In a letter sent to media outlets, Evans stated he felt Democrats were only given leadership positions on committees by House Speaker Phillip Gunn (R-Clinton) if it would not affect the Republican agenda. In this case, it is the Republican Charter School Bill.
Gunn said in an interview on SuperTalk Mississippi radio that his decision to move Whittington to tourism was indeed based on her probable nay vote on charter school legislation and other education reforms planned for the 2013 legislative session. Gunn said he felt he did nothing immoral or illegal, stating that he believes the voters elected a majority Republican House to move forward with a Republican platform and that he is protecting that platform with the move.
Whittington was replaced by Rep. Charles Busby (R-Pascagoula), a proponent of charter schools.
Democrats frowned on the move, with Brandon Jones, a former lawmaker and head of the Miss. Democratic Trust calling it heavey-handed politics and "unprecedented".
Whittington herself decried the move and asked for her position back when former Rep. Kevin McGee (R-Brandon) was forced out of the House on ethics violations. He was on the committee and his absence left another spot open.
Evans was also angry about Gunn's committee chairmanship appointment of Rep. Donnie Bell as the head of the Workforce Development Committee. Bell ran as a Democrat, then switched parties after being elected, Evans said it was a dishonest move on Bell's part, which was "rewarded" by Gunn's appointing him to head the committee.