Thursday, January 31, 2008

Gannett Papers Websites / The New Ones Look All The Same

Clarion Ledger (Mississippi)

The Desert Sun (California)

The Des Moines Register (Iowa)

Fewer writers, fewer programers, less content... that's the Gannett way!

Travis Childers' Announcement In Oxford, MS (Video)

Thanks to Cotton Mouth's very own 'OleMiss' we bring you this video from Travis Childers' stop in Oxford, Mississippi.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Let me know what you think. Comments are encouraged.

Baby Got Barack (Crazy Awesome)

Democratic Candidates' Facebook Groups

Ronnie Musgrove:
Official Ronnie Musgrove Page
Gov. Ronnie Musgrove for United States Senate (independent group)

Travis Childers:
Travis W. Childers for Congress

Steve Holland:
Official Steve Holland Page

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thank You John Edwards For Class And A Focus On Poverty And Recovery

John Edwards ended his campaign the same place he started it.

"to remind the country that we as citizens and as a government have a moral responsibility to each other and what we do together matters"

thecount said it very well in the comments:
Thank you John and Elizabeth Edwards for fighting the good fight. Thank you for speaking up for the poor. Thank you for pushing for universal health care. Thank you for keeping the discussion on these topics which are so important. I can't help but think he was doing the Lord's work. God bless him.

It is with his return to New Orleans that I go back to certain numbers:
There are 35,129 Mississippians are still living in FEMA housing and only $1.64 billion of that money had actually been spent re-building the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Nolan Mettetal Takes Final Step, Switches Parties

Nolan Mettetal has officially switched parties. All I can say is it's about time.

Miss. senator switching to GOP
Sen. Nolan Mettetal of Sardis told The Clarion-Ledger this morning he is switching his political affiliation to the Republican Party.
A commenter gives their perspective:
This is a sad day for the good people of Panola County. He ran and won on the back of the Democrats, then switched parties. He come around to all the black churches and and song that same old song, and got in and now he switched parties... I think it is a shame!

We told you last May that newly Republican State Senator Nolan Mettetal was a Democrat in Name Only.

In this post we outlined the race between Nolan Mettetal and his Democratic primary opponent Mona Pittman

In this post we outlined why Nolan Mettetal was a Democrat in Name Only

In this post we outlined Mona Pittman's passion for education

The Democrats respond:
“It’s unfortunate that Democrats in Panola and Tate counties who thought they were voting for a Democrat in last year’s state Senate elections now suddenly find themselves without representation for the next four years,” Dowdy said.

“The Mississippi Democratic Party has always welcomed everyone in our organization. To say that conservatives are not welcome is completely untrue.

To say that Mississippi Democrats don't welcome conservatives is laughable. Between John Arthur Eaves, Jamie Franks, Ronnie Musgrove and Gene Taylor it's hard to say that there isn't a place for conservatives in the Mississippi Democratic Party.

Edwards Expected To Drop Out Of Race In New Orleans

Edwards expected to drop out of race today

Video I and a friend put together after we attended the John Edwards event in Canton, MS on his poverty tour.

David Landrum Ad: "The Liberals Are Coming And They Want Your Money"

David Landrum attacks "liberals in congress" and cites what he sees as a need for a business background in whomever we send to Washington.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Use Football To Take Back the South For Democrats

See what could make good gun-toting, meat-eating, red-blooded Republican voters vote for Democrats.
So here is what Democrats need to do: Contact these players and their families and try to form a coalition. And the platform of the coalition, in the voice of the players' parents, will say, "As long as Southern states tend to favor the Republican party, and oppose the interests of black Americans, our sons will sign college football scholarships with northern schools. When Southern states begin to vote Democratic, supporting the interest of black Americans, our sons will be happy to play for Southern schools. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy watching Ohio State, Michigan, Missouri (go Tigers!) and others whip your Southern butts.
It involves football recruiting and could cause self-respecting Southerners to name their children "Hillary" and "Barack."

read more | digg story

Does Gene Taylor Stand With Those Needing Housing Or With Industry And The Port?

Gene Taylor hasn't been shy in the past about his opinions on Mississippi Gulf Coast recovery issues.

(Y)ou can try to throw as much as you can on the backs of Louisianians, but I'm a witness as to what happened in Mississippi. You folks fell on your face. You get an F-minus in my book. Maybe the president made a very good move when he asked you to leave your job.

He also said in a television interview that there needed to be a national registry for sex offenders and insurance company executives.

The biggest issue recently has been the diversion of $600 million in housing funds to the port of Gulfport.

He has been quite open with his opinion on most recovery issues so far. What is his opinion here?

Does he stand with the people of the Coast who still need housing and need it at a price where they can afford it?

Let me know if he's made a public comment on it which I've missed. His is an important voice and his opinion is needed.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Travis Childers For Congress Announcement Goes Well

Friends in North Mississippi sent these along. I do hope you enjoy them.
The announcement had to be delayed due to the large turnout. The estimate of attendance was close to 300 based on those that signed in.
He looks good and I've never seen a candidate with a sign that didn't follow the standard rectangle. I'm curious if they'll find a way to do their yard signs that way (or if they'll have yard signs).
PhotobucketThat looks like a good group of people. As many people as are on that stage this is one of the few instances I think they may have been put up there partially due to how crowded it was. "North Mississippi Loves Travis Childers" "Teachers Back Travis"

If any of y'all were at the event or saw it on TV please feel free to comment on it below.

David Landrum For Congress' Polling Memo

The David Landrum congressional campaign has sent this out to encourage supporters and donors:


DATE: JANUARY 25, 2008

This survey data clearly shows that the Landrum Campaign has been very effective in getting David's message out to voters. As a result, David Landrum's favorables have increased five-fold and his ballot support has increased eight-fold. And, most importantly, the Republican primary ballot test shows a dead-heat race.

David Landrum has dramatically boosted his name identification and favorable image ratings over the past two months. Since mid-November, Landrum's favorables have increased from 7% to 36%. By comparison, none of the other candidates running have seen a significant image boost over the same period. Moreover, David Landrum has the best net favorable image rating of any of the Republican candidates running.

This race has quickly narrowed into a two candidate contest. David Landrum's higher name identification and boost in favorables have fueled a 21-point increase in his ballot support over the past two months. Landrum's vote increased eight-fold from 3% in November to 24% on this survey.

At the same time, Charlie Ross' vote has slipped from 37% in November to 30% now. Combined with Landrum's rise, Ross' lead on the Congressional ballot has all but evaporated from 30 plus points to just six points.

Landrum and Ross are the only two candidates to register double-digit ballot support. In fact, Gregg Harper is polling 7%, John Rounsaville is at 2%, and James Broadwater, Hardy Caraway, Gregory Hatcher, and Bill Macy all combine for an additional 2%.

Finally, Landrum is ahead on the ballot test by seven points (39% Landrum - 32% for Ross) among the 54% of voters who have heard from Landrum's campaign - further proof that the more voters hear about David and what he will do in Washington, the more likely they are to support him.

Public Opinion Strategies is pleased to present the key findings from a telephone survey among four hundred likely Republican primary voters in Mississippi's Third Congressional District. The survey was conducted January 21-22, 2008, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 %.


I do believe that it will be Landrum and Ross to the finish. Landrum has the personal funds to stay on TV through the general election if he wants to while Ross has the support of the Club for Growth which has never been shy about giving AND his currently superior name ID. It'll be interesting to watch.

I don't live in the district, but if Landrum has been on TV for a couple months, why have only half of Republican primary voters heard of him?

Democratic House And Senate Campaign Websites

Lott/Wicker Senate Seat:
Ronnie Musgrove
Ronnie Shows*

Cochran Senate Seat:
Erik Fleming

House District 1:
Travis Childers
Steve Holland

House District 2:
Bennie Thompson

House District 3:
Randy Eads
Joel Gill

House District 4:
Gene Taylor

*Independent of the campaign which is ridiculous because if you are running for Senate you need an official website.

Legal Schnauzer On Judge Henry Wingate

Legal Schnauzer:
I certainly don't claim to have perfect knowledge when it comes to news coverage of justice matters. But I don't ever recall reading a story where a judge has so clearly been shown to be corrupt in his actions on the bench.

