Having enemies, it is often said, means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life. You are certainly doing something right to feel the wrath of those opposing you. Those words reflect the political career of Senator Chris McDaniel.
In McDaniel’s new campaign for US Senate, now just a few days old, the attacks have been early and often. One of the first launched by both of his Republican opponents is that he has no accomplishments during his time in the Mississippi Senate.
Roger Wicker’s campaign manager, Justin Brasell, issued a statement on the day McDaniel announced his candidacy, writing that “Chris McDaniel … spent a decade … accomplishing nothing for our conservative cause….”
Richard Boyanton, a business owner in Diamondhead who is originally from Memphis, told the press that McDaniel “has nothing accomplished to his name.”
But Senator McDaniel has accomplished much in his relatively short time in office, facts that are purposefully ignored by his opponents. In other words, they are lying about his record!
Here are some of his major accomplishments:
- Authored the “Mississippi Student Religious Liberties Act of 2013” that protects students’ right to express religious belief individually and separately from public school endorsement. This important legislation was signed into law.
- Authored a bill that makes terrorism a crime punishable by death in a state court. This legislation was signed into law.
- Authored the Employment Protection Act in 2008. Also known as the E-Verify law, it requires all Mississippi companies to use an Internet-based system to check the legal status of potential employees. This legislation was signed into law.
- Authored legislation designed to give owners of small businesses more say about state regulations that could affect their livelihoods. The bill established a 12-member Small Business Regulatory Review Committee that would examine state rules and laws that could impact businesses with fewer than 100 full-time employees and less than $10 million in gross annual sales or revenues. This legislation was signed into law.
- Authored legislation to require Mississippi to honor any valid concealed carry permit issued by another state. This bill also grants the Department of Public Safety continued authority to enter into written reciprocity agreements with other states if those states require such an agreement before recognizing Mississippi carry permits. This legislation was signed into law.
- Authored an eminent domain bill to protect private property rights by preventing the government from taking private land and giving it to private companies. It passed the legislature but, after Governor Haley Barbour vetoed the bill, McDaniel led the fight to override the veto, which fell two votes short. McDaniel then led the statewide effort to put the issue on the ballot, as a state constitutional amendment, which the people approved overwhelmingly.
- Authored “Nathan’s Law,” named after five-year-old Nathan Key of Laurel, who was tragically killed after exiting a school bus. The bill imposed harsher penalties on drivers that pass a stopped school bus. This legislation was signed into law.
Senator McDaniel also led the fight against Obamacare on behalf of the entire state of Mississippi. When Attorney General Jim Hood, a Democrat, refused to join other states in a lawsuit against Obamacare, Senator McDaniel drafted and filed his own lawsuit to stop it. Governor Phil Bryant then joined McDaniel’s suit as a plaintiff.
In addition, he has led numerous fights to stop Democratic re-districting schemes, to cut spending, and to cut taxes. He’s also the only major state official standing up for the state flag. In this political climate, that is the height of political courage.
McDaniel’s influence and leadership have also impacted the national conservative movement. One would be hard pressed to find another state legislator who has done as much, who has written columns for national publications, who is often interviewed by the national media, a leader whose career is watched so very closely. As Ed Kilgore wrote recently in New York Magazine, “the national movement-conservative community … loves Chris McDaniel.”
One of the themes of my book, Remember Mississippi, is that McDaniel’s US Senate campaign in 2014, as well as his treatment by the Establishment, paved the way for Donald Trump. He truly did ignite an anti-Establishment revolution.
For his extraordinary efforts, he was awarded the American Conservative Union’s most prestigious award, the Award for Conservative Excellence, in 2016. Rest assured, the ACU does not hand out awards to do-nothings!
The truth is there for all to see: Senator Chris McDaniel, in a little more than 8 years in the State Senate, has accomplished more for the conservative agenda than Roger Wicker and Richard Boyanton combined!
Mississippi deserves a true conservative leader like Chris McDaniel in the US Senate.