Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Phil Bryant Violating NCAA Rules?

In an email to supporters yesterday, the Mississippi Republican Party highlighted a statistic talking about how well Mississippi is doing in digging up dinosaurs to power our homes and cars. The graphic used by the state party originated in Governor Phil Bryant's office but was later picked up by the Mississippi Republican Party.

The response from the Mississippi Republican Party is pretty characteristic of their "it ain't my fault" mentality.
Mississippi GOP communications director Bobby Morgan said he sent the email and didn't see a problem with it.
"I didn't create that graphic, I took it from the governor's Twitter page," he said. "It didn't create any controversy then, I don't think it should create controversy now.
A problem is that having these football players in Bryant's propaganda is that it implies that these football players and the Bulldogs and Rebels support being used for Phil Bryant's purposes. I imagine Dan Mullen and/or Hugh Freeze would not appreciate being put in a campaign commercial without their permission. Additionally, the NCAA's rules find it inappropriate for this type of thing because it has a policy against advocating for controversial issues.

What's more is that Phil Bryant steals the spotlight from the successes of Mississippi State and Ole Miss to deflect attention from his own failed economic record. If Bryant was making a ranking system of his time in office, he should highlight that Mississippi - under his watch - ranks first in economic insecurity for children, second for the highest unemployment rate in the country, and has the second highest incarceration rate in the country. No wonder Phil Bryant does not want to run on his record.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sour Deal in Rankin County

A couple of weeks ago, my father resigned his position on the Rankin County Board of Supervisors for health reasons. Thanks to all of you who have sent your well wishes. No need to fear; Dad isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

The issue that has upset me is how Dad's vacancy was managed by his former colleagues on the board and how Congressman Gregg Harper meddled in the process. Let there be no doubt: the primary reason Rodney Keith is now a member of the Rankin County Board of Supervisors is because Gregg Harper called each member of the board and suggested "it sure would be nice if Rodney was on the board." The board did Harper's bidding in order to pre-pay some favors that will likely be called in during the 2015 Republican primary. Bear in mind that Harper's endorsement really doesn't travel too far (i.e. Meridian and Starkville in 2013). It's no coincidence that Harper and state Rep. Brent Powell went out of their way to be present for their political hit man's appointment to the board last week. 

I know there's nothing I can do to change what the board did. Politics happened. I am disappointed, though, that the constituents Dad spent many waking nights worried about are now represented by a political hack of Gregg Harper and Brent Powell.

Additionally, it should be upsetting to the tens of thousands of Mississippians who are without work that Congressman Gregg Harper would pick up the phone to get one man a job. Imagine what would happen if he cared enough to put that much effort into helping others across the state (which still has the second-highest unemployment rate in the country) find a job. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mississippi Silicon Offering Fewer Jobs Than Promised

Mississippi Silicon got sued again this week. That may not necessarily fall into the category of news – since both Mississippi Silicon and their parent company, Rima Industrial, are finding themselves in both state and federal court a lot these days. There were a couple of interesting tidbits that are worth pointing out.

First, the court filings include an email from Bonnie Morgan who works in permitting for MDEQ. In the email, Ms. Morgan states:

However, I am actively working on the PSD construction permit to keep the project moving forward. On a side note, I do plan on at some point testing the temperature of the waters with Nucor to get their feelings on this project. Why this is important is because of the history of these people and Nucor. It's possible that Nucor will make comments at the last minute to extend the final permit such that we may need to hold a public hearing during the public notice period so that we can resolve all comments as quickly as possible so that the facility can have a final permit in place for financing as soon as possible.

This is interesting for a couple of reasons. The suit alleges that MDEQ closed the comment period early, denying environmental experts an opportunity to comment on the impact of this plant on the surrounding communities and waterways. According to this email, Ms. Morgan clearly was aware that Nucor, a competitor to Rima Industrial with two facilities in Mississippi, was expected to provide comments in the final days of the comment period and that Ms. Morgan wanted to keep that from happening.

This opens up two interesting questions.

