The governor's economic development bond package is supposed to help Northrop Grumman and Stennis Space Center pay for expansion projects. It's supposed to bring more jobs to the three coastal counties. That was the point Governor Barbour kept harping on while he visited Diamondhead. "I'm stunned by your representatives votes," the governor said while he met with republican supporters.
Barbour chided house democrats for this week's special session stalemate. "I'm not angry. I'm just surprised," he said. "I'm surprised to see leaders in the legislature vote against creating jobs for their own constituents, over politics, over party politics."
Barbour's picture of this week's special session is rather simple. He believes $109 million in economic development bonds will stimulate growth at Northrop Grumman and Stennis Space Center. "People from all over south Mississippi will benefit," he said. "And yet, we see south Mississippi legislators voting against even considering bonds to create jobs for their constituents. I don't understand that."
The governor specifically mentioned, "J.P. Compretta, Dirk Dedeaux, Diane Peranich, and Frances Fredericks" as the four house members who were making the special session about politics. "I want to make it about job creation," he said.
The governor came to Diamondhead to celebrate his party's election night victory with loyal supporters. But as he shook hands with GOP backers, he kept thinking about the special session, and the bill hung up in the house. "I would expect republicans and democrats to vote for what's in the best interests of their constituents," the governor said. "That's why I was floored to see these other, part of the democratic leadership of the house vote to not even consider support for their own constituents having jobs."
At 3:00, WLOX News called the four house members cited by Governor Barbour. All four representatives were on the house floor. So none of them responded to the governor's charge.