The Republican primary is coming

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 3, 2014

By Bonnie Holland

Greetings! As spring awakens in South Mississippi the Republican primary election is upon us. The election will be held on June 3rd at your usual polling place. Rarely do primary midterm elections receive this much publicity, but the primary is really the election for this year. South Mississippi has two federal seats that are being contested in the primary.

Former congressman Gene Taylor is challenging Steven Palazzo who is the current incumbent for the 4th district. Congressman Palazzo has risen through the ranks during his tenure to garner seats on the  House Armed Services Committee, the Science, Space and Technology Committee, and the Committee on Homeland Security.  During Gene Taylor’s tenure as Congressman of the 4th district he also served on the Armed Forces committee and several other powerful committees.

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Senator Thad Cochran’s most likely threat is from Mississippi district 42 Senator Chris McDaniel from Ellisville. State Senator McDaniel is a Tea Party favorite and serves on several powerful committees for the State Senate including Energy and Appropriations to name a few. Senator Cochran serves on the Agricultural, Nutrition and Forestry Committee as well as a ranking member on the Appropriations Committee and the Rules and Administration Committee on the national level.

How does an idea become a law? All this committee rhetoric has a purpose. In order for a bill to become a law, there are several steps the bill has to go through. A bill can be drafted by any member of Congress, the Executive branch, and even outside groups can draft a bill. These bills are assigned to a committee which refers to a subcommittee. Only members of those committees can introduce a bill. If a bill is not introduced, it will “die” in committee and will not be forwarded to be considered to begin the formal process of becoming a law. Therefore, elected officials in the legislative branches need to be on a committee to wield power for introducing bills or to have a sponsor in those committees.

So, let’s talk Civics.  As Obama care has unfolded I have had several people ask me when “we” were going to get to vote on this law. I was surprised to discover how many citizens lack the basic understanding of how representation works. Each citizen voting has the obligation to be certain their candidate represents their views and would vote as though they are casting a ballot on the voter’s behalf. Of course we realize this representative is not always going to vote in the manner we would have voted every time, but one would expect the candidate would vote with your views the majority of the time.

I hope this information is helpful to you as we go into this primary. Several Republican groups in south Mississippi are working on a forum for citizens to hear the views of the primary candidates. Please watch for an ad in the Picayune Item for the date, time and place.