I try to be accurate, even when I’m in a hurry and trying to stir up political outrage with a blog. Here are some facts about the SB2681 situation as I understand them. I’ve used quite a bit of fuzzy language and gotten one big thing wrong in writing about this. I apologize for my errors; they were honest mistakes. Since we’ve gone from simply reacting to a bill to discussing long-term implications and electoral politics, clarity is an even higher priority to me from here on out than it is on a normal day.
First, the big one. I’ve been referring to non-discrimination resolutions passed by the Oxford, Hattiesburg, and Starkville city councils as “ordinances,” which carries the assumption that they provide some protection. These resolutions do not, in fact, provide any legal protection. They are symbolic, and they are still important because they are a step toward municipal governments providing protection. I still believe that SB2681 is in part an effort to preempt local governments from passing actual ordinances.
This one is not really an error – just a case of a confusing headline and a lack of explanation of the legislative process on my part. The “13 minutes to spare” refers to the deadline for bills to be passed out of conference and sent to both chambers for an up-or-down vote, not to the end of the legislative session. If the conference committee doesn’t agree on a reconciled version by the deadline, the bill can’t move forward, is how that works.
I’ve done all I’m going to do in the way of strongly-worded denunciations of individual legislators, at least for awhile. I said what I had to say about the two that make me most angry here and on Facebook. Everyone in my network who cares to know how deeply Fillingane and Gandy have been involved in this knows. It won’t do me any good to keep on with that approach until their constituents start taking it personally at this point.
But I’m serious about costing them votes if I can find a way to do it, and I have time to actually study one of these districts and figure out how to make a real appeal before the next election.From here on out, my focus is on the bill and on the 2015 legislative elections.
I’ve done a quick scan on senate districts 41and 43, and on the last two election cycles. If the information I’ve seen this evening is correct, I doubt Fillingane will even have a challenger when he runs again. Gandy may be vulnerable to either a primary challenge or a viable Democrat. I’ll have more on this and explain my reasoning once I’ve had time to check the numbers out.
I’m not done with this issue, even if the bill itself is settled. I’ve seen so many posts and big media stories about this today, I’ll have to do a roundup at some point, and people are telling me that at least two Mississippi media outlets have covered this story in a way that opens them to criticism.