March 13, 2015 •

Special Election Set Following Resignation of Mississippi Lawmaker

Gov. Phil Bryant has announced a special election to fill an opening in the state House of Representatives. The election, for the House District 45 seat, will be May 5, with a runoff held on May 26 if needed. The […]

Mississippi-StateSeal.svgGov. Phil Bryant has announced a special election to fill an opening in the state House of Representatives. The election, for the House District 45 seat, will be May 5, with a runoff held on May 26 if needed.

The vacancy is a result of Rep. Bennett Malone resigning earlier this month and the winner will serve the last few months of his four-year term.

With the election occurring a month after the legislature adjourns, it is unlikely the new lawmaker will vote on bills.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

November 18, 2014 •

Fifth Circuit Upholds Mississippi Campaign Finance Law

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a Mississippi campaign finance disclosure law, reversing the district court’s ruling. The case, Justice v. Hosemann, focused on a law requiring persons or groups who spend more than $200 […]

US-CourtOfAppeals-5thCircuit-SealThe United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a Mississippi campaign finance disclosure law, reversing the district court’s ruling. The case, Justice v. Hosemann, focused on a law requiring persons or groups who spend more than $200 in support or opposition to a ballot initiative to register and report contributions and expenditures.

The district court ruled this unconstitutional, however, the Fifth Circuit, applying an “exacting scrutiny” standard, found the disclosure requirements were substantially related to the state’s interest of keeping the voters informed.

Plaintiffs in the case have until November 28 to seek a rehearing before the full Fifth Circuit or until February 12 to seek review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

October 30, 2014 •

Mississippi Supreme Court Dismisses Challenge to U.S. Senate Runoff Election

The Mississippi Supreme Court has sided with Sen. Thad Cochran, ending a protracted legal battle over the results of the Republican primary runoff election. Chris McDaniel challenged Cochran’s victory in a lawsuit filed in August, claiming Democratic voters illegally participated […]

Seal of the Judiciary of MississippiThe Mississippi Supreme Court has sided with Sen. Thad Cochran, ending a protracted legal battle over the results of the Republican primary runoff election. Chris McDaniel challenged Cochran’s victory in a lawsuit filed in August, claiming Democratic voters illegally participated in the Republican primary.

The court dismissed the suit because it was past the 20 day deadline imposed by common law to challenge an election result. Though the state election laws have changed since the case creating the deadline, the McDaniel campaign argued no such requirement was ever codified.

The state Supreme Court was not persuaded and concurred with the lower court’s dismissal.

Seal of the Judiciary of Mississippi by Connormah on Wikimedia Commons.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

September 17, 2014 •

Governor of Mississippi Sets Special Election Date

A special election will be held on November 4 to fill the vacant state senate seat for District 17. Gov. Phil Bryant issued a Writ of Election after Sen. Terry Brown passed away earlier this month. The deadline to qualify […]

Mississippi-StateSeal.svgA special election will be held on November 4 to fill the vacant state senate seat for District 17. Gov. Phil Bryant issued a Writ of Election after Sen. Terry Brown passed away earlier this month.

The deadline to qualify is October 6 and should a runoff election be necessary, it will be held November 25. The newly elected senator will complete Sen. Brown’s term ending January 2016.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

September 12, 2014 •

Panel Convenes to Consider Changes to Mississippi Primary Elections

Changes to current election procedures are being considered following an extremely close Senate race. State Sen. Chris McDaniel narrowly lost to incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran in a June 24 runoff election. A legal battle is still underway after McDaniel claimed […]

Mississippi-StateSeal.svgChanges to current election procedures are being considered following an extremely close Senate race. State Sen. Chris McDaniel narrowly lost to incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran in a June 24 runoff election. A legal battle is still underway after McDaniel claimed thousands of illegal crossover votes were cast for Cochran.

A 51 member panel of academics and community leaders, assembled by Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, will consider if changes to the way voters register for primaries are needed and whether early voting and online registration should be allowed. Currently, voters do not register with a party prior to a primary election and state law states that a voter should only vote in a primary if they intend to support a candidate later.

The panel will make its recommendations to the state legislature for consideration during next year’s session.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

August 6, 2014 •

Mississippi Appeals Lower Court’s Campaign Finance Ruling

The state of Mississippi is challenging a lower court ruling affecting its campaign finance laws. In September, 2013, U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock ruled the state’s campaign finance registration and reporting requirements unconstitutional for people or groups spending money to […]

Mississippi-StateSeal.svgThe state of Mississippi is challenging a lower court ruling affecting its campaign finance laws. In September, 2013, U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock ruled the state’s campaign finance registration and reporting requirements unconstitutional for people or groups spending money to support or oppose a ballot initiative.

Under Mississippi law, groups seeking to support or oppose statewide ballot issues must register as political committees if receiving or making expenditures in excess of $200 during a calendar year. Moreover, campaign finance reports must include the name and address of any person donating more than $200 to a ballot issue committee.

The state argues the disclosure requirement provides transparency and is, therefore, substantially related to a sufficiently important government interest. Others claim the extensive and confusing regulations regarding political committees impose an undue burden and chill First Amendment speech.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit will hear the case September 3.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

July 7, 2014 •

Lawsuit Filed as McDaniel Challenges Cochran’s Runoff Victory

State Sen. Chris McDaniel is questioning the integrity of Mississippi’s GOP Senate primary runoff. McDaniel refuses to concede the election to U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran and claims some election activity was unfair, unethical, and illegal. Evidence suggests hundreds, if not […]

US Senator Thad Cochran
US Senator Thad Cochran

State Sen. Chris McDaniel is questioning the integrity of Mississippi’s GOP Senate primary runoff. McDaniel refuses to concede the election to U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran and claims some election activity was unfair, unethical, and illegal.

