The absence of an impending election shifted speeches on Wednesday toward public service and policy rather than political brimstone and campaign promotion. Although Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall said, "It's a pretty poor frog who doesn't brag on his own pond."

Hall discussed local transportation projects including Highway 16, Highway 19, and the $34 million Philadelphia bypass. In nearby Kemper County, Hall said the Mississippi Department of Transportation had already begun improvements in anticipation of the $2 billion coal plant. MDOT upgraded 13 miles of Highway 493 for the short term, and will completely redo the highway over coming years. Hall complained the legislature took $30 million from MDOT to balance the budget for items like Medicaid. He noted that amount would nearly pay for the Philadelphia bypass. Hall lamented he sometimes feels like the Israelites when Pharaoh told them there would be no straw for the bricks, "Well I have a message for Pharaoh, the bricks are going to be smaller and full of dangerous cracks."

His was not the only pharaohic allusion. Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant, with mic in hand away from the podium bringing a Pentecostal flair to politics, said he remembered a story about seven good years and seven lean years: referencing the Genesis story of Joseph interpreting the Pharaoh's dream. He said it was a good lesson for Mississippi budget makers.

Bryant discussed the targeted tax cuts passed by the Senate under his leadership: a sales tax holiday, a carbon tax cut to assist the anticipated Kemper County coal facility, and inventory tax relief. Bryant also promoted the voter-ID initiative. At the podium, he signed and held up the petition to put voter-ID on the statewide ballot and encouraged voters to sign up with volunteers around the Square.

Central District Public Service Commissioner Lynn Posey shared recent PSC successes in regulating telemarketers and spoke about the state's energy future. "Mississippi and our nation faces challenges and opportunities as we consider requests to build or expand new baseload generating facilities, upgrade our grid system and look for renewable energy opportunities. All of which will play an important role as we face the challenge to continue to provide affordable and reliable energy for our state which is crucial for continued economic development," Posey said.

Auditor Stacey Pickering noted his office had recovered $3 million in misused funds for taxpayers since he took office and spoke on integrity, accountability and public service. "Public service is not about right versus left," Pickering said, "it is about right versus wrong." As a result of expanded authority granted to his office by the legislature, Pickering said he will be better able to assist and audit municipalities to ensure proper usage of public funds.

Attorney General Jim Hood said folks may have expected a more political speech about lawsuits, "But I want to talk to you a little about my passion, today. About things I'm enjoying doing as Attorney General." He described the successes of his cyber crime unit to "protect our children from sexual predators" and his efforts against intellectual property theft.

Other speakers Wednesday included District Attorney Mark Duncan, Judges Vernon Cotton and Marcus Gordon, Representative C. Scott Bounds and Senator Giles Ward.

Appeals Court Justice Kenny Griffis kicks off Thursday's speeches at 9:30 a.m. followed by Supreme Court Justice Jim Kitchens, Chief Justice Bill Waller, Jr., Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, Treasurer Tate Reeves and Secretary of State Delbert Hoseman. Governor Haley Barbour speaks at 10:40 a.m. to close out the speeches for this Fair.