November 14 - 20, 2012
COURTESY RASUL HIJAZ EL
JACKSONIAN RASUL HIJAZ EL
aSul Hijaz El is many things. He is an African American man of 44. He is tall, of medium build, slim, (but thinks he needs to lose weight), and has just the beginnings of dreadlocks. He spent his childhood in Chicago, but frequently traveled to the Jackson area to visit the many family members that live here. “RaSul” means the messenger in Arabic and is not the name he was born with (that was Robert Cason), but an Islamic man gave him the new name after he adopted the faith. Hijaz El has a biology degree from Tougaloo College and a master’s in teaching education from Jackson State University and currently works as a part-time substitute teacher for Jackson Public Schools. He also attended acupuncture school in Austin, Texas, and is a veteran of the armed services, having served in the U.S. Air Force in the early to mid-1990s. He is also a talented portrait artist known to a small following in Jackson for bringing his subjects to life with pen, pencil and pastels. He won first place for a color drawing in the 2007 Veterans Affairs Creative Arts contest. The drawing, in colored pencil on black paper, is of a cousin and his wife and titled “Unity.” Hijaz El recalls art always being a part
of his young life. “I remember as a kid, my mom used to draw the fashion pages for papers in Chicago,” he says. “She drew with a ballpoint pen, so that’s why the first thing I picked up was a ballpoint pen.” Unfortunately, not many of Hijaz El’s works are on public display. They are generally given to individuals for their use and enjoyment. Hijaz El doesn’t draw for others; he does so because he has to do it. It is part of who he is. Toni Morrison, the author, said it best, “… the essential thing, the compulsion to create—where you know that if you don’t do it, something dies in you—that’s there or it’s not.” The Smith Robertson Museum does have one of his pieces on display—a magnificent full-size drawing in pastels of two Muslim women, a mother and daughter, in headscarves gazing toward the artist. The daughter grins boldly, while the mother’s expression is one of serenity and contentment. You know their personalities just from the art. “We are excited to have this piece at the museum. The artist is very detailed and captures the true essence of his subject,” Charlene Thompson, the curator of the Smith Robertson Museum, says. “We would very much like to feature more works of art from him.” —Richard Coupe
Cover illustration by Kristin Brenemen
9 Budget Blows
Although Mississippi is looking at more money in the budget for 2013, the looming “fiscal cliff ” in the federal government could be a big hit to the state—it receives about a third of its gross domestic product from federal expenditures. Either way, one area that isn’t looking at increased funding is education. Gov. Phil Bryant said the Mississippi Adequate Education program would not receive full funding in the coming year.
26 Body Art
Jimmy Bogan and his team at Pristine Ink tattoo parlor believe the body is a canvas—and they want to make a masterpiece.
28 Better Bond
Daniel Craig brings a new depth—and age—to 007 in “Skyfall,” the 23rd installment of the Bond film series.
4 ..............................EDITOR’S NOTE 6 ................................................ YOU 8 ............................................ TALKS 12 .................................. BUSINESS 14 .................................. EDITORIAL 14 ................. EDITORIAL CARTOON 15 .................................... OPINION 17 ............................ COVER STORY 26 .............................. DIVERSIONS 27 ...... BEST OF JACKSON BALLOT 28 .......................................... FILM 30 ....................................... 8 DAYS 31 ............................... JFP EVENTS 33 ....................................... MUSIC 34 ....................... MUSIC LISTINGS 35 .............................. BODY/SOUL 36 ......................................... FOOD 39 .................................... HITCHED 40 ..................................... SPORTS 41 .............................. ASTROLOGY 42 ............................................. FLY
COURTESY COLUMBIA PICTURES; TRIP BURNS; JACOB FULLER
NOVEMBER 14 - 20 , 2012 | VOL. 11 NO. 10
by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief
The Southern Strategy’s Last Stand?
he week before the election, I wrote a column calling for white Republicans to reject the racist “southern strategy” of national politicians pandering for the bigoted vote (and, thus, spreading bigotry when it should be disappearing). As I’d hoped, the southern strategy was upended election night—nationally anyway. Sadly, its demise wasn’t at the hands of the people who had been promoting this nasty political strategy over the years (or their media surrogates like FOX News, Rush Limbaugh and Breitbart). The rest of the country—a wonderful coalition of blacks, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, young voters and a bunch of fed-up white women—stood together to turn back a party that lost its way some years ago, and that couldn’t bring itself to face that it had become a haven for a shrinking base of “angry white guys,” as Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said during the Republican Convention this year. The rest of the country forced a bizarre last stand on conservative white America, which had stood aside and accepted a racist campaign against the president and then apparently went into the evening thinking they were going to win in a landslide, regardless of clear data indicating otherwise. Four years ago, we heard lots of talk of whether America was “post-racial” after biracial Barack Obama was elected, but the ugly bigotry—from the blatant resurgence of the N-word in public to slightly more subtle lies about him weakening welfare work rules pushed by Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and conservative media—really rose to the top while he was the president. We saw an ugly obstructionist movement rise up against Obama like we’ve never seen. Even though the president is fiscally moderate and adopted many Republican ideas, the party seemed more bent on putting him in his place than actually helping the country, or veterans, or auto companies, or small businesses.
