/Fact check US Senate candidates at the Neshoba County Fair

Fact check US Senate candidates at the Neshoba County Fair

The incumbent U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (a Republican) faces off against Rep. David Baria (D-Bay St. Louis). Officially, the other race is a special election to succeed retired Sen. Thad Cchran. The main candidates are U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde Smith and Chris McDaniel (both from Ellisville), and Mike Espy (a former congressman, agriculture secretary). The reporters from Mississippi Today researched and provided context to several statements regarding health care, employment, and social services. “I was overwhelmed when I entered the (U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1993). They had 124,000 employees. It hadn’t been reformed since Abraham Lincoln established it in 1862. I intervened and said, “Look, we have too many employees here.” We offered them a modest incentive package, provided they accepted it within 30 working days. You know what happened next? 7.500 USDA employees quit within 30 days. We decreased the payroll… without any lawsuits. That’s creativity. Bush Administration Agriculture Secretary Ed Madigan was the beneficiary of a government-downsizing bill sponsored and supported by Senator Patrick Leahy (D.Vt.) and Sen. Richard Lugar, (R.Ind.). ), UPI reported. Under Espy’s leadership in December 1994, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced plans to close 1274 field offices throughout the country. This move would save $3.6 billion over five-years and eliminate 11,000 jobs. Espy stated in a press release that farmers would be able to save 2.5 million hours per year due to reduced paperwork. Espy stated in a 1994 statement that “Government just got smaller” and that services had improved. This was reported by UPI, a newswire service. Espy resigned in late 1995 amid allegations of ethical misconduct. Espy was indicted for receiving inappropriate gifts in 1997. He was cleared of all criminal charges within a year. In 1987, as a freshman congressman, I wrote an infrastructure bill and job training bill. You can find it here. It is called the Lower Mississippi Delta Development Act. Ronald Reagan signed the act I wrote into law. This bill helped you build roads and bridges, and the ribbons are still in force today. Fact check: President Reagan signed the Lower Mississippi Delta Development Act into law in 1988. It was sponsored by Espy during his first term. This project was modeled after the Tennessee Valley Authority or the Appalachian Regional Development Act and was meant to address the entire problem of the seven-state region that runs along the lower Mississippi River. It is one of the poorest areas in the country. The focus areas were job creation, business development programs, and infrastructure needs. The bill, despite its bipartisan support (it was co-sponsored 10 Republican representatives), failed to find a consistent source for federal funds through the 1990s. Bill Clinton signed the 2000 bill to create the Delta Regional Authority. This authority was a successor of the Lower Mississippi Delta Development Act which Clinton was a member as governor of Arkansas. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, since then the authority has given $163 million to the region, and created or retained 26,000 job opportunities. “I have been talking about tariffs on agricultural trade. Mississippi’s agriculture industry is worth $7.6 billion and provides 1.1 percent of the state’s three jobs. Soybean farmers make about $1 billion annually in soybean production. Our farmers are very productive, according to me. Our farmers are highly competitive. Our farmers want to trade. They don’t need aid. We’ve seen the terrible impact that retaliatory tariffs have on our soybean farmers, based on the imposition a trade policy our farmers didn’t create and do not want. The soybean prices are at their lowest level in 10 years, according to tables. This is just food for Mississippi’s farmers and consumers. Fact check: Espy’s figures about the financial impact on agriculture, specifically soybeans, are accurate, based on information from Mississippi Farm Bureau and other sources. The Chinese tariffs that were imposed in retaliation for American tariffs have also had a significant impact on soybean prices. Many Mississippi farmers are now bracing for this economic effect. “We (Mississippi farmer) are being the hardest hit. This issue must be resolved,” Jerry Slocum, a North Mississippi soybean farmer, told Mississippi Today last month. “We got the Farm Bill out of committee. It was passed on the Senate floor in record-breaking time. Fact check: This bill would provide relief for farmers facing low prices and other issues. The Senate version addresses trade retaliation, which has already hurt farmers’ pockets. Both the Senate and House leaders will try to resolve differences between their bills in the summer. The House version, which did not receive any Democratic votes, would have imposed strict work requirements for people who apply for food stamps. This is the most contentious difference. The Senate version, which required Democratic votes to pass it, does not make major changes to food stamp requirements. Hyde-Smith: I have been a conservative all my life. Hyde-Smith is a Democrat for her three first terms as a state senator. She was a Democratic legislator and supported conservative issues. In fact, she wrote a bill that would ban abortions after 12 weeks. The abortion restriction bill was passed and signed by Governor. It was rejected by federal courts after Haley Barbour signed it. In 2010, she switched to the Republican Party, less than one year after her first state run for the position of commissioner of agriculture. According to voting records, Hyde-Smith was present at the 2008 Democratic presidential primary in which frontrunners Barack Obama (and Hillary Clinton) were competing. This point has been raised by supporters of Chris McDaniel (arch-conservative) who is running against Hyde Smith in November. Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Hyde Smith to the Senate in April following the retirement of Sen. ThadCochran. Bryant has praised Hyde Smith’s long-standing conservatism. “My hero, Ronald Reagan stood at this podium to talk to you …” Fact Check: McDaniel stated that Reagan spoke at the Neshoba Country Fair in 1980, when he was running for president. Reagan spoke at the grandstand and not under the Founders Square Pavilion where political speaking are usually held._x000D