First, why is Ms. Morgan, whose job it is to ensure new projects fully comply with environmental law, actively working to exclude comments from an existing Mississippi employer with extensive subject matter expertise? Shouldn’t Ms. Morgan be welcoming all experts that have information that would provide insight to help Ms. Morgan do her job?  After all, as it is noted noted on the MDEQ website, their mission is to “…safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of present and future generations of Mississippians…”?

But my larger question is this: Why is Ms. Morgan making her primary interest timely construction of the Burnsville plant? Shouldn’t compliance with state environmental law be her only concern? Instead she promises, “to keep the project moving forward” and “resolve all comments as quickly as possible so that the facility can have a final permit in place for financing as soon as possible.” Again, MDEQ’s mission, and Ms. Morgan’s job, is to “…safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of present and future generations of Mississippians…” – not to deny public hearing (which are required by federal law) so that proposed facilities can have “final permit in place for financing as soon as possible.”

It could be that (as we have noted) John Correnti, one of the primary funders of Mississippi Silicon, has given hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to Mississippi Republicans over the years. Or that Gov. Bryant personally flew to Brazil to court Rima Industrial, a company that was under criminal indictment for money laundering, fraud, and racketeering.

But here’s something else that’s interesting: Mississippi Silicon responded to the complaint boasting that “Mississippi Silicon has the potential to create 150 new full-time, permanent jobs in Burnsville within the first three years of operations.” In court documents, they go on to state – under penalty of perjury – that maybe, somewhere over the rainbow, they may create as many as 200 jobs.  Here’s the rub: according to the Memorandum of Understanding Mississippi Silicon signed with the MDA to get almost $25 million in state and local incentives, the plant must assure:

…the creation of not less than Two Hundred (200) new full-time jobs (the "Job Creation Commitment")…within three (3) years after the Start of Commercial Productionand maintain such number of jobs for a period of seven (7) years (the "Maintenance Period")

Meaning, they don’t create 200 jobs – not 150, as they claim they have the potential to create – they don’t get our money.

Just an aside, Nucor – whom the state took extraordinary lengths to refuse to allow comment – employs hundreds of Mississippians and says they have never laid off a worker. Mississippi Silicon – for whom the state has made every conceivable effort to give competitive advantages – has already cut 25% of its workforce. And they aren’t even open for business yet. But I digress.

Reading this reminded us of a quote that came out of the governor’s office when they claim the first learned of the racketeering, fraud and money laundering charges being brought against Rima Industrial.  According to the North East Mississippi Daily Journal:

Nicole Webb, a spokeswoman for Gov. Phil Bryant, also pointed out…that there are "clawback" provisions in the agreement with Mississippi Silicon "that protect taxpayers in the event a company violates the terms of its agreement."

So to review, since he attended the ribbon cutting for the Burnsville plant, Governor Bryant has learned that one of his partners is an indicted felon; another is a long time political contributor, with a history of failed businesses; a person on his own staff actively worked to short circuit the permitting process; and that Mississippi Silicon themselves say that the plant will not create the number of jobs required to comply with their agreement.

If all of this doesn’t constitute cause for exercising “clawback provisions” to “protect taxpayers in the event a company violates the terms of its agreement," what possibly ever would?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Who Can't Vote on Election Day

Election Day is 29 days away. Ballot are printed. Voters are voting. Cases are still pending before the state Supreme Court wrapping up legal challenges. The excitement never seems to stop.

What has stopped for many Mississippians is their ability to cast a vote in the November 4 election. Just over 180,000 Mississippians, most of whom have paid their debt to society, have their voting rights removed unless restored by a lengthly process through the state legislature. Over half of these happen to be black

Think about that! Just over 8.2 percent of voting age Mississippians, including almost 14 percent of blacks of voting age, cannot vote. This also means Mississippi has the second-highest rate of disenfranchisement behind Florida's rate of just over 10 percent.

If the legislature is looking for proposals to restore fairness to the criminal justice system and our state's elections, it would behoove it to restore voting rights to those who have served their time.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Republican Leaders Complain, Do Nothing Constructive

Once again, Mississippi Republicans continue to show us they do not care about our state's increasing poor population and those without health insurance.

