Haley Barbour

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Posted by kaori 03/08/2009 @ 00:11

Tags : haley barbour, mississippi, states, us

News headlines
Don't Kill Reagan, Says Gov. Haley Barbour - U.S. News & World Report
Just the opposite, says self-described Reaganite Haley Barbour, Mississippi's two-term governor and a former Republican National Committee chairman. The time is now to apply Reagan's values and principles to a party that's lost its way, he says....
Mississippi: Barbour Signs Cigarette Tax - New York Times
Haley Barbour, a Republican and a former tobacco lobbyist long opposed to raising Mississippi's cigarette tax, relented in the face of slumping budget revenues and signed the state's first increase in nearly a quarter century....
Hospital group opposes tax for Medicaid - WXVT
Haley Barbour's proposed $90 million hospital tax to help pay for Medicaid. Barbour has been saying for more than a year that there's a $90 million shortfall in Medicaid, the government health program for the needy, aged, blind and disabled and for...
Barbour makes pitch for bigger GOP tent - The Hill
Haley Barbour (R) said he is optimistic about the Republican Party's chances at returning to power, but to do so, he said, the party has to accept some more centrist leaders. "We're not going to elect Haley Barbour senator from Vermont, and we have to...
Barbour: Miss. budget cuts required - Jackson Clarion Ledger
Haley Barbour said today that budget cuts of about 6.5 percent will be needed for the fiscal year that begins July 1 — a recommendation that state lawmakers may or may not follow as they begin crafting a state spending plan....
Sold Down the River How Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour sabotaged ... - Reason Online
Haley Barbour, who promptly vetoed the bill, claiming it would cripple his ability to lure large corporations into the state. As Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, admitted in his veto statement, had he not promised Toyota...
Options: Lawmakers should be grateful for them - Vicksburg Post
Haley Barbour has the simplest solution. He wants to reinstate the $90 million in “participation fees” hospitals anted up starting in 1995 to parlay into more money for more Medicaid clients. The practice was discontinued during the aftermath of...
Hospital tax talks stall - The Commercial Dispatch
Haley Barbour want to hold off spending $60 million so it can be saved for future needs. They say the economy could fall deeper into recession causing the state to be severely low on money. “The issue is are we willing to make difficult choices today...
1st Cigarette Tax Hike In 24 Years In Mississippi - WREG
The tax increase was just signed on Wednesday by Governor Haley Barbour and ever since, they've been bracing not only their stores by changing prices and dealing with additional paper work but also preparing to comfort upset customers....
Miss. governor meets with Chinese delegation - Forbes
Haley Barbour told a Chinese delegation that even in an economic recession, there are trade opportunities between the state and its partners in the Far East. Barbour on Thursday welcomed the delegation from Changzhou, Jintan County, and the Qishuyan...


Map of the United States with Mississippi highlighted

Mississippi ( /ˌmɪsəˈsɪpi/ (help·info)) is a state located in the Deep South of the United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The state's name comes from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, and takes its name from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi ("Great River"). The state is heavily forested outside of the Mississippi Delta area. Its catfish aquaculture farms produce the majority of farm-raised catfish consumed in the United States. The state symbol is the magnolia.

Mississippi is bordered on the north by Tennessee, on the east by Alabama, on the south by Louisiana and a narrow coast on the Gulf of Mexico, and on the west, across the Mississippi River, by Louisiana and Arkansas.

Major rivers in Mississippi, apart from its namesake, include the Big Black River, the Pearl River, the Yazoo, the Pascagoula, and the Tombigbee. Major lakes include Ross Barnett Reservoir, Arkabutla Lake, Sardis Lake and Grenada Lake.

The state of Mississippi is entirely composed of lowlands, the highest point being Woodall Mountain, in the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains, only 806 feet (246 m) above sea level. The lowest point is sea level at the Gulf coast. The mean elevation in the state is 300 feet (91 m) above sea level.

Most of Mississippi is part of the East Gulf Coastal Plain. The Coastal Plain is generally composed of low hills, such as the Pine Hills in the south and the North Central Hills. The Pontotoc Ridge and the Fall Line Hills in the northeast have somewhat higher elevations. Yellow-brown loess soil is found in the western parts of the state. The northeast is a region of fertile black earth that extends into the Alabama Black Belt.

The coastline includes large bays at Bay St. Louis, Biloxi and Pascagoula. It is separated from the Gulf of Mexico proper by the shallow Mississippi Sound, which is partially sheltered by Petit Bois Island, Horn Island, East and West Ship Islands, Deer Island, Round Island and Cat Island.

The northwest remainder of the state is made up of a section of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, also known as the Mississippi Delta. The Mississippi Alluvial Plain is narrow in the south and widens north of Vicksburg. The region has rich soil, partly made up of silt which had been regularly deposited by the floodwaters of the Mississippi River.

Mississippi has a humid subtropical climate with long summers and short, mild winters. Temperatures average about 85°F (about 28°C) in July and about 48 °F (about 9 °C) in January. The temperature varies little statewide in the summer, but in winter the region near Mississippi Sound is significantly warmer than the inland portion of the state. The recorded temperature in Mississippi has ranged from -19 °F (-28.3 °C), in 1966, at Corinth in the northeast, to 115 °F (46.1 °C), in 1930, at Holly Springs in the north. Yearly precipitation generally increases from north to south, with the regions closer to the Gulf being the most humid. Thus, Clarksdale, in the northwest, gets about 50 inches (about 1,270 mm) of precipitation annually and Biloxi, in the south, about 61 inches (about 1,550 mm). Small amounts of snow fall in northern and central Mississippi, although snow is not unheard of around the southern part of the state.

The late summer and fall is the seasonal period of risk for hurricanes moving inland from the Gulf of Mexico, especially in the southern part of the state. Hurricane Camille in 1969 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which killed 238 people in the state, are the most devastating hurricanes to hit the state, both causing nearly total storm surge damage around Gulfport, Biloxi and Pascagoula. As in the rest of the Deep South, thunderstorms are common in Mississippi, especially in the southern part of the state. On average, Mississippi has around 27 tornadoes annually; the northern part of the state has more tornadoes earlier in the year and the southern part a higher frequency later in the year. Two of the five deadliest tornadoes in US history have occurred in the state. These storms struck Natchez, in southwest Mississippi (see The Great Natchez Tornado) and Tupelo, in the northeast of the state.