Oh sure, there have been cases where judges have been shown to be "on the take" in behind-the-scenes ways. The Operation Greylord case in Chicago comes to mind.

But I don't recall another case where a judge was so clearly, and almost certainly so intentionally, committing fraud right there in the broad daylight of open court. And in a high-profile case, no less.

How did Wingate do it? By making unlawful rulings that essentially prevented defendants Minor, Teel, and John Whitfield from putting on a defense. And by giving jury instructions on bribery and honest-services mail fraud that did not even come close to reflecting what the law actually is. The end result? Paul Minor, Wes Teel, and John Whitfield are political prisoners--in the good ole US of A.

Check It Out.

Democrat Travis Childers Kicks Off Congressional Campaign

Small Businessman, Chancery Clerk Focused on People Facing Tough Times, Economic Development

From a press release:

Prentiss County Chancery Clerk and small businessman Travis Childers official kicked off his congressional campaign today in his hometown in front of a number of his supporters. He announced at Northeast Mississippi Community College where he went to school.

"We face tough times, we need a congressman who understands tough times," Childers said. "We see economic challenges, we need a congressman who knows about economic development."

Childers emphasized his personal story of working full-time in high school after his father died to support his family. He worked nights and weekends at a local convenience store. He also worked full-time jobs in college while still going to school full-time.

He said, "Growing up, we didn't have much, but the values I learned were priceless. Some candidates say they understand tough economic times … well my friends, I've lived them. "
Childers emphasized his economic development experience as a businessman and as an economic development leader in his community.

"One thing I know about economic development is you have to look ahead or you will get smacked in the behind," Childers said. "Our leaders should have been thinking of this day when they passed trade deals to ship our jobs to Third World Countries, gave billions in subsidies to big oil companies, ignored the home mortgage crisis, and watched as our deficit and spending hit all time highs."

"And now, North Mississippians are paying the price. People are losing their jobs. Families are losing their homes. Gas prices are outrageous. And the sad truth is, times may get worse before they get better."

On fiscal responsibility Childers said, "Even John McCain said that Congress has been spending like 'drunken sailors.' As someone who has been balancing a family checkbook for years and has run two businesses, this defies all common sense. As Chancery Clerk, I balanced 16 consecutive budgets. As Congressman, I'll fight for balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility."

He said, "Now, I have to be honest. I'm a Mississippi Democrat, not a Washington, DC Democrat. I'll be on the side of the family struggling, the child that needs health care and the teenager who's only hope is a college degree. I'm pro-life and pro-gun. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. And I will take a tough stand to stop illegal immigration into our country."

Childers was elected Chancery Clerk in his native Prentiss County for the past 16 years and has started two small businesses. Travis has been married for 27 years to the former Tami Gibson, and the couple has two children: Dustin, a first-year law student at Mississippi College, and Lauren, a freshman at Ole Miss. They are all members of East Booneville Baptist Church.

The Childers campaign recently announced they had raised $100,000 and had secured 14 endorsements from different past or present public officials.

"To change our country," Childers said, "We don't have to change our core values. But, if we don't change the direction of our country, our core values will be compromised. In Washington, there's too much 'do nothing' and not enough 'can-do.'"

"Ron Paul Freedom Hall" in my Hometown

From the Mississippi Press:
The Ron Paul Freedom Hall speaks louder than words.

It pops up suddenly along U.S. Highway 90 in Ocean Springs. The building's red and blue stripes, blue and white round concrete steps and American flags scattered across the front lawn, coupled with its location in a sparsely populated area of the highway, make it nearly impossible for motorists to ignore.
I'm definitely going to have to go see this (I'll put up pictures) over Mardi Gras.
Michael Campbell, a U.S. Marine and a three-time veteran of the Iraq conflict, said he first started supporting Paul online by posting MySpace messages and blogging about his platform.

Paul supports an immediate U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq, which Campbell said is wise because the nation is "wearing thin" on troops and commodities.

"I got the word out on the Internet as soon as I heard he was running," Campbell said.
Support the troops. Demand withdrawal from Iraq.
Ina Alderman said the average person's involvement in political issues has changed from just 50 years ago. At one time, even children felt they had a voice in the political process, Alderman said.

"I remember when I was a child, we would skip along the sidewalk and say, I like Ike. I like Ike.' I don't see that any more," Alderman said. "I see a lot of apathy."

But, when inside the Freedom Hall, Alderman she sees the nation changing back to the way she remembers it.

"I think that this work here is America at its best," Alderman said.
I think the Vietnam War (among other things) was responsible for getting people to lose interest in and optimism about politics. I do believe that this Millennial Generation will reconnect and re-engage far more than recent generations though.

Passion and involvement in the political process is good. Congratulations to the Ron Paul and Barack Obama campaigns for harnessing that.

Mississippi Center for Justice Press Conference

The Mississippi Center for Justice (MCJ) will be hosting a press conference for the release of our their new research document:

Losing Ground: Declines in Health Coverage for Children and Families in Mississippi.

It will be held at 9:30 am Tuesday, January 29, at the Jackson Medical Mall (Center stage). This will begin their major push to end the face-to-face requirement for Medicaid recipients. It is expected to be attended by several influential persons. Get out and show your support!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Childers To Officially Kick-Off First District Congressional Campaign Monday

From a Press Release:

Prentiss County Chancery Clerk and businessman Travis W. Childers will officially kick-off his campaign for U.S. Congress in Mississippi 's 1 st Congressional District with multiple events on Monday, January 28 , 2008, and Tuesday, January 29 , 2008.

Childers will officially kick-off his campaign with a rally in his hometown of Booneville on Monday afternoon.

Childers for Congress Kick-Off Rally

Date : Monday, January 28, 2008

Time : 4:00 P.M.

Location : Haney Student Union, Northeast Mississippi Community College

Booneville , Mississippi


I understand a lot of folks are going to be there. If you live anywhere nearby you should check it out. Send in digital pics and contact us about digital video.

cottonmouthblog AT gmail DOT com

The 5 Conservative Stages of Grief

Hunter @ Daily Kos:
Stage 1: John McCain. In the McCain stage of grief, a conservative is mentally aware of their surroundings but unable to emotionally process the information. The result is a mental short-circuit. Sufferers are especially prone to thinking that the Iraq War is going spectacularly well; they may even wander open-air marketplaces in which they are protected by a hundred or more fully armed United States soldiers, with helicopter gunship support, and remark aloud at how normal and stable and safe their location obviously is. Denial may also exist over the state of the economy, of their own party, or, especially, their own past actions.

The McCain stage of grief is known to last years or even decades. Fortunately, the sufferer usually loses all concept of time, such that they cannot differentiate between any particular six month period, and will eventually declare them all to be "a hundred years" long.

Stage 2: Rudy Giuliani. The Giuliani stage of grief is marked by constant, seething anger. Individuals may reduce their entire range of emotional responses to one, that of constant, self-righteous rage. The stage is usually accompanied by Napoleonic fantasies, declaring the fearsome breadth of their own inner fury to be the only salvation not just of themselves, but of the entire world in which they live. Every situation, every social interaction, and every problem is met with a frequently irrational and always militant response.

Long-term sufferers of the Giuliani stage may eventually suffer from a permanent bug-eyed expression and the onset of sociopathy. They may sometimes be mistaken for necrophiliacs.

Stage 3: Mitt Romney. In the Romney stage, the full impact of the conservative situation begins to become clear to the individual, who then begins to attempt to extricate themselves from their predicament through the process of bargaining.

Sufferers may, upon recognizing the unpopularity of past positions, shift those positions wildly from one year to the next, one week to the next, or even during consecutive sentences. They are driven by a need for popularity and acceptance, and are willing to tailor their speech, behavior, and even their thoughts to whatever may be necessary to obtain it. Sufferers of the Romney stage of grief are aware of their surroundings and the negative situation they are in, and are even aware of how their behavior may have contributed to the failure, but lack the mental ability to then adapt their behaviors as a result of those past failures. Instead, they flit haphazardly from idea to idea, from constituency to constituency, looking to empty sloganeering and focus group ideas to rebuild the trust that they have lost.

