Personhood Opponents Give Earle Banks A+

Posted October 26, 2012 by rightofmississippi
Categories: Uncategorized

We had not intended on spending much time on Supreme Court races this year.  But this caught our eyes because of the interesting campaign strategy.

Personhood Opponents created a lot of political capital last year when they defeated the Personhood Amendment.  Now they appear to be investing that capital in Representative Earle Banks (D-Jackson) who is challenging incumbent Chief Justice William Waller, Jr. in District 1.  Their video supporting Banks and attacking Waller says of Banks: “On issues involving women’s choice and women’s rights I give him this grade” A+.

Are the Personhood opponents right to invest their political capital in Earle Banks as the model candidate for women’s rights? Or is it gambling away their political power? What say ye, ladies?

GOP leaders endorse Coleman; oppose Phillips for Supreme Court

Posted August 23, 2012 by rightofmississippi
Categories: Uncategorized

Top leaders in the Mississippi Republican Party are letting the GOP grassroots know there is a clear choice in the Northern District Supreme Court race.  Three former Mississippi Republican Party Chairmen – Jim Herring, Brad White and Arnie Hedermann – along with Republican National Committeeman Henry Barbour sent out an e-mail yesterday praising Coleman and blasting Phillips.

It was less than ten years ago that Mississippi was the home of jackpot justice and many of our doctors were leaving the state because of outrageous lawsuits.  Early in Haley Barbour’s term, the State passed what the Wall Street Journal called “the most comprehensive tort reform in the country.”  In addition, the Mississippi Supreme Court is no longer controlled by the trial lawyers.  This has made Mississippi much more attractive to businesses and helped us land many jobs throughout the State.  Unfortunately, the leadership and control of the Supreme Court is at risk this election year.  We are particularly concerned about the Supreme Court district in North Mississippi where Justice George Carlson is retiring.  

 

This race in North Mississippi should be clear-cut.  There is only one conservative running for this seat:  Josiah Coleman.  Josiah has already received endorsements from BIPEC, the Mississippi State Medical Association, the Mississippi Manufacturers Association and the Mississippi Republican Party.  He has the legal integrity and experience to serve us well.

 

But while business organizations are rallying around Josiah, his opponent – Flip Phillips – is attempting to conceal his liberal Democrat ties.  The truth is Flip Phillips is the former President of the Mississippi Trial Lawyer’s Association and has contributed upwards of $15,000 to Ronnie Musgrove, Jim Hood, Chuck McRae and the Democrat National Committee.  He also led the legal effort to overturn the tort reform that helped stop trial lawyers from making Mississippi a legal hellhole. 

 

We cannot stand idly by as conservatives are misled.  We cannot let the trial lawyers take back control of the State Supreme Court.  We solidly endorse Josiah Coleman for Supreme Court, and hope you will join us in supporting him.  You can learn more about him, sign up to support his campaign, or make a contribution by visiting www.colemanforsupremecourt.com.  

Don’t wait to take this important step and get involved in this race, and feel free to contact any of us if you want more information on this important election.  

Hood doesn’t want to lose his power for cronyism – Part 3

Posted February 9, 2012 by rightofmississippi
Categories: Uncategorized

“If this bill passes, then agency heads with agendas and interests of their own will be allowed to pursue those interests on the taxpayers’ dime over the states interest as a whole with no oversight.” – Attorney General Jim Hood on Sunshine legislation

Imgaine someone giving million dollar no-bid contracts, without oversight, to campaign contributors. Imagine those campaign contributors working for their own interests rather than the interest of the state.  Will Sunshine legislation cause this? No, it is there to prevent it.

From the Wall Street Journal: Pay to Play Torts

However, attorneys suing on the government’s behalf are supposed to be neutral actors whose goal is justice, not lining their own pockets. When for-profit lawyers are involved with a contingency fee at the end of the lawsuit rainbow, the incentives shift toward settling to get a big payday.
In Mississippi, the state attorney general determines when the public employees retirement fund should bring a securities class action and which outside firms will represent the fund. Would you be shocked to learn that AG Jim Hood has frequently chosen law firms that have donated to his campaigns?