“Mr. Espy, although you claim to be moderate and take money from George Soros, you are actually quite the opposite. Cory Booker is your campaign partner, while you claim to be sensible. While you claim that you want to work together, your entire party is predicated upon class division and racial strife. While you claim that you want to work across party lines, you call our president Hitler. They want you to be imprisoned for using plastic drinking straws. You also tell them that you care about Mississippi, and our history. However, you are adamant about changing our state flag and removing our monuments from our courthouse square. “I tell you now that dog won’t hunt.” Fact Check: Mike Espy (a former Democratic congressman) did receive a contribution by George Soros and Democratic Senator Corey Booker visited Mississippi in July to support Espy. Espy has never been accused of calling President Hitler or advocating that people be punished for drinking straws. Espy supports changing the state flag which features the controversial Confederate battle emblem, but he does not support removing monuments. When I was a boy, you could go to high school and get a job at the International Paper Company. As I know, that’s a long history. These jobs are gone, folks. And those who promise you they’ll bring them back, well, they’ve been promising it for an awfully long time.” Fact Check: The Republican leadership would disagree. Governor. Phil Bryant boasted that Mississippi has the lowest rate of unemployment in history at 4.7 percent. His office often announces when businesses are expanding in the state and creating more jobs. The governor’s office announced that Pearl River Foods will add 450 jobs in Carthage to its poultry processing facility, Franklin Corporation will add 60 jobs in Houston over the next four-years, and Vertex Aerospace will add 70 jobs to its Madison headquarters. Darrin Webb, state economist, stated that the number of manufacturing jobs in Mississippi has declined since 1990. However, 1,100 of the 7,358 new jobs in 2016 were in manufacturing. What have been the outcomes of our efforts? More Americans are now working than ever before in our nation’s history. The unemployment rate is at an all time low. Black unemployment is at an all time low. Hispanic unemployment has fallen to an all-time low. We have the option in November to either build on these achievements or go in a different direction.” Fact check. The national unemployment rate is at record lows. The July unemployment rate of 3.9% is the lowest it has been in 18 years. Moreover, except for major economic downturns like the Great Recession of 2008, almost all people are employed. Hispanic and African American unemployment rates are at their lowest levels ever. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current rate for African Americans is 6.1% and Latinos are at 4.5 percent. FactCheck.org reports that the Obama administration saw a decline in the number of minorities who were unemployed, and this trend has continued under Trump. Pre-Trump years saw a slower rate of unemployment. To support this important work, you can make a regular donation to the Spring Member Drive today. Our reporters give a human face to policy’s impact on everyday Mississippians by listening more closely and understanding their communities. To ensure that our work is aligned with the priorities and needs of Mississippians, we are listening to you. Click the button below to let us know what you think. Republish this Story