Gov. Haley Barbour flip-flops on KKK

The State Column
Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, facing pressure from a number of groups, announced Monday that he would not sign into law a controversial proposal honoring a former Klu Klux Klan member on license plates.

“The bureaucracy denied it, the legislature won’t pass it and if the legislature passes it, it won’t become law because I won’t sign it,” Barbour told the Associated Press, a position that differs from his earlier comments.

Mr. Barbour’s political posturing comes as he continues to consider a potential run for president. The Mississippi Republican has expressed his interest in running for higher office, saying he is “seriously considering” a run for president. Mr. Barbour said he will reach a final decision on the matter after the Mississippi Legislature has adjourned for the year.

The plate proposal, which is backed by the Mississippi Sons of Confederate Veterans, would honor Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. Mr. Forrest is a former member of the KKK.

A number of groups protested the bill saying it was an insult to African-Americans terrorized by the group.

Mr. Barbour avoided a position on the issue earlier this month, saying he did not expect the bill to pass the legislature. “I know there’s not a chance it’ll become law,” Mr. Barbour said at the time.

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