Jamie Franks has done it again. We have a Harry Dunne to his Lloyd Christmas. Sam Hall, the incoming executive director for the Mississippi Democrats has made quite an impression, and he hasn’t even started yet. It began when Willie Griffin, a member of the Democratic State Executive Committee, accused Hall of not being a real Democrat, not being loyal to the party because in the past he has endorsed Republicans.
Now some Democratic legislators are upset because Hall has accused them of not being real Democrats, not being loyal to the party because in the past they have endorsed Republican ideas.
To be accurate, here is what Sam Hall wrote on his blog in a post “Now the party label matches the votes” and subsequent comments. Hall commented on Representative Billy Nicholson’s switch from the Democratic to the Republican Party, and his thoughts on real Democrats. Hall has apparently removed the post.
It’s just as well, considering he’s voted like a Republican for some time now…not to scoff at the loss, but it would be different if Democrat who supported Democratic prinicples – even a slight majority of the time – switched parties. You’ll remember that Nicholson voted for Rep. Jeff Smith in the Speaker’s race. In Nichols, like others, this was not the case. In fact, the last real example I can think of is Amy Tuck…There is a real difference between conservative Democrats and some of the folks who call themselves Democrats but always vote with Rpublicans. (They keep the D behind their name because that’s what it takes to get re-elected in their district…)…Like it or not, party members are expected to support their party leadership. That’s the way the gam is played…The general public may not like partisan politics, but it is a necessary evil…There are a number of Democrats in the House who vote nearly lock, stock and barrel with Republicans. They carry the D behind their name simply to get elected in their districts. If they ever thought they could get re-elected as a Republican, they would switch parties…When Speaker McCoy retires, there will be a change in Democratic leadership, and I’ll support the Democrats who lead, not the Democrats who follow orders from Republican leaders. And, therefore, I maintain Jeff Smith would not have represented Democratic leadership.
Paul Gallo had Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Brad White on his Supertalk program this morning to discuss the controversy. White said if there is one thing he and Sam Hall could agree on, its that conservative legislators should be in the Republican Party. Gallo will have Jeff Smith on Tuesday morning to discuss it some more (HT: Y’all Politics). Gallo is calling it Hall’s CCC Plan: Conservative Cleansing Commitment.
Majority In Mississippi did some digging (welcome back brothers) to find some of Hall’s advice to Democrats when he was in the newspaper business. These are some interesting quotes, considering current times.
Sam Hall criticized Billy Nicholson for switching, but back when Amy Tuck switched Hall said it was the Democrats who had “fallen out of touch with some of their bread-and-butter elected officials.”
Sam Hall blamed the movement of conservatives into the Republican Party on trial lawyers, “But so long as the trial lawyer lobby in Mississippi continues to control the Democratic leadership, conservative Democrats will only find allies in Republicans.” Hall’s most recent job was to elect the trial lawyer’s candidate to the Mississippi Supreme Court. Now Hall works for Chairman Jamie Franks, trial lawyer.
Sam Hall continues, “It is quite clear many Democratic lawmakers are not happy with their state party. It is also clear a majority of Mississippians tend to lean toward and vote for more conservative candidates. If Democrats want to keep that comfortable majority in the House – and any majority in the Senate – they better wake up and make some changes.”
I dare say that many Democratic lawmakers are still not happy with their state party, and Sam Hall is responsible for that.