Mississippi is heavily forested, with over half of the state's area covered by wild trees; mostly pine, but also cottonwood, elm, hickory, oak, pecan, sweetgum and tupelo. Lumber is a prevalent industry in Mississippi.

Flooding and Littering are two major ecological issues confronting Mississippi statewide.

Due to seasonal flooding possible from December to June, the Mississippi River created a fertile floodplain in what is called the Mississippi Delta, including tributaries. Early planters used slaves to build levees along the Mississippi River to divert flooding. They built on top of the natural levees that formed from dirt deposited after the river flooded. As cultivation of cotton increased in the Delta, planters hired Irish laborers to ditch and drain their land. The state took over levee building from 1858–1861, accomplishing it through contractors. In those years, planters considered their slaves too valuable to hire out for such dangerous work. Contractors hired gangs of Irish immigrant laborers to build levees and sometimes clear land. Before the war, the earthwork levees averaged six feet in height, although in some areas they reached twenty feet.

Flooding has been an integral part of Mississippi history. It took a toll during the years after the Civil War. Major floods swept down the valley in 1865, 1867, 1874 and 1882, regularly overwhelming levees damaged by Confederate and Union fighting during the war, and also those repaired or constructed after the war. In 1877, the Mississippi Levee District was created for southern counties. In 1879, the United States Congress created the Mississippi River Commission, whose responsibilities included aiding state levee boards in the construction of levees. Both white and black transient workers built the levees in the late 19th century. By 1882, levees averaged seven feet in height, but many in the southern Delta were severely tested by the flood that year.

After the flood of 1882, the levee system was expanded. By 1884, the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee District was established to oversee levee construction and maintenance in the northern Delta counties. Also included were counties in Arkansas.

Flooding overwhelmed northwestern Mississippi in 1912–1913, causing heavy financial costs to the levee districts. Regional losses and the Mississippi River Levee Association's lobbying for a flood control bill helped gain passage of bills in 1917 and 1923 to provide Federal matching funds for local levee districts, on a scale of 2:1. Although US participation in World War I interrupted funding of levees, the second round of funding helped raise the average height of levees in the Mississippi-Yazoo Delta to 22 feet (6.7 m) in the 1920s.

Nonetheless, the region was severely flooded and suffered millions of dollars in damages due to the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. Property, stock and crops were all lost. In Mississippi, most damage was in the lower Delta, including Washington and Bolivar counties.

In 2008, The American State Litter Scorecard, presented at the American Society for Public Administration national conference, ranked Mississippi "worst" of the 50 United States for removing litter from statewide public roadways and properties.

Nearly 10,000 BCE, or BC, Native American or Paleo-Indians appeared in what today is referred to as the South. Paleoindians in the South were hunter-gatherers who pursued the megafauna that became extinct following the end of the Pleistocene age. After thousands of years, the Paleoindians developed a rich and complex agricultural society. Archaeologists called these people the Mississippians of the Mississippian culture; they were Mound Builders, whose large earthworks related to political and religious rituals still stand throughout the Mississippi and Ohio valleys. Descendant Native American tribes include the Chickasaw and Choctaw. Other tribes who inhabited the territory of Mississippi (and whose names were honored in local towns) include the Natchez, the Yazoo, and the Biloxi.

The first major European expedition into the territory that became Mississippi was that of Hernando de Soto, who passed through in 1540. The first European settlement was French, Fort Maurepas (also known as Old Biloxi), built at Ocean Springs and settled by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville in April 1699. In 1716, Natchez was founded on the Mississippi River (as Fort Rosalie); it became the dominant town and trading post of the area. After being ruled by Spanish, British, and French colonial governments, the Mississippi area was deeded to the British after the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War) under the terms of the Treaty of Paris (1763).

After the American Revolution, it became part of the new United States of America. The Mississippi Territory was organized on April 7, 1798, from territory ceded by Georgia and South Carolina. It was later twice expanded to include disputed territory claimed by both the United States and Spain. The United States purchased land (generally through unequal treaties) from Native American tribes from 1800 to about 1830.

On December 10, 1817, Mississippi was the 20th state admitted to the Union.

When cotton was king during the 1850s, Mississippi plantation owners—especially those of the Delta and Black Belt regions—became wealthy due to the high fertility of the soil, the high price of cotton on the international market, and their assets in slaves. The planters' dependence on hundreds of thousands of slaves for labor, and the severe wealth imbalances among whites, played strong roles both in state politics and in planters' support for secession. By 1860, the enslaved population numbered 436,631 or 55% of the state's total of 791,305. There were fewer than 1000 free people of color. The relatively low population of the state before the Civil War reflected the fact that much of the state away from the riverfronts was still wilderness and needed many more settlers for development.

Mississippi was the second state to secede from the Union as one of the Confederate States of America on January 9, 1861.

During Reconstruction, the first constitutional convention in 1868 framed a constitution whose major elements would last for 22 years. The convention was the first political organization to include colored representatives, 17 among the 100 members. Although 32 counties had black majorities, they elected whites as well as blacks to represent them. The convention adopted universal suffrage; did away with property qualifications for suffrage or for office, which benefited poor whites, too; provided for the state's first public school system; forbade race distinctions in the possession and inheritance of property; and prohibited limiting of civil rights in travel. Under the terms of Reconstruction, Mississippi was readmitted to the Union on February 23, 1870.

While Mississippi typified the Deep South in passing Jim Crow laws in the early 20th century, its history was more complex. Because the Mississippi Delta contained so much fertile bottomland which had not been developed before the Civil War, 90 percent of the land was still frontier. After the Civil War, tens of thousands of migrants were attracted to the area. They could earn money by clearing the land and selling timber, and eventually advance to ownership. The new farmers included freedmen, who achieved unusually high rates of land ownership in the Mississippi bottomlands. In the 1870s and 1880s, many black farmers succeeded in gaining ownership of land.

By the turn of the century, two-thirds of the farmers in Mississippi who owned land in the Delta were African American. Many were able to keep going through difficult years of falling cotton prices only by extending their debts. Cotton prices fell throughout the decades following the Civil War. As another agricultural depression lowered cotton prices into the 1890s, however, numerous African-American farmers finally had to sell their land to pay off debts, and thus lost the land into which they had put so much labor. By 1910, the majority of blacks in the Delta were landless laborers.

