Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Five years since "Mission Accomplished"

DCCC makes $700,000 media buy in MS-01

As reported by our friends at Swing State Project.
The DCCC just made a huge independent expenditure in Mississippi today, to the tune of $702,642.

The expenditures include $350K on an ad buys hitting GOP candidate Greg Davis, and another $350K on a media buy supporting Democrat Travis Childers. They've also thrown in a grand on phonebanking
As James said on SSP, the DCCC has now dropped a whopping 1.1 million in MS-01. The NRCC has spent about $600,000. The problem is the NRCC is cash spent and only had 7.1 million on hand compared to the over 30 million in the DCCC coffer.

My thought for the NRCC is, spend it in your own backyard boys!!

There is nothing better than seeing the NRCC playing defense in an R+10 district!!

Here at Cotton Mouth we set a goal of raising $1,000. We are getting there with $330 in the bank. Please donate NOW. $100, $50, $25, $10, $5, whatever you have, please.

Childers for Congress

Goal Thermometer

Daily Journal: Childers responds

Today's Daily Journal featured an article on the embittered MS-01 congressional race. I think we all know about the ad and Rev. Wright, and have our opinions one way or another. Childers responded to the attack ad with these nuggets.

On Rev. Wright:

"The only pastors that should be relevant in this race are my pastor and the countless church leaders across North Mississippi that are the backbone of our communities," Childers said.
On Obama and Wright's relevance to Mississippi:

"But this race is not about a senator from Illinois or a pastor from Chicago," he added. "It's about the people of Mississippi. It's about right and wrong. And the way Greg Davis is running his campaign is wrong."
On the supposed Obama endorsement:

Today, Childers is releasing a new TV ad saying his family "has heard the lies and attacks linking me to politicians I don't know and have never even met." (empahisis mine)

"Let me tell you what kind of endorsements we're looking for ... endorsements from the working people of North Mississippi, working families," Childers told a Memphis TV station in a story about the attack ad.
Let's show our support at Cotton Mouth for Travis Childers and change by donating to the Childers for Congress campaign.

Thanks for your donations, keep them coming

We are up to $330 on our Cotton Mouth for Childers Act Blue page. Thanks to all of you who have donated $5, $10, or more. We are progressing along toward a goal of $1,000. I just don't know how to get the fancy thermometer like Swing State has, but when I figure it out I will add it.

Thanks and please donate if you have not already.

Other news today: The RNCC announced $12,000 in expenditures for polling in MS-01, and $10,000 on a direct mailer against Childers.

Please Donate now.

Childers for Congress

UPDATE: (From CM poster Mitch) Not to muddy the waters, or to take away from CM's efforts, but today, David NYC at Swing State project will be matching donations (to a limit) to Childers. SO if today you can give $25, you'll really be giving $50, which means then you can give the other $25 you saved through the CM page.

UPDATE TWO: Check it out We now have a way cool thermometer to keep with how much we have raised.

Goal Thermometer

Back to the economy

I didn't get a chance to post this article from the Sun Herald yesterday. It's not completely uncommon for people to steal gas- in Jackson, everyone has to pay before they pump since Katrina. However, stealing $1600 worth of gas is astounishing to me, and further proof we're all in some tough times, especially in the independent trucking business.

Truckers make off with 400 gallons of diesel fuel

JACKSON COUNTY --Two tractor-trailer rigs pulled up to a gas pump at the Wade Quick Stop and BP gas station late Thursday night or early Friday morning and stole $1,600 worth of diesel.

The station, on Mississippi 63, was closed when the culprits made off with 400 gallons. Sheriff Mike Byrd on Monday warned all gas stations to turn off the electricity to their pumps at night.

"Somehow they got the pump to come on," Byrd said. "Someone went into the control top of the pump. I have no idea how they did it."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Childers video misunderstood

OK, I have watched the supposed rebuke of Obama by Childers today about 10 times. There is one central fact that has been misunderstood by the majority. Obama never did endorse Childers officially and never had contact with the Childers campaign. Go find it in any newspaper dated before today, I beg you. The only thing that happened is the Obama campaign sent an email, to all of us on the Obama mailing list from Mississippi, offering his phonebanking tools in support of Travis Childers on election day.

The way he offered support was via use of his phonebanking tools. Why would Obama not support Childers versus a republican? This is how Obama is changing the game, with his grassroots support network. For the better, Barack feels the commitment to offer that network of support to down-ticket dems, in large part on his own. Thank you Obama.

Childers more than likely had no idea that Obama had taken the step to email everyone on his private campaign list from Mississippi to enlist support for Childers. Obama is trying to build the progressive coalition that can get help to working families. So Travis was caught off guard today, and had no idea what in the hell they were talking about. I am sure him and Obama would agree on 90% of what matters to Mississippians.

MS-01: Blog Roundup

DavidNYC over at Swing State Project has become a hero of mine for quite some time and really even more this week. He has raised over $1600, at this time, for Travis Childers from people all over the country. Today SSP has a great post on the economic populism of Travis Childers and why we should be excited.

Swing State Project - MS-01 Childers the Populist

It's regular folks who have his sympathy - and that's why Travis Childers needs our help. But as with Iraq, a Childers victory can send a clear message: that running on a populist message works. At the same time, it will help drive a stake through the heart of stale, pernicious DLC-style politics. Childers can continue the line of victories that began with Tester and Webb and show Democrats that the way to bigger majorities this fall requires that we meaningfully address the concerns of average Americans.

Over at Huffington Post there was this snippet on MS-01.

Republicans are now rushing in to hurt Obama further. The North Carolina Republican party is indicating that its ad will start running tomorrow; and Wright has now worked his way to Mississippi. Last week, Democratic Travis Childers came within 400 votes of picking-up heavily Republican MS-01 in a special election; now, Greg Davis, the trailing Republican candidate, has released an ad blasting Childers for his connection to "liberal Barack Obama." The ad uses footage of a sermon by Wright and accuses Childers of having said nothing when Obama's preacher "was cursing" America. The ad concludes by accusing Childers of choosing Obama over MS-01's "conservative values." (Watch this attack ad here.) After insisting that NC Republicans don't air their ads, McCain is not stepping in this time; Wright has become fair game for Republicans to an extent that was not expected to come about for many more weeks....

...This only means that the runoff of MS-01 will likely be interpreted as a test of Obama's electability. With Childers on the verge of winning in the first round, would a defeat signify that Obama is indeed a drag on local Democrats? This question is in many way unfair: Davis and Childers came in within 3% on April 22nd and the NRCC is mobilizing in the district; there are many other factors that could explain a Davis victory. Furthermore, MS-01 is a very Republican district that voted for Bush with 62%. Any nationalization of this election is likely to hurt Childers insofar as the Democrat's hopes of winning here are predicated on his convincing voters that he is very conservative. But with Davis's decision to drag Obama and Wright to the stage of a Mississippi congressional election, it is almost inevitable that the results will be read through a national lens.

Eric Kleefield over TPM has this to say about the negative attack ad.

The latest FEC filings show an ad buy of over $260,000 -- meaning that the cash-strapped NRCC sees both a real need to spend money in this deep-red district, and also some real potential for using Barack Obama's name to poison down-ticket Dem chances.

Please Donate to Childers for Congress

Haley on racial politics

Governor Haley Barbour interview with the The Washington Times, stating that he is still on "Hurricane Duty" (i.e., building ports with HUD money), and McCain should wait to pick his VP after the Democrats decide.

But what stuck out in the interview more was this portion:

Mr. Barbour, in an interview with editors and reporters at The Washington Times, also said he disagreed with Mr. McCain´s condemnation of the North Carolina Republican Party, which is vowing to run a television commercial attacking two Democratic gubernatorial candidates who have endorsed Sen. Barack Obama´s presidential bid. The ad uses some of the inflammatory racial rhetoric from the senator´s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

"These two Democrats endorsed Obama. Everything is fair game. In a presidential election, people consider all sorts of things in a presidential candidate's background. It's the most personal office in the world," Mr. Barbour said.

I guess Davis won't be getting in trouble by Papa Haley this time around.

Davis Ad Surfaces

Here's the Davis ad linking Childers to Jeremiah Wright. It's amazing how low these ad folks went.

If you want to donate to Childers' campaign, click here.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Childers radio ad hits Davis on policy

Hat Tip to Will Bardwell

Childers responds to Davis's race-baiting attack ad

Greg Davis in an act of desperation unleashed a vile attack ad on Travis Childers. According to Davis it is a negative to be associated with Barack Obama, make that future President Barack Obama. Because if you are associated with Obama, who did offer support by means of his tremendous grassroots machine to Childers, you are a follower of Reverend Wright. What a load of BS, and Mississippians are smarter than that Mr. Davis.

