Tuesday, July 31, 2007

John Eaves to Spend "Whatever It Take To Win"

The Eaves campaign just issued this in a press release:
Unlike other races on this year’s ballot, money raised by candidates in the Governor’s race has no relation to their ability to compete financially. That’s because Democratic candidate John Eaves has pledged to spend out of his own pocket in order to show his loyalty will remain with the people of Mississippi.
Governor Haley Barbour’s previous campaign finance report showed that nearly half of all money raised that period came from outside of Mississippi.

“What do these out-of-state people want from Mississippi, and what is Barbour giving them in return?” asked Sharon Garrison, spokeswoman for Eaves. “We know Barbour took thousands of dollars from big tobacco and then vetoed an increase in the cigarette tax that would have cut our grocery tax in half. He took thousands of dollars from big insurance yet 80,000 people still live in toxic FEMA trailers. John Eaves will throw the moneychangers out of the Governor’s mansion because it’s time for a new day in Mississippi.”

That same release indicated that Eaves has spent over $400,000 on advertising this period.

I kind of wonder if the Barbour ad buy was just a stunt for the media so that Eaves' ad buy wouldn't be a story. I wonder this because between the two ads I've seen Eaves at least 9 times on WLOX with normal viewing. I haven't seen Barbour's yet except online. I'll be interested to see where he spent his money.

A Note:

I am about to leave to go to Chicago so I may be a little slow in getting to e-mails and posting.

I will attempt to keep the site updated while at the conference, but I won't make any promises.

Thank you very much for your continued readership.

A Kid’s Birthday Party Clarifies Post-Katrina Insurance Questions

by Ana Maria

Saturday afternoon, I attended the birthday party of my friend’s nephew who was turning a whopping six years old. A gathering filled with family, extended family, friends, and, of course, tons of kids busy going up and down that water slide thing-a-ma-jiggy. Those sweet little things had one thing on their minds: having fun playing on the water slide.

Little girls and boys screamed with glee as they slid to the bottom only to giggle as they marched up the plastic stairs that brought them to the top so they could slide to the bottom all over again.

On the grill was fish freshly caught that morning in the water that flowed right by the house. On a table unto itself sat the delicious chocolate cake that required three sttempts for the little boy to blow out his six candles. A buffet of grilled hot dogs and hamburgers with all the trimmings were on the bar next to the stairs that went up to the house itself. From some 20 or so feet away from the kids, I watched . . . the whole time being quite cognizant of the fact that the house had had 24 feet of water in it when Katrina blew through town. The house is built on stilts, and the party festivities were on the ground level in between the stilts.

I’ll guarantee that not a one of those children playing on the water slide had a single thought of Katrina or Katrina-related stress in those glorious joyful moments of fun in the sun. That is how it should be. Read more at A.M. in the Morning!

Gary Anderson Advertising

Gary Anderson's campaign is now on the air with THIS RADIO AD claiming that Dale is stuck in the old politics of the past or "stuck in the 70s" as this commerical says. I'm inclined to agree. It is good to see the Anderson campaign finally up on the airwaves.

Also an independent group that I am unfamiliar with called Mississippians for Fair Elections is running this ad supporting Anderson:

It was captured by our friends at Right of Mississippi.

Tommy Robertson: "Tax It"

You may have seen the stories about this ad, but Cotton Mouth is the first to bring it to you online. :)

Tommy Robertson will likely be defeated in the primary. He has an able opponent in the primary in Michael Watson who is a slightly less corporate loving Republican. Robertson already had high negatives due to a history with drunk driving and his obvious opposing the will of the people on this issue should be enough to push Watson over the top.

Monday, July 30, 2007

David Baria For State Senate TV Ad

David Baria is a Democrat running in the Democratic primary against incumbent Scottie Cuevas. Cuevas has sold out his district to business interests before and Democrats can do better by choosing a man who will fight for them, David Baria

Gary Anderson Televison Ad

I saw this one for the first time this morning on the Coast.

As you may remember Ana Maria let us know that Dale is a coward and has written off the Coast. She brings us this ad now.

Gary Anderson is the best choice for Commissioner of Insurance; he deserves your vote.

The Way Things Were: Eaves Vs. Barbour

A poll done in April for the Mississippi Education Association showed how the state would have voted for Governor had the election had been held that day. The results broke down as follows:

35.4% Eaves
49.6% Barbour
15.0% Don't Know / No Reply

At this time nearly 1/3 of voters still had never heard of John Eaves while only 3% said that they didn't recognize Barbour's name.

The Way Things Were: Bryant Vs. Ross

A poll done in April for the Mississippi Education Association showed how Republican primary voters would have voted in the Lt. Governor's primary. The results are as follows:

37.7% Bryant
14.4% Ross
48.8% Don't Know / No Reply

It wasn't until June 15th that Charlie Ross first hit the airwaves soon to be followed by Bryant. The entire sample was taken before any television advertising in this race.

The Way Things Were: Franks Vs. Bryant/Ross

A poll done in April for the Mississippi Education Association showed how each Republican in the race for Lt. Governor matched up against Democratic Nominee Jamie Franks. The results are as follows:

33.1% Franks
36.6% Bryant
30.3% Don't Know / No Reply

32.8% Franks
29.3% Ross
37.9% Don't Know / No Reply

What I think is pretty amazing here is that Franks appears competitive at this point. Admittedly this comes before both Republicans spend over a half a million each, but a good chunk of that has been in tearing each other down. I'd like to see a newer poll since the advertising began if anyone would care to share it.

The Way Things Were: Republican SOS Primary

A poll done in April for the Mississippi Education Association showed how Republican primary voters would have voted in the primary for Secretary of State. The results are as follows:

3.6% Delbert Hosemann
26.6% Mike Lott
9.5% Jeffrey Rupp
2.6% Gene Sills
57.7% Don't Know / No Reply

Mike Lott had some name recognition from his race against Congressman Gene Taylor in 2004 in which he took 35% of the vote. He also shares someone's last name. :) It will be interesting to see how spectacularly Hosemann's media campaign has succeeded when the totals come in next week.

The Way Things Were: Hood Vs. Hopkins

A poll done in April for the Mississippi Education Association showed how the state would have voted for Governor had the election had been held that day. The results broke down as follows:

56.8% Jim Hood
19.4% Al Hopkins
23.8% Don't Know / No Reply

I don't expect Al Hopkins to only take 20% in November, but I also think the chances of Hopkins capturing a majority are nearly as slim.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Ending Corporate Looting of the Gulf Coast

 Ending Corporate Looting on the Gulf Coast

by Ana Maria

Recently, a man got four years in prison for burglarizing a neighbor’s home to loot it right after Katrina. What kind of jail time will the insurance industries’ corporate cronies get for deliberately contriving to steal the claims money from policyholders in the Katrina-ravaged areas that crossed three states: Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama?

Here in Mississippi, we have two state officials responsible for holding these corporate crooks accountable to the people. We have State Attorney General Jim Hood who is doing his job to bring justice to the people of Mississippi, and we’re grateful to him for his strength and fortitude in the face of tremendous pressure to go along to get along—a position of weakness, for sure.

We also have State Insurance Commissioner George Dale, whose idea of justice is more of an insurance insiders “Just Us” mentality. Read more at A.M. in the Morning!

Brandon Presley For Northern District Public Service Commissioner

Leesha Faulkner managed to get an exclusive preview of Brandon Presley's ad and she is sharing it with us via YouTube.

I've met Brandon Presley and he's a good guy. You can hear him speak HERE.

6 Degrees of Seperation With Roger Wicker

Will Bardwell brings us THIS AMAZING NEWS!!!
Roger Wicker is the fourth cousin of Fred Thompson.
Fred Thompson was a Watergate-era mole for Richard Nixon.
Richard Nixon visited China in 1972 to meet Mao Zedong.
Mao Zedong was best buddies with Joseph Stalin.
Joseph Stalin signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Adolf Hitler.
Adolf Hitler once was punched in the mouth by Captain America.