At its budget hearing Friday, the state's Medicaid director requested additional funds to help pay for new enrollees in the program. Many of these enrollees were added as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

As expected, Republican leaders like Lt. Governor Tate Reeves and House Speaker Pro Tempore Greg Snowden huffed and puffed at Medicaid's request. Oddly enough, they would rather the state pay 100 percent of the costs associated with covering the new enrollees as opposed to 10 percent, which the Affordable Care Act allows. We've said for years that the state will save money if it expands coverage, but that has fallen on deaf ears in the Capitol.

For all of their complaining about the rise of Medicaid's costs, Republican policy makers have not advocated for policies to address the underlying problem: poverty. Rather than be proactive, Republican leaders continue to play catch up to the problems of chronic poverty in our state. Let's not forget that Mississippi has the second-highest unemployment rate in the country, currently at 7.9 percent.

We can hope, because we have yet to see any evidence that they will do anything productive, that the Republican majority in the legislature will advance legislation such as tax reforms to help move 22.5 percent of Mississippians out of poverty. Mississippi can and must do better, and the solutions are staring us in the face. Our policy makers simply need to accept reality and reasonable solutions.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Bump in Voter ID Road

I was notified yesterday that a newly-registered voter in Rankin County was unable to secure a free photo identification card at the circuit clerk's office because the camera at the clerk's office "was not working properly." Allegedly, they were told to go to the Highway Patrol office which would mean paying for a $17 identification card there. This flies in the face of the argument made by Republican Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann that voters will get free identification cards.

After hearing about this technical malfunction, I called the Rankin County Circuit Clerk's office to figure out what was going on. They confirmed that the camera was not working and that technical support was on the case. The office was unable to set a timeline on when the camera would be working properly or how long it had been out of operation.

I then called the Secretary of State's office to ask "If a voter is unable to get a free identification card at the circuit clerk's office, what happens?" The nice gentleman from the Secretary of State's office sounded hesitant to commit to solid instructions so I simply informed him that the camera in the Rankin County Circuit Clerk's office is offline. He thanked me for the heads up and that they would dispatch a technician as soon as possible.

The questions that lingers are whether these cameras undergo routine maintenance, especially a month from Election Day; how long the problem in Rankin County had been going on; have they been instructing voters to pay for a identification card at the Highway Patrol office; whether the clerk's office would have done anything unless they were called out about it; how many other counties have similar problems; what instructions (if any) is Secretary Hosemann providing to the circuit clerks in situations like this?

Some may say "Well, it's just one voter and it got resolved, so it's no big deal." Well, it is a big deal. First, this is an American citizen we are talking about. Second, the voter still does not have photo identification to present at the polls. Third, this voter could be someone you know.

I have no idea who this person will vote for next month or in future elections; that's not the point. The point is that a voter has to jump through more hoops in order to participate in this fundamental obligation to our republic.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

It's Not You. It's Him.

John Correnti has serious commitment issues. Just ask Harry Sanders, Joe Max Higgins, Gary Utt, Larry Collins, Gene McIntyre, or the folks in Sunnyvale, California and Ontario, Ohio.

Correnti, head of Mississippi Silicon, spent months - sometimes years - leading them on with assurances of big economic opportunities for their communities. More often than not, Correnti would tell them a deal was done, then suddenly move on.

Consequently, none of them have much nice to say about Correnti, the businessman promising 200-odd jobs in Tishomingo County, with the help of about $25 million in taxpayer money.

“John Correnti and this group [of businessmen] have a history of speaking of great big, huge projects that never end up happening,” said Sanders of the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors.

Correnti is chairman of the board of Mississippi Silicon, which earlier this year broke ground on a silicon production facility near Burnsville in Tishomingo Count. If his past is any indicator, even breaking ground doesn’t mean it’s a go.

Sanders should know. His county lost hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to woo Correnti and a proposed silicon plant to Columbus. For a while, with $75 million in state incentives on the table, it looked like the $200 million project was a go. Until Correnti and his partners, after repeated delays, wouldn’t even come up with $150,000 to keep $19 million in Lowndes County money.

“We’re not going to put any money down on escrow,” Correnti said at the time. “I never have on any project I’ve ever done. If people don’t have the patience for it, so be it. That’s OK.”