Why? We can only guess considering how white the GOP has defiantly remained and how diverse and united the rest of the nation has become around it. Leading up to the election, I hoped this would be the last one with one lily-white party, bankrolled by the privileged, lying to poor whites to get them to vote against their own economic interests. And as the results came in election night, it actually started to
This entire arc of ugly is good for us all, ultimately. feel like the real America had stood up and, with any luck, forced the current Republican leadership to see what it had done to itself and the nation by making deals with unsavory people with hateful ideas. Then, just as President Obama was about to come out Tuesday night and give his acceptance speech, I saw a tweet from one of our interns about a disturbance at Ole Miss. I quickly did a Twitter search and, just as he started speaking, read tweets from black students saying white students were “rioting” at Ole Miss in response to his re-election. God has a wicked sense of humor, I thought, to make a group of Ole Miss students lose their minds again over a powerful black man “beating” them. Or perhaps a greater power wanted us to finally confront these issues head on. Later, I heard about white adults and teens—not just in the
South, although Mississippi and Alabama had the most—tweeting openly about the president as a n*gger, a monkey and even talking about his assassination. And now, it seems, some residents of southern states want to secede. (I suggest they all read the Mississippi Articles of Secession to remember what secession was about the first time, too.) Becoming a post-racial society won’t be easy, nor is achieving and maintaining freedom and equality for all Americans. Just like it was in the 1960s and the 1860s before that, it is going to be messy. We are going to see and hear things that shock us because many people are desperate to feel superior to others and really want a major political party and powerful people to tell them its OK. Remember: Those Ole Miss students who shouted racial epithets and “The South Shall Rise Again” didn’t just have a few beers and become raving lunatic racists willing to put their entire education, and futures, on the line to have some fun. They were taught to think this way. They were raised to believe they are superior, somehow, to Barack Obama. (Those words make me laugh a little even as I type them). In recent months, these young people heard the GOP, dishonest conservative media, and friends and family and maybe some frat brothers, go around lying repeatedly about the president. He’s Kenyan, he wasn’t born in America, he’s Muslim, he’s not a Christian, he’s a socialist, he’s a communist, he ended the National Day of Prayer, he’s a sleeper agent, he’s doing the bidding of a daddy he met once … all lies foisted on the nation by powerful folks who sow division and distrust in pursuit of the almighty buck. Here’s the thing: Hate never ends well. We are damn lucky that no student got hurt or even killed that night at Ole Miss. Right now in our state—with an economy reliant on federal resources—the Ku Klux Klan is resurging even as some so-called “values vot-
ers” are signing secession petitions. Why? Because supposedly smart people have egged them on from years now from the desks at FOX News to Tea Party rallies attended by our own governor. Make no mistake: What happened in front of residence halls at Ole Miss is a societal problem, and everyone who spread false rumors about the president owns a little piece of responsibility for it. Fortunately, this entire arc of ugly is good for us all, ultimately. First, the Republican Party is now openly talking about how to fix its “demographic” problem. (Hint: Lip service won’t work, nor will promoting a hatred of government or calling everything in sight “socialism.” That’s just dumb). Second, racism and bigotry never go away because people decide to ignore it. Many people brand intelligent race discussions “racist” because they don’t want to face the past. Somehow, they think talking honestly about our history, and our problems that resulted from it, makes us look bad. In fact, it is denial and refusal to talk about it that makes us look like we’re living in the 19th century. Denial is never impressive. Meantime, our state is on the bottom economically. Many residents still vote against policies that would help change that because someone powerful convinces them that it is “the other” trying to take their money. This division, cynically created by people who believe they benefit from it, keep the hate and distrust in place—not to mention a bad economy and world reputation. Oh, and it drives our smart young people to move to more tolerant places. While the national GOP is debating how to stop being racist, here in Mississippi people of all races must figure out that we sink or swim together, even as there are people who bank on us never being willing to heal our divides—and profit from it. I just have one thing to say to that: Screw ’em. We can be better than this.
November 14 - 20, 2012
Ronni Mott came to Jackson by way of D.C. in 1997. She’s an award-winning writer and the JFP’s news editor, where she practices her hobbies of herding cats. She teaches yoga in her spare time. Ronni wrote the cover story.
Richard Coupe, avid fan of the beautiful game, husband, brother and father of four, is still wondering what he wants to be when he grows up. He wrote the Jacksonian.
Reporter Jacob Fuller is a former student at Ole Miss. He covers the city for the JFP. He wrote several news and business stories. Call him at 601362-6121 ext. 22 or email him at email@example.com.
Reporter R.L. Nave grew up in St. Louis and graduated from Mizzou (the University of Missouri),. Call him at 601-362-6121 ext. 12 or email him at rlnave@ jacksonfreepress.com. He wrote several news stories.
Advertising Director Kimberly Griffin is a Jackson native who likes yoga, supporting locally owned businesses and traveling. In her spare time, she plots how she can become Michelle Obama’s water holder.
Pamela Hosey is originally from West Point, Miss. She loves to write, read James Patterson novels and spend time with her family. Pamela wrote the arts feature.
Ross Cabell is a Mississippi native and was a feral child until the age of 16. He is teaching himself the English language by writing for the Free Press. He wrote a music story.
Sports writer Bryan Flynn is a lifelong Mississippi native who lives in north Jackson. He lives with his wife and their four cats—and their newborn daughter. Follow him @ jfpsports. He wrote the sports features.
Write us: firstname.lastname@example.org Tweet us: @JxnFreePress Facebook: Jackson Free Press
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November 14 - 20, 2012
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WHAT SHOULD PRESIDENT OBAMAâ€™S TOP PRIORITY BE GOING FORWARD? Tom McWilliams: Jobs. Jobs, and more jobs. We have got to get people working again. Jess Herrington: New jobs and freeing up energy companies during the recession. MsHollypd: Debt must get better. I want to be able to get my Social Security when I get older. I want to be able to retire before 70 years old. Stop giving all this SSI away to people who donâ€™t really need it. Jeremy Polk: Getting rid of the NDAA and indefinite detention. Ralph Watson: 1. Fixing our voting processâ€”this day and age we as Americans should never have to wait to vote. We all have Social Security numbers and know how to use phones or mail ballots. 2. Green energy=green jobs. Did you know Mississippi is one of three states that do not have reverse metering legislation? Yet weâ€™re in the second best zone for solar. 3. Fix the filibuster in the Senate. Michael Kennedy: We must ALL work together going forward on a myriad of issuesâ€”the economy, womenâ€™s equality, health care, securing the Medicare Trust, civil and equal rights for all citizens. It isnâ€™t
ONE manâ€™s job. It is the responsibility of all citizens and especially the electorate that voted him in to propel the causes forward. Yes, President Obama was reelected. But the work is only half started. WE must push forward and ensure that the mass of agendas, priorities, rights, and ideals become reality. AP/POOL PHOTOS/CHRIS CARLSON
COURTESY SHELLIE ZEIGLER
[YOU & JFP]
Chris Land Sr.: Job creation. Kim Sisson: End the Bush tax cuts now.
for the middle and working class who will actually spend their disposable income, boost local businesses and thereby help create jobs. Use the rest to repair/ improve the nationâ€™s creaking infrastructure. 2. Health care reform. Get whatâ€™s been done carved in stone and then start work on a rational, equitable, single-payer system (can you tell Iâ€™m British?). 3. Keep hammering at equal pay and protecting reproductive rights for women.