Mr. Hood is also partial to Bernstein Litowitz. On February 21, 2006, he chose the firm to represent the Mississippi Public Employees Retirement Fund in a securities class action against Delphi Corporation—just days after receiving $25,000 in donations from Bernstein Litowitz attorneys. The suit was eventually settled, and the lawyers on the case received $40.5 million in fees. Mr. Hood’s campaign would appear to deserve a raise.

You can see a picture of Attorney General Jim Hood shaking hands with Bernstein Litowitz Senior Founding Partner Max Berger, who in addition to other members of the firm, contributed $5000 to Hood’s campaign here.

Bernstein Litowitz partner Sean Coffey also contributed $5000 to Hood’s campaign and interviewed Hood at the a pension and investing summit conference in Dublin, Ireland.

Hood also spoke to the Bernstein Litowitz “Instiutional Investor Forum” at the “New York Yacht Club, in the heart of Midtown Manhattan.”

Is this the kind of cronyism Jim Hood is talking about?

Hood doesn’t want to lose his power for cronyism – Part 2

Posted February 8, 2012 by rightofmississippi
Categories: Uncategorized

“The Attorney General is put in place to defend the state’s interests and to provide a unified voice to the state on all legal matters.” – Attorney General Jim Hood on new Sunshine legislation

Except when it comes to cronyism, when Attorney General Jim Hood decides to defend a huge campaign contributor instead of the interests of the state. Here is a flashback to 2009 from Respond Mississippi.

Mississippi is/was suing former special assistant attorney general Joey Langston for $14 million in attorney fees he unconstitutionally received from a no-bid contract with his boss/friend Attorney General Jim Hood. Yesterday morning, Jim Hood won his motion to move the State of Mississippi from being a plaintiff to being a defendant.

Kidd ruled in favor of Hood’s motion to remove the state of Mississippi as a plaintiff in the case and place it as a defendant.In other words, Jim Hood picked a side. He chose to argue that Joey Cash Langston should get the $14 million instead of Mississippi taxpayers. That’s right, he is now arguing AGAINST the people of Mississippi and for Joey Langston, who just happens to be his largest campaign contributor ($100,000+). Sure, Joey Langston needs the money to pay his lawyers in the ongoing Scruggs related scandals. But that $14 million would also get us about half way towards plugging the car tag fee fund without raising taxes.

When it came down to make a choice between the taxpayers of Mississippi, or his largest campaign contributor, Jim Hood chose Cash (Joey Cash Langston, that is).

Remember that Langston is one of the guys who went to jail in the Scruggs scandals that Hood said he could not prosecute because they were like family. Hood could not prosecute Langston, but he could defend his $14 million no-bid fee.

Hood doesn’t want to lose his power for cronyism – Part 1

Posted February 8, 2012 by rightofmississippi
Categories: Uncategorized

“What you have here is nothing more than an attempt to weaken the power of the Attorney General and to create a ‘good ole boy’ system of doing legal business in this state…This bill creates a system ripe for cronyism….” – Attorney General Jim Hood on new Sunshine legislation

Funny that Jim Hood thinks his system of hiring campaign contributors as special attorneys general is not a ‘good ole boy’ system and not cronyism.

From the report: Beyond Reproach? Fostering Integrity and Public Trust in the Offices of State Attorneys General

Mississippi has a long and troubling history of unseemly relationships between the office of the attorney general and plaintiffs’ attorneys. Attorney General Jim Hood was elected in 2003 and has funneled substantial work to his plaintiff lawyer campaign contributors ever since. His tenure as attorney general represents one of the most egregious examples of the impropriety that can be found in the process of states hiring private attorneys.

• Over a five year period following his election in 2003, Attorney General Hood retained at least 27 outside law firms to file at least 20 lawsuits on behalf of the State of Mississippi. These law firms and their attorneys contributed $543,000 to Hood’s campaigns.