Stage 4: Fred Thompson. Eventually, sufferers of conservative grief may become distant and despondent, entering the Thompson stage. Individuals may retreat into isolation, even if they are currently supposed to be running for President of the United States or something. While they can sometimes be goaded into action, say, for an evening debate, they are more prone to minimalist activities, such as making a few phone calls, showing up at a county fair, or merely driving around in a truck.

Sufferers of the Thompson stage are fully aware of past conservative failures, but are unable to make even token attempts at new ideas or substantively critiquing the old ones. They become stiff and emotionless, as if a writers' strike is incapacitating them. They may begin to age creepily and horribly.

Stage 5: Mike Huckabee. Finally, the Huckabee stage may be reached. In this stage, the grief sufferer finally comes to term with the situation for himself and his fellow conservatives. He realizes fully how he has been used; he realizes fully how shallow and insincere conservative behavior has been; he realizes that there is little way to change the situation. He may surround himself with trivialities or attempts at obvious self-deprecation in order to make light of the situation; for example, using elderly b-list television action stars as inexplicable campaign props.

Nonetheless, acceptance of the situation is achieved. In the Huckabee stage, the individual no longer grieves for the losses of conservatism, but comes to accept them as the reality of the movement, and nothing that either can or should be changed. Token apologies for past behavior may be issued, with the full internal knowledge that those transgressions will be repeated in the future.

Individuals that reach the Huckabethan stage of conservative grief may achieve serenity and spirituality; the stage is frequently accompanied by the belief that no matter how bad the situation is, those tragedies and failures were preordained by God, who will return at any moment to kick the asses of all those that may now stand in your way.

These seemingly baseless assertions of preordained destiny and of imminent divine intervention on your personal behalf may not be emotionally rational, but it at least allows the individual a cognitive basis for continuing their conservatism even in the wake of obvious and dramatic movement-wide failures. In this manner, a conservative can continue to remain conservative indefinitely, or at least until their conservatism results in another multi-fronted national crisis.

More from Mississippi to come Monday.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Stennis-Montgomery Association and Stennis Institute of Government To Host Debates

I don't know if any of the candidates have confirmed, but all the candidates for the open District 3 seat have been invited.

Here's the information available so far:

The Proposed Schedule

Wednesday, February 13, 7 p.m., Summit, MS (Fine Arts Building Auditorium at Southwest MS Community College, 1020 Lakeside Drive, Summit 39666)

Monday, February 18, 7 p.m., Rankin County, MS (Venue not confirmed)

Wednesday, February 20, 7 p.m., Meridian, MS (on campus of MSU-Meridian; venue not confirmed)

Monday, March 3, 7 p.m., Starkville, MS (on campus of MSU; venue not confirmed)


Political news? Send 'em if you've got 'em.

Help Save Designated Housing Money For Gulf Coast Housing

I hope a Gene O at A Sociable Loner won't mind be reproducing THIS important post here:

Help Color of Change push hurricane recovery into the national presidential debates with a few clicks of your mouse.

Join the Facebook Bring the Gulf Coast to the Debate Campaign.

The congressional hearing on the handling of housing funds mentioned in the AP article I linked to in this post would be held by the House Financial Services Committee or by its Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity.

Rep. Barney Frank chairs the full committee. Rep. Maxine Waters chairs the subcommittee.

Contact them and ask them to schedule the hearing.

Rep. Frank: (202) 225-5931

Rep. Waters: (202) 225-2201; fax (202) 225-7854: e-mail form

Mississippi has no representatives on the committee. Contact Mississippi Representatives Gene Taylor and Bennie Thompson and ask them request that members of the committee hold the hearing.

Rep. Gene Taylor

e-mail form

Washington: (202) 225-5722; fax (202) 225-7074

Mississippians can find numbers for his local offices at the very bottom of this page.

Rep. Bennie Thompson

e-mail form (His local office numbers are on the right-hand side of this page).

Washington: (202) 225-5876; fax (202) 225-5898

Financial Services Committee members.

Subcommittee Members.

Change the untruthful story that the governor and his allies are telling about our Gulf Coast hurricane recovery by telling the truth in your own way.

It's an excellent post. Please use the links and contact folks. Coast citizens need your help.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Katrina funds will likely be diverted

Despite the best efforts of the people along the Gulf Coast and national media, HUD funds for rebuilding homes destroyed by Katrina will likely end up in a $600M port project.

From MSNBC today:

“It’s just insanity, true insanity,” said Sister Martha Milner, a Catholic nun and board member of the Steps Coalition, the loudest voice on the Gulf Coast against the diversion of the funds.

The article, like all the others, tells the very disturbing story of an unchecked Governor only working for the interest of big business. The lies and deceit are unending.

Mississippi, with the highest poverty rate of any state by several measures, already had won HUD waivers of rules that require the funds to benefit low- and moderate-income residents. Critics see the waivers as a product of the unparalleled influence with the Bush administration enjoyed by Barbour, a former Reagan White House political director, Republican National Committee chairman and legendary fixer who continues to receive checks from the Washington lobbying shop that still bears his name.

Barbour’s current position that part of the housing grant pool was always intended for the port is at odds with his March 2006 testimony before a Senate committee, in which he emphasized that the CDBG money was mostly committed to housing and sought new funds for the port. A year later, Gray Swoope, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, did not mention port funding in testimony before Congress about the use of grant funds a few months before the new port master plan was adopted.

Another sad day in Mississippi. Thousands of people are still in FEMA trailers or other FEMA housing and deserve a chance to have a real roof over their heads.

Cindy Singletary of Living Independence For Everyone, one of 50 nonprofit, religious and social advocacy groups that make up the Steps Coalition, sees the move to divert the housing funds as a bait-and-switch maneuver. “I have nothing against the port itself,” she said. “The main thing I’m against is the priority of it. … We have jobs on the coast. There’s ‘help wanted’ signs everywhere. But we don’t have homes, we don’t have apartments. … That, to me, should be the No. 1 priority for Mississippi.”

Travis Childers For Congress Website Up

Travis Childers For Congress Website

Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers is a Democratic candidate for the open First Congressional District election.

He's raising money at a fast clip and has garnered some good endorsements.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Anti-Cigarette Tax Man Former Senator Tommy Robertson Selected By Barbour?!?

From The Communities for a Clean Bill of Health blog:
Governor Barbour released the names of those appointed to his Tax Study Commission yesterday- Jan 23. The list included the infamous former state Senator Tommy Robertson. Robertson, as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, blocked legislation that would have increased the cigarette tax up to a $1.00 while cutting the grocery tax by half. In August, Robertson was soundly defeated in the Republican primary largely due to his opposition of that popular piece of legislation.

The Complete List Of Tax Study Commission Members

Michael Watson who defeated him was asked about the legislation in the Mississippi Press:
Q. Sen. Robertson is responsible for the death of the grocery tax/tobacco tax swap legislation that would have lowered the tax on unprepared food items from 7 percent to 3 percent, and increased the tax on tobacco products to as high as $1 per product. Robertson refused to introduce the Senate bill in this year's session and the issue died in committee. Do you think the Senate should have been allowed to vote on the tax swap proposal and do you plan to support similar legislation in 2008?

A. The Senate definitely should have had a chance to vote on the proposal. A senator is there to represent the people who put him in office and that cannot happen if he or she isn't given the chance to vote on the issues. I think the tax swap is a great idea, but I think the numbers still need a little work. Replacing an increasing revenue with a declining revenue just doesn't make good economical sense. There are numbers that will make the swap work. It's our job to find them.

Republican Leadership Appoint Wicker To Seat On Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees?!? What?!?

The Democrats Respond.

From a press release:

Republican leadership in the U.S. Senate formally announced interim Sen. Roger Wicker’s committee assignments today – including a seat on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

But with Wicker’s history of voting against veterans, his assignment on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee is surprising and troublesome.

“Sen. Wicker has proven time and again that Mississippians can’t trust him to look after our nation’s and our state’s veterans,” Wayne Dowdy, chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party, said today.

“How can anyone think that Wicker, who has consistently voted against veterans’ health care, should be given the responsibility of caring for our servicemen and women? Wicker is clearly the wrong person for this important job and wrong for the U.S. Senate.”

