Thursday, October 30, 2008

CNN front page piece on MS-SEN race

The front page of CNN's website featured a picture of Ronnie Musgrove along with this leading story.

CNN:

Despite some polling showing Republican Sen. Roger Wicker with a comfortable lead over former Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, both campaigns agree the race is going to come down to every last vote.

"We have to run the race based on what we know," said Musgrove campaign spokesman Adam Bozzi. "What we know is that Mississippi [voters] in every region across the state are tired of the bad economy, tired of unemployment, and tired of the direction that Washington is headed in."

Phony calls going on?

This was posted on the Jackson Free Press website this afternoon.

ALERT: Young Voters, African Americans Getting Phony Calls

From the Mississippi Democratic Party/pass the word and let us know if you get any of these calls. Better yet, record them and send us the file:

It has come to our attention that phone calls (NOT ROBO-CALLS) are being made to newly registered voters. As far as we can tell they are targeting young people. A report came in this morning that a phone call was answered by a young, Jackson area man; the caller claimed to be from the Mississippi Democrati Party. The caller said that you MUST have a registration card with you when you vote. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. The MS Democratic Party is neither making these calls AND the information being passed IS NOT TRUE. Many people will not and have not received their cards. They should not be deterred from voting.

We need to inform the media and take action on this issue. This is an ELECTION PROTECTION issue and a serious violation of voters rights. PLEASE inform anyone and everyone you know not to take these calls and if they do to get the callers number and report immediately to Democratic Party HQ at 601 969 2913.

Please pass the information on ASAP.

Election Protection Press Conference tomorrow

PRESS ADVISORY: Protect the Vote 2008 Campaign Gears Up

On Friday, October 31st at 12:30 p.m., the Protect the Vote Campaign will gear up for Election Day with a press conference at the MS State Conference NAACP Office at 1072 J.R. Lynch Street in Jackson, aimed at highlighting the effort to assist voters. “Protect the Vote is about the people, and ensuring that every registered voter is able to cast their ballot,” said Derrick Johnson, NAACP President.

“Voting is a fundamental right. Mississippians should let nothing discourage them from making their votes count this Tuesday. If someone encounters a problem or just has a simple question, we can assist at 1-888-601-VOTE (8683), said Nsombi Lambright, Executive Director of MS ACLU. A live blog will be posted at www.601vote.wordpress.com detailing voting activities and issues as they are called in from across the state.

A staff of trained legal professionals is available to help with any Election Day issue. And if the problem can’t be resolved over the phone, over 200 legal volunteers are prepared to dispatch to help in person.

“On this Tuesday, remember to call 1-888-601-VOTE if you need help,” said Pam Johnson, Executive Director of the Mississippi Association for Justice. “Our legal volunteers are ready to help make democracy work in Mississippi.”

Protect the Vote is a nonpartisan initiative of the MS State Conference NAACP,
in partnership with the ACLU of MS, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Magnolia Bar Association, Mississippi Association for Justice, and the Mississippi Center for Justice.

WLOX pulls LEAA ads

As Folo posted earlier today, Supreme Court candidate Bubba Pierce was asked by the Special Committee on Judicial Election Campaign Intervention for the help in ending the LEAA ads against Oliver Diaz.

http://www.folo.us/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/fred-banks-to-bubba.pdf

As an update, we have been given word that WLOX has pulled the ads- permanently!

Pierce was also asked to stop the Mississippians for Economic Progress ads. Discussion of both ads and information from the panel is found in the Clarion-Ledger today.

http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20081030/NEWS04/810300379/1001/NEWS

Does anyone know if they wrote letters to Justice Lamar, Judge Chandler or Chief Justice Smith regarding the MFEP ads? I know they all had the same ads done on their behalf by MFEP.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama 30 minute TV ad... Rocks!!

I have to say "that one" hit it out of the park tonight with the 30 minute ad. Let's all do our part to make sure this man is the 44th president.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Very effective new DSCC Musgrove ad with fact sheet

First the new ad you have all already probably seen on your teevee...




Now the fact sheet that tells all you need to know...

Narrator: Sometimes, Roger Wicker and Ronnie Musgrove may look alike... But there are some big differences.
Visual: There are big differences

Narrator: Roger Wicker supports sending your Social Security savings to Wall Street.
Visual: Wicker
Sending Social Security Savings to Wall Street
Get the facts at WickerVotes.com


Wicker Still Advocated Social Security Privatization in March 2008. In March 2008, Wicker “said he would back an independent commission to reform Social Security, saying there are ways for the program to get a better interest rate than the 2 percent returned by investing in the U.S. treasury. ‘I don’t like to say private investment,’ he said, ‘but individual accounts where the Social Security payer can get a better deal.’” [Enterprise-Journal, 3/25/08]

Wicker Voted Against Barring Social Security Dollars From Being Diverted to Create Private Accounts. In 2005, Wicker voted against a Democratic proposal that “said money from the Social Security trust fund should not be used to establish the private investment accounts Bush favors.” [Vote #78, 3/16/05; AP, 3/16/05]

Wicker Voted To Put Social Security At Risk Through Privatization. In 2001, Wicker voted in favor of privatizing Social Security by opposing an amendment prohibiting implementation of the final report of President Bush's Commission to Strengthen Social Security. The commission offered a bleak appraisal of a “broken” system, warning that deep benefit cuts, tax increases or “massive” federal debt are inevitable unless Congress allows the personal retirement accounts the White House favors. [Vote #273, 7/25/01; Washington Post, 7/20/01]

Wicker Was Sold On Bush’s Privatization Plan in ’05. Even before Bush visited Mississippi on his 2005 tour to sell his privatization plan, Wicker “said he already was sold on the idea of personal accounts and on the need to curb benefits for wealthier Americans. ‘We have a system that's going broke,’ Wicker said. ‘Everybody's benefits are going to be cut unless we fix the problem.’” [Gannett News Service, 4/30/05]

Wicker Cosponsored 2005 Bill to Create Private Accounts for Social Security. In 2005, Wicker cosponsored a bill to create private investment accounts for Social Security by taking the annual Social Security surplus to create the accounts. The Growing Real Ownership for Workers or GROW accounts would be created for workers who were under the age of 55 at the beginning of 2005, unless they don't participate. The accounts, which let workers put part of their payroll taxes into U.S. Treasury bonds that they would own, would end in 2017. [HR 3304, introduced 7/14/05; The Advocate, 7/27/05; Washington Times, 8/18/05]

Nonpartisan CBO Said Wicker-Backed GROW Accounts Would Cost More Than $1 Trillion. CBO said the plan to create voluntary individual “Growing Real Ownership for Workers” accounts out of the Social Security surplus would “increase federal outlays by more than $1 trillion” between 2007 and 2021. “Under H.R. 3304, the reduction in traditional retirement benefits would result in lower Social Security outlays from 2012 through 2052,” CBO found. “That would delay trust fund exhaustion, and the automatic benefit reductions that exhaustion entails, until 2063.” [National Journal’s CongressDaily, 9/15/05; CBO Report, 9/13/05]


Narrator: Musgrove will strengthen Social Security.
Visual: Musgrove Will Strengthen Social Security


Musgrove Spoke Out Against Wicker’s Privatization Plan. In a campaign press release, Musgrove stated “These selfish, greedy Wall Street tycoons have robbed us coming and going. They couldn't manage the money they bilked us out of in the first place and now they want us to spend hundreds of millions of dollars of our hard earned tax dollars to bail them out. Even worse, Roger Wicker and his special interest allies want these same institutions in control of our Social Security. The current chaos on Wall Street is bad enough. We don't need the people who drove the economy into the ground destroying Social Security too. This week it is clearer than ever. The special interest-Wicker plan to privatize Social Security would be devastating, and we would be left holding the bag.” [Musgrove Press Release, 9/17/08]

Musgrove: Move Past Partisan Bickering On Social Security. In an interview with the Jackson Free Press, Musgrove said “the partisan bickering stalls the process and keeps real issues left on the table…People know there are serious looming problems with Social Security and Medicare, and they know the partisan bickering is stalling any improvements.” [Jackson Free Press, 4/23/08]


Narrator: Wicker voted 13 times against the minimum wage.
Visual: Wicker
13 Votes Against the Minimum Wage


In 2007, Wicker voted against raising the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25. Wrote the Louisville Courier-Journal, “the veto-proof vote by the House this week to boost the minimum wage – for the first time in a decade, from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 over two years – is a welcome move by the new Democratic leadership…After six years of one-party Republican rule that placed its highest priority on tax cuts and other benefits for the most affluent Americans, the Democrats' interest in the most struggling workers is refreshing.” Wicker voted against the wage increase. [Vote 18, 1/10/07; Louisville Courier Journal, 1/13/07]

In 2006, Wicker Twice Voted Against Raising Minimum Wage to $7.25. In Committee in 2006, Wicker voted twice against increasing the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour by 1/1/09. [CQ Committee Coverage, House Appropriations Committee Markup, 6/13/06; CQ Committee Coverage, House Appropriations Committee Markup, 6/20/06]

In 2000, Wicker voted against increasing the federal minimum wage by $1 over two years. According to the Chicago Sun Times, “The House voted 246-179 for a bipartisan amendment boosting the wage by $ 1 over two years -- a $ 2,000 raise for a full-time worker -- instead of a GOP plan for the same raise over three years.” Wicker voted against the wage increase. [Vote 43, 3/9/00; Chicago Sun Times, 3/10/00]