White legislators created a new constitution in 1890, with provisions that effectively disfranchised most blacks and many poor whites. Estimates are that 100,000 blacks and 50,000 whites were removed from voter registration rolls over the next few years. The loss of political influence contributed to the difficulties of African Americans' getting extended credit. Together with Jim Crow laws, increased lynchings in the 1890s, failure of the cotton crops due to boll weevil infestation, successive severe flooding in 1912 and 1913 created crisis conditions for many African Americans. With control of the ballot box and more access to credit, white planters expanded their ownership of Delta bottomlands and could take advantage of new railroads.

By 1910, a majority of black farmers in the Delta had lost their land and were sharecroppers. By 1920, the third generation after freedom, most African Americans in Mississippi were landless laborers again facing poverty. Starting about 1913, tens of thousands of African Americans left Mississippi to migrate North in the Great Migration to industrial cities such as New York, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and St. Louis, seeking jobs, better education for their children, the right to vote, and better living. In the migration of 1910–1940, they left a society that had been steadily closing off opportunity. Most migrants from Mississippi took trains directly north to Chicago and often settled near former neighbors.

The Second Great Migration (African American) from the South started in the 1940s, lasting until 1970. Almost half a million people left Mississippi in the second migration, three-quarters of them black. Nationwide during the first half of the 20th century, African Americans became rapidly urbanized and many worked in industrial jobs.

Mississippi generated rich, quintessentially American music traditions: gospel music, country music, jazz, blues, and rock and roll. All were invented, promulgated, or heavily developed by Mississippi musicians, and most came from the Mississippi Delta. Many musicians carried their music north to Chicago, where they made it the heart of that city's jazz and blues.

The state's complex history has generated great storytellers. Mississippi is noted for award-winning twentieth-century authors native to or associated with the state, including Nobel Prize-winner William Faulkner, playwrights Tennessee Williams and Beth Henley, authors Eudora Welty, Richard Wright, Ellen Douglas, Walker Percy, Willie Morris, Margaret Walker, Ellen Gilchrist, and Alice Walker, and historian Shelby Foote.

Mississippi was a center of activity to educate and register voters during the Civil Rights Movement. Although 42% of the state's population was African American in 1960, discriminatory voter registration processes still prevented most of them from voting. These provisions had been in place since 1890. Students and community organizers from across the country came to help register voters and establish Freedom Schools. Resistance and harsh attitudes of most white politicians (including the creation of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission), the participation of many Mississippians in the White Citizens' Councils, and the violent tactics of the Ku Klux Klan and its sympathizers, gained Mississippi a reputation in the 1960s as a reactionary state.

In 1966, the state was the last to repeal prohibition of alcohol. In 1995, it symbolically ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, which had abolished slavery. While the state was late in ratifying the amendments, it had obeyed them.

On August 17, 1969, Category 5 Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi coast, killing 248 people and causing US$1.5 billion in damage (1969 dollars). On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina, though a Category 3 storm upon final landfall, caused even greater destruction across the entire 90 miles (145 km) of Mississippi Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Alabama.

As of 2008, Mississippi has an estimated population of 2,938,618. Mississippi's population has the largest proportion of African Americans of any U.S. state, currently nearly 37%.

The 2000 Census reported Mississippi's population as 2,844,658 . The center of population of Mississippi is located in Leake County, in the town of Lena.

The Census Bureau considers race and Hispanic ethnicity to be two separate categories. These data, however, are only for non-Hispanic members of each group: non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks, etc. For more information on race and the Census, see here.

On September 27, 1830, the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was signed between the U.S. Government and Native American Choctaws. The Choctaws agreed to selling their traditional homelands in Mississippi and Alabama with just compensation, which opened it up for European-American immigrant settlement. Article 14 in the treaty allowed the Choctaws to remain in the state of Mississippi and to become the first major non-European ethnic group to become U.S. citizens. Today approximately 9,500 Choctaws live in Neshoba, Newton, Leake, and Jones counties.

Until the 1930s, African Americans made up a majority of Mississippians. Due to the Great Migration, when more than 360,000 African Americans left the state during the 1940s and after to leave segregation and disfranchisement, and for better economic opportunities in the northern and western states, Mississippi's African-American population declined.

The state has the highest proportion of African Americans in the nation. Recently, the African-American percentage of population has begun to increase due mainly to a higher birth rate than the state average. Due to patterns of settlement, in many of Mississippi's public school districts, a majority of students are of African descent. African Americans are the majority ethnic group in the northwestern Yazoo Delta and the southwestern and the central parts of the state, chiefly areas where the group owned land as farmers or worked on cotton plantations and farms.

People of French Creole ancestry form the largest demographic group in Hancock County on the Gulf Coast. The African-American; Choctaw, mostly in Neshoba County; and Chinese-American segments of the population are also almost entirely native born.

Although some ethnic Chinese were recruited as indentured laborers from Cuba during the 1870s and later 19th c., the majority immigrated directly from China to Mississippi between 1910–1930. They were recruited as laborers. While planters first made arrangements with the Chinese for sharecropping, most Chinese soon left that work. Many became small merchants and especially grocers in towns throughout the Delta.

According to recent statistics, Mississippi leads the country in the rate of increase of immigrants, but that is compared to years when it attracted no immigrants. Most recent immigrants are Hispanic from Mexico, Central and South America.

For three years in a row, more than 30 percent of Mississippi's residents have been classified as obese. The state's pronounced poverty leads to poor nutrition habits. These are affected by the increase in costs for fresh produce while prices of high calorie, high fat foods have fallen. Many of the poorest residents rely on small convenience stores where all foods are pre-packed. In a 2006 study, 22.8 percent of the state's children were classified as obese. Mississippi had the highest rate of obesity of any U.S. state from 2005-2008 and also ranks first in the nation for high blood pressure, diabetes, and adult inactivity. In a 2008 study of African American women, contributing risk factors were shown to be: lack of knowledge about body mass index (BMI), dietary behavior, physical activity and lack of social support, defined as motivation and encouragement by friends. A 2002 report on African American adolescents noted a third of children were obese, with higher ratios for those in the Delta.

The study stressed that "obesity starts in early childhood extending into the adolescent years and then possibly into adulthood". It noted impediments to needed behavioral modification included the Delta likely being "the most undeserved region in the state" with African Americans the major ethnic group; lack of accessibility and availability of medical care; and an estimated 60% of residents living below the poverty level. Additional risk factors were that most schools had no physical education curriculum and nutrition education is not emphasized. Previous intervention strategies may have been largely ineffective due to not being culturally sensitive or practical. A 2006 survey found nearly 95 percent of Mississippi adults considered childhood obesity to be a serious problem.

