BIPEC Updates

06 Feb
2020

2020 Mississippi Supreme Court Elections

This year, four of the nine Mississippi Supreme Court seats are up for re-election. The election is November 3. Three of those Justices, Justice Randolph, Griffis, and Coleman, have been recommended by the Business and Industry Political Education Committee (BIPEC) as best for adhering to the impartiality and fairness on Mississippi’s highest courts.

There was a time not too long ago when Mississippi led the list of “judicial hellholes” (places where plaintiff lawyers ruled), and companies were guaranteed to face juries bent on big judgments. The passage of tort reform curbed that practice, but a plaintiff-friendly Supreme Court could completely undo the gains that we have made. We will work hard to keep a fair and balanced judiciary. Free enterprise and entrepreneurship require an impartial, fair, and rule-of-law judiciary – the idea and practice of “legislating from the bench” undermines the foundation of our free-market economy, thus impacting employers and employees. 

It is for these reasons that BIPEC supports Justices Randolph, Griffis, and Coleman.


Chief Justice Mike Randolph

District 2, Place 3 / BIPEC Recommended in 2004 & 2012 / Appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour in 2004 / won re-election in 2004 & 2012


Associate Judge T. Kenneth Griffis

District 1, Place 1 / BIPEC Recommended in 2006 & 2014 for COA / Elected to COA in 2002 and re-elected in 2006 & 2014. Appointed to SC by Governor Bryant in 2019


Associate Justice Josiah Coleman

District 3, Place 3 / BIPEC Recommended 2012 / Elected in 2012


Supreme Court Districts

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20 Jan
2020

Passing of Dick Wilcox, Founding Member of BIPEC

Richard (Dick) Wilcox, 75, died Friday, January 17, 2020 at Hospice Ministries in Ridgeland, MS after a twelve year battle with Parkinson’s Disease. The service for the Burial of the Dead will be Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 11:00 AM at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, 305 E. Capitol Street, Jackson, MS. Interment of the ashes will follow immediately after the service at the Columbarium at St. Andrew’s. Visitation will be from 9:30-11:00 AM in the Parish Hall at St. Andrew’s Cathedral.

A former political consultant and government affairs representative, Mr. Wilcox is survived by his wife, Sallye Montgomery Wilcox of Madison, MS and four children. They include Russell Wilcox (Stacey) of Madison, MS, Lou Ann Cavett of Madison, MS, Grant Wilcox (Kelly) of Rockwall, TX and Stacey Wilcox (Denise)of Brandon, MS. He had 11 grandchildren: Allie and Reed Wilcox, Tay, Lucy, Nash and Duncan Cavett, Jackson, Paige and Matthew Wilcox and Tyler and Jordan Wilcox. He is also survived by his sister Janice Wilcox Grady of Corinth, MS.

Dick was the second child of Reuben Davis Wilcox and Elaine Ricketts Wilcox, born in Laurel, MS on February 25, 1944. He was in the last class to graduate from Laurel’s George S. Gardner High School in 1962.

He attended the University of Mississippi, where he was active in many organizations including Epsilon Xi Chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity, the staff of the Daily Mississippian and student government. After earning a BS in Journalism, Dick worked in communication positions for the Mississippi Economic Council and Millsaps College before joining International Paper Company (IP) in 1972. His 20 year career with IP included regional and company-wide jobs in communication, issue management and government affairs. He represented IP on the Board of Directors of both the Mississippi Manufacturers Association and the Mississippi Forestry Association.

During his time with IP, Dick worked with a group of Mississippi business leaders to create the Business and Industry Political Education Committee (BIPEC) in 1980. He was a founding officer of the group that became a major political force in state elections. Dick was hired as president and staff CEO of BIPEC after his IP career.

Dick was an active communicant of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral at the time of his death. He also was formerly a member of the Vestry and a Stewardship Chairman at St. James Episcopal Church in Jackson. In earlier years he was president of the Springhill, LA Rotary Club, a director of the Springhill Jaycees and state chairman of the Louisiana Jaycee Junior Golf Tournament.

