State of Mississippi Archives: on Families & Children


Bill Waller: Follows "Billy Graham rule": never alone with a woman

Just days after state Rep. Robert Foster said he wouldn't be alone with a woman not his wife, even in a professional context, a second Republican candidate for governor has said he, too, follows what's known as the "the Billy Graham rule."

After the Republican Women's Candidate Forum in Jackson, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. told Mississippi Today that he would not be alone with a woman who isn't his wife, even in a personal or professional context.

"I just think it's common sense. I just think in this day and time, appearances are important and transparency's important, and people need to have the comfort of what's going on in government between employees and people. And there's a lot of social issues out there about that. My goal is to not make it an issue so that everyone's comfortable with the surroundings and we can go about our business," Waller said.

Source: MississippiToday.org on 2019 Mississippi Gubernatorial race Jul 15, 2019

Jim Hood: No "Billy Graham rule": Treat female journalists the same

After state Rep. Robert Foster said he wouldn't be alone with a woman not his wife, even in a professional context, a second Republican candidate for governor has said he, too, follows what's known as the "the Billy Graham rule." Former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. told Mississippi Today that he would not be alone with a woman who isn't his wife, even in a personal or professional context.

Hood said he does not practice the Billy Graham rule. "If I couldn't meet with women alone to discuss issues important to them and to Mississippi, I wouldn't be able to do my job. As Governor, women will play an important role in my administration. I will move to pass an equal pay law for women; continue to fight domestic violence against women; and provide economic opportunities in business and industry for women. And I will do all these things while meeting with women--alone if necessary--to hear their voices and champion their causes," Hood said in an emailed statement.

Source: MississippiToday.org on 2019 Mississippi Gubernatorial race Jul 15, 2019

Tate Reeves: No "Billy Graham rule": Treat female journalists the same

Just days after state Rep. Robert Foster said he wouldn't be alone with a woman not his wife, even in a professional context, a second Republican candidate for governor has said he, too, follows what's known as the "the Billy Graham rule." Former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. told Mississippi Today that he would not be alone with a woman who isn't his wife, even in a personal or professional context.

Mississippi Today asked the campaign of Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who is also running for governor and considered the front-runner, whether he follows the Billy Graham rule. His campaign replied: "Provided they are fair to our campaign, we treat all journalists the same."

Democrat Jim Hood said he does not practice the Billy Graham rule.

Source: MississippiToday.org on 2019 Mississippi Gubernatorial race Jul 15, 2019

Robert Foster: I made a vow to my wife to not be alone with another woman

A Mississippi Republican gubernatorial candidate stood by his decision to deny a female reporter's request to accompany him on a campaign trip. "I didn't want to end up in a situation where me and Ms. Campbell were alone for an extended period of time throughout that 15- or 16-hour day, and so out of precaution, I wanted to have her bring someone with her--a male colleague. The other thing I think it's important to point out is that this is my truck, and in my truck, we go by my rules and that's my rule," state Rep. Robert Foster told CNN.

"I'm a married man and I made a vow to my wife, and part of the agreement that we've also made throughout our marriage is that we would not be alone with someone of the opposite sex throughout our marriage, and that is a vow that I have with my wife," he said, adding that he puts it above "anyone else's feelings, including yours."

Source: CNN.com on 2019 Mississippi Gubernatorial race Jul 11, 2019

Robert Foster: Refused ride-along with lone female reporter

A Republican state representative just told a female reporter he wouldn't let her do a ride-along with him. Why? Because she's a woman and it would look bad. Cue the anti-sexism fervor.

The issue in question began when Mississippi Today reporter Larrison Campbell, who had broken the story of state Rep. Robert Foster's entry into the gubernatorial race, requested to shadow Foster on a 15-hour campaign trip. Foster's campaign director, Colton Robison, declined the request because Campbell is a woman. "Perception is everything. We are so close to the primary. If (trackers) were to get a picture and they put a mailer out, we wouldn't have time to dispute it. And that's why we have to be careful," Robinson said.

Robinson suggested that Campbell bring a male colleague with her, an unreasonable request that would strain a local paper such as Mississippi Today. Needless to say, the ride-along didn't happen. After Campbell wrote a story about the incident, it blew up into a national affair

Source: Washington Examiner on 2019 Mississippi Gubernatorial race Jul 11, 2019

Bill Waller: 2015: Let same-sex couples divorce

A lesbian couple, residents of Mississippi who wed in California in 2008, asked the state to recognize their marriage in order to allow them to divorce, in a divorce suit called Czekala-Chatham v. Melancon.

On November 5, 2015, in a 5-4 ruling, the Mississippi Supreme Court remanded the case to the Third District Chancery Court in light of Obergefell. The court ruled that the plaintiffs' requested relief was consistent with Obergefell and thus ruled in favor of Czekala-Chatham. Forming the five-justice majority were Justices Waller, Randolph, Lamar, Chandler, and Pierce. Justices Coleman and Dickinson each joined each other's dissents, disagreeing with Obergefell and questioning the decision's constitutional authority. Justice Pierce, joined by Chandler, wrote a separate concurrence accusing Justices Coleman and Dickinson of violating their oath of office by refusing to follow a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Source: Wikipedia.com article. "Same-sex marriage in Mississippi" May 2, 2019

Jim Hood: 2015: Let same-sex couples divorce

A lesbian couple, residents of Mississippi who wed in California in 2008, asked the state to recognize their marriage in order to allow them to divorce, in a divorce suit called Czekala-Chatham v. Melancon.