This is where Republican campaigns head when they are getting their ass kicked on the issues. The old Nixon strategy of divide the south on racial issues, while now expanded to include gays, immigrants, atheists, and gasp "libruls", is still alive and well in MS-01. The voters of north Mississippi want to hear about the economy, the war and other real issues not a bunch of attack ad baloney that has ZERO to do with the race or being a "librul". Davis had this to give the voters of north Mississippi as reason NOT to vote for his opponent (I doubt he can some up with a valid reason to vote for him.)

The Davis Campaign captured a screen image from Obama's website that can no longer be found. It says "Send a message to the nation by helping Democrat Travis Childers in his bid for Congress in the traditionally Republican 1st Congressional District. We need your help to call Barack supporters and remind them to vote for Travis Childers today."

"It's not below the belt. He took the endorsement," said Davis. "It's not just Obama. He gave John Kerry, one of the most liberal guys that ran for president, $2,000."

This strategy has worked well in the past for the GOP, so there is no surprise in the their return to it. There is a small problem with that strategy in today's political climate, IT DOES NOT WORK!! In fact if early returns have anything to say it is counter productive. LA-06, another GOP safe district, is primed to fall in to Democrat hands this Saturday. MS-01 will be delivered on May 13, when the voters of north Mississippi rise up and say "No more issue distracting BS!"

Today Childers had this to say about Greg Davis's ridiculous attack.

"To think that people would believe that I could be held accountable for Reverend Wright's comments that I do not approve of, quite frankly, is just about as truthful as everything that Greg Davis has said in this campaign," said Childers.

Childers does not need to be afraid of an Obama linkage. People are tired of this garbage and are ready for change. Obama did happen to win this state in a landslide and will be competitive in November.

Please donate to Childers for Congress.

NRCC Attack Ad: Childers, Obama, and Rev. Wright

Well it was only a matter of time before the Republicans hit the panic button. With Childers being outspent 2-1 and still kicking their asses, you knew it would get ridiculous soon. Here we go with a new attack ad that is borderline insane, and deeply embarrassing for the state. With the attention the NC ad received, I would not expect this to go away soon. We now have a black-eye for the state. In the Washington Post today:

Another Republican congressional candidate thinks he can get electoral mileage out of linking his Democratic opponent to the presidential candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and the controversies around his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Barely two weeks before a special election to fill a vacant U.S. House seat, GOP nominee Greg Davis has begun airing a political attack ad featuring grainy images of Obama, his former pastor and Davis's Democratic opponent, Travis Childers, who is running an unexpectedly strong campaign in a conservative northern Mississippi district.

"Travis Childers, he took Obama's endorsement over our conservative values. Conservatives just can't trust Travis Childers," the narrator says over pictures of the candidate, Obama and the Rev. Wright.

What an embarrassment for the state. You would think with our poverty levels, the war, and the economy, we could avoid racial politics in Mississippi. But when that is one of only three pages in your playbook (GOP), I guess what else do you do?

It is time to put an end to the politics of fear. Let us make a statement to Greg Davis, the GOP, and the rest of the US that we are not putting up with scare tactics veiled as political ads any more. Let send Childers to Washington on May 13. Please donate to Childers for Congress now, time is running out.

The Last Quaking Bog of Mississippi

Over in Stone County there is a pitched battle going on to preserve the last surviving Quaking Bog in Mississippi.

A developer has decided that the land just above the bog would be an ideal location for a dirt track. The vegetative cover that allowed the essential hillside seepage for the bog is already gone. Bulldozers are creating silt runoff that will wash into the bogs and fill them. Once the race engines and the cars of the onlookers populate the area, the runoff will be oil-laden, guaranteed to finish the job on Sweetbay.

What exactly is the Sweetbay Bog? The Sweetbay Bog was the first land purchase made by the Mississippi branch of the Nature Conservancy.

What is a Quaking Bog? The Woods Hole Research Center defines a quaking bog as -

Wetlands that have formed across the surface of shallow ponds. These ponds are characterized by slow groundwater flow, which causes the pond water to be acidic and low in dissolved oxygen (DO). The roots and rhizomes of invading wetland plants form floating mats across the pond, which creates an unstable, "quaking" surface. Over time, leaves, stems and other organic matter may accumulate below the mat and stabilize it. Nutrients are slowly released into the bog by bacterial decomposition at the surface.

Depending on the availability of nutrients, degree of soil saturation, water pH and DO level in a given bog, the site may evolve into a marsh or swamp. Quaking bogs support rare bog plants, such as dragon's mouth orchid (Arethusa bulbosa), and few fruited sedge (Carex oligosperma).

The Sweetbay Bog is a rare natural land formation and is extremely sensitive:

Long considered by biologists as one of the most critical natural communities in the state, Sweetbay is a classic example of a hillside seepage bog. Rarely found this far south, bogs are integral parts of the vanishing longleaf pine ecosystem that once covered the coastal plains.

With the hillside cover already gone and the real potential for the total destruction of the Sweetbay Bogs a very real possibility it is even more important that we the citizens of Mississippi stand up, once again, to the mindset that prevails in this state that destruction of our beloved natural habitat is okay as long as a few jobs are added, no matter how menial. This kind of wanton destruction is fostered by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). I have said it before and I'll say it again the MDEQ has never met a polluter or destroyer of our environment for profit that they didn't love. This kind of mindset by an agency that is supposed to be the leader in protecting our environment just emboldens developers like this clown that has decided to build a dirt race track in an area of Stone county that is environmentally sensitive.

There is a hearing in Wiggins on May 15th to consider a storm water permit for the construction of the dirt race track. If you are at all concerned about the continued loss of our precious environemnt please join us in Wiggins at 7:00 on the 15th.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Obama's Gambit

What DDay said:

I think Obama's gambit is to register so many voters and find so many new people to enter the process that he isn't bound to any particular political structure, from the right or the left or the middle. He really is trying to make his new mass of supporters his power base. It's an audacious strategy, one that doesn't have a lot of historical basis that you can really look to on the national level. But without question there's a tremendous upside to reaching new voters; you're essentially talking about over half the country, between those who don't vote and those who don't even register. And the technology is now in place to more easily find them, target them and talk to them.

There's certainly a danger here of relying on projected numbers instead of traditional power bases, though I don't think he'll be abandoning groups like unions and black churches, nor will any progressive movement structures abandon him. But I really think that the Obama campaign is reacting to this demonization campaign from the right by saying "OK, I'll find voters in so many nooks and crannies and make you work in so many states that you won't have a chance to make this narrative work." His response is not necessarily building a progressive electorate; that would be accomplished by plugging into the nascent progressive structures that already exist. Obama appears to want to build an electorate aligned with Obama's principles and values, and fostering greater participation in politics as a means to move the country forward and break the current polarization. Some Democrats would play on the same playing field and try to win it; Obama's building an entirely new field, one where these narratives and negative ads and the need to tailor the entire general election to 10 independent voters in the middle of Ohio won't matter anymore.

Greg Davis and the GOP don't get it (surprised? didn't think so)

While perusing the internets for fallout from the MS-01 shocker last Tuesday, one theme has emerged that I did not foresee. For starters I live in central Mississippi (MS-03, Chip Pickering yuck!) so I do not get to see all of the advertising for MS-01. Time after time ,columnist after columnist, whether local or national, have commented on the diminishing returns on the negative ads being run by the Davis campaign.

for example:

from the Commercial Appeal:

If Southaven Mayor Greg Davis was left wondering Wednesday morning how is he now facing yet another run-off in his continuing quest to fill Mississippi's First Congressional District seat, he need only look to the advisers who convinced him to freely spend precious campaign dollars for negative, attacking television advertising.

From the Washington Post:

The message to Republicans could not be more plain: At a time when the public has soured on President Bush and the GOP, the old appeals are just not enough. To have a chance, Republican candidates have to expand their reach and reframe their message.
From the Daily Journal:

If that sounds familiar, it's because something of the same strategy - minus the Rev. Wright clip - is under way in the 1st District congressional race as Greg Davis and the Republican Party try to tarnish Democratic candidate Travis Childers, the leader in last Tuesday's special election balloting, with the Obama brush. Unable to tag Childers himself as an out-of-touch liberal since his position on the hot-button social issues is uniformly conservative, the Republicans instead are aggressively advancing the premise that just by being a Democratic member of Congress Childers will advance the liberal cause which, Davis says, is counter to "Mississippi moral values."

