to amend the Mississippi Constitution. The ballot initiative passed the following year with Chris’s vocal support (LINK).
Voter ID Legislation
As Chairman of the Elections Committee in the Mississippi Senate, Chris helped defeat a voter ID bill that would have given felons the right to vote and instituted early voting (LINK).
Chris pushed for a voter ID bill without these allowances that led to a statewide referendum that was approved by voters (LINK).
As anyone can clearly see, Chris McDaniel is by far the best choice in this race. That is why you won’t hear Senator Cochran’s campaign handlers discuss issues or his record.
I don’t care how long Thad Cochran has been in Washington. Length of service can’t compete with willingness to actually serve.
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 HorizonMediaMarketing.com or follow him on Twitter @Keithplunkett