Archive for the ‘Jim Hood’ category

Hood – “Protecting Mike Moore”

October 13, 2011

When more than 750,000 Mississippians were on Medicaid (many of the obviously “Mississippi Families”), Attorney General Jim Hood chose sides against the legislature, the governor, the Mississippi Health Care Trust Fund, and the Mississippi Division of Medicaid. But he did pick a side: Mike Moore.

Attorney General Jim Hood sought to continue to divert $20 million a year away from the needs of Mississippi’s health care and to a private nonprofit organization which his buddy Mike Moore was/is chairman. That money was part of the tobacco settlement designed to reimburse Mississippi’s Medicaid program and health care costs.

When it came time to line up to “protect Mississippi families” Hood chose Mike Moore instead.

Mike Moore and Jim Hood

The Supreme Court of Mississippi puts it all out there in this decision: No. 2006-SA-01088-SCT

In case you don’t recall the outcome, the Supreme Court overwhelmingly agreed with Governor Haley Barbour, the Mississippi Division of Medicaid, and the Mississippi Health Care Trust Fund and ruled against Attorney General Jim Hood and The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi.  That ruling allows for $20 million more dollars a year to go toward “protecting Mississippi families” rather than to Mike Moore’s private nonprofit organization…and Jim Hood opposed that ruling.

Jim Hood is running for reelection on the platform of “Protecting Mississippi Families” but who does he really represent? Maybe it should be “Protecting Mississippi Lawyers (Who Are Hood’s Friends).”

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Hood’s Campaign: “Protecting Mississippi Families”

October 9, 2011

No, this is not a joke.  Jim Hood is running for reelection with the tagline “Protecting Mississippi Families.”

The obvious question is “Whose family is he protecting?”

Dickie Scruggs, Steve Patterson, and former Special Assistant Attorneys General Joey Langston and Tim Balducci

Remember what he told the Clarion Ledger?

State Attorney General Jim Hood said today it would be a conflict of interest for his office to file charges against several attorneys involved in a high-profile judicial bribery scandal.

Filing a state case now could interfere with a federal case that is already in the courts, Hood told The Clarion-Ledger at an editorial board meeting.

“I’m too close to them,” he said. “It would be like prosecuting my relatives.

Jim Hood…protecting Mississippi families.

Fortunately, the feds were protecting laws.

Leniency was key to 24-month prison sentences Friday for judicial bribery co-defendants Timothy Balducci and Steven Patterson.

It was Senior U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Jr.’s first “slack” shown in the federal case, which has scandalized the legal profession and public, and brought down one of America’s best-known attorneys, Richard “Dickie” Scruggs of Oxford.

The two men, who lived and worked together in New Albany when they were indicted Nov. 28, 2007, were the last co-defendants of the conspiracy known as Scruggs I. They, Scruggs, his lawyer son Zach and a law partner pleaded guilty to varying levels of crime associated with the attempted bribery of Circuit Judge Henry Lackey of Calhoun City in the spring of 2007.

Mississippi State Campaign Finance Reports for April 30th 2011

May 11, 2011

April 30 campaign finance reports were due today, generally these are the best indicator of who will win primaries for the statewide races as campaigns begin spending money very shortly, the April 30 reports are generally close to the high water mark for a primary campaign, many campaigns will raise more cash in the next 2 months but generally it gets harder as most have picked the low hanging fruit by now.

Cash on Hand is really all that matters so it is all we are reporting here:

GOV:

Dave Dennis: COH = $708,867.54

Phil Bryant: COH = $2,015,988.00

Bill Luckett: COH= $518,526.77

Johnny DuPree: COH= $82,752.66

Lt. GOV:

Tate Reeves: COH = $2,100,473.21

Billy Hewes: COH = $1,169,744.00

Attorney General:

Jim Hood: COH = $439,537.77

Steve Simpson: = $200,058.54

Secretary of State:

Delbert Hosemann: COH = $814,994.05

Ricky Dombrowski: = $10,847.61

State Treasurer:

Lucien Smith: COH = $427,476.00

Lynn Fitch: COH = $115,129.10

Lee Yancey: COH = $122,655.28

State Auditor:

Stacey Pickering: COH = $115,328.74

Agriculture Commissioner:

Max Phillips: COH = $136,594.08

Dannie Reed: COH = $8857.00

Cindy Hyde-Smith: COH = $37,302.50

Insurance Commissioner:

Mike Chaney: COH = $204,292.48

Updates as they become available.