From Real Clear Politics:

Republicans blamed Davis' poor showing on a bitter GOP primary.

Trent Lott starts to draw Republican pension

Trent Lott, now retired from his Senate seat, has embarked on what I call the Republican Fat-Cat pension plan. The Republican Fat-Cat pension plan is pretty simple. Spend your elected career advancing the interests of big donors (AKA big business) and when you retire you get on the pension plan. The Republican Fat-Cat retirement plan involves A) a fat paycheck on K Street as a lobbyist for the same corporations you shilled for on the Senate floor,or B) a high paying position in the industrial-military complex with some retired colonel who sells his country out on TV for dole. Trent opted for plan A.

Plan A required Trent to leave in a rush. He had good reason. New law effective on Jan 1, 2008 would have required the good Senator to wait 2 years after leaving office before entering the lobbying business (Republican Fat-Cat pension plan). Way to long to wait for this kind of bread. Good to see he joins John Breaux, a former DINO (Democrat In Name Only). Breaux's record is to the right of just about any Dem on capital hill in the last 20 years. As I said DINO.

Now there is this fine news from the AP and reaction from the Clarion Ledger.

At the time, Lott said he sought another term to continue his work on Capitol Hill on behalf of Mississippians struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina.
Much work remained for Mississippi to recover and rebuild from Katrina when Lott stepped down.

The longtime Republican lawmaker left politics to become a partner in a Washington lobbying firm with former Sen. John Breaux, D-La.

Now comes word that Lott is converting $1.2 million left in the Senate campaign fund into a political action committee that will help solidify his influence on Capitol Hill in his new career as a lobbyist.

A former Lott staff member said the move came so Lott could increase the amount of money he gives to candidates. Individuals and individual campaign committees may contribute no more than $2,300 to a federal candidate each election. But the PAC limit is $5,000.

What Lott is doing is legal, but rather unseemly.

Republican Strategist: $1,000,000 needed to defend MS-01

The national press is buzzing about the special election results from last Tuesday. While they are shocked to see a Democrat winning such a red district, most all express concern for the Republican party in November. The RNCC only has around 8 million cash on hand, while their counterparts the DCCC has over 30 million to spend. You don't have to be an expert to realize it is an act of defense for the GOP to have to drop funds in a R+10 district. As of yesterday the total expenditures for the RNCC in MS-01 was around $570,000. The DCCC has spent around $375,000 on the Childers for Congress campaign.

Now today comes this from the Chicago Sun Times columnist Robert Novak.

Million-dollar seat

Stunned by results of Tuesday's special congressional election in Mississippi, Republican strategists are saying it will require spending at least $1 million to save the House seat for the GOP.

The Democratic candidate, County Clerk Travis Childers, fell only 700 votes shy of winning the strongly conservative northern Mississippi district outright without a runoff. Massive financial help from Washington is expected by Republican strategists to be necessary to save the seat for Southaven Mayor Greg Davis against Childers in the May 13 runoff. The seat, in a district that George W. Bush carried for president in 2004 with 62 percent of the vote, became vacant when Republican Roger Wicker was appointed to the Senate.

Childers, a social conservative, is better known through the district than Davis. The Democrat's strong showing Tuesday also reflected the nationwide Republican malaise, which extends even to the Deep South.

That is a lot of bread for the GOP to spend in Mississippi. This is money that can't be used in other races across the nation.

Let's donate to Childers for Congress and help him overcome the RNCC expenditures. We can't wait around for the DCCC to come riding in. In my estimation the DCCC is focused on the LA-06 special election coming up Saturday, where the Dems stand a good chance of flipping their second seat of the season.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

NRCC fires in another $275,000 on negative ads against Childers

Yesterday the RNCC, the congressional race fundraising arm of the GOP, announced the expenditure of $275,000 on negative campaign ads to be run against Travis Childers. The RNCC has now spent $570,518 on the MS-01 congressional race, a victory in its own right for DCCC. Childers was outspent 2-1 in the special election, but still won more votes because of his message. Voters are ready for change and that is exactly what Travis Childers will bring.

The negative ads are wearing thin on Mississippi voters. Let's send the GOP a message that we want answers to issues not negative attack ads. We need to help Travis win this seat by donating what little we can to help the cause. We started a fund raising page for Childers last week but have had little response. Give $20, $10, or even $5.

For daily capaign financing news go to Swing State Project.

Update: So far for this race the total spent would be:
RNCC $560,000
DCCC $373,000

Cotton Mouth For Childers

Travis Childers on Big Oil

Travis Childers understands that our dependence on foreign oil is a major problem. Childers spoke at at Texaco station in Tupelo on Friday, where he denounced our dependence on foreign oil, and its implications on working class families in Mississippi. The Daily Journal had this to say:

Democratic congressional candidate Travis Childers stopped at a Texaco station here Friday afternoon to denounce rising gas prices and offer solutions if elected to the U.S. House of Representatives."We need to quit depending on foreign oil," said Childers, who is also Prentiss County's chancery clerk. "We need to start depending on ourselves and explore alternative energy sources."As a more immediate strategy, Childers recommended the nation ease the filling of its reserve fuel tanks to boost oil surplus and thereby lower gas prices.At the Texaco station, on the corner of South Gloster and South Green streets, gas prices posted were $3.54 for regular and $3.78 for premium. Childers estimated they were up 25 percent from last year and said some families can't afford to buy fuel anymore."It seems like everyone in Washington is concerned about everything but working-class families," he said. "I'm concerned about working-class families. I'm concerned about north Mississippians."He also said he would not take campaign contributions from big oil companies. Childers and Republican candidate Greg Davis, mayor of Southaven, will meet in a May 13 runoff election after both led an April 22 special election for U.S. House of Representatives' 1st District seat.

Swing State Project endorses Childers and to fundraise

Swing State Project is a national blog that covers congressional races. While they are a great source of information for just about any contested race (they are known for the campaign financing reporting), they rarely endorse a candidate. They support all progressive Democrats but rarely go as far as to endorse and actively fund raise. The last time was the Tester race in Montana in 2006.

This is great news to see the progressive blogosphere focused on a Mississippi congressional race. Websites like Swing State Project, Daily Kos, MyDD, etc.. played not a small role in the 2006 Democratic electoral victories. This is the new face of politics. The ability for a large group of small donors to make a difference is the essence of people powered politics.

From Swing State Project:

The Swing State Project is doing something that we haven't done since the early days of Jon Tester's race in Montana -- independently of any other blog, we're laying our cards down on the table and offering our endorsement and fundraising support to a congressional candidate: Democrat Travis Childers, who is running in the special election to replace Roger Wicker in the House of Representatives.
We've had our eye on MS-01 for some time, giving it a competitive rating before any other major prognosticator did so. Travis Childers bore out our projections and then exceeded them, coming just 400 or so votes shy of outright victory in the special election on April 22nd. Now he faces a two-candidate run-off on May 13th. This is a very winnable race, but only if Childers gets all the help he needs.
Childers, the Chancery Clerk of Prentiss County for nearly two decades, is a serious economic populist with true-blue small town Mississippi roots. He supports S-CHIP, opposes CAFTA and wants us to withdraw our troops from Iraq in 12 to 18 months. And he holds these populist positions in a heavily red district: MS-01's PVI is R+10, and it gave Bush 62% of its vote in 2004. If Childers can win this seat, it will be a crippling blow to the NRCC, who have spent nearly $300,000 against Childers, only to come up short last Tuesday. But we can be sure that they'll be back in full force, doing all they can to hang on to this seat in May. And that's why we have to step up and fight back.
Our goal: $2300 for Childers. In other words, that's the equivalent of one "maxed out" big dollar donation.
Together, we can do this. So please support Travis Childers today with whatever you can manage.

WaPo: Republican message tired, evident in MS-01

David Broder came down to Tupelo this past Tuesday to speak at the Lee County Library. While the rest of us were glued to the coverage of MS-01 and Pennsylvania, Broder spoke on presidential politics and the state of the race.

Today in the Washington Post, Broder writes about the MS-01 race and its implications for the national scene. The old republican message of social issues and personal attacks is not working anymore, even in the heart of GOP territory. Voters are responding to real issues, such as the war and the economy. Kitchen table issues are winning for the Democrats.

Broder had this to say:

As a mayor and former state representative from the district's most populous county, Davis was the early favorite. He had the endorsements of Gov. Haley Barbour, Sen. Thad Cochran, Wicker and the man Wicker replaced, Trent Lott. Davis also outspent Childers by almost 2 to 1 and pummeled his opponent with a flood of negative ads, emphasizing the standard GOP menu of social issues and adding a vivid recital of alleged scandals in Childers's nursing home business.

