Archive for September 2007

Jim Hood, Pay for Play with full documentation

September 26, 2007

Mississippi we have a problem, your Attorney General is selling state contracts for campaign donations and Alben Hopkins can prove it, full release after the Jump, Here is the meat: 

On November 15, 2005, Jim Hood received $15,000 from an attorney with Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz of New York. Their firm received a state contract 3 months later on February 16, 2006. In return, they contributed to Hood another 15,000 dollars a week after they received the contract (February 23).

After receiving $25,000 from partners with Bernstein, Litowitz, Berger & Grossman of New York on February 14, 16, & 17th, Jim Hood signed over to them 3 separate state contracts a week later on February 21 and March 14, 2006. The same firm then gave another series of contributions on April 16, 24, 25, & 26, which followed with another contract soon thereafter on May 17, 2006.

Jim Hood received contributions of $11,500 to his campaign from Schiffrin, Barroway, Topaz & Kessler of Pennsylvania in February 2006, which led to contingency fee contracts immediately following in March and April.

Likewise, Wolf Popper of New York contributed $15,000 to Jim Hood on February 22, 2006 and received a contingency fee contract just a few weeks later on March 23, 2006.

On September 19, 2005 Jim Hood signed Baron & Budd of Texas to a contingency fee state contract, which soon led to another $19,200 for Hood’s campaign on November 7 & 8.

Looks bad, but can he make it stick on the ever so popular Jim Hood?

-ROM

al_hopkins11.doc Hood’s contributions document

Hopkins Release after the jump

(more…)

Jim Hood Gaffe (Cliche-Gate 2007)

September 25, 2007

Jim Hood’s Cattle Gaffe

Jim Hood -“My opponent is all hat and no Cowboy”

ROM- “HAHAHAHAHAHA Jim Hood is an idiot”

For those of you unfamiliar with wild west wisdom, the proper expression is “All Hat, No Cattle” in fact it would have been tough to mess the beloved western insult up any worse.

SunHerald.com : Hopkins questions legal contracts; Hood says challenger inflates resume

Follow up to my earlier post:

HOPKINS- “During his speech at the Capital Club in downtown Jackson, Hopkins pointed out campaign donations Hood has received from private attorneys with state contracts. Among other cases, Hopkins mentioned the $14 million fee awarded to Joey Langston and Tim Balducci, private attorneys who represented the state in a case to recover $100 million in overdue taxes from telecommunications giant MCI. Langston, of Booneville, has been one of Hood’s top campaign contributors.

“There is a pattern of behavior that creates an unhealthy perception of your attorney general’s office in the state of Mississippi,” said Hopkins, 66, who’s in private practice in Gulfport. “We don’t know if he’s selling state contracts for campaign contributions or just suffers bad judgment.”

HOOD-  Hood said Hopkins is misleading voters with campaign ads that say Hopkins has been chief judge of the Mississippi Military Court of Appeals since 1996. Hood said the court has not met since Hopkins has been in the position.

“He’s got an ad that indicates he’s got 42 years of experience and it tries to infer that it is all on the Military Court of Appeals, a court which has never met,” Hood said. “My opponent’s all hat and no cowboy.”

Hood’s press secretary Jonathan Compretta wrote “All Hat, No Cattle” in the press release which is a whole lot closer than Jim Hood (and acceptable in some contexts) who absolutely BUTCHERED this expression, I was planning on letting it slide but when a candidate for office screws us both halves of an expression, that has got to be embarrassing.  Apparently Jim Hood doesn’t know much about Cowboys.

HOPKINS- “I’m not padding my resume. That’s a true statement. I am the chief judge of the Military Court of Appeals,” Hopkins said. “I guess you could say the people in the military in the state of Mississippi are first-class individuals, every one of them. And they don’t get into trouble.”

We will update you on our new project “Cliche Gate 2007” as updates are available

-ROM

Hood vs. Hopkins

September 25, 2007

The AG race is in full swing.  Both candidates are up on TV, here are their latest ad’s.  Hood’s is only vulnerable as far as Hopkins can hang on him the unbelievable and totally unethical money trail of rewarding his campaign donors with state funds.  I have not done enough research on my own so I am waiting for the Hopkins campaign to put it out.  I assume we will see Hopkins go for the jugular at some point, the line about “corrupt politicians” from the Hopkins ad might be just a touch of foreshadowing on their part. 

 According to a Jim Hood Press Release Yesterday (Below), Al Hopkins real name is Alben, and his resume is padded.

