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Tea Party Disappointed With New Republican Majority

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 17 Apr 2012 06:57pm | comments
members of the MS Tea Party grade the legislature.

Conservative activists who were key to Republican victories this fall now say they are unhappy with the actions of the state legislature. M-P-B's Jeffrey Hess reports that despite some wins, members of the Mississippi Tea Party still want more from the new majority.

Grassroots activists who helped elect Republican majorities in both chambers of the Mississippi legislature are now expressing disappointment in the failure of some high profile items on the conservative agenda.

Laura VanOverschelde with the Central Mississippi Tea Party says she was expecting much more action since Republicans gained single party control.

"Having watched the legislative process for three years, I see where the personalities really get in the way of legislation. And I think that there is not a perseverance that I would like to have seen happen," Overschelde said.

One of the most high profile examples is the failure of the legislature to pass an alabama-style anti-illegal immigration bill....which died in the senate.

Rodney Hunt with the Mississippi Federation for Immigration Reform and Enforcement says they might not have put enough focus on the Senate...and specifically Lt. Governor Tate Reeves.

"We let the ball slip I think. It was an oversight on us. We were so busy trying to change the house that we never gave a thought that someone who calls themselves a conservative would oppose trying to enforce existing federal law against illegal immigration," Hunt said.

But Conservatives have moved a number of bills that have long been stalled such as school district consolidation and abortion clinic regulations....with other agenda items still in the pipeline.

Still Speaker of the House Phillip Gunn of Clinton says an energetic Republican majority might have tried to do too much too fast.

"And so we are learning as we go. Maybe moderation would be, in hindsight, might have been the better approach on some of these things. But these are important issues that we feel like could not wait. And these were issues that we wanted to get to the floor as quickly as we could and get these things out there and get them voted on," Gunn said.

With a little more than two weeks left in the session, there is still time for law makers to act on bills Republicans have been eyeing and potentially change the opinion of their most devoted advocates.

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members of the MS Tea Party grade the legislature.


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