But Childers exploited resentment in 23 other counties against Davis's reliance on his home base in the populous suburbs south of Memphis. Beyond that, he relied on the same issues that produced a surprise Democratic win in a special election this year in the Illinois district vacated by former House speaker Dennis Hastert. High gas prices, shaky job prospects and a grinding war in Iraq have fueled a call for change.

The message to Republicans could not be more plain: At a time when the public has soured on President Bush and the GOP, the old appeals are just not enough. To have a chance, Republican candidates have to expand their reach and reframe their message.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Obama Unleashes 50 State Voter Drive

Barack Obama announced today the in early May the Obama nation will be involved in large scale 50 state voter drive, to help shore up his electability arguments. This is Barack being Barack, trying to rise above the fray and move forward in a positive manner. With this voter drive, Obama has a chance to make a huge statement about how the game is changing. A lot of pundits want to grade this primary process on the battlegrounds of the 90's, especially when talk gets to coalition building. Senator Obama is building a new Democratic coalition stronger than 50+1 of the Clinton years.

Our campaign's recent voter registration drives have registered more than 200,000 new Democrats in Pennsylvania, more than 115,000 new Democrats in North Carolina, and more than 150,000 new Democrats in Indiana. Those numbers just scratch the surface of what's possible.
The event in Jackson is scheduled for May 10. Here is a link and the details.

Time: Saturday, May 10 at 10:30 AM
Host: Menno Goedman
Location: Jamie Fowler Boyll Park (Jackson, MS)
Lakeland Drive
Jackson, MS 39216

Minor gives it to us straight

After the U.S. House Judiciary Committee released its report on corruption within the Department of Justice and the White House in political prosecutions, the Jackson Free Press called Bill Minor, and here's what he had to say.

For Paul to be held in federal prison in Pensacola before his appeal has been considered by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, while his wife of 40 years is 1,500 miles away fighting a losing battle with brain and lung cancer is an outrage. This is not the American system of justice for which I fought in World War II or Paul fought for in Vietnam.

The jury that convicted Paul in April 2007 was never allowed by the judge to hear that he was a Vietnam veteran and won the bronze star medal for valor. Immediately upon his conviction, he was shackled and sent to jail, without being allowed to remain free on bond or given the opportunity to arrange his family affairs. Paul and Silvia’s 110-year-old house in Ocean Springs was wiped out by Hurricane Katrina, with nothing but a barren slab left. They have been unable to make any insurance claim.

A former Arizona U.S. attorney (Grant Woods) declared (on a February 2008 episode of "60 Minutes") regarding the case of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman that the case was highly unusual. In fact, he said he had never seen such a case in which a person convicted of a white-collar crime was shackled and immediately taken off to prison while under bond and before his appeal.

Twenty-six former U.S. attorneys have since spoken up for Siegelman, who has been recently released on bond by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

It is clear from recent events that the U.S. Department of Justice was corrupt. Just yesterday, the former deputy director of the Public Integrity Section of the department of Justice, Robert Coughlin who prosecuted Paul, was accused of taking bribes to go easy on an investigation of the notorious Jack Abramoff, the prominent Republican lobbyist who is now in jail for paying off several members of the US Congress.

Knowingly or not, Judge Henry Wingate became a tool for the corrupt DOJ, rejecting use of 80 percent of the evidence used in Paul’s first trial when he, along with Justice Oliver Diaz was acquitted, and refusing to allow evidence from expert witnesses who could have shown that the judge’s decisions and rulings in the two earlier cases of so called bribery of judges John Whitfield and (Wes) Teel were exactly correct.

I had a high regard for Wingate when he was first appointed to the bench 25 years ago, but I do not anymore.

I hate to be so blunt.

For more background on this, read "A Minor Injustice" by Scott Horton (reprinted in the JFP) or last week's Sun Herald article "Was Diaz, Minor prosecution political?". The JFP wrote one about last week's report- it's in the print edition, but not online.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wicker raised more $ than he can use

Here are some excerpts from a Daily Journal article today explaining Wicker's campaign fund overages.

New interim U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Tupelo is such a good fundraiser, he's collected more money than he can use as he campaigns to succeed Trent Lott in the U.S. Capitol.

Republican Wicker reports raising more than $3 million in the first three months of 2008 in his race against Democrat former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove.But some of that money must be returned because it's over campaign limits.

Musgrove's campaign manager terms it "illegal." The Federal Elections Commission sees it as "overage" collected for an election that won't happen.

In Wicker's situation, he raised $211,000 from 62 individuals and 20 political action committees that he cannot use this year because there's only one election to raise money for - the Nov. 4 general election.

How did this happen? After Wicker was appointed senator by Gov. Haley Barbour and was tapped the GOP candidate for the race, Democrats Musgrove and former U.S. Rep. Ronnie Shows said they were in, too. Ultimately, Shows bowed out, which meant a November runoff wasn't in the cards.

But Wicker had raised some money for the runoff. Now that there won't be one, his campaign has put the funds into a special account, said its treasurer, Paul Breazeale of Jackson. The FEC says it must be returned. For example, the maximum a political action committee can contribute "per election" is $5,000. Tupelo's BancorpSouth PAC gave Wicker's campaign two gifts of $5,000 in February before Shows announced he was pulling out. Now, BancorpSouth is due a $5,000 refund.

Some $545,000 of Wicker's total is from his House campaign fund, Friends of Roger Wicker.

Wicker has capitalized on his Washington experience and contacts,
raising $742,250 from 296 political action committees.

Otherwise, he reports some 1,886 PAC/individual donations and $80,667 from "unitemized" contributions, which are less than $200 each.

By comparison, when Mississippi senior Sen. Thad Cochran ran for re-election in 2002, he raised $1.7 million - $868,560 from PACs and $721,236 from individuals.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New York Times on MS-01: "Mississippi Congressional Race Appears Headed for Runoff "

While I think the writer missed a few things in his analysis of the First Congressional District, I must admit it is pleasing to see Mississippi Democrats make the big paper. For the second article in a row, he links Tupelo to the AFA and Donald Wildmon. Wildmon's influence is that of a national scope more than a local. Most of us from Tupelo know he is an anti-gay, racist, religious wacko, period. I get the feeling the writer thinks we still have snake handlers running wild up there.

Here is a link to the article: Mississippi Congressional Race Appears Headed for Runoff - New York Times

Here is an excerpt:

BOONEVILLE, Miss. — A closely fought Congressional contest over a Republican stronghold here was apparently left hanging on Tuesday, with the two top candidates likely to face a runoff next month.

A conservative Democrat, Travis W. Childers, was seeking to wrest the open seat in the First Congressional District in northern Mississippi from Republicans who have held it since 1994. But Mr. Childers appeared to fall short, getting only 49 percent of the vote, according to The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson. The special election was to fill the unexpired term of Roger Wicker, who moved on to the Senate.

Mr. Childers’s leading opponent, Greg Davis, the Republican mayor of Southaven, a Memphis suburb, got 46 percent. Four other people were on the ballot.

A runoff will be held May 13 if official tallies show no candidate won more than half the vote. After that, Mr. Childers and Mr. Davis are running against each other again in the November general election.

Mr. Childers, who differed little on social issues from his Republican opponent, exemplified the Democrats’ strategy of running conservatives in red districts, a tactic that proved successful in the 2006 midterm elections. Its potential was underscored here on Tuesday with a strong showing by Mr. Childers, a veteran courthouse official, in a conservative area that gave 62 percent of its vote to President Bush in 2004.

To read the rest go here: Mississippi Congressional Race Appears Headed for Runoff - New York Times

Blue Dogs Offer Endorsement but Little Cash

Last week the "Blue Dogs" endorsed Travis Childers for the MS-01 seat. While they are not my favorite democratic group, their endorsement was much needed at the time. Now what is needed is money, which the Blue Dogs have plenty of, but have offered little.

Jason at Swing State Project stays on top of campaign financing like no one else. He noted today that only 3 of the 47 members of the "Blue Dogs" had donated anything to Childers. The grand total a paltry $5,000.

Come on guys, the ones of you not in a big fight can pony up to the Childers for Congress campaign. We need your help.

Talking Points Memo: "Surprise Mississippi Result Shows Unpopularity Of Iraq War In Deep Red States"

Talking Points Memo, anational political news/blog site has covered the MS-01 race as well as anyone nationally. Josh Marshall, the blog founder, won a Polk award this year for his work on memo-gate. TPM had this to say about the results from MS-01.

