Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Jackson Free Press sets record straight on NRSC attack ads against Musgrove

The Republicans are desperate to try anything to prevent Ronnie Musgrove from winning the November Senate special election against Roger Wicker. The polls show Musgrove within striking difference, and those polls do not factor in any increase in turnout that Obama might bring to the table. They also show Wicker getting 20% of the black vote. That won't happen. So the desperation button has been punched at the NRSC who have launched attack ads attempting to tie Ronnie Musgrove with Dickie Scruggs and Paul Minor. Both contributed to Ronnie Musgrove's gubernatorial campaigns over six years ago. Neither had been indicted or implicated of wrong doings at the time of the donations.

From the Jackson Free Press:

“Paul Minor and Dickie Scruggs: trial lawyers who gave thousands to Ronnie Musgrove’s campaigns,” the NRSC ad states. “... Minor had so much influence with Musgrove, insiders called him ‘the judgemaker.’ Now Minor and Scruggs are in jail, convicted of trying to bribe a judge. Ronnie Musgrove: a record that makes you want to blush.”

Adam Bozzi, spokesman for the Musgrove campaign, said Musgrove has not received any contributions from either of the two during his Senate campaign.

“The money they’re referring to is from five or 10 years ago, maybe even longer. At the time there was no reason to suspect it,” Bozzi said.

A 2003 Biloxi Sun Herald article reported that Scruggs gave Musgrove $57,000 in 1999, while Minor gave Musgrove $112,000. Minor’s most recent contribution to Musgrove was a $4,125 donation for his 2002 gubernatorial campaign.

A federal jury convicted Minor of corruption in 2007, and Scruggs in 2008, well after Musgrove’s 2002 campaign. Scruggs also donated money to Republican campaigns, including those of his brother-in-law, former U.S. Sen Trent Lott, who retired the day before Scruggs was indicted last year..
The funny part of this is the horrible record that Roger Wicker has with giving contracts to contributors. In politics this is known as a revolving door. Donations in, contracts out, round and around we go, yeehaw!

A January Washington Post article revealed that Wicker, last year, obtained a $6 million earmark for a defense contractor, Aurora Flight Science, whose executives were among his top campaign contributors. Wicker’s former chief of staff even represented Aurora concerning the earmarks.
OK, what is REALLY funny is that the Wicker campaign when asked about the validity of the ads had nothing to say other than talk to the NRSC. No defense, nothing.

Ryan Annison, spokesman for the Wicker campaign, said he knew nothing about the ads and directed all calls to the NRSC. “Not only do we have nothing to do with them (the NRSC), but it’s illegal for us to have anything to do with them. We learn about them the same way you do, by watching them on TV,” Annison said.
What is clear is that Mississippians can do better than Roger "PAC-Man" Wicker for Senate. We need Ronnie Musgrove in Washington to fight for Mississippi, not line the pockets of his campaign contributors.

Last 5 hours to donate for 3Q tally

The deadline for third quarter contributions is at midnight tonight. Childers needs a strong showing to show the 527's on the right that he has plenty of support. Musgrove needs every dollar he can get his hands on against PAC-Man Wicker.

Cotton Mouth for Childers

Goal Thermometer

Cotton Mouth for Musgrove

Goal Thermometer

Bailout thoughts

The Commercial Appeal just released an article on the political experts' reaction to Travis Childers voting against the $700 billion bailout. Yesterday we posted Travis Childer's explanation for why he voted no. While Childers opposed this proposed bailout, he does support some form of federal action to insure the stability of our markets. Travis was elected on an economic populist platform and he stayed true to that belief in this most difficult vote.

With the 777 point drop in the Dow Jones yesterday, there is an increased level of public concern regarding the proposed bailout. Many Americans' retirements are in 401K's that are heavily invested in Wall Street. The bailout was opposed by 2/5's of House Democrats and by 2/3's of House Republicans. Congress will meet again on Thursday to try and hammer out a solution that both sides can agree on.

I do find it interesting that the House, the branch of government closest to the American people by design, is the one balking at the bailout. The President and House leaders from both parties support the bailout, but not the rank and file Democrats or Republicans. Polls ran yesterday showed that Americans opposed the bailout by a 46-41 margin. With every member of the House up for reelection this November, most of those facing a tight race did not want to risk the wrath of the angry voter back home and voted against the bailout.

Mississippi State University political scientist W. Martin Wiseman said the vote was right on two levels.

“That was definitely a populist vote and it may be a great fit for a populist district,” said Wiseman. “There are a lot of mad people out there…The side they see is, here is Congress up in Washington about to give a blank check to the people who got themselves in this mess to begin with.”

University of Mississippi journalism professor Curtis Wilkie, who covered Washington for 26 years for The Boston Globe before returning to Ole Miss to teach, also thought it was a smart move.

Wilkie noted that the other Mississippi Democrats also voted against the measure.

“This is a crisis that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible but at the same time Childers’ vote reflects a basic populist philosophy that’s popular in his district,” Wilkie said.

Saturday deadine to register vote

If you are not registered to vote yet, you have until Saturday to do so if you plan on voting in this November's historic election. To see if you are registered to vote, find your polling location, or to begin the process of getting registered use this cool tool from the Obama campaign.

Vote for Change Voter Registration Tool

Monday, September 29, 2008

Travis Childers: Why I Voted Against the Bailout

Thanks to the Jackson Free Press for the lead:

From Travis Childers:

Hard-working families are struggling in the face of job losses and home foreclosures resulting from overall economic instability. They are justifiably angry about a bailout that would require them to dig deeper into their pockets to rescue Wall Street from its own recklessness.

Earlier this year, I voted against a budget that would raise the federal debt to an unprecedented level. Today, I was again compelled to vote my conscience against a massive debt increase. While I appreciate the bi-partisan effort to craft this legislation, at the end of the day, I could not, in good conscience, vote for a bailout of Wall Street that would increase our national debt by such magnitude and place such a heavy and undue burden on working families.

However, there was considerable progress made by including provisions for oversight and accountability over the past week. While it was still not convincing enough for me or my constituents, I will keep an open mind as negotiations continue in hopes that a more fiscally responsible plan that ensures protection of hard-working Americans will be presented.

A central concern is the fundamental issue of fairness. Asking every American to shoulder an additional $2,300 in debt because of Wall Street's reckless mistakes is incredibly unfair. Working families have been left on the sidelines for far too long as tax breaks and special treatment have been handed to the wealthiest and most powerful interests. The average American's stake in the economy needs to be protected.

I look forward to negotiating a plan that makes sense for American taxpayers, and will continue to put North Mississippians first as the effort to reach a fiscally responsible, bi-partisan solution continues.

Very well put together independent video slams Wicker and Bush

This video was put together by Senate60 in hopes of it spreading like wildfire throughout the new media. We like it here at Cotton Mouth and think you will too. Good job to Senate60 for the production.

