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.
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.
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.
"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."
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
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.
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.
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.
"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."
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.
|2020 Presidential contenders on Families & Children:|
Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)
2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)
2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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