Roger Wicker’s votes against veterans

While serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, Wicker voted at least 12 times against additional funding for veterans health care. Here are the votes and links where available:

• Vote No. 1050, Nov. 6, 2007

• Vote No. 87, March 17, 2005

• Vote No. 82, March 17, 2005

• Vote No. 17, Jan. 29, 2003

• Vote No. 473, Nov. 13, 2002

• Vote No. 296, July 30, 2001

• Vote No. 843, Dec. 7, 1995

• Vote No. 829, Nov. 29, 1995

• House Appropriations Committee Markup, May 10, 2006

• House Appropriations Committee Markup, July 22, 2004

• House Appropriations Committee Markup, July 21, 2003

• House Appropriations Committee Markup, July 30, 1999

Also check out our earlier post on Wicker and veterans HERE

Don't Believe The Forwarded Lies On Barack Obama

Because of viral e-mails attacking his faith, his church and his patriotism Barack Obama's Campaign set up a section on their website to defend against those attacks.

Know The Facts on Barack Obama's Church

Know The Facts on Barack Obama's Faith

Know The Facts on Barack Obama's Patriotism

If you see any attacks like this on candidates that are false feel free to forward them to us and we'll send you a rebuttal.

Money can buy you judges - if you're big business

Miss. Chief Justice Jim Smith held a press conference yesterday about elected v. appointed judges. Smith, who is up for re-election this year, wants Mississippi to revive a panel from 1993, study the current system, and then have attorneys and businesses nominate and appoint appellate judges.

While there are still too many issues to decide whether we need to reform the current system, there are two immediate problems here.

1. Judges could still be enticed to submit favorable verdicts with the reward being appointments.
2. Businesses have no business being in the courtroom as the judge.

Why is it okay that if you have a whole lot of money, you are suddenly qualified to assess a attorney's abilities and knowledge in regard to law?

Answer: When big business financed your campaign! Smith's campaign finance report from 2000 is filled with contributions from businesses and business PAC's. And when the U.S. Chamber has vowed to launch independent expenditure campaigns wherever they are needed this year- up to $60M- it is no wonder business has such an influence on who our judges are.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mixed News For Former Judge Wes Teel

From The Gulf Coast Realist
The Gulf Coast Sur-Realist is happy to report that Wes is well enough to have been discharged from the hospital and is now back at the prison. A mixed blessing, that. Wes is making a recovery but, strangely, the prison has yet to notify the family of his heart attack or surgery.
I wish him luck and hope that Congress will work to follow the possible cases of selective prosecution.

Information on how to assist him is available at The Gulf Coast Realist.

Governor Haley Barbour Calls For Civility In Mississippi While Comparing National Democrats To Communists

The Daily Journal
Directing his comments to the 33 new members of the Mississippi Legislature during his State of the State speech, Barbour said, “You’ll learn that when I called Billy McCoy my friend, I meant it. And you’ll find a lot can be, indeed, has been accomplished by working together.

Early in the afternoon before Barbour spoke, McCoy urged members of the House to attend the State of State address “to show respect for the governor.”

After the speech, McCoy said, “I thought he made a good overall assessment of where we have been and where we need to go.”
It sure sounds like he's a fan of civility. Combine that with issues we all agree need to be addressed and he's doing good right?

Well I guess it depends on the audience.

In a speech at the Republican National Committee winter meeting Governor Haley Barbour said this:
"I was worried that it was bad for us that Hillary seemed to be running in the center," said Barbour of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. "And Obama is to the left of that," he said of Sen. Barack Obama, D-N.Y. "Edwards," said Barbour "is running to the left of Mao Tse-tung."
Before a diverse audience civility sounds good, but put him in from of his friends and he compares mainstream Democrats to murderous Communist leaders.  

That's no great leap forward for our esteemed Republican governor.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

McCoy Rewards Loyalty And Civility And Republicans Cry Foul?

Republicans and conservative (read anti-Speaker McCoy) editorial boards have attacked Speaker Billy McCoy for choosing only Democrats to be committee chairmen in the Mississippi House of Representatives.

Their anger is somewhat irrational.

At the beginning of his last term he appointed Republicans as committee heads and opened up leadership to Democrats who were clearly not his allies. An example was that he appointed Representative Jeff Smith as chairman of the Judiciary B Committee even though they did not always agree. That same Jeff Smith then ran against Speaker McCoy and now has been stripped of that Chairmanship.

Republicans and a few cowards who call themselves Democrats because they want to hold onto their offices, but find far more in common with the Republicans, are the ones who brought the dreaded "partisanship" to the House.

When they complain about not getting positions it is important to remember that Republicans announced that they would vote as a block to remove all power from Speaker Billy McCoy. When they failed did they really expect everything to go back to how it was before? That's ridiculous.

They pout and point out that Lt. Governor Phil Bryant appointed a couple Democratic committee heads. That's true, but Democrats, unlike Republicans in the House, make up the majority in the Senate and could have in theory stripped him of all power. Playing nice made sense and he still stacked the committees so that Republicans still control them. Sometimes all that is needed in politics is the appearance of bipartisanship.

When Republicans complain loudly that they're are being oppressed and that their views aren't being heard, please point out their lunacy. They control 7 of 8 statewide offices. They control the Senate Committees. They control the vast majority of the propaganda press. Plus Governor Haley Barbour can (and certainly will) veto anything Democrats pass that he does not like.

Speaker Billy McCoy did place some Republicans in leadership positions. Those Republicans like Hank Zuber of Ocean Springs have been reasonable and haven't gone around boasting about how they'd vanquish the Speaker. They haven't betrayed their values and still Speaker McCoy gave them leadership positions.

Civility is important and so is loyalty. Speaker Billy McCoy has rewarded both.

Ronnie Musgrove Continues To Call For Fiscal Responsibility

Former Governor Ronnie Musgrove recently sat down with the Greenwood Commonwealth for an interview.  Here is some of what he had to say:
“We made good choices and smart choices by bringing 52,000 new jobs and $14 billion in investments into the state. We passed a teacher pay raise and we had a new funding formula for our schools,” he said.

It’s different in Washington, Musgrove said.

“We see out-of-control spending that has taken a $200 billion surplus and turned it into a $200 billion in-the-hole budget deficit. We’re borrowing over $30 billion from China, Japan, India and Saudi Arabia every month and yet Washington tells us our economy is good,” Musgrove said.
Ronnie Musgrove has been a very underrated governor. He did a good job and there's no reason to believe he couldn't do the same in Washington.
Regarding the mayors, who face crumbling infrastructure and who need help from Washington to address their problems, Musgrove said he already has provided leadership in that capacity as governor.

“What you have to have is creative ideas that will help,” he said, mentioning the state’s Small Municipality Grant Program, which provides up to $250,000 for infrastructure improvements.

“We put that in place. We did it without raising taxes. We did it where we could help communities. That’s the kind of bipartisan work we need in Washington,” Musgrove said.
We need innovation which former Governor Musgrove has shown and conservative fiscal and social beliefs in our senator which Governor Musgrove clearly hold.
Musgrove noted that Wicker, as a 13-year veteran of the U.S. House of Representatives, has voted eight times against raising the minimum wage.

Wicker, he said, had voted to spend $400 million for the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska, as well as appropriations for a mule packer’s museum in California and a prisoner museum in Kansas.

“I don’t know about you, but I think he’s wrong in his priorities for America,” Musgrove said.
Some Republicans have expressed disingenuous shock that Musgrove has begun to lay out contrasts with Roger Wicker. Do these people not think Wicker will attack Ronnie Musgrove when the election draws near. When you start behind moneywise you have to get your message out early and often. The candidates have differences and Ronnie Musgrove is doing his part to point them out to voters. That's a service, not a vice.

Congressman Bennie Thompson Endorses Barack Obama

First Read:
Obama was endorsed today by Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.

"Barack Obama had the judgment to oppose the war in Iraq from the start," Thompson in a statement, "and he will restore America's standing around the world and secure our homeland by giving our first responers the equipment and support they need."

This is the 16th red-state endorsement Obama has received, about 35 percent of his total endorsements. Thompson is African American, and blacks in Mississippi make up an estimated 37% of the total population. Mississippi holds its primary on March 11 and has 33 pledged delegates (40 total).

That's cool. I like Obama.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Governor's State Of The State

He issues he addressed are important.