Roe v. Wade only Supreme Court case Palin can name in CBS interview

If there is any doubt Sarah Palin is the worst veep pick of our time, let that now be removed...

From the Politco GOP beat writer

Of concern to McCain's campaign, however, is a remaining and still-undisclosed clip from Palin's interview with Couric last week that has the political world buzzing.

The Palin aide, after first noting how "infuriating" it was for CBS to purportedly leak word about the gaffe, revealed that it came in response to a question about Supreme Court decisions.

After noting Roe vs. Wade, Palin was apparently unable to discuss any major court cases.

There was no verbal fumbling with this particular question as there was with some others, the aide said, but rather silence.

Roger Wicker voted against main street bailout

As our leaders in Washington gather to formulate a plan to bail out Wall Street, just a week ago they had an opportunity to help bail out main street. The House passed a $61 billion "bailout" bill that would provide those feeling the business end of our economic recession.

From Market Watch:

Last week, the House of Representatives passed a $61 billion package to aid working families and stimulate the economy that included investment in American infrastructure, increased aid to workers in the form of unemployment and food stamp benefits, home heating assistance, and Medicaid funding to cash-strapped states. Republican Senators however, blocked the bill

This once again shows who Roger wicker is in Washington for. If you are hurting, your job has relocated to China, your fuel costs are up, and you can't find a job in this Bush economy, then you mean nothing to Roger Wicker. How many people in north Mississippi fit this profile, where unemployment has crested above 10%?

"Americans are fed up with politicians who are more concerned about the fate of Wall Street than the fate of Main Street," said SEIU President Andy Stern. "We are going to make sure voters know which Senators turned their back on laid-off workers, funding for health care, and energy assistance for low-income people in their communities. We have to address the underlying economic crisis affecting working people if we want revive and rebuild our economy over the long-term."

Wicker associate and former Mississippi USDA rural development director indicted

Nick Walters was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly having a personal interest in a loan he was trying to secure for Natchez Regional Medical Center while serving as a USDA rural development director for Mississippi, and for lying to federal authorities about his involvement. He has previously worked in the political campaigns of Trent Lott, Kirk Fordice and Roger Wicker.

Walters served as director until August 4, 2006 when he resigned to enter investment banking. The charges allege that Walters worked both sides of the fence by using his capacity as director to secure the loan for the Natchez Regional Medical Center, while being on the payroll of the company representing the publicly owned hospital.

From the Clarion Ledger:

The indictment, handed down last Tuesday, alleges Walters violated a federal law that prohibits a former government employee from switching sides and representing a private party in a matter in which he participated “personally and substantially” while working for the government.

The indictment also accuses Walters of violating a federal law that prohibits an officer or employee from taking part as a government official in any matter in which he has a financial interest.

Finally, the government contends Walters lied when he told a senior USDA official that he was leaving his job and going to work in private business and had no interest in Natchez Regional Medical Center, when he had, in fact, signed an employment contract with Kidwell and Co., an investment banking company with offices in Brentwood, Tenn., and Jackson, Miss.

House voting on bailout bill

The House is currently voting on the $700 billion bailout bill. According to the Daily Journal Travis Childers was considering voting against the bill because of the increased debt. He does support some form of action, but possibly not this particular bill as it is laid out. Senator Cochran supports the bill, while Roger Wicker was unable to reached for comment per the Daily Journal.

U.S. Rep. Travis Childers of the 1st Congressional District, a Democrat, in a statement Sunday night stated that he is considering voting against the plan.

"The cost of this plan - $700 billion - is a staggering amount of money, and, if passed, this plan will raise the national debt to an unprecedented level and impose an additional $2,300 worth of debt on every man, woman and child in the United States," Childers said in his statement.
Voting is going on right now and it looks like the bill will not pass. I will update with the final tally, and how our Mississippi representatives voted. So far the vote is not split among partisan lines with both Democrats and Republicans voting for and against the bill in large numbers.

Update: The bill failed 228-205. Many of those who voted no indicated that they wanted to do something, just not this. A few more tweaks to this bill should be able to turn enough votes to ensure passage. No word yet on the individual votes by our representatives.

Update 2: According to Nate at FiveThirtyEight the no vote came from congressmen facing a tough reelection. Of the 38 incumbent congressmen in a race rated toss-up or leaning, 30 voted against the bailout bill. Of the remaining congressman 197 supported it, while 198 voted against it. The public sentiment has not fully gelled into a mandate for action for congress. Many people from both the left and the right were vehemently opposed to this bailout plan. As Nate suggests, the more banks fail and the lower the Dow Jones drops, the more likely a bailout will happen soon.

Update 3: Thanks to commenter Irene for the information. Childers, Thompson and Taylor voted against the bill, while Pickering voted for it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Post debate polling update

Today is the first day any of the daily tracking polls have data from after the debate. The daily tracking polls are three day rolling averages. In other words the polling outfit surveys the same number of people every day, but reports the average of the last three days as their daily tracking poll number. Thursday's tracking poll released to the media is actually the average of Monday's, Tuesday's and Wednesday's daily results. The big players here are familiar names like Gallup, Rasmussen, Hotline, and Research 2000.

Progressives everywhere were heavily anticipating the results from today's tracking polls to see how the number was trending. Today is the first day that a post-debate survey (Saturday) would be factored into the result. Any significant move would lead one to think that bigger numbers might be on the way once we reach Tuesday, when all three polling days that constitute the tracking poll will be from after the debate.

Lets look at todays numbers with yesterday's in parenthesis.

McCain --- 42 (44)
Obama --- 50 (49)

McCain --- 44 (44)
Obama --- 50 (50)

McCain --- 42 (43)
Obama --- 47 (48)

Research 2000
McCain --- 43 (43)
Obama --- 50 (49)

One thing we see is either movement towards Obama or no movement at all. This is very good news for Obama supporters. McCain now finds himself down 5-6 points across the board. He needed a game-changer Friday night and did not get it. In fact early evidence suggests a modest move towards Obama post-debate.

What does the FiveThirtyEight model suggest?

DSCC ad "Right"

I am trying to get all of the Musgrove ads posted on here for everyone to see. This one was released this week. I hope I do not repeat an ad, but it might happen.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

DSCC ad "Schools"

CNN Poll: Obama wins debate

Here is another post-debate poll asking people who they thought came out ahead Friday night in Oxford, Mississippi. This poll conducted by CNN surveyed the opinions of 524 debate watchers by phone. The sample breakdown included 41% Democrats, 27% Republicans and 30% Independents. Depending on which polling firm you talk to, Democrats usually enjoy a 6-12 point edge in polls conducted at this time, so this one is a little heavy on the Democrat side. Thanks to TPM for the poll transcript.