In a major upset that shows just how strong opposition to the Iraq War is in even very red states, the Democratic candidate came out on top in the first round of the special election to succeed Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) in his old House seat, in a district that by all rights should have had an outright win for the Republican candidate.
Democrat Travis Childers finished with 49% of the vote in last night's special election, Republican Greg Davis 46%, and the remainder going to the defeated candidates from the primaries for the regular election in November, plus third-party candidates. Without anybody getting 50% of the vote, this goes to a runoff in three weeks.
Both Childers and Davis are strong social conservatives, so it might be useful to look at the major issue dividing them: Iraq, with Childers supporting a timetable for withdrawal and Davis in favor of staying.
Bear in mind, this is a huge upset in a district that voted 62%-37% for President Bush in 2004, and where the last Democrat to represent the place was Jamie Whitten, who spent a good part of his career as an old-time Southern conservative segregationist. And with the DCCC beating the Republicans in the money game, the Dems will have a lot of money to bring to bear for the runoff.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

MS-01: Childers wins popular vote, but runoff May 13

Childers leads by roughly 1,500 votes with 99% reporting. The Daily Journal is reporting there will be a runoff on May 13. The RNCC will get a chnave to blow more cash in a district they feel they have property rights to. Times are changing indeed.

Childers leads with 99% reporting (Oh Yeah!!)

From the Daily Journal website.


GREG DAVIS 30,923 47%

Davis Leads with 71% reporting

Prentiss, Lafayette,Grenada, Clay yet to report

From the Daily Journal website.


GREG DAVIS 25,229 51%

Empire Strikes Back with 61% reporting

From the Daily Journal website.


GREG DAVIS 22,582 52%

Childers leads with 40% reporting

From the Daily Journal website.


GREG DAVIS 12,634 43%

Childers leads with 25% reporting

From the Daily Journal website.


GREG DAVIS 5,828 43%

Childers leads with 16% reporting

From the Daily Journal website.


GREG DAVIS 4,379 43%

Childers leads with 12% reporting

From the Daily Journal website.


GREG DAVIS 3,023 39%

Childers with Early Lead

From the Daily Journal website.

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE 1ST DISTRICTSpecial election for 1st District House seat (unexpired term)
Special Election

Precincts Reporting:


GREG DAVIS 1,673 38%

New York Times on MS-01: "In a Red State, a Blue Dog Has Republicans Worried"

Today is the big day. With all the build up nationally for the what has seemed like eternal wait for the Pennsylvania primary, the New York Times took time to devote an article to the MS-01 race. It is great to see national attention from the gold standard in journalism.

Republicans’ longstanding sway in this in this red corner of Mississippi could be tested here Tuesday in a special Congressional election in which a down-home Democrat is given fair odds of winning.

The seat had been considered a lock for President Bush’s party: a Republican, Roger Wicker, held it for 14 years before resigning to fill a Senate vacancy late last year; Mr. Bush won 62 percent of the vote here in 2004; and the Congressional district has some of the most conservative voters in the nation. Its placid unofficial capital, Tupelo, is home to the Christian conservative minister Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association.

But the Republicans’ hold is being unexpectedly tested by a self-described “Mississippi Democrat,” a gregarious local courthouse official whose positions on social issues — guns, abortion, same-sex marriage — are indistinguishable from those of the other party. Democrats are hoping to add the candidate, Travis Childers, 50, to the raft of conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats elected in the 2006 midterm elections, due partly to economic appeals and doubts about the war.

If anything, those pitches have been sharpened in the campaign of Mr. Childers, a veteran of grass-roots politics in a state where many local officials are still Democrats, despite the Republicans’ solid grip on national elections here.

Up and down the rolling hills, black-soil prairies and small towns of this upstate district stretching north to Tennessee, Mr. Childers makes frequent appeals to what he calls “working folks” struggling in a weak economy, and expresses his opposition to a war policy he says is “not working.”

He has been bolstered by his conservative positions, his network of contacts and the more tenuous connection to the district of his Republican opponent, Greg Davis. Mr. Davis is mayor of a Memphis suburb, Southaven, which many here consider barely part of Mississippi.

In an appearance in the university town of Oxford, Mr. Childers quoted Franklin D. Roosevelt and, as he often does, told the students that he was forced to support his family, as a teenager, after his father died.

“True conservatism was going to work full time when you’re 16,” Mr. Childers said, echoing that theme as he campaigned outside a retirement home in the old brick downtown here.

To read the rest of the article follow this link;

New York Times: MS-01

Obama for Childers

The endorsements just keep streaming in for Travis Childers.
Dear John,
As the nation focuses on today's primary in Pennsylvania, another important election is happening here in Mississippi.

Today, Mississippi's 1st Congressional District is holding an important special election for an open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. We need your help to support the Democratic candidate, Travis Childers -- a leader who will serve North Mississippians by putting progress before politics.

You can bring real change to Mississippi by calling voters in the 1st District and telling them to vote for Travis in today's special election.

Use our simple online phonebanking tool to make your calls. You'll get a list of phone numbers and a script you can use to urge your fellow Mississippians to go to the polls and support change in the Magnolia State.

Start making calls now:

This campaign has always been about more than one candidate -- it's about building a permanent movement for change, and to do that we need leaders at every level who are committed to a different kind of politics and a better future for our country.

Travis is ready to build this movement in Mississippi, and he has strong roots in the 1st District. He's a native of Prentiss County, a successful business entrepreneur, and a five-term Chancery Clerk.

We're facing an uphill battle in the 1st District, but time and again you've proved that you're ready to face any challenge. Today, we can give Travis the boost he needs to
finish strong -- and show that our movement is dedicated to change up and down
the ballot.

Only you can make this happen.

Send a message that Mississippi is ready for a different kind of politics by making calls to support Travis Childers.

And use our online tool to make sure 1st district voters get out and vote today:

Thanks for all your hard work,
Obama for America

AG speaks out about news media

Attorney General Jim Hood spoke at the Stennis-Capitol Press Luncheon yesterday, and he had some interesting thoughts to share with the group of lobbyists and reporters. This morning, the only article I found highlighting his comments on corporate-owned media were from an AP story.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said at a press luncheon Monday that he's not happy about corporate ownership of news organizations.

"Something what worries me more so than the war and Iraq and money in politics is freedom of the press," Hood said. "Is our press free anymore? The corporate ownership of the press nationally is a concern to me."

Several Mississippi newspapers, TV stations and radio stations are owned by out-of-state corporations.

"In the old days, you had the wire, so there was some centralization involved," Hood said. "But you had mom-and-pop printing presses out there and they printed what they wanted to and they had their own thought processes."

Hood said he wonders what will happen to the American media if news organizations become explicitly partisan.

He said he worries that newspapers' editorials are dictated by out-of-state corporate offices.

And he said he is bothered by blogs and their anonymous comments.

He praised public broadcasting, saying it provides an independent voice.

Election Day

Today is Election Day for the 1st Congressional District special election. Turnout is expected to be low. If you hear anything from up North, please share in the comments.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Travis Childers Fish Fry Tonight In Tupelo

5:30 to 7 at the Mississippi Building at the Tupelo Furniture Market.

Free and Open to the Public

Supporters of McCullough, Holland and Childers are uniting at this event in an attempt to push Childers to victory tomorrow.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fox News Taken To Task By Priest Who Knew Wright And King

Hacking Christianity

Fox goes to ambush a priest supporting Obama and he turns around and schools them.

Fox would crucify Jesus Christ if he lived today.

Travis Childers Earns Another Big Endorsement: Columbus Dispatch

The Columbus Dispatch Endorsement:
Voters on Tuesday will cast ballots to choose a replacement for the remainder of now-Sen. Roger Wicker's two-year Congressional term.

Travis Childers, of Booneville, is the best man for the job. The Prentiss County chancery clerk has a broader understanding of north Mississippi's needs than opponent Greg Davis and two others on Tuesday's special-election ballot.

Childers has business experience, tenacity and proven political skills, all qualities that make him more suited for the job than Davis, who is Southaven's mayor and a former state House member.

The U.S. House 1st Congressional District covers 24 Mississippi counties from the Memphis suburbs to Clay and Lowndes counties. Childers has run an issues-based campaign across the district. Davis' base, as was evident in his narrow defeat of Tupelo's Glenn McCullough, is the heavily populated Republican stronghold of northwest Mississippi, mainly the Memphis suburbs.

Childers, a Democrat, is a consensus-builder who's shown he's not a strident partisan. Davis, a Republican, has proved to be a negative, anything-goes campaigner.