The 2000 United States census counted 4,774 same-sex couple households in Mississippi. Of these households, 41% contained at least one child. South Dakota and Utah were the only other states in which 40 percent or more of same-sex couple households had at least one child living in the household. Mississippi also has the largest percentage of African-American same-sex couples among total households. The state capital, Jackson, ranks tenth in the nation in concentration of African-American same-sex couples. The state also ranks fifth in the nation in the percentage of Hispanic same-sex couples among all Hispanic households and ninth in the highest concentration of same-sex couples who are seniors.

In response to a murder and legislation including a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex couples in the state from marrying and adopting children, a statewide gay rights organization formed in March 2000. Originally called Mississippi Gay Lobby, the organization changed its name in 2001 to Equality Mississippi. In 2004, Mississippi voters approved a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and prohibiting Mississippi from recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. The amendment passed 86% to 14%, the largest margin in any state.

Under French and Spanish rule beginning in the 1600s, many settlers of present-day Mississippi were Roman Catholics. In the early 1800s, Mississippi began attracting many Protestant evangelicals such as Methodists, Presbyterians, and Baptists, who would eventually become the majority by the twentieth century. In 2000 the Southern Baptist Convention was the largest religious denomination in the state with 916,440 adherents, followed by the United Methodist Church with 240,576, and the Roman Catholic Church with 115,760. Members of the latter church are often concentrated in areas still influenced by the former French and Spanish rule, especially along the Gulf Coast and other southern counties of the state.

The dramatic shift in religion can be attributed to several Protestant groups seeking to question the authority of the established Catholic Church during the era known as the Great Revival in the early 1800s. These groups attracted the "plain folk" in the area by reaching out to all members of society, especially those most alienated from elite culture, such as women and African Americans. Because the evangelical groups opposed slavery and promoted spiritual equality, biracial churches were founded in large numbers during this era. This led to increased mingling between whites and blacks, which many in the segregated society opposed. Husbands and slave owners in particular were opposed to the evangelical groups because of their radical positions on women's rights and the institution of slavery. In the 1830s, when the state's economy was booming, many Mississippians associated with the evangelicals began to acquire better jobs and higher social positions; some even became slave owners themselves. With the influx of wealthier, higher-class whites, churches began to abandon their spiritual equality mantra and eventually split because of racial tensions. Whites were focused on maintaining the social segregation present in society at the time while blacks sought to continue with the spiritual equality message that had originally attracted them. Churches grew more and more divided in the following years. When several states in The North began to outlaw slavery, southern white churches felt the need to secede from the Union, which was one of the causes of the American Civil War.

In the post-war years religion became very popular in the state and the rest of the Southeastern United States, leading some to deem the region the "Bible Belt". Churchgoers prescribed to the Social Gospel movement, which attempted to apply Christian ethics to political situations of the day. By the early 1900s, racial tensions had grown because of several laws approved by whites, and the African-American philosophy of spiritual equality had begun resonating with the population. African-American Baptist churches had grown to include more than twice the number of members as white Baptist churches. The African-American call for social equality resonated throughout the Great Depression in the 1930s and World War II in the 1940s; members of Mississippi society began to speak out against racial injustices such as the Jim Crow Laws. The American Civil Rights Movement had many roots in religion; both sides cited religious reasons for their viewpoints. The end of racial segregation led to the reintegration of some churches, but most still today remain all black or all white. Since the 1970s, fundamentalist conservative churches have grown rapidly, fueling Mississippi's conservative political trends.

Other religions have also existed in Mississippi, though not as large in number. In 2000, the largest denomination described as something different than Protestant or Catholic was The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints with 12,992 adherents. Other notable denominations include Muslims with 3,919 adherents in the state, Jews with 1,400 adherents, and Bahá'í with 811 adherents.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Mississippi's total state product in 2006 was $84 billion. Per capita personal income in 2006 was only $26,908, the lowest per capita personal income of any state, but the state also has the nation's lowest living costs. Although the state has one of the lowest per capita income rates in the United States, Mississippians consistently rank as one of the highest per capita in charitable contributions.

Before the Civil War, Mississippi was the fifth-wealthiest state in the nation, wealth generated by cotton plantations along the rivers. Slaves were then counted as property and the rise in the cotton markets since the 1840s had increased their value. A majority - 55 percent - of the population of Mississippi was enslaved in 1860. Ninety percent of the Delta bottomlands were undeveloped and the state had low population overall.

Largely due to the domination of the plantation economy, focused on the production of agricultural cotton only, the state was slow to use its wealth to invest in infrastructure such as public schools, roads and railroads. Industrialization did not come in many areas until the late 20th century. The planter aristocracy, the elite of antebellum Mississippi, kept the tax structure low for themselves and made private improvements. Before the war the most successful planters, such as Confederate President Jefferson Davis, owned riverside properties along the Mississippi River. Most of the state was undeveloped frontier away from the riverfronts.

During the Civil War, 30,000 mostly white Mississippi men died from wounds and disease, and many more were left crippled and wounded. Changes to the labor structure and an agricultural depression throughout the South caused severe losses in wealth. In 1860 assessed valuation of property in Mississippi had been more than $500 million, of which $218 million (43 percent) was estimated as the value of slaves. By 1870, total assets had decreased in value to roughly $177 million.

Poor whites and landless former slaves suffered the most from the postwar economic depression. The constitutional convention of early 1868 appointed a committee to recommend what was needed for relief of the state and its citizens. The committee found severe destitution among the laboring classes. It took years for the state to rebuild levees damaged in battles. The upset of the commodity system impoverished the state after the war. By 1868 an increased cotton crop began to show possibilities for free labor in the state, but the crop of 565,000 bales produced in 1870 was still less than half of prewar figures.

Blacks sold timber and developed bottomland to achieve ownership. In 1900, two-thirds of farm owners in Mississippi were blacks, a major achievement for them and their families. Due to the poor economy, low cotton prices and difficulty of getting credit, many of these farmers could not make it through the extended financial difficulties. Two decades later, the majority of African Americans were sharecroppers. The low prices of cotton into the 1890s meant that more than a generation of African Americans lost the result of their labor when they had to sell their farms to pay off accumulated debts.

