Archive for March 2009

Barbara Blackmon vs Jamie Franks

March 30, 2009

Lets do a quick recap. The Democrats met one Saturday and hired Sam Hall to be their new executive director and rejected Ike Brown’s attempt to return to the state executive committee.

The next Saturday, Democrats met once again. Chairman Jamie Franks was out of town. Vice Chairman Barbara Blackmon conducted the meeting. The reversed course and nullified Hall’s hire and also allowed Ike Brown back onto the committee. Afterward, Franks declared that whole meeting was null and void.

The following Thursday, Chairman Jamie Franks conducted a meeting in which he formally ratified the hiring of Sam Hall. Next he took the fight against Blackmon. Franks appointed Eduardo Martinez as Interim Executive Vice Chair. The next day, Blackmon called a meeting at the Democratic Party Headquarters. WJTV and WLBT attended. The latter reported:

Some members of the state Democratic committee are calling some of the chairman’s actions illegal.

State Democratic Vice Chair Barbara Blackmon says Jamie Franks’ appointment last night of Eduardo Martinez as Interim Executive Vice Chair was unlawful and unconstitutional.

Blackmon says Martinez was not a member of the administrative committee. Therefore cannot serve on it. She also says since Franks is white.

Blackmon says, according to the state Democratic constitution, if the chairman of the party is white, the Executive Vice Chair needs to be African American.

“A Hispanic is not defined as a race. It’s defined as an ethnicity. You cannot inject a Hispanic in that position,” said Blackmon.

Franks says Martinez is of the opposite race of himself and Martinez does not plan to seek the permanent position.

It just doesn’t get any better than this. Maybe next, Blackmon will attempt to unseat Franks as Chairman. Or maybe this will lead to a full split and a return to two parties: The Freedom Democratic Party and the Loyalist Democratic Party. Whatever happens, none of this is good news for the political future of Franks.

Jamie Franks vs Barbara Blackmon

March 24, 2009

In 2003, then State Senator Barbara Blackmon was the Democratic Party’s nominee for lieutenant governor. In 2007, then State Representative Jamie Franks was the Democratic Party’s nominee for lieutenant governor. They both lost. Today, Jamie Franks is Chairman and Barbara Blackmon is Vice-Chairman of Mississippi Democrats. Two Dems enter; one Dem leaves. The battle has begun.

The Democrats met recently and hired Sam Hall to be executive director and turned away Ike Brown from rejoining their leadership committee. Then while most people in Jackson were partying at Mals St. Paddy’s Day Parade, the Democrats met again and revoked Sam Hall’s hiring and allowed Ike Brown to join the committee. Jamie Franks was out of town and did not attend the meeting.

Chairman Jamie Franks says everything that happened at the meeting is null and void and orchestrated by a “rogue, radical group.” He says Sam Hall is executive director and Ike Brown is not on the committee.

Vice-Chairman Barbara Blackmon says the meeting was legal and binding. She says Sam Hall never was executive director and that while she is not a supporter of Ike Brown, he is on the committee.

WLBT covered it on their 5pm and 6pm reports today.

Chairman Jamie Franks takes a direct shot at his Vice Chairman, “We’re supposed to be the party of the big tent, not the party of Barbara Blackmon and Ike Brown.”

Hall Out; Ike In

March 23, 2009

I haven’t seen this in the news yet, but according to Natalie Chandler (hat tip Y’all Politics), the Democratic State Executive Committee voted to reinstate Ike Brown as a member of the Mississippi Democrats’ governing board.  They also rejected the hiring of Sam Hall as executive director, a position he was to begin this month, and reopened the selection process. Brown is a former convicted felon pardoned by Governor Ray Mabus and more recently was sanctioned by the Department of Justice (upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals) for violating the voting rights of white Democrats.  Sam Hall is a former newspaper editor and more recently manager of Jim Kitchens’ successful campaign against Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Jim Smith

Well, my name it is Sam Hall, Sam Hall.

March 18, 2009

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.

Fox Watching The Henhouse

March 13, 2009

The Daily Journal’s Patsy Brumfield reported that Christi R. McCoy of Oxford  may be the next Northern District US Attorney.  Folo brings us the important part, she is Steve Patterson’s defense attorney.

I watched that HBO movie on the Florida 2000 Recount. There was a scene where a Republican advisor told Secretary of State Katherine Harris that she needed to bring the election in for a landing. If Bennie Thompson succeeds in putting one of the Scruggs defendants’ defense attorneys in charge of the prosecution, he will indeed have brought this whole thing in for a landing.