Remarks by State Rep. Alday Get More Criticism

DeSOTO COUNTY, Miss.–Remarks made in a Clarion-Ledger newspaper article by state Rep. Gene Alday (R-DeSoto County) are continuing to get criticism from other state lawmakers who believe his statements were not reflective of the way most Mississippians feel about one another.

The statements were made in a Sunday article by CL writer Jerry Mitchell, who covered Civil Rights cases, including the retrial of Medgar Evers assassin Byron De la Beckwith in the 90s.

“All the blacks are getting food stamps and what I call `welfare crazy checks’. They don’t work,” said Alday, talking about the town of Walls, where he served as mayor.

“I condemn the comments recently made by Rep. Gene Alday,” said Speaker of the House Philip Gunn in a statement Monday. “They do not reflect the views of the Republican party, nor of the leadership of the House of Representatives.”

Gov. Bryant was quoted as saying the statements represent a “day long past”.

“Certainly this type of canon is untenable, and not reflective of the character of one elected to represent all people,” said Rep. Chuck Espy (D-Clarksdale). “The abhorrent rhetoric is intended to galvanize an old base.  However, even those in his district are more sophisticated than to be seduced by such obsolete vitriol.”

Espy went on to call for action by the Republican Party.

“The Republican leadership should take responsibility for the philosophical and ideological platform of its members, including messages that are reprehensible and divisive. We should lambaste Alday, and also check those whom allow him the opportunity to speak.”

There have been calls for Alday to resign or not seek re-election. Alday has said his comments were taken out of context and that he has no bad feelings toward anyone.