In 1996, Wicker twice voted against raising the minimum wage by 90 cents over two years. According to the Chicago Tribune, “By a 266-162 vote, the House passed an amendment to raise the minimum wage by 90 cents over two years, to $5.15 an hour.” According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “Democrats and moderate Republicans pushed through the House today legislation increasing the minimum wage by 90 cents, thwarting attempts by the GOP leadership to exempt many businesses. The final vote was 281-144 on the package that would raise the current $ 4.25-an-hour minimum wage by 90 cents over the next 13 months.” Wicker voted against the wage increase. [Vote 192, 5/23/96; Vote 195, 5/23/96; Chicago Tribune, 5/24/96; Chicago Sun-Times, 5/23/96]

In 2006, Wicker Blocked Minimum Wage Vote Seven Times in Five Weeks. In June and July 2006, Wicker joined his Republican colleagues in blocking seven separate attempts to offer a minimum wage increase before the House of Representatives. [Vote #308, 6/22/06; Leadership Document, 6/22/06; Vote #313, 6/22/06; National Journal’s CongressDaily, 6/23/06; Vote #319, 6/27/06; Vote #353, 6/29/06; Vote #360, 7/11/06; Congressional Record, 7/11/06; Vote #364, 7/12/06; Hoyer Statement, 7/12/06; Vote #366, 7/12/06; Wall Street Journal, 7/13/06]

Wicker Said He Would Rather Cut Taxes Than Raise Minimum Wage, Even As He Acknowledged Wage Hike Would Help Millions. “A minimum wage hike would help about 3.7 million people,” Wicker said in 1996. “I would rather increase the take-home pay of 50 million people with a tax cut.” [Commercial Appeal, 5/12/96]


Narrator: Musgrove will increase it.
Visual: Musgrove Will Increase Minimum Wage


Musgrove: It’s Wrong Not To Vote To Help Workers Get Paid What They Deserve. In a speech announcing his candidacy, Musgrove said “Roger Wicker voted ten times against raising the minimum wage. He voted eight times against extending unemployment benefits or to help workers whose jobs were outsourced. And he voted for $40 billion in tax breaks for foreign corporations that ship jobs overseas. Roger Wicker will vote to spend money on a New York music hall, but he won’t vote to help Mississippi middle class workers keep their jobs, find a new job, or get paid what they deserve on the job. I think Mr. Wicker is wrong.” [Musgrove Campaign Announcement, 1/8/08]

Musgrove: Only Paycheck a Senator Should Raise Is Yours. Referring in a 2008 campaign ad to Roger Wicker’s votes to raise his own salary while opposing minimum wage hikes, Musgrove said, “the only paycheck your Senator should be focused on raising is yours.” [Musgrove Ad: “Where Did Our Jobs Go?“]

Musgrove Suggested He Would Counter Wicker on Minimum Wage Votes. At the 2008 state Democratic convention, Musgrove said, “When my opponent has voted…against raising the minimum wage, it’s time for Ronnie Musgrove to be in the United States Senate.” [Musgrove Convention Speech, 6/7/08]


Narrator: And Wicker supported tax breaks for CEOS
Visual: Wicker
Tax Breaks for CEOs and Oil Companies


Wicker Supported Bush’s 2004 Multitrillion-Dollar Tax Breaks for Wealthy. In 2004, Wicker supported Bush’s budget that permanently locked in multitrillion-dollar tax breaks that mostly benefit the nation’s wealthiest. According to the AFL-CIO, “To finance these taxes cuts for millionaires and billionaires, the Republican budget resolution—which mirrored Bush’s proposal—inflated the record-high $477 billion U.S. deficit and by $120 billion shortchanged or cut funds for the domestic programs working families need most—from job creation to health care, transportation and education. It also accelerated the repeal of the estate tax and made permanent tax cuts—such as the estate tax repeal, the capital gains and dividend rate cuts and the reduction in marginal rates—that provide huge benefits to families with the highest incomes.” [Vote #92, 3/25/04; 2004 AFL-CIO Scorecard]

Wicker Voted For $350 Billion Bush Tax Cut For The Rich in 2003. In 2003, Wicker voted for an irresponsible tax cut package that deepened the nation’s fiscal crisis and left middle-income households out in the cold. Some 53 percent of all U.S. households — or 74 million — will receive a tax cut of $100 or less in 2003 from the bill. Additionally, 36 percent of households — or 50 million — will receive no tax cut whatsoever in 2003, while tax filers who make $1 million or more per year will receive an average tax cut in 2003 of $93,500. [Vote #225, 5/23/03; Center for Budget & Policy Priorities, 5/28/03]

Wicker Voted For 2001 Bush Tax Cuts That Gave Most Benefits To The Rich. In 2001, Wicker voted for the final, $1.35 trillion tax cut package. Under the final agreement, the typical tax cut for the median income taxpayer would be $600 a year. For the 78 million taxpayers in the lowest 60 percent of the income scale, the tax cut would average $347 a year. In contrast, at the top of the income scale the average tax cut would be $53,000 annually--virtually identical to the $54,000 annual tax cut proposed by the President. As a result of the plan, after-tax income was estimated to rise about three times as much among the top one percent of families as among those in the middle class, and more than seven times faster among the top one percent of families than among the bottom 20 percent of families. [Vote #149, 5/26/01; Citizens for Tax Justice, 5/26/01; CBPP, 5/26/01]

> Sen. McCain Said 2001 Tax Cuts Benefited Wealthy “At the Expense of Middle-Class Americans.” Sen. John McCain, who voted against the 2001 Bush tax cuts, “said the measure cut tax rates for the wealthy ‘at the expense of middle-class Americans.’” [AP, 5/26/01]

> Bush Tax Cuts Shifted Tax Burden to the Middle Class. Reporting on a Congressional Budget Office Study in 2004, the Washington Post noted that “President Bush's tax cuts have shifted federal tax payments from the richest Americans to a wide swath of middle-class families.” The CBO report “found that the wealthiest 20 percent, whose incomes averaged $182,700 in 2001, saw their share of federal taxes drop from 64.4 percent of total tax payments in 2001 to 63.5 percent this year. The top 1 percent…saw their share fall to 20.1 percent of the total, from 22.2 percent.” On the other hand, “taxpayers with incomes from around $51,500 to around $75,600 saw their share of federal tax payments increase. Households earning around $75,600 saw their tax burden jump the most, from 18.7 percent of all taxes to 19.5 percent.” [Washington Post, 8/13/04]

Wicker Voted to Make the Bush Tax Cuts Permanent. In 2002, Wicker voted to permanently extend the Bush tax cuts, many of which were set to expire in 2010. This included the income tax rate cut, marriage penalty relief and the estate tax repeal. [Vote 103, 4/18/02]


Narrator: and Oil companies.
Visual: Wicker
Tax Breaks for CEOs and Oil Companies


Wicker Supported 1999 Tax Break Worth Over A Billion A Year For Big Oil. Wicker voted for the final 1999 GOP Tax package, which included a provision that would give oil companies a special tax benefit for their foreign operations. According to USA Today, “One of the biggest targeted breaks in the newly approved measure is for multinational oil companies, courtesy of Ways and Means Chairman Bill Archer, R-Texas. Archer pushed through a provision that would repeal rules limiting tax credits that oil and gas companies can claim from foreign operations. By 2009, the companies would save $ 1.2 billion a year.” According to the New York Times, the bill contained other measures beneficial to the oil industry as well, including allowing tax write-offs for wells that are “marginally productive.” Schaffer also voted for the initial House passage of the bill.[Vote 333, 7/22/99; Vote 379, 8/5/99; USA Today, 8/17/99; New York Times, 7/21/99]

> Additional Sourcing for “Tax Breaks”: According to the New York Times, “Mr. Archer, whose district is in Houston, put into the House bill several tax breaks for his constituents in the petroleum industry. One, for example, allows more favorable tax treatment for Americans who have income from foreign oil and gas. Another allows new write-offs for wells that are marginally productive.” [New York Times, 7/21/99]

> McCain Said Oil Companies Got $5 Billion In Tax Cuts For Their Efforts to Pass The Bill. According to the Durham Herald-Sun, Sen. John McCain “cited the influence of special interests on the passage of this summer's $792 billion tax bill. Had the president signed it, banks and securities firms, which spent $34.6 million in soft money contributions, would have received $30 billion in tax cuts, a good investment according to McCain. Similarly, restaurants and hotels spent $9.9 million and received $8.4 billion; oil and gas companies spent $14.3 million and got $5 billion; steel companies contributed $990,000 and got $187 million, McCain said.” [Durham Herald-Sun, 10/13/99]

Wicker Voted for 2001 Energy Bill With $13 Billion in Tax Breaks to Big Oil. Wicker voted for the 2001 House energy bill, which included $33.5 billion in tax breaks over 10 years. According to the New York Times, “The bulk of the credits and breaks -- $27 billion, according to government watchdog groups -- go to traditional energy producers, both to drill for more oil and gas, develop nuclear energy and produce cleaner coal.” The Orlando Sentinel reported that the House energy bill “would bestow $33.5 billion of tax breaks during 10 years, the bulk of it to encourage production of new energy supplies. They include: $13.3 billion for oil and gas companies.” [Vote 320, 8/1/01; New York Times, 8/2/01; Orlando Sentinel, 8/19/01]

Headline: “In the End, Energy Bill Fulfilled Most Industry Wishes.” According to the Washington Post, “By winning more than $ 30 billion in tax incentives” in the 2001 energy bill, “industry received much of what it wanted. But its success raised questions about how lawmakers and the administration plan to pay for it in a period of declining budget surpluses.” [Washington Post, 8/3/01]

Additional Sourcing for “Tax Breaks”:

