Mississippi business and politics became more entangled than usual several weeks ago when Gov. Kirk Fordice’s nominee to head the Mississippi Workers Compensation Commission was left hanging — and effectively rejected — when a senate committee chair refused to allow a vote on the matter.
State Sen. John Horhn of Jackson, whose leadership of the Senate Economic Development, Tourism and Parks Committee is dubious at best, claimed to be troubled by the findings from a background check on the nominee, Mike Marsh. Horhn didn’t get specific.
This episode is the latest event in a troubling series of events for John Horhn. The senator has shown time after time that he is willing to play cheap, petty, and when necessary, racial, politics to achieve his ambitious, personal goals. Charged with the committee that oversees Mississippi’s economic development programs, Horhn is quite clearly anti-business.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this situation is Lt. Gov. Ronnie Musgrove’s involvement. Musgrove has said that the decision to call for a vote on the Marsh nomination was Horhn’s to make. Technically, he’s right. Horhn’s chairman. It’s his committee. However, Musgrove has the power to get what he wants. For whatever reason, he didn’t exercise that power this time.
If Ronnie Musgrove expects support from the Mississippi business community in his bid for governor, he must sever his ties to anti-business politicos like John Horhn.
In the meantime, Musgrove owes Mike Marsh and the Mississippi business community a real explanation, and perhaps, an apology.