Friday, July 22, 2005
[verbatim statement]By attacking the integrity of one of the state's longest-serving legislators, the Mississippi Republican Party has once again launched into their far-too-familiar practice of spreading lies and misinformation. GOP Chairman Jim Herring wants to use BIPEC ratings as a means of judging a lawmaker's commitment to economic development, but the people of Mississippi should know that BIPEC is a partisan organization that historically promotes the efforts of Republicans.
Furthermore, if Herring wants to know the truth about Speaker Billy McCoy, House Ways and Means Chairman Percy Watson and the rest of the Democratic leadership in the House and their commitment to economic development, all he has to do is ask Mississippi Economic Council president Blake Wilson or Momentum Mississippi chairman Anthony Topazi. Both men praised McCoy and the House for not only passing Momentum Mississippi but for vastly improving the program with new incentives for existing businesses.
"HB 3 is an excellent bill – and we commend Speaker Billy McCoy, Speaker Pro Tem J. P. Compretta, Ways and Mean Chair Percy Watson and the entire House on taking our Momentum Mississippi package, improving on it and passing it. Specifically of note is the additional funding of $12 million for industries that are at risk for losing jobs due to outsourcing to foreign nations. This is a significant step for giving Mississippi's existing industry program a real shot in the arm," Topazi said in a letter dated June 30.
"We commend Speaker Billy McCoy, Speaker Pro Tem J.P. Compretta and Ways and Means Chair Percy Watson and the House in taking the Momentum Mississippi incentive bill to the next level by expanding opportunities for helping existing industry by protecting jobs that are 'at risk' to outsourcing to foreign nations," Wilson said in a letter dated June 30.
(The full text of these letters can be found on the Mississippi Economic Council's Web site at http://www.msmec.com . Specifically, Wilson's letter is at http://www.msmec.com/mechw/hw.dll?page&file=wilson and Topazi's letter is at http://www.msmec.com/mechw/hw.dll?page&file=topazi .)
If anyone is to blame for the slow legislative process, it is Gov. Haley Barbour. He and his administration have prevented the Republican leadership in the Senate from holding good-faith negotiations with the Democratic House leadership. This was obvious during the Momentum Mississippi special session when the House and Senate were only $8 million away from passing a general bond bill, and then the Senate walked away from negotiations at the command of the governor.
Herring owes Speaker McCoy, Chairman Watson and the rest of the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives an apology for attempting to smear and distort their records on economic development when two giants in the state's business community have long ago praised the efforts of these great lawmakers.
Contact: Sam R. Hall
Office: (601) 969-2913
Cell: (601) 832-8909
E-mail: [email protected]