Louisiana voters have certainly made their mark on the national political landscape lately. Not only did they elect U.S. House Rep. Mike Johnson, whose Republican colleagues this week selected him as speaker of the House, but they also sent GOP House Majority Leader Rep. Steve Scalise to Congress.
As the man who will now lead the House in determining its legislative priorities, Johnson’s selection has already sparked controversy. In 2016, he told an interviewer that “we don’t live in a democracy” but a constitutional republic based on “the biblical admonition for what a civil society is supposed to look like.” He worked to support Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, once wrote that gay sex and out-of-wedlock sex should be criminalized and has pushed for national abortion bans.
While Louisianans elected the man who became speaker, voters in other states across the nation elected the representatives who chose him. In 2022, Mississippi voters sent three of the Republicans to Congress who voted to give Johnson the speakership. The speaker will determine the direction of the House and whether bills like one that would ban abortions nationwide get a vote.
Of course, mainstream media coverage during the 2022 congressional midterms largely failed to emphasize the stakes—as it often does—by obsessing over polls and acting as if they were covering a horserace instead of elections that could alter millions of lives.
Unfortunately, that dynamic exists in media coverage of Mississippi’s upcoming statewide and legislative elections on Nov. 7, with breathless coverage of what the polls and partisan political insiders say about the gap between incumbent Republican Gov. Tate Reeves and Democratic challenger Brandon Presley. Thankfully, there has also been significant coverage of their positions the big issues like Medicaid expansion and taxes.
But as conservative SuperTalk radio host Paul Gallo noted on Twitter, there are less obvious consequences to who voters elect as governor: “In MS, the Gov of the state has over 700 appointments to positions in around 236 Boards and Commissions. Those appointments almost always reflect the Liberalism or Conservatism of the Gov elected,” he wrote on Oct.
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