Regardless of which candidate you happen to support, who do you think did the best job in the debate -- Barack Obama or John McCain?
Obama 51%
McCain 38%

Did _______ do a better or worse job than you expected?
Obama: Better 57%, Worse 20%, Same 23%
McCain: Better 60%, Worse 20%, Same 18%

Next, regardless of which presidential candidate you support, please tell me if you think Barack Obama or John McCain would better handle each of the following issues:

• The war in Iraq: Obama 52%, McCain 47%

• Terrorism: McCain 49%, Obama 45%

• The economy: Obama 58%, McCain 37%

• The current financial crisis: Obama 54%, McCain 36%

Thinking about the following characteristics and qualities, please say whether you think each one better described Barack Obama or John McCain during tonight's debate:

• Was more intelligent: Obama 55%, McCain 30%

• Expressed his views more clearly: Obama 53%, McCain 36%

• Spent more time attacking his opponent: McCain 60%, Obama 23%

• Was more sincere and authentic: Obama 46%, McCain 38%

• Seemed to be the stronger leader: Obama 49%, McCain 43%

• Was more likeable: Obama 61%, McCain 26%

• Was more in touch with the needs and problems of people like you: Obama 62%, McCain 32%

Based on what _______ said and did in tonight's debate, do you think he would be able to handle the job of president if he is elected?
Obama 69%-29%
McCain 68%-30%

Friday, September 26, 2008

CBS News early poll: Obama wins debate

I thought Obama came out slightly ahead in the debate. Behind in the polls McCain needed a game changer, not a close affair. Five hundred uncommitted voters were polled immediately after the debate on their opinion as to who won. The early results look grim for camp McCain.

CBS Poll:
Who won the debate?
Obama --- 40%
McCain --- 22%
Draw ----- 38%

Video of Democratic Rally on the square in Oxford

Uploaded by a friend of Cotton Mouth.

McCain wins debate?

File this one under the heading "Whoops". John McCain's crack staff accidentally released an advertisement this morning declaring John McCain the winner of the debate. Memo to crack staff, that one stays in the can for another day.

From The Washington Post:

Although the fate of tonight's presidential debate in Mississippi remains very much up in the air, John McCain has apparently already won it -- if you believe an Internet ad an astute reader spotted next to this piece in the online edition of the Wall Street Journal this morning.

Debate Watch Parties Update

o Location: Downtown Grill, Oxford Square, Oxford
o Time: 7 p.m., $25
o Contact: Alfred W. Farnsworth IV, (662) 281-8978

o Location: Wendy Shinault home, 3509 Old Ashbrook Road, Corinth
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Wendy Shinault, (662) 286-2907

o Location: Attala County Coliseum, 550 Highway 12 East, Kosciusko
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Bobby Brown or Will Chestnut, (601) 416-8177, (601) 442-3017

o Location: The Senator's Place, 1028 South Davis Ave., Cleveland
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Willie Simmons, (662) 719-0543, (662) 846-7434, sandaforu@yahoo.com

o Location: 1085 County Road 115, Houston
o Contact: Mary Graham, (662) 447-3633

o Location: Hick's Restaurant & Banquet Hall, 305 State St.
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Darren Griffin, (901) 359-6703, dgriffin247@hotmail.com

o Location: Ministerial Alliance, 17160 Highway 51, Hazlehurst
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: The Rev. Victor Dixon, (601) 946-0004

o Location: Forrest County Democratic Party, 906 Hardy St., Hattiesburg
o Contact: Richard Jones, (601) 583-3810, Rlal67@aol.com
o Location: The Power House, 118 College Drive, No. 5063, Thad Cochran Center, Hattiesburg
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Lesley Walters, (601) 297-0857
o Location: The Keg & Barrell, 1315 Hardy St., Hattiesburg
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Sharon Miles, (601) 467-5333

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

o Location: Harrison County Democratic Party, 2514 19th Ave., Gulfport
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Renick Taylor, (228) 233-4805
o Location: Jim and Leslie Clauson home, 2637 Park View Drive, Biloxi
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Jim and Leslie Clauson, (228) 594-0704

o Location: Hal & Mal's The Red Room, 200 S. Commerce St., Jackson
o Time: 6.30 p.m.
o Contact: Maggie Lowery, (601) 519-3177, mfl27@yahoo.com

o Location: Jackson County Democratic Party, 2518 Market St., Pascagoula
o Time: 7:30 p.m.
o Contact: Kay Sims, (228) 762-9121, simslarry@bellsouth.net
o Location: Joann Davison home, 4331 Ely Ave., Moss Point
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Joann Davison, (228) 217-4648

o Location: John Morgan home, 414 CR 37, Heidelburg
o Time: 7:45 p.m.
o Contact: John Morgan, (601) 787-4652, (601) 616-5609
o Location: George Barlow home, 4229 Highway 15
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: George Barlow, (601) 739-3146

o Location: Log Train Depot, 230 Maple St., Laurel
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Fran Casey, (649) 818-3693, (601) 477-8466
o Location: Harold Blakely home, 259 S. Fourth Ave., Laurel
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Harold Blakely, (601) 307-4088
o Location: 220 North Maple St. Train Depot, Laurel
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Larry Coleman, (601) 307-4088

o Location: Rocky Branch voting precinct, 2646 Rocky Branch Road, Sumrall
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Ruby Parker, (601) 543-6984

o Location: Union Station, Meridian
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Charles Young Jr., (877) 646-2262
o Location: 5626 Old Highway 80 West
o Time: 7:30 p.m.
o Contact: (601) 485- 2707, UniFam90@aol.com

o Location: Down Home Cooking, 5184 Raymond Ave., Tupelo
o Time: 6 p.m.
o Contact: Eric Hampton, (662) 690-8999
o Location: Romie's Grocery, 804 W. Jackson St., Tupelo
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Henderson Jones, (662) 255-3614, henderson@jherringlaw.com
o Location: William White home, 115 Azalea Trail, Verona
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: William White, (909) 625-5624

o Location: Claude Simpson home, 1112 12th St., Columbus
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Claude Simpson, (662) 240-1657
o Location: 200 Sixth St., Columbus
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Wilbur Colom, (954) 643-8010

o Location: Madison County Democratic Party, 245 W. Peace St, Canton
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Robert Chinn, (601) 859-1213

o Location: Angela Weaver home, 409 Sunset Drive, Columbia
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Angela Weaver, (601) 382-9969
o Location: Janet Guillory home, 169 Ratliff Road, Foxworth
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Janet Guillory, (601) 731-3722

o Location: Lowanda Butler home, 40187 Caledonia Road, Hamilton
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Lowanda Butler, (662) 343-5504

o Location: Level III, 104 Main St., Starkville
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Albert N. Gore, (662) 323-2733
o Location: 110 East Maine St., Starkville
o Time: 7:30 p.m., $25 donation
o Contact: Tyrone Ellis, (662) 320-6872

o Location: Lisa Greer home, 469 Highway 26 East, Poplarville
o Time: 7:30 p.m.
o Contact: Lisa Greer (601) 723-0407

