Governor Phil Bryant is under pressure for the heavy-handed political move recently to close hundreds of county bridges, declaring them to be unsafe for public use.
The bridges fall under the jurisdiction of county governments. But a joint effort between state and federal officials bypassed county engineers inspection protocols. Federal Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao then sent Gov. Bryant a letter threatening to cut off federal transportation dollars to the state.
Gov. Bryant had little to say about public safety over the course of a multi-year discussion by elected leaders and lawmakers of how to fund bridge and road repairs. However, after Chao issued the threat to the pipeline of federal money into Mississippi, Bryant suddenly decided the bridges were too unsafe and needed to be closed immediately.
Bryant appeared on Varney & Company on Fox Business Network Wednesday morning. Host Stuart Varney questioned Bryant’s sudden concern in relation to the threat of the loss of federal funding.
Bryant continued to use fear to try to motivate suspicious Mississippians that a tragedy was imminent telling Varney,
“People are going to die in automobile accidents if we have to terminate the repairs that are underway!”
Bryant also referred to county officials who hadn’t closed the bridges previously as “irresponsible.”
There have been no reports of bridge failures or accidents occurring as a result of the bridge conditions.
That the governor could so easily blame county officials on national television without a hint of shame over his own earlier lack of concern (until there was a danger of losing federal susbsidies) speaks volumes about Governor Bryant’s sense of responsibility.
Watch the shameful interview below: