JACKSON, Miss. – State Sen. Chris McDaniel has been back at work and hard at it in the Mississippi State Senate meeting constituents, writing legislation and attending to upcoming committee duties, but some in the media are attempting to paint a very different picture.
Geoff Pender, a reporter for the Clarion-Ledger writes in a recent article, “McDaniel was on the Senate floor Jan. 6, the first day of the session, but has since been missing from the chamber most days of the session.”
Pender goes on in his opinion piece about how McDaniel is supposedly “Present, but unaccounted for” during session.
Chris McDaniel, the popular State Senator who took on a 42-year, statewide elected incumbent in Thad Cochran in last year’sheated Republican US Senate Primary continues to live rent-free in the heads of those who wish to keep government as is.
McDaniel has been questioned on his presence in the legislative session by Pender before in questioning whether McDaniel’s heart is still in his state senate job. According to McDaniel spokesman Keith Plunkett the Jones County Senator is very focused.
“Sen. McDaniel has not only been at the Capitol every day working for the voters,” says Plunkett. “He has also been there in the past week when the body was not even in session, meeting constituents, writing legislation and attending to upcoming committee duties. I’ve met with him there on several different occasions. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him more rested and ready.”
Geoff Pender writes of McDaniel, “On Wednesday, when he was greeted by his colleague, he came in about 45 minutes into heated debate on an education bill. But McDaniel has been marked present, if unaccounted for, each day.”
Plunkett explains that this is just another sad attempt to paint a mythical picture for someone else’s gain.
“You would think the media would have more to write about at the state Capitol than who saw whom and who was seen by whom,” Plunkett wrote in an emailed statement to ANM News. “The Capitol press corps in Jackson should be taking coverage a bit more serious than the writers of a VIP section in a lifestyle magazine.”
Plunkett said that “both instances which Mr. Pender mentions seeing Sen. McDaniel on the floor of the Senate were the only two days out of the eight so far that the body was gaveled in.”
“As to any claims about attendance, Mr. Pender should check the journal,” he said.
McDaniel has not only been at the Capitol every day and had numerous meetings regarding the details and language of bills he was drafting, but he has visited with constituents visiting and even provided one group with a tour of the Capitol.
McDaniel met with supporters at the Common Core Rally at the Capitol in Jackson on Tuesday, January 6 and took time to listen to their frustrations.
Kelly Watson of Gautier who met with Sen. McDaniel said, “Chris McDaniel told us that it was a wonderful thing what we were doing, taking a stand against a Trojan horse like common core. He was very kind and thanked us for what we were doing, & encouraged us to continue the fight. He told us that he would continue to fight common core, and help us rid our state of this nightmare.”
Watson also told ANM News, “Chris McDaniel is one of the rare political figures, who acknowledges that he works for the public, and his actions prove that to be true.”
While Pender’s article claims it is difficult to truly validate someone’s attendance from the Senate records, just last year those very records were used in an attempt to attack McDaniel’s presence on the job.
“Hopefully Mr. Pender and others in the press corps will soon get beyond this level of childishness and move towards the seriousness of reporting on the actual work Sen. McDaniel and others are doing,” said Plunkett. “The work of managing the people’s business is about more than being seen by reporters. It is unfortunate that more, including the members of the media whose job it is to inform the public, don’t take that work as seriously as Sen. McDaniel does.”
Many political pundits and pollsters have shown when it comes to Republican voters Chris McDaniel defeated Thad Cochran, not once but twice. While he may not have been allowed to go on to represent the GOP in the general election, he continues as a force to be reckoned with in the conservative movement in Mississippi and across the country.
McDaniel started something with the U.S. Senate campaign that has taken the conservative movement by storm and shows no signs of slowing down. Despite the actions of those like Mr. Pender who believe McDaniel is “unaccounted for,” the people see things much differently.
All indications are that this is a fight that is only just beginning, and Mississippi is at the center of the storm.