During the Jamie Franks vs Barbara Blackmon fight over Sam Hall, it seemed everyone claimed to be in charge but no one was actually running the Party. The question often asked: “Who has the keys?” In other words, everybody who was anybody seemed to be able to host a press conference inside the headquarters even when they were attacking the “Chairman” Jamie Franks. I don’t know if they are the big-tent party but they are the open-door party…to everyone…even campaigns during a primary.
The Jackson Free Press reports that campaign workers for Marshand Crisler, Democratic candidate for Mayor of Jackson, used the Mississippi Democratic Party Headquarters to make calls in their campaign against Harvey Johnson, another Democratic candidate for Mayor of Jackson.
Jamie Franks continues his administration’s record of apology and excuses.
Chairman Jamie Franks said today that the state party remains neutral in the Jackson mayoral Democratic runoff.
It was brought to the attention of Chairman Franks and Executive Director Sam Hall that calls originated from the office on behalf of Crisler. The calls were made on Friday, May 15. Both Franks and Hall were out of town in Richmond, Va., for a DNC conference.
“These calls were not authorized by the Party, and their being made from party office was a mistake,” Franks said. “The Mississippi Democratic Party remains neutral in this primary, like all Democratic primaries.”
The calls were allowed to be made at the office when representatives of the Crisler campaign told a party official that their phone system was down.
“While we want to help any Democratic candidate when they are in a bind, the Party does not get involved with individual campaigns during primary elections,” Franks said. “We regret that these calls took place. It was a mistake, and the person responsible understands that it will not happen again.”
So who is “the person responsible”? With Franks and Hall out of town, my guess would be Chris Smith, who Hall hired to help appease Democratic State Executive Committee members who wanted Smith for Hall’s job. Smith worked on the Travis Childers campaign. But the thing that keeps me from being sure about that guess is that we still don’t know, “Who has the keys?” The lack of answer to that question is a metaphor on Franks apparent “leadership.”