Archive for the ‘Money in Politics’ category

Lynn Fitch for Treasurer campaign on the air with GREAT ads

July 12, 2011

With 2 really high quality ads. Produced by: Dresner Wickers Associates

“JT”

ROM Overall Grade: A+

“On Day One”

ROM Overall Grade: B

We really like these ads, certainly stronger in the production department than Lucien Smith.  “JT” is the strongest of the 2 ads by far with extra points for creativity and we like the gag about not using a high priced media consultant when they are using one of the highest priced firms in the business, although i would say they got their moneys worth here, the ads are sharp, crisp, well written, lighted and executed.

With the exception of Max Phillips’ spots these would be the biggest surprise hits so far in the 2011 races.

Interested to see what Lee Yancey comes up with, right now Lynn is certainly leading in the air war if she can afford to keep them on the air.

-ROM

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Max Phillips (R) vs. Cindy Hyde-Smith (D) for Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner

July 11, 2011

**Update 7/28** Max Phillips was endorsed by the Clarion Ledger: READ HERE

The Neshoba County fair coverage seemed to be uneventful with all candidates staying civil AP COVERAGE HERE

Alan Lange the very accurate and respected handicapper at YallPolitics picked Max Phillips to win in a close race with Cindy Hyde-Smith running second READ HERE

Cindy Hyde-Smith was endorsed by outgoing Ag Commissioner Lester Spell

There are 2 active campaigns, Max Phillips and Cindy Hyde-Smith who look ready to duke it out for the Republican nod on August 2nd.

The amount of emails and traffic from our original post on this race received leads us to believe that there is a lot more interest in this race than most political insiders might think.

A breakdown of where the race stands right now:

Campaign finance numbers have pulled close to equal with Max Phillips continuing to hold a slight edge.

After exhaustive conversations with everyone who would speak to us off the record about the race (GOP county officers, local officials, Tea Party reps, Republican hacks and a couple lobbyists) our notes revealed common themes and phrases, the most common of those are as follows:

Cindy Hyde-Smith: is actually somewhat despised by the grass-roots because they resent the fact that she changed parties only to run for this office, she is essentially a Democrat in a Republican primary, but was an early Jackson Lobbyist favorite who was fading fast until she infused her campaign with $40,000 personal contribution and pulled in some money from Labor Unions. Hyde-Smith seems to have the support of Democrats, Lobbyists and Labor Unions but we don’t see any Republican groups supporting her right now and have a hard time imagining any Conservative backing someone who was in the same party as Barack Obama only 6 months ago, has only been in elected office as a Democrat and voted for the beef plant.

Although Hyde-Smith did get a nice article from Sid Salter comparing her to Geraldine Ferraro here

***Updated*** Cindy Hyde-Smith released her ad today 7/15/11

not too shabby really, for a normal Commissioner of Ag candidate it’s par for the course, it does some tricks to hide the fact that Cindy was not born on a farm, says “born in a Christian household” and that her daughter will be “a 5th generation farmer” and she calls herself a Republican which is a recent development but we digress.

***Updated Again*** After further review we feel that Cindy Hyde-Smith should be chastised for this screen shot, it it blatantly misleading, her father was a truck driver and not a farmer, this is trying to be too cute and this screen shot is a lie, decide for yourself:

The above statement is false and misleading

ROM Overall Grade D- for attempting to mislead voters into thinking she is a farmer.

****ANOTHER UPDATE****

This video was emailed to us from a well known Mississippi politico apparently someone is not too happy about Cindy Hyde-Smith and her resume inflation, so much so that they made a little video about it.

Max Phillips: Grassroots favorite and Tea-Party backed candidate who’s campaign stumbled and failed to gain momentum out of the gate has apparently righted the ship has put some money in the bank and has been quickly gaining establishment backing and winning back early Hyde-Smith backers.

And in the biggest news out of this race in cycles Max Phillips has just released his first campaign advertisement. (you heard it right folks a real TV ad in an Ag Commissioners race)  We did not expect to see anything substantial out of either campaign until the last week or so.

It can be viewed here:

The ad is surprising if not shocking in how good it is for Ag commissioner candidate, it’s very funny, has great visuals, real talking points and even has a subtle highlight of the difference between the candidates (Cindy Hyde-Smith does not seem like the type to get her boots dirty).  It looks to be as well produced as anything around the state right now.

If Max Phillips can raise enough money to keep this on the air he may be able to win this without a runoff.  If nothing else this is going to force Cindy’s hand.  We will see what she can come back with. (*update* we have seen and it is posted above… Yawn)

ROM Overall Grade: A+

This race should be an easy one to call although it’s far from over, electing a Democrat who is funded by labor union money in Republican primary to this office would truly be an embarrassment to Conservatives across the state.  ROM pulls the trigger in it’s first race of the year and officially endorses Max Phillips for Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce in the August 2nd Republican Primary.

-ROM

***Updated*** Dr. Dannie Reed is still around, we had not seen a sign or an ad or a piece of mail or a strong fundraising report so we mistakenly assumed that he was not pursuing the race with real vigor he dropped by and added a comment so we felt obliged to include it in the post out of equal time/fairness or whatever.