Mississippi's rank as one of the poorest states is related to its dependence on cotton agriculture before and after the Civil War, late development of its frontier bottomlands in the Mississippi Delta, repeated natural disasters of flooding in the late 19th and early 20th century requiring massive capital investment in levees, heavy capital investment to ditch and drain the bottomlands, and slow development of railroads to link bottomland towns and river cities. In addition, when conservative white Democrats regained control, they passed the 1890 constitution that discouraged industry, a legacy that would slow the state's progress for years.

Democratic militias and groups such as the White Camellia terrorized African American Republicans and Democrats regained political control in the 1870s. The legislature passed legislation to establish segregation and effectively disfranchised most blacks and many poor whites by changes to electoral and voter registration rules. The state refused for years to build human capital by fully educating all its citizens. In addition, the reliance on agriculture grew increasingly costly as the state suffered loss of crops due to the devastation of the boll weevil in the early 20th century, devastating floods in 1912–1913 and 1927, collapse of cotton prices after 1920, and drought in 1930.

It was not until 1884, after the flood of 1882, that the state created the Mississippi-Yazoo Delta District Levee Board and started successfully achieving longer term plans for levees in the upper Delta. Despite the state's building and reinforcing levees for years, the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 broke through and caused massive flooding of 27,000 square miles (70,000 km2) throughout the Delta, homelessness for hundreds of thousands, and millions of dollars in property damages. With the Depression coming so soon after the flood, the state suffered badly during those years. In the Great Migration, tens of thousands of African Americans migrated North and West for jobs and chances to live as full citizens.

The legislature's 1990 decision to legalize casino gambling along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast has led to economic gains for the state. An estimated $500,000 per day in tax revenue was lost following Hurricane Katrina's severe damage to several coastal casinos in August 2005. Gambling towns in Mississippi include the Gulf Coast towns of Bay St. Louis, Gulfport and Biloxi, and the Mississippi River towns of Tunica (the third largest gaming area in the United States), Greenville, Vicksburg and Natchez. Before Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, Mississippi was the second largest gambling state in the Union, after Nevada and ahead of New Jersey. In 2007, Mississippi had the third largest gambling revenue of any state, behind New Jersey and Nevada.

On October 17, 2005, Governor Haley Barbour signed a bill into law that now allows casinos in Hancock and Harrison counties to rebuild on land (but within 800 feet (240 m) of the water). The only exception is in Harrison County, where the new law states that casinos can be built to the southern boundary of U.S. Route 90.

Mississippi collects personal income tax in three tax brackets, ranging from 3% to 5%. The retail sales tax rate in Mississippi is 7%. Additional local sales taxes also are collected. For purposes of assessment for ad valorem taxes, taxable property is divided into five classes.

On August 30, 2007, a report by the United States Census Bureau indicated that Mississippi was the poorest state in the country. Many white cotton farmers in the Delta have large, mechanized plantations, some of which receive extensive Federal subsidies, yet many African Americans still live as poor, rural, landless laborers. Of $1.2 billion from 2002–2005 in Federal subsidies to farmers in the Bolivar County area of the Delta, only 5% went to small farmers. There has been little money apportioned for rural development. Small towns are struggling. More than 100,000 people, mostly African American, have left the region in search of work elsewhere. The state had a median household income of $34,473 and a per capita of $9,432.

For more information, visit the Mississippi Department of Transportation website.

Amtrak provides scheduled passenger service along two routes, the Crescent and City of New Orleans.

Until the Civil War era, Mississippi had only a small number of schools and no educational institutions for black people. The first school for black people was established in 1862.

During Reconstruction in 1870, black and white Republicans were the first to establish a system of public education in the state. The state's dependence on agriculture and resistance to taxation limited the funds it had available to spend on any schools. As late as the early 20th century, there were few schools in rural areas. With seed money from the Julius Rosenwald Fund, many rural black communities across Mississippi raised matching funds and contributed public funds to build new schools for their children. Essentially, many black adults taxed themselves twice and made significant sacrifices to raise money for the education of children in their communities.

Blacks and whites attended separate public schools in Mississippi until the 1960s, when they began to be integrated following the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that racially segregated public schools were unconstitutional. Population settlement patterns have resulted in many districts that are de facto segregated.

In the late 1980s, the state had 954 public elementary and secondary schools, with a total yearly enrollment of about 369,500 elementary pupils and about 132,500 secondary students. Some 45,700 students attended private schools. In 2004, Mississippi was ranked last among the fifty states in academic achievement by the American Legislative Exchange Council's Report Card on Education, with the lowest average ACT scores and spending per pupil in the nation.

In 2007, Mississippi students scored the lowest of any state on the National Assessments of Educational Progress in both math and science.

While Mississippi has been especially known for its music and literature, it has embraced other forms of art, too. Its strong religious traditions have inspired striking works by outsider artists who have been shown nationally.

Jackson established the USA International Ballet Competition, which is held every four years. This ballet competition attracts the most talented young dancers from around the world.

The Magnolia Independent Film Festival, still held annually in Starkville, is the first and oldest in the state.

Musicians of the state's Delta region were historically significant to the development of the blues. Their laments arose out of the region's hard times after Reconstruction. Although by the end of the 19th century, two-thirds of the farm owners were black, continued low prices for cotton and national financial pressures resulted in most of them losing their land. More problems built up with the boll weevil infestation, when thousands of agricultural jobs were lost. Many Mississippi musicians migrated to Chicago and created new forms of jazz and other genres there.

Jimmie Rodgers, a native of Meridian and white guitarist/singer/songwriter known as the "Godfather of Country", also played a significant role in the development of the blues. He and Chester Arthur Burnett were friends and admirers of each other's music. Rodgers was supposed to have given Burnett his nickname of Howlin' Wolf. Their friendship and respect is an important example of Mississippi's musical legacy. While the state has had a reputation for being the most racist in America, individual musicians created an integrated music community. Mississippi musicians created new forms by combining and creating variations on musical traditions from Africa with the musical traditions of white Southerners, a tradition largely rooted in Scots–Irish music.

The state is creating a Mississippi Blues Trail, with dedicated markers explaining historic sites significant to the history of blues music, such as Clarksdale's Riverside Hotel, where Bessie Smith died after her auto accident on Highway 61. The Riverside Hotel is just one of many historical blues sites in Clarksdale. The Delta Blues Museum there is visited by tourists from all over the world. Close by are "Ground Zero" and "Madidi", a contemporary blues club and restaurant co-owned by actor Morgan Freeman.