There you have it. Roger Wicker is no more than a half-dozen handshakes from getting pounded on by Captain America.

Check it out at WillBardwell.com

All American At The Neshoba County Fair

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I just really love this picture and I only got this shot because I was temporarily lost. :)

Horse Race

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Not only is "horse race" a political metaphor; it can also be used to describe an event where people race horses. :)

John Eaves For Governor

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John and the very classy lady Angel Eaves speak to the press following his and Barbour's speeches.
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John and Angel speak with State Senator Gloria Williamson, Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran, and an unidentified man on the back porch of one of the cottages at the Neshoba County Fair.

Haley Barbour

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"Why yes, I Haley Barbour do lack taste and civility and will attack my opponent's family" (or something like that)

Beef Plant Edition

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I believe I snapped this one during Lester Spell's speech.
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Max Phillips was the Republican nominee in 2003 and is attempting to beat Lester Spell in that primary this year.
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Rickey Cole is the Democratic nominee and of the 3 appeared to have the most passion and best speech.
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Here is the man himself. He said he wanted a "positive campaign" roughly a dozen times and failed to even attempt to defend his handling of the beef plant.

The Stables

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If you focus you can see Jamie Franks logos on the t-shirts of the two folks leaving into the light.

Sid Salter "Multimedia Message" :)

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At center is Sid Salter. To his right is a very enthusiastic Hopkins supporter (she was absolutely livid the entire time Hood was speaking). The furthest cameraman after that is recording for the Mississippi Republican Party.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Jacob Ray At The Neshoba County Fair

I missed his speech, but caught up with him later where he consented to answering why he would be the best State Auditor.

This was recorded in the heat of a hot, hot Neshoba county Summer day.

Rudy Warnock At The Neshoba County Fair

I missed his speech, but caught up with him later and he consented to recording the answer to why he would make the best Central District Transportation Commissioner:

Rudy Warnock is making sense.

George Dale At The Neshoba County Fair

"Today I don't intend to endorse anybody for President of the United States" (laughter) That's too bad, I wonder which Republican the "Democratic" Commissioner of Agriculture favors.

Gary Anderson At The Neshoba County Fair

Gary Anderson had some of the most enthusiastic supporters I saw for anyone at the Fair.

"G, A, R, Y, Gary ain't got no Alibi" (I wonder who came up with the chant.) It doesn't make much sense.

Mike Chaney At The Neshoba County Fair

I guess he's given up the Monkey. If you have any footage of him using his toy monkey please contact me at CottonMouthBlog AT gmail DOT com.

I was (Doh!) late Thursday to the Fair

Because I was late to the fair I was too late to get close enough to get video of any quality.

Majority in Mississippihas pointed me to the Clarion Ledger which has short clips of the speeches which will have to do. Sorry.

Barbour's Speech
Eaves's Speech

Barbour's speech wasn't very good and wasn't anything new. He offered up a lot of rhetoric that he has been saying but really didn't say anything about what he would do for the future. With all the politicians promising to do Barbour's bidding, I'd like to know what that bidding will be.

Eaves gave the best speech of his that I have ever heard. He had passion and weaved together religious and populist rhetoric beautifully. I was quite surprised.

Elmer "Louis" Fondren At The Neshoba County Fair

Louis Fondren is a Democratic candidate for Governor. I haven't seen anyone working harder than Louis Fondren, but you haven't heard of him because he hasn't bothered to raise any money.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Rickey Cole At The Neshoba County Fair

Several news folks said it was easily one of the best speeches of the Fair. Sid Salter said on his blog that Cole "took the wood" to Lester Spell.

Good Speech, Great Delivery, Even Better Campaign Handout (fly swatters for the flies produced by the rotten meat following a failed beef plant) :p

Lester Spell At The Neshoba County Fair

He talked a lot about running a "positive campaign" and failed to even attempt to defend the beef plant.

He tried his hardest to hitch himself to Haley Barbour.

Max Phillips At The Neshoba County Fair

Brand Spankin' New John Eaves Website

Visit the Brand Spankin' New John Eaves Website

As the campaign season officially starts with the Neshoba County Fair this last week and the primaries next Tuesday it appears that the Eaves folks have a new website.

It's not half bad either. I like the new easy to find Volunteer button and the Flickr feed which shows off photos of John Eaves at events.

They've still got a couple bugs to work out with the blog, but overall I'd say it's a success.

Late Afternoon Pictures

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Of all the candidates Hopkins appeared to have the the most elderly supporters. Perhaps the campaign filled up a few busses at a nearby retirement home. :) (And no, I don't think this is what they actually did)

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At center is Jamie Franks' wife Lisa and one of their two sons.

A Note:

I will continue putting up content from the Neshoba County Fair through Sunday.

Monday I will have some news that you will all want to see.

Tuesday I will offer a rundown of each seriously contested, statewide primary race and give you my choice in each.

Wednesday through next Monday I'm not sure what I'll be posting because I'll be in Chicago for the Yearly Kos blogging conference. (Thanks again to those who donated.)

Next Tuesday is the election and I'll be voting, possibly helping out a candidate in the field and offering analysis of the results and the surprises of the day that evening.

Jim Hood At The Neshoba County Fair

Part 1:

Part 2:

"I wish my family could be here with me, but I didn't want to expose them to all the negative campaigning that goes on. You know you hate to see your family hurt and I especially hate to see other people's families hurt..."

He urged voters to base their votes on the facts. If voters do so they will have to agree that Jim Hood has been an excellent Attorney General. We would be served well if we choose to re-elect Jim Hood as Attorney General.

Al Hopkins At The Neshoba County Fair

Al Hopkins hasn't exactly said what he'd do differently, though he is insistent that Hood can't possibly be doing a good job.

Call him Mr. "Sunshine."

Phil Brant At The Neshoba County Fair

Part 1:

Part 2:

If Bryant goes through with his "Marriage Summit" he may want to look into civil unions for he and Haley. Or maybe Haley would prefer Ross. Both appear to love Haley more than their own wives.

"I used to say that the best thing a dad can do for his children is to stay married to their momma ... now I say that the best thing a dad can do for his children if for him to marry their momma." (laughter) I wonder specifically what (or who) these folk were laughing at.

Attention Candidates and Campaigns

If you want copies of the pictures I took (there are many that will never make it on the website) or video I took and it is specifically related to your campaign I might get you a hard copy if y'all drop me a line at cottonmouthblog AT gmail DOT com.

Charlie Ross at the Neshoba County Fair

I apologize for the shakiness of the video. I don't have a tripod. It's starting to look like a worthwhile investment. Throw me some change if you want to help with such expenses.

I missed the beginning (sorry) and cut off the end because I wanted to get this on youtube and they have a 10 minute limit. The video is 9 minutes and 59 seconds long. Enjoy.

Oh, and maybe you can answer why Charlie Ross always looks so angry in the comments. :)

Lt. Gov. Related Pictures

I took some really good pictures (and some really blurry ones) which I'll be sharing with you over the next few days. Here's the first batch:
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Jamie Franks is sweating it up for Mississippi. You can not deny that he is one hard worker.

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This one features Bryant supporters including his daughter seen at center-left.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Note:

More videos and pictures will be added as I process them. I should get all of Wednesday's videos up today.

Jamie Franks At The Neshoba County Fair

His was the first passionate speech I saw. He spoke well and I really do think he can win this in November. He is the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor.

Stacey Pickering At The Neshoba County Fair

He is the Republican candidate for State Auditor.

Mike Sumrall At The Neshoba County Fair

I apologize for missing the first 1/3rd of the speech. I started recording as soon as I got close enough. This was the first "Neshoba County Fair" speech I'd seen.