Richard Perry: After job creation, election reform, then immigration law reform. Chico Harris: Proper attention to returned and returning soldiers.
Kathleen Conner Strickland: The environment.
Kiya Beaman: Education. ... It all starts with education @docinmiss The budget. @pookiener Fixing the budget.
Cindy Hornsby: 1. Job creation. 2. Immigration reform 3. Reproductive Bill of Rights 4. Election reform Andrew Forbes: 1. End tax breaks for the 1%. Implement modest tax breaks
@burch_will Bipartisan unity. @UnfilteredInMS Deficit/debt reduction.
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Thursday, Nov. 8 Whole Foods, an organic food market, breaks ground in Highland Village. â€Ś Thousands are left without power in New York City as a norâ€™easter storm covers the city in snow. Friday, Nov. 9 The U.S. Supreme Court announces plans to re-examine the law requiring states such as Mississippi to get clearance from the Justice Department to make changes to their voting laws. Saturday, Nov. 10 Students in Bay St. Louis spend the night sleeping outside as part of an event to raise awareness for homeless veterans in Mississippi. â€Ś A furnace explosion in Indianapolis, Ind., kills two people and irreparably damages 30 homes. Sunday, Nov. 11 Mississippi firefighters send aid to areas on the East Coast damaged by Hurricane Sandy. â€Ś Congress calls for answers on Gen. David Petraeusâ€™ affair with Paula Broadwell, who sent threatening emails to Jill Kelley.
November 14 - 20, 2012
Monday, Nov. 12 The city cancel the groundbreaking ceremony for the Capitol Street two-way project, which was supposed to kick off a major construction project including water and sewer line improvements. â€Ś Racist attacks against foreigners in Greece intensify, agitated by the far-right Golden Dawn party.
Tuesday, Nov. 13 The Mississippi Governorâ€™s School begins accepting applications for the 2013 session. The program focuses on academic enrichment and leadership development while introducing students to the collegiate atmosphere. â€Ś President Obama meets with labor representatives and progressive groups as part of the process to create a new budget plan. Get daily breaking news at jfp.ms and jfpdaily.com. Subscribe free.
Two-Way Capitol Street Coming by Jacob D. Fuller
he city says construction will continue as planned on the project to make Capitol Street a two-way downtown thoroughfare, despite canceling the groundbreaking ceremony Monday morning. The ceremony, which the city had scheduled for 10 a.m., was supposed to kick off the major construction project that will begin with water and sewer line improvements. City Director of Communications Chris Mims said the city has not rescheduled the groundbreaking, yet. â€œWe had sent out invites, and we had several folks that we really needed to be there (who) had scheduling conflicts,â€? Mims told the Jackson Free Press. â€œSo we went ahead and decided to cancel and reschedule for another day.â€? The cityâ€™s main goal with the project is making Capitol Street two-way between Gallatin and State streets, in hopes that the change will bring more business and consumer traffic to the street. The city will also replace and repair old water and sewer lines that lie beneath Capitol Street, as well as put in new lighting, signage and bike lanes along the street. Contractors are ready to begin construction later this month on the first phase, which will focus on water and sewer improvements, Mims said. The sewer lines under Capitol Street are old and were likely
part of the approximately $400-million worth of improvements the U.S. Environment Protection Agency is requiring the city
The city canceled a ground-breaking ceremony Monday to begin the project to turn Capitol Street back into a two-way street. Itâ€™s still happening, though.
to do to its sewer system over the next several years. The city had planned the work before it came to an agreement on the recently approved consent decree, Mims said. All the water and sewer work will take place between Gallatin and Lamar streets. The city will also repave that section of Capitol Street once the underground lines
Hear Them Roar â€Ś W omenâ€™s issuesâ€”and womenâ€™s votesâ€”were front and center in the Nov. 6 vote. If anyone has any doubt that women make a decisive difference in deciding who leads America, let us put that thought to rest (as we figure out how to elect a woman to the Senate in Mississippi). LOSERS: Of six Republican congressional candidates who made absurd and insulting public comments about pregnancy, abortion and rape, voters defeated all of them. They include: â€˘ Tom Smith, U.S. Senate,
are completed. The city does not plan to repave the rest of Capitol Street for the project. It will TRIP BURNS
Wednesday, Nov. 7 Anti-abortion activists from six states begin their four-day occupation of each of the four corners at State Street and Fondren Place as part of a nationwide campaign known as States of Refuge. â€Ś 700 Ole Miss students gather to hold a candlelight walk after a disturbance on campus on election night.
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Pennsylvania (winner: Bob Casey with 54 percent) â€˘ Linda McMahon, U.S. Senate, Connecticut (winner: Chris Murphy with 55 percent) â€˘ Rick Berg, U.S. Senate, North Dakota (winner: Heidi Heitkamp with 50.5 percent) â€˘ Roger Rivard, State Senate, Wisconsin (winner: Stephen Smith with 582 votes) â€˘ Todd Akin, U.S. Senate, Missouri (winner: Claire McCaskill with 55 percent) â€˘ Richard Mourdock, U.S. Senate Indiana (winner: Joe Donnelly, 49.9 percent)
paint new lines on the portion of the street between Lamar Street and State Street after completing the stretch from Gallatin Street to Lamar Street. The city will use part of a $6 million bond it received from the state in 2010 for water and sewer emergencies on the Capitol Street improvement project.
WINNERS: The 113th Congress will have a record number of women serving. The U.S. Senate will have 20 women (16 Democrats, 4 Republicans), and the House will have 77 (57 Dems, 20 Repubs). â€˘ Four states elected women to the U.S. Senate for the first time: Hawaii, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Wisconsin. â€˘ Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) will be the first openly gay person in the U.S. Senate. â€˘ Mazie Hirono (D-HI) will be the first Asian/Pacific Islander American woman elected to the
U.S. Senate and the first U.S. Senator born in Japan. Hirono is only the second woman of color to serve in the Senate. â€˘ Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) will be the first Hindu American in Congress. â€˘ Formerly the last state legislative chamber without any women, South Carolina elected a woman to its state Senate. â€˘ New Hampshire elected a female governor (Maggie Hassan, D) and an all-woman congressional delegation of two senators and two representatives.