-ROM

Democrats run in only 5 of 8 statewide races in Mississippi

March 2, 2011

In Case You Missed It.  August will be exciting, November will be a yawner…

Oh and who the hell is Rickey Dombrowski?  He is the only surprise of the day so we will try to find out.

More good coverage: Y’all Politics and Majority in Mississippi

-ROM

http://www.sunherald.com/2011/03/01/v-print/2906140/dems-run-in-only-5-of-8-statewide.html

Dems run in only 5 of 8 statewide races in Miss.

By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS

Republicans are running for all eight statewide offices in Mississippi this year, but Democrats are running for only five.Both major parties are fielding candidates for governor, attorney general, treasurer, agriculture commissioner and insurance commissioner.

Democrats don’t have candidates for lieutenant governor, secretary of state or auditor.

Tuesday was the qualifying deadline for statewide and regional offices, and it brought few surprises. Although former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove had been rumored as a potential candidate for lieutenant governor, he did not enter the race. Musgrove, a Democrat, was lieutenant governor from 1996 to 2000 and governor from 2000 to 2004.

This year’s party primaries are Aug. 2, and the general election is Nov. 8.

Democrats dominated Mississippi politics for generations, but Republicans began gaining momentum in 1991 with the election of businessman Kirk Fordice as governor. The GOP now holds seven of the eight statewide offices, with Attorney General Jim Hood as the lone Democrat.

Hood is seeking a third term, and his only opponent is Republican Steve Simpson, who recently resigned as state public safety commissioner.

Mississippi Democratic Party chairman Jamie Franks said Tuesday he’s disappointed the party doesn’t have a full slate of candidates.

“This is going to be a year of rebuilding,” Franks said in an interview.

Republican chairman Arnie Hederman in a statement that the GOP expects a “spirited” primary.

“We are confident that come August we will have a ticket of tested and proven conservatives to carry our message forward against the big-spending Democrats in the fall,” Hederman said.

Republican Gov. Haley Barbour can’t seek a third term.

The four Democrats who qualified to run for governor are William Bond Compton of Meridian, who ran a low-budget campaign for governor in 2007; Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree; attorney and businessman Bill Luckett of Clarksdale; and Guy Dale Shaw of Coffeeville, a former Yalobusha County tax assessor.

The Republican candidates for governor are former state employee James Broadwater of Byram; Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant of Flowood; businessman Dave Dennis of Pass Christian; Pearl River County Supervisor Hudson Holliday of Poplarville; and businessman Ron Williams of Moss Point.

William D. Oatis is running as an independent for governor. His city was not immediately available. Shawn O’Hara of Hattiesburg is running as a Reform Party candidate for governor.

O’Hara also signed up to run this year under two different party labels for state treasurer – as a Democrat and as a Reform Party candidate.

O’Hara has been a perennial fixture in Mississippi politics the past two decades and has run unsuccessfully for a host of offices, from governor to congressman to mayor. In 2007, O’Hara signed up to run for all eight statewide offices, two regional offices, two legislative seats and eight Forrest County offices. The Democratic Party told him to pick one race to run in. O’Hara appealed to circuit court, and a judge eventually told him to pick one. O’Hara ran for treasurer and lost.

This year, O’Hara faces Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran in the Democratic primary for treasurer. The open state treasurer’s race also attracted three Republicans – Lynn Fitch of Madison, director of the Mississippi Public Employees Retirement System; Lucien Smith of Jackson, an attorney and former budget adviser to Barbour; and Lee Yancey of Brandon, a state treasurer and money manager for a Jackson-area financial firm.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann of Jackson attracted a last-minute Republican primary opponent.

Gulfport City Council president Ricky Dombrowski said Tuesday during a news conference on the coast that he’s challenging Hosemann because he’s upset about Hosemann’s handling of tidelands leases in the city’s small craft harbor. The secretary of state’s office oversees leases of public lands, including tidelands. Dombrowski said he believes the city should not have to share revenue with the state.

Mississippi Campaign Finance Report Day February, 2011

February 1, 2011

Who went big and who may be stumbling out of the gate.  Those are just a few of the questions that are so frequently answered by our State’s yearly campaign finance reports.  Political junkies and reporters have been camped out on Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann’s website all day to see who did well and who fell flat in the very first real indicator of campaign and organizational strength as we move into the 2011 election season.

