Is Tuck Her Own Woman?

Here's an story from Bobby Harrison at the Daily Journal from back in December that discusses her new support for a tobacco tax and other ideas that Mr. Barbour might not be happy with.

Maben native Amy Tuck switched to the Republican Party in the fall of 2002, and she is not switching back. But through a maturation process or through a return to her roots or perhaps through political suicide - depending on a person's own beliefs - the second-term lieutenant governor has become her own brand of Republican. For a while, rightfully or wrongfully, Tuck was thought of as Gov. Haley Barbour's Republican.

Through it all, Tuck always has insisted she was her own person, though she respected Barbour and agreed with him on most issues.

But over the past several months, the lieutenant governor has differed with Barbour on several key issues.

First, she voiced support for continuing to divert $20 million annually in tobacco settlement funds to the private, non-profit Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi to work on smoking cessation efforts over Barbour's objections. Then Tuck, who presides over the Senate, buried Barbour's proposal to have the Legislature review the contracts the attorney general enters into with private attorneys to aid him with lawsuits against large corporations. Tuck's latest difference with the governor is on whether to provide state support for the Wellspring Project economic development site in Northeast Mississippi. Northeast Mississippi officials are hoping to obtain $14.5 million in state funds to match $4.5 million in local funds to purchase about 1,700 acres in Union and Pontotoc counties and prepare the site in hopes of attracting an automaker to the area.


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