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Further funding for the project includes a $2 million grant from the Mississippi Development Authority and $3.5 million in federal earmarks that require a 20-percent match from the city. Water and sewer work will likely continue through the winter. Crews will begin repaving and relining the streets next spring. The city aims to complete the project in early 2014, Mims said.
The Jackson Redevelopment Authority will also have work to do to get traffic flowing east and west on Capitol Street. In July, the board approved construction to remove the entrance and exit ramps to the JRA-owned Jackson Place parking garage along Capitol Street. The state provided a $2 million grant for the construction. Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email Jacob D. Fuller at email@example.com.
Budget: First the Bad News by Jacob D. Fuller
Gov. Phil Bryant, center, Lt. Gov.Tate Reeves, left, and state Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, right, received the good news that the stateâ€™s revenues will increase by about $118 million more this year than originally expected.
ing: education. Bryant said the state will likely keep the funding for most state agencies and departments steady in 2013, but will make slight cuts to some programs; however, the only program he mentioned by name that will not receive full funding is the Mississippi Adequate Education Program. MAEP formulates and levels the needs of the stateâ€™s public-school districts, then requests that the state match its estimate. Last year, the state provided $260 million less than what MAEP requested. The state has fully funded MAEP only twice since the state Legislature passed it into law in 1997. Bryant made it clear what he isnâ€™t willing to underfund, though. â€œI think what we canâ€™t do is cut back on public safety,â€? Bryant said. â€œWe canâ€™t cut back on MEMA and our Department of Public Safety. I donâ€™t think we can cut back on our job creators.â€? The state will likely finish calendar year 2012 with a GDP growth of just 0.25 percent over 2011. Webb expects the housing and automotive industries to lead a growth in GDP of about 1.6 percent in 2013 and 2.4 percent in 2014. Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email Jacob D. Fuller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bad Outlook for Education, MAEP After the meeting, Bryant made it clear that one area wonâ€™t receive additional fund-
JACOB D. FULLER
ederal budget cuts would be a huge hit to Mississippiâ€™s gross domestic product, state economist Darrin Webb told Gov. Phil Bryant and the Legislative Budget Committee at a meeting Monday. â€œWe get about a third of our GDP from the federal expenditures,â€? Webb said. â€œSo that would be a big cut to us.â€? In a state that is arguably the most reliant on federal funds, the Washington debate over the fiscal cliff hits home, Webb explainedâ€”especially with the possibility of shrinking revenue cuts to federal programs and/or a continuation of Bushera tax cuts, which will expire Jan. 1, 2013, if Congress doesnâ€™t act to preserve them. . The good news, Webb said, is that the state can expect $118.3 million more in fiscal year 2013 than it originally estimated. He said the state is at mid-1990s-level employment, and job growth has been slow. The federal uncertainty could keep the economy from returning to pre-recession levels of growth, but recovery in the housing sector and recent booms in the automobile industry will help prevent another recession, Webb said. The growth will likely pick up steam and turn into a 1.6-percent increase from fiscal-year 2013 to 2014 to $5.18 billion in state revenues. Webb said he believes the state will bring in about $118.3 million more in revenues during fiscal year 2013 than he originally estimated. Under Webbâ€™s advice, the state raised its revenue estimation for fiscal year 2013 to $4.94 billion. That is a 1.4-percent increase from the 2012 income. The general fund will need to grow about 1 percent over the rest of the year to cover the estimate, Webb said. â€œWe believe thatâ€™s doable, given the current outlook for the economy,â€? he said.
TALK | race
Ole Miss Fracas Weeks in the Making by R.L. Nave
November 14 - 20, 2012
an African American female, said tensions between white and black students had been high for months. “They keep saying it was few bad apples, but there was a hundred people out there,” she said. In August, an African American freshman told one of his professors that a racial slur had been scrawled on his dorm room door. Officials reassigned the student to a different residence hall and turned the case over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which launched an investigation. The election of Courtney Pearson as the COURTESY OLE MISS PHOTOGRAPHY
round the time Fox News Channel was calling the presidential election in favor of President Barack Obama, black students at the University of Mississippi erupted with joy. Some of the black kids mocked their white classmates about the re-election of the nation’s first African American president over Obama’s challenger, Republican Mitt Romney, by chanting slogans from Young Jeezy’s 2008 post-electoral creed, “My president is black.” Midnight was nearing on Nov. 6, after polls had closed on Election Day. One student, who asked not to be identified, said a small group of African Americans, elated about Obama’s landslide electoral victory, started making their way from Kincannon Hall, a seven-story all-male dormitory heavily populated with African Americans, toward the intersection of Rebel Drive and Student Union Drive on the University of Mississippi campus. “F*ck Mitt Romney. Y’all ain’t running sh*t!” exclaimed one black student to a group of dejected white students, captured by a cell-phone camera. A large group of white, mostly male, students came over from Stockard Hall and tried to shout down the black students with the old Confederate rallying cry; “The South will rise again!” Before the night ended, police made two disorderly conduct arrests, one for failure to obey a police order and one for public intoxication. A photograph of a group of white students standing around an individual holding a burning Obama/Biden yard sign was widely circulated on the Internet. After rumors of a riot spread across campus and social media networks, Chancellor Dan Jones responded with a statement the following morning describing the situation as resulting from “students who took a very immature and uncivil approach to expressing their views about the election.” The student who not to be identified,
The day after a tense Election Day protest at Ole Miss, about 700 students came together in a show of unity.
school’s first black homecoming queen also produced animus. Then, an Oct. 26 campus alert notified students of a black male suspected of committing a strong-armed robbery on campus, reportedly of two white women. On election night, the long-simmering emotions came to a boil. Gretchen Higgins had just returned to her dorm room on Election Day when she heard the commotion outside her window and went downstairs to investigate. Higgins, a freshman biology major, witnessed a fight between one black and one white female student after the white student, who appeared to be drunk, said “f*ck Obama” as she passed her black classmate.
