Friday, September 18, 2015

Political Emails to State Employees Only Legal for Republicans

What better way to remind our public school employees that they are underpaid than to receive constant email reminders from Mississippi Republicans?

Governor Phil Bryant, a native of Rankin County, and the Mississippi Republican Party have quite possibly violated state law by sending emails to public employees through a school district email server in Rankin County.

Mississippi Code Section 23-15-871 clearly states that
It shall be unlawful for any employer, or employee having the authority to employ or discharge other employees, to make any statement public or private, or to give out or circulate any report or statement, calculated to intimidate or coerce or otherwise influence any employee as to his vote, and when any such statement has obtained circulation, it shall be the duty of such employer to publicly repudiate it, in the absence of which repudiation the employer shall be deemed by way of ratification to have made it himself...
The prohibitions of this section shall apply to all state, state district, county and county district officers, and to any board or commission and the members thereof by whatever name designated and whether elective or appointive, and to each and every one of those employed by them or any of them. And no state, state district, county or county district officer, or any employee of any of them who directly or indirectly has the control, or in any way the power of control, or who asserts or pretends that he has such power, over the expenditure of any public funds in this state, whatever the purpose or object of said expenditure may be, shall state, suggest or intimate, publicly or privately, or in any manner or form, that any such expenditure shall in any wise depend upon or be influenced by the vote of any person, group of persons, or community or group of communities, whether for or against any candidate or group of candidates at any election.
To add insult to injury, Republicans have the nerve to ask for money from these hard working women and men even though Mississippi's public school employees are among the worst-paid in the country.

Interestingly, it was House Education Committee Chairman and Rankin County Republican John Moore who authored House Bill 449 this year which would have created criminal penalties for teachers and school personnel who engage in political activity while at work.

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