He said we should fully fund education.

I agree.

He said we need to find a way to fund Medicaid responsibly.

I agree.

He said we need to act to expand economic progress and opportunity.

I agree.

He said we need to root out inefficiency and waste.

Again I agree.

Governor Barbour and state legislative leaders agree on what the major issues are.

What they will disagree over is how to accomplish those goals.

One example is that the governor wants to fill the Medicaid gap by forcing a fee (read tax) on public and private hospitals.

Opponents to that idea say that such a move would only cause hospitals to pass along higher costs to already burdened patients.

That might be a tough sell.

The good news is that unlike at the national level Democrats and Republican in this state appear to agree on the issues that are important. We're going to have a spirited debate this session and I think that too is a good thing.

Martin Luther King Jr. / Man Of The Future

Pensacola Beach Blog:

MLK, April 4, 1967 (full text)
"Martin Luther King was a man of the future. He saw clearly that humankind has a choice. It is the choice between continuing to wage war, and surviving as a species. King was also a man in a hurry. He did not have much time. Neither do we."

Democrat Travis Childers Gains Endorsement Of 10 Fellow Chancery Clerks

Endorsements add to momentum of Childers' early fundraising success

From a Press Release:

Chancery Clerks in North Mississippi are endorsing one of their own, Prentiss County Chancery Clerk and businessman Travis Childers, in the race to elect a new congressman in Mississippi's first congressional district. Over the weekend, the Childers campaign released a list of fourteen current and retired chancery clerks from the first congressional district who are personally endorsing Childers for Congress.

Chancery Clerks are traditionally an influential group in Mississippi. Under Mississippi law, Chancery Clerks serve as the auditors and treasurers of county government and are elected county-wide.

"I am honored to have the personal endorsements of my fellow Chancery Clerks," Childers said. "These are my friends and colleagues who know me best. As elected officials in their counties, they know first-hand the concerns and needs of the citizens of North Mississippi. Their support means the world to me, and these endorsements give us tremendous momentum as we get ready to formally kick-off the campaign in the coming days."

Childers' campaign recently demonstrated considerable political strength when it announced that it had surpassed $100,000 in fundraising within a week of Childers getting into the race.

The ten Chancery Clerks endorsing Childers are: Don Threadgill of Choctaw County; Robbie Robinson of Clay County; Jim Witt of Itawamba County; Chuck Thomas of Marshall County; Ronnie Boozer of Monroe County; Reggie Collums of Pontotoc County; Wayne Crockett of Tate County; Peyton Cummings of Tishomingo County; Russ Turner of Webster County; and, Amy McMinn of Yalobusha County.

In addition, four retired Chancery Clerks from North Mississippi offered their endorsements: Myra McCollum of Alcorn County; Martha Martin of Calhoun County; David Thomas of Chickasaw County; and, Hayden Ables of Tishomingo County.

Travis W. Childers, a Democrat, has served as Chancery Clerk of Prentiss County for the past sixteen years. Childers has worked as a Realtor and appraiser in Booneville since 1978.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Antonin Scalia To Speak at MSU

Just a friendly heads up for all you SCOTUS fans out there. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will me making an appearance and subsequent speech at Mississippi State University this Thursday January 24th at 730pm.

Hit the link for directions and/or map details.

Should be a fun night!

(And if you're in town before then we'll be holding a Bulldogs 4 Obama meeting at MSU as well.)

Ronnie Musgrove Has Helped The Coast Before And After Hurricane Katrina

While He Was Governor:

1. Governor Ronnie Musgrove helped clean up our beaches. During his time as Governor, Musgrove continued the annual beach cleanup day and stressed the importance of keeping the coasts in good shape for our future generations.

2. Governor Ronnie Musgrove signed a bill to protect deer island. Ronnie Musgrove signed a bill that helped turn 499-acre Deer Island into a nature preserve. The bill authorized the purchase of the land for $16.8 million including $10 million in general obligation bonds, $2 million from the public land disputes on the Gulf Coast, $1 million in land acquisition funds and $3.8 million in a federal grant engineered by U.S. Senator Thad Cochran.

3. Governor Ronnie Musgrove often visited the Coast to gain insight from local business leaders and to build public support for his plans for progress. Ronnie Musgrove set up meetings on the Coast early in his term open to anyone and asked for questions on any topic.

4. Governor Ronnie Musgrove worked to improve quality of life on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He helped to pass and signed major pay increases for teachers and worked with the legislature to further encourage business development including helping industry in Jackson County secure loans for major expansion.

After Hurricane Katrina:

1. Ronnie Musgrove came down from his home in north Mississippi dozens of times to assist in the relief and rebuilding efforts. Because he came as a private citizen and worked through existing organizations he did not seek out press or get any. He was on the Mississippi Gulf Coast working to help get us back on our feet after that horrific storm.

2. Ronnie Musgrove helped lead discussion among local business leaders on tax assistance from the federal government. In January 2006, Musgrove, along with other attorneys, held a breakfast discussion to educate about 100 business leaders, local elected officials, and tax specialists about the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act. The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act, which had been recently passed by Congress, was designed to help businesses recover after Katrina. Musgrove stated "The incentives for business are specific and on point. It is rich in encouraging Central and South Mississippi businesses to rehire, reinvest and redevelop."

3. On the first day of active campaigning he announced his support for Representative Gene Taylor's Multiple Peril Insurance Bill saying "I think it's necessary to have stability to have insurance and in so many instances the insurance companies aren't writing and for us to have the kind of multi-periled policy that the federal government can do is what the coast needs. And so, I would certainly be a big supporter of that.” He specifically addressed the issue in his speech to Mississippi Gulf Coast residents.

4. When asked in an interview why he chose a concrete slab he told them that "(he) thought that this site showed the contrast of the devastation of Katrina and yet with the steeple the hope of good things to come. And it’s because of the dedication and the hard work and the painful contributions of people all along the coast and some help from Jackson and Washington that we are moving forward. But I think it’s important to have a United State Senator who understands the problems of the coast but also knows the hopes of what can happen and what needs to happen with the help from Washington, and to me it would be a priority to help Gene Taylor and others to make sure we get the insurance, that we get the legislation, that’s needed from Congress to help the coast rebuild.”

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Don't Know Where You Are Registered To Vote? Find Out Here!


It's secure and easy!

Snow Day In Hattiesburg And We're Rooting For Favre

Several of my friends and I made this Brett Favre snowman in The Rock at Southern Miss this morning. He's sporting a Fedora in support of our new coach. (Larry Fedora)

Southern Miss To The Top! May Hattiesburg freezing over be a good sign for the Packers/Giants game. Go Packers!

(Please forward this photo to anyone you think might be interested. Click on the photo and it'll give you a link you can put in e-mails.)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Governor Haley Reeves Barbour Takes Oath Of Office (VIDEO)

"I Haley Reeves Barbour do solemly swear that I will faithfully support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Mississippi and obey the laws thereof and I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of which I am about to enter so help me God." - Governor Haley Reeves Barbour

Phil Bryant At Governor Haley Barbour's Inauguration (VIDEO)

"The Almighty has placed His hand upon this man (Barbour) to lead Mississippi." - Lt. Governor Phil Bryant

*I apologize for the shakiness. I should have a tripod soon.

Governor Haley Barbour's Inaugural Speech (VIDEO)

Lost In The Misguided Attacks On Ronnie Musgrove Is This

A liberal blogger has unfortunately attacked Ronnie Musgrove recently for being in their eyes beholden to the insurance industry.

Now those attacks are being gleefully used by Republicans including the National Republican Senatorial Committee to attack him.

I am a Coast resident and I care deeply about the recovery of my home, but these one-sided attacks ignore history and the context of this election.

1. Ronnie Musgrove has sued insurance companies for unlawfully denying claims.

2. Roger Wicker, the Republican candidate, has taken over $80,000 from insurance interests. Even after Hurricane Katrina Roger Wicker took $3,000 from the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers PAC, $500 from the Independent Insurance Agents, and $500 from the Professional Insurance Agents.

3. Both Wicker and Musgrove have pledged to support Representative Gene Taylor's All Perils Insurance Bill.

The question then is who will be able to be most effective in partnering with Representative Gene Taylor to pass the legislation. Republicans WILL be in the minority. Democrats WILL continue to be in an increasing majority. We need a Democratic senator to get important legislation through. If Senator Lott couldn't get it passed, then why would a less distinguished freshman senator in the minority party have any more success?