Higgins got a whiff of marijuana smoke, and a lot of people in the crowd seemed intoxicated. Earlier that evening, many of the fraternities and sororities had swaps, a kind of social mixer held regularly at Oxford watering holes. She believes the white students, most of whom were male, weren’t necessarily adherents to Republican political ideals or even Mitt Romney loyalists. “I would say more in this case, (they were) anti-Obama. I doubt all those boys knew politics. It was more of a racial thing,” she told the Jackson Free Press in a telephone interview. The same night, 800 miles from Oxford, about 40 students at HampdenSydney College in Virginia shouted racial slurs, threw bottles and set off fireworks outside the Minority Student Union. Jones and other officials condemned the Ole Miss incident that made national headlines as media outlets attempted to draw parallels to the 1962 riot on the same campus after James Meredith enrolled. Meredith encouraged students to remain focused, telling a Biloxi TV station: “Anybody that lets themselves be sidetracked by foolishness, it’s not only something wrong with what they’re mad about, it’s something wrong with them.” The day after the Ole Miss disturbance, We are One, a student organization, held a candlelight walk that attracted 700 students, almost twice the number that had gathered to watch the events unfold on election night. Over the weekend, the same organization erected a racially integrated tent in the Grove on campus for Ole Miss’ home game against Vanderbilt. Higgins, an Illinois native, called the negative publicity unfair. “I mean, our campus is a great campus, so I don’t think we should have gotten the negative judgment that we might be getting,” she said. Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email R.L. Nave at email@example.com.
TALK | city
Dude, Where’s My Voter Registration? by R.L. Nave
obert Graham wants answers. Gra- who did not receive information about their ham, the president of the Hinds polling places. County Board of Supervisors, told On Election Day, I voted by affidavit NBCNews.com that while report- ballot and, afterward, dropped by Dunn’s ofedly missing voter information wouldn’t fice to check on the status of my registration. affect the outcome of the Nov. 6 election, The SEMS system had been down all day, he wants an investigaDunn said, so I couldn’t tion into why as many find out my status. as 2,700 people did not During the visit, a appear on voter rolls on female office worker ofElection Day. fered to show me a pile of “We hope to have voter-registration forms some type of answer or marked “need to be some resolution to this scanned” in a corner of problem,” Graham told the circuit clerk’s office, NBC. He didn’t return which I photographed calls for this story. and published online Mississippi NAACP President Graham’s call is the with a story Nov. 6, Derrick Johnson says the latest development in accurately saying they organization received many calls a dispute between the hadn’t been scanned. from people who never received Mississippi NAACP and Dunn and voter information cards. Hinds County Circuit Deputy Circuit Clerk Clerk Barbara Dunn that LaGecha McKinley started Nov. 5. At a press conference the day took issue with my story. before Election Day, Mississippi NAACP McKinley told The Clarion-Ledger: President Derrick Johnson said “there have “‘To be scanned’ has nothing to do with been substantial numbers of individuals voter registration information being inputwho have registered to vote but who have ted into the computer system. ” not been entered into the system.” Hinds County Election Commissioner Johnson’s statement piqued the inter- Connie Cochran backed up Dunn, telling est of this Jackson Free Press reporter, who the Jackson Free Press that the election comregistered through the NAACP and had mission and circuit clerk’s offices worked tonot received a voter information card from gether to enter “thousands” of voter registraDunn’s office. Immediately afterward, I vis- tion information into SEMS. ited Dunn’s office, and an employee said I “I’m sure Amite County has all the was not in the Hinds County database. time in the world to get them put in,” At the time, Dunn said members of Cochran said. “It’s just the lack of time in her staff had worked the weekend before Hinds County. To keep moving forward as the election to get all submitted voter in- far as getting the information (entered), they formation entered into the statewide elec- put the next step of scanning off.” tions management system known as SEMS. While we were still on the phone, I Johnson insisted his organization had prop- asked Cochran to look up my name in erly submitted the registration forms before SEMS. The information was entered, she Mississippi’s Oct. 6 cutoff for registering to said—on Oct. 3. vote for the general election. He said the Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email R.L. NAACP had received calls from other voters Nave at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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TALK | business
SBA Loans Level Out After Jobs Act by Jacob D. Fuller
November 14 - 20, 2012
be greatly depressed.” Stewart said businesses must meet several SBA requirements to get a loan. First, SBA directs businesses, especially start-ups, to local organizations that provide free help in finalizing business and marketing plans and legal papers. Those requirements help lower the risk for SBA on the loans. “Overall, historically, and it that still holds true, we have very, very, very few loan defaults,” Stewart said. Stewart said the program picked up nine new lenders during the year, signaling positive growth in the loan industry. “This is extremely significant for small businesses in our state,” Stewart stated in a release. “These loans enabled Mississippi small business owners to obtain financing to help them create or retain an estimated 3,755 jobs. Overall, the pace of SBA loan-making is a healthy sign for the economy and the credit markets, and is one of the foundations for ensuring the availability of financing to small businesses trying to establish themselves, grow, and create new jobs.” The top five Mississippi-based SBA lenders in terms of volume for the year were Community Bank of Mississippi, First Financial Bank, Trustmark National Bank, Covington County Bank and Peoples Bank. The top five lenders in terms of dollars for the year were Community Bank, BizCapital BIDCO II, LLC, First Financial Bank, Trustmark National Bank and M&F Bank. Rankin led all counties with $11.01 million in loans. Banks loaned out just over $9 million in Madison, and SBA loans in Hinds totaled $7.54 million. Covington led the counties in total number of loans at 59. Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email Jacob D. Fuller at firstname.lastname@example.org. TRIP BURNS
