Archive for November 2009

Luckett fumbles on unemployment

November 20, 2009

Bill Luckett’s campaign for governor continues bush-league mistakes. In an interview with Ole Miss student journalists he rightfully says, “Right now the biggest problem seems to be jobs.” Before you can tackle a problem, you have to have a realistic idea of that problem and Luckett’s campaign is never going to go anywhere as long as he continues to project his image of Clarksdale upon the rest of the state. Here is his latest fumble. It likely won’t get as much attention because it is policy oriented rather than flashy campaign missteps.

Luckett says, “”In Mississippi as a whole right now we’re running just at 11 percent unemployment.” No. Clarksdale is running right at 11.1 percent (or at least Coahoma County is), but Mississippi is at 9.8 percent. But really, whats a few thousand jobs between friends?

You can see how a Delta-centric view infects his campaign by his business partners’ oft-reported on remarks about Mississippians being “mule-headed farmers” – a reference to Delta politics that hasn’t been an aspect in statewide politics for decades, as well as his own accusation that independents and Republicans are somehow “racists” because of his personal experiences regarding racial issues in the Delta.

Haley Barbour was from the Delta, or at least the gateway to the Delta, Yazoo City. Ronnie Musgrove was from Batesville and Kirk Fordice was from Vicksburg. But they all had a statewide perspective in their campaigns and their policies. Luckett will never get out of Clarksdale if he doesn’t first get his thinking out of Clarksdale.

Also, wasn’t Luckett’s icon – Barack Obama – supposed to keep national unemployment below 8 percent with the stimulus? Yeah, that worked great.

(Hat-Tip to Y’all Politics for the video link.)

Another Dem switches to the GOP

November 13, 2009

The beat continues as another county-wide elected official in Simpson County leaves the Democratic Party for the Republican Party. Andy Taggart notes that Circuit Clerk Cindy Jenson decided to follow the lead of her colleagues and leave the Obama-Pelosi Party and join the GOP.

In case you missed it, here is the Republican press conference from last week announcing the first wave of switchers.

Brian Perry writes this is an opportunity like during the Clinton Administration for Republicans to clearly draw lines between the two parties.

The Clinton years from 1993 to 2001 created an atmosphere ripe for Republican growth through disenchanted Democrats. Between the election of Bill Clinton in 1992 and Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck’s switch to the Republican Party in 2002, about 50 Mississippi Democratic elected officials left to join the Republican Party, including Rep. Mike Parker in 1995. Nationwide, the Clinton administration watched as more than 440 Democrat elected officials switched to the GOP in eight years.

It may be time for the GOP to start counting again.

The six Democratic elected officials switching last week, added to the switch of Rep. Billy Nicholson earlier this year, putting the Mississippi GOP at converting an elected Democrat to their side once every six weeks since the inauguration of Barack Obama. No one expects that pace to remain constant, but if the Mississippi Republican Party continues to draw Democratic elected officials into the fold, it doesn’t matter whether it is a referendum on a growingly unpopular Democratic presidential administration, or just local politics. Either way, it is bad news for Democrats, doubly so for local ones.

I guess the question is, in the words of Bill Goldberg, “Who’s next?”

Mississippi Democrats Switch to GOP

November 6, 2009

Today at the Mississippi Republican Party, several Mississippi elected officials (mostly from Simpson County) announced they were leaving the Democratic Party and becoming Republicans.

  • 13th Circuit District Attorney Eddie Bowen (Smith, Jasper, Simpson, Covington Counties)
  • Sheriff Kenneth Lewis (Simpson County)
  • Supervisor Mickey Berry (Simpson County)
  • Justice Court Judge Eugene Knight (Simpson County)
  • Constable Dan Easterling (Simpson County)
  • Alderman Michael Shoemaker (D’Lo)

Republicans also welcomed Simpson County Coroner Terry Tutor, recently appointed to the position after the death of Democratic coroner. Tutor has announced his affiliation with the Republican Party.

On a policy matter, Republicans know it is the local government that impacts the lives of citizens every day.  These elected officials have been conservative and will continue to be conservative and now they belong to the more conservative party.  On a political matter, any good Party is built by the grassroots, local activists and local elected officials.

