Face time

Mississippi elected officials may come cheap as pitch men and women for the agencies they head, but the state would be better off if those in office had less airtime on commercials paid for by the taxpayers.

A proposal that has passed the Senate and awaits action in the House could do just that.

Authored by Senate Accountability Chairman John Polk, R-Hattiesburg, Senate Bill 2482 would prohibit any candidate for public office from appearing in publicly funded advertisements during the year of statewide elections.

They probably shouldn’t be allowed to appear anytime. The reason Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, State Treasurer Lynn Fitch and other similar officeholders appear regularly in these so-called “public service” ads is not because they are particularly good actors. It’s because they want to keep their names and faces in front of the voters for future campaigns, either for the office they currently hold or for others on which they have their sights set.

If this perk of incumbency can’t be stopped wholesale, it should at least be off limits during an election year.

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