o Location: McComb Event Center, 1221 Parkside, McComb
o Time: 6 p.m.
o Contact: Lexie Elmore or Quiana Lewis, (601) 684-8507, (601) 248-9908, lexiee@co.pike.ms.us

o Location: Catherine Hilliard home, 960 Cairo Loop, Ecru
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Catherine Hilliard, (662) 489-0766

o Location: Philips on the Rez, 135 Madison Landing Circle, Ridgeland
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Charles Coburn, (352) 223-7749

o Location: Mendenhall City Hall, 172 W. Maud Ave., Mendenhall
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Ruby James, (601) 867-3672

o Location: 308 Blues Club, 308 Hannah Ave., Indianola
o Time: 7:30 p.m.
o Contact: Mark Pett, (662) 428-2034

o Location: Jennette Stricklen home, 595 Cliff Williams Road, Senatobia
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Jennette Stricklen, (662) 562-7468

o Location: LD'S Kitchen, 111 Mulberry St., Vicksburg
o Time: 7 p.m.
o Contact: Pat Brown, (601) 529-2226

o Location: Bucks Restaurant, 152 North Harvey St., Greenville
o Contact: Willie Griffin, (662) 335-1968

o Location: Highway 49 Soul Food Buffet, Northwest Shopping Center, Jerry Clower Boulevard, Yazoo City
o Time: 6.30 p.m.
o Contact: Ardis Russell, (662) 746-4900, ardis@tecinfo.com

o Location: Oxford Activity Center, corner of Price Street and Molly Barr Road, Oxford
o Time: 6 p.m.
o Contact: Wendi Hooks, (601) 969-2913, wendi@msdemocrats.net

o Location: Home of Bill Wheeler, 1700 Jefferson Ave, Oxford, MS
o Time: 9 - 11 pm
o Contact: Wendi Hooks, (601)0969.2913, wendi@msdemocrats.net
o Purchase Tickets online: http://www.actblue.com/page/obama-debate-activities

Breaking News: McCain will attend the debate

From the John McCain campaign:

Senator McCain has spent the morning talking to members of the Administration, members of the Senate, and members of the House. He is optimistic that there has been significant progress toward a bipartisan agreement now that there is a framework for all parties to be represented in negotiations, including Representative Blunt as a designated negotiator for House Republicans. The McCain campaign is resuming all activities and the Senator will travel to the debate this afternoon. Following the debate, he will return to Washington to ensure that all voices and interests are represented in the final agreement, especially those of taxpayers and homeowners.
Good news for Mississippians. This state, Oxford, and Ole Miss especially have invested too much in this debate to have McCain yank the plug in a political stunt. I'll update this post as I learn more.

New MS-SEN poll out today

We have a new poll out for the hotly contested Mississippi Senate race. Previously polls have been run by Rasmussen and Research 2000. A new poll is out this morning from Insider Advantage. Insider Advantage is another highly respected polling firm based out of Atlanta and Washington. Their number show the race to be tight with Wicker holding a slight lead. The poll was commissioned by the Commercial Appeal.

500 likely voters
Musgrove --- 43
Wicker ----- 48
Undecided -- 9

MoE 4%

Ole Miss prepares for debate without McCain - Updated x2

Chancellor Khayat has made a request to the the Debate Commission that would allow for a semi-Town Hall format if John McCain does not show. In this format audience members would submit questions to the moderator Jim Lehrer, who would then ask selected questions to Barack Obama. The Debate Commission has yet to decide.

A Survey USA poll out yesterday indicated that 75% of those polled thought John McCain should be at the debate. I still think he will make his way down to Oxford for tonight. I just can't imagine him not being there.

CNN reports:

Obama's campaign has argued over the past couple of days that both attending the presidential debate and working on the bailout plan can be accomplished and the event should go on.

"I think we can do both of these things at the same time. The next president is going to face multiple crises on the same day," Robert Gibbs, Obama's top adviser, said on CNN's "American Morning."

"We've got a presidential debate scheduled. We've got a stage. We'll have an audience. My guess is we'll have a moderator and at least one of the presidential candidates," Gibbs said.
UPDATE: According to Sid Salter in his Clarion Ledger blog, a highly placed source inside the McCain campaign expects the debates to go forward.

UPDATE x2: The debate is on.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Friday once more!!

Obama will be in Oxford with or without McCain

Haley Barbour and Robert Khayat have both come out today and said the debate will go on as scheduled. With no concrete word from Senator McCain yet on whether or not he will attend, Senator Obama has made contingency plans. If John McCain is a no show, Obama plans to turn the event into a town hall meeting. I don't see anyway that McCain will let that happen. I fully expect an announcement out of the McCain camp any minute to confirm his attendance.

From the Huffington Post:

Barack Obama is committed to hosting a public, televised event Friday night in Mississippi even if John McCain does not show up, an official close to the Obama campaign tells the Huffington Post.

In McCain's absence, the Senator is willing to make the scheduled debate a townhall meeting, a one-on-one interview with NewsHour's Jim Lehrer, or the combination of the two, the official said.

Sid Salter: McCain can multi-task

Echoing the sentiments of a lot of Mississippians from both sides of the aisle, Sid Salter asks why John McCain can't multi-task in a blog post. As Sid points out, neither Senator McCain nor Senator Obama have been in Washington much at all this year. I will be very interested to see how this story plays out over the remainder of the day. I suspect we will hear from the McCain camp today. They will backtrack from his original statement, and agree to hold the debate as scheduled. If he does not show, this could be an electoral disaster for McCain.

McCain's attempt to dodge the debate at Ole Miss smacks of political desperation. McCain should get as far from this phony $700 billion Wall street bailout as possible. But to suggest that his presence in Washington is necessary is rather strange. He and Obama both seemed to think the Senate could operate without them for most of the last year.

The debate should go forward - and for McCain to do less doesn't make him look presidential, it makes him look weak.

A POW who has survived that McCain has survived ought to be able to multi-task. He'll have to if he's elected president.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ole Miss reacts

The leadership at Ole Miss is not happy about the thought of the debate being cancelled. It would be a $5 million loss for Ole Miss.

ABC reports:

A senior University of Mississippi official reacted Wednesday to the news that Sen. John McCain R-Ariz., wants to postpone Friday's presidential debate, saying that such a move would be "devastating" for the university which has already invested millions in preparation for the debate.
Not to mention what Andrew Mullins, special assistant to Chancellor Khayat had to say...

"It's huge. You cannot just say that you're not going to do this thing," Mullins said. "I don't have any idea whether we do the debate" at a later date. "(We) probably wouldn't do it."

I suspended this post due to our state of national emergency.

Daily Journal article rasies big questions about Delbert Hosemann

I know I said I was done with the ballot controversy, but I had no idea what the Daily Journal was going to reveal today. As you recall Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann centered his case for the special election being placed at the bottom of the ballot around precedent. Jim Hood argued that the new law in 2000 was clear that national elections go at the top of the ballot. The Mississippi Supreme Court agreed with him. So what precedent was Delbert Hosemann referring to?