Mike Sumrall is the only candidate with experience running for State Auditor. He is a Democratic candidate for the open seat.

Will Bardwell Offers His Perspective On The Fair

Will Bardwell Speaks:
Has anyone else noticed that Al Hopkins' campaign sign looks like a ripped-off Dallas Cowboys logo? Hopkins' speech was impassioned but a little hard to follow, relying on planted supporters to respond to complaints against Attorney General Jim Hood by shouting, "FIRE HIM!!" It's one of those things that sounds good in a staff meeting but doesn't play so well in real life. Hood, on the other hand, had a solid speech outlining his first-term accomplishments, although he seemed to spend too long hammering MySpace.com. Still, it was a good speech. Not his best, but good.

Find More Here at Will Bardwell.com

Ross: The Partnership is Bad and Bryant Should Feel Bad

I haven't actually seen this one on TV yet, but a friend in Jackson told me a new one was up and here Right of Mississippi has another perfect quality exclusive video.

In other news The Sun Herald Endorses Charlie Ross as the best candidate for the Coast and Haley Barbour.

As The World Turns

I went to Neshoba expecting to find some sort of internet connection at a friendly cabin.

I found friendly folks and cabins, but found no luck on an internet connection. I have now just returned to my home and my internet connection so I hope you will bear with me as I spend the evening uploading video and photos online.

I promise to start tomorrow putting it all up on the blog and adding my own comment and analysis. Thanks for your readership.

George Dale is a Coward

George Dale is a Coward

by Ana Maria

What else do you call a man who refuses to show his face in a part of Mississippi that knows best his handiwork as a failed insurance commissioner in the aftermath of Katrina? I call him a coward, a chicken. That’s right. Chicken George.

How do I know that Chicken George Dale refuses to show his face around here? That Big Chicken bought over $275,000 worth of campaign radio and television ads for the last two weeks of this election season which ends on August 7th.

As of last week, Dale’s advertising buys to reach Mississippi voters included Jackson ($117,000), Columbus/Tupelo ($63,000), Laurel/Hattiesburg ($43,000), Greenwood/Greenville ($19,000), and Meridian ($31,000), Miss., as well as Memphis, Tenn., ($5,000).

He didn’t schedule one radio or television ad to run here on the coast of Mississippi. Not one dime for an advertisement along the Gulf Coast. Not a single, ity bitty penny. Not ONE.

More . . .

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Phil; You Really Shouldn't Have

Chairwoman of Mississippi Right to Life on their endorsement:
“Phil Bryant needs to get over the sour grapes and stop his attacks on the pro-life movement in Mississippi. The endorsement of our PAC for Charlie Ross is because Charlie Ross deserves our endorsement.

Charlie Ross has been a pro-life champion in the Mississippi State Senate for the last decade. Phil Bryant has not. The Lt. Governor serves as the leader of the State Senate. It is difficult to lead a legislative body that you have never even served in.

Charlie Ross has been leading his campaign with the pro-life message. Phil Bryant has not. Ross has run pro-life radio ads while Bryant failed to mention the unborn in direct media questioning about abortion.

Charlie Ross has an excellent pro-life agenda proposed for the future of our state. Phil Bryant does not. Ross has a specific plan to protect life, Bryant has proposed nothing. Actions speak louder than words.

Phil Bryant was never offered the endorsement in March, nor was it ever made available to him for a price. The Mississippi Right to Life PAC endorsement has never and will never be for sale. Charlie Ross is clearly the best pro-life candidate for the office of Lt. Governor and deserves pro-lifer’s support!”

Neshoba County Fair And Me

I'll be there Wednesday and Thursday so posting will be light until Wednesday afternoon when I will start uploading speeches and pictures. Maybe I'll see you there.

John Eaves: These Are My "Values" and What I Stand For

Another good ad. Excellent visuals. If you haven't checked out the biblical literacy program you should it's actually quite good. I wish such a class had been available to me. It doesn't violate Church/State restrictions because it studies the Bible's place in History and Literature. John Eaves for Governor

John Eaves: a great "Dad" for Governor

This is a good spot. It introduces him with some humor and points out how much of a family man in a better way than many ads. Featuring his own kids I give this ad two thumbs up. :)

John Edwards: Hair

What matters more? Really?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dirt, Dead Bodies, and White House Dirt Bags

by Ana Maria

 Dirt, Dead bodies, and White House Dirt Bags

Cities, counties and parishes (Louisiana’s version of counties) have been fighting with the Office of Inspector General over the federal government’s stinginess when it comes to reimbursing local governments for funds they spent on the Katrina’s clean up. My piece titled When You’re Up to Your Ass in Alligators discussed the incredible financial burden that the locals have undergone because the federal government—i.e. the Bush Administration— is making it unreasonably difficult to obtain the millions and millions of federal tax dollars that are to reimburse these funds.

Perhaps this is the administration’s unstated “hang ‘em out to dry” philosophy in action. Clearly, the net result is to have abandoned Americans in their time of need. Whether the Administration abandoned those who climbed on the roofs after the levees broke in New Orleans or those who climbed through the muck and mud to coordinate the post-Katrina clean up efforts, the way the Bush Administration continues to treat us sure does feel like this is part of the White House’s “leave all citizens behind” philosophy in action.

The stories I hear about how Bush’s FEMA and the Office of Inspector General have treated the officials who had to make do in the worst of circumstances makes my blood boil. The drone-like responses coming from agencies lead by those who rose to power through proclaiming their compassion burn me up. I’ll share a story with you. Read more . . .

Bill Minor and Brandon Presley Speak at NAACP

Several candidates for North District offices spoke at the Lee County NAACP rally Saturday. Included were:

Brandon Presley, a Democratic candidate for Public Service Commissioner
Audio of his remarks can be found HERE

Bill Minor, a Democratic candidate for Transportation Commissioner
Audio of his remarks can be found HERE

Both links are provided by Leesha Faulkner at Clearing the Cobwebs

John Windsor on Age and Public Office

From the Daily Leader:
Windsor, of Corinth, at 29 years old is the youngest candidate seeking the office in the Aug. 7 Democratic primary. He will turn 30 before the general election in November, but he does not consider age a factor in the race.

"I think it's negligible," he said. "In the past it may have been a factor, but (State Treasurer) Tate Reeves was younger than me when he was elected."

Windsor is still often faced with surprise when initially meeting people. But after speaking with him, "they usually say we need more young people in politics," Windsor said.

Daily Leader Article

"Stickin' With Haley" Text

"4 years ago we were over 720 million in the hole"

"720 million"

"and lost thousands of jobs"

"Governor Haley Barbour is bringing us back"

"better than ever"

"40,000 new jobs"

"people are earning more than ever"

"thanks to Haley our Gulf Coast is coming back"

"the budget hole, it's a distant memory"

"people are taking a new look at Mississippi"

"and Haley Barbours leading the way"

"he's a leader, he's there when we need him"

"this year I'm stickin' with Haley"

"I'm stickin' with Haley x3"


I'll be back later to take it line by line.

"Stickin' With Haley"

After the Eaves campaign bought airtime to start later this week, Haley Barbour followed with buys statewide featuring this ad that started airing today.

Wayne Dowdy At South Mississippi Political Rally

"Let's Change Course!"

Republicans Ross and Bryant on Taxes

Charlie Ross and Phil Bryant both recently spoke to the Daily Journal. Here's what they had to say on taxes:
"I have always favored decreasing the grocery tax," Ross said. "I have introduced it (legislation to reduce the tax) several times. I think it is a good measure."

Oh really, is that why you voted against such measures these last two years when they actually had a chance at passing. Did you you change your mind because you didn't want to anger Big Daddy Barbour?
Byrant said he was not keen on reducing the grocery tax.

"Absolutely - I would rather see a cut in the income tax," Bryant said. "...Everybody will pay the grocery tax. Not everybody will pay the income tax."