> The Times-Picayune reported that the 2001 House energy bill included a number of stipulations that “were good news for the oil and gas industry, which could gain $10 billion worth of tax breaks and a two-year extension of royalty breaks for deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.” [Times-Picayune, 8/2/01]

> The Christian Science Monitor reported that the 2001 House energy bill “contained many of the most important provisions of the administration's original energy outline, including billions of dollars in tax breaks for petroleum producers.” [Christian Science Monitor, 8/3/01]

Wicker Voted for Final 2003 Energy Bill With $11.9 Billion for Oil and Gas Industries. In November 2003, Wicker voted for the final version of the 2003 energy bill. The bill provided an estimated $23 billion in tax breaks over 10 years, with $14.5 billion going to the coal, oil, natural gas industries. Specifically, CQ Monitor reported, “Senate Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, said the tax breaks were expanded to satisfy demands from congressional backers of the oil and gas industry. He said the final version of the bill includes $11.9 billion in tax breaks for the industry.” [Vote 630, 11/18/03; Saint Paul Pioneer Press, 11/18/03; Wichita Eagle, 11/19/03; CQ Monitor, 11/18/03]

Wicker Voted For 2005 Energy Bill With $2.6 Billion in Tax Breaks For Big Oil And Gas Companies. Wicker voted to adopt the final 2005 Energy Bill, which provided for $14.6 billion in energy-related tax incentives, according to Congressional Quarterly Weekly. The tax package, “provides far less support for alternative energy and efficiency than many lawmakers had urged,” with 58% going to “traditional energy industries, including oil, natural gas, coal, electric utilities and nuclear power,” according to the Washington Post. Specifically, “the bill provides $2.6 billion in tax benefits for oil and gas production and refining.” [Vote 445, 7/28/05; Washington Post, 7/28/05; Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 7/29/05]

Additional Sourcing for $2.6 Billion:

> Discussing the 2005 energy bill, The Hill reported, “In total, the energy bill included $2.6 billion in oil and gas tax breaks.” [The Hill, 5/9/06]

> The AP reported, “the legislation would provide $14.5 billion in energy tax breaks, including $2.6 billion for oil and gas industries.” [Associated Press, 7/28/05]


Narrator: Musgrove says cut taxes for middle-class families.
Visual: Musgrove Cut Taxes for Middle-Class


Musgrove: Tax Less. In a speech announcing his candidacy for Senate, Musgrove said “We need a senator who will make the hard choices and the smart choices in the federal budget. And the way to put more money into the pockets of our people is to not take it out in the first place.” [Musgrove Campaign Announcement, 1/8/08]

Musgrove: Stand For Rights Of Taxpayers, Middle Class. In a speech announcing his candidacy for Senate, Musgrove said “I believe in rights of taxpayers, and my loyalties are to middle class families here at home in Mississippi.” [Musgrove Campaign Announcement, 1/8/08]


Narrator: The difference?
Visual: Musgrove
The Difference?
Narrator: Ronnie Musgrove is on your side.
Visual: Musgrove On Your Side

Travis Childers goes to work for Mississippi

Travis Childers is a Mississippi Democrat who gets it. The road to victory for a Democrat in Mississippi lies in economic populism, not trying to sound like Republican Lite. While Childers holds certain socially conservative views, he has centered his campaign around the winning strategy of economic fairness and fighting for the working man. For too long the Republicans have hid behind social conservatism on one hand while pushing the most damaging policies to the working man in the other hand. Travis offers a clear alternative to his opponent.

This week Travis is in Mississippi. From a campaign email...


Congressman Travis Childers continued his district-wide “work week” today at Usry Grocery in Nesbit. He bagged groceries, ran the cash register, and spoke with voters about his record of helping to create jobs and provide relief for North Mississippi’s working families during difficult economic times.

Later this week, the Congressman will also spend time as an employee at small businesses in Lee and Grenada Counties. To join Congressman Childers and see him “at work” for North Mississippi, RSVP for one or more of the following events at http://childersforcongress.com/tc_events.html#rsvp.



Congressman Childers Takes Orders at Johnnie’s Drive In
Thursday, October 30, 2008
11:30 p.m.
908 E Main St
Tupelo, MS 38804

Congressman Childers “Goes to Work” in Grenada County
Friday, October 31, 2008
DETAILS TBA

Roger Wicker sings!!

Sorry folks but I have been under the weather for a few days. Here we are a week from CHANGE and I get sick. I will do better.

CL endorses Diaz

The Clarion-Ledger endorsed Justice Oliver Diaz today.

Here are some snippets from the article. To read the full piece, click here.

A state Supreme Court comprised of nine justices who think exactly alike is a dangerous thing. Judicial balance comes from divergent philosophies working together to follow the law.

Incumbent Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz is not in lockstep with the current majority on the state Supreme Court. Frequently, Diaz disagrees with that majority and makes his arguments for his positions in rational, authoritative dissents. That's what the public hears about.

But less evident is the balance that Diaz brings to the court through those dissents and through his own life experiences.

Clearly, Diaz is a judge who has learned to look at the law through the eyes of those whose lives hang in the balance of court decisions.

Voter rolls must be complete by Thursday

Yesterday evening on Mississippi Edition on MPB, they reported that all voter rolls must be completed by Thursday.

Circuit clerks are urging residents to contact their offices directly if you have not received your voter card or if you're concerned that your registration form was not processed for some other reason.

Click here to find contact information for circuit clerks.

Monday, October 27, 2008

LEAA tries to attack Diaz

More out-of-state interests are trying to buy the Supreme Court elections this year.

The Law Enforcement Alliance of America is the latest group trying to make it's way into judicial elections. Unfortunately for them, a few journalists have actually researched their claims and found them to be false.

From the Sun Herald:


False ad pops up on Coast
Some say loophole allows it to run

Proponents of campaign-finance reform say a loophole in Mississippi law encourages misleading, anonymously sponsored television advertisements that out-of-state groups back to attack candidates they oppose.

This past week, incumbent Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz Jr. became the target of an inaccurate and misleading advertisement sponsored by the Law Enforcement Alliance of America, an organization headquartered near Washington, D.C.
LEAA, a group that has been backed by the National Rifle Association, is airing the advertisements on television stations from Jackson to the Coast.

They accuse Diaz of supporting two child killers and a rapist who murdered a woman. Diaz actually voted to give one convict a post-conviction hearing in Circuit Court, stay the execution of a second inmate pending a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on lethal injection and grant a new trial to a third defendant because of errors in a previous trial that the entire court acknowledged.
WAPT also put it to the truth test. Result: The ad is false!

http://www.wapt.com/video/17784175/index.html?taf=jac


Below is Justice Diaz's response to the false attacks.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Esquire Endorses In Mississippi (And Everywhere Else)




I'll just copy and comment on one, but they're all thought out which you can check out on their site.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

District 3


Gregg Harper (R)

Joel Gill (D)

For his living, Joel Gill is a cattle trader, but his grasp of policy is the envy of many a representative. Gregg Harper's claim to the seat? Faith and family and faith and traditional values and faith and faith and faith. Lord, have mercy.
Esquire endorses: Gill

.......

Who would have thought a cattle trader from Mississippi would ever end up in Esquire?

While I don't like the tone they take towards faith they are spot on in noting that Mr. Gill is far more the policy wonk than Mr. Harper.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wicker courting Obama voters?

If you need a sign that the Wicker campaign is scared to death of the massive Obama turnout awaiting them Novemebr 4, then look no further than a new radio ad featuring an African-American voice proclaiming that they are voting for Obama and Wicker. Roger Wicker who is supporting McCain, accuses Musgrove of not mentioning Obama's name in their debate a couple of weeks ago.

Audio available at the Politco:

"I'm supporting Barack Obama for president and Roger Wicker for US Senate," an African-American woman says in the ad. “In the debate. [Musgrove] wouldn’t even say Barack Obama’s name. He’s disrespecting us and taking our vote for granted,” she says.

Another African American says of Wicker: “He represents us and he doesn’t take our vote for granted. He’s asking for our vote. Ronnie Musgrove refuses to say he supports Barack Obama.”
So let us get this straight. Wicker openly says he is supporting John McCain. Musgrove said he is supporting his parties nominee. Wicker thinks he can fool enough black people into thinking he is more pro-Obama than Musgrove. Does he really think this will work?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

State paying for Chief Justice's Commute

According to this new ad, taxpayers are footing the bill for Chief Justice Jim Smith's commute to work in the morning. I'll admit, the chair doesn't bother me that much, but the commute - that infuriates me.


MS-01: Greg Davis speaks

In an interview in the Daily Journal Greg Davis attempts to draw some contrasts between himself and the incumbent Travis Childers. Greg Davis is counting on the fact that the GOP brand is still strong in north Mississippi. Greg Davis is also trying to tie himself to the McCain campaign, hoping to ride their coattails to victory.

From the Daily Journal:

- Wants military leaders to set the pace in Iraq instead of leaving those decisions “to a bunch of politicians sitting around a table.”
Davis is taking the McCain campaign position on Iraq. John McCain and Greg Davis may be the last two people left who don't want to set some sort of a timeline to get our troops home from Iraq. Let us not forget the $10 billion a month we are flushing down the toilet while we are in the midst of an economic crisis. Even George W. Bush is ready for a timeline.

- Generally opposes earmarks because there are already ways for the 1st District to obtain federal funding.
Here we go with another staple of the John McCain campaign. Never mind that earmarks make up less than one percent of federal expenditures. Maybe he should talk to Thad and Roger about their appetite's for pork.

- Supports Sen. John McCain for president and thinks his running mate, Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin, would make a fine vice president.
Well that may be the most damning thing he said, that he thinks Palin would make a great VP. Sarah Palin is not qualified to be vice president of her local moose lodge. The thought of her one heartbeat away from the presidency sends a cold chill down my spine.