Mississippi has had all kinds of special elections, but rarely has a national election such as Senate come up as a special election. The last time this happened was in 1947 when John Stennis won his long held Senate seat for the first time. So what is the rub on Hosemann here?

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann based his recent argument for placing the special U.S. Senate race at the bottom of the ballot on precedent, but his office's research overlooked the last such race, which was at the top of the 1947 general election ballot.

Hosemann, the state's chief elections official, said this week he was unaware that the 1947 election in which John Stennis was elected to the U.S. Senate was a special election at the top of the ballot.
What did Delbert Hosemann submit to the court in a sworn affidavit?

Hosemann had submitted a sworn affidavit to the court defending his position that the Wicker-Musgrove race should be at the bottom of the ballot. In the affidavit, he said, "Mississippi has not had a special election for a United States senator since 1941... Therefore, no precedent for the last 60 years exists."
When confronted with the evidence, what did Delbert have to say about his research that led him to his conclusion?

This has not come to my attention before," Hosemann said. "I did not vote in that election."

At the time, Hosemann said his office "has devoted many hours researching the ballot order" and said past practices dictated that the election be near the bottom.

So let me get this straight. Delbert Hosemann is our Secretary of State. As Secretary of State he is responsible for Mississippi ballots. It was the Secretary of State's office that in 1947 place the special election at the top of the ballot. Yet Delbert's idea of research was, "I did not vote in that election." Are you kidding me?

It sure is funny that his office found the 1941 ballot which had the special election for Senate placed at the bottom, but managed to skip over the one in 1947 with the special election at the top. Delbert must have voted int he 1941 election, but moved for a few years and then came back, right? The point is, his department did research the history and knew about both ballots. There is no way possible they did not. This was an egregious, reprehensible act of deception for political gain. This is what Haley Barbour and his minions do. This is how they operate.

Isn't it great to have a lobbyist for our Governor and an incompetent boob for our Secretary of State?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Travis Childers nails the bailout

Once again Travis Childers has made me proud that we sent him to Washington. The Clarion Ledger has an article on our Mississippi lawmakers' opinions of the proposed government bailout of Wall Street. This would be one of the largest transfers of wealth from regular Americans to the wealthy ever, if not the largest. I love what Travis had to say.

I feel it is morally reprehensible that the middle class is not only suffering from a failing economy and rising costs but also now is being asked to foot the bill for Wall Street's bad decisions and reckless management as a result of deregulation," Childers said.

More on the Push Polls

The Jim Kitchens campaign has a piece on their blog about the push polls (see Push Polls in MS judicial races from earlier this morning). Kitchens is running against current Supreme Court justice Jim Smith.

The blog also mentions that Smith's campaign may be involved with a coordinated campaign, which is against the law. (Editor's note- the Morgan Baldwin quote is from the Clarion-Ledger article. It's cited in the original post.)

Smith supporters waste no time with dirty tricks:

Of course, all Smith’s campaign wanted to talk about was trial lawyers.

>In addition to those supporting businesses, “you’ve got trial lawyers coming in here from all over the country,” [Smith campaign spokesman Morgan] Baldwin said. “Both sides are throwing money at independent expenditures.”

Funny. I don’t know of a single group who has done anything on our behalf in this race.

Even funnier is the idea that the Smith campaign knows nothing about these push polls. I call bull$#!% on that one.

And in a couple of days, I bet some fairly strong evidence showing Smith’s campaign is involved in a coordinated campaign will emerge.

Hattiesburg American hits nail on head

This will be the last post I do on the ballot flap, I promise. I just could not pass up the Hattiesburg American article from this morning that lamented the waste of money and time cause by our governor playing politics with the ballot.

What a huge waste of time and money the fight over where to place the U.S. Senate race on the November ballot turned out to be. It didn't take a lot of brainpower to realize that Gov. Haley Barbour and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann were playing partisan politics with the ballot when they ordered the race between Republican Sen. Roger Wicker and Democratic challenger Ronnie Musgrove near the bottom of the ballot.
This pretty much sums it all up.

It was clear to all but the most naive that Barbour and Hosemann, both Republicans, were trying to help Wicker's candidacy - which, by the way, is being managed by one of the governor's nephews.

By putting the race near the bottom of the ballot, some voters may overlook it.

Push polls in MS judicial races

The judicial races are getting very nasty in the last few weeks before the election. According to the Clarion-Ledger, Attorney General Jim Hood is investigating bogus push polls going on around the state.

"We are looking into these sleazy, bogus calls to determine if they violate our criminal and/or civil laws," Hood said Monday. "We call on any person who has recorded one of these calls to call our office at 1-800-281-4418 or e-mail us at agjimhood.com."

Push polls pretend to be legitimate opinion polls, but they're actually nothing more than a way to spread lies or negative propaganda regarding candidates, said Joe Parker, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Some of the questions that have come up in these calls include:

In Mississippi, third parties appear to be behind these push polls. One push poll is aimed at Supreme Court candidate Jim Kitchens, who is running against Chief Justice Jim Smith.

One push poll alleged in questions that Kitchens represented Wayne Williams, "who killed 34 black children in Atlanta."

The truth is Kitchens temporarily assisted Williams' attorney, Al Binder of Jackson, after Binder became ill. Although Williams was a suspect in dozens of killings, his convictions came in the slayings of two adults.

Hynum said when he was called, he was asked questions such as these: "Would the fact that Randy Pierce is an experienced chancery judge who loves the Lord make you more likely or less likely to vote for him?"

"Would the fact that Oliver Diaz voted to overturn the conviction of a man who raped and murdered a 6-year-old girl make you more likely or less likely to vote for him?"

As the article points highlights, the issue is with the third party campaigns entering the races.

Third-party influence in Mississippi's judicial races began in 2000 when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce pumped about $1 million into ads designed to unseat certain justices.

Diaz said he wishes judicial candidates could band together and say they weren't going to tolerate third parties injecting themselves into these races.

We've got to make decisions for ourselves. Do we want the U.S. Chamber to pick our elected officials, or will we stand up to them in November?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Worth seeing again and again

We posted this video last week, but as far as I am concerned it can stay on our front page for another few days. The national blogs are in love with this Ronnie Musgrove ad. Best ad so far this year by any Mississippi candidate. This one needs to be played over and over on TV.

Goal Thermometer

AG Jim Hood sues Entergy

Attorney General Jim Hood is on a roll. The Clarion Ledger reported today that Hood has filed a lawsuit against Entergy to "get information about the company’s fuel purchase operations, fuel price adjustments and fuel cost recovery practices."

From the AP report in the Clarion Ledger:

Hood has accused Entergy of buying electricity and fuel at inflated rates from its sister companies in neighboring states and then overcharging Mississippi customers.