Bryant predicted that reducing the grocery tax would lead to a "tax transfer" where other taxes would be hiked to make up for the tax cut. He did not say why a reduction in the income tax would not lead to a similar tax transfer.

I fail to see the logic here. He wants to cut our income tax which is already low instead of opting to cut the highest sales tax in the country. That defies common sense. The Journal writer makes a good point when he points out the inconsistency in Bryant's postion.

While the Republicans tie themselves up in knots trying to defend their move to block a direct cut in the price of basic necessities, Democrats like Jamie Franks continue to lead the efforts to make our tax structure more fair.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Will Bardwell With More On Wicker And OSHA

Will Bardwell comes up with a possible explanation for why Congressman Wicker would vote against testing respirators which keep workers healthy.
So where do campaign donations turn into efforts to prevent annual fit tests on respirator equipment? Right at about the point where health care companies tally their profit margins in their annual reports. Health care providers all across the country received OSHA funds, but those funds don't come from a bottomless well, after all. And as long as health care companies get to play around with federal funds, they most certainly don't want to squander that money on something as petty as worker safety (nevermind the fact that it's OSHA's very purpose for existing).

The Sunday Funny #4

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I took this picture on Government St. in Ocean Springs. I don't particularly care who wins this race, but I thought that it was funny that a candidate for Sheriff (the incumbent Republican) would put up a BIG sign outside a DUI law firm.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Native View On The Recent Choctaw Election

Cedric Sunray writes in the Native American Times:
As one can see, the Choctaw Nation, is much more diverse than what many imagine. And this diversity has caused decades of cultural sharing as well as infighting. Battles over issues of blood quantum, federal recognition, cultural & language retention, historical alliances and of course gaming, have caused lines of division not unlike those faced by communities across Indian Country. The architect of many of these divisions, Mississippi Choctaw Chief Phillip Martin watched his meteoric rise and pronouncement as an economic powerhouse crumble in recent days due to his close association with non-Indian lobbyists, politicians and anthropologists who reeked havoc on neighboring Choctaw communities by overturning federal recognition petitions and postponing land in to trust applications.

So last Friday, on the day he conceded victory to his challenger Beasley Denson, we watched the opening rounds of the annual stickball tournament across the street from the tribal complex and office where he led his tribe for 7 terms. While standing there, numerous community members approached me with outstretched hands and words of greetings and thanks in our Choctaw language. Many people in the Mississippi Choctaw & MOWA Choctaw communities, as well as numerous Indian people from various tribes across the nation, had spent a great deal of time over the past few years, advocating for the rights of the Mississippi Choctaw people and exposing the fraud committed against the MOWA Choctaw community 120 miles to the southeast who were thought to be possible competition in the gaming industry. For years, the same tactics were played against the now federally recognized Jena Band of Choctaw Indians in Louisiana. Twelve years after their federal recognition, they are just now being able to take land into trust for the purposes of economically and socially growing their community.

While Jack Abramoff, J. Steven Griles and a host of others associated with Chief Phillip Martin’s administration are now serving jail terms or awaiting trial, Mr. Martin has been able to use the tribe’s federal immunities to ward off investigations into his role in the matter. Of course, little of this matters now as power has been rested from his hands.

And so the stickball games ended and we headed back to our hotel room for the night in preparation for day two of the Choctaw Spirit Language & Culture Seminar, which we had been invited to speak at. The theme of the conference discussed the unification of Choctaw people. As I sat down with one of the Mississippi Choctaw’s current council members and we discussed a new future for our two communities, the theme seemed only too fitting.
You see, sometimes the unification power of one man’s leadership is only found…..through his absence. Chata hapia hoke.

The Full Column Can Be Found Here
A hat tip to WAMPUM for pointing me towards this story.

John Windsor Wins Support of MSRTL

From a Windsor press release:
John Windsor’s candidacy for Secretary of State has received the recommendation of the Mississippi Right to Life State PAC.

“As a Christian, I believe that life is sacred and that we have a duty to protect life, especially the lives of those who are most vulnerable – the unborn, children, the elderly, and the infirmed,” John Windsor said in response to the recommendation. “As a former public school teacher, I tried to shape young minds in a positive way, and as an Assistant Attorney General, I worked to protect vulnerable children. I am proud of this recommendation from MSRTL and honored to receive it.”

John Windsor is a Democratic Candidate for Secretary of State.

Mississippi Right To Life Responds To Bryant's (indirect) Attacks

After the questioning of the MSRTL PAC endorsement of Ross on message boards and through newspaper opinion columnists, the Mississippi Right To Life responded with this in a press release:
The Phil Bryant campaign continues it efforts to publicly and privately discredit Mississippi Right to Life PAC’s endorsement of Charlie Ross. The MSRTL PAC’s endorsement of Charlie Ross for Lt. Governor stands firm!

Calls and e-mails from Bryant staffers were sent to Right to Life before the endorsement was made public in an effort to intimidate and stop the endorsement. One such e-mail even included a threatening line stating that the Bryant campaign “lawyers” were needing a list of all of the MSRTL board members.

Since the endorsement was made public, the Bryant campaign has continued it’s efforts. PAC Chairperson Barbara Whitehead stated, “MSRTL PAC will not stand idly by and allow paid staffers of Phil Bryant to question the integrity of our organization. Our endorsement process was fair and beyond reproach.”

MSRTL PAC’s endorsement of Charlie Ross was based on exhaustive criteria including: past voting records, candidate questionnaires, candidates public statements, phone and in-person screenings, past involvement in the pro-life movement and candidates willingness to work with the pro-life movement in the future. Additionally all of the voting members of the board that were affiliated with a particular campaign personally did not cast a vote on that particular race. There was not one vote cast against Charlie Ross’s endorsement, although one member of the board did recuse himself.

“The Right to Life endorsement of Charlie Ross was based on criteria that are completely fair,” Whitehead stated. She continued, “Charlie Ross is the best person to serve as Lt. Governor when it comes to Right to Life issues and we continue our call for all pro-life Democrats, Independents and Republicans to vote for Charlie Ross on Aug. 7th.”

FEMA Failures Meet Democratic Oversight

"We have lost a great deal through our dealings with FEMA," said Paul Stewart, a former Army officer living in a trailer with his wife in Mississippi, "not the least of which is our faith in government."
When a retired military officer has lost faith in Bush’s government, that is a bell weather indicator of what many of us predicted since that horrendous day back in December 2000.

You remember that day in December in which the United States Supreme Court legally stopped the vote counting in a U.S. election. The self-proclaimed greatest democracy on the planet no longer believed that counting the votes counted in determining an election outcome. The case was Bush v. Gore, and a New York Times editorial last August summarized it succinctly.
The Supreme Court’s highly partisan resolution of the 2000 election was a severe blow to American democracy . . ..
And what we’ve learned since that day is just how true it is when we say that elections have consequences. Here we are with another set of scandals that negatively impact American lives directly in a real and palpable manner. One scandal centers on millions of dollars of ice for hurricane survivors melting in the sun. The other on FEMA deliberately weighing the cost of lawsuits against testing for the adverse health effects of its formaldehyde-filled trailers. Read more . . .

Update (John Leek): Paul Stewart is now running for Southern District Transportation Commissioner. He may just get my vote. :)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Ross: "Phil Bryant (is) the Wrong Choice for the Coast"

As promised yesterday in THIS POST Cotton Mouth brings you the ad attacking Bryant on Coast recovery.

It is provided by Y'all Politics at their website.

Y'all Politics has to have access to someone with access to electronic copies of Ross' ads. Both that he's put up have been flawless.

Barbour Changes Mind; Will Start Campaigning Hard Next Week

From and Eaves press release:
Just one day after John Eaves for Governor bought TV time to air campaign spots on stations across Mississippi, the Barbour campaign broke a pledge to put off campaigning until “late summer-early fall” and will go on TV next week.

