In their speeches Thursday at the Pavilion, Governor Haley Barbour, Treasurer Tate Reeves, and Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney each criticized the Obama Administration's healthcare and energy proposals.

Barbour said the Obama Administration, "and the extremely liberal Democrat Congress have gone on a spending spree that would give drunken sailors a bad name!" Citing the $1.8 trillion deficit and $3.5 trillion budget, Barbour said, "This spending guarantees huge tax increases, federal debt that our grandchildren will still be dealing with when they're my age; not to mention a weaker dollar with accompanying increases in gas prices and higher interest rates."

He called the two big policy initiatives being pursued by the Obama Administration - government healthcare and cap and trade - "job killers" and "job destroyers."

Reeves, shared Barbour's assessment, "President Obama and the Democrats in Congress would have us take a left turn towards higher taxes, a massively expanded government and less personal freedom. They've passed a stimulus plan that doesn't stimulate. A budget that won't balance. An energy bill that would shut the lights out on our economy. The government is now making cars, but it can't make a dent in the deficit. And now they want a health care plan that is unhealthy for taxpayers," Reeves said. He continued, "That's not hope. That's not change. That's not America."

Reeves said when he ran for Treasurer he promised to be a watchdog for taxpayers. "Sometimes the legislative leadership doesn't like it when I say they spend too much, tax too much and borrow too much," he said accusing the legislature of cutting his budget in retaliation. "That's okay," Reeves said, "because if it's a choice between your interests or playing the same old tax and spend shell games with the budget, I'm going to side with you every single time."

Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney noted that he does not regulate health insurance but said the Obama Administration's health insurance policies are not the solution. "We need a free market, private solution," Chaney said. He joked, "If you think health insurance is expensive now, just wait and see how much it costs when the federal government makes it free." Chaney announced his intention to run for reelection in 2011, saying that four years is not enough time to get everything done. He said his top goal is "available, affordable, accountable insurance" especially on the Mississippi Coast where "available is easy, but you can't afford it." He said the federal government should assist Mississippi's insurance climate by restoring the barrier islands and addressing multi-peril concerns of coastal residents. Chaney said his office signed up 48 new insurers to service Mississippi last year, and 32 so far this year. "Insurance is vital for job creation and job security," Chaney said.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, sporting a head shaped fan of his face, drew applause when he said, "We need voter ID and we can't stop until we get it." He also called for a purging and clean-up of the state's voter rolls. Hosemann said 29 counties in Mississippi have more registered voters than living people, and his office is working to fight absentee ballot fraud, and illegal assistance voting. Noting the two recent convictions in Benton County for voter fraud he said, "We need to continue to prosecute those who steal your vote." Hosemann also announced a 42 percent increase in 16th Section Land leases in the past year putting an additional $22.8 million into local schools. Hosemann said a statewide energy plan can increase education revenue with 16th Section Land leases of lignite coal, oil, natural gas and forestry for biofuel resources.

Appeals Court Justice Kenny Griffis discussed the value of youth courts and drug courts. Griffis said most crimes are committed by people "on drugs, looking for money to buy drugs, or looking for materials to make drugs" and Mississippi's "criminal laws are designed to address adults who commit crimes." Griffis advocated youth courts as a means to "rehabilitate and restore" children. He said drug courts "may be the most effective and innovative program for drug users" to "reduce recidivism, reduce substance abuse, and allow a way out." Griffis noted that nationally, 75 percent of successful drug court graduates remain drug free a year after completing the program. He claimed for every dollar invested into drug courts, three dollars are saved in the justice system and twelve dollars are saved by the community at large.

Also speaking were Mississippi Chief Justice Bill Waller, Jr. and Supreme Court Justice Jim Kitchens. Waller gave a review of the appellate court's work last year including 1200 cases and 6000 motions, and noted they disposed of every case on time. He described efforts at increasing access to court filings and said, "Access is the same as confidence in the judiciary." Kitchens told an entertaining anecdote about his hometown of Crystal Springs involving a dog, a rat, a storekeeper, and a man who ended up half naked in the street. Kitchens said growing up in Crystal Springs made Mayberry look like Las Vegas and downplayed the red mud at the Fair, "I've fed cows in much worse mud than this."