Who is giving to Roger Wicker?

Saturday's Sun Herald article on the state of the fundraising race between Ronnie Musgrove and Roger Wicker contained some valuable information. Campaign fundraising reports are filed regularly which makes all of this information available to the public. Digging through these reports can be tiresome, but also very revealing. Previously, we have looked at Roger Wicker's monetary advantage by focusing on the different industry sectors that are his top contributors, namely medical, legal, insurance, banking and oil.

I was going to post all of the PAC's that have contributed to the Roger Wicker campaign. I was at least until I realized that the list took up 28 pages in Microsoft Word. My computer was locked up for about a minute trying to format all of the content into Word. Maybe it would just be better to point out some of my personal favorites out of the mountain of data.

(you know the guys who wanted immunity for illegally wiretapping our phones, which Wicker supported)

(Drill, drill, drill)

(another no bid contract please)

(please don't regulate us, we won't screw up again...)

(what fannie mae said...)

(We are getting nervous about not being able to rip off Americans for health care anymore, along with our friends at the AMA and Big Pharma)

(drill baby drill)

(We are more scared than the insurance companies. Where else can you can get a six figure job for being a C student in college?)

(Can we have that back? We just lost our shirts in worthless paper and need a bailout.)

PFIZER INC. PAC - $1,500
(please save us from cheap drugs and affordable health care, we are making a killing...)

I could go on for days, and probably will. I am having the best time looking up all of these committees to see who they give money to and how much money they raise. I saved the best for last.

Rove, Karl - $2,300
(sleazeball/hitman political consultant)

New sample ballots released

The news organizations are all reporting that the Mississippi secretary of state's office has released the new sample ballot for the November elections. New ballots had to be made after the Supreme Court sided with Jim Hood on the placement of the special election in the general ballot.

New ballot here (courtesy of the Daily Journal)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Obama debate watch parties

Friday night in Oxford, John McCain and Barack Obama meet in the first presidential debate. The Mississippi Democratic Party along with the Obama campaign and Obama supporters have organized debate watch parties all across the state. Below is the complete list of parties across Mississippi.

If you would like to hold a watch party you can call the state party headquarters at 601.969.2913 or the Mississippi Obama for America headquarters at 601.383.8885 for help in setting one up.

Lafayette County
Hooks, Wendi
6:00 - 10:00 pm
Oxford Activity Center
400 Price St, Oxford

Lafayette County
Fondren, Carnelia
Downtown Grill
On the Square, Oxford
Admission: $25

Alcorn County
Shinault, Wendy
Wendy Shinault's House
3509 Old Ashbrook Rd, 38843, Corinth

Forrest County
Jones, Richard
County party HQ
906 Hardy St, Hattiesburg

Forrest County
Walters, Lesley
the Power House
118 College Drive #5063, Thad Cochran Center, 39406, Hattiesburg

Forrest County
Guillory, Janet
Ms. Janet Guillory's House
169 Ratliff Rd, 39483, Foxworth

Hancock County
Fuchs, Louis
Hancock County Democratic HQ
1017 Hwy 90 39520, Bay St Louis

Harrison County
Taylor, Renick
Harrison County Campaign Office
2514 19th Ave, 39501, Gulfport

Harrison County
Mueller, Diane
Home of Dianne Mueller
16309 Aspen Lane, 39532, Biloxi

Hinds County
Lowery, Maggie
Hal & Mal's, The Red Room
200 S. Commerce St., Jackson

Jackson County
Sims, Kay
7:00 pm
Democratic Party HQ
2518 Market St, Pascagoula

Jackson County
Davison, Joann
Joann Davison's House
4331 Ely Avenue, 39563, Moss Point

Jones County
Coleman, Larry
Log Train Depot
State Office, Laurel

Jones County
Blakely, Harold
Home of Harold Blakely
259 S. 4th Ave, 39440, Laurel

Lamar County
Parker, Ruby
Rocky Branch Voting Precinct
2646 Rocky Branch Road 39842, Sumrall

Lowndes County
Simpson, Claude
Mr. Claude Simpson's House
1112 12th St 39701, Columbus

Marion County
Weaver, Angela
Ms. Angela Weaver's House
409 Sunset Dr. 39429, Columbia

Monroe County
Ms. Lowanda Butler's House
40187 Caledonia Rd 39746, Hamilton

Oktibbeha County
Gore, Albert N.
Level III
104 Main St., Starkville

Pearl River County
Greer, Lisa
Lisa Greer's home
469 Hwy 26 East, 39470, Poplarville

Pike County
Elmore, Lexie or Lewis, Quiana
180 E Railroad Blvd, Magnolia Terr, Magnolia

Pontotoc County
Hilliard, Catherine
Ms. Catherine Hilliard's House
960 Cairo Loop, 38841, Ecru

Rankin County
Coburn, Charles
Philips on the Rez
135 Madison Landing Cir, 39157, Ridgeland

Simpson County
James, Ruby
Mendenhall City Hall
172 W Maud Ave, 39114, Mendenhall

Tate County
Stricklen, Jennette
Ms. Jennette Stricklen's House
595 Cliff Williams Rd 38668, Senatobia

Washington CountyWashington County
Griffin, Willie
Bucks Restaurant
152 North Harvey St Greenville
662 335 1968

Washington County
Contact: TBA
Theobold Ave, Greenville

Haley Barbour's blind trust records made public

Haley Barbour's blind trust records are now available to the public. Today's Clarion Ledger featured a front page story on the news, but chose to devote more than half of the article to last year's unsolved leak of the Governors' trust to Bloomberg News Service and the New Republic. Barbour is the only known elected state official to have a blind trust. Many Mississippians like myself are more interested in what is in the trust and how much did the Governor know about the contents of the trust. The New Republic story was a good start, but left the reader wanting to know more.

From today's Clarion Ledger:

An attorney for Barbour, the only known elected state official to have a blind trust, submitted the documents this month to the Mississippi Ethics Commission as required by a new state law. He initially requested they remain secret, but commission members appeared unwilling to bypass open-records laws.

Included in the blind trust are Barbour's involvement in LEHI Partners LLC and Policy Impact Strategy Communications and an interest in an Arlington, Va., townhouse, as well as cash, stock and bond accounts with A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. S. Griffin Norquist Jr. is listed as trustee

Friday, September 19, 2008

Great new Obama ad running in swing states

This is one of the best Obama ads yet. I hope they run it into the ground. Meet Lilly Ledbetter from Alabama.

Bill Minor: They're back

In today's Clarion Ledger, political columnist Bill Minor takes aim at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Those of you who have read Cotton Mouth for a while know how we feel about their influence on our State Supreme Court. Well they are back again, this time looking to saturate the airwaves with falsehoods about Ronnie Musgrove. Minor takes them to task for their distortions of Musgrove's record, and for bypassing our state's campaign finance laws.