• Since 2005 Attorney General Hood has received $149,056 in campaign contributions from Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann, and the State of Mississippi has contracted with this firm on five lawsuits. Between February 14 – 17 of 2006, Bernstein Litowitz attorneys contributed $25,000 to Hood’s campaign, and on February 21, 2006, Hood selected the firm to represent the Mississippi Public Employees Retirement Fund in a securities class action claim against Delphi Corp. The lawsuit settled for $333.4 million, paying $40.5 million in legal fees.

• The firm Wolf Popper contributed $15,000 to Hood’s campaign on February 22, 2006, and the state of Mississippi contracted with this firm on a lawsuit against Sonus on March 23, 2006. Sonus settled for $9.5 million, including legal fees estimated at $1.5 million.

Complaint against Jim Hood filed with Mississippi Bar Association

Posted December 1, 2011 by rightofmississippi
Categories: Uncategorized

Here is an update on Jim Hood jeopardizing the prosecution of a case with reckless political campaigning.

A lawyer for a man charged with killing a Catholic priest has filed a complaint that says his client can’t get a fair trial because of a television ad aired by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood’s successful re-election campaign.

The complaint, filed with the Mississippi Bar and obtained by The Associated Press, said the commercial tainted the prospective jury pool by referring to Jeremy Wayne Manieri as someone who “murdered a 70-year-old priest in cold blood.”

Manieri has been charged by police, but not indicted by a grand jury.

The complaint, dated Nov. 22 and signed by Manieri’s attorney, Brian Alexander of Bay St. Louis, says all people accused of crimes have the right to the presumption of innocence.

“This complaint is far larger than Jeremy Manieri or Jim Hood. With the long view in mind, this is about the countless people in Mr. Manieri’s position who are clinging to the notion that our system still adheres to vestiges of fairness and due process,” the complaint says. “That Mr. Hood did, in knowing and willful dereliction of his duties and ethical constraints prescribed by the Bar, the constitution and basic morality, harm my client’s cause for personal gain is irrefutable.”

Did Hood destroy the Presumption of Innocence?

Posted November 12, 2011 by rightofmississippi
Categories: Uncategorized

“It’s a clear violation of his oath as attorney general, as an elected public official and as a member of the Mississippi Bar.  He has all but ensured that my client cannot receive a fair trial in the state of Mississippi. He has not only eroded the presumption of innocence — attendant to all those who stand accused — he destroyed it.”

Those words are about Attorney General Jim Hood, spoken by someone who according to press reports supported Hood’s reelection and even contributed to his campaign.

It seems Jim Hood’s campaign commercial said a defendant murdered someone, a defendant who has yet to go to trial.

The defendant’s lawyer is understandably upset.

“I supported Jim Hood’s candidacy,” Alexander said, “but Jim Hood has run roughshod over my client and has trampled his rights, to include the right to a presumption of innocence.”

“This is really way bigger than Mr. Manieri and way bigger than Attorney General Jim Hood. It is about all people who stand accused, and the most fundamental element of the presumption of innocence.

“For the top law enforcement officer, the top prosecutor, the top attorney in the state to have such callous disregard is absolutely unethical, outrageous and unconstitutional.”

Alexander said his options include filing a complaint against Hood with the Mississippi Bar Association or the Mississippi Ethics Commission, or asking the state Legislature to impeach Hood.

“When you take an oath to uphold the Constitution, it really means something,” Alexander said.

“Jim Hood distorted the truth for his own political gain and used non-facts and untruth to trample on the rights of my client. As an elected official, he is obligated to act with fairness, integrity and trustworthiness. It is imperative that this not go unstated.”

That’s right, he mentioned an option of asking Hood to be impeached.

As Majority in Mississippi reported last month, this is not Hood’s first guilty unless proven innocent campaign moment. He also named Entergy as a corporate wrong doer in a statewide campaign commercial. Hood has gone after Entergy but has yet to prove wrong doing in court.

Either Jim Hood thinks it is OK to pronounce guilt with himself as a judge without regard to the court, or he has demonstrated reckless behavior by the state’s top prosecutor.


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