McCain’s Mississippi ties strong, complex and jarring

STARKVILLE – The late Arizona Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain had more than a passing connection with Mississippi, despite being best known here for his 2008 presidential debate appearance with then-Illinois Democratic U.S. Sen. Barack Obama at Ole Miss and for famously sparring with former U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran on Capitol Hill over the fortunes of Mississippi farm-raised catfish producers.

 On Friday, Sept. 26, 2008, Obama and McCain squared off in the Gertrude C. Ford Center on the Ole Miss campus in the first of three televised debates during that campaign. The nation was mired in a financial crisis that threatened to derail the debate – at least from the McCain campaign’s perspective. [Read more...]

Session promises funding options after GOP tax cuts

 STARKVILLE – The proceeds from a new state lottery? A dedicated portion of the new online sales tax collections? A portion of gaming revenues from the newly minted sports book in Mississippi casinos? Borrowed or bonded revenues? Maybe a portion of the BP oil spill settlement funds as well?

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Despite the rhetoric, the news isn’t ‘fake’

STARKVILLE – From the White House down to city halls in rural hamlets across this country, politicians are using the term “fake news” to discredit anything they encounter in the media that they deem negative or that doesn’t fit their self-interests.
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Senate hopefuls leave Neshoba Fair with different momentum

STARKVILLE – The major contenders in the 2018 Class II U.S. Senate nonpartisan special election on Nov. 6 left the state’s premier political stump with very different kinds of momentum.
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Mid-term election stakes high for state’s farmers

NATCHEZ – While it’s easy to get caught up in the lunge-and-parry of personality politics in Mississippi’s 2018 congressional elections, the fact is that this election cycle is fraught with issues and concerns that are very real to Mississippi voters and that’s particularly true for Mississippi farmers, ranchers, and producers.
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For McDaniel, FEC results show more than low fundraising

STARKVILLE – The Federal Elections Commission second quarter campaign finance reports are in and for State Sen. Chris McDaniel, the reports are everything he’s been telling us they would be in his steady drumbeat of fundraising emails called the “Remember Mississippi Moneybomb.”
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Neshoba stump speeches will focus on two key races

STARKVILLE – A weekend visit to the Neshoba County Fairgrounds demonstrates that for the politicians and their supporters, the buildup to “Mississippi’s Giant Houseparty” is long since underway. Political signs and placards already dot trees, fence posts and power poles along the seven-mile stretch of Highway 21 running south from Philadelphia to the historic fairgrounds.
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Unlike Justice Gorsuch, Kavanaugh faces firestorm

STARKVILLE – After much prime time buildup, Trump announced Monday night his nomination of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the nation’s highest court to succeed the retiring Presiding Justice Anthony Kennedy.
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Dye, Carruth cast large shadows in Mississippi

STARKVILLE – Driving back from a weekend in Lower Alabama, my friend Lee Weiskopf sent a text just as we were leaving Orange Beach telling me that former Lt. Gov. Brad Dye had died. Before we made it past the Mobile Bay Bridge, Lee texted again: “Now, we’ve lost Paul Ott, too.”
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Supreme Court finally brought online sales, use tax law fairness to Main St.

In a 5-4 decision that strangely crossed traditional judicial ideological lines, the Supreme Court last week brought online sales and use tax law fairness to mom-and-pop merchants on Main Street who had long been at a seven percent price disadvantage in Mississippi in competition with out-of-state online retailers.
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