Our old friend (I jest) the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the powerful business lobby, is back in Mississippi with vicious, false TV attack ads, this time trying to destroy the senatorial candidacy of Democratic former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove.

Is the Chamber going to get away again with ignoring the state's campaign finance disclosure law as in 2000 when it poured over $1 million into Mississippi to pack the state Supreme Court with four handpicked candidates?
Minor covered Mississippi politics when Musgrove was Governor, and is well versed in his record as Governor. Here he calls the ads out for misrepresenting the facts.

Musgrove in 2003 rejected even a Stennis Institute study calling for raising some taxes to balance the state budget. Consequently, lawmakers cut every program (except public schools), dipped into rainy-day funds, scoured fees from special fund agencies and diverted payment into the 1998-created health care trust fund created from the $4 billion tobacco settlement.

The Chamber's claim that Musgrove inherited a surplus in 2000 and left the state with a $700 million "deficit" is a fat lie. By state law, lawmakers can't appropriate a state budget not balanced by estimated revenues.

Another outrageous blurb claims Musgrove "raised" taxes. The truth is Musgrove made a mistake in not increasing some taxes during the three-year revenue crisis. Many forget the Stennis study funded by the Kellogg Foundation recommended raising the state's top bracket income tax from 5 percent to 6 percent to produce $284 million.

Once again we see the Karl Rovian strategy at work: Repeat a lie often enough on TV and people will believe it. Again we see Chamber president Tom Donohue mastermind a plot to take over the internal politics of this Deep South conservative state.
The Karl Rove strategy still plays well in Mississippi, or at least that is what the Chamber of Commerce is hoping. I am hoping Mississippians see through the lies and distortions and elect the right man to go to Washington, former Governor Ronnie Musgrove.

Offensive Poll

Does anyone else see something awful about the poll at WJTV.com?


Which statement best describes your vote for President?

-I’m voting for the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket because of Palin
-I’m voting against the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket because of Palin
-I’m voting for the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket because of their positions on issues
-I’m voting against the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket because of their positions on
-I’m voting for the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket because they are Republicans
-I’m voting against the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket because they are Republicans

Which statement best describes your vote for President?

-I’m voting for Barack Obama because he is black
-I’m voting against Barack Obama because he is black
-I’m voting for Barack Obama because of his position on issues
-I’m voting against Barack Obama because of his position on issues
-I’m voting for Barack Obama because he is a Democrat
-I’m voting against Barack Obama because he is a Democrat

49 Oil Platforms Damaged by Hurricane Ike

One of the many downsides to offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is the risk of an environmental disaster when you mix drilling and hurricanes. According to today's Clarion Ledger at least 49 oil platforms were destroyed by Hurricane Ike. Three years ago Hurricane's Katrina and Rita destroyed 125 rigs, platforms and pipelines, releasing 685,000 gallons of oil into the environment.

According to the AP story in the Clarion Ledger, the extent of the damage if any environmental damage occurred is not known at this point.

The report by Interior's Minerals Management Service said the agency was conducting helicopter flyovers of the Gulf waters to investigate unconfirmed reports of oil spills and oil sheens, but that it was too early to issue any definitive findings.

"There are no reports of oil impacting the shoreline or affecting birds and wildlife from releases in the Gulf of Mexico federal waters," said the agency.
I have a hard time believing that no oil was spilled by the hurricane, but I will wait and see what they find out. However the Texas Land Commissioner has already declared that no spills occurred. Maybe he should let the Interior Department know so they can call of their flyovers.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Friday again!

Damn, she is killing me...

Bad week huh?

Jack the Ripper

Haley cuts and runs in ballot-gate

Haley surrenders to the rule of law. A spokesman for the governor made clear that he intends on following the decision of the state's highest court. I have to admit I am surprised. I think the threat of the DOJ involvement scared straight the Governor and his Supreme Court.


A majority of justices ruled that a 2000 state law requires all federal races to be near the top of the ballot. But the majority stopped short of ordering Barbour to elevate the Wicker-Musgrove race.

Barbour issued a brief statement: "The Supreme Court has spoken; so be it."

His spokesman, Pete Smith, elaborated by saying "the governor is going to comply with the ruling and the Senate race will go near the top."

Supreme Court sides with law, sort of (updated x2)

Wow. I am shocked. Daily Kos is reporting that the Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the law and upheld the decision of Hinds County Circuit Cort Judge Tomie Green. The court voted 8-1.

We will get more information when it is made available.

From the Daily Kos:

No news articles yet, but the Mississippi Supreme Court has just ruled that placing the special Senate election at the bottom of the ballot was illegal. Not even Barbour's buddies on the court could justify such a gross violation of this law:

SEC. 23-15-367. Arrangement of names of candidates, order of titles of offices, and printing of official ballot generally; order in which titles of various offices are to be listed on the ballot; furnishing of sample of official ballot; alphabetical arrangement in primary elections.

... (2) The titles for the various offices shall be listed in the following order:

(a) Candidates for national office;
(b) Candidates for statewide office;
(c) Candidates for state district office;
(d) Candidates for legislative office;
(e) Candidates for countywide office;
(f) Candidates for county district office.

Well, most of them, anyway. The decision was 8-1. There was at least one Barbour shill on that court who is absolutely immune to the rule of law.

Update: Actually, the dissent is one of the good guys. He agrees with the overall decision, but mocks the court for 1) allowing Barbour to get away with scheduling the special this November instead of last March as state law required, and 2) attacks them for claiming, in the majority decision, that the trial court erred in demanding that Barbour adhere to state law.

UPDATE: I am not sure what this means. But the Clarion Ledger is reporting that even thought the ruled that the special election should go at the top of the ballot they are not upholding Tomie Green's decision.

Clarion Ledger:

“We find that the special election for U.S. Senator must be listed in the first category of the ballot, along with all other national elections, and the law assumes the governor and secretary of state will follow the law,” Justice Jess Dickinson wrote in a 10-page ruling.

“The Circuit Judge exceeded her authority, however, by ordering the Governor and Secretary of State to prepare the ballot in a particular manner, and to take other actions with respect to the upcoming election," he added.

The Governor and Secretary of State must be allowed to attend to their constitutional duties, free of interference by way of mandamus, injunction or instruction,” Dickinson wrote. “Of course, once the Governor and Secretary of State act, their decisions and actions are then subject to judicial review.”

Link to Decision pdf


Haley surrenders:
Barbour issued a brief statement: "The Supreme Court has spoken; so be it."

His spokesman, Pete Smith, elaborated by saying "the governor is going to comply with the ruling and the Senate race will go near the top."

Supreme Court Rules on Ballot Dispute

The governor actually lost an election issue in front of the Mississippi Supreme Court.

You can read the opinion (written by Justice Dickinson) on Folo, but the long and short of it is that the Court said the Senate election should go at the beginning of the ballot with other federal elections.

