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Barbour joins 'super PAC' for 2012 campaigns

As reported by several media outlets, Gov. Haley Barbour announced plans to join a conservative “super PAC” of groups co-founded by former Bush advisor Karl Rove and former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie to help raise $240 million for the 2012 election cycle. The PAC comprises American Crossroads and its nonprofit affiliate Crossroads GPS, which reportedly raised $71 million in 2010. ...

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County spending data now online at SeetheSpending.org

Policy group puts data online for citizens; may sue Hinds County JACKSON – Mississippians can now see the details of spending decisions made by 62 of the state’s 82 counties at SeeTheSpending.org in an easily searchable format. “People are frustrated with the direction of government, and they feel helpless to do anything about it,” said Forest Thigpen, president of the ...

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High court: Eminent domain vote a go but later review possible

The Mississippi Supreme Court Thursday dashed Leland Speed’s bid to keep a constitutional amendment limiting eminent domain off Mississippi’s November ballot. But in issuing the 7-2 ruling, the justices said they would be willing to reconsider Speed’s arguments if the amendment passes. The court essentially ruled that it has no jurisdiction over the matter, since no change to state law ...

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Day of reckoning ahead for Mississippi's Public Employment Retirement System

Panel studying possible changes to state retirement system benefits Upgrades in retirement benefits granted to Mississippi’s public sector workers a decade ago could get rolled back as the state, its cities, counties and school districts struggle to stay financially afloat. Citing an “unsustainable” burden on Mississippi taxpayers inching toward $1 billion annually, Gov. Haley Barbour wants a close look taken ...

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According to union lawyer, Public Employment Retirement System chief, options are limited

The head of the Public Employees Retirement System of Mississippi says the $20.7-billion retirement trust fund is constitutionally protected but she doubts the benefits of retirees and public sector workers enrolled in the plan have the same protections. “However, this could be debated,” said Pat Robertson, PERS executive director. She cited a 1986 amendment to the Mississippi Constitution in noting ...

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Stop-and-go funding makes planning tough for Mississippi airport chiefs

The refusal of Congress to go beyond short-hop funding for the Federal Aviation Administration has made uncertainty just another work challenge that the heads of Mississippi’s two major commercial airports must overcome. As one funding lapse ends another one appears on the horizon for Dirk Vanderleest at Jackson-Evers International Airport and Bruce Frallic at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. The Aug. 8 ...

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Alabama hardball: Birmingham mayor wants private land for ballpark

Baseball in the backyard is an American mainstay. But giving up your backyard for baseball? Birmingham Mayor William Bell is asking his City Council to endorse a plan to seize private property for building a new home for the Birmingham Barons, the city’s AA minor league baseball team that now plays at suburban Hoover’s Regions Park. The project also calls ...

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FAA money restored but Jackson-Evers projects may be in jeopardy

Late Friday afternoon action by the U.S. Senate and President Obama got the Federal Aviation Administration back in business but the big dollars lost in airline fees could hurt long-range projects planned by Jackson-Evers International Airport and other airports throughout Mississippi. At Jackson-Evers 10 FAA workers will return to work Monday after a two-week furlough caused by the refusal of ...

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Looming defense cuts bring return of familiar anxieties

Last Tuesday’s deal to slash defense spending by hundreds of billions as part of the deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling set off the kind of anxiousness not felt in Columbus since the Base Realignment & Closure commission shut down a half-dozen years ago. Suddenly, the Golden Triangle’s continued economic resurgence is not as sure a thing as it ...

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State regulating bank subsidiaries until ordered to stop, says top bank supervisor

Mississippi’s Department of Banking has returned to licensing wholly owned subsidiaries of federally chartered banks and thrifts and enforcing their compliance with state financial consumer protection laws. Banking Commissioner John Allison cites the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act as authority for restoration of enforcement powers the state ceded to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ...

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