It was Dick’s wish, in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be made to Hospice Ministries, 450 Towne Center Boulevard, Ridgeland, MS, 39157; St. Andrew’s Cathedral, 305 E. Capitol St., Jackson, MS, 39202 or the Boy Scouts of America, 855 Riverside Drive, Jackson, MS 39202.

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04 Oct
2019

Jim Hood Spending Proposals

A recent Mississippi Today article raised the question of how Democrat Attorney General Jim Hood would pay for the numerous proposals he has been making in his bid to be Mississippi’s next Governor. It is an excellent question, so we here at the Business and Industry Political Education Committee (BIPEC) thought it would be a good idea to try and find out exactly how much these proposals would cost and how it would affect taxpayers.

BIPEC seeks to serve its members by providing relevant information during elections, including analyses of proposals made by statewide and legislative candidates. These analyses are not intended to opine on the validity of a proposal but rather provide members with an overview of anticipated new state spending, which may require a reduction in government services, increased taxes, or growth in revenues to be revenue neutral.

Below you will find an analysis of Jim Hood’s major proposals, along with cost estimates. These estimates are based on information from the MS Department of Education, Department of Revenue, Legislative Budget Office, Community College Board, Division of Medicaid, and public statements by the Jim Hood campaign.

JIM HOOD PROPOSALS Additional Costs
Statewide pre-k $35,000,000
Increase funding for MS Adequate Education Program $261,000,000
Increasing teacher pay raise & recalibrating salary schedule $270,000,000
Expand Medicaid $220,000,000
Free community college $95,200,000
Hold harmless provision for grocery tax reduction (cities & educational entities) $60,500,000
TOTAL: $941,700,000

 

What Does this Mean?
Total general fund appropriations & re-appropriations for FY 2020 (from LBO) $5,746,185,920
Cost of Hood proposals $941,700,000
Increases total budget by 16.4%
Amount per taxpayer
(1,215,412 income taxpayers according to DOR)
$774.80
*These estimates are based on information from the following sources: Department of Education, Department of Revenue, Legislative Budget Office, Community College Board, Division of Medicaid, and public statements by the Jim Hood campaign.

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22 Feb
2019

Registration Open for BIPEC’s 39th Annual Meeting

2019 BIPEC Annual Luncheon

Join us March 7, 2019 at 11:30 am at Old Capitol Inn in Jackson for BIPEC’s Annual Meeting and Luncheon with MS Legislators and Statewide Officials.

Click here to register your company

Click here to register as an individual

 

All legislators and statewide officials are invited to attend the luncheon.

Invited special guests include:

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30 Aug
2018

BIPEC Recommends Judge Jeff Weill for Court of Appeals


BIPEC President & CEO, Derek Easley, announced today that the organization recommends Judge Jeff Weill for the Mississippi Court of Appeals. Judge Weill is running in the seat that Justice Joe Lee is vacating in January.

“It is extremely important to BIPEC members and their representative trade and professional associations that we support candidates willing to uphold the constitutional separation of powers which distinguishes the intent, charge and actions of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government,” said Easley. “Judge Weill will make an outstanding Court of Appeals Justice and will represent our state with dignity and integrity.”

Judge Weill has presided in more than 130 jury trials to verdict during his eight years as a Circuit Court Judge, and over 100 of those were criminal trials involving major felonies. Judge Weill also brings a wealth of civil litigation experience to the appellate bench, as a trial judge, a former litigator and a Harvard trained mediator.

Easley went on to say, “In order for Mississippi’s economy to grow and for jobs to be created, we must have an impartial, fair and rule-of-law judiciary. BIPEC believes that Judge Weill will adhere to these principles while serving on Mississippi’s second highest court.”