fter many of the Small Business of any lender in the state. Jobs Act of 2010’s incentives Ralph Hall, vice president for the SBA expired in 2011, during fiscal department at Community Bank, said that year 2012, the U.S. Small Busi- business owners’ discomfort also played a ness Administration’s Loan Programs set- role in the decreased loan totals in 2012. tled to its lowest lending total since 2008 “Many small businesses delayed makin Mississippi. ing decisions to increase investments in their Small businesses in the state received businesses due to uncertainty of the econo442 SBA loans totaling $132.4 million. That’s the fewest number of loans in Mississippi since 2000, down from 749 in 2011 and 1,138 in 2010. The total amount was the least in the state under the Barack Obama administration and the fourth lowest total since 2002. Janita Stewart, U.S. Small Business Administration Mississippi District director, said the spike in lending over the last two years was due to the temporary incentives the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 gave Community Bank was one of the state’s top lenders of lenders. Among those incenSmall Business Administration-backed loans in 2012. tives was a $30 billion national fund that provided community banks with lending capital at rates as low as my and impending regulations at the time,” 1 percent in 2010—but only if the banks Hall told the Jackson Free Press. went above the 2009 small-business lending With its 75-percent rate and higher levels. SBA also temporarily offered higher loan guarantee, SBA takes on most of the guarantee rates to lenders. risks in SBA-backed loans. Because they can “As a result of (the act), we had loans pass off the risk, SBA lending is attractive to that were made at the 90-percent guarantee community banks. rate during (2010 and 2011), whereas we Hall said without SBA’s backing, lenddid not have that during fiscal 2012,” Stew- ers would never make most of those loans. art told the Jackson Free Press. In 2012, “These SBA Loans are at a slightly SBA’s maximum guarantee fell to 85 percent higher risk due to the lack of collateral. for loans up to $150,000. SBA can guaran- The SBA guaranty mitigates the risks to the tee 75 percent of loans above $150,000, up bank and allows us to approve loans that to the new $5 million maximum for loan, we might not otherwise be able to make,” which the Small Business Jobs Act perma- Hall said. “Many deserving small businesses nently raised from $2 million. would not receive necessary financing for Community Bank of Mississippi buildings, equipment, furnishings, invenloaned $63.8 million to 145 businesses in tory and working capital, if not for the bank the state last year. That was the highest total participating in the various SBA lending loaned and second highest number of loans programs. Economic development would
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An Open Letter to Ole Miss
s student leaders of The University of Mississippi, we want to respond to the incidents that occurred on our campus last Tuesday night. The hateful, small-minded actions committed by some students are unacceptable and embarrassing; they have tarnished the reputation of the university we love so dearly. This year was special as we celebrated the Universityâ€™s 50th year of integration. Weâ€™ve made substantial strides in race relations since 1962; however, after the re-election of President Barack Obama, a small group of students took to campus streets playing â€œDixie,â€? shouting, â€œThe South will rise again,â€? and screaming racial slurs at their fellow students. This behavior is absolutely unacceptable on The University of Mississippiâ€™s campus, and it flies in the face of the university creed. Every single student on our campus pledges to uphold the values of the creed at orientationâ€”including respect for the dignity of each person, and treating others with fairness and civility. And it is every studentâ€™s responsibility to hold each another accountable for living a life that embraces the tenets of the creed. Weâ€™ve made progress as a community and as a university since James Meredith bravely integrated our institution, but election night reminded us we still have a long way to go. The University of Mississippi is not a perfect placeâ€”we must not be complacent. We cannot settle for the status quo or think weâ€™ve come far enough. That type of mentality is the reason inequality, injustice and prejudice still existâ€”and to move forward, we need to have meaningful dialog with one another, face-to-face, not by tweets or text or Facebook. ... Long gone should be the days of self-segregation, of exclusion, of hateful words and of ostracizing someone for being different. To students who believe what happened is somehow acceptable, and to those who partook in hateful speech: you are not welcome at The University of Mississippi. We do not want you here. Our campus is not a safe haven for hate. The University of Mississippi is a campus for all who follow the principles of our creed. We have our work cut out for us, but weâ€™re ready for the challenge to keep progressing as a student body and as an institution. We are dedicated to fostering and honoring the university creed not just on campus, but also as representatives for The University of Mississippi around the state, the nation, and the world. Sean Higgins, President, Ole Miss College Democrats, Associated Student Body Senator, College of Liberal Arts; Allen Hamilton, Chairman of the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans; Kimbrely Dandridge, President, Associated Student Body; Brian Barnes, President, Interfraternity Council; Kendrick Hunt, President-Elect, National Pan-Hellenic Council; Kate Kellum, President, Panhellenic Council; Lauren Wright, President, Black Student Union; Josh Moore, President, Residence Hall Association
November 14 - 20, 2012
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GOP Must Help Us Pay for Bushâ€™s Promises
n his 2002 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush said, â€œ... while the price of freedom and security is high, it is never too high. Whatever it costs to defend our country, we will pay.â€? Regardless of your opinion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the undeniable truth is that these wars have cost us a great deal of money. Since 2002, our annual spending on â€œdefense,â€? security and intelligence has more than doubled to around $1 trillion, while, at the same time, our other domestic discretionary (non-entitlement) spending for infrastructure, education and economic development has grown much more slowly. Whatâ€™s more, our budget will face continued requirements for many years after these wars end, both in the services we owe to our returning soldiers and in the interest we pay on the money we borrowed to pay for the wars in the first place. Through it all, weâ€™ve failed to pay for the increased expenditures as we should have; the ideologically motivated Bush tax cuts came at the worst possible moment as we ramped up our American war machine and kept it fed with massive supplemental outlays, high-priced contractor deals and a regrettable two-front â€œstrategery.â€? Now, as a result, weâ€™ve got a huge bill to pay, exacerbated, of course, by the Great Recession. Which means the answer to the question of how to balance our budget and pay down our debts has to include ... revenues. Even the state economist for Mississippi is warning about the alternative. Itâ€™s time to ask the wealthy in this country to fulfill Bushâ€™s pledgeâ€”and pay a little more in taxes.
Wonâ€™t tax increases kill jobs? A Congressional Research Service reportâ€”which the GOP in the U.S. House of Representatives tried to bury before the electionâ€”shows that thereâ€™s no correlation between the top tax rates and economic growth; in the 1950s and â€™60s, the top tax rate was 90 percent (today itâ€™s 35 percent) and the capital gains rate was 25 percent in the late 1980s through the 1990s (today itâ€™s 15 percent). Yet those periods saw economic booms (and busts) just the same as weâ€™ve seen under the lower rates over the past 12 years. If the Bush tax rates really drive job creation, how does one explain the net job creation of only 1.1 million jobs over his eight years? The Clinton administration, with higher rates, saw 23 million jobs created. Gov. Romneyâ€™s most persistent campaign promise was to lower taxes on the wealthy, incorrectly asserting that policy would create jobs. President Obama ran on a clear message to increase taxes on our wealthiest earners while supporting the middle class, and he won a resounding victory in both the Electoral College and popular vote. The mandate could not be more clear. We call on the Mississippi congressional delegation and other Republicans to work with the president on a balanced approach to our budget that increases revenues while continuing to support the working class, middle class and small business job creators as we climb out of a recession that the investor class has already left behind. Itâ€™s time for the GOP to make good on President Bushâ€™s promiseâ€”ask the wealthy in this country help us pay â€œthe price of freedom.â€?