“The moneychangers running Haley’s campaign got scared because they know that John’s positive message for a new day in Mississippi will win every time against big oil, big tobacco, and big insurance,” said Sharon Garrison, spokeswoman for Eaves. “Haley said over and over that he won’t start campaigning until ‘late summer or early fall,’ but it sure feels like summer with this heat and humidity. I guess with all the hard work we’ve put into our campaign we just didn’t notice the seasons changing.”

For a candiate that would like you and every reporter in this state to believe that his re-election is sealed he didn't waste much time (actually less than one day) to respond when he say John Arthur Eaves make his first major television ad buy.

Eaves made his ad buy on the 19th of July.
Barbour made his on the 20th of July.

I Will Be At The Neshoba County Fair

I don't know what internet access is like so there may be delays in getting up speeches and posts, but it is my intention to capture every speech given by a statewide candidate on video and to share those speeches with y'all.

Democratic Candidate John Arthur Eaves Offers An Invitation

I recieved the following in an e-mail. It is an invitation by John Arthur Eaves to join him and his campaign for his speech at the Neshoba County Fair.

John Arthur Eaves will speak at 10:50 AM at Founders Square
Gov. Haley Barbour will speak at 11:00 AM at Founders Square

The Full Political Speaking Schedule

Elizabeth Edwards a "Mississippian"

From The Clarksdale Press Register:
Elizabeth Edwards accompanied her husband, presidental hopful John Edwards, to Marks, Miss. In an one-on-one interview, Elizabeth proclaimed "I call Mississippi home."
She explained that her mother was born in Hazelhurst and her family still has property there. Her father was in the Navy.
"I don't have a real home except where my parents are from and I call Mississippi home. I don't know if you claim me, but I claim you," she stated.

Lott and Cochran Choose Inaction

From a Clarion Ledger editorial:
Mississippi's Republican U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran and Trent Lott were good George Bush soldiers when they voted to torpedo legislation Wednesday to force the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq.

The Defense Authorization Bill vote allowed them to side with the president under cover of "supporting the troops," but they won't have that luxury in September, when it's either put up or shut up time for the administration.

Republicans closed ranks behind their embattled leader, despite dismal support by the American people showing public approval of the war continuing to plummet.
But if Democrats were speaking to deaf ears, Republicans are whistling in the dark. The latest USA Today/Gallup Poll shows seven in 10 Americans want nearly all U.S. troops removed from Iraq by April. And Bush is marching toward record low approval.

The USA Today poll shows only Richard Nixon, Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter at their worst had a lower rating.

This is the territory Lott and Cochran are entering by backing the president: Sixty-two percent say the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq, the first time that number has topped 60 percent.

Meth Lab at Tupelo Furniture Market

Scott Morris reports:
There's a methamphetamine lab in Hall D of the Tupelo Furniture Market's Mississippi Building.

The police won't do a thing because it's not really a working lab. It's a set for the movie, "Chasing the White Dragon," which is filming in Northeast Mississippi this month.
Law enforcement won't intervene until later in the month, when the trailer is removed from the warehouse and set up on a farm to be blown to pieces.

"A lot of people are interested in seeing that," Haley said, "and making sure we do it safely."

Hat tip to Big Buzz which is a product of the Daily Journal.

Big South Mississippi Political Rally Saturday (Democratic Speakers Only)

From an e-mail:
I hope you are planning to attend our South Mississippi Political Rally on Saturday, July 21, in Hattiesburg, from 10:00 a.m. --- 4:00 p.m., sponsored by the 4th Congressional District Democrats, and our master of ceremonies will be Wayne Dowdy, State Party Chairman and former congressman.
Hope to see you at the South Mississippi Political Rally. And it will be held inside the air conditioned and very comfortable Extension Conference Center (Gate 4), at the Forrest County Multi Purpose Center. It was originally scheduled to be at the Market Pavilion, but do to the hot weather, we moved it to the air conditioned Extension Conference Center. (turn at Gate 4) We anticipate several hundred people to attend our rally. So bring your family and enjoy the candidates speeches and our delicious barbeque chicken lunches for only $10 per plate.

Most of the statewide, districtwide, and local office seekers will be speaking.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Insurers Screw Consumers: Democratic Congress Fights to Protect Us

 Insurers Screw Consumers: Democrats Fight to Protect Us

Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., listens to opening remarks on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday during a hearing of the House Housing and Community Opportunity subcommittee, as they consider the Multiple Peril Insurance Act of 2007.
Sun Herald

"Greed is the main disconnect in this situation," said Taylor, D-Miss. "It's easy for them to walk around in their Gucci suits and defend their companies, but the reality is down there on the Gulf Coast, where all of the destroyed homes and property of my constituents are. Of course, these companies don't want to change the rules that are currently in their favor.

"People who played by the rules and expected insurance companies to play by the same rules got screwed," said Taylor, whose bill would create financially sound premium levels to make the NFIP self-supporting.

Taylor, insurers lock horns over bill
Sun Herald
July 18, 2007

Toward the end of the subcommittee hearing on the Multiple Peril Insurance Act that Congress held the other day, the chairwoman of the committee, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif, “chastised the insurance industry representatives for criticizing Taylor's plan without offering a solution to reform the NFIP to add wind damage protection.”

As mentioned in yesterday’s piece, Democrats Shame, Skewer Insurance Shills, the corporate shills all sang from the same song sheet. Their tune? “All we are saying, is keep things the same” with this thrown in for variety’s sake “All we are saying is keep our profits the same.” Read the commentary at A.M. in the Morning!

Charlie Ross Launches 2nd Attack (Coast Only I Believe)

Ross has a new Anti-Bryant Ad attacking Bryant for his statement that he would not have voted to allow Casinos on shore saying that while Ross stood with Barbour, Bryant would have opposed a necessary move for economic recovery.

It features clips from this:

from the Lt. Governor's debate on the Coast.

I doubt he will be playing this elsewhere in the state. I severely doubt it is playing North of Hattiesburg. This is meant to only be seen by Coast folks. I think that among Republicans in areas away from Casinos this position could actually help Bryant.

If I can get the ad I'll put it up.

NRA Chooses Ross

From the press release:
"It is an honor to be endorsed by one of the most effective grassroots organizations in the country," Charlie Ross said. "I am proud to have defended freedom my entire adult life-first as an Air Force pilot and then as a State Senator writing laws that defend our Second Amendment rights.

"As a gun owner, I don't take our Second Amendment Rights for granted," Ross added. "I have been proud to fight for this Constitutional right in the Senate."
"Law-abiding gun owners in Mississippi have a true friend in Charlie Ross," Cox said. "We are pleased to endorse him in this primary because we know that, if elected lieutenant governor, Senator Ross will continue to protect the Second Amendment as an individual right with as much strength and vigor as he has in the Mississippi State Legislature."

I'd heard rumors of this and now they are proven true.

So it's the Realtors, Home Builders, and Don Wildmon (AFA) vs. Mississippi Right To Life and the NRA. I wonder if any of the groups will make an independent expenditure.

Leader Call Covers Democratic Forum

From the Leader Call:
He also took aim at the present administrations claims for the Toyota Plant announced.

“It happened 20 years ago,” Smith said. “Democrats stood up and Democrats passed the bills. There are three level five schools in that area. There is a four lane highway system. It didn’t happen four years ago when the present administration took office.”
Dr. Brand said he has years of experience in education at Brandon High School and Meridian Community College. Brand also pointed out the state legislature balanced the budget, but claims that’s only part of the issue because the state is cutting budgets while local governments raise taxes.

“The money comes through the courthouse instead of the state house,” Brand said.

Brand said the office is currently 30 auditors short. More auditors is a priority, he said, because many offices go unchecked each year. He said with so many new people taking office this year, the auditor’s office must have a strong person in position to help make sure public money is spent wisely.

