It is unfortunate that the tobacco education efforts of the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi are now obscured by the unfortunate legal and public relations battle between the organization and the State of Mississippi.
The Partnership has used a wide range of edgy marketing and youth-friendly events to warn Mississippi kids about the dangers of smoking and other forms of tobacco use. However, it’s funding has long been an issue, the details of which are familiar to our readers.
The latest round of controversy over control of this $20 million in funding pits former Attorney General Mike Moore against Gov. Haley Barbour in a classic political grudge match.
At least, that’s how it’s been most easily portrayed by many. In fact, and this point has not been lost on everyone, this issue is really about who’s spending the money of the good taxpayers of Mississippi.
In this situation, it is clear that the money belongs to us, and as inept as a number of our legislators might seem from time to time, the Legislature is the body charged with dispensing the state’s funds. Whatever the outcome of the lawsuit and the public relations campaigns swirling around it, that’s not going to change.
So, let’s get that money back to where it belongs, and then make sure that we hold those responsible for its prudent use accountable.
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