When asked if there were any Democrats currently serving in Congress whom he respects, though, Davis said he couldn’t think of any and chalked that up in part to bitter partisanship.
There are 235 Democrats in Congress and he can't name one he respects. All I can say is wow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New third-party ad slams Roger Wicker

More on ID requirements

As an update to the posting from yesterday, below are the suitable forms of identifying where you live on Election Day, should the need arise. This listed on the voter registration form from the Secretary of State's website.

Identification Requirement: If you do not have a driver's license or social security number, and this form is submitted by mail, and you have never registered to vote in the county you are now registering in, you must send, with this application, either a) a copy of current and valid photo identification, or b) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter. If you do not provide the information requested above, you may be required to provide to election officials either (a) or (b) above the first time you vote after January 1, 2004 at a voting place or by absentee ballot.

Justice Oliver Diaz's Commercial

Senator Jim Webb stumps for Musgrove in Jackson

Senator Jim Webb of Virginia was in Jackson yesterday to stump for Ronnie Musgrove at a veterans rally. Senator Webb is one the netroots biggest heroes from the 2006 Democratic takeover of the Senate. Webb defeated George Allen in Virginia in one of the most hotly contested races of 2006. That race featured the now infamous "macaca" racial smear that helped propel the former Reagan Secretary of the Navy, Jim Webb past the incumbent Allen.

Monday at a veterans rally held downtown, Jim Webb offered his support of Ronnie Musgrove.

From the WLBT website:

Musgrove says, "Our veterans deserve better and Roger Wicker has been on the wrong side of important issues dealing with veterans."

Also critical of Wicker, Virginia Senator Jim Webb, author of a bill passed giving post-9/11 veterans educational benefits.

Webb says, "We didn't get much help from the incumbent Senators in Mississippi on that bill, I think it was a common sense vote if people did care about taking care of our troops not only today, but down the stretch for the rest of their lives."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Barbour questions legality of new voters

The Financial Times interviewed Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour about the upcoming elections. He's obviously not very excited about the hard work of the Obama campaign to register thousands of new voters in Mississippi this election cycle.

Haley Barbour, the Republican governor of Mississippi, has questioned the legality of tens of thousands of new voter applications in his state, raising the prospect that new voters might be challenged on election day.

Mr. Barbour told the Financial Times that “not all” newly registered voters in Mississippi were legal because of rules that require voters who register by mail to include a photocopy of a federally accepted identification in their application, or bring identification to the polls. “I suspect some of those people won’t be able to do that,” he said.

First, if you registered by mail (and, as of right now, this includes anyone who did not register at the Circuit Clerk's office in person), you are not "illegal," and you can vote, but you will be asked to show identification if this is the first time you have voted.

Be prepared when you go to the polls this November. If you do not have a state-issued ID, you can also use a utility bill with your name and address on it as identification.

Also remember, you can always request an affidavit ballot- no one can deny your right to vote.

We want everyone's vote to count this election year!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

New Research 2000 Poll shows Musgrove only down one point

Finally a new Mississippi Senate poll is out. We have had two polling firms working Mississippi this cycle, Rasmussen and Research 2000. The last Rasmussen poll from October 1 showed a three point swing for Ronnie Musgrove from the previous poll. The numbers went from 47-42 Wicker, to 49-47 Wicker. The last Research 2000 poll was published September 11. In that poll Wicker lead Musgrove 48-43. Thanks to Daily Kos for the poll.

Research 2000
MS-SEN
Wicker ------ 47
Musgrove --- 46

Here is a link to the crosstabs. Crosstabs at Daily Kos.

NRSC pulls out of Colorado

The NRSC is pulling out of the Colorado Senate race between Bob Shaffer and Mark Udall. Earlier this week the NRSC pulled out of Louisiana which was the only state they were on offense. According to Marc Ambinder from the Atlantic, the NRSC is only operating in three states right now, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Mississippi. Things are lining up for Mississippi to be the Alamo for the Republicans in the Senate. I fully expect all resources available to be spent by the GOP here in Mississippi.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fox News focus group says it's Obama

As Kos said, aint it good to be a Democrat.

Obama wins CNN and CBS snap polls

Once again viewers thought Barack Obama won the debate. At least I won't have to type that again until 2012. These stats courtesy of the mothership Daily Kos.

CBS poll of undecided voters:

Who won the debate?

McCain (R) 22
Obama (D) 53

Shares your values

Obama, Before the debate: 54
Obama, After the debate: 63

McCain, Before the debate: 53
McCain, After the debate: 56



CNN poll of voters who watched debate:

Who won the debate?

McCain (R) 31
Obama (D) 58

Favorable/Unfavorable

Obama, before debate: 63/35
Obama, after debate: 66/33

McCain, before debate: 51/45
McCain, after debate: 49/49

Hal and Mals debate watch party liveblog

8:00: I am here at Hal and Mal with about 75 or so Obama supporters. The crowd just gave a raucous applause for Senator Obama. I am not going to update question by question but rather on what happens here in this room. What resonates and what fails.

8:06: Obama gets response from crowd on his tax policies.

8:09: McCain tries to blame Joe the plumbers inability to buy a business Obama's tax plans fault. Crowd laughs hysterically at the idiocy of McCain.

McCain is accusing Obama of wealth redistribution. The crowd is getting testy, mad at McCain.

8:25: McCain tries to apoligize for temperment for campaign. He pleas for sympathy and tells how hurt he is. He is trying to lure Obama in to the woods.

8:31 They are in the weeds arguing about whose campaign is the dirtiest. Obama lays him to waste and crowd goes nuts on Ayers.

UPDATE: Hal and Mals internet crashed. Their coverage is below terrible anyway, but tonight it crapped the bed.

I thought McCain had his strongest debate yet, but to no avail. Let's see what the snap polls have to say.

Watch Travis Childers and Greg Davis debate this afternoon via webcast

This afternoon , Congressman Travis Childers will debate candidate Greg Davis at the University of Mississippi 's Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics in Oxford . The debate will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Tune in via a live webcast by clicking here (http://news.olemiss.edu/congressional/)

Debate Watch Parties for 10-15

Here is the list of tonight's debate watch parties.

DEBATE WATCH PARTIES

DESOTO COUNTY
• Location: 9125 Mill Branch Road, Southaven
• Time: 7:30 p.m.
• Contact: Jim Kilderry, (901) 734-1474

HANCOCK COUNTY
• Location: Hancock County Democratic Party, 1017 Highway 90, Bay St. Louis
• Time: 7:30 p.m.
• Contact: Louis Fuchs, (228) 305-0327


HARRISON COUNTY
• Location: Grand Casino Biloxi Hotel, Suite 411, 200 Beach Blvd., Biloxi
• Time: 6 p.m.
• Contact: S.J. Smolowitz, (347) 512-6532

HINDS COUNTY
• Location: Hal & Mal’s Restaurant, 200 S. Commerce St., Jackson
• Time: 7:30 p.m.
• Contact: Terry R. Cassreino, (601) 454-7419

• Location: Griffith House, 108 L.C. Turner Circle, Bolton
• Time: 7:45 p.m.
• Contact: Dr. London Thompson


JACKSON COUNTY
• Location: Jackson County Democratic Party, 2518 Market St., Pascagoula
• Time: 7:30 p.m.
• Contact: Kay Sims, (228) 938-2973

LOWNDES COUNTY
• Location: Willie and Whirllie Byrd, 3620 Azalea Circle, Columbus
• Time: 7 p.m.
• Contact: Whirllie Byrd, (662) 327-5751

MARSHALL COUNTY
• Location: Marshall County Democratic Party, 200 Martin Luther King Blvd., Holly Springs
• Time: 5:30 p.m.
• Contact: Wayne Jones, (662) 551-2096

TALLAHATCHIE COUNTY
• Location: Bennie Paige Jr., 714 Pine St., Charleston
• Time: 8 p.m.
• Contact: Bennie Paige Jr., (662) 625-0081

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Is Mississippi the firewall against 60?

The more this coming election comes into focus, the more it looks like a complete Democratic landslide up and down the ballot. Besides winning the White House, building a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate is goal number one. Most experts project the Democrats to control between 55 and 57 Senate seats, up from 50, not counting Darth Lieberman. In the last few weeks things have become more dire for the GOP. Even old hands like Elizabeth Dole, Mitch McConnell, Gordon Smith and John Sununu are in trouble. Today the RNC pulled money from the McCain race to spend in the Senate battleground where they are in grave danger of getting annihilated.

From the Politico:

The Republican National Committee, growing nervous over the prospect of Democrats’ winning a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, is considering tapping into a $5 million line of credit this week to aid an increasing number of vulnerable incumbents, top Republicans say.

With party strategists fearing a bloodbath at the polls, GOP officials are shifting to triage mode, determining who can be saved and where to best spend their money.

Democrats are looking at picking up these states for sure:
Viriginia (Warner)
Colorado (Udall)
New Mexico (Udall)
Oregon (Merkley)

These look like good bets:
New Hampshire (Shaheen)
Minnesota (Franken)
North Carolina (Hagan)
Alaska (Begich)

These are right there:
Kentucky (Lunsford)
Georgia (Martin)
Mississippi (Musgrove)

With the RNC now officially playing defense, I would expect an influx of money here in Mississippi. Mississippi stands as the last ditch to defend before the haggard GOP retreats to a filibuster-proof minority. We may see even more advertising than we have already seen. I know I received two different Roger Wicker mailers today.

