Fights last week in the Mississippi Senate over a transportation spending bill that doesn’t actually do anything indicates how intensely people are lobbying for and against more money for roads and bridges.

On one side, the state’s business community is pressuring legislative leadership to do something, while on the other side, anti-tax groups are telling conservatives that raising taxes to spend on highways would violate their principles.

The backstage effort features, among other things, an exchange of critical letters between the leader of Mississippi’s fledgling Americans for Prosperity chapter and Melinda McGrath, the executive director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation. There are also dueling polls meant to show voters either oppose or tentatively support higher gas taxes for roads.

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