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‘We Can’t Be Bought’ EDITORIAL News Editor Ronni Mott Features Editor Kathleen Morrison Mitchell Reporters Jacob Fuller, R.L. Nave Events Editor Latasha Willis Deputy Editor Briana Robinson Copy Editors Dustin Cardon, Molly Lehmuller Music Listings Editor Natalie Long Fashion Stylist Meredith Sullivan Writers Torsheta Bowen, Quita Bride, Marika Cackett, Richard Coupe, Scott Dennis Jim Pathfinder Ewing, Bryan Flynn, Garrad Lee Genevieve Legacy, Anita Modak-Truran, Larry Morrisey, Eddie Outlaw, Casey Purvis, Debbie Raddin, Julie Skipper, Kelly Bryan Smith Editorial Interns Victoria Sherwood, Dylan Watson Consulting Editor JoAnne Prichard Morris ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY Art Director Kristin Brenemen Advertising Designer Andrea Thomas Production Designer Latasha Willis Staff Photographer/Videographer Trip Burns Editorial Cartoonist Mike Day Photographers William Patrick Butler, Tate K. Nations, Amile Wilson Graphic Design Interns Terrence Jones, Ariss King ADVERTISING SALES Sales Director Kimberly Griffin Advertising Coordinator Monique Davis Account Executive Stephanie Bowering BUSINESS AND OPERATIONS Executive Assistant Erica Crunkilton Bookkeeper Montroe Headd Distribution Manager Matt Heindl Distribution Raymond Carmeans, Jeff Cooper, Clint Dear, Robert Majors, Jody Windham ONLINE Web Developer Matt Heindl Web Editor Dustin Cardon Multimedia Editor Trip Burns Web Producer Korey Harrion CONTACT US: Letters Editorial Queries Listings Advertising Publisher News tips Fashion
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Jackson Free Press P.O. Box 5067, Jackson, Miss., 39296 Editorial (601) 362-6121 Sales (601) 362-6121 Fax (601) 510-9019 Daily updates at jacksonfreepress.com The Jackson Free Press is the city’s award-winning, locally owned newsweekly, with 17,000 copies distributed in and around the Jackson metropolitan area every Wednesday. The Jackson Free Press is free for pick-up by readers; one copy per person, please. First-class subscriptions are available for $100 per year for postage and handling. The Jackson Free Press welcomes thoughtful opinions. The views expressed in this newspaper are not necessarily those of the publisher or management of Jackson Free Press Inc. © Copyright 2012 Jackson Free Press Inc. All Rights Reserved
XFORD – Mama was right: Money can’t buy everything. A $222 million payroll, the fattest in Major League Baseball, couldn’t buy the New York Yankees a perch in this year’s World Series. They lost their league’s championship series four to zip. President Barack Obama won election last week despite an avalanche of money spent against him by wealthy corporate donors who remain anonymous thanks to the U.S. “Corporate” Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling. By mid-October, the so-called Super PACs created after Citizens United had raised an estimated $660 million. Such groups spent $65 million-plus on television ads in the presidential race, much of it negative and most of it against Obama, before October. On paper, the president and Republican opponent Mitt Romney had comparable campaign chests—nearly $1 billion each; however, some 56 percent of Obama’s individual donors contributed $200 or less. Only 23 percent of Romney’s donors did. Romney billionaire supporters Sheldon and Miriam Adelson together gave $20 million to their candidate, nearly six times the size of Obama’s largest individual contribution. In the world of post-Citizens United politics, however, the cash story isn’t on paper or in the files of the Federal Election Commission. It’s back in the smoke-filled rooms where Antonin Scalia and his blackrobed brethren believe it ought to be. According to reporter Lee Fang in a recent edition of The Nation magazine, spending on federal elections by the pharmaceutical industry alone jumped from $200,000 in 2008 to nearly $10.4 million by the 2010 election cycle. Nearly every penny of it came from anonymous, unreported sources. Big Money did get some results this past Election Day even though it failed to buy the White House or U.S. Senate seats sought by the likes of Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts or held by Jon Tester of Montana. In Mississippi, outside cash played a significant role in Josiah Coleman’s victory over “Flip” Phillips in the state Supreme Court race in northern Mississippi. Only money and the negative ads it buys could explain why a political and judicial unknown like Coleman could beat a seasoned veteran and well-known attorney like Phillips. What trumped money among the voters nationwide who cast their ballot for Obama was a sense that the president’s mission indeed was unfinished and that he deserved another four years to complete it, that he inherited a mountainous mess from his Republican predecessor in 2008 and, over the next four years, faced a solid block of Republican obstructionists in Congress who believed Obama’s defeat was more important than the welfare of the nation.