2 things to check out:

1. COH = Cash On Hand available

2.  Total cash burned and total burn rate (ROM formula for Burn Rate is = TOTAL SPENT 2010/TOTAL RAISED 2010) The higher the number the worse the $ burn.  This can be confusing for candidates whom have just entered a race (see the State Treasurer race where 2 candidates reported $0 expenditures)

GOV:

Dave Dennis: COH = $527,199.73 BURN RATE = .522

Phil Bryant: COH = $2,023,993 BURN RATE = .321

Bill Luckett: COH= $350,622.88 BURN RATE = .279

Lt. GOV:

Tate Reeves: COH = $1,644,598.59 BURN RATE = .167

Billy Hewes: COH = $1,016,257.67 BURN RATE = .165

Attorney General:

Jim Hood: COH = $402,378.73 BURN RATE = .266

Steve Simpson: DID NOT FILE

Secretary of State:

Delbert Hosemann: COH = $532,261.11 BURN RATE = .209

State Treasurer:

Lucien Smith: COH = $256,549.00 BURN RATE = 0

Lynn Fitch: COH = $163,119.04 BURN RATE = 0

Lee Yancey: COH = $71,410.99 BURN RATE = .233

State Auditor:

Stacey Pickering: COH = $140,097.62 BURN RATE = .546

Agriculture Commissioner:

Max Phillips: COH = $106,389.41 BURN RATE = .123

Dannie Reed: COH = $4082.72 BURN RATE = 1.07

Cindy Hyde-Smith: COH = $6664.65 BURN RATE = .675

Insurance Commissioner:

Mike Chaney: COH = $195,264.00 BURN RATE = .230

Updates as they become available.

-ROM

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.

Hood Files Katrina Lawsuit in Two Weeks; But Can’t Decide on Obamacare in Two Weeks

April 8, 2010

Respond Mississippi posted a transcript of an interview with Attorney General Jim Hood. The reporter asked Hood how long it would take him to make a decision about filing a lawsuit against Obamacare. He answered:

“Well, you know, we’ve had that issue for about two weeks now and so we’re we’re. You don’t normally file a suit within a two week period. You work on it, you work on your complaint, you review it. Florida is about to file an amended complaint. I’d like to see what their allegations are in that amended complaint. So, we get all the information we can and we’ll make a decision based on the evidence and the facts.”

If only there was someone who could persuade him to work quicker. If only there was a major campaign contributor who had interest in this. If only Dickie Scruggs was not in jail. If you go back and read the transcript during the Jim Hood and State Farm dispute you’ll see that two weeks was not too soon to file a lawsuit involving the biggest natural disaster to hit Mississippi.

From pages 78-79:

Q. General Hood, this is the settlement agreement that you’ve been testifying about for the last ten minutes, isn’t it?

A. That’s correct. It’s been marked Exhibit 27. That’s the Chancery Court, Hinds County, settlement agreement.

Q. Right. This resolved the case that you filed two weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit on August 29th, 2005?

A. Yes. Your Honor, two weeks after the hurricane I learned on Saturday when I went in and talked to the sheriff of Jackson County about the problems that they were having with this exclusionary clause and the anti-concurrent cause.

From pages 82-83:

Q. All right. You filed this case after consulting with Dickie Scruggs, didn’t you?

THE COURT: Which case are you talking about?

MR. ROBIE: The Hinds County case to try to Invalidate the water damage exclusions in the State Farm homeowners policy.

A. I consulted with a lot of people. And, your Honor, I don’t — I won’t go off on it, but I think it’s important for the court to understand why this suit was filed. It was filed two weeks after. It was strictly filed to get a quick answer so there wouldn’t be a lot of litigation. That was what I had hoped for people because I knew our courts were already shut down. The idea came from the sheriff in Jackson County. I met with Mr. Scruggs. I met with a lot of lawyers from around the state before we filed it because we wanted to pinpoint the issue just on those two issues and make it clear so we’d have a decision. We wouldn’t have had all this litigation had we had that decision.

Q. So if I heard your answer correctly, you met with Mr. Scruggs to discuss your strategy before you filed that suit within 14 days of Katrina.

So the question here is, if “you don’t normally file a suit within a two week period” was Jim Hood working outside the normal procedures with Dickie Scruggs against State Farm? How interesting.