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Taylor and Childers Vote With Party On Tax Cuts

December 2, 2010

There was a test-vote of sorts in the House today the Bush era tax cuts that were a major issue on the campaign trail this fall. Gene Taylor voted against the tax cuts when they were originally voted upon while Travis Childers supported a temporary one-year extension of the cuts for the highest earners. While both men lost in November, they are in D.C. for the lame-duck session.

Today, Childers and Taylor voted with the Democratic majority on debate rules that would extend only the middle-class tax cuts, thereby allowing taxes to be raised on higher earners. A total of 33 Democrats- a mix of winners and losers from November 2- supported the GOP position, but the proposal did pass 213-203. This is just one vote, there is a long way to go between the White House, Senate and House.

Thought this was an interesting, and important, vote for Taylor and Childers who have been mentioned as potential candidates down the road.

Nunnelee and Palazzo name chiefs of staff. Yesterday, Alan Nunnelee announced that longtime Desoto county resident Diane Hawks will serve as his chief of staff. Hawks has extensive experience working in Jackson and Washington with stints at the NRSC, the White House, and the Department of Agriculture. Her ex-husband was the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in 1999.

Nunnelee said this about Hawks: “Diane is a perfect fit to lead our team as we strive to serve the citizens of the First Congressional District. She has a very unique background with extensive private sector experience. Diane’s background allows her to have a good understanding of how Washington policies impact small businesses and families in Mississippi. She also has a good understanding of the inter-workings of Washington, DC but with a strong footing based in North Mississippi. Diane will do a great job and I have every confidence that she will be a great advocate for the people of North Mississippi.”

Two other interesting points on Hawks: She currently serves as the head of Nunnelee’s transitional team. Also, her son- T.A. Hawks- is chief of staff to Sen. Thad Cochran.

** Not long ago, Steven Palazzo announced that he has picked Erskine Wells to serve as his chief of staff. Wells currently works in Sen. Roger Wicker’s office in D.C., and has managed a range of issues include defense, housing, FEMA, homeland security and transportation.

Here is a statement from Palazzo on Wells: “Erskine brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership to our congressional staff. His work on military issues and over seven years of experience with then-Congressman and now Senator Wicker makes him an excellent representative to lead our efforts on behalf of South Mississippians. I am thrilled to have found someone that deeply understands issues affecting Mississippi and that has strong family roots here.”

More information on special election races. In the race for Alan Nunnelee’s old Senate seat, I was informed yesterday that candidate Nancy Adams Collins is indeed a Republican meaning so far we have three Republicans and an independent in the race.

** Regarding Palazzo’s old House seat, there is a third candidate we need to mention. Chuck Stein of Biloxi, a salesman for a shipbuilding industry-supplier, is in the race along with Jim Atchison and Casey Eure. All three are Republicans.

Wicker and Cochran unified. Senators Wicker and Cochran sent out a couple press releases of importance yesterday. In one, both announced their opposition to the administration’s plans to support a seven year moratorium on oil drilling in the waters off the East Coast.

They also co-signed a letter, along with the entire Republican caucus in the Senate, announcing that they will not move forward on any legislation until the upper body takes up the issue of taxes. Both talked about the need to prevent any tax increases as the economy slowly recovers.

Here is the letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

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