From Rep Dannie Reed: “That (sic) is Dr. Dannie Reed, Doctorate of Agriculture Real Experience (sic) , servicing and developing farmers and Ag. as a County Agent. Elected Twice as a Republican, never lost, unoposed (sic) second race. But worked every day and not a lobbyist . The people will see who is the best,”

Will Longwitz vs. Charles Barbour State Senate 25 Primary

July 8, 2011

In what is shaping up to be one of the most interesting legislative primaries of the year: Will Longwitz and Charles Barbour will square off on August 2nd for what is essentially as safe GOP seat.  The people of Madison and Hinds counties have a pretty clear choice in this one.

While Charles Barbour has the last name, it seems that Will Longwitz has the campaign organization and the right people on this recently released fundraiser invitation.  Most handicappers we know put Longwitz as the underdog early but his campaign seems to be hitting it’s stride.

We will be updating this post with new information on the race as you can count on it being one to watch and going down to the wire, I will say that from the outset of the campaign we thought that Will Longwitz was by far the better choice for Conservatives, but maybe the Barbour name will carry Charles, his own record certainly won’t help his chances.

-ROM

Lucien Smith releases his first ad of the Treasurers race

July 7, 2011

Lucien Smith who has out=raised his 2 opponents Lynn Fitch and Lee Yancey for the office of State Treasurer has earned the luxury of being on TV first.  (Lynn, Lee and Lucien what are the odds really?)

His ad can be seen here:

Initial thoughts: While the script is well written and says the right things (except for starting with Haley, I think that takes away a chance to introduce the candidate immediately), but the production value is mid-range at best, the audio is good but the visuals leave something to be desired, the scenes look to be poorly lighted and we are not a big fan of the graphics.

Strong effort, and good message but a bit of a fumble on the execution by whatever media team put this together.

ROM: Overall Grade C+ (B+ for Message and C- for production)

Please note we may be a little hard here on Lucien but we expect a lot.

-ROM

Ricky Dombrowski: Late on his taxes AND campaign finance reports

May 12, 2011

Seems like our hard partying friend Ricky Dombrowski just can’t get it together, last night he was late filing his periodic campaign finance report , it was due by 5:00 PM to the Secretary of States office but it did not arrive by fax until 1:28 AM on March 11th from Election Impact Group (a one man “group” consisting of Howie Morgan) according to the fax time stamp printed on the top of his report (LINK) (due to the photo we recently posted (LINK) we can only speculate as to what he was doing up so late).  One would think that someone running for Secretary of State, the office that is in charge of this kind of thing might know that.

So we took a look around and found out that Ricky seems to have a problem getting things in on time, most notably Ricky Dombrowski was late paying his taxes for THREE YEARS IN A ROW (among other things, more on that later), see the below article from the Sun Herald Archives:

QUOTE: “Shoot, I hate it more than anybody because I’m an elected official and it gets written up in the paper if I don’t pay them,” he said. “. . .The point is, they get paid.” — Gulfport Councilman Ricky Dombrowski, on being late paying his taxes for the third year in a row.

Sun Herald, The (Biloxi, MS)
August 19, 2003 Page: A2

2 COUNCIL MEMBERS LATE WITH TAXES SAVANT, DOMBROWSKI WILL PAY THEM
Author: MIKE CUMMINGS/THE SUN HERALD

GULFPORT — Gulfport City Councilmen Ricky Dombrowski and Kim Savant are late in paying their property taxes for a third consecutive year, records show.
Savant currently is behind $6,204 on three properties.”They’re my commercial properties,” he said. “They’ll be paid before the first of the year. They always are.”
Last year, Savant was late paying $453 for a single property. He was behind $2,711 for a climate-controlled warehouse in 2001. Two years ago, Dombrowski was late paying $4,179 on four properties. He was behind $3,170 on two properties last year. The current list shows Dombrowski has a tax liability of $4,597 on five properties, including his West Gulfport glass shop.

“I don’t have the money to pay it,” Dombrowski said, adding that he will pay the tax charges plus any penalties once he has the money.

He said his glass business is owed about $40,000 from customers. He said he made a decision to pay off his suppliers but hold off on paying some of his property taxes until he had the money to cover them.

“It’s not a great business decision, but it’s not a bad business decision,” he said.

Dombrowski said he also is trying to sell the beachfront water slide he owns and could use the proceeds to cover the delinquent taxes.

“Shoot, I hate it more than anybody because I’m an elected official and it gets written up in the paper if I don’t pay them,” he said. “. . .The point is, they get paid,”

The taxes, for the year 2002, were due Feb. 1. The delinquent properties are scheduled to be auctioned on Aug. 25. But property owners have two years to reimburse (with interest) anyone who pays the balance and retain their property.

Councilman Billy Hewes also is listed this year for a tax liability of $1,016.54 for a property on Klein Road, but he said he sold the property more than a year ago.

“Apparently, they haven’t gotten it converted at the courthouse yet,” he said.
—Mike Cummings

(EMPHASIS ADDED)

Sounds like a great candidate for Secretary of State.

-ROM

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