29 December 2001
Just a little more, that’s all we need, a little more time to do the job you elected us to do. We have been too busy fighting amongst ourselves to get any real work done on redistricting so someone took it court. But we really want to do it now. We really do! Let’s push back the elections next year so we can have more time to work and we will do our jobs this time. Really. We will. Promise.
So goes the argument seemingly proffered by Representative Bill Miles (D-21st District). He has pre-filed a bill that would push the elections further into 2002 than currently scheduled so that the legislature would have time to work out a redistricting plan. I say enough is enough.
Our elected representatives have had plenty of time to work this out before now. The taxpayers even gave them more money to have a special session to work out a plan for Congressional redistricting and, once again, they let us down. The issue went to court and that decision, by a Democratic judge, is, as expected, now under appeal. And our beloved legislators want the good citizens of Mississippi to give them more time. I say the only thing we need to give them is a good swift kick in the pants, a kick right out of office and make room for some people who can make decisions.
Let’s see now, just how many decisions have our elected officials put off for one reason or another? Well, there was the issue of the state flag. Too much to loose on that one so lets spend tax dollars on an election for it. Let the people decide.
Then there is the budget issue. The legislature continues to set unrealistic budgets with growth projections that no one believes, simply so they do not have to make the hard decisions of what to cut. And why are we suffering? Is it because there is less money coming in to the state? Why no, it is because the money coming in to the state, although more than in years past, is less than our fearless leaders projected and expected. They were too busy spending money that isn’t here yet and when it didn’t show, the taxpayers and state employees will have to suffer. They have their head buried so far in the sand they should be able to tell us if there is oil down there.
Well, okay, they learned a lesson and it won’t happen again, Right? Wrong! They’ve gone and done the same thing again. As a whole, the legislature is incapable of making a good decision.
Remember the Mississippi governor election? The one before Florida? The election was too close to call so it went to the Legislature for a decision. As I recall, the vote could have gone two ways, our legislators could have voted with their districts and we would have had a Republican governor, or they could have voted along party lines and we could end up with the Democrat Musgrove. They had no trouble with this decision and overwhelmingly elected Musgrove. They were thinking they could work better with him than with a Republican. Wrong. Look at how they can’t even get along with the person they elected as governor.
Our legislators seem to not understand that they have been elected to make decisions for the betterment of the state, not necessarily for their careers. Not all decisions will be popular and they may be a price to pay for at re-election time for making them, but that is simply the price of being a public servant. Of course if they could take the time to communicate the reasons behind their decisions to the people of the state, then perhaps, just perhaps, they could make the decisions they need to make and still keep their jobs. But that takes effort, a lot of effort. And just when was the last time you heard from your representative?
Just whose interest does the legislature have at heart? I don’t know but it seems clear it is not the people of Mississippi. The best outcome we can have here is to clean house during the next election. But, unlike the legislature, I know the people of this state and am confident that the majority of them will be re-elected and we will continue to suffer under them.