The Third Winning Governor: Haley Barbour

November 4, 2009

Virginia – Governor Elect – Bob McDonnell (R)

New Jersey – Governor Elect – Chris Christie (R)

Who was the third winning Republican Governor tonight? Mississippi’s own Haley Barbour, Chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association that had a clean sweep tonight. Just like his leadership in 1993 and 1994 when the Republicans took Congress, his leadership at the RGA shows his ability to play the kingmaker.

This was a note from the RGA tonight:

Republican Governors Association Chairman Governor Haley Barbour issued the following statement about the Republican Party sweeping the governors’ races in New Jersey and Virginia today:

“The RGA helped two great candidates secure historic victories for the GOP tonight. By wisely investing more than $13 million in television and radio ads, mail pieces and direct contributions, the RGA made a significant impact on the outcome of these races. These victories will give our Party momentum as we head into the 2010 elections.

When I was Republican Party chairman in the 1990’s, it was the governors who led our Party’s comeback, and I believe we jump-started that once again today. Republican victories in the 1993 New Jersey and Virginia governors’ races were the springboard for the 1994 Republican revolution. Tonight’s victories will have a similar impact.

Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie proved that voters everywhere are looking for leaders who focus on growing jobs, keeping taxes low, and strengthening the economy. They showed that by focusing on pocketbook issues Republicans can win anywhere in 2010.”

The Republican Governors Associated spent unprecedented sums on the New Jersey and Virginia races. The RGA invested more than $7 million in New Jersey and nearly $5.5 million in Virginia.

– The Washington Post called RGA’s Virginia ads “devastating.”

A Real Clear Politics headline declared: “With Christie spending limited, RGA to the rescue.”

Karl Rove wrote in The Wall Street Journal: “The Republican Governor’s Association has played what could be a decisive role in both states… In Virginia, the association tattooed Mr. Deeds as a tax raiser and slippery liberal. In New Jersey, they cut Mr. Daggett’s support in half by arguing a vote for him is a vote for Mr. Corzine.”

– MSNBC reported: “When all the votes are counted Tuesday, if Christie pulls it off, the RGA certainly deserves some credit.”

Haley Barbour on New Jersey, Virginia

November 4, 2009

The Republican Governors Association just sent out this “A Note From Haley” Barbour on today’s gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia.

The voters in New Jersey and Virginia are at the polls. The RGA has put $13 million dollars of your money into these races, and I’m confident our efforts will pay off.

Heading into this year, we knew it was important to win at least one of the 2009 governors’ races. President Obama carried both states by wide margins last year, and Virginia has been trending more and more Democratic every year. Winning one state will shift momentum back to the GOP, and winning both would be a springboard for the 2010 elections.

Because of its proximity to DC and the fact it is an open seat, the Virginia race has particular significance. Bob McDonnell has run a campaign based on the pocketbook issues voters care about – jobs, the economy, healthcare and energy. The polls show him in a solid position and his campaign offers a solid roadmap for Republicans running in 2010. Virginia is a swing state that had been trending Democratic since we last won the governor’s race in 1997. A victory by Bob will signify a major turning point.

The New Jersey election features an incumbent governor, and races against incumbents are always more about that governor’s record than anything else. Five public polls were released yesterday. Three polls show Chris Christie with the lead and two polls show Jon Corzine ahead. While the polls do not show a clear frontrunner, they do reveal that Christie has gained the momentum. Now, at just the right time, Christie is seeing an uptick in the polls while Corzine has faded slightly. And thanks to the RGA’s advertising, Independent candidate Chris Daggett now is pulling more votes from Corzine than he is from Christie. This race could still go either way, and Christie has been outspent enormously; but I still like the position we’re in at the close.

Thanks to your support, the RGA was able to make unprecedented investments in both New Jersey and Virginia. I am proud of RGA’s efforts in both states. Our independent ads in Virginia dramatically shifted the way voters feel about Democrat Creigh Deeds and our early direct investment in Bob’s campaign this spring ensured the campaign developed on his terms. Our New Jersey independent ads this summer carried the Christie campaign through Labor Day with the lead and our unprecedented ad buy this fall allowed Christie to regain momentum.

I really appreciate the support you have given RGA, but this is just the beginning. Tomorrow the stakes are even higher as we enter a year with 37 governors’ races. More than twenty of the races will feature open seats. I hope tonight we will be able to add two colleagues to help us with the task ahead.


Haley Barbour
Governor of Mississippi
RGA Chairman