People across America got it that the chameleon-like Romney was the embodiment of what writer Gertrude Stein meant when she said, “There is no ‘there’ there.” They got it that Obamacare is not the evil embodiment of Soviet-style health care that Republicans and their media water boys at Fox News and SuperTalk Mississippi Radio want us to believe. Obamacare is needed, particularly in places like Mississippi and even if the white voters who carried the state for Romney refuse to accept that truth. Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has said he opposes the expansion of Medicaid envisioned by Obamacare even though it would benefit more than 300,000 of the many needy in this poorest of all states and even add an estimated 9,000 new jobs. Let’s look at the South as well as Mississippi. Most of the states in the nation’s poorest region—a region with a sordid history of voter suppression, racism and oligarchic rule—went solidly for Romney. It’s one thing for bankers, oilmen and corporate magnates to vote for one of their ilk, but quite another to see the (overwhelmingly white) small-business people and blue-collar workers who did the same. Southerners are religious, and I suppose they buy what they hear from the pulpits and right-wing radio. They need to remember what writer Thomas Frank once said: “Values may `matter most’ to voters, but they always take a back seat to the needs of money once the elections are won.” Take Romney: He loved to talk about jobs and his business acumen during the campaign. But, the company he once led, Bain Capital, made a mint by buying and forcing other companies into bankruptcy in part so it could break prior promises of pension and benefits for workers. That’s a fact, and that’s why he preferred to allow General Motors to go into bankruptcy rather than endorse Obama’s auto industry “bailout.” Immediately after last Tuesday’s election, conservative pundits began chirping that the closeness of the vote means Obama has no mandate and that he will be forced to tilt rightward to convince Republicans finally to work with him. They talked as if they were still in their dream world and Republicans had actually won rather than received the repudiation they got. What I saw were Americans standing up to Big Money and telling the world, “We can’t be bought!” I only wish more white Mississippians and other southerners had said the same. A veteran journalist who teaches at the University of Mississippi, Joe Atkins is author of “Covering for the Bosses: Labor and the Southern Press.” His blog is laborsouth.blogspot.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank You The City of Jackson and Partners to End Homelessness, Inc. would like to thank each of you for helping to make this year’s 6th Annual Project Homeless Connect Week (September 18-20, 2012) a great success. Your donations, gifts, etc. were greatly appreciated. The sponsors that assisted with this monumental effort were: AmeriCorps Capital City Rebuilds Program, BancorpSouth, BankPlus, Central MS Medical Center’s New Vision Services, Christ United Methodist Church, Coca Cola Bottling Group, Courtyard by Marriott, Frito Lays, Galloway United Methodist Church (Downtown), Hope Federal Credit Union, Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau, Jackson State University, Kenny’s Barbershop, Kentwood Springs, Magnolia Federal Credit Union, McDade’s, Middlebrook United Methodist Church (Jackson), New Hope Baptist Church (Jackson), Precise Research Center, Reddy Ice, Inc., Regency Hotel and Conference Center, Regions, Ron the DJ, St. Paul’s Women’s Guild/St. Paul Catholic Church (Flowood), Trustmark Bank, Vineyard Church (Jackson) and WKXI-FM. Please join us in thanking our sponsors for their support.
Editor-in-Chief Donna Ladd Publisher Todd Stauffer
Thank you to our Conversation About Community 2012 sponsors and hosts. Our Sponsors: Madison Charitable Foundation
THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI ®
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Anderson United Methodist Church
Donna and Jim Barksdale
Steen Dalehite & Pace
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Lisa B. Percy Carol T. Puckett Ann Jennings Shackelford
November 14 - 20, 2012
Sarah and John D. Adams Dr. Martha A. Alexander Rolanda Alexander Sara Jane and Alex Alston Dr. Rick Barr Amy and Cliff Bates Deidre and Fred Bell Bev and Rhea Bishop Crisler and Doug Boone Suzanne and Bill Boone Mrs. W. Elmo Bradley Liz and Bill Brister Debra Brown Jean Butler Ann and Rick Calhoon Nancy and Roy Campbell Adrienne and Keith Carter Elizabeth Wise Copeland Betsy and Wade Creekmore Meredith and Jimmy Creekmore Katherine Crowley Margaret and Brett Cupples Mr. and Mrs. Aubrey Davis Betsy and Kane Ditto Ouida and Wayne Drinkwater Lesly Murray and Steve Edds Revs. Annie and Gates Elliott Carol and George Evans
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Dr. and Mrs. Howard Nichols Beth L. Orlansky Amanda and Scott Overby Wade Overstreet Anne and Alan Perry Star Pool Gayla and John Purvis Mary and Alex Purvis Melinda and Steve Ray Ada Robinson Dr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Robinson Nat Rogers Drs. Ann Myers and George Schimmel Laurel and Josh Schooler Janet K. Shands Drs. Emma Brooks-Smith and Estus Smith Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Smith Mary Elizabeth and George Smith Sarah Posey Smith Elizabeth M. Spann Charmelia and Adam Spicer Mattie Wilson Stoddard Jordan Sudduth Sally and Bill Thompson Robin Walker Nell and Ed Wall Jay Wiener Dudley D. Wooley
A JUMP TO THE LEFT? MISSISSIPPI: THE 2012 ELECTIONS AND BEYOND
by Ronni Mott
6/4% "9 !'% PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL ELECTORATE MS - 19%
30-39 40-49 50-64 65 and older
U.S. - 19% MS - 18% U.S. - 17% MS - 21% U.S. - 20% MS - 29% U.S. - 28% MS - 14% U.S. - 16%
55% 60% 47% 55% 42% 48% 42% 48% 22% 44%
The uptick from 2008 to 2012 was 0.7 percent. Younger Mississippians, those aged 18 to 29, also voted for Obamaâ€”by 55 percent. â€œWe are moving the needle slowly in our direction.â€? Cole pointed out that racial polarization lessens for younger people as a whole. At 46 years old, he counts himself among the first generation to experience school integration in Mississippi from the start. Those his age and younger just donâ€™t have the charge on racism that older folks may still have, foretelling a time when race, in general, may not be as divisive. â€œThe social distance remains, but it is decreasing,â€? he said. â€œIâ€™m not trying to be overly Pollyannaish about that. I know we have a long way to go, but we have come quite a long way.â€? Saying that Mississippians are so-called values voters is a default position, Cole said, and says the fault lies with the state Democratsâ€™ ineffective articulation of their message. They lose on social issues because they havenâ€™t talked about the hard issues instead. Cole points to the personhood initiative as one where informed voters made their voices heard, and he believes the electorate welcomes that level of discourse, which can be carried to even tougher issues. A CNN exit poll revealed that Mississippians revealed that the top three most important issues facing the country are the deficit, the economy and health care, not social issues such as abortion and gay marriage. â€œItâ€™s not that Mississippians arenâ€™t reachable with a reasoned appeal on the issues,â€? Cole said. â€œItâ€™s that candidates on either side havenâ€™t made reasoned appeals. â€Ś We havenâ€™t had campaigns that talk about the issues.â€? Democrats are REPUBLICANS supposed to appeal to 43% people who think, he said, 37% â€œand we havenâ€™t been do49% ing that.â€? 42% â€œWe canâ€™t just be cute about it. We canâ€™t out-Re58% publican the Republicans. 50% We canâ€™t trick the people 58% into voting for us by 50% claiming to be something that weâ€™re not,â€? he added. 78% â€œWe do have an obli56% SOURCE: CNN EXIT POLLS gation to present our case