Author Archive

BILL CRAWFORD: MDOC controversy reveals contract procurement weaknesses

The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) controversy has exposed weaknesses in the state’s contract procurement processes. With regard to MDOC, the legislature exempted many contracts from competitive procurement, cracking open the door for abuse.   Allegations have surfaced that even competitive bids can be manipulated. Vendors allege being directed to bid low to get contracts […] [...]

BILL CRAWFORD: State leaders face hard choices for 2015

by Published: December 29,2014

Tags: 2015, Business, economics, Mississippi, NEw Year, Politics

Happy New Year America!  With economic growth at 5%, gasoline prices below $2 a gallon, and unemployment below 6%, all is great.   Not so fast, as Lee Corso likes to say. Despite some football successes, everything is not great for Mississippi. Let’s get Corso’s pencil out and figure some numbers.   In Mississippi, year-over-year […] [...]

BILL CRAWFORD: Lowest Common Denominators, Politicians, and Common Core

I wonder if “lowest common denominator” shows up in the Common Core State Standards? Well, it probably shows up in the math standards since that’s how you add fractions. But it ought to be highlighted in the language standards too, since that’s the level of most political language today, particularly in Mississippi. “Something of small […] [...]

BILL CRAWFORD: IHL’S Bounds may be a good fit for Nebraska

IHL Commissioner Hank Bounds is finalist for president of the University of Nebraska, a five campus system not unlike the multi-campus Mississippi system Bounds oversees as commissioner. In an interview with the Daily Nebraskan, Bounds expounded on his expectations should he becomes president: “Nebraska University constituents should expect me to ensure that students receive a […] [...]

BILL CRAWFORD: Bryant’s tax cut won’t stop spending growth

Did you catch the drift of the news stories about the extra money the Legislature expects to have for next year? Andrea Williams, WTOK-TV, “Next year Mississippi lawmakers will have more money to spend.” Bobby Harrison, the Daily Journal, “The Mississippi Legislature will have $170 million more to spend during the 2015 session.” Iris Barnes, […] [...]

Pence chooses Medicaid solution over TEA rhetoric

by Published: September 19,2014

Tags: Medicaid, Medicaid solution, Mike Pence, TEA Party Caucus

Most real Tea Partiers know of Mike Pence. The uncompromising champion of lower taxes, smaller government and earmark reform, Pence served six terms in Congress, including time as chairman of the hard-core conservative Republican Study Group. He was a member of the TEA Party Caucus, got a 95 percent grade from the Club for Growth […] [...]

BILL CRAWFORD — Patriots’ Duty: Keep national fabric whole

Every Independence Day, words and symbols from our Founders captivate me. There is the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…” […] [...]

BILL CRAWFORD — Leadership recipes can improve communities

by Published: June 6,2014

Tags: Business, column, Mississippi, Politics

Ever messed up a recipe? Worked hard. Did most everything right. But, your final result was…well, you can remember the words they used. Community projects can have the same results.  People work hard. They do most everything right. But, the outcome is not what they expected. More importantly, the community view is nobody cooked up much of anything worthwhile. That happens […] [...]

BILL CRAWFORD: Your tax dollars used for politicians’ self-promotion

by Published: March 28,2014

Tags: Bill Crawford, Business, column, Mississippi, money, Politics

How many of your tax dollars, if any, should be spent for self-promotion by elected officials? It’s quite common when new governors get elected to see their names pop up on all kinds of things: Welcome to Mississippi signs on the highways; state maps; tourism and economic development promotion materials; and more. But, the issue […] [...]

BILL CRAWFORD: Debt Service is Big Spending

by Published: March 14,2014

Tags: Bill Crawford, corrections, debt service, education, Medicaid

What are the big spending categories in Mississippi’s General Fund? Well, everybody knows education is number one. Education, which includes public schools, universities, community colleges, schools for the blind and deaf, vocational education, ETV and libraries, at $2.8 billion accounted for 56.6 percent of General Fund appropriations last fiscal year. Eh, is Medicaid number two? […] [...]

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