Jeff Walters responds to ridiculous new Wicker ad

If you did not read the post below, Roger Wicker has a new negative campaign ad out that is not only reprehensible but a diversion from the topic at hand. We are in the middle of the most serious economic downturn of our lifetime. Voters want answers not false ads filled with stereotypes. Not only is the ad patently false (in what seems to be the GOP tactic of the moment), it is also offensive. One does not have to wait for the credits to know this ad did not come from the NRSC. Even the NRSC would not navigate the murky waters of this campaign ad.

Unemployment is up, as are home foreclosures in these uncertain times. Mississippi is hurting from the failed economic policies of the status quo. Free trade agreements have annihilated the once vibrant manufacturing sector of north Mississippi. Deregulation of our financial markets has resulted in a lot of Mississippians facing foreclosure. Times like these call for change not false attack ads based on the "culture war". Here we are less than three weeks from election day and Roger Wicker wants to talk about gays, guns and abortion. Is anyone fooled by this garbage?

I think Mississippians have had enough of this crap. Roger Wicker has voted with Bush as much as or more than just about anyone in Washington. He has voted for every free trade agreement. He has voted against raising the minimum wage while at the same time voting for his own pay raise nine times. He has voted against laws to regulate the subprime mortgage industry. Wicker has failed. We don't anymore of Wicker, we need change.

Notice in the ad he uses some characters that look the fell out of an audition for a new video of "Y.M.C.A.". This type of cultural stereotyping is not cool Roger. You may think it is politically expedient to make silly caricatures of gay people in you ads, but it makes our state look backwards.

Wicker is wrong on trade, wrong on the minimum wage and wrong on thinking Mississippians are dumb enough to fall for the "gays, guns, and abortion" thing again. Shame on you Roger Wicker.


Goal Thermometer

Musgrove camp responds to ridiculous new Wicker ad

Well damn. The advertisement says approved and paid for by Roger Wicker. It looks like he pays as much attention to the advertisements he endorses as he does the legislation he votes for. Roger Wickers new ad is pretty bad and the Musgrove campaign has a thing or to to say about it. For those who have not seen the ad...



From Musgrove for Senate:

10/14: Roger Wicker Lies Again In New Ad

Wicker's Newest Lie another example of the need for change in Washington

Jackson, MS- Roger Wicker has become so desperate to save his campaign that he has resorted to a series of ads that flat out lie. This time Wicker is fibbing about Musgrove's campaign finances.

"Roger Wicker must think Mississippians are pretty dumb. Ronnie Musgrove doesn't have contributions from any of the groups in Wickers ad. And everybody knows Ronnie Musgrove is pro-life and pro-gun. Apparently, after 14 years Roger Wicker has learned to lie the Washington way. It is time for a change," Tim Phillips, Musgrove for Senate campaign manager said.

Below is a fact check on Wickers lies in his latest ad:




Wicker Ad Ignores The Facts - Misleads Mississippi Voters

Roger Wicker's latest ad is a desperate attempt to mislead Mississippi voters about Ronnie Musgrove's record and donations that he has received. The ad claims that Musgrove has taken money from liberal sources such as Friends of Hillary Clinton, gay rights groups, and abortion groups and then implies that he will support that agenda. The fact is that Musgrove has taken NO money from these sources and has a solid conservative record. Ronnie Musgrove is pro-life, pro-gun, and supported one of the strictest gay adoption bans in the country. Roger Wicker's outright lies to the voters of Mississippi should be called what they are - a desperate political trick.

Musgrove's Donors

Despite Ads Claims - Musgrove Has Received No Money From Friends Of Hillary Clinton, NARAL, Or Human Rights Campaign: Despite the ads implication that Musgrove has received large donations from Hillary Clinton's PAC, NARAL (a pro-choice group), or the Human Rights Campaign (a gay rights group), Musgrove has received no donations from any of these groups. (www.fec.gov; Musgrove for US Senate)

Musgrove Stood Up To National Democrats

Musgrove Broke With National Democrats And Supported Pickering To U.S. Appeals Court: In 2003, Musgrove broke ranks with national Democratic leaders and supported President Bush's nomination of Charles Pickering to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The nomination was blocked by Democrats. (Associated Press, 1/14/04)

Supported Republican Congressional Candidate In 1992: In 1992, Musgrove contributed $500 to Marsha Blackburn, the Republican candidate for Tennessee's sixth congressional district. (Political Money Line Web site, "Contributions," www.tray.com)

Musgrove Is A Conservative

Abortion

Musgrove Supported Additional Restrictions On Abortion: In 1990, Musgrove voted to require the licensing of abortion clinics by the State Board of Health. Also, Musgrove voted to require a 24-hour waiting period before a woman could obtain an abortion. In 1991, Musgrove again voted for a bill requiring the waiting period. (Clarion Ledger, 4/1/90; 4/7/91)

Musgrove Banned Public Funding Of Abortion: In April 2002, Musgrove also signed a bill that would ban spending public funds on abortions with a few exceptions (including when the mother's life is in danger, when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or when a fetal malformation is incompatible with the baby being born alive). (Clarion Ledger, 4/18/02 HB 1480, Summary of Legislation 2002)

Musgrove Voted To Require Doctors To Register As Abortion Providers: In 1995, Musgrove voted to require physicians performing more than five abortions per month to have their offices licensed as abortion clinics. (Clarion Ledger, 3/9/95)

Gay Rights

Musgrove Supported Ban On Gay Adoptions: In March 2000, Musgrove supported a ban on adoption by homosexuals or same-sex couples. The ban not only pertained to adoptions in Mississippi, but also ensured that Mississippi would not recognize adoptions by gay individuals or couples from other states if the parents moved to Mississippi. (Clarion Ledger, 3/23/00)

Musgrove Opposes Gay Marriage: Musgrove opposes gay marriage and believes that marriage is between one man and one woman. (Clarion Ledger, 10/3/08; Sun Herald, 10/22/03)

Guns

Musgrove Was Endorsed By NRA And Loves To Hunt: In 1999, Musgrove was endorsed (along with his opponent) by the NRA. The postcard from the NRA stated that "Musgrove also supported our right to self-defense with a vote as a state senator for 'right to carry' - an issue of strong importance to NRA members." Musgrove talked about his love of hunting in 2002 and the Clarion Ledger reported that Musgrove had killed a 10-point buck in 2002. (Clarion Ledger, 11/2/99 and 1/6/02)

Musgrove Received An "A" From NRA In 2008: In the 2008 election cycle, Musgrove received an "A" rating, the highest given and the same as Roger Wicker, from the NRA. (National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund)

Musgrove Signed Bill Allowing Conceal And Carry For Certain Persons: In 2002, Musgrove signed HB 844, which provided that guards and other persons could carry concealed weapons, even if they were not sworn law enforcement officers, if they obtained a permit to carry concealed weapons. (HB 844, Summary of Legislation)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wall Street Journal: McCain no help to southern GOP candidates

I am back from a brief vacation. I hopped in a car and rode to Atlanta to see the Allman Brothers Band Saturday night. I was feeling the effects last night after driving back to Mississippi. The show was worth the ride. I wore an Obama '08 shirt and was complimented all night long while enjoying the sweet sounds of Macon, Georgia's finest.

Today in the Wall Street Journal, the effectiveness of the the John McCain campaign in Dixie was examined. Not only is John McCain trailing in the "swing states", he is finding resistance in former GOP strongholds in the South. Virgina and North Carolina are now leaning to solid blue. Obama leads in Florida. Georgia looks to be trending blue. Even Mississippi is in single digits. When you look at the Senate races in these states you see how bad things really are for the GOP. In Virginia Mark Warner is enjoying a double digit cushion over the Republican candidate. Virginia has not voted Democrat but once in 60 years in the race for the White House.

Fueled by demographic shifts, rising doubts about the direction of the country, perceived missteps by Sen. McCain and a voter-registration push by the Obama campaign that has helped add a net of 310,000 new, mostly younger voters, the Democratic ticket increasingly appears positioned to win Virginia and make critical inroads across the South. A CNN/Time Inc. poll released Wednesday shows Sen. Obama has opened a nine-point lead on Sen. McCain in Virginia.

While much attention has focused on Midwestern battlegrounds such as Ohio, Sen. Obama's campaign has pressed for a deathblow below the Mason-Dixon line: In the week ended Oct. 4, Sen. Obama outspent Sen. McCain's campaign by 8-to-1 in North Carolina, 3-to-1 in Florida and 3-to-1 in Virginia.
Senator McCain does not have the resources to keep up with the Obama machine. There are rumors of a $100 million September about to be reported by the Obama camp. Obama is not only making McCain play defense in Dixie (what some thought would be impossible), he is helping bring Senatorial candidates like Kay Hagan, Ronnie Musgrove and Jim Martin to Washington with him.

During the week ended Oct. 4, Sen. Obama spent $1.2 million on North Carolina advertising, while Sen. McCain's campaign spent $148,000, according to the Wisconsin Advertising Project, which tracks political media buys around the U.S. After appearing with Gov. Palin in Virginia Beach today, Sen. McCain will visit Wilmington, N.C., this afternoon. "This is the first time a Republican candidate has visited the state this deep in the campaign since George H.W. Bush in 1988. That tells you something," said Ferrell Guillory, director of the University of North Carolina's Program for Public Life.

In Florida, a RealClear Politics average of major nonpartisan polls shows Sen. Obama has overtaken Sen. McCain in the past three weeks, for a 48.7% to 44.9% edge. The Obama campaign targeted 100,000 eligible blacks for registration, and Democratic registrations have more than doubled those of Republicans. Sen. Obama last week spent more than $2 million in TV ads there, three times as much as Sen. McCain.