Mississippi has also been fundamental to the development of American music as a whole. Elvis Presley, who created a sensation in the 1950s as a crossover artist and contributed to rock 'n' roll, was a native of Tupelo. From opera star Leontyne Price to the alternative rock band 3 Doors Down, to gulf and western singer Jimmy Buffett, to rappers David Banner and Afroman, Mississippi musicians have been significant in all genres.

Children in the United States and Canada often count "One-Mississippi, two-Mississippi" during informal games such as hide and seek to approximate counting by seconds.

In 1891, the Biedenharn Candy Company bottled the first Coca-Cola in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Root beer was invented in Biloxi in 1898 by Edward Adolf Barq, the namesake of Barq's Root Beer.

The Teddy bear gets its name from President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt. On a 1902 hunting trip to Sharkey County, Mississippi, he refused to shoot a captured bear.

In 1936, Dr. Leslie Rush, of Rush Hospital in Meridian, Mississippi performed the first bone pinning in the United States. The "Rush Pin" is still in use.

Burnita Shelton Matthews from near Hazlehurst, Mississippi was the first woman appointed as a judge of a U.S. district court. She was appointed by Harry S. Truman on October 21, 1949.

Marilyn Monroe won the Miss Mississippi finals in the 1952 movie We're Not Married.

Texas Rose Bascom, of Columbia, Mississippi, became the most famous female trick roper in the world, performing on stage and in Hollywood movies. She toured the world with Bob Hope, billed as the "Queen of the Trick Ropers," and was the first Mississippian to be inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame.

In 1963, Dr. James D. Hardy of the University of Mississippi Medical Center performed the first human lung transplant in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1964, Dr. Hardy performed the first heart transplant, transplanting the heart of a chimpanzee into a human, where it beat for 90 minutes.

Several warships have been named USS Mississippi.

The comic book character Rogue, from the well-known series X-Men, is a Mississippian and self-declared southern belle. Her home town is located in the fictional county of Caldecott.

For the past seven years, the Sundancer Solar Race Team from Houston, MS, has won first place in the Open Division of the Dell-Winston School Solar Car Challenge.

The sale of sex toys is banned in Mississippi.

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Yazoo City, Mississippi

Location of Yazoo City, Mississippi

Yazoo City is a city in Yazoo County, Mississippi, United States. It was named after the Yazoo River, which, in turn was named by the French explorer Robert La Salle. "Yazoo" is said to be of Native American origin, meaning "River of Death". It is the county seat of Yazoo County and the principal city of the Yazoo City Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of the larger Jackson–Yazoo City Combined Statistical Area. According to the 2000 census, the population was 14,550.

Yazoo City is located at 32°51′23″N 90°24′27″W / 32.85639°N 90.4075°W / 32.85639; -90.4075 (32.856458, -90.407379), 40 miles northwest of Jackson, Mississippi at the junctions of US Highways 49, 49E, and 49W, and MS Highways 3, 16, and 149, on the banks of the Yazoo River, near the Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. .

US 49W provides a fairly direct link between Yazoo City and Belzoni. The old highway segment has been renamed MS 149. MS 149 passes through Panther Creek Swamp NWR and the communities of Louise and Midnight before it reconnects with the new US 49W at Silver City, 7 miles south of Belzoni. The new highway makes the town of Carter so near that it might be considered for annexation by Yazoo City in a few years. There are now two bridges across the Yazoo River at Yazoo City.

The section of MS 3 in Yazoo City is called Haley Barbour Parkway. Haley Barbour, the current governor of Mississippi, grew up in Yazoo City and has a home on Wolf Lake, a lake north of Yazoo City. US Highway 49 (part of which was formerly US 49E) through Yazoo City is named Jerry Clower Boulevard, after the famous comedian, a former resident of Yazoo City.

Yazoo City is also known as the "Gateway to the Delta" due to its location on the transition between the two great landforms that characterize the geography of Mississippi (the western part of town lies in the Mississippi delta and the eastern part lies in the loess bluffs that characterize most of eastern Mississippi). It is also known as the Couth and Cultural Center of the Southeastern United States.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.9 square miles (28.3 km²), of which, 10.8 square miles (27.9 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (1.19%) is water.

The community now known as Yazoo City was founded in 1824, originally with the name Hannan's Bluff. The town was later renamed Manchester then changed to Yazoo City in 1839. Yazoo City became the Yazoo County seat in 1849.

A Yellow Fever epidemic struck Yazoo City in 1853.

During the American Civil War, a makeshift shipyard was established on the Yazoo River at Yazoo City after the Confederate loss of New Orleans. The shipyard was destroyed by Union forces in 1863, then Yazoo City fell back into Confederate hands. Union forces retook the city the following year and burned most of the buildings in the city.

Yellow Fever returned to take more victims in 1878.

In 1904 a fire destroyed much of central Yazoo City. According to local legend, this fire was the result of a witch avenging her death. In actuality, a boy accidentally set a house ablaze while playing with matches. Three-fourths of the town was destroyed, including almost all the houses, as the fire quickly spread due to high winds that day. The fire stopped at a canal, sparing the courthouse (built in 1872) and ten antebellum homes located behind it. The town was rebuilt within two years.

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 did much damage to the entire Delta, but Yazoo City was restored and is now protected by an effective flood prevention system.

Yazoo City is the childhood home of blues musician Tommy McClennan, N. A. "Bubba" Mott, former editor owner Yazoo City Herald; writer Willie Morris, and inspirational speaker, Zig Ziglar. Jerry Clower, born and raised in Liberty, Mississippi, became famous while a resident of Yazoo City. Other notable Yazoo City residents include Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Joe Fisher, Charlie Jordan, Tally McGraw, Jerry Fowler, Skinner Anderson, Tom Rainer, Son Gooch, James Robert Simmons, Chad Langdon and Ed Cortright.

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Yazoo City. The Amtrak station is located at 222 West Broadway.

As of the census of 2000, there were 14,550 people, 4,271 households, and 2,968 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,349.2 people per square mile (521.1/km²). There were 4,676 housing units at an average density of 433.6/sq mi (167.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 28.73% White, 69.68% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.23% from other races, and 0.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.47% of the population.

There were 4,271 households out of which 37.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.5% were married couples living together, 32.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.5% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.49.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.0% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 31.3% from 25 to 44, 17.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 112.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 115.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $19,893, and the median income for a family was $22,470. Males had a median income of $26,109 versus $18,650 for females. The per capita income for the city was $9,251. About 35.0% of families and 40.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 52.5% of those under age 18 and 23.5% of those age 65 or over.

