508 South Spring Street
Fulton, Mississippi 38843
June 13, 2014
I am head of a company in Fulton that does business across several southeastern states, and I am also chairman of the Mississippi Community College Board. I am writing because I care deeply about the future of our state.
If you value education in Mississippi, whether in kindergarten through 12th grade, community colleges, or universities, PLEASE VOTE FOR SENATOR THAD COCHRAN ON JUNE 24.
Senator Cochran has supported federal funding for education in Mississippi for the entire time he has served in Congress. He recognizes that educating our citizens is essential for our state’s future, and that we need the federal tax dollars that come from wealthier states to help us finance our public schools, community colleges, and universities.
On the other hand, Chris McDaniel has said in his campaign that “The word ‘education’ is not in the Constitution; it’s none of their business.” He believes that the federal government should have nothing to do with education—not even helping to pay for it. When asked how our state could make up for those lost federal dollars, Mr. McDaniel said, “I think Mississippi, if it’s allowed to keep more tax revenue, could offset those losses.” In other words, our state and local governments could just increase spending to fill the budget holes left by his cutting out those federal dollars.
That is an unbelievably wrong, uninformed and dangerous opinion for someone who wants to be our U.S. Senator.
Please consider these facts: For every $1.00 Mississippians send to our federal government in Washington, we get back more than $3.00. Every year our state’s 15 community colleges receive the benefit of $248 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDS, in direct aid and through Pell grants to our students. That is almost as much as the $258 million that we will receive from our state government all next fiscal year. So Mr. McDaniel casually advocates cutting out a huge percentage of our community colleges’ yearly budgets.
In fact, if our local and state government did make up that difference, they would have to raise MORE THAN 3 TIMES the amount of taxes that Mississippians now send to Washington in order to generate the same amount of money.
That is an unbelievably silly and irresponsible proposal. And of course that would not happen. What would in fact happen is that we would see devastating cuts to our community colleges, with slashed faculty, staff and courses offered. Our community colleges would not be able to give the ¼ million Mississippians each year the education and job training they get now, to prepare them to make a living in the 21st century economy.
And that proposed $248 million cut is just to Mississippi’s community colleges. The lost federal funds to our K-12 schools and universities would be even more than that.
We do not need a U.S. Senator who is reckless, uninformed and dangerous in his ideas. We do not need Chris McDaniel.
We do need Senator Thad Cochran, a wise and good man who has the good judgment and the seniority, influence and power to protect and help our state and our citizens.
As with most runoff elections, turnout will be key. So, I urge you to vote for Senator Thad Cochran on June 24.