Even in states where Sen. Obama's chances of outright winning remain doubtful, his decision to continue campaigning in many of them is narrowing Sen. McCain's leads and bolstering the prospects of Democrats in down-ticket races for governorships and the U.S. Senate.

In early balloting in Georgia, African-Americans made up 39% of more than 369,000 voters, despite constituting only 29% of the electorate. Partly powered by African-American votes, Jim Martin, the once long-shot Democratic challenger to Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, has pulled from 15 points behind to a dead heat in recent polling. Sen. Obama himself has closed Sen. McCain's double-digit lead in Georgia to seven points.

Former Mississippi Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove now trails just two points behind Republican Sen. Roger Wicker, who was appointed to the seat this year after Sen. Trent Lott resigned.

Friday, October 10, 2008

State of the race, Mississippi is in play

The current electoral battlefield shows Mississippi's six electoral votes up for grabs. Team Obama has laid claim to GOP strongholds like Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. The next state in line in the South is Georgia. Georgia has polled remarkably close to Mississippi this cycle. Mississippi Democrats have more black voters while the Georgia Dems make up the difference with an influx of highly educated white voters, a lot of them imports to Atlanta.

Big news out of Georgia today. Saxby Chambliss who enjoyed a near 20 point lead a few weeks back is in a dead heat with Jim Martin. If there is anyone I want to see lose it is Saxby. He is a real piece of work. He "swiftboated" triple amputee Vietnam hero Max Cleeland as being a terrorist sympathizer and won in 2002. The other big news from the peach state is John McCain only has a 3 point lead over Obama in the big race. Folks if Georgia is that close, so are we. I am dying for a new Mississippi poll.

Voter turnout might just make some peoples heads explode in a few weeks. Ronnie Musgrove is starting to look more and more like a sure thing and Obama is looking like the race to watch as far as Mississippi is concerned.

Yes. We. Can.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The last fourteen days have been the product of the last fourteen years

Mississippi voter registration up 130,000 and counting

I have been hearing that there would be close to 100,000 new voters added to the rolls in Mississippi this year. The Clarion Ledger today in a front page article reported that number to be over 130,000 and still rising. Apparently they are still processing thousands of registration forms. While of course not all of these are Democrats, but I bet a wide majority of them are. If Mississippi follows the same trends as other states have shown, expect for an at least 2-1 split in favor of Democrats and possibly as high as 4-1. This is good news for Barack Obama and really good news for Ronnie Musgrove.

In 2004, Hinds County had 119,700 registered voters. By February this year, that number had risen to 135,890 and now has topped 152,000...

...Hinds County is far from the only county seeing a huge increase. Madison County is now reporting 74,870 registered voters - up from 63,975 in February...

...In February, Washington County had more than 26,000 registered voters. That number is now about 35,000, said Washington County Circuit Clerk Barbara Esters-Parker.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Illinois sheriff has had enough

The Cook County sheriff (Dart) has suspended foreclosure evictions. It is encouraging to see the populist spirit of America coming back to front. Change is on the way.

From CNN:

"These mortgage companies only see pieces of paper, not people, and don't care who's in the building," Dart said. "They simply want their money and don't care who gets hurt along the way.

"On top of it all, they want taxpayers to fund their investigative work for them. We're not going to do their jobs for them anymore. We're just not going to evict innocent tenants. It stops today."

Dart said he wants the judiciary or the state Legislature to establish protections for those most harmed by the mortgage crisis.

In 1999, Cook County had 12,935 mortgage foreclosure cases; in 2006, 18,916 cases were filed and last year, 32,269 were filed. This year's total is expected to exceed 43,000.

The people we're interacting with are, many times, oblivious to the financial straits their landlord might be in," Dart said. "They are the innocent victims here and they are the ones all of us must step up and find some way to protect."

The Illinois Bankers Association opposed the plan, saying that Dart "was elected to uphold the law and to fulfill the legal duties of his office, which include serving eviction notices."

The association said Dart could be found in contempt of court for ignoring court eviction orders.


Illinois

It's Ronnie time

Let's see if Cotton Mouth can come through like it did this spring for Travis Childers. Let's raise $1,000 for Ronnie Musgrove here in crunch-time. Roger Wicker is well financed by his big money special interests. Times are tough, but they could be worse with more failed Republican leadership. Vote Democrat and donate some loot to Ronnie Musgrove.


Goal Thermometer

Daily Journal: Turnout this year expected to be 'huge'

I will be very interested to see what the final registration numbers look like for Mississippi. In a year that has seen tremendous Democratic gains on the voter rolls across the country, Mississipp has seen its voter rolls increase as well. I suspect when the numbers are released we will something in the neighborhood of a 3-2 advantage for Democrats in new voters added to the rolls this year.

Yesterday's Daily Journal discussed the gains being made across the state.

Lee County saw 1,500 new registrations on Friday.

"This says it's going to be a huge turnout," Circuit Clerk Joyce Loftin said Monday.

The county's total registration has gone from 51,100 to more than 55,000 - and Loftin says she still has about 4,000 applications to be processed.
That means Lee County alone will see an increase of between ten and twenty percent.

"We've got record-breaking applications," echoed Baretta Mosley, a deputy clerk in Lafayette County.

In DeSoto County, more than 10,000 new voters have been added to the rolls this year – 6,000 since May 20, said Circuit Clerk Dale Thompson.
Marvin King, a political science professor who runs Black Political Analysis, one of my favorite stops of the day while surfing, has this to say about the jump in registration.

Marvin King, assistant professor of political science at the University of Mississippi, said typically these new voters are disproportionately young and minority, and favor Democrats by wide margins.

"I still do not believe this takes Mississippi out of the Republican column for the presidential contest," he noted, "but Travis Childers should welcome this news and it bodes well for all down-ballot Democrats."

He also predicted "a surprisingly close Senate race," if these newly registered voters actually show up on Election Day

Travis Childer, Greg Davis agree to debate

I missed this report yesterday with all the excitement surrounding the presidential debate. Democrat Travis Childers will debate Republican challenger Greg Davis October 15 in Oxford at the University of Mississippi.

From the Sun Herald:

Republican Greg Davis and Democrat Travis Childers, both vying for U.S. House in the 1st Congressional District, have agreed to a debate at the University of Mississippi on October 15.

The one-hour debate will be held at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics. Oxford Eagle news editor Jonathan Scott will moderate.

The two appeared together at Ole Miss in April, when they were vying in special election in the 1st District, which was won by Childers.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sign for Sarah Palin

This sign sums it up. Ripped from Daily Kos.

CNN and CBS snap polls say Obama wins... again

These snap polls are great. Now the main stream media does not have the ability to make up their own storyline as far as who won the debate.

CBS poll of uncommitted voters

Who won?

McCain (R) 27
Obama (D) 39
Draw 35


CNN (from TV, will add link as it comes available)

McCain (R) 30
Obama (D) 54

Wicker endorser Ayatollah Wildmon's TV viewing guide

Just to show how big of an idiot this Wildmon guy is, and how far off main street his views are, I have a list of all the TV shows Ayatollah Wildmon has protested.

Link

A Team
A Man Called Hawk
A Different World
Alf
All in the Family
Almost Grown
Amen
Anything but Love
Benson
Beverly Hills 90210
Blossom
Bronx Zoo
Cagney and Lacey
Captain Planet and the Planeteers
CBS Schoolbreak Special
Channel 99
Charlie’s Angels
Cheers
Crime Story
Dads
Dallas
Dear John
Designing Women
Different World
Doctor, Doctor
Doogie Howser, M.D.
Dukes of Hazzard
Dynasty
Empty Nest
Equalizer
Evening Shade
Facts of Life
Family Ties
First Impressions
Flamingo Road
48 Hours
Full House
Gimme a Break
Golden Girls
Good and Evil
Grand
Growing Pains
Head of the Class
Heart of the City
Heartbeat
Highway to Heaven
Hill Street Blues
Hogan Family
Hooperman
Hotel
Houston Knights
In Living Color
In the Heat of the Night
Jack & Mike
Jake and the Fat Man
Johnny Carson
Kate & Allie
Knight Rider
Knots Landing
LA Law
Laverne & Shirley
Law and Order
Let’s Make a Deal
Life Goes On
Live-In
Love, Sidney
Love Boat
MacGyver
Magnum P.I.
Married With Children
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Matlock
Matt Houston
Maude
Miami Vice
Midnight Caller
Mike Hammer
Moonlighting
Mr. T
Mr. Belvedere
Murder, She Wrote
Murphy Brown
My Two Dads
Nancy Walker Show
Newlywed Game
Night Court
Nightingales
Northern Exposure
Outlaws
PrimeTime Live
Remmington Steel
Riptide
Roseanne
Sara
Saturday Night Live
Scarecrow and Mrs. King
Scooby Doo
Seinfeld
Shadow Chasers
Simon & Simon
Simpsons
Slap Maxwell
Sledge Hammer
Smothers Brothers
Soap
Sonny Spoon
Spenser for Hire
St. Elsewhere
Stingray
Sunday Dinner
Sweet Surrender
T.J. Hooker
Tattinger’s
Taxi
Thorns
The Cavanaughs
Thirtysomething
Three’s Company
Three’s a Crowd
Tour of Duty
Trapper John, M.D.
TV 101
20/20
227
Under One Roof
Valerie
Webster
West 57th Street
Who’s the Boss
Wiseguy
WKRP in Cincinnati
Wonder Years World of Disney
Year in the Life

Live blogging the Obama debate watch party at Schimmels

7:30: I just arrived at Schimmels. Schimmels is right around the corner from my house in Fondren, making this very easy. Schimmels is a very nice place, and very close to my house, but out of my price range for a regular visit. I arrived a half hour early and the crowd is pretty thin. There are two other debate watch parties in town tonight and this room is small, but it still small crowd of around 30 at this point.