Evidence suggests hundreds, if not thousands, of voters crossed party lines between primary and runoff elections. Mississippians who voted in the Democratic primary illegally cast votes in the Republican primary runoff.

State election law experts speculate the election results will stand because it is impossible to assume all the irregular votes went to Cochran. Additionally, a strong public policy interest exists in accepting the finality of the runoff election; questioning the integrity of or redoing elections is a slippery slope.

Nevertheless, a conservative group known as True the Vote filed suit in federal court on Tuesday, July 1, against the Mississippi secretary of state and the Republican Party of Mississippi to challenge the results of the runoff.

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

June 25, 2014 •

Cochran Defeats McDaniel in Mississippi GOP Senate Primary Runoff

In a tight race Tuesday, Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran secured the GOP Senate nomination with 50.8 percent of the vote. Cochran battled tea party candidate Chris McDaniel in a federal runoff after neither candidate carried enough votes in the June […]

U.S. Sen. Thad CochranIn a tight race Tuesday, Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran secured the GOP Senate nomination with 50.8 percent of the vote. Cochran battled tea party candidate Chris McDaniel in a federal runoff after neither candidate carried enough votes in the June 3 primary to capture the nomination.

Although McDaniel’s campaign has not made a decision whether to challenge the results, Cochran’s win ends a somewhat bizarre and expensive political battle between the two candidates.

In November, Cochran will face Democrat Travis Childers; if elected, Cochran will serve a seventh consecutive Senate term.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

June 20, 2014 •

June 24 Runoff for Mississippi GOP Primary

A June 24 federal runoff has been scheduled for the Mississippi Republican Senate primary. Incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel will battle again in a tea party vs. establishment showdown. With 49 and 49.5 percent respectively, neither […]

Mississippi-StateSeal.svgA June 24 federal runoff has been scheduled for the Mississippi Republican Senate primary. Incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel will battle again in a tea party vs. establishment showdown. With 49 and 49.5 percent respectively, neither candidate earned enough of the June 3 vote to secure the party nomination.

McDaniel, running on a platform of change, hopes to unseat the longtime incumbent. Cochran’s congressional tenure began in 1972; he then served three consecutive terms in the House and six consecutive terms in the Senate.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

June 4, 2014 •

Mississippi U.S. Senate Primary May Be Decided in Runoff

The U.S. Senate primary between incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran and tea party challenger Chris McDaniel remains too close to call after the June 3 election date. If neither candidate receives 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election will be […]

Cochran and McDanielThe U.S. Senate primary between incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran and tea party challenger Chris McDaniel remains too close to call after the June 3 election date.

If neither candidate receives 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election will be scheduled for June 24.

The race was considered one of the few remaining chances for a tea party victory after a string of primary challenges ended in defeat.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

May 7, 2014 •

Mississippi Special Session Begins May 8

Gov. Phil Bryant has called a special session of the Mississippi Legislature to begin May 8, 2014, to make appropriations for the state’s share of disaster relief for tornado damage. The National Weather Service reported 23 tornadoes touched down in […]

Mississippi-StateSeal.svg

Gov. Phil Bryant has called a special session of the Mississippi Legislature to begin May 8, 2014, to make appropriations for the state’s share of disaster relief for tornado damage.

The National Weather Service reported 23 tornadoes touched down in Mississippi on April 28, killing 14 people and damaging hundreds of buildings.

State and local governments are required to match one-eighth of federal aid dollars.

 

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

October 3, 2013 •

Mississippi PAC Registration Threshold Unconstitutional As Applied to Ballot Measure Group

AG Jim Hood may appeal

Flag of MississippiU.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock ruled a portion of Mississippi’s campaign finance law unconstitutional as applied to a group of five Oxford, Mississippi residents backing a ballot initiative. The group desired to pool funds to purchase posters and advertising supporting a 2011 initiative, but determined doing so would trigger political committee registration under state law.

The group filed suit, alleging Mississippi’s $200 threshold unduly burdened their First Amendment rights. Judge Aycock agreed, finding the $200 threshold was “simply too low” for the “significant and onerous burdens on persons attempting to join together to raise or expend in excess” of the threshold.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood indicated he may appeal the ruling, while Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, whose office enforces the state’s campaign finance laws, did not immediately issue comment on the case.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

July 23, 2013 •

Three Mississippi Special Elections Scheduled For November 5

Incumbents moving on to mayoral positions

Mississippi State SealThree Mississippi House seats will be up for grabs on November 5.

Governor Phil Bryant set the special election for House Districts 5, 55, and 110 following mayoral race victories for each of the incumbents in those seats.

The candidate qualifying deadline is October 7, and a runoff will be held November 26 if no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

July 5, 2013 •

Mississippi Adjourns Second Special Session

Medicaid funding continued

Mississippi population mapMississippi adjourned its second special session of the year on June 28, 2013.

The Legislature passed two bills to keep the state Medicaid program funded.

Map of Mississippi courtesy of Jim Irwin on Wikipedia.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close