I agree with Smith on the issue of economic development. Companies go where the infrastructure is sound and there is an educated workforce.

Brand makes a good point; the office of the Auditor should be equipped to audit.

Mississippi Crowns 2nd African American Miss Mississippi

Latasha Willis brings us the news that Kimberly Morgan was crowned Miss Mississippi becoming only the second African American to win the honor.

From the Daily Journal:
Morgan won a $15,000 scholarship and will attempt to become the fifth Mississippian to win the Miss America pageant. It was her second attempt to win the state pageant.

"It's been a dream come true," Morgan said in a television interview after winning. "I'm just looking forward to the rest of the year and the Miss America pageant. I'm ready."

Morgan, who was Miss Heritage, is the second African-American contestant to win the contest. She won the talent preliminary on Thursday after singing the song "Summertime."

The Oxford native was born with severe hearing loss, but multiple surgeries solved the problem and today she is a music teacher.

*The Photo is from the Vicksburg Post

Best Mississippi Campaign Song I've Heard So Far

Go to Clearing the Cobwebs for the audio of "Phil Will" which pitches Phil Morgan for Supervisor District 1 in Lee County.

John Windsor Takes Stand Against Discrimination; Ike Brown

On Paul Gallo's radio show John Windsor called on Ike Brown to step down. When asked about Voter ID this was his response:
“Due to recent court decisions, it looks like voter ID is going to be a reality,” Windsor responded. “But, we have to be mindful when implementing this measure that, because of our past, some older Mississippians fear this may be used to intimidate voters. Whether it is a Republican in Florida, or a Democrat in Noxubee County, Mississippi, the Ike Brown’s of the world have to go. We cannot allow voters to be intimidated.”

Jim Hood Takes On The Predatory Lenders

From the Clarion Ledger:
Customers of Ameriquest Mortgage Co. in Mississippi could receive rebates by fall as part of a $858,099 legal settlement, Attorney General Jim Hood said Wednesday.

More than 2,200 borrowers could nab $80 to $1,806 as restitution for alleged predatory lending practices by Ameriquest. The payment will vary depending on how many people participate.

"They misrepresented so many things out there to consumers who didn't understand," Hood said. "They just wanted a house."
Accepting the payment does not impact the consumers' legal rights in a bankruptcy, Hood said.

Borrowers were hit with hidden fees and penalties, Hood said. Lenders misrepresented the customers' income and assets to gain larger loans. The loans were financed months after purchase, and then the customers faced penalties.

Of course representatives of the industry and conservative shills will say that this too is contributing to an "unfavorable business climate."

The Clarion Ledger Article

Eaves Campaign Blog Up

I think Eaves is the first campaign to put up a blog. I hope they keep it up:

John's Journal

I think this was intended to be a soft launch (something we did when we launched Cotton Mouth) where we posted for over a week before telling anyone about it. I guess this throws that idea out the window.

A hattip to Majority in Mississippi for spoting it first.

Ross' Official Response to "Sorry Charlie"

"Instead of talking about his role in the Partnership, my opponent is now launching a misleading negative attack to divert attention from the issue. He claims that I am not an ally of Gov. Barbour because my law firm is suing the governor. The truth is, I do not represent anyone who is in litigation with the State -- especially Gov. Barbour. A couple of attorneys in my law firm, which is one of the largest in the state, represent clients who are in litigation with the Department of Medicaid, and the governor is named as a defendant in his official capacity. The ad is very flimsy and very misleading."

I thought that the Bryant ad was sorely lacking in context, but they have it in high rotation. We shall see what effect it has. In the last half hour I've seen it twice on WLOX with one of Ross' "Jessica's Law" ads. I hope whoever ends up losing the primary will leak his polling numbers to someone so we can see how the ads actually shifted public opinion during the course of the campaign.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Bryant Responds

The Ross campaign has a press release out attacking Bryant for launching an attack ad. (That's funny.)

As soon as we get more information we will post it here.

"desperate, misleading campaign tactics" Wow, that's a mouthful. How about something simpler like "dishonest attacks" I'm just sayin'.

George Dale's Television Ad

I agree with Laura Hipp, it would have been better if the ad featured him rescuing a kitten.

Will Bardwell on Wicker and OSHA

In a post titled Roger Wicker Caves To Pesky Anti-Disease Lobby Will Bardwell highlights Wickers past opposition to policies promoting health in the workplace

But with Wicker in the minority party for the first time in his congressional tenure, crazy is selling at a slightly lower clip. His absurd excuse that his actions prevented "regulation of infectious diseases" (that's a bad idea?) didn't stick, and Congress' most conservative member soon found himself under fire from the health industry and lots of other people who think air-borne pathogens are generally undesirable.

Congressman Gene Taylor (D) On Crooked Insurance Companies

"Greed is the main disconnect in this situation," said Taylor, D-Miss. "It's easy for them to walk around in their Gucci suits and defend their companies, but the reality is down there on the Gulf Coast, where all of the destroyed homes and property of my constituents are. Of course, these companies don't want to change the rules that are currently in their favor.

- Congressman Gene Taylor (D-MS) 7/2007

Southern Republican Crime And Scandal: Ravenel Edition

A Wall Street Journal article published Monday detailed much recent political scandal among Republicans in the South in an article titled "Political Woes Dog Republicans Across the South."
Here are some highlights around just one of those officeholders:
- SC Republican State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel has been indicted for distributing cocaine. He was Guiliani's SC State Chairman.
- SC Republican State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel's father in 2000 called the NAACP, the National Association for Retarded People. He recently said that he wasn't sorry for the remark, but apologized to any of the retarded who might have been offended.
- SC Republican State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel is currently in a 30-day treatment program while still holding his job with a temporary suspension.
- SC Republican State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel's fellow officeholder Republican Lt. Governor Andre Bauer who has been given $90,000 a year for a driver and security detail has been pulled over twice for speeding without even being ticketed when he was going at least 101 miles per hour.
- SC Republican State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel's indictment was followed only days by a no-contest plea by a Republican state representative on charges of threats against his ex-wife's boyfriend.
- SC Republican State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel's former fellow officeholder, the Republican Commissioner of Agriculture was has been sentenced to federal prison on charges related to cockfighting and corruption.

The Wall Street Journal Article

Raise Your Glass To Recovery

Absolut vodka is introducing Absolut New Orleans vodka which is flavored with mango and has a "black pepper kick."

All profits from this product will go to five organizations with the goal of Gulf Coast recovery.

From the AP article:
"The way we're describing it is a fruity vodka with a spicy kick, which is a way you could describe the city of New Orleans," said Tim Murphy, vice president of marketing for Absolut Spirits Co., the U.S. arm of Swedish manufacturer Vin & Sprit AB.

The company tried other fruits, and tried cayenne. But they didn't taste as good, Murphy said. Another important factor was how the vodka is likely to be used in New Orleans, he said.

"It can also give a unique twist to the Hurricane recipe," Murphy said.

Going on sale in August for about $19 a bottle at retailers nationwide, it's expected to raise $2 million for five Gulf Coast charities, which the company says will get all the profits to help rebuild from Hurricane Katrina. Flavored vodka is a fast-growing segment of the adult beverage market.

The AP Article

Democrats Shame, Skewer Insurance Shills

Listen to the podcast.

Eloquent, down home as well as brutally truthful and direct in a classy manner, Congressman Gene Taylor (D-MS) shamed 6 witnesses who testified at the House of Representatives’ Subcommittee hearing on Housing and Community Opportunity. Each of these witnesses asserted that from the perspective of the insurance industry, the status quo was good enough. One after the other with painful repetition in this four hour subcommittee meeting that I watched online, each of these corporate shills reiterated the same talking points with a single goal in mind: protect the status quo.Read more . . . .

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Exclusive Video: John Edwards in Canton, MS

I hope y'all enjoy my the result of my first experiment with original web video.