On July 2, 2015, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, citing the previous week's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell [allowing same-sex marriage nationwide], asked the court to grant the divorce he had previously opposed.

On November 5, 2015, in a 5-4 ruling, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that the plaintiffs' requested relief, which the Attorney General had already agreed, was consistent with Obergefell and thus ruled in favor of Czekala-Chatham. Justices Coleman and Dickinson disagreed with Obergefell and questioning the decision's constitutional authority. Two Justices accused Justices Coleman and Dickinson of violating their oath of office by refusing to follow a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Source: Wikipedia.com article. "Same-sex marriage in Mississippi" May 2, 2019

Phil Bryant: Pro-active on needs of foster children

Three years ago, you joined me in seeing the need to establish Child Protection Services as its own agency, accountable directly to the governor. For those families who are reunited, CPS is working in proactive ways to better assist them, such as developing new methods to help parents released from incarceration better support their children. Perhaps the most incredible success has occurred with adopted families. The number of adoptions has more than doubled in just one year.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to Mississippi legislature Jan 15, 2019

Tate Reeves: Creating family-friendly environment was a platform priority

Elected in 2011 as Mississippi's lieutenant governor, Tate Reeves stands ready to help guide the state toward a brighter future through a focus on improving educational achievement for students, supporting the creation of high-skilled jobs and responsibly managing the taxpayers' money. Reeves led the 52-member Senate in a successful 2012 legislative session with a focus on keeping government spending under control, reforming education and making Mississippi a better place to raise a family.
Source: Today In Mississippi on 2019 Mississippi Gubernatorial race Mar 11, 2018

Phil Bryant: $34M for new Department of Child Protection Services

Last year I made a bold request of this Legislature and its leadership to create a new state agency for the singular purpose of managing our foster care system. For almost a decade Mississippi has been under a federal court mandate to improve the way we care for our foster children. The reality is we did little to improve this system until you agreed to create the Department of Child Protection Services and invest $34 million into improving the effort.

Today we are serving more foster children than ever. The most innocent among us who have struggled with neglect and abuse are receiving proper care. The improvements were sufficient in this first year as to compel the federal court to allow a less restrictive set of requirements and remove Mississippi from the oversight of a court monitor for the first time since 2008.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Mississippi Legislature Jan 17, 2017

Phil Bryant: Support Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs

The governor called on the Legislature to send the Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act to his desk: "Mississippi children with special needs, and their parents, deserve nothing less."

"I can assure you from personal experience, this response to dyslexia will result in direct benefits. This reading disorder is the number one reason children drop out of school. If we confront it aggressively, we can see a dramatic decrease in our state's dropout rate and help turn around our reading scores for thousands of Mississippi children.

"This year, we must also do all in our power to help children with special needs. The Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act will empower parents with educational choice to get their children the services they need. When only 22.5% of special needs children graduate from high school, something is terribly wrong. I call on you to send this bill to my desk. Mississippi children with special needs, and their parents, deserve nothing less."

Source: State of the State address to 2015 Mississippi Legislature Jan 21, 2015

Phil Bryant: Healthy Teens for a Better Mississippi: 2-parent families

[One of our] objectives for success should be for every Mississippian to be born into a mature, two-parent family. Our Healthy Teens for a Better Mississippi program has conducted community meetings and seminars all across the state. We have involved schools, churches, families, health care professionals and, most importantly, teens, in community discussions regarding decision-making and healthy behavior.

We have started making a difference. According to the annual report of the Mississippi State Department of Health, our state's teen pregnancy rate declined by 10.3% in 2012.

I believe we have also done an admirable job in protecting our children, both born and unborn. By strengthening the Child Protection Act and by requiring that abortionists obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals, we are protecting women's health. But let me be clear, on this unfortunate anniversary of Roe versus Wade, my goal is to end abortion in Mississippi.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Mississippi legislature Jan 22, 2014

Chris McDaniel: Hip-hop culture values prison more than college

In a promotional segment for his Christian conservative radio program, Right Side Radio, McDaniel conflated rap music with failing schools and broken communities. "Name a redeeming quality of hip-hop. I want to know anything about hip-hop that has been good for this country. And it's not--before you get carried away--this has nothing to do with race. Because there are just as many hip-hopping white kids and Asian kids as there are hip-hopping black kids. It's a problem of a culture that values prison more than college; a culture that values rap and destruction of community values more than it does poetry; a culture that can't stand education. It's that culture that can't get control of itself."
Source: Mother Jones magazine AdWatch: 2014 Mississippi Senate race Jan 7, 2014

  • The above quotations are from State of Mississippi Politicians: Archives.
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