Childers also stands right on one of the most compelling political issues of our times: what the U.S. should do about the war in Iraq. He wants to pull our troops out within a year or so. We must extract our troops from this bloody and costly quagmire that has killed more than 4,000 American soldiers and wasted billions of federal dollars.

Davis apparently wants to defer to Army generals to judge when, or if, the U.S. should conclude its occupation of Iraq. This is clearly a decision for politicians to make in accords with our system of civilian control of the military. The American people clearly want a halt to this debacle.

The winner of Tuesday's special election will take the House seat that now-U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker vacated in December when he was appointed to replace Trent Lott, who resigned.

Childers, 49, is serving his 17th year as Prentiss County chancery clerk. Putting him in the U.S. House of Representatives would be a fitting promotion for the much-respected and road-tested politician.

Green Party candidate John Wages of Tupelo and independent Wally Pang of Batesville will also be on the special-election ballot, which will not identify candidates' party affiliations.

Tuesday's winner will serve the rest of the congressional term that expires in January. However — with the four candidates also on the ballot in November in an unusual electoral quirk — the 1st District's new representative will try to hurriedly prove himself worthy of being re-elected for the next term. Let's give Childers that chance on Tuesday.

This comes right on the heels of the endorsement by the 1st District's biggest paper; the Daily Journal.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The session has ended!

The 2008 Regular Legislative Session has ended! While they will probably be back soon for a special session on Medicaid, the big part has ended.

It has been quite a ride with the new legislators, starting back to the Speaker of the House being re-elected by one vote, to funding education, to giving Entergy the right to charge ratepayers for plants that may or may not ever be built.

Please share your thoughts on this year- the good and the bad bills. Which legislators worked for the people of Mississippi, and which ones didn't. What should we be looking out for next year?

Air McNair retires

Professional football is losing another great Mississippian. Steve "Air" McNair announced his retirement yesterday. He's some of the article from the Clarion-Ledger.

Mississippian Steve McNair retired Thursday from the Baltimore Ravens, sending a quarterbacking career that included an NFL co-MVP award, a Super Bowl appearance and a third-place finish in the 1994 Heisman Trophy balloting.

His highlight-filled career, which may be Hall of Fame worthy, almost never began.

Lucille McNair raised five boys in Mount Olive, with Steve the second youngest. Football was not in her game plan.

"It was a dangerous sport to me," Lucille McNair said. "They were the ones that decided they wanted to play football. After they started, I supported them.

"I knew I couldn't stop them. During that time I was working at night and they were (sneaking off) to play. I told them ... long as you keep your grades up."

His schoolwork in order, McNair attended Alcorn State University and tantalized the nation as one of the most prolific college players in history.

Then as a Tennessee Titan he came up short in one of the most memorable Super Bowl games ever, losing 23-16 to the St. Louis Rams on Jan. 30, 2000, when receiver Kevin Dyson was tackled on the 1-yard line on the game's final play after catching a pass thrown by McNair.

Childers endorsed in Daily Journal

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal endorsed Travis Childers this morning, with some harsh words about Davis and the negative campaigning he has produced.

Below is part of the endorsement:

Davis unfortunately continues in the special election the same timbre of intensely negative campaigning he used against McCullough in the Republican primary. While negative campaigning crafted by cynical political professionals has sadly become commonplace in elections today, Davis - with assistance in the special election campaign from the National Republican Congressional Committee - has focused on distortions of his opponents' records and attacks on their personal integrity that are beyond the muddied norm.

This is precisely the kind of scorched-earth politics we need less of in Washington, not more.

Childers, on the other hand, has - until backed into a corner by Davis - run a campaign focused on the needs of the 1st District and his own desire and ability to bring together people of divergent viewpoints to build consensus. That's the historic Northeast Mississippi path to success, not division and bitterness based on a slavish allegiance to partisan ideology or a win-at-all-costs political mentality.Davis blasts Childers for being a Democrat, and lamely links him to national Democratic leaders. The larger issue in this race is who the better candidate is to represent the entire 1st District, and Childers wins in that category.

Mississippi congressmen, Democrats and Republicans, through the decades have excelled in representing our state by learning that pragmatic bipartisanship and collegiality is the best method on Capitol Hill. Were cooperation not the historic practice among our state's proportionately tiny delegation in the House and Senate, our senators and representatives could have been faceless, voiceless fractions in a very large picture. Reasoned bipartisanship is smart politics, and we believe Travis Childers effectively will practice it. Childers stands squarely in the mainstream of a long line of people who have ably represented our total 1st District region's interests in the U.S House.

We support his election.

MS-01: Greg Davis and the Taxpayers

Travis Childers's opponent Greg Davis has a spotty record when it comes to taxpayer money, something not likely to endear him to the right-wing free market zealots.

According to a Commercial Appeal report from August 2001, while serving as mayor of Southhaven Greg Davis received a new Yukon valued a $28,628 for official city business. During this same time period state and local governments, Southhaven included were in the midst of big time budget crunch, as we entered Bush Recession I. Davis found the money for the Yukon when he could not find any for city employee raises and while making cuts in the city budget.

While serving in the state legislature, he voted to raise taxes time and again. As mayor he continued his ways by raising property taxes 4 times over a 10 year period. Southhaven now has the highest property tax rate in Desoto County, more than 20% higher than before Greg Davis took office.

• Greg Davis voted as a member of the state House of Representatives to increase taxes on oil and gas that was produced and sold in the state of Mississippi (1997 Legislature, voted “yes” on Senate Bill 2473, March 5, 1997).
• Greg Davis voted as a member of the state House of Representatives to allow county boards of supervisors across Mississippi to impose an additional tax on property not to exceed 4 mills. (1997 Legislature, voted “yes” on House Bill 1731, Feb. 25, 1997).
• Greg Davis voted as a member of the state House of Representatives to allow DeSoto County supervisors to charge a 2 percent tax on restaurants and hotels on voter approval (1996 Legislature, voted “yes” on Senate Bill 3173, April 4, 1996).
• Greg Davis voted as a member of the state House of Representatives to allow Tunica County supervisors to charge a 2 percent tax on hotels and motels and a 1 percent tax on restaurant tabs on voter approval (1996 Legislature, voted “yes” on House Bill 1691, April 4, 1996).
• Greg Davis as mayor of Southaven supported increasing property taxes 20 percent since he took office, raising them in 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2005 (Milman Research and Consulting; The Commercial Appeal, Sept. 9, 1998).

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Travis Childers gets key "Blue Dog" Endorsement

The centrist Democrat coalition known as the "Blue Dogs" endorsed Travis Childers in his bid for the MS-01 congressional seat. Travis continues to build momentum as we round the turn and head down the stretch. While it's not the endorsement I would prefer, I understand the reality of the politics of north Mississippi. This is a key endorsement for Travis as he lines up as "conservative" Democrat.

Here is the press release:

Booneville, Miss. – Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers, Democratic Congressional Candidate in Mississippi's 1st District, announced today that he has been endorsed by the centrist Blue Dog Coalition on a conference call with Blue Dog Members Congressmen Mike Ross (AR-04) and Gene Taylor (MS-04).

"I am so appreciative of this Blue Dog endorsement and truly value it. I have always lived my life within my means, and as Prentiss County Chancery Clerk I balanced our budget every year," said Travis Childers. "I am concerned about our country's spiraling national debt and looking forward to working for the people of North Mississippi to restore commonsense in Congress."

"I'm pleased to announce that Travis Childers has been unanimously endorsed by the Blue Dog Coalition," said Congressman Mike Ross (AR-04), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications. "Having been a small business owner myself, like Travis I know what it means to meet payroll at the end of the week. We need more of that small business experience, and we need a lot more commonsense Democrats in the halls of Congress. That's exactly what Travis brings with him."

"One of the first things you learn as a local elected official in Mississippi is that you have to live within your means," said Congressman Gene Taylor (MS-04). "That's a message we need more of in Washington, and we know Travis will deliver that message and help get our nation back on the right track."

The fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition was formed in 1995 with the goal of representing the center of the House of Representatives and appealing to the mainstream values of the American public. The Blue Dogs are dedicated to a core set of beliefs that transcend partisan politics, including a deep commitment to the financial stability and national security of the United States.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tell ABC That Their Debate Was Disgraceful; We Deserve Better

Send them a message HERE

Here's what I sent them:
The debate tonight was disgraceful. America needs substantial debate, not the gotcha politics that we got tonight from George Stephanopoulos and Charlie Gibson. I watch ABC because I trust ABC, but this "debate" was painful to watch. I wanted to see their plans for this country, not how they'd respond to manufactured crap. Your job is to add to the debate, not bring it into the gutter. Y'all can do better and your viewers including myself deserve an apology.