I care about the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It is my home and where I have helped friends rebuild their lives. I want what is best for the Coast and that is not a Republican freshman senator in the minority.

Republicans Promise To Kick Out The Immigrants...

... from this nation of immigrants.

Gregg Harper:

David Landrum:

It would be refreshing if a candidate would actually show support for LEGAL immigrants in their ads. I fear that when they don't they rely on many voters who aren't as concerned about the law, but in the kind of people who are immigrating here.

David Landrum attacks Democrats for "amnesty" for the same bill President George Bush and Senator Trent Lott supported.

At least Wicker isn't attacking the plan while he runs for Lott's seat.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Musgrove Has Hired Some Staff

Here's the info:

Campaign Manager: Amanda Crumley
Finance Director: John Gardner
Pollsters: Hamilton Group
Media: Murphy-Putnam
Field: Will Godfrey
Field: Chuck McDaniel

Door Hangers For Harper, Rounsaville and Landrum Campaigns

A Cotton Mouth reader e-mailed scans of 3 door hangers that have appeared on her door recently.

Gregg Harper's Door Card
Front Back

He wants you to know that he Gregg Harper, the Chairman of the Rankin County Republican Party, is in fact a Republican. He also wants you to know that he'll work to kick the brown people out of the country.

David Landrum's Door Card
Front Back

Notice the mistakes on the back.

"Funding and Implementation of the Missile Defense Sheild"

He needs to hire a spell checker.

Also under Honoring our Veterans he has four bullet points...but only three statements...the fourth bullet is blank. He must have Wicker Syndrome when it comes to veterans, he can only think of three things he can do for them.

John Rounsaville's Door Card
Front Back

Because he's young (comparably) and isn't as well known as the others he relies on nice quotes about him from Haley Barbour and Chip Pickering.

If you see any direct mail or door hangers or any campaign activity please e-mail us at cottonmouthblog at gmail dot com and share it with us. Thanks to our reader who sent these along!

Former Governor Ronnie Musgrove Has Been An Advocate For The Mississippi Gulf Coast

It is clear from his record that Ronnie Musgrove cares deeply about the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  

Musgrove helped protect the Coast as Governor and always spent time with Coast residents to better represent our needs (I'm from Ocean Springs).

Additionally, Musgrove supports the multi-perils insurance bill to help protect citizens and has been an attorney representing people who were denied insurance coverage.  

After Hurricane Katrina he worked to bring new tax incentives to the area and helped educate local businesspeople on how to use them.

Interim Senator Roger Wicker on the other hand has taken over $80,000 from insurance companies, including money from insurance agents after Hurricane Katrina.

Over the next few days I hope to bring you more on how Musgrove has been a friend and advocate of the Coast.

Roger Wicker Forgets Our Veterans While Serving On A Veterans Committee

Roger Wicker's website highlights this:
Roger was a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee for 12 years, serving on the Defense subcommittee and as the Ranking Member of the Military Construction - Veterans Affairs subcommittee. Roger was also a Deputy Republican Whip, and since 2001, had been a member of the Republican Policy Committee.

His time may have been misplaced though because his record doesn't indicate he particularly cared about veterans issues.

His most recent ratings from these groups all rated him as no friend of veterans:
2006 Senator Wicker supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 50 percent in 2006.

2006 In 2006 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave Senator Wicker a grade of C+.

2006 Senator Wicker sponsored or co-sponsored 21 percent of the legislation favored by the The Retired Enlisted Association in 2006.

2005 Senator Wicker supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 0 percent in 2005.

2004 Senator Wicker supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 0 percent in 2004.

2004 Senator Wicker supported the interests of the The Retired Enlisted Association 33 percent in 2004.

2003-2004 Senator Wicker supported the interests of the Vietnam Veterans of America 38 percent in 2003-2004.

2003 Senator Wicker supported the interests of the American Veterans 50 percent in 2003.

2003 Senator Wicker supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 0 percent in 2003.

2003 Senator Wicker supported the interests of the The American Legion 40 percent in 2003.

2001 Senator Wicker supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 100 percent in 2001.

2001 Senator Wicker supported the interests of the Vietnam Veterans of America 77 percent in 2001.

1999 Senator Wicker supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 100 percent in 1999.

1997-1998 Senator Wicker supported the interests of the Vietnam Veterans of America 20 percent in 1997-1998.

He must have been felling particularly charitable for the years of 1999 to 2001.

In comparison Congressmen Gene Taylor and Bennie Thompson both scored 100% on the most recent Disabled American Veterans score while Roger Wicker scored 50%.

Data Collected From Project Vote Smart

Haley Barbour's Healthcare Proposal Is A Good First Step

Charlie Mitchell
Enter the "Mississippi Health Insurance Exchange," which Barbour is asking the Legislature to create this year.

It isn't complex. The state would serve as a clearinghouse for employees of small businesses to pool with employees of other small businesses in purchasing group policies. No state funds would be involved other than start-up costs. Once the consortium is established, operating overhead would be derived from plan participants.

Charlie Mitchell calls it "Haleycare." I wouldn't since it's not his idea and has been pushed for years in other places.

He states that it will cut costs for 500,000 of our state's citizens by half. I'm sure it will cut costs, but half would be amazing. I'd like to see his reasoning there.

Buying things in groups almost always lowers the cost of goods so this appears to be a good step in addressing the lack of care provided for many of our fellow citizens.

Any reason not to?

Warning: Your Representative May Be Packing Heat

The Sun Herald:
Here's hoping those angry legislative debates don't carry over into the parking lot.
The Mississippi House voted 65-53 Wednesday to lift a ban on lawmakers or others having weapons on the Capitol grounds - for example, in the trunks of their cars.

Weapons would still be banned inside the building.
House Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, gave his colleagues a lighthearted warning that they might have to watch out for angry constituents. He recalled one year when legislators were debating a motorcycle helmet law and a bunch of angry bikers came to the Capitol.

"The security had to take some monkey wrenches away from some guests," McCoy said with a chuckle. "You'd better be careful."

HatTip Y'all Politics

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Old Site New Site Steve Holland For Congress

Steve Holland's old site has been fortunately been replaced by Steve Holland's NEW SITE.

It's still not great, but I'd say it's far better than the one that featured him with the awkward picture.

It can be reached at either OR

I'm kind of suprised WeNeedSteve was available. Good catch on their part.

Interim Senator Roger Wicker and Ethics

Early last month the Project on Government Oversight put out THIS report detailing possibly shady dealings in Roger Wicker's actions. That article caught Will Barwell's eye garnering THIS post discussing "Roger Wicker's Convenient Interest in Unmanned Flight." Now the Washington Post has noticed now that Wicker is a Senator and deserving of more scrutiny.

Washington Post
Over the past three years, as Aurora sought defense contracts, the Republican member of the Appropriations defense subcommittee received escalating contributions from the company's executives. Aurora was Wicker's top source of campaign funds in 2006, campaign finance records show. In 2005, the company flew the congressman on a private jet to the ribbon cutting of a manufacturing facility it opened in Wicker's Mississippi district.

And just days after Wicker's chief of staff, John Keast, left his employ in 2006, Aurora began listing the former staffer on public forms as one of its lobbyists in Washington. Wicker placed the earmark in a defense appropriations bill that became law in November 2007.

The Democrats Respond:
“Roger Wicker is the poster child for quid pro quo politics, repaying campaign cash with an even more generous earmark,” said Wayne Dowdy, chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party.

“Sen. Wicker was elected to look out for the people of Mississippi, not to fill his campaign coffers. When the moving company relocates Wicker’s things from his House office to his temporary Senate office, I hope they leave the revolving door behind.”

Will state media respond OR like during the gubernatorial campaign can we expect crickets?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Excellent Analysis On The DeLaughter Opinion and Why It May Hold Up At The Supreme Court

WIll Bardwell offers his analysis HERE
Will Bardwell:
"[I]t bears mention that [the principles upon which the court relies] are widely recognized. Eight of the nine current justices of the Mississippi Supreme Court authored opinions upon which this Court relies," Judge DeLaughter wrote. "Also cited herein are two opinions of the Mississippi Court of Appeals, written by Judge Leslie Southwick, who now serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit."

