The Love of Money

“One of the reasons people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politician’s objective. Election and power are.”      – Cal Thomas

As one of our Mississippi House members recently pointed out when explaining the necessity of adding the legislative “alternative” 42A to the ballot, the problem was that it was too simple a choice with Initiative 42 being on there alone and this simple choice had to be remedied. Yes, had the ballot been setup as every other initiative had been in the entire history of the Mississippi constitutional initiative process, the choice would have been clear to either vote “Yes” for Initiative 42 and full funding of Mississippi education or to vote “No” to leave things exactly as they currently are. Of course, how things currently are has brought us a law on the books which mandates an “adequate” level of funding and a legislature that except in times of elections does not fund our schools at this adequate level. Virtually no one, not even those who introduced “alternative” 42A, advocates voting for it. 42A was the first of many steps taken to make sure the will of the people had sufficient impediments in place to prevent Initiative 42 from becoming law.

Yes, it should be apparent to everyone in the state that 42A which passed with the support of our legislative leadership, including chief opponents of our public school system Rep. Snowden, Speaker of the House Gunn, and Lt. Gov. Reeves, has no support on election day from these same individuals as far as actually passing. It is purely a decoy. Even the “concerned citizens/attorneys for major insurance companies/heads of political committees funded by out of state billionaires” who came out to supposedly speak on behalf of 42A basically used the opportunity to speak against Initiative 42, instead of in support of 42A. Yes, the same leadership who convinced us years ago that the problem with corruption in our state had simply to do with the other party whom they replaced, began to single-handedly demonstrate that power can corrupt without a (D) or (R) after a name serving as a shield.

My friends do not be mistaken on this, the opposition to Initiative 42 has to do with ONE singular thing and ONE singular thing only and that thing is MONEY! Money is what the entire thing is all about. Our state leadership have bought into a philosophy that public schools, instead of being a resource treasured by the members of the community, are simply leeches sucking money from the state budget which could be destined for other, more important things. They offer tax cuts which far exceed the amount of money needed to fully fund education, they offer tax breaks to “select” individuals which would almost pay the whole amount for fully funding education, and they have taken every opportunity to make sure education spending was shorted for several years before Initiative 42 ever came along.

I could respect these individuals if they had the honesty and integrity to be upfront with their motivations and reasoning behind opposing the full-funding of education. If they simply said, “We oppose public education as a failed system and want the money proposed to be used for public education for other purposes.” Yet, instead of telling us the truth on why they oppose it, they have attempted to cloak this motivation behind an every-changing list of reasons to oppose this full-funding initiative. Think back my friends, how many of these reasons have you heard as the process has developed? Initiative 42 is going to cause people to be fired from other state agencies. Initiative 42 is going to cause taxes to go up. Initiative 42 is a power play by out of state liberals to take over our schools for their liberal teachings. Initiative 42 is going to bring back Common Core. Initiative 42 is going to cause consolidation. Initiative 42 is a ploy to give administrators raises. Initiative 42 is designed for trial lawyers to make millions. Initiative 42 will cause cuts to Medicaid. Initiative 42 is going to allow illegal immigrants to enroll in our schools (which they already can, by the way). Initiative 42 is supported by pro-abortion, “dark money,” Godless out of state organizations to infiltrate our schools. Initiative 42 would allow a “Hinds County judge” to rule our schools with a stroke of his pen and potentially get rid of football. Initiative 42 would allow a “black” judge to move money from a mostly “white” district to some other district in the Delta. Why? Why, would the reasons change literally by the day almost as quickly as the information could be put out to refute them? If the reasons were based on sound logic, why would they need to constantly change? Believe me when I tell you these are all a smokescreen to cover the real reason for the opposition and that is greed! Greed for the money to continue to be spent on other things than education.

As I write, I often refer to you as “my friends” and this is because I truly mean it. The people of Mississippi are by and large good, hard-working people of faith. But, these good people are being misled by dishonest people in power who simply want money. These politicians are feeding the average Mississippian false information to divert them from voting for an initiative with the goal of simply bringing more funds into our schools which are so in need of them for repairs, smaller classes, new textbooks, and many other true needs. These state leaders, who are the same ones who will not release their emails with out of state lobbyists to oppose Initiative 42, will not mention anything about the BILLIONS in tax cuts they proposed this same year which supposedly would not cause any cuts to the budget. These same anti-public school politicians who look upon the money going to educate our children like a dog looks at a steak, will not mention the hundreds of millions which they have diverted to “select” retail store developments owned by apparently other “select” individuals. No, you will not hear them mention those things any more than they will mention “alternative” 42A anymore.

42A has served its purpose, it has been used to create a confusing ballot where people supporting our schools will have to vote twice to simply be counted once for what they support. Some of the various reasons have served their purpose by planting fear in the minds of families who have a member working for another state department. Other reasons have served their purpose by scaring the very people who fill up the church on Sunday morning. In spite of these efforts and dirty, filthy politics used to oppose something to benefit our children, people all over this state will type articles, visit houses, put up signs, type Facebook statuses, and send out their tweets to help support this good effort and to attempt to counter the false information being put out by our state political machine to defeat this initiative. They will continue to work, as they have since signatures were first signed to place the initiagive on the ballot, to stop these millions from being diverted by politicians from their rightful destination in the classroom benefiting all of our children. Yes, we will do these things without seeing one red cent. We will do these things based upon our caring for the children of this state and their future alone.

I simply ask you one thing, if you still do not believe this is all about simply money, when was the last time you saw all of our top politicians hitting the roads in the final days before an election and buying ads right and left to oppose something which did not involve money? Where were these massive political efforts during the personhood amendment on the ballot a few years ago? Whether you were for or against that amendment, was it not much more significant morally than this? Where were these efforts when the marriage amendment was on the ballot a few years before that? Did you see the kind of effort and political maneuvering to make sure these amendments which dealt with true moral issues went one way or the other? No, you did not and you never will again unless millions of dollars, which could go out in tax cuts and as bestowed gifts to pet individuals and corporations, are ever again at stake. It is my hope and my sincere prayer that you will look with discernment at these individuals’ and the actions taken to impede this initiative. Examine with an open mind, what is really happening and what is at stake when we vote on Initiative 42 next week.

-Clint Stroupe

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One thought on “The Love of Money

  1. Nicely done. If you missed anything it was that money’s cousin, power, is also in play. Also, on your list of crazy things thrown at the amendment, you could have added Andy Gipson’s weird notion that it’s going to take away parents’ rights to make educational decisions and give them to their children. I’m not sure that one was the most egregious lie I’ve seen but it was probably the wackiest.

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