7:50 My opinion is that it is going to be tough for either candidate to go negative. This economic mess has the country scared to death. Gallup registered the highest number ever for the economy being the most important issue to voters. The stock market is not doing Senator McCain any favors, keeping the debate focused like a laser on the economy.

8:00 And we are off... Town House format as my dad said tonight. Actually it is Town Hall but you get the idea.

8:02: First question is about how to get the regular guy out of this economic mess the fastest. Obama hammers the deregulation point tying McCain and Bush to the failed economy. Barack calls for a middle class tax cuts and tighter regulation. Long term he calls for fixing our energy and health care policies. McCain comes out with an emotional tone. he says he has a plan, keep taxes low, energy independence and a package of reforms.

8:10 Obama again repeats that he is giving a tax cut to 95% of working Americans,

8:11: Nest question is about how the bailout will help middle America. McCain brags about going to Washington to help (do nothing). Now he just told the black questioner that he had probably heard of Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae before this crisis. He then blames Obama for getting contributions for Fannie Mae. Obama begins by ignoring McCain and explaining why the credit crunch effects people on the street. He now turns to McCain and blames him for deregulation. Obama pulls the Rick Davis - Fannie Mae card.

8:19: Next question is how can we trust either party when you both screwed up. Barack runs through the meat and potato stats about the deficit, debt, Bush etc... McCain claims to have been a consistent reformer. McCain goes back to his tried and true earmarks and pork rally. Also says we need to drill and more nuclear policy. At least he does not say nuclear like Bush.

8:28: Next question, what sacrifices should Americans be asked? McCain says that there are some programs must be eliminated. He talks about earmarks again (1% of the fed budget). Obama begins by remembering the sacrifices of 9/11. He then talks about the opportunity missed by Bush when he asked everyone to go shopping. Pivots to energy policy. He then talks about how we as citizens can make a difference. Sounded a little Carter-esque.

8:38 Next question is on entitlements and how to fix SSN. Obama fires at McCain on taxes. McCain keeps trying to scare voters by misleading them on Obama's tax plan. Obama lays his bull to waste. McCain has a plan to fix SS. He just won't tell us what it is.

8:42 Next question is about what congress can do about climate change. McCain says he disagreed from the bush admin on climate change. He then goes into a nuclear power spill. Obama talks of creating a new energy economy.

8:49 Next question is do you believe health care should be treated as a commodity. Obama explains that under his plan you will not be force into a government plan. If you do not like you current plan you can join Obama-care. He then lays out the slight-of-hand that John Mccain is pulling on his tax credit. McCain will raise the taxes on your employer based plan, which the chamber of commerce said would end employer based health care. But he gives you a $5,000 tax credit.

9:00 Next question, how will the recession effect our ability to help keep peace in the world. I am not even sure I understand McCain's cryptic response other than he knows more than Obama. Obama says he is right he does not understand some things as McCain suggests. He does not understand how we could invade a country that posed no threat to us.

9:08 I just has a country clubber sit at my table who is cheering loudly for John McCain. She is really stirring the pot.

9:16 The candidates really mix it up on foreign policy. Rules are out. Obama nails McCain for his walk softly big stick spill. McCain explains that he knows what it means to send men into harms way. McCain is hanging on the surge point.

9:23 Is Russia the evil empire? Both candidates deflect.

9:25 The rich white lady who is a McCain fan keeps calling Obama a socialist in my section. What an idiot.

9:30 Party over

Final thoughts: We shall see what the snap polls say, but I think Obama won the debate easily. John McCain is in a tough position trying to defend failed policies.

Debate Watch Parties for 10/7

DEBATE WATCH PARTIES (updated)

COAHOMA COUNTY
o Location: Hick's Restaurant, 305 S. State St., Clarksdale
o Time: 7:30 p.m.
o Contact: Darron Griffin, (901) 359-6703

DESOTO COUNTY
o Location: 9125 Mill Branch Road, Southaven
o Time: 7:30 p.m.
o Contact: Jim Kilderry, (901) 734-1474

HANCOCK COUNTY
o Location: Hancock County Democratic Party, 1017 Highway 90, Bay St. Louis
o Time: 7:30 p.m.
o Contact: Louis Fuchs, (228) 305-0327

HINDS COUNTY
o Location: Schimmel's Restaurant, 2615 N. State St., Jackson
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Terry R. Cassreino, (601) 454-7419

o Location: Old Venice, 1428 Old Square Road, Jackson
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Tangela Parker, (601) 500-0070

o Location: CWA Union Hall, 1415 Country Club Drive, Jackson
o Time: 6 p.m.
o Contact: Kim Sadler, (601) 922-5200

JACKSON COUNTY
o Location: Jackson County Democratic Party, 2518 Market St., Pascagoula
o Time: 7:30 p.m.
o Contact: Kay Sims, (228) 762-9121

RANKIN COUNTY
o Location: Roger and Mary Ethel Muns, 109 Paradise Point Drive, Brandon
o Time: 7:15 p.m.
o Contact: Roger and Mary Ethel Muns, (601) 992-2574


The Bush Legacy Bus comes to Jackson today.
The Bush Legacy Bus, a 28-ton rolling reminiscence on the
disaster of the Bush administration have been, will be in
Jackson. The Bush Legacy Bus is a unique, interactive museum
on wheels that neatly encapsulates the ideology of President
Bush and his allies. Through video, artifacts and more, the
bus makes clear that the failures of the Bush Administration
were not his alone. They belong to elected officials like
Sen. John McCain and the right-wing agenda as a whole.
The facts speak for themselves. You'll see exhibits
covering the Bush legacy on Iraq, Hurricane Katrina,
education, the environment, the economy, health care, and
the state of the American worker and one devoted to a
progressive vision for America.

The bus will be open at 7PM at 1415 Country Club Drive.
What: Debate Party and Bush Legacy Bus
When: Today, 6 p.m.
Where: 1415 Country Club Drive, Jackson, MS 39209
Brought to you by: Americans United for Change

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wicker does not deny pay for play politics

Roger Wicker has had a revolving door in Washington where lobbyists walk in with contributions and lucrative jobs for Wicker staffers, while contracts backed by our tax dollars walk out. The revolving door politics of Roger Wicker is being sadly defended as helping create jobs, but let us all not see the forest for the trees. Roger Wicker's revolving door is at its core is about self-preservation rather than service to Mississippi.

From the Fort Mill Times(SC):

Wicker, who was first elected to a U.S. House seat from north Mississippi in 1994, said Monday that Democrats are wrong to say he has been corrupted by Washington and that "somehow there is a quid pro quo in terms of contributions that I received."

Wicker said he has received campaign contributions from executives of companies in the state, but he said there's nothing wrong with that.

"The things that I've been criticized for have, in most cases, created jobs for Mississippians," Wicker said. (emphasis mine)
There you have it. Wicker does not deny the accusation. He instead characterizes it as a criticism that he defends by saying "but it was good for the state." John McCain is running his whole economic strategy, and I am using that term strategy term liberally here, on cutting government spending by Roger Wicker and his ilk. This is the corruption John McCain is talking about reforming, right here on display in Mississippi.

New third-party ad on Roger Wicker "Denial"

From A Third Bush Term:

Joel Gill Ad

This ran during the last debate.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Roger Wicker mailer boasts endorsement by radical religious zealot Donald Wildmon

When I went to check my mail yesterday I was delighted to find a mailer from the Mississippi Republican Party in support of Roger Wicker. I have been wanting to see what Roger has been sending out across the state. I am not sure why one arrived in my mailbox , unless the Wicker campaign is sending them out statewide or blanketing certain areas with them. I am pretty sure I would not make any of the targeted lists for GOP mailers.

The front of the mailer is pretty standard with a few pictures, the Wicker logo and the heading, "Senator Roger Wicker is dedicated to protection Mississippi values. The surprise was waiting on the back side of the mailer. The back featured a letter from radical fundamentalist Donald Wildmon with an area of text highlighted.
"When it comes to parties, in the Senate there is no such creature as a Mississippi conservative Democrat. When the issue is on the line in the U.S. Senate you either vote Republican or Democrat. No Democrat is going to vote to confirm strict constructionist judges to the U.S. Supreme Court. That is why we need Roger. Roger will oppose radical activist judges who want to impose their will on the people."
Donald Wildon also includes this ridiculous claim, although outside of the highlighted region:


"The upcoming election is the most critical in the history of our nation. The very future of our nation's foundation is at stake. If the liberals win, then our foundation will no longer be based on the Judeo-Christian morality. "
Donald Wildmon is the founder of the American Family Association, a radical fundamentalist group based out of Tupelo. Wildmon had gained notoriety through the years for his boycotts of corporations that view from his twisted world view. I can't believe that Roger Wicker would send out a mailer with Wildmon featured as an endorser. Does Roger think that the majority of Mississippians would find their views in line with a radical religious extremist?

Donald Wildmon said the Mighty Mouse was teaching kids to snort cocaine or heroin. Wildmon lead boycotts of McDonald's for their tolerance of gays in the workplace. Wildmon lead a boycott of that horrible anti-family extremest organization known as Walt Disney. Wildmon's group has such radical anti-gay views that it could almost be considered a hate-group. Wildmon has express wild anti-Semitic views, blaming the Jews in Hollywood for the "indecent" programming on TV. The Anti-Defamation League said about Wildmon, "He's encouraging his followers to believe that Jews are responsible for the kind of programming they dislike."