The Court of Appeals is a 10-judge panel of Judges which hears appeals from lower courts, including Chancery and Circuit Courts. The court is made up of two judges from each of the five judicial districts in the state. The 4th district includes 15 counties: Adams, Amite, Copiah, Covington, Franklin, Hinds, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marion, Pike, Simpson, Walthall and Wilkinson.

The election will be held November 6, 2018.

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13 Jun
2018

BIPEC Releases 2018 LEGISLATOR “BUSINESS & JOBS” REPORT CARD

BIPEC (Business and Industry Political Education Committee) has released its Legislator “Business & Jobs” Report Card for the 2018 legislative session.  The BIPEC Report Card recognizes “Business & Jobs Champions” for their work supporting economic growth, job development, and business-related issues for the legislative session this year.

“BIPEC recognizes and appreciates the efforts of these Business & Jobs Champion Legislators,” said Derek Easley, BIPEC President & CEO. “For all of the members and supporters of BIPEC, the Legislator Report Card has long been a resource and a valued tool for the business community to see the measured performance of our legislators and their support for the growth of jobs and economic development in Mississippi.”

BIPEC is a 501c6 membership organization founded in 1980 by Mississippi’s business and professional leaders.  BIPEC is a nonprofit association comprised of individuals, trade associations and companies who unite to protect and advance free enterprise through research, education, and member action.  BIPEC’s purpose is to learn backgrounds, voting records and key positions of members and candidates for the Mississippi Legislature, Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.  BIPEC disseminates credible research findings to BIPEC members, educates BIPEC’s membership network on the impact that legislator and judge-made decisions have on Mississippi’s economic growth, business attractiveness and general prosperity of the State’s employers.  BIPEC publishes the Legislator Report Card annually.

At http://www.bipec.org/reportcards/2018/ you can view the interactive version of the report card. Click the heading links to switch between Representatives and Senators. The report card is sortable by grade, legislator name, party, and district. You can hover over the bill names to see a description of each bill. When you click on a legislator’s name, you will see a list of bills with links to the bill and to the individual votes recorded at the Mississippi Legislative Website. You can also search for legislators at the top of the page using any part of their name.

 2018 Business & Jobs Champions

Senators

Kevin Blackwell
Jenifer B. Branning
Nickey Browning
Terry C. Burton
Videt Carmichael
Joel R. Carter, Jr.
Chris Caughman
Lydia Graves Chassaniol
Eugene S. Clarke
Sally Doty
Joey Fillingane
Josh Harkins
Billy Hudson
W. Briggs Hopson, III
Dean Kirby
Chris Massey
J. Walter Michel
Philip Moran
David Parker
Rita Potts Parks
John A. Polk
Gray Tollison
Neil S. Whaley
Brice Wiggins
Charles Younger

 

Representatives

Shane Aguirre
William Tracy Arnold
Charles Jim Beckett
C. Scott Bounds
Randy P. Boyd
Charles Busby
Larry Byrd
Lester Carpenter
Gary Chism
John Glen Corley
Becky Currie
Scott DeLano
Bill Denny
Robert Foster
Philip Gunn
Jeff Hale
Greg Haney
Mac Huddleston
Bill Kinkade
Timmy Ladner
Vince Mangold
Roun McNeal
Nolan Mettetal
Sam C. Mims
Ken Morgan
Bill Pigott
Brent Powell
Rob Roberson
Ray Rogers
Randy Rushing
Donnie Scoggin
Jeffrey C. Smith
Brad Touchstone
Jerry R. Turner
Tom Weathersby
Jason White
Patricia H. Willis
Cory Wilson
Henry Zuber, III

 

Derek Easley

President & CEO, BIPEC

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05 Jun
2018

Candidates Qualified for House District 77 Special Election

Gov. Phil Bryant has set July 10, 2018, as the special election date for House District 77. The seat recently became vacant when Gov. Bryant appointed former Rep. Andy Gipson Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce. If no candidate receives a majority of votes on July 10, a runoff will be held on July 31. District 77 encompasses parts of Rankin and Simpson counties. Below is information we have been able to compile on those running. BIPEC will be reaching out to each candidate in the coming days to learn more about their backgrounds and campaigns.

