Archive for December 2010

Mule Headed Bloggers Against Bill Luckett

December 30, 2010

Morgan Freeman demonstrated disrespect and a lack of political understanding of Mississippi when he told the Associated Press he is supporting Luckett because: “Reform in Mississippi is hard because the base stock of this state is a mule-headed bunch of farmers.  Those farmers have ruled the roost for so long because this is an agricultural state.”Freeman sent a fundraising letter which said, “Holding on to the old politics of race, class and region has starved Mississippi for too long.” (Our post on that here.)

Now Charlie Mitchell writes the Luckett campaign is dimissing that insult by embracing it.

Bill Luckett, Delta lawyer and “binisman” (in Haley-speak) is handing out bumper stickers that read, “Mule-Headed Farmers For Bill.”

The slogan turns what was seen as a gaffe into a big plus, destined for the textbooks of campaignery.

There were gasps when super-Mississippian Morgan Freeman, who is supporting Luckett, his restaurant partner and friend, for the Democratic nomination for governor, told The Associated Press, “Reform in Mississippi is hard because the base stock of this state is a mule-headed bunch of farmers.”

But the bumper stickers make lemonade from lemons, and may be followed by a larger array: Mule-Headed Teachers for Bill, Mule-Headed waiters, welders, washerwomen.

Clever, but Mule Headed Bloggers are going to remember the comment was not made to be endearing but insulting. Ironically, Luckett has chosen the only animal worse than a donkey to represent him. As we mentioned in our earlier post, the Donkey Party is slowly dying in Mississippi. Now the person who wants to lead that party as their gubernatorial nominee, has chosen the infertile son of a donkey as his emblem.

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More Switchers: #15 #16 #17 elected Democrats become Republicans

December 30, 2010

State Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, state Representative Bobby Shows, and Simpson County Superintendent of Education Joe Welch all switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party this week. Seventeen elected Democratic officials have switched to the Mississippi Republican Party in the past two years. These switchers continue to provide proof of Sid Salter’s question of whether the Mississippi Democratic Party is going AWOL.

The invisibility of the Mississippi Democratic Party in the midterms was simply stunning. Meanwhile, Mississippi Republicans are operating a fully-functional, 24/7/365 effort in the state. State GOP chairman Brad White’s visibility and party-building work was constant during the midterms.

During a talk radio interview with state Sen. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis last week, I asked Baria if we had reached the point in Mississippi that winning the Republican nomination in Mississippi was tantamount to winning the election.

On the air and on the record, Baria said: “We’re close to that. The Democratic Party is in trouble in Mississippi and we’ve got to get better organization and better leadership.”

There are other Democrats who are losing faith both in the philosophies of the party and in the organizational viability of the Mississippi party proper.

The fact is that Mississippi Democrats may well have lost ground over the first two years of Obama’s tenure.

But for incumbent Democrats facing the voters in 2011, the 2010 midterms and the general lack of organization and activity in the Mississippi Democratic Party have to make those candidates wonder if the party structure will be AWOL next fall?

#14 – Another Democrat Becomes Republican

December 9, 2010

The latest Democrat elected official (which if you’re keeping score is 14 since the innauguration of President Obama) is Central District Public Service Commissioner Lynn Posey. He switched today.  A longtime legislator, he was elected in 2007 to the PSC and will will run for reelection in 2011 on the GOP ticket.

Posey said, “It is an honor and a privilege to represent the people of the Central District, and I take my responsibility very seriously. However, the Democratic Party’s continued swing to the left has left me so out of sync with the party that I feel I must switch to the Republican Party whose philosophy is more in line with my own and the majority of the people of the Central District. I will continue to provide the type of service all of the people of the Central District deserve and ask for their continued prayers and support.”

As ususal, the Democrats like Jamie Franks lambasted (basically calling him a coward and a traitor) Posey as he walked out the door, which begs the question, who will the last Democrat yell at or blame when he walks out the door. In contrast, Jere Nash said Posey “took the honorable course with this party switch.”

Republicans are thankful everytime they hear the words “Democratic Chairman Jamie Franks” but Democrats might consider if they want an adult to run their party, someone like Jere Nash instead.

Jim Hood: Contracts for Contributions?

December 3, 2010

The American Tort Reform Association released a report on Attorneys General in six states: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York and West Virginia. The Report is titled: “Beyond Reproach? Fostering Integrity and Public Trust in the Offices of State Attorneys General.”

Sadly for Mississippi, Hood has not operated his office “beyond reproach” or else this, er, reproach would not be directed toward him. Even if he did everything right, it smells so bad that he has diminished the confidence of the people in his office. Consider this from the Legal Newsline coverage of the report:

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has seen several of his largest contributors run afoul of the law. Dickie Scruggs and Joey Langston are both in jail for judicial bribery schemes.

In the five years following Hood’s election in 2003, he hired at least 27 law firms to file at least 20 lawsuits, the report says. Those firms and their attorneys gave Hood $543,000 for his campaigns.

One of those firms is Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman, which was selected to represent a state retirement fund in a lawsuit against Delphi Corp. that resulted in a $333 million settlement and $40 million in attorneys fees.

The firm has given $149,056 to Hood since 2005. Hood also received $75,000 from Houston-based Bailey Perrin Bailey, which he chose to represent the State against Eli Lilly.

So you contribute to a campaign and then get a contract from the state and make millions of dollars. Some will say that happens all the time. You put in a bid, the application is reviewed, some independent committee picks the best deal for the state, and you shouldn’t be punished for contributing to a candidate.

The difference here? Jim Hood picks who gets the contracts. There are no bids. No applications. No independent review. The guy who gets the contributions is also the guy awarding the contracts. Like I said, maybe he did everything right, but it still smells and that alone brings the reproach.