Power abused with Martin funding

Published 12:05am Friday, April 4, 2014

If former Senator Bob Dearing is correct, Lt. Governor Tate Reeves actually pulled the funding for the Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center because it was in Senator Melanie Sojourner’s district and she voted against raising Mississippi’s borrowed debt to the extent that the House proposed.

She did not vote against funding the center. She was not consulted about which projects would be funded.

In the first place, it is commendable of the senator to be guided by concern for the State of Mississippi and its future. I am glad someone is. That is a refreshing position for someone in politics, where the common practice is to spend other people’s money to ensure one’s own future.

If it is true that Lt. Governor Reeves deliberately and selectively removed Margaret Martin funding to punish Senator Melanie Sojourner for her vote, then he is operating by the same set of rules the IRS ruled when they singled out conservative groups to withhold tax exempt status.

When an individual or a governmental group uses its power to grant or refuse favors according to friendship rather than merit, they have abused that power and need to be replaced.

 

Virginia O’Beirne

Natchez Resident