 

Price Wallace (Mendenhall)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pricewallacemsdistrict77/

  • General manager of River Birch Farms
  • Wallace family ran Wallace Tractor at Mendenhall

Christopher R. “Chris” Purdum (Magee)

Website: https://www.purdumforrep.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/purdumforrep/

  • Attorney
  • Magee City Prosecutor
  • Former Mendenhall City Judge

Cemper Scott (Mendenhall)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cemperscott4rep77/

  • Served as town alderman for D’lo
  • Served 14 years with Mississippi Federation of Republican Women
  • Family owns and operates Scott Tractor and Equipment Company

Hayes Patrick (Puckett)

 https://www.facebook.com/HayesPatrick77/

  • Owns Patrick’s Produce in Puckett
  • Served as an alderman in Puckett, MS
  • Owns Clear Creek Fitness

Cliff Brown (Magee)

Website: https://www.electcliffbrown.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Elect-Cliff-Brown-Representative-District-77-181698301874777/

  • Retired member of the Mississippi Air National Guard
  • Runs Jade’s Beauty Supplies & Fashions in Magee
  • Ran unsuccessfully for the Senate seat in District 35 in 2011 and 2015

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20 Dec
2017

BIPEC Recommended Candidate Wins Election

Joel Carter, the BIPEC Recommended “Best for Business & Jobs” candidate, has won a Special Election for the Mississippi Senate. Carter will represent Senate District 49 which includes parts of Harrison County. This seat became open when former Senator Sean Tindell was appointed to the MS Court of Appeals by Governor Phil Bryant.

Joel Carter was declared the unofficial winner in Tuesday’s election with 1,968 votes or 52.7%. Dan Q. Carr finished second with 996 votes and Ron Meyers finished third with 767 votes.

Joel is the principal broker and owner of J. Carter & Co. Real Estate & Development, one of the fastest growing real estate agencies on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He attended Gulfport High School and University of Southern Mississippi.

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20 Nov
2017

Joel Carter “Best for Business & Jobs”

The Business and Industry Political Education Committee (BIPEC) has named Joel Carter as “Best for Business & Jobs” in an upcoming Special Election for the Mississippi Senate. Carter is running for Senate District 49 which includes parts of Harrison County. The election will be held on December 19 (a runoff, if needed, will be January 9, 2018). This seat became open when former Senator Sean Tindell was appointed to the MS Court of Appeals by Governor Phil Bryant.

BIPEC reviews backgrounds and key positions of candidates running for the Legislature. BIPEC disseminates research findings to members and educates its membership on the impact that elected officials could have on economic growth and MS employers. It is an independent, autonomous organization and is not affiliated with any political party or candidate. BIPEC actions are limited to advocacy, candidate research and candidate recommendations. BIPEC evaluates many factors while considering recommendations including potential election unity within the business/employer community.

Carter stated, “I am truly honored to be recognized as the “Best for Business & Jobs” candidate in this election. I want to be a champion for policies that promote economic development and jobs for the residents of Senate District 49 so that the Mississippi Gulf Coat continues to be an amazing place to work and live.”

Joel is the principal broker and owner of J. Carter & Co. Real Estate & Development, one of the fastest growing real estate agencies on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He attended Gulfport High School and University of Southern Mississippi.

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20 Oct
2017

Neil Whaley “Best for Jobs and Business”

BIPEC has named Neil Whaley as “Best for Business & Jobs” in an upcoming Special Election for the Mississippi Senate. The election will be on November 7 to fill the vacancy in Senate District 10 (portions of Marshall and Tate Counties). A runoff, if needed, will be Nov. 28. This seat became open when former Senator Bill Stone became public works director of Holly Springs.

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