A Good Election for Legal Reform in Mississippi

By November 7, 2007Briefly Legal

Congratulations to Governor Haley Barbour on his re-election in Mississippi. Barbour beat trial attorney John Arthur Eaves Jr. by a healthy 57-43 percent margin. From the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal:

Barbour has widespread support in the business community. He took credit for digging the state out of financial difficulties, although a boon in tax collections caused by the Katrina recovery effort was a major factor in the current budget surplus.

He also said that under his watch the jobs loss that occurred in the Musgrove administration was halted. Eaves said that under Musgrove the state was 36th in jobs creation while under Barbour it had fallen to 49th.

Barbour countered that 48,000 jobs were created during his term. Many of those jobs came, he said, because of changes he pushed through in his first year in office to provide businesses more lawsuit protection.

Barbour touted the state’s bright future. Last year Toyota announced it was building a massive manufacturing plant in Northeast Mississippi.

We can think of other ways of phrasing legal reform than “provide business more lawsuit protection” — “rein in Mississippi’s capricious legal sytem,” for example — but the point is that tort reform can indeed be a winning campaign issue.

P.S. Did you see this line? “[Although] a boon in tax collections caused by the Katrina recovery effort was a major factor in the current budget surplus.” Thank goodness for catastrophes. They’re such a help to the bottom line.

Sheesh.

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