(Update: I think it just hasn't worked it's way through the YouTube system so give it an hour and then try again)

A Tip Of The Hat:

Right of Mississippi has beat me to the punch on several things lately and I will post them bellow:

Ross' New Attack Ad can be found here:
http://rightofmississippi.wordpress.com/2007/07/18/giggity-giggity-giggity-i-love-attack-ads/ OR

Jeffrey Rupp has a TV ad up online:

ROM make the observation that "Rupp wrote, directed and produced the spot himself."

With the inside track and such a clean ad, I'd say Rupp decided to make a friend.

John Edwards in Canton (Photos)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

John and Elizabeth Edwards, John Arthur Eaves, advocates for workers, and current and past poultry plant workers meet in a roundtable discussion.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

They moved the press outside for questions and the light was far better thanks to the sun. :)

As others including Will Bardwell have pointed out, the lighting was bad inside so few of my pictures turned out.

Additional John Edwards Coverage

Will Bardwell provided good analysis at his blog of the event at his blog the convieniently titled WillBardwell.com

He also provided a news roundup of other stories including ours in a post titled Additional Edwards Coverage. Check out his website it has some good stuff.

He also tipped me off to an official Edwards video clip of the event:

Check out www.WillBardwell.com and then come back here later for more on the Edwards event.

New Anti-Ross Ad?

In what could be the first attack ad of the primaries, Cotton Mouth has a report from someone who thinks they saw an ad attacking Ross on TV today.

If you have seen the ad or know its source please e-mail me or put your info in the comments.

I've only had one report so that person could be mistaken, but let me know.

Update: It is an Anti-Bryant ad by the Ross campaign. The following is from the Ross press release:
The race for the Republican Lieutenant Governor's nomination has revolved around a choice of which candidate is the most reliable in tough fights. A new television ad released by the Ross campaign Tuesday gives voters proof of one important difference on that score -- the two candidates' record of support for Governor Barbour.

In one of the Governor's hardest-fought battles to date, Charlie Ross stood with the Governor in his successful effort to stop the illegal diversion of tax money to the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi. Bryant, meanwhile, stood with Barbour's opponent, Democrat Mike Moore, on the Partnership issue.

They also offer this timeline at their website on Phil Bryant and the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi:

All Hail King Barbour (or not)

Barbour is the former head of the Republican National Committee. From that position and from his positions in lobbying he learned good PR. He has good PR people and his strategy is sound, unfortunately the message he is peddling just isn't true.

The Governor and his boosters have credited him with almost everything under the sun since this campaign began and I guess when you've got that much money you don't worry about people noticing.

The newest thing his supporters are trumpeting is a report in the publication Directorship. Directorship couldn't be expected to be biased if it caters specifically to fund managers could it? No. (Note: Sarcasm)

The report says the state is moving on up because of the restrictions Barbour put on consumers access to the courts. We can debate the merits of that legislation later of which there are few, but can we take seriously the report of an organization with the purpose of helping the elite few maximize profits?

States and communities are lifted up economically based on their infrastructure and the education of potential employees far more than anything else. Neither has seen a great change since Barbour took office.

The other thing that Barbour boosters have been trumpeting is the miracle of Toyota coming to Mississippi brought to us almost singlehandedly by Haley himself.

Fact check time:
1. Barbour opposed economic incentives originally for the Wellspring site because it was proposed by Democrats.
2. Barbour later only supported it when he could take credit after most of the work had been done by local officials and legislative Democrats.
3. We still had to bribe Toyota to pick us even with all the work that had been done in advance.

One big project with a lot of jobs in one place may look good for photo ops, campaign ads, and press releases, but it does not solve the economic problems of this state.

While Barbour is trumpeting a Mississippi Miracle the Economic Policy Institute points out that since November of 2003 the growth rate in Mississippi has been LOWER than any other southern state other than Louisiana. One factory doesn't change that reality nor do a half dozen suppliers.

And while Barbour talks about all the new jobs he has supposedly personally brought to Mississippi the unemployment rate is the second highest in the nation above every state except Michigan.

Our photo op Governor needs to show us some real results.

Today's Subcommittee Hearing on Multiple Peril Insurance Act of 2007

Today, Tuesday, July 17, 2007, the House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity will hear testimony regarding the proposed Multiple Peril Insurance Act of 2007. The time is 2pm EDT. Click here to view the hearing online. The page will automatically load to the hearing.

Call Committee Chair Maxine Waters to let her know how important this legislation is to protecting America's families and businesses. Below is her phone number and a phone script. Just say what is italicized, and everything will work out. I just called and read the script. The lovely woman who answered the call took the message. Read more . . .

Monday, July 16, 2007

Choose The Best Political Blog At Magnolia Report

Magnolia Report, the popular Mississippi news aggregator has posted a poll asking you to vote for "the best political blog in Mississippi."

The poll includes Cotton Mouth (we'd love to be your choice), the Clarion Ledger, the Jackson Free Press, and Mississippi Politics which is rebranding as Y'all Politics. (I really wish I'd thought that name up before they did.)

Go vote for us. We are bringing you more original content, more exclusive video, and more news that you won't find anywhere else.


Edwards In Mississippi

I'm not sure what I expected now, but it wasn't this.

After some difficulty getting in due to there being no Edwards person at the door when we got there we did get in and I was amazed to see how many journalists were there. There was already a virtual wall of television cameras in the back when we went in and I took my place behind a row of seats occupied by print journalism reporters.

I looked next to me and saw Anderson Cooper from CNN and introduced myself and Alex Scharr who came with me.

He was generally friendly and we engaged in a few minutes of conversation including Alex asking him why he'd backed out of an event at Loyola where he goes to school. Anderson Cooper gave a good reason that included international travel. I asked him when they were going to do another special on the Mississippi Coast with Kathleen Koch and he said he hoped they would soon. Our conversation was ended when a police officer came over and told Anderson Cooper that the mayor wanted a picture and he left.

Shortly after John Edwards entered with some current and former poultry plant workers and advocates for the poor and they sat down and spoke on issues of treatment in the workplace and poverty.

John Edwards mostly asked questions and listened thoughtfully with Elizabeth who looked good I think.

Afterwords the press was ushered through a side door to the rear of the Church where they waited for John Edwards to answer questions. We waited a while and I overheard the Fox News cameraman remark to another news person that John Edwards was giving a one on one interview with Anderson Cooper. Looking around I didn't see Anderson Cooper or John Edwards so I assume that was correct.

John Edwards then did come out and answered a half a dozen questions from the press. He started by saying that he wanted the press to focus on the poverty part of the Road to One America Tour and not him saying that he wasn't the point.

He then went and shook hands and signed the shirts of a few folks who had gathered from the community to see what was happening and then got in the van to head to the next stop in Marks, Mississippi.


I'll put up selected video clips and photos starting tomorrow.

Hosemann's First TV Spot

It's good. I've seen one very similar produced for a Democrat in another state. If I can track it down, I'll put it up.

Name repetition, humor, issues. It's good and for political advertising in Mississippi it is original.

Bookies, Pimps, and Insurance Companies

Bookies, Pimps, and Insurance Companies

The insurance industry has a great scam of a gravy train going on with home and business owners. Think about it. Collect the premiums, deliberately fail to pay out the claims, pocket the profits, leave town, reduce the coverage, increase the premiums, repeat.

Just as a bookie collects from its gamblers, these companies collect money from us, the home and business owners of America. If we never have a situation where we need to make good on our policy, the insurance company has kind of made out like a bandit. All of this is legal and above board. We understand it’s a form of legal gambling, and we know the risks of what may happen if we don’t participate.

In essence, we’re essentially betting that we may one day need to tap into our policy, our legally biding contractual agreement with our legal bookie. When something happens and we need our gamble to pay off, we expect our insurance carriers—our bookies—to make good on our legally binding agreement.

