Friday, 31 January 2003

Alabama-Mississippi anti-poverty alliance?

Jason Anderson at the Political State Report passes on word that new Alabama Gov. Bob Riley is proposing a partnership with Mississippi to alleviate poverty in his state's “black belt” (and presumably nearby counties in Mississippi).

While the political logic is sensible — as the Birmingham News points out, getting four U.S. senators on board is better than two — the geographic logic makes less sense, as the nearby parts of Mississippi aren't known for their poverty. The alliance may instead have more to do with Alabama's desire to build a westward extension of Interstate 85 from its current Montgomery terminus to the Alabama/Mississippi line east of Meridian, which would pass through a number of “black belt” counties. Perhaps things will be clearer when Gov. Riley provides more details.