Yazoo City is served by the Yazoo City Municipal School District.

There are three private schools: Thomas Christian Academy (Pre-K - 12), Manchester Academy (Pre-K - 12) and Covenant Christian School (K - 6th grade).

Yazoo City is shown in the background in the movie Borat. It is in the scene where Borat visits the news station, WAPT 16 in Jackson. Specifically, Yazoo City is mentioned by the weatherman. However, on the U.S. map which shows Borat's travels through America, it is implied that this scene happened in either Georgia or Alabama.

Yazoo City is referenced in the 1986 movie Crossroads.

In the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? character "Delmar O'Donnell" (Tim Blake Nelson), refers to Yazoo as the place where he robbed a Piggly Wiggly. Also, the movie's Woolworth's scene was filmed in what used to be a hardware store in Yazoo City. Finally, in the movie, "George 'Baby Face' Nelson" robbed a bank, which he said is located in Itta Bena, Mississippi, but actually that was filmed in the old Bank of Yazoo City building in downtown Yazoo City.

Miss Firecracker was filmed on location in Yazoo City in the 1980s. The movie featured Holly Hunter, Tim Robbins, Mary Steenbergen, Scott Glenn and Alfre Woodard.

Yazoo City was the main location for the book and the movie, My Dog Skip. However, the movie was not filmed in Yazoo City, but rather in Canton, Mississippi, which is located in Madison County, Mississippi, and is about 30 miles southeast of Yazoo City.

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Mississippi gubernatorial election, 2007


The Mississippi gubernatorial election, 2007 was held on Tuesday, November 6th. Incumbent Haley Barbour was re-elected and will serve a four-year term as Governor of Mississippi from December 2007 through December 2011. The Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi is also on the ballot and elected for the same time period.

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Republican National Committee

Seal of the RNC

The Republican National Committee (RNC) provides national leadership for the Republican Party of the United States. It is responsible for developing and promoting the Republican political platform, as well as coordinating fundraising and election strategy. It is also responsible for organizing and running the Republican National Convention. Similar committees exist in every U.S. state and most U.S. counties, although in some states party organization is structured by congressional district, allied campaign organizations being governed by a national committee. Michael Steele is the current RNC chairman, and will serve until January 2011.

The RNC's main counterpart is the Democratic National Committee.

The 1856 Republican National Convention appointed the first RNC. It consisted of one member from each state and territory to serve for four years. Each national convention since then has followed the precedent of one representative per state or territory, regardless of population. From 1924 to 1952 there was a national committeeman and national committeewoman from each state and U.S. possession, and from Washington, D.C. In 1952, committee membership was expanded to include the state party chairs of states that voted Republican in the preceding presidential election, have a Republican majority in their combined U.S. representatives and senators, or have Republican governors. By 1968, membership reached 145. The only person to have chaired the RNC and later become US president is George H.W. Bush. A number of the chairs of the RNC have been state governors.

On announcing his candidacy to succeed RNC Chairman Duncan, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele described the party as being at a crossroads and not knowing what to do. "I think I may have some keys to open the door, some juice to turn on the lights," he said.

Six men ran for the 2009 RNC Chairmanship: Steele, Ken Blackwell, Mike Duncan, Saul Anuzis, Katon Dawson and Chip Saltsman. After Saltsman's withdrawal, there were only five candidates during the hotly-contested balloting January 30, 2009.

After the third round of balloting that day, Steele held a small lead over incumbent Mike Duncan of Kentucky, with 51 votes to Duncan's 44. Shortly after the announcement of the standings, Duncan dropped out of contention without endorsing a candidate. Ken Blackwell, the only other African-American candidate, dropped out after the fourth ballot and endorsed Steele, though Blackwell had been the most socially conservative of the candidates and Steele had been accused of not being "sufficiently conservative." Steele picked up Blackwell's votes. After the fifth round, Steele held a ten vote lead over Katon Dawson, with 79 votes, and Saul Anuzis dropped out. After the sixth vote, he won the chairmanship of the RNC over Dawson by a vote of 91 to 77.

Mississippi Governor and former RNC chair Haley Barbour has suggested the party will focus its efforts on congressional and gubernatorial elections in the coming years rather than the next presidential election. "When I was chairman of the Republican National Committee the last time we lost the White House in 1992 we focused exclusively on 1993 and 1994. And at the end of that time, we had both houses of Congress with Republican majorities, and we’d gone from 17 Republican governors to 31. So anyone talking about 2012 today doesn’t have their eye on the ball. What we ought to worry about is rebuilding our party over the next year and particularly in 2010,” Barbour said at the November 2008 Republican Governors conference.

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Trent Lott

United States Senate

Chester Trent Lott Sr. (born October 9, 1941 in Grenada, Mississippi) is a former United States Senator from Mississippi and a member of the Republican Party. He has served in numerous leadership positions in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, including House Minority Whip, Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, and Senate Minority Whip. Lott is the first person to have served as whip in both houses of Congress.

On December 20, 2002, after significant controversy following what were viewed as racist comments regarding Strom Thurmond's presidential candidacy, Lott resigned as Senate Majority Leader in the Senate. In December 2007, he resigned from the Senate entirely and became a Washington-based lobbyist. Lott's resignation from the Senate came just two days before the federal indictment of his brother-in-law trial lawyer Richard Scruggs. Scruggs plead guilty to conspiring to bribe a Mississippi Judge by promising him a federal judgeship appointment using his influence over Lott. Lott ruled out any health concerns affecting his resignation. At a press conference on December 31, 2007, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour appointed Roger Wicker to fill temporarily the Senate seat vacated by Lott. On November 4, 2008, a special election Senate race was held to replace him. He was succeeded in office by Republican Roger Wicker.

Lott was born in Grenada, Mississippi. He is of English, Irish, and Cherokee ancestry. His father, Chester Paul Lott, was a shipyard worker; his mother, Iona Watson, was a schoolteacher. He attended college at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, where he obtained an undergraduate degree in public administration in 1963 and a law degree in 1967. He served as a Field Representative for Ole Miss and was president of his fraternity, Sigma Nu. Lott was also an Ole Miss cheerleader, coincidentally on the same team with U.S. Senator Thad Cochran. He married Patricia Thompson on December 27, 1964. The couple has two children: Chester Trent "Chet" Lott, Jr., and Tyler Lott.