Call ABC @ (212) 456-7777 for a live person.

Call ABC @ (818) 460-7477 to leave a message. (This is full I think so use the other number).

Our news outlets are supposed to perform a public service ESPECIALLY those broadcast stations. Really ABC, Come on!

Welcome to a New Democratic Party: A Party That Fights Back!

The DCCC has bought advertising in response to a combined assault by Charles Gregory Davis and the crooked NRCC.

Here's the Report.

Chrississippi at Daily Kos describes the ad:
It's kind of a cartoony look at Davis' spending city money as Mayor to buy himself a tricked-out SUV "to pick up energy leaders" and then how energy prices skyrocketed. The cartoon SUV keeps driving right up the steps of the Capitol building, and the tag line is something like "If Greg Davis gets into Congress, he'll fit right in."

This is backed up by facts unlike the NRCC's ad that relies on websites of unknown origin.

Thank you DCCC!

Swing State Project and Daily Kos on MS-01

Travis Childers is getting some national press and I love it. Swing State Project, a website that covers key races nationally, featured MS-01 and LA-06 today in their coverage. The DCCC is getting involved in MS-01 spending $126,576 on advertising that was announced today. That more than doubles the $62,000 expenditure by the cash strapped NRCC.

Next, the DCCC made a big splash in the MS-01 special election, spending $126,576 on producing and airing an ad attacking GOP candidate Greg Davis. Earlier today, the NRCC posted a $62,000 expenditure against Democrat Travis Childers in this R+10 district. The GOP wouldn't be wasting precious cash here if they didn't think there was a chance that Davis could lose this seat.

Brownsox on daily Kos has kept the MS-01 race on the front page of mega-blog Daily Kos. It is good to see the national scene paying attention to this race. Please donate if you can.

Travis W. Childers (MS-01)$

Today's NRCC: Crooked And They Just Don't Care, Sloppy Too

You may have read about how their treasurer was stealing from them.

Or perhaps you read about how they inflated their cash on hand and then had to backtrack.

Well now there is pretty solid information that they're breaking clear, long established campaign finance law:
The DCCC filed a complaint today with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Freedom's Watch and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). Freedom's Watch, a shadowy outside group, and the NRCC illegally coordinated their political attack ads against Democratic candidate Don Cazayoux (LA-06).

The Freedom's Watch and the NRCC's television ads are stunningly similar. A little digging revealed why – electronic identifiers show that the NRCC wrote the Freedom's Watch ad.

"The DCCC is filing this FEC complaint to hold Freedom's Watch and the NRCC accountable for their illegal coordination that is being used to mislead voters about Democratic candidates' positions," said Brian Wolff, Executive Director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Tom Cole may have gotten his wish when Freedom's Watch came to the NRCC's rescue, but breaking the law will be the NRCC's worst nightmare. Freedom's Watch own Word document clearly shows that the script for their ad came from the NRCC – that's clearly illegal."

Freedom's Watch is operating as the cash-strapped NRCC's de facto independent expenditure campaign:

  • The script that Freedom's Watch provided television stations running their ads included electronic identifiers indicating that the NRCC created the Word document.
  • The NRCC's ad buy in LA-06 ended the day the nearly identical Freedom's Watch ad began airing. The NRCC ad ran from 4/10/08 through 4/16/08. The Freedom's Watch ad began airing as the NRCC went dark – 4/16/08 and is scheduled to run through the special election on 5/03/08.
  • The message, images, and citations in both the Freedom's Watch ad and NRCC ad are nearly identical. See for yourself – click here to see images of the ads side by side.
  • Freedom's Watch is being run by Carl Forti, a longtime NRCC veteran who was responsible for the NRCC's independent expenditure campaigns and communications for nearly a decade. [Washington Post, 3/30/08] This is the same Forti who's responsible for attacks that led Republican Members and Republican candidates to call the NRCC "a rogue attack shop," responsible for "smears," "over-the-top accusations," "demonstrably false" and "misleading" attacks and "political mudslinging." [Boston Globe, 3/04/07]
  • For the first time in memory, NRCC Chairman Tom Cole welcomed the participation of Freedom's Watch and other outside groups like it in House campaigns, saying "We hope we see them in political races all across the board." [Washington Post, 3/30/08]

Tom Cole: at long last have you left no sense of decency?

(The text of the complaint can be found in the comments)

Truth Check on Childers & Nursing Homes

Below is information sent out in a release today from the Democratic Party outlining the truth about Travis Childers' nursing home. What is disparaging about this situation is that there are some really awful nursing homes out there, and if there is a good, quality care facility that does care for the elderly of the state, we really don't need to tarnish it's reputation in the name of politics. I'm sure many people who read this blog can share stories about family members were abused or neglected in a facility.

Here is the real story about how Travis Childers takes care of Mississippi seniors:

TRUTH: In 2008, Childers was honored with a “Nursing Home Quality Award Certificate” by Information & Quality Healthcare (IHQ), the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for Mississippi.

TRUTH: In 2002, the Mississippi State Department of Health found Childers’ nursing home in compliance of federal requirements for nursing homes participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

TRUTH: Travis Childers’ beloved mother and mother-in-law both reside in the Landmark Community, an assisted living center Childers owns.

TRUTH: According to Healthgrades, a leading independent health care ratings organization, Childers’ nursing home significantly increased its score in comparison to the state average of senior care homes. In 2007, Childers’ senior care home received a perfect score and did not receive any deficiencies, a statistic that only one of 12 senior care homes can boast. []

Since 2004, when data has been available, Childers’ senior care home did not receive a single violation. []

TRUTH: In Childers’ senior care home in Booneville, there were NO reported violations regarding the mistreatment of residents and NO deviations from the
expected quality of care of residents. []

Wicker leading Musgrove in campaign cash

Currently, Wicker has out-raised Musgrove by a hefty amount. This, of course, is no great surprise to us since Republicans always outraise the Democrats. The Musgrove camp, however, has done some research on where exactly all the money has come from. (Keep in mind, there are limits on donations to Federal campaigns.) I hate to put up such a long post, but it's interesting.

From the Clarion Ledger:

Republican Sen. Roger Wicker has raised more than five times the campaign cash raised by his Democratic rival, former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove. Wicker raised about $2.5 million in the first three months of the year and Musgrove raised about $447,000, according to summary pages of Federal Election Commission filings released by the candidates Tuesday.

"I am grateful for the wide range of support from thousands of donors throughout Mississippi and the rest of the nation who have chosen to invest in our campaign," Wicker said.

Gov. Haley Barbour appointed Wicker to fill former Sen. Trent Lott's seat until a special election in November.

Musgrove campaign spokesman Tim Phillips said Wicker raised campaign cash by "doling out pork" to contributors.

Wicker's campaign said 77 percent of the donors are Mississippians. But the senator's FEC report showed nearly a third of the money came from political action committees, which usually represent industry or other special interests.

Wicker's FEC report shows he transferred $545,000 from his House campaign account to his Senate account. After spending nearly $300,000, his campaign reported about $2.8 million in cash on hand on March 31.

Musgrove's campaign ended the reporting period with about $337,000 in cash.

From a Musgrove press release:

From 2002-2007, Wicker never opposed a single appropriations bill while they were being loaded with $122 billion in pork barrel spending, and he doled out a whopping $39 million in earmark goodies for his campaign contributors—attaching them to appropriations bills with no Congressional hearings or debate. Several earmarks, which Wicker slipped into appropriations bills, are directly linked to campaign contributions.

