Tag Archives: Mississippi

Good old days of 'pork' are gone

Remember when members of Congress used to actually boast about all the money they channeled to their states or their congressional districts?

Shoot, you had to be able to talk committee chairmen into approving money for your pet project. There always was something to give back in return, of course. A favor for the chairman’s district, or some help raising money for the other guy’s re-election campaign often was the kind of quid pro quo offered and delivered.

Those days are gone. That’s generally a good thing. I’m not fond of what’s been called “pork-barrel spending.”

A long-time U.S. senator, Republican Thad Cochran of Mississippi, is in trouble now partly because he used to funnel a lot of dough back to the Magnolia State.


It used to be a good thing. No more, folks.

Nope. The guy who’s favored to beat him Tuesday in the GOP runoff in Mississippi is Chris McDaniel, a tea party golden boy who stands poised to knock off another one-time “titan of the Senate.”

It’s not that Cochran is my favorite senator. Far from it. He tilts too far to the right for my taste. McDaniel, though, tilts even farther to the right, which makes the probable outcome in Mississippi a downer as far as I’m concerned. I’m figuring McDaniel would be one of those who’ll proclaim “my way or the highway” on anything that comes from the other side of the aisle.

A question looms in this race for Mississippi Republicans: Is it really and truly a bad thing to spend public money when it pays for public projects that are developed in your very own state? According to the New York Times, the answer for many Mississippians is “yes.”

It didn’t used to be this way.

Oh, the times they certainly are a-changin’.

Say it ain't so, Mississippi

As I write this short blog post, tea party candidate Chris McDaniel is holding onto a slim lead over Thad Cochran in the race for Cochran’s U.S. Senate seat.

Cochran is a conservative Republican seeking his seventh term in the Senate. He’s also a champion of what’s called “pork-barrel” legislation, bringing money and federal projects to Mississippi. The tea party doesn’t like that kind of thing. Frankly, neither do I.

But the campaign took a hideous turn down the stretch for the Republican Party nomination. McDaniel supporters broke into the nursing home where Mrs. Cochran has lived for the past dozen or so years. She’s incapacitated. She suffers from dementia. Yet the McDaniel goons thought they’d take pictures of her to use in an anti-Cochran political ad that talks about his alleged relationships with women other than his wife.

I had hoped Mississippians would turn on McDaniel over this matter. His henchmen have been charged with criminal trespass in this hideous display of disgracefully dirty politics.

They’ve counted nearly 90 percent of the vote. It doesn’t look good for Sen. Cochran. It doesn’t look good, either, for Mississippi Republicans who may be about to nominate in whose name this disgraceful act was committed.