In fact, while Correnti promises big, it appears the only successful project he’s fronted is the Severstal mill in Columbus, and that wasn’t without its problems, said Higgins, head of Golden Triangle Development Link in Columbus.

According to Higgins, Correnti went “grossly over budget” and went to city and state officials seeking more money. “What was supposed to have been a $650 million project ended up costing closer to $1 billion.”

The Severstal steel mill, SeverCorr under Correnti, was completed in 2007 and purchased by Russian steel giant Severstal shortly thereafter. Severstal announced the sale of the plant in July.

“Severstal here in Columbus is the only project [Correnti] has ever completed,” Sanders told reporters in early 2013. “He was supposed to build a rebar business in Amory near here that never got off the ground. His silica purification plant never got off the ground. He tried to build a steel mill in Puerto Rico. So I don’t know. His track record is just not very good. But he is a hell of a salesman.”

The failed Amory project, a rebar plant Correnti had promised would boost the area jobs and income levels, also cost Monroe County money. There, at least, ground was actually broken for the project before Correnti pulled out, citing a lack of funding. It had been touted as the largest single investment ever” for the area. Gee, that’s how they’re billing Correnti’s newest project in the neighboring state of Arkansas.

“It was touted as a done deal,” said former Monroe County Journal Editor Chris Wilson. “[Haley Barbour] came to town with some people associated with the project.” Shortly after, the industrial property that had been leased to Correnti and his crew was quietly deeded back to the city.  “They wear a community out, and then they move on to another community and wear them out,” said Golden Triangle Development Link’s Higgins.

It’s not just Mississippians who’ve have been left at the alter by Correnti. Taxpayers in Ohio and North Carolina were left on the hook for expenses related to Correnti proposals, too.

In 2011, residents and business leaders in Richland County, Ohio, thought they were going to get 1,100 high-paying jobs with a Correnti silicon purification plant. The U.S. Department of Energy had approved a $275 million loan for the project, the state of Ohio was giving $100 million in incentives, and local officials also had promised a package of incentives for the project.

“[Correnti] played us good for a year,” said Richland County Commissioner Gary Utt. He said company officials demanded more and more government money but never offered any proof of the private financing to match.

Former Ontario, Ohio, Mayor Larry Collins called the loss of the silicon facility a “great disappointment.” But, he said, “In retrospect, it’s the general consensus that we dodged a bullet by not being in business with John Correnti.”

It was that Ohio proposal that ended up in Lowndes County. But only until Correnti and his gang were asked to put up or shut up.

At the same time Correnti was wooing Ohio officials with his big promises, telling officials he would bring new industry to Stanly County, North Carolina.

According to local officials and news accounts at the time, Correnti’s Clean Tech and Silicon Bar, LLC, was negotiating a proposed $300 million plant in Badin, N.C. “Even after they announced they were coming to Mississippi, they came back and tried to negotiate with us,” said former Stanly County Commissioner Gene McIntyre.

The good folks in Sunnyvale, including the 350 employees of Calisolar, learned the hard way about Correnti’s promises. Shortly after taking over as chairman of the board for Calisolar, the company started laying off employees and divesting assets.

The company had supposedly raised $245 million to expand the California facility -- with the help of a $3.5 million California tax credit -- before unceremoniously packing up for greener pastures.

So what does this mean for Mississippi Silicon? There are a lot of legal and legislative hurdles to clear before the plant is up and running. Rima Industrial, Correnti’s primary funder in the Burnsville plant, is facing a Federal lawsuit for racketeering and money laundering, among other things. Rima – and its Chariman, Ricardo Vincintin – are also facing criminal charges for lying to the government of Brazil for destroying a rain forest to build a coal mine. Questions are starting to arise from a mysterious trip Governor Phil Bryant took to Rio de Janeiro, and in a matter of weeks, a company that didn’t exist had full backing of Brazilian based Rima.

In short, we all know Phil loves ribbon-cutting ceremonies. Who doesn’t love the excitement and mystery of a first date? Sadly, with Correnti, there is no guarantee our $25 million is getting Phil to first base anytime soon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yes, Roger Wicker is Still Around

The political action this summer has mainly been focused on the Senate race for the seat currently held by Thad Cochran. Now, can you recall the name of our other U.S. senator without using technology for assistance?

