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Analysis: Hosemann delves into role as lieutenant governor

Mississippi’s new Republican lieutenant governor, Delbert Hosemann, has a reputation for working hard and expecting others around him to do the same. Hosemann was an attorney in private practice before he served three terms as secretary of state. He moved from that job to lieutenant governor on Thursday when he was inaugurated to succeed Republican Tate Reeves, the man who ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Ignored problems don’t disappear, they become crises

Mississippi’s prison crisis is about to teach new legislators a hard lesson. “Prison brass warned of dangerous conditions a year ago, but lawmakers did not act,” read the headline in Mississippi Today following gang violence and deaths in Mississippi prisons. That was just the latest warning. In 2012, then Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) Commissioner Christopher Epps, now in prison ...

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MISSISSIPPI PROFILES — Forman Watkins: A firm with solid roots in Mississippi

I had the opportunity to talk with Trey Watkins, a partner in the firm of Forman Watkins & Krutz LLC, and learn about what sets the firm apart. Watkins grew up in Jackson and it’s been his home for most of his life. Trey went to law school at Ole Miss, completing his education in 2001. After a couple of years serving ...

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Analysis: 6 women have held statewide office in Mississippi

Republican Lynn Fitch will be sworn in as Mississippi’s new attorney general Thursday, becoming the first woman in that job. Fitch is one of only six women ever elected to statewide office in Mississippi. Two of them — Nellah Massey Bailey and Julia Henrich Kendrick — are often overlooked. Bailey was elected three times as state tax collector, in 1947, ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Can civic education save democracy from social media?

As two of the three branches of government become more and more politicized, the posture of the third will play a crucial role in how our federal government works. The two politicized branches, of course, are the executive and legislative. The third, and supposed to always rise above politics, is the judicial branch. Last week, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice ...

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SHAD WHITE — A critical moment for Mississippi’s economy

Today, maybe more than any time in our recent history, Mississippi faces fundamental questions about where our economy is headed. How we answer those questions is going to determine whether we succeed, like some of our surrounding states, or whether we become a rural Detroit. That’s the conclusion I’ve reached after watching our economy my entire life—from doing the books ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Sticking with Trump risky for conservative, moral Republicans

Just before Christmas, a moral dilemma faced by many Republicans was exposed by Christianity Today. While they like many of President Donald Trump’s policies, they object to his shameful behavior. “None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character,” wrote the respected evangelical magazine. “This president has ...

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Analysis: House speaker bringing policy proposals later

Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn has a broad idea about what he wants lawmakers to consider in 2020. However, he says he’s waiting to see specific proposals about teacher pay raises, roads and bridges, health care and other issues. “We’re going to continue to look at infrastructure, continue to look at the budget, continue to look at education – the ...

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REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK — Ebbers paid the price for greed

Many thought Enron Corp. execs got off relatively easy for all their fraudulence, then came Bernie Ebbers. The public, whose sentiment can influence the courts, felt that it was time to make up for Enron so they slammed Ebbers, the Mississippi-based telecom sensation, and gave him a stiffer sentence for the failure of WorldCom. He got 25 years and lost his half-million-acre ...

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Analysis: Hosemann says he’s ready to work as lt. governor

Mississippi’s incoming lieutenant governor is setting an ambitious agenda for his first year in office. Republican Delbert Hosemann will be sworn in Jan. 9, along with most of the other statewide elected officials. That’s two days after the legislative session begins and five days before the current lieutenant governor, Republican Tate Reeves, will be inaugurated as governor. Hosemann is wrapping ...

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