Here in the Katrina-ravaged region of the country, our bookies are skipping town with our money pointing their proverbial fingers to the water in the Gulf of Mexico. Read more . . . .

My Best NPR/AFR Imitation:

So you've been reading and watching the blog with interest as a new view has pushed itself out into the open with strong original content and analysis.

You've read the appeals for funds and you have thought that this site is a good deal and that you have enjoyed reading it, but haven't committed to helping just yet.

Well now is your time to do something. Just think of that feeling you get when you throw $10 or more to help me attend Yearly Kos, the nation's largest blogger conference.

I'm going to keep asking once a day until that ChipIn graph is full so go ahead and help out. You'll be glad you did.

I'm Going To See John Edwards Today!

The Edwards Campaign is all about some new media so I've got press credentials.

I'll have photos, video, and a report from the Edwards event in Canton by this evening.

The trip is part of "The Road To One America" tour which began in New Orleans this morning with a town hall meeting on Good Morning America.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Ray Vecchio Speaks in Pascagoula / Senate 51

Ray Vecchio is the Democratic candidate for Senate District 51 Which is primarily rural Jackson County. He will face either incumbent Republican Senator Tommy Robertson or challenger Michael Watson

Phil Bryant On Coast Casinos

"When we were in that debate they asked me is gaming moral and said of course it's not..."

"Let's bring them onshore in the structures that they're in now"

"It is a legal business that is prospering here and bringing people to the Coast..."

I figure you are either for it as a business and therefore you should support treating them like a regular business and letting them be onshore or you are against gambling and therefore you should oppose any expansion or legislation that would benefit the industry.

George Dale's Ad in The Mississippi Democrat

Jere Nash at Red/Blue blog first alerted me to this and we at Cotton Mouth are the first up with a picture:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I think enough Democrats like myself are angry at Dale for partnering with Republicans and corporate interests that they are willing to risk selecting a real Democrat as the nominee. I also think that Gary Anderson can win.

Ask John Edwards a Question

I will be going to see John Edwards at one of the events Monday in Mississippi and I'll be a credentialed blogger.

What this means is that I get to ask him a couple of questions like a member of the traditional (papers, TV) media.

Help me think of a couple good questions to ask. I might just ask one.

Keep in mind though that I will not ask a question that is framed as a personal attack or is made with the intent to embarass, y'all can do better than that.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Give till it feels good!

- not till it hurts- :p

If you have enjoyed the content and perspective offered on this blog please give to either help me go to the world's biggest political blogging conference by clicking the "ChipIn!" link or give to pay for expenses around the site by clicking the donation button below the "Get Noticed" ad.

John Edwards To Make 2 Stops In Mississippi Monday

The Details:

The purpose of this tour is to take a break from the normal campaign schedule to travel to 8 states to shine a bright spotlight on the issue of poverty in America . During the tour, the Senator will meet with people struggling with poverty, in order to share their personal stories with the nation. He will also discuss how we can build One America where every person has the chance to work hard and get ahead.


Senator Edwards to visit workers at a mobile home park near the Peco Poultry Processing Plant

Westside Trailer Park

Corner of 3rd Ave. and Fulton Street

Canton, Mississippi

Senator Edwards to tour the Quitman County Development Organization offices and meet with local Marks, Mississippi residents

Road Side Park at Mississippi 6 & Charlie Pride Highway

Marks, Mississippi


As soon as I know more about times and such I'll let y'all know. I'm going to try to attend the event in Canton.

Update 7-16-07: I understand these are not public event so if you attempt to attend w/o a prior invitation you may be turned away. I'll be at the Canton Event as a blogger given press credentials and I'll be sure to tell you all about it. :)

The River Company: Saturday Afternoon Mississippi Music

The River Company's members are all from Ocean Springs, MS originally and will be playing in the Ocean Springs Music festival next Saturday. Ocean Springs Music Festival

"Coming Into My Own"

Information on the River Company can be found on Wikipedia, on their MySpace page, and on their own website.

Beyond the 9th Ward

As I sit here in the town of Bay St. Louis, Miss., one of several tiny coastal beach towns that comprise ground zero for the worst part of the worst natural disaster in the nation--Hurricane Katrina, I feel conflicted. The New York Times has published a lengthy article titled Road to New Life After Katrina Is Closed to Many. The article zeroed in on the difficulty of returning home after Katrina. Again, as has been the modus operandi from the beginning, the focus is on New Orleans alone and specifically on residents in the 9th Ward. This is an important heart breaking story. And herein lies my conflict.

The road home after Katrina is equally difficult for those who don’t live in the lower 9th Ward. Read on . . .

Listen to the podcast.

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's fundraising week at Cotton Mouth

To put together this blog I bought a dozen domain names, a cheap video camera, computer software (that I haven't figured out how to use yet) and gas to get to events. All this costs money and you obviously like the result because you keep coming back.

Now I'm going to the nation's largest blogger conference, Yearly Kos, and I need some help in getting there. I've already got some help from friends and family, but I need more to cover basic costs.

Please contribute $5 or more dollars to helping pay for the trip by clicking on the Chipin button at the upper right of this webpage or contribute to help pay the expenses of running such a quality website by clicking the "Make a Donation!" button under the get noticed banner.

Both are processed through PayPal which is a secure form of payment.

Neshoba County Fair Speaking Schedule

The Schedule Can Be Found HERE

Rickey Cole in the Greenwood Commonwealth

Rickey Cole, the Democratic candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, spoke to members of the Greenwood Voters League with the Greenwood Commonwealth giving this account:
Cole, the only Democrat running for Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner, set his sights on incumbent Lester Spell, a Democrat who switched to the Republican Party.

Cole, 41, of Ovett, said he had 55 million reasons why people should support his candidacy - the failed $55 million boondoggle known as Mississippi Beef Processors, which Spell supported vigorously.

"They had the bright idea that Mississippi was going to get rich in the potted meat business," he said.

After three months of operation, the plant folded, and the state didn't even own the plant, Cole said.

Under new management, the beef plant will reopen and will employ 170 people. Cole said each worker at the plant would have to earn more than $366,700 in order for the state to recoup its losses.

Actually I believe that figure is how much it breaks down per job. They'd have to make 10 or 20 times that much to pay back the state in income and sales taxes.

In addition he detailed the failed "Goat Meat" plant that Lester Spell also championed and other projects that wasted taxpayer money and didn't particularly help agriculture in the state.

He said it was important for farmers not to grow crops that depend on subsidies from Washington.

"Our farmers have got to grow crops that will make money. We will never become prosperous depending on federal subsidies," Cole said.

We need to grow and make products in Mississippi that make money and we need an Ag Commissioner who will actively champion our states products.

The Greenwood Commonwealth Article

Rob Smith in the Greenwood Commonwealth

Rob Smith, a Democratic candidate for Secretary of State, spoke to members of the Greenwood Voters League saying:
Smith said his father gave him some sound advice when he first went into public office. "Everyone has a right to a job and a right to an education," he told the crowd.

He said his commitment has been demonstrated many times, with his support of the landmark Education Reform Act of 1982, which established kindergarten classes in every school district.

Other programs backed by Smith included the state highway program, the state's childhood immunization act, the Children's Health Insurance Program and reform of the state's child adoption laws, among others, he said.

Whether it's saving Medicaid or helping to keep rural hospitals and pharmacies open, Smith said, "It's the Democrats that have moved this state forward."

He also stated that bottom line voters should be treated with respect when they go to vote and proposed a plan to help families reclaim family lands instead of selling them off in a public auction in the cases of tax delinquent properties.

The Greenwood Commonwealth Article

New Phil Bryant Ad: Accountability

Another one of the "wrong reasons" to support Phil would be how little he actually recovered as state auditor. Those millions don't break down to a lot when it is spread over all that time and all those employees.