Alben Hopkins Admits Padding Resume, Hopkins claims credit for experience he doesn’t have

JACKSON, Miss. – Attorney general challenger Alben Hopkins has served as chief judge of the Mississippi Court of Military Appeals since 1996 – a court that has not heard one single case or met one single time in the past decade.

Yet Hopkins, in his latest campaign commercial now airing, claims: “As chief judge of our top military court, Al Hopkins has served the law for 42 years.”

Hopkins finally admitted his resume enhancement when questioned by a reporter Monday at a press luncheon hosted by the Stennis Institute.

“Once again, Alben Hopkins’ resume does not equate with the actual facts,” said Jonathan Compretta, campaign manager for Attorney General Jim Hood. “Mr. Hopkins’ limited experience for the job he now seeks is buried among the negative rhetoric of his campaign.”

According to Mississippi Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Chiquita Pendleton, the Mississippi Military Department’s Court of Military Appeals, on which Hopkins claims service as chief judge, has not heard a single case since Hopkins joined the court in 1996. Additionally, “no salary has been paid in the last 10 years, as court has not met,” according to a letter from Staff Sgt. Pendleton dated June 6, 2007.

So while Attorney General Jim Hood has spent more than a decade prosecuting murders, rapists, abusers of the elderly and child molesters, Alben Hopkins has sat on a court that never convenes.

“This begs the question: What experience and qualifications does Mr. Hopkins really have to qualify him as attorney general of Mississippi?” Compretta asked. “We believe the voters have a right to know.

“There’s an old saying that applies to make-believe cowboys who dress and talk the part, pretending to be what they aren’t,” Compretta noted. “Alben Hopkins is ‘All Hat, No Cattle.'”

Dang I love the “All Hat, No Cattle.” (reference to “Big Hat, No Cattle) which it is one of the finest of all Texas insults. (nice work Mr. Compretta) 

This race is sounding more and more like a junior high dance, you know there is a lot of “padding” going on, and your not sure what you can grab on to.

 Choice seems to be between someone who “pads” his campaign donors and college buddies wallets with state money or someone who “pads” his resume.

In Hopkins defense this is a fairly weak charge as it appears that Hopkins does sit on the court in which he claims, just that the court in question is not exactly active.

One thing is for sure though, Jim Hood’s hair provides his head with plenty of “padding” and it makes me laugh.

Early Analysis says Hood is still in control of this race, but Hopkins has a chance if he can stay strong on TV and turn the debate to corruption he can close the gap and make the race close.  Lots of things have to break his way though I will watch closely and may be adjusting my call on this one.

Early Prediction: Hood by 4-6%

-ROM

Haley Barbour Ad’s

September 24, 2007

http://www.haleybarbour.com/_index.html

Governor Barbour’s ads are all available on his website with documentation, I like the new one entitled “40,000 and counting”

Head Reactivated: Endorsements for November

September 16, 2007

Head Reactivated: Endorsements for November

Tom Head is a freelance writer and blogger in Jackson with a self described, Left-Libertarian.

If you follow his Blog you know that he is pretty far to the left yet definitely sensible enough to be a good read even for conservatives.  Tom is one of the first pundits or handicappers to release a complete list of endorsements and predictions for the November statewide elections.  Most notably for GOP’ers are the three Republican endorsements which are coincidentally the candidates that we feel are the most likely to gain crossover support.  Head’s column seems to reinforce our beliefs that Barbour, Reeves, and Hosemann are very attractive candidates to the Right, Center, and some of those on the Left.