Judge DeLaughter also acknowledged the partisan "political implications" of the conflict before him. "[T]his Court is well aware that its interpretation of the subject statute will not be afforded any deference on appeal," the judge wrote. "To be sure ... this is not a decision that any sane circuit judge would wish to make."

Bardwell also dissects the opinion to reveal that instead of a simple win/lose this decision includes three seperate opinions. One agrees with Governor Haley Barbour. On the other two DeLaughter sides with Attorney General Jim Hood.
Judge DeLaughter split his decision, essentially handing one win to Gov. Haley Barbour and two to Attorney General Jim Hood. He agreed with Barbour's argument that the judicial branch could not issue a writ of mandamus against the chief executive -- "Even if Mississippi case authorities did not bar writs of mandamus and other injunctive relief against the Governor, this Court would nevertheless be disinclined to issue such a writ under the circumstances of this case," he wrote -- but refused to accept the governor's suggestion that the court lacked any authority to act. Citing a 1906 case in which the state Supreme Court noted that judicial interference in any election is proper only to prevent a constitutional or statutory violation, DeLaughter concluded that "[t]he declaratory relief subsequently addressed and awarded herein is sufficient, in the Court's opinion, in affording an adequate remedy for the subject wrong..."

But with regard to interpreting Miss. Code Ann. 23-15-855, Judge DeLaugher sided emphatically with the attorney general. "The term 'the general election day,' 'as the time for electing a senator,' may not logically be be construed to refer to any general election day other than the one that will be held in the same calendar year as the vacancy," Judge DeLaughter wrote. "If the Legislature had intended any other general election day, it could easily have written 'the next general election day' without affixing it to the calendar year of the vacancy..."

Check out the entire opinion at Will Bardwell's site.

Governor Haley Barbour's Inauguration

I attended the Governor Haley Barbour's Inauguration and will be putting up pictures and video later tonight. I'll also offer up some firsthand observations of the events and those I saw there.

Mississippi's Greatest Hits in 2008

Yesterday CQ Politics dot Com covered the state of Mississippi in an article about how it seems every elected politician is a marked man/woman. As ever since Chip Pickering left the 3rd, the "hits" just keep coming in Washington.

As now Trent Lott is a do gooder lobbyist, and Roger Wicker is running/ has inherited his seat, it has set a snowball effect across many districts on both sides of the aisle as to a vunerable "who's who" running for newly vacated corner offices.

CQ labels the 3rd "as Safe Republican."

So oddly enough the article is composed of giving you the background, of a paragraph or more, of the 4 leading Republicans running in the primary.

Rather informative. If you're not Democrat.
Since as CQ sees it being a Safe GOP seat, it doesn't drown you in the petty information on the Democratic candidates.

Two Democrats have filed for the primary, which is scheduled for March 11."

Thats all their mention. If you're like me, this is a head scratcher. Its not like pundits are ever wrong, right?

Bubba to run for Supreme Court

Chancery Court judge Randy "Bubba" Pierce of Leakesville announced that he will run for the Mississippi Supreme Court (District 2, Position 2) this year, according to a release from Pierce.

This seat is currently held by Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz. Diaz, who has held the post since 2000, was a victim in the White House witchhunt that Scott Horton of Harpers has covered recently (Cottonmouth has posted and linked all of his blogs on the issue).

Pierce served in the MS legislature as a Democrat from 2000 until 2005 when he quickly forgot his friends who made him chairman of the Education committee and was offered the judgeship by Haley Barbour.

As folks qualify for the Supreme Court races (there are four seats up), Cottonmouth will have more information and coverage of the races and the candidates.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Victory For Mississippi And Democrats / Will It Last?

Daily Kos:
We've won the first round in the war over scheduling Mississippi's special election to replace Senator Trent Lott:

A Hinds County Circuit judge ruled today that Gov. Haley Barbour exceeded his constitutional authority by setting the special election to replace former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott for November.

DeLaughter heard about an hour of arguments Monday in the dispute between state Attorney General Jim Hood and Barbour.

Barbour had intended to schedule the special election in November, no doubt because a year of incumbency and a presidential election on the same day (which would no doubt go strongly for the Republican in Mississippi) would help his chosen, GOP Representative Senator Roger Wicker.

Mississippi law mandates that special elections be held within 90 days of a vacancy, except in years in which a statewide election occurs. The vacancy technically occurred in 2007, but after the statewide election had been held; therein lies the controversy.

For the time being, however, the courts have ruled against Barbour:

In his order, DeLaughter said the election should be held "within 90 days of the governor's Dec. 20, 2007 proclamation of writ of election...on or before March 19, 2008.

Hood cited Mississippi Code 23-15-855, which applies to U.S. senator vacancies. He and Barbour have differing interpretations of that statute.


As this post later points out this case will likely go to The Mississippi Supreme Court that is stacked with Republicans. Many of those judges were placed there with help from the partisan Republican US Chamber of Commerce. We'll see how the law fares there, but for today we can celebrate.

Randall Eads For Congress Has A Website

It looks reasonable. He looks very intelligent with 3 college degrees from prestigious universities.
J.D., Mississippi College School of Law, 2007
*I am currently preparing for the February 2008 bar exam.
B.A. Economics, University of Tennessee, 2002
B.A. History, Virginia Military Institute, 1999

He's also clearly Mississippian. If voters give him a chance he could be a good fit for the district.

Eads For Congress 2008 Check it out.

Great Political Advertising Steve Novick For Senate (Oregon) "To Tell The Truth"

I love good political ads. If things ever slow down around here I'll post a few from the past.

Calling all tech geniuses (or even those who simply know more than me)

I've been trying to set my URL to go to instead of In the process of switching something up with the ANAME? at GoDaddy no longer redirects to the blogspot site. Can anyone tell me how to fix this?

Please send an e-mail to cottonmouthblog AT gmail DOT com or leave it in the comments. I've already seen a drop in traffic so this is obviously something I need to fix. I appreciate any help.

Thanks to the folks who replied by e-mail to this. Hopefully y'all's advice will lead me to success. I've got some GREAT readers!

David Baria Blogs On Senate Appointments / The Coast Loses

David Baria's Blog:
It appears that on-the-whole, the Coast did not come out as well as we should have in terms of committee chairmanships. For instance, the longest serving Senator and former President Pro Tempore- Tommy Gollott, was assigned the Chairmanship of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. While this is an important committee for the Gulf Coast, it is not considered to be one of the 6 most important committees. The newly formed committee on Housing has no members from the three coastal counties. The insurance committee does not appear to have any members who ran on the "insurance reform" theme.

Looking at the big picture, all of the important committees are chaired by Republicans, and most committees have a Republican majority. In our system, the victors get the spoils, and as Lt. Gov. Bryant gets to make the appointments, he can appoint anyone he wants regardless of the fact that Democrats outnumber Republicans in the Senate. On a less partisan note, my colleagues in the Senate seem to be willing to work with one another. Therefore, I remain optimistic that we will have a productive session.

It's unfortunate to hear that Katrina recovery appears to have taken a back seat to Phil Bryant's partisanship. I had hoped that state leaders would agree and fight for it in Jackson, but again the Coast takes a back seat to the established political players.

Insurance and housing have to be the two biggest Katrina recovery issues and to fail to place advocates for reform and those affected most by the storm on those committees shows ignorance at best.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Steve Holland Has His Congressional Race Website Up

Steve Holland For Congress

David McLaughlin pointed out this ridiculous picture of Steve Holland on his website.

He's a giant. Look out gentle folks of Mississippi! Be afraid. (He could just sit on the smaller Capitol building in this picture.)

Hear Me Tonight On BlogTalkRadio

I'll be the guest on David McLaughlin's "The Kudzu Vine" tonight from 6:30 to 7:00.

You can listen in on The Kudzu Vine's BlogTalkRadio Page.

You can call in during that time at (646) 478-4503 to talk on the show.

I'll be discussing Trent Lott's seat, District 1's open seat, all the other Mississippi federal elections and the recent Speaker's race.