There is a lot of webspace dedicated to chronicling the extreme views and actions of Donald Wildmon. From one of them:
- Wildmon is a member of COR (Coalition on Revival), a Reconstructionist/Dominionist organization dedicated to a social gospel/activism agenda that proposes to impose Biblical standards (e.g., Old Testament law) on unbelieving peoples and institutions. (Yet, in a response to a letter sent him on 8/30/92, Wildmon claimed that not only does COR no longer exist, but that he did not belong to the organization!) Though Wildmon is no longer a Steering Committee member of COR, he did sign its 1986 Manifesto. As an indication of what the people affiliated with COR believe, the following is from a brochure announcing the 12th Annual Northwest Conference for Christian Reconstruction. Does this not sound like a different gospel? (All emphases added):

"The Christian Reconstruction movement believes that the Bible contains not only a message of personal salvation through the blood of Christ shed on the cross, but also a comprehensive law structure which is alone able to provide a just basis for society. It is committed to the view that sovereignty and thus government belong to God, and that all delegated government, whether to family, church or state (civil government), is to be exercised in obedience to the law of God's covenant. Furthermore, salvation involves every aspect of man's life and thus also the relationship she sustains to the world around him. The exercise of dominion in accordance with the terms of God's covenant is therefore basic and vital to the Christian faith. To neglect this is to deprecate the extent of Christ's victory at Calvary."
That sounds like the Taliban manifesto, just substitute radical fundamentalist Christians for radical fundamentalist Muslims. Wildmon believes his world view is the only one that is right and it his duty as a Christian to see that world view enforced as law upon everyone willing or not. That is pretty un-American if you ask me.

Why would Roger Wicker think an endorsement by this radical extremist would help his campaign? Only Roger knows, but I sure wish he would share it with us. When you boast of an endorsement from a known anti-Semite with radical views on religions and government, you need to tell Mississippi why.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fourteen years ago, he went to Washington promising change, but Washington politics changed him

Ronnie Musgrove and Roger Wicker duked it out at Mississippi College tonight. The Clarion Ledger already has their wrapup piece out.

I love the opening salvo.

Wicker, who spoke first, wasted little time attacking Musgrove. "Almost every left-wing liberal group is sending money into Mississippi to pay for campaign commercials for my opponent," he said in his opening statement.

Musgrove shot back: "Fourteen years ago, he went to Washington promising change, but Washington politics changed him."
Musgrove's reply blows Wicker out of Clinton on this one.

Their race is one of the most contentious of this election season. Attack ads, mainly funded by out-of-state sources, air across Mississippi. Republican and Democratic national parties' political campaign committees have poured money into the election.

"How can you sleep at night, knowing those ads are running about your opponent, who at one time was your roommate?" one panelist asked the candidates.

"I campaign mighty hard and I'm tired at night, so I can sleep," Wicker said, evoking laughter. He added that his attempts to ask television stations to remove some ads critical of him have been unsuccessful.

"We can't do anything about these third-party ads on TV," Musgrove said.

"His ad called me a liar," Musgrove added. "I don't sleep well at night when someone is calling me that."

Musgrove - Wicker debate thoughts

A friend and I watched the debate from the comfort of my front porch. Unlike the presidential and vice-presidential debates these two candidates hit hard from wire to wire. The moderator ran a tight ship regarding the clock, holding both candidates to the agreed upon time limits. The format featured news anchors from across the state taking turns asking questions to the two candidates. Both candidates were allowed an opening statement and a closing statement, Below are some random thoughts about the debate.

  • Roger Wicker wasted no time breaking out his bug guns. In the opening statement he hit on abortion law, Barack Obama and liberals in general. In the next ten minutes he repeated the beef plant story twice.
  • Ronnie Musgrove's plan tonight was to indict Washington for its failures over the last 14 years, and to in turn indict Roger Wicker for being a voting participant in a lot of those failures. He came back to this theme in nearly every answer.
  • Musgrove also tapped into the economic populist side of Mississippi by harping on Roger Wickers participation and support of one of the most fiscally irresponsible administrations ever. He repeated the deficit and surplus figures multiple times. This point really ties in to the point above.
  • Roger Wicker tried to lure Musgrove into a debate on Barack Obama. When the question was asked which presidential candidate did they support, Wicker repeated a fib about Obama tax policy regarding the middle class. Musgrove decided not to go there and pivoted back to Roger Wicker's record more than once. While the Obama fan in me wanted Musgrove to set the record straight, I understand and appreciate his decision to keep the debate focused on Roger Wicker.
  • If I had to score it, I would say Ronnie won by little bit. In percentage terms I would say 55-45 or 60-40. I do not know if it was enough to move voters on the fence or not. In this pundit's estimation Musgrove looks like like a good bet to win this election.

House set to vote on bailout - Updated

I don't ever remember an issue where there seems be this level of uncertainty from all corners. Let's face it, this is a difficult issue. I have spent hours reading economists from the right, left and middle, and I still not sure what to think. Just wrapping your head around "credit default swaps" and "derivatives" is enough to my head hurt. A lot of people I trust a for it. A lot of people I trust are against it.

I definitely think we need to do something to secure the credit markets, that I understand. If credit dries up, businesses will not be able to acquire short term loans to meet operating costs. Loans for expansion and growth will be off the table. This could lead to a depression. Whether or not this is the bill, I don't know.

Daily Kos is keeping a running thread open with live coverage of the House deliberations. There is a lot of pressure from party leaders on both sides to get this passed through. Public sentiment seems to have shifted slightly to more in favor of the bill than it was last time. I think the 777 point drop in the Dow might have had something to do with that. Also a lot of the Representatives are facing tough elections back home and want to get something done so they can get back on the campaign trail.

Last week the vote was 228-205 against. Daily Kos is keeping a running tally of those who have switched sides so far.

Switchers
Howard Coble (R-NC)
Zach Wamp (R-TN)
John Lewis (D-GA)
Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)
Gresham Barrett (R-SC)
Judy Biggert (R-IL)
David Scott (D-GA)

I will update this post as we know more. I am especially interested to how the Mississippi contingent votes this time.

Update: The bill passes with at least 250 votes as of 12:15. I will get an exact vote total as it becomes available on the internets. Chip voted for the bill. I have not heard about Travis, Bennie or Gene yet.

Update 2: Final vote 263-171. Gene, Bennie and Travis all voted no. Chip voted yes.

Bill Minor: Barbour machine showing wear

Political columnist Bill Minor is back this week with another hard hitting look at the Barbour administration. The once invincible Haley Barbour machine is as Bill put it "showing wear". Haley has enjoyed control of all three branches of government for all practical purposes. Billy McCoy has been the Democrats only hope of holding the governor at bay on key issues, and has taken a lot of heat for it. The governor has tried unsuccessfully to remove Speaker McCoy from his position.


Haley Barbour tried to rig the Nov. 4 election ballot to help his in-trouble Republican U.S. Senate candidate and surprisingly got kicked in the teeth by an 8-l vote of state Supreme Court.

Unfortunately, from most news stories that came out of the Supreme Court’s Sept. 18 action, many Mississippians could well have missed what happened. In terms of Mississippi political history and governance, what the Supreme Court did was monumental.

First and foremost, it opened the first real crack in Barbour’s unprecedented control of virtually all three branches of Mississippi’s government. Certainly it represented a rebellion by the state’s highest judicial body, which seemed dominated 7-2 by Barbour.
Minor then pivots from the ballot dispute to the issue of transparency regarding the disbursement of Katrina funds. Haley used his close ties to the White House to secure money for Mississippi,while at the same time playing along with their "Louisiana does not have their act together line." As we have learned since 2005, the White House lead by Karl Rove saw the hurricane as a political opportunity to remove the Democratic governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco.


Of the $11.5 billion in housing recovery Community Development Block Grants appropriated by Congress, Mississippi had gotten $5.2 billion and Louisiana $6.3 billion, even though Louisiana’s home loss was three times Mississippi’s.

As Fentress points out, rarely after Katrina did Barbour miss an opportunity to make Louisiana look bad “with references to Mississippi’s self-reliance and refusal to whine, a slap at New Orleanians trapped in the flood.”

Fentress, who lives part time in New Orleans, with the help of a former Associated Press Capitol correspondent, secured an interview with Louisiana ex-Gov. Kathleen Blanco and learned that Blanco was resentful of how a neighboring governor portrayed her state’s heartbreaking dilemma.

“I always thought that was a very racial statement,” Blanco said of Barbour’s denigration of the New Orleans’ Katrina disaster, which hit the city’s poor African-American population hardest. Also, Blanco decried what she called “politicization of this disaster” by Barbour’s favoritism as a one-time adviser to George Bush.

When I went to the Katrina round table discussion in Denver, I was shocked to learn how angry Louisiana was at Haley Barbour. They felt that he had used his connections to make himself look good, while putting them down, which made it even harder for them to get the money they needed. They were very angry over the prospect of the port project in Mississippi, which they said was designed to steal Louisiana's commerce before they could back on their feet. Louisiana was focusing its federal money on housing, which is what it was intended for. Barbour had commandeered the federal money for Mississippi to use at his discretion. Where did the money go?


“I really thought the vision would be a great vision like the governor said it would be,” said Duany. “The chance to prepare for the 21st century, which perhaps was the only gift of the hurricane, has been squandered by an utter lack of vision at the state and regional level.”

Outside of lifting the Coast casinos out of water onto land to better ride out hurricanes and keep the slots clanging, many Coast community groups viewing the largely barren Mississippi Gulf front are asking: Where is all the recovery Barbour promised to get re-elected?