Pay To Play

In 2007, Wicker Obtained $6 Million Defense Earmark for Aurora Flight Sciences: In March 2007, Wicker requested an earmark for the company Aurora Flight Sciences “to develop a high altitude UAV to meet urgent national requirements for persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, beyond line of sight communications, and assist in further development of key technologies needed for long-term operations in near space.” An Army spokesman said that the Army did not request the appropriation. The final FY08 Defense Appropriations Bill then included $6 million for Aurora’s Orion High Altitude Long Endurance UAV. (Wicker Appropriations Letter, 3/22/07; Taxpayers for Common Sense Earmarks Database; “Wicker’s earmark elicits crititcism”,Washington Post, 1/16/08

In 2006, Wicker Supported $11 Million Earmark for Aurora Flight Sciences: In June 2006, Wicker touted the FY07 Defense Appropriations Bill, which included $11 million for Aurora Flight Sciences. (Wicker Press Release, 6/21/06)

In 2005, Wicker Supported $5.2 Million Earmark for Aurora Flight Sciences: In December 2005, Wicker touted the FY06 Defense Appropriations Bill, saying that Aurora Flight Services “will benefit from a $5.2 million project that includes production of an Orion-class UAV as well as flight testing, sensor installation and related activities on the vehicle.” (Wicker Press Release, 12/20/05)

Wicker Has Received $17,500 From Aurora Employees; They Were Top Donor in ’06 Cycle: Over the years, Aurora Flight Sciences have contributed at least $17,500 to Wicker’s campaigns. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Aurora Flights Sciences was the top donor to Wicker’s 2006 election, with employees contributing $13,000 that cycle. (Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 1/7/08)

Wicker Obtained $4 Million Defense Earmark for Miltec Corp: In March 2007, Wicker requested an earmark for Miltec Research and Technology, to develop sensor technology. The final FY08 Defense Appropriations Bill then included $4 million for Miltec. (Wicker Appropriations Letter, 3/22/07; Taxpayers for Common Sense Earmarks Database)

In 2006, Wicker Supported $2.5 Million Earmark for Miltec: In June 2006, Wicker touted the FY07 Defense Appropriations Bill, which included $2.5 million for Miltec Corporation. (Wicker Press Release, 6/21/06)

Wicker Has Received Over $24,000 From Miltec Employees: Over the years, Miltec employees have contributed at least $24,500 to Wicker’s campaigns and his leadership PAC, Responsibility & Freedom Work PAC. (Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 1/7/08)

Wicker Obtained $1 Million Earmark for Rite Kem: In March 2007, Wicker requested an earmark for Rite Kem to develop and produce an aircraft corrosion protective compound. The final FY08 Defense Appropriations Bill then included $1 million for Rite Kem. (Wicker Appropriations Letter, 3/22/07; Taxpayers for Common Sense Earmarks Database)

Less Than One Month After Requesting Earmark, Wicker Received Campaign Check From Company Exec: Less than one month after requesting the earmark for Rite Kem, company President Mark Lovil contributed $2,000 to Wicker’s campaign committee. (Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 1/7/08)

Wicker Obtained $1.2 Million Earmark for Radiance Technologies: In March 2007, Wicker requested an earmark for Radiance Technologies “to develop and demonstrate capabilities such as man-portable radar systems, reduced power consumption, greater target detection ranges, increased target discrimination, and lower operating cost.” The final FY08 Defense Appropriations Bill then included $1.2 million for Radiance Technologies. (Wicker Appropriations Letter, 3/22/07; Taxpayers for Common Sense Earmarks Database)

In 2006, Wicker Supported $2.5 Million Earmark for Radiance Technologies: In June 2006, Wicker touted the FY07 Defense Appropriations Bill, which included $2.5 million for Radiance Technologies. (Wicker Press Release, 6/21/06)

In 2005, Wicker Supported $3.1 Million Earmark for Radiance Technologies: In December 2005, Wicker touted the FY06 Defense Appropriations Bill, which included $3.1 million for Radiance Technologies. (Wicker Press Release, 12/20/05)

Wicker Has Received Over $5,000 From Radiance Tech Employees: Over the years, Radiance employees have contributed at least $5,500 to Wicker’s campaigns. (Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 1/7/08)

In 2006, Wicker Supported $2.5 Million Earmark for Planning Systems Inc: In June 2006, Wicker touted the FY07 Defense Appropriations Bill, which included $2.5 million for Planning Systems Inc. “to develop advanced reconnaissance technology for military aircraft to transmit real-time information to troops on the ground.” (Wicker Press Release, 6/21/06)

Wicker Has Received $8,000 From Planning Systems Inc: Over the years, Wicker has received at least $8,000 from Planning Systems Inc. PAC and employees. (Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 1/7/08)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Give to Travis Childers on the Left Side of this Page.

We've added a handy little thing that is a link to our fundraising page for Travis Childers.

He is the real deal and he CAN win, but ONLY with YOUR help. Please throw him some change.

The payment process is secure and the money will be put to good use fighting the Washington style politics of Greg Davis and the National Republican Congressional Committee.


Look soon for a new series on why Greg Davis is already one of Mississippi's biggest campaign hypocrites. And unlike our competitors we'll use some apples to apples comparisons.

More Local Officials Endorse Travis Childers For District One

Reinforces Childers' overwhelming support among local officials

'We know Travis as an honest, hardworking man . . .'

From a press release:

Travis Childers received another endorsement from local officials on Tuesday in his bid to fill the vacant First Congressional District seat in Mississippi. The members and officers in District Four of the Mississippi Coroners Association announced Tuesday that they are endorsing Childers in next Tuesday's special election for Congress.

"Travis Childers has worked for many years in support of our efforts as an association, both on a local level and statewide" said James Horn, past state president of the association. "We in our district know Travis as an honest, hard working man who has served the people of our area well and will work to serve all the people of the 1st Congressional District with honor and distinction."

District 4 of the Mississippi Coroners Association includes Alcorn, Benton, Itawamba, Lee, Prentiss, Pontotoc, Tishomingo, Tippah and Union counties officially endorse Travis Childers for Congress.

"I am honored to have the endorsement of this influential group of local elected officials," Childers said in response. "I have always tried to cooperate with other elected officials, both in Prentiss County and across this region. North Mississippi has accomplished so much by working together. I think we need a Congressman who will take that same spirit of cooperation to Washington."

Childers, who has been the Chancery Clerk in Prentiss County for more than sixteen years, has strong support among local elected officials across the district. He has received dozens of endorsements from current and former elected officials, including former governors, chancery clerks, local supervisors, and coroners.

This follows his endorsement by 10 Chancery Clerks earlier this year.

NRCC Is Grasping At Straws / Attacks Childers For Being Businessman and Not Making Lofty Promises

Their spending big money to air this ad in attempts to tarnish him in the eyes of elderly voters in the district:

I went to the website they cited to check it out. had no indication of who ran it and actually rated most aspects of the Landmark Nursing and Rehab Center as 2's. Here's how they explained a rating of Two:
Level 2: No actual harm with potential for more than minimal harm that is not immediate jeopardy. The violation has had minimal negative impact on the resident(s) or it has the potential to affect the ability of the resident(s) to reach their highest level of well-being
They don't claim any actual harm.

In addition they've put together this web video that attempts to prove who knows what:

He stated in an interview with the Daily Journal that they put online that he didn't have "a magic answer or a magic pill to solve everything." They appear to be criticizing him for being honest and realistic. Since when were those traits we didn't like?

If this is all the Republican have on Travis Childers, then I think that it would be hard to find a better man than he for the post.

District 1 Race Gets More National Press

The Hotline: (password only)
Tuesday, March 15, 2008

Hitting Home

In a worrisome sign for the NRCC, GOPers announced that the cmte is airing TV ads to hold MS-01, a seat in firmly anchored in its Southern base. It joins LA-06 in getting a DC helping hand.
-- But even though there's a 4/22 non-partisan special, a 5/13 runoff between Travis Childers (D) and Greg Davis (R) appears likely. The NRCC wants to define Childers, who's been tattooed with the "conservative" label, before Dems do. Still, it's interesting that the cmte is spending money now, when the two-way race is still a month away.
-- But the race appears to be the real deal. It was easy to dismiss the high Dem turnout in the primary, saying it was being boosted by the WH vote. But no such asterick can be attached to the runoff, which saw the same trends. The NRCC ad doesn't mention "Democrat" once. Is that a sign it's no longer a bad word, even in this CD? If so, that's a problem for GOPers.
-- This is not a position the NRCC expected to be in, and is a bad sign for the fall. If the NRCC spends resources in Nov. defending anything in the South, it'll be a bad year.

CQ Politics:
The conservative leanings and usual Republican voting tendencies in northern Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District would appear to give a strong advantage to front-running GOP candidate Greg Davis in his bid for Congress.

Yet Democrats insist that divisions within the district’s Republican ranks that surfaced during a recent primary campaign — and the emergence of Travis Childers, a local official with a conservative profile, as the leading Democratic candidate — gives them a shot at the seat that seven-term Republican incumbent Roger Wicker vacated in December after his appointment to the U.S. Senate.

Some Mississippi political analysts say the Democrats’ optimism may not be misplaced. “I even get some raised eyebrows around here when I say a Democrat can win in the 1st District,” said Marty Wiseman, a well-known authority on Mississippi politics who directs the John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University. “But it’s not unreasonable to say it’s too close to call.”

CQ Politics is changing its rating of the race to Leans Republican from Safe Republican. The new rating reflects the competitive nature of the race, but identifies Davis as the candidate who holds an edge.