To help us out, that person is Roger Wicker. He has served in the United States Senate since 2007 (he was appointed by Governor Haley Barbour after Senator Trent Lott's ended his public service to become a well-paid lobbyist), following his service in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1995. Before that, he served in the state legislature.

I wrote about some of Wicker's fundraising methods in a previous post.

This is Roger Wicker.
Last week, the historic Republican class of 1994 reconvened in Washington, DC, for the 20th anniversary celebration of their rise to power. Here is a line from an article about the event that caught my eye:
It was moderated by fellow classmate and current Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., who got a round of applause at the start of the event when he lauded the absence of the press so “we can say what we really think!”
I imagine there were a lot of stunned faces of former members who looked at Wicker and thought to themselves "Well, I never thought that guy would make it here this long."

Yes, after 20 long years in Washington, Roger Wicker is still around. Doing what we cannot say because Wicker, apparently, does not like telling the truth to the press.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Best Government Money Can Buy

The state of Mississippi is throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at what it likes to call, “economic development.” Results are mixed, as Mississippi recently boasted the second highest unemployment rate in the nation while our poverty rate ticks upward. 

But someone is clearly benefiting from the state’s largesse. His name is John Correnti – and to no one's surprise, he’s a huge Republican contributor!

Correnti has been at the center of the mystery as to how Mississippi Silicon – a company that did not exist a few weeks before – wound up landing $25 million in state and local incentives.

According to, Correnti and his wife, Dawn, have given more than $100,000 to Mississippi politicians. Correnti’s companies have kicked in another $76,000 in political contributions. In return, Correnti and his companies have gotten over $200 million in state and local incentives. That's not a bad return on investment.

It's not just to the state’s Republican bigwigs – former Gov. Haley Barbour, Gov. Phil Bryant, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, and U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee – who have benefited. Substantial sums have also have gone to the state legislative and Congressional delegations. Each has been responsible for substantial funding opportunities for a bevy of Correnti projects – all of which financially benefited Correnti personally, or his companies. A search of Correnti and his companies on is illuminating:

  • Haley Barbour received $14,000 from Correnti in personal contributions. In 2011, Barbour ushered in legislation that gave Correnti’s SeverCorr – now Severstal Columbus – $85 million in local and state support. That’s just the tip of financial giving. Barbour received another $28,250 from companies associated with Correnti.
  • Phil Bryant received $5,000 from the Correntis. Companies associated with Correnti have been even more generous to Bryant over the course of his career, handing over $24,500. It is no coincidence that Bryant has been a public supporter of Correnti’s latest project: Mississippi Silicon, currently under construction in Tishomingo County. In fact, Correnti’s partner in the project, Ricardo Vicintin, President and CEO of Brazil’s Rima Industrial, credited Bryant with bringing Rima to Mississippi, something which happened only after Bryant took a junket to Brazil with the Mississippi Development Authority. As we have previously noted, Rima Industrial is currently under indictment in a Brazilian court for:
"falsification, counterfeiting (material and ideological) of financial documentation unlawfully used in the transportation and marketing of charcoal, in such manner that all the coal produced from illegal deforestation, and extracted from native forest, was transported and marketed as if it were originating from planted forest with the knowledge and support of the directors and managers of steel industry beneficiaries" as well as "the practice of environmental crimes, crimes against the public trust, money laundering and conspiracy to commit crimes."

  • Alan Nunnelee appears to have been a Correnti favorite, receiving $36,400 from Correnti and his wife dating back to his time in the state legislature. Nunnelee is currently sponsoring legislation that will allow the Tennessee Valley Authority to hand over to Yellow Creek Port 172 aces of federally-owned land. Correnti’s newest project, Mississippi Silicon, is adjacent to Yellow Creek Port. Sen. Thad Cochran introduced similar legislation in the Senate earlier this year.
  • Roger Wicker, who served in the U.S. House from 1995 to 2007 before taking his seat in the U.S. Senate, received a mere $4,500 from Correnti. He also received $7,500 from Navistar. Correnti has sat on that company’s board since 1994.
State legislators, including Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, former state Sen. Charlie Ross, and the late state Sen. Terry Brown have been on the receiving end of the Correnti’s giving. In total, the four received $22,000 to help pursue their political aspirations.

