OUR OPINION: Campaign 2012 activity rises quickly in state
by NEMS Daily Journal
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The opening days of the 2012 campaign season have provided enough hard-hitting action and unexpected announcements to stir the adrenaline of every interested voter, perhaps even those grown cynical in a continually political atmosphere.

Mississippi races at the federal level – president, one senator and four representatives – all will be on the November ballot. Some races, as qualifiers last week went on the record, will have either primary or general election challenges for incumbents like Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R-Tupelo, and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Tupelo.

The final personalities and numbers will be known by Friday, Jan. 13, when the brief qualifying window closes. The first votes will be cast March 13 in Republican and Democratic primaries, including the presidential election.

It’s likely President Obama will be unchallenged in the Democratic Primary, but after the Iowa caucus last week and the New Hampshire primary this week, Republicans may know a lot more about who’s hot and in for the long road ahead.

Three southerners, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (a former Jackson resident), former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, also a Texan, ran in the field of six, which includes former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Ambassador to China and Utah Gov. John Huntsman.

The 2008 GOP nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, last week endorsed Romney. McCain, whose ancestors lived in Mississippi, carried our state in a landslide against Obama in 2008.

First-term U.S. Rep. Nunnelee faces Tea Party activist Robert Estes of Southaven, who qualified to run against him. It’s anticipated that Henry Ross, a former Eupora mayor who ran against Nunnelee in 2010, will also qualify. Danny Bedwell of Columbus, a Libertarian, qualified Wednesday.

U.S. Sen. Wicker is seeking his first full term after winning a 2008 special election. He is so far opposed by Col. Albert N. Gore Jr. of Starkville, a Democrat, who qualified Tuesday. Gore, a Webster County native, is a retired U.S. Army chaplain for the United Methodist Church.

No Democrats have qualified for the 1st District seat.

Party nominees, third-party and independent candidates will be on the general election ballot.

Wicker was appointed in late 2007 when Sen. Trent Lott retired, and he is running for his first full Senate term after wining a special election in 2008 against former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, a Democrat.

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Bolton Democrat, qualified to seek re-election in District 2. So far, he’s opposed by 2010 Republican foe Bill Marcy of Meridian, a former Chicago policeman.

U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper, a Rankin County Republican, qualified to seek re-election in District 3.

In District 4, Hattiesburg Democrat Michael Herrington and Republican Ron Vincent qualified to run against first-term Rep. Steven Palazzo, a Gulf Coast Republican.

Gov. Haley Barbour leaves office Tuesday. He will return to BGR, the eminently successful lobbying firm he helped found in Washington. He will also make speeches for pay.

It is a safe bet that Barbour, who is at or near the top of the Republican establishment nationwide, will make his final choice for the Republican nomination known at an opportune time. It is hard to imagine that Barbour will not play some key role in the campaign moving forward and, perhaps, in a new presidential administration, if a Republican prevails.

Mississippi, largely because of Barbour, would be difficult for any Republican candidates to ignore as the nomination campaign road lengthens.
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January 09, 2012
What is needed on the Republican Primary ballot is a checkbox for "None of the Above".

There IS one candidate I would (and will) vote for on the Republican ballot: Ron Paul. He's the only one who seems to believe that the Constitution really means what it says.

Did you notice how the candidates' ratings came and went before the Iowa vote? First one, then another, then still another, built up a lead in the polls, only to crash. Why? The answer is simple: None of them are worthy or capable of being President. When one candidate would start leading the polls, the other candidates immediately jumped on him/her, and the candidate's lead dropped. All of this means that they don't have the confidence and trust and believability of the general public.

Rick Perry? OMG. The LAST thing we need is another Texas Governor in the White House. Didn't the last one just about do us in?

Rick Santorum? Puh-leeze. Voted most corrupt Senator one year (2008?), and a hypocrite to boot. He cares not about American jobs, his main agenda is to outlaw gay marriage and make sure that women are kept barefoot and pregnant down on the farm.

Mitt Romney? The ex-big-businessman who was responsible for a lot of company consolidations and the subsequent destruction of hundreds of thousands of American jobs, most of which went overseas. Look for TARP 2 if he becomes President.

Newt Gingrich? Ah yes--the Family Values man who's been married three times now. Took a pledge of fidelity of marriage (again). Maybe after two previous attempts he'll get it right. Also known as a corrupt Washington insider after being reprimanded by Congress.

Jon Huntsman? Actually, a pretty decent guy with decent ideas. He's my #2 pick. Unfortunately, the way it's looking now, he's not going to survive.

Ron Paul? My favorite for numerous reasons, not the least is that he believes in following the Constitution. More of a Libertarian, which in reality is what Republicans are SUPPOSED to be. Republicans preach individual liberty and personal privacy, except where they want to control your life, such as in your bedroom, your Doctor's office, and what you are allowed to put into your own body. Little things like that.

Lots of people say that Ron Paul can never win. He certainly bucks the Republican mainstream dogma, which is why I think he's the best choice. But I think he'd do more to turn this country around than anybody in politics today.
January 08, 2012
Opaque redistricting groups are being quietly bankrolled by corporations, unions and others to influence redistricting. They aim to help political allies—and in the process they’re hurting voters.
January 08, 2012
It does not matter, republican, democrat they are the same. Both are corrupt and take the money from lobbyists. Both have selected the voter through redistricting. Both refuse to address what is needed and painful for everyone.