"The Kudzu Vine" is done in conjunction with Georgia blogs Tondee's Tavern and Blog For Democracy. Check them out.

Listen In and Have Your Say. The Kudzu Vine

2008 Candidates For Republican Nominations


U.S. Senate (seat now held by Republican Thad Cochran)
• Thad Cochran

U.S. House, 1st District (open seat)
• Glenn McCullough
• Greg Davis
• Randy Russell

U.S. House, 2nd District (Democrat Bennie Thompson, incumbent)
• Richard Cook

U.S. House, 3rd District (open seat)
• Charlie Ross
• John Rounsaville
• James Broadwater
• Hardy Caraway
• Gregg Harper
• Gregory Hatcher
• David Landrum
• Bill Marcy

U.S. House, 4th District (Democrat Gene Taylor, incumbent)
• John McCay III

(Found on THIS Daily Kos Post)

2008 Candidates For Democratic Nominations


U.S. Senate (seat now held by Republican Thad Cochran)
• Erik R. Fleming
• Shawn O’Hara.

U.S. House, 1st District (open seat)
• Travis W. Childers.
• Marshall W. Coleman.
• Steve Holland.
• James K. “Ken” Hurt.
• Brian Neely.

U.S. House, 2nd District (Democrat Bennie Thompson, incumbent)
• Dorothy Benford.
• Bennie G. Thompson (incumbent).

U.S. House, 3rd District (open seat)
• Randy Eads.
• Joel L. Gill.

U.S. House, 4th District (Democrat Gene Taylor, incumbent)
• Gene Taylor.

(provided by the Mississippi Democratic Party)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Jack Gordan demoted by Phil Bryant

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We'll see who has waited till the last minute to file tonight.

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Landrum Introduces A Soft Line Of Attack On His Opponents In This Ad

In an advertisement that costs this much money do know that every word was selected carefully and they chose to introduce a contrast.

"I'm not a lawyer, politician or a bureaucrat."

He's opening his line of contrast with the other strong contenders for the Republican nomination.

Greg Harper is an attorney. Charlie Ross recently ran for Lt. Governor and was a state senator (politician). John Rounsaville has worked as State Director of the USDA Rural Development Agency (bureaucrat).

"He has a lot of experience in life that doesn't come from a political career..."

I think his folks know that Ross should be considered the leader in this race. So he's focusing on how he's different from him without using his name.

In YouTube you "tag" videos with words so that when people search for those words they find that video. This video's tags include "Charlie," "Ross," "Greg," and "Harper."

Any More Democrats For District One?

Three Democrats are now running for District One.

Attorney Brian Neely from Tupelo is running.

Prentiss County businessman and Chancery Clerk Travis Childers is running.

Now Representative Steve Holland of Plantersville is running.

The Daily Journal:
Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, will be a candidate for the 1st Congressional District seat.

Holland has served in the legislature since 1984.
I'm leaning toward Childers, but I haven't made my pick yet.

Roger Wicker: The Cookie Cutter Candidate

In a series of private meetings around the state local Republicans have been introducing Wicker in communities he is not familiar with. The purpose is to reassure Republicans in those areas and to solidify Republican support early. It makes sense to do.

A friend of mine, a Republican, was at one of those meetings and asked Roger Wicker a few questions. He came away unimpressed.

When he asked the interim Senator about himself he said he was a Mississippi Republican and that his ideas and votes would be just like those of Senator Trent Lott and Governor Haley Barbour. When asked to clarify if he'd have any differences he offered none.

According to his reports the interim Senator showed no passion about anything at the meeting.

We have a candidate who says all the right things and insists he won't be any different.

That may reassure the small percentage who rarely disagree with the right-wing of the Republican party, but most Mississippians would prefer a Senator with a mind of his own.

We have a cookie cutter candidate.

Seek And You Shall Find The Wicker Campaign Bus

I asked if anyone had a picture.  I somehow missed the official one on the Wicker website.  Brett Kittredge didn't. Here it is:

There's no way they put that together overnight.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dr. Marty Wiseman on District One and Demographics

Issue #42 The View From The Stennis Institute:

by Marty Wiseman, Ph.D.
John C. Stennis Institute of Government
Mississippi State University

The political pot in Mississippi is boiling over. Announcements of retirements and resignations have set in motion a predictable chain reaction as candidates scramble to fill the now or soon to be open seats in the First and Third Congressional Districts and the unexpired term of Mississippi's junior Senator Trent Lott.

The evolving contest(s) to fill the First District Congressional seat being vacated by veteran Congressman Roger Wicker as he accepts Governor Haley Barbour's appointment to fill Lott's unexpired term present a tremendously intriguing picture from several angles. For quite some time when one thought of the First Congressional District, the population center radiating out from Tupelo and Lee County came immediately to mind. If fact many simply thought that as the Tupelo area went so went the First District. Indeed 13 year veteran Congressman Roger Wicker calls Tupelo home. As is usually the case when an open seat becomes available, pent up desire to run for the office manifests itself and in the process observers commence the game of handicapping the chances of the respective candidates based on their experience, name recognition and where in the district they are from.

When one examines the First District through the prism of the current crop of announced and potential candidates they are in for some interesting discoveries. To begin with, this district that spans almost the entire way across North Mississippi from the Alabama line in the east stopping at the edge of the Delta dominated Second Congressional District has now developed a second major population center. Upstart, but increasingly powerful, DeSoto County has grown rapidly, and that growth continues so that population-wise it has reached virtual parity with the traditional population center of Tupelo/Lee County. Thus, the potential for a significant east/west rivalry for influence has developed in the First District. The entry into the race of former state legislator and current Mayor of the DeSoto County city of Southaven, Republican Greg Davis serves notice that the western part of the district is ready to play for keeps. Already at least three candidates from the Tupelo area have made their intentions known, and there will likely be others. Former Tupelo Mayor Glenn McCullough, a Republican, and Democrats Travis Childers, Chancery Clerk of Prentiss County and Tupelo Attorney Brian Neely have announced. Although there was a point at which it might have seemed that the Tupelo/Lee County eastern part of the First District was in danger of being swamped by the population growth in the DeSoto County dominated western part of the district, such concerns have abated with the arrival of the Toyota auto manufacturing facility and the growing number of announcements by auxiliary manufacturers.

Just as Tupelo has long been thought of as the "Capital" of the First District, conventional wisdom has labeled this a Republican District. No doubt this was due to Wicker's affiliation with the Republican Party. How quickly we forget the nearly 50-year tenure of Democrat Jamie Whitten. Recent elections clearly prove that residents of the First have not forgotten, and that there is plenty of evidence that a member of the Democratic Party can indeed be a viable candidate in the First. Furthermore, this Democratic viability extends across racial lines. One need look no further than the election of State Senator-elect, Democrat Eric Powell to fill the seat of retiring Senator Travis Little. Powell, an African-American won handily in a heavily white district including parts of Alcorn, Prentiss, and Tishomingo Counties. The eastern two-thirds of the First District is one of the remaining areas of high concentrations of what are often referred to as New Deal, TVA, Jamie Whitten Democrats. As one travels westward in the First they will encounter a growing African-American population that also votes heavily Democratic. A candidate who can pull together these two "brands" of Democrats can be successful in a First District race.

Some attention must also be paid to the impact of the mechanics of the election. Candidates for the race for the First District Congressional seat in the November general election must file by the end of the day on January 11. Candidates for the special election will file a few days later even though the special election will be held before the general election. All candidates in the special election will run together regardless of party with the top two making the runoff provided no one candidate gains a majority of the votes. It is unknown at this point what the date of the special election will be, but the primary for the general election will be March 11. Perhaps if both elections were on the same day voters would have to vote on two separate ballots. If this were the case, what if the winner of the non-partisan special election failed to win his party's primary for the general? Or what if the winner of the party primary was not elected to the seat in the special election?

One final consideration has to do with the context of Election Day. Special elections often have lighter turnouts than general elections. How would the prospects of the prospective candidates differ in a special election as compared to a heavily attended Presidential Election with the historic possibilities of Democratic ticket headed by Barak Obama or Hillary Clinton?

* I'm not in the practice of reproducing entire works, but I couldn't find this elsewhere online. Please post a link in the comments if it appears on the MSU website somewhere.