Lott was raised as a Democrat. He served as administrative assistant to House Rules Committee chairman William M. Colmer, also of Pascagoula, from 1968 to 1972.

In 1972, Colmer, one of the most conservative Democrats in the House, announced his retirement after 40 years in Congress. He endorsed Lott as his successor in Mississippi's 5th District, located in the state's southwestern tip, even though Lott ran as a Republican. Lott won handily.

Lott's party switch was part of a growing trend in the South. During the 1960s, cracks had begun to appear in the Democrats' "Solid South", as many whites, motivated in part by the national Democratic Party's stance on African American civil rights, began to switch parties. For example, 1964 Republican nominee Barry Goldwater carried Mississippi by winning an unheard-of 87 percent of the popular vote even as he was routed nationally.

It is very likely that Lott would have won even without Colmer's endorsement, as in that year's presidential election, Richard Nixon won reelection in a massive landslide. Nixon won 49 states and 78 percent of Mississippi's popular vote. Lott and his future Senate colleague, Thad Cochran (also elected to Congress that year), were only the second and third Republicans elected to Congress from Mississippi since Reconstruction. Lott's strong showing in the polls landed him on the powerful House Judiciary Committee as a freshman, where he voted against all three articles of impeachment drawn up against Richard Nixon during the committee's debate. After Nixon released the infamous "Smoking Gun" transcripts (which proved Nixon's involvement in the Watergate cover-up), however, Lott announced that he would vote to impeach Nixon when the articles came up for debate before the full House (as did the other Republicans who voted against impeachment in committee).

Three months later, in November 1974, Lott and Cochran became the first Republicans re-elected to Congress from Mississippi since Reconstruction, in both cases by blowout margins. Lott was re-elected six more times without much difficulty, and even ran unopposed in 1978. He served as House Minority Whip (the second-ranking Republican in the House) from 1981 to 1989; he was the first Southern Republican to hold such a high leadership position.

Lott ran for the Senate in 1988, after 42-year incumbent John Stennis announced he would not run for another term. He defeated Democratic 4th District Congressman Wayne Dowdy by almost eight points. He has never faced another contest nearly that close. He was re-elected in 1994, 2000, and 2006 with no substantive Democratic opposition. He gave some thought to retirement for much of 2005, however, after Hurricane Katrina, he announced on January 17, 2006 that he would run for a fourth term.

He became Senate Majority Whip when the Republicans took control of the Senate in 1995, succeeding as Majority Leader in 1996 when Bob Dole resigned from the Senate to focus on his presidential campaign. As majority leader, Lott had a major role in the Senate trial following the impeachment of Bill Clinton. After the House narrowly voted to impeach Clinton, Lott proceeded with the Senate trial in early 1999, despite criticisms that the Republicans were far short of the two-thirds majority required under the Constitution to convict Clinton and remove him from office. He later agreed to a decision to suspend the proceedings after the Senate voted not to convict Clinton.

After the 2000 elections produced a 50-50 partisan split in the Senate, Vice President Al Gore's tie-breaking vote gave the Democrats the majority from January 3 to January 20, 2001, when the George W. Bush administration took office and Vice President Dick Cheney's tie-breaking vote gave the Republicans the majority once again. Later in 2001, he became Senate Minority Leader again after Vermont senator Jim Jeffords became an independent and caucused with the Democrats, allowing them to regain the majority. He was due to become majority leader again in early 2003 after Republican gains in the November 2002 elections. Shortly after the Strom Thurmond controversy, however (see below), he resigned from his leadership positions.

Since he lost the Majority Leader post, Lott was less visible on the national scene while breaking with some standard conversative positions. He battled with President Bush over military base closures in his home state. He showed support for passenger rail initiatives, notably his 2006 bipartisan introduction, with Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, of legislation to provide 80 percent federal matching grants to intercity rail and guarantee adequate funding for Amtrak. On July 18, 2006, Lott voted with 19 Republican senators for the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act to lift restrictions on federal funding for the research. On November 15, 2006 Lott regained a leadership position in the Senate, when he was named Minority Whip after defeating Lamar Alexander of Tennessee 24-23.

Lott faced no Republican opposition in the race. State representative Erik Fleming placed first of four candidates in the June Democratic primary, but did not receive the 50 percent of the vote required to earn the party's nomination. He and second-place finisher Bill Bowlin faced off in a runoff on June 27, and Fleming won with 65% of the vote. Fleming, however, was not regarded as a serious opponent, and Lott handily defeated him with 64% of the vote.

On November 26, 2007, Lott announced that he would resign his Senate seat by the end of 2007. According to CNN, his resignation was at least partly due to the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which forbids lawmakers from lobbying for two years after leaving office. Those who leave by the end of 2007 are covered by the previous law, which demands a wait of only one year. In his resignation press conference, Lott said that the new law had no influence in his decision to resign.

Lott's resignation became effective at 11:30 p.m. on December 18, 2007. On January 7, 2008 it was announced that Lott and former Senator John Breaux of Louisiana, a Democrat, opened their lobbying firm about a block from the White House.

In 1998, Lott caused some controversy in Congress when as a guest on the Armstrong Williams television show, he equated homosexuality to alcoholism, kleptomania and sex addiction. When Williams, a conservative talk show host, asked Lott whether homosexuality was a sin, Lott replied, "Yes, it is." Lott's stance against homosexuality was disconcerting to some members of the public, who argued that his views were discriminatory.

Thurmond had based his presidential campaign largely on an explicit racial segregation platform. Lott had attracted controversy before in issues relating to civil rights. As a Congressman, he voted against renewal of the Voting Rights Act, voted against the continuation of the Civil Rights Act and opposed the Martin Luther King Holiday. The Washington Post reported that Lott had made similar comments about Thurmond's candidacy in a 1980 rally. Lott gave an interview with Black Entertainment Television explaining himself and repudiating Thurmond's former views.

Lott wrote a memoir entitled Herding Cats: A Life in Politics. In the book, Lott spoke out on the infamous Strom Thurmond birthday party gaffe, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and about his feelings of betrayal toward the Tennessee senator, claiming "If Frist had not announced exactly when he did, as the fire was about to burn out, I would still be majority leader of the Senate today." He also described former Democratic Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota as trustworthy. He also reveals that then-President Bush, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, and other GOP leaders played a major role in ending his career as Senate Republican Leader.

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Source : Wikipedia