Visit Mr. Head’s blog at the link above, I have reprinted his column below: -ROM

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Endorsements for November

I wasn’t going to post these this early, but (a) I already know where I stand on things, and (b) I seem to have ticked off most of my more party-loyal friends this week for other reasons, so I may as well get it all done with at once. Governor: Haley Barbour (R, incumbent). The Democratic challenger is running an anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-immigrant campaign that seems to be predicated on the idea that there is no constitutional separation of church and state. The incumbent is running a relatively inclusive, issue-oriented campaign that emphasizes tort reform and economic growth. The challenger has two legitimate policy advantages over the incumbent: Medicaid cuts and Katrina block grant funding. Unfortunately, the challenger has not explained how he would get folks who have been dropped from Medicaid back on the rolls, and the Katrina block grant funding shift has the promising side effect of encouraging low-income home ownership. A great deal has been written (by me, among others) of the state’s rising infant mortality rate, and for this reason alone I was originally prepared to endorse Eaves–but over time I realized that the infant mortality rate has more to do with the OB/GYN shortage than anything Haley Barbour has done, and that his medical tort reform policies represent the only direct way to address the OB/GYN shortage. The truth of the matter is that even from the perspective of reducing infant mortality, Barbour is the superior candidate. Unless things change drastically over the next two months, I will be voting for a Republican gubernatorial candidate for the first time in my life–and I’m sure I won’t be the only one.Lieutenant Governor: Jamie Franks (D). Unlike Barbour, Bryant can’t claim to have run an above-the-board campaign; he has gone for scorched earth, dating all the way back to his “auditor’s report” on illegal immigration last year (based on numbers so speculative that if the report were published and sold at Barnes & Noble, it would have to be placed in the Science Fiction section). While he has recently emphasized education and other practical issues, much of the damage has been done; Eaves still cites Bryant’s numbers in his own anti-immigrant material. There’s also the lawmaking aspect of things to consider: with the House speakership in question and a Barbour victory all but certain, it would be nice to have Democrats running the major state senate committees.

Attorney General: Jim Hood (D, incumbent). A no-brainer. Republican challenger Al Hopkins has strong qualifications, but Hood’s efforts on domestic violence and cybercrime alone are enough to earn my vote.

Secretary of State: Delbert Hosemann (R). Hosemann never ran an anti-immigrant campaign; his statement that he would not allow undocumented immigrants to vote is an accurate summary of what any secretary of state, Democratic or Republican, would do if elected. Hosemann also holds the distinction of beating Mike Lott, our state’s least immigration-friendly legislator, in the Republican primaries. I have traditionally opposed voter ID, which Hosemann supports, but the SoS is an administrative position rather than a legislative position; the most significant power the secretary of state has is the power to screw up. Rob Smith is not an offensive candidate, but looking at both candidates’ qualifications I have to favor Hosemann.

Treasurer: Tate Reeves (R, incumbent). Democratic challenger Shawn O’Hara runs for everything, which is not a good recipe for success for what is effectively an administrative position. Reeves hasn’t done anything offensive in the last four years, and I don’t expect he’ll do anything offensive in the next four, either. We may as well keep him.

Auditor: Mike Sumrall (D). I just like the fact that he has no higher political aspirations than state auditor, he has an accounting background, and he just wants to get down to business. I don’t think Stacey Pickering would destroy our state or anything if he got elected, but Sumrall is my favorite of the two.

Agriculture Commissioner: Rickey Cole (D). I don’t feel strongly about this race, to be perfectly honest. I just don’t want to reelect Lester Spell.

Insurance Commissioner: Gary Anderson (D). He beat George Dale in the primaries, which made me very happy. Republican contender Mike Chaney is a strong candidate with bipartisan appeal, but as long as the insurance commissioner is going to be an elected rather than appointed official, we may as well elect somebody who will represent a viewpoint different from that of the governor.

8 comments  

Jim Hood TV ad up.. and a little early analysis

September 13, 2007

From Cotton Mouth

Incumbent Attorney General Jim Hood went up on TV yesterday.  I think the ad is pretty good not a home run but I believe that this ad is a nice little window into Hoods re-election campaign plan.  “I am not a Defense Attorney” and “Never Defended Criminals” those lines were not included on accident.  I have not done sufficient research on Hopkins to see what Hood may be hinting at, but now I know where to look.

Mark my words this race will get ugly, Hood sold his soul to the trial lawyers in 03 and they don’t want him to go (they make too much taxpayer money from him) you cant use a public office to make your buddies rich without leaving a trail and this is why in my preliminary estimates I think Hopkins has a fighting chance depending mostly on his overall fund raising success and ability to clearly formulate a message on Hoods glaring weaknesses.  Because to be certain Hood has serious strengths for Big Al to overcome.

 Central themes of this first effort by Hood are very standard, apparently targeted toward building up a little public good will before Hood and Hopkins go to tearing each other apart like (Insert Extremely Tasteless Michael Vick Joke Here)

ROM Overall Grade= C+ 

What is up with his hair anyway?

Letter to Les Riley from the SOS office

September 11, 2007

***Update*** Les Riley Remains on the Ballot for November 6 hooray for Democracy

lesrileyletter.pdf

***ROM Exclusive***

PDF of the letter from the Secretary of State’s office to Les Riley about the investigation of his candidacy.

from Willie C. Allen at the SOS

Public thank you to my source on this.

Very Cool

-ROM