  • Terry Brown, the former president pro tempore of the state senate, benefited from $10,000 in Correnti money. The Columbus native represented Lowndes County, the site of a much ballyhooed – but failed – 2011 Correnti project. The promised silicon metal purification and production facilities would have created an estimated 950 jobs. It was to be funded in part with a $75 million incentive package approved by the state legislature, along with $19 million in financial incentives from Lowndes County. A previous project, Severstal Columbus LLC, formerly known as SeverCorr Corporation, which, coincidentally donated $1,000 to Brown. The plant was successfully built by a team of entrepreneurs, including Correnti. It cost a reported $980 million to build and employs about 550 people. It was purchased in 2008 by Russian steel giant Severstal.
  • Charlie Ross, who served in the state legislature until 2007 and ran unsuccessful campaigns for U.S. Congress and lieutenant governor, received $9,000 from Correnti and his wife. He got another $6,250 from Nucor – a former Correnti company, and $1,000 from Severcorr.
  • Tate Reeves, who served as state treasurer before being elected lieutenant governor in 2011, only received $3,000 from Correnti. He got another $18,500 from companies who are or have been associated with Correnti.
But while Corretti’s generosity has helped his political allies – as well as his balance sheet – it hasn’t always paid off for those who hoped to benefit from his often-grandiose schemes.

In 2008, he broke ground on a steel rebar plant in Amory. That facility, which had promised hundreds of jobs, failed to materialize and left taxpayers there to foot the bill.

He later announced a silicon metal production facility in Lowndes County. That project ultimately became Mississippi Silicon in Tishomingo County, but not before the Mississippi Development Authority was on the hook for reimbursing Lowndes County $238,000 it spent trying to lure the Correnti project to Columbus.

As noted at the start of this article, Correnti and his companies have gotten a remarkable return on the investment they have made in Mississippi politicians. Truth is, they have done this in a number of states. For Correnti’s it’s not personal – it’s business. Perhaps we should not blame him for knowing how to leverage a few thousand of his own dollars, in return for millions of our own. And it is our own. Those are our tax dollars we send to Jackson, expecting they will be spent in good faith. 

The millions the state of Mississippi has given to Correnti and his companies have come out of our tax dollars. It’s our money, which could have gone to investments in education; expand health coverage to hundreds of thousands of Mississippians, or any one of hundreds of other more worthy efforts. The fault lies with our elected leadership. They are the ones that rewarded their political friends with our money.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

More Evidence That Phil Bryant Isn't Working

Reports out this week show that Mississippi's economy under Governor Phil Bryant's tenure continues to underperform.

The numbers show that not only does Mississippi have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country (currently at 7.9 percent) but payrolls are falling across the state which tells us that employers are not creating jobs; they're eliminating them. A popular refrain of "tell the bums to go out and get a job" does not carry any water. What this says is that there simply aren't jobs available in many areas of the state. While the national unemployment rate continues to tick downward, Mississippi's rate continues to remain high.

On top of these depressing statistics, another report paints a startling picture about the state of poverty in Mississippi. Our poverty rate stands at 22.5 percent, which means that nearly one in four Mississippi makes under $18,000 per year. Yet, Phil Bryant and the Republicans continue to do nothing to address this crisis. Not a single bill has reached Bryant's desk which would allow for tax credits to be issued to help lift Mississippians out of poverty or for Medicaid to be expanded across the state. These two policy proposals would work wonders in helping the quality of life in Mississippi, but Phil Bryant continues to say no.

If you were to ask Phil Bryant how he feels about the state of Mississippi's economy, he'd likely tell you that things couldn't be better. While Phil Bryant strikes deals with shady businessmen at the taxpayers' expense, nearly 100,000 Mississippians are still out of work. Furthermore, hundreds of thousands of Mississippians cannot obtain health insurance because Phil Bryant and the Republicans don't care whether Mississippians have health insurance or not.

For all his talk about economic development, Phil Bryant's ideas are not working, and the numbers back that up. Bryant is out of time and out of excuses. As Bryant reminds us, this is the Republican Party he's fighting for.