Hopefully, the Governor & Secretary of State abide by the ruling so the Justice Department does not have to become involved.

Hat Tip: Folo

Ray Mabus on the trail for Obama

Former Mississippi Governor Ray Mabus has been hitting the campaign trail for Senator Barack Obama. Mabus was a highly popular Governor of Mississippi who was named the Governor of the millennium in a 1999 Clarion Ledger poll. He served as Ambassador to Saudi Arabia under President Bill Clinton.

Yesterday Mabus held an economic forum in Danville, Virgina, where he discussed Barack Obama's plans for places like rural Virginia. WSLS, a Roanoke TV station, reported on the event.

“We are excited to have Governor Mabus returning to Danville on behalf of Barack Obama,” Sheila Baynes, chairman of the Danville Democratic Committee, said Tuesday. “This underscores the importance of Danville in this election and shows that we, the citizens of Danville, can make a difference.”

Mabus campaigned for Obama in February at Danville Community College

Will the ballot flap hurt early voting efforts?

Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments from lawyers representing both sides of the ballot dispute. Bobby Harrison in today's Daily Journal wrote that a decision will come in "due course." As we wait for the decision to be rendered there is one side issue that could quickly escalate into a major issue. State law requires that absentee ballots are available 45 days before election day, which is this coming Monday.

WJTV reported that our county election commissioners are having to wait for the decision before they can print the ballot. Hinds County Election Commissioner Connie Cochran expressed her concerns to WJTV.

Right now "It's impeding our progress in the election process," Cochran says.

Even so Cochran says it will take at least a week and a half to print the 8,000 absentee ballots Hinds County needs to cover the expected demand.

"When we ever find out how the court rules, if it means that they'll have to be reprogrammed and reprinted out and sent to the printers to be made into scannable ballots," she says.

Cochran says most of the state's 82 counties also use scannable ballots.

"So 79 counties are in the same situation that we are."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

CBS poll: They are bailin' on Palin

The Palin bounce is over. Dead. Done. Finished.

Need I mention the complete swing occurring in the polls? McCain will be spending the next four years wondering why he thinks the economy is fundamentally strong and why he picked Sarah Palin instead of Mitt Romney.

New CBS poll

Obama -- 49%
McCain -- 44%

That is a seven point swing since the halcyon days of Sarah Palin. Back before she qualified her foreign policy by telling us she could see Russia from Alaska, and she was on a airplane that refueled in Ireland once.

Travis Childers: Hard at work for Mississippians

Travis has been busy since the voters in north Mississippi elected him to office. Let's look at some of the key legislation Childers has worked on since he has been in Washington.

• …introducing a six-point energy plan to provide immediate relief from high gas prices and long-term solutions to our nation's energy crisis through increased drilling and domestic energy production and investment in alternative energy and conservation;

• … support for the bipartisan American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 in response to America's mortgage crisis, which has taken a tough toll on working families in North Mississippi;

• … cosponsoring the bipartisan Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Act to make it easier for small businesses to provide quality, affordable health care to their employees;

• … authoring the Invest in Small Business Act of 2008 , which makes it easier for small business to attract investors by cutting taxes on small business investors and increasing the number of small businesses eligible for tax cuts.

I would venture to say that Travis Childers has already done more for the regular folk in his district in 90 days than Roger Wicker did in 16 years.

Let's make sure he stays in Washington. Give a little change to Travis to help in his bid for reelection.

Goal Thermometer

Travis Childers gun amendment passes House

While this is not an issue I agree with Travis on, it is big news. Childers campaigned as pro-gun and he is making good on his promise in Washington. His amendment expands the rights of Washington D.C. residents to own guns, including semi-automatic weapons. The last part of that sentence is where I disagree with Travis. I don't think anyone needs a semi-automatic weapon unless they are in uniform. That said, it is good to see Childers taking an active role in Washington and following through on his campaign pledges.

From CBS News minutes ago.

Lawmakers voted 260-160 to amend a bill proposed by DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton regarding the District's gun laws.

The amended bill included a substitute amendment by Rep. Travis W. Childers of Mississippi, expanding the rights of residents to buy and own guns, including semiautomatic weapons.

The amended bill then passed 266-152, with 82 Democrats supporting it and nine Republicans opposing it.

Daily Journal: Voter registration strong across the region

The Daily Journal reported today that North Mississippi voter registration is headed through the roof. Voter registration is key to Dem chances in November. Party affiliation of these newly registered voter is not listed in the article.

Lee County Circuit Clerk Joyce Loftin said her downtown Tupelo office has registered some 600 new voters since Sept. 1, with at least 1,200 calling or coming in to change their voting places.

"Business is booming," she observed Tuesday. (emphasis mine)
What about Desoto County?

Across the state in DeSoto County near Memphis, Circuit Clerk Dale Thompson reports waves of new voters since January – some 8,500 swelling voter rolls to nearly 80,000.

"It's going like crazy," she said Tuesday.
This is setting up to be a record setting election in November. I don't ever remember this many people this excited over an election in my lifetime.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

MS-01: Travis Childers holds solid lead for November

In a race that has all the appearances of a throw in the towel effort by the GOP, Travis Childers has a 12 point lead in poll out today. Thanks to Swing State Project for the data.

Travis Childers (D-inc): 51
Greg Davis (R): 39
Undecided: 10
(MoE: ±4.4%)

Economic crisis: Wicker voted against regulatiing the subprime industry

I wrote about his a while back, but this has to be repeated. The deregulation that allowed for the creation of irresponsible financial instruments is to blame for the housing market crash. Subprime loans were at the center of this. Deregulation also allowed these loans to be bundled into securities and sold without full disclosure of the underlying risk. The first wave of pain due to deregulation was and is still being felt by the 11% of homeowners facing foreclosure today. The second wave of pain is the failing of our financial behemoths who overlaid on these shoddy subprime backed securities. The Dow had its worst day in 7 years yesterday. Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, AIG, Fannie and Freddie etc...

Make no bones about it, this whole stinkpile started with the regulation-free subprime market which allowed load sharks A.K.A. mortgage companies to swindle millions of hard working Americans out of their home. Minorities have fared worse than the rest, losing homes at a frightening rate. Back in 2007 we had a crucial opportunity to fix our housing market run wild, with the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act; Bill HR3915. How many families in Mississippi have faced foreclosure during this crisis? Our state is near the top per-capita in foreclosures.

How did Roger wicker vote on the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act; Bill HR3915?

HR3915 - Voted NO on regulating the subprime mortgage industry.

Thanks Roger Wicker for helping to facilitate the stinkpile.

Donate now to Ronnie Musgrove to make sure we have a Senator who votes for the interest of his constituents. That is not asking too much is it Roger?

Goal Thermometer

TPM: House Dems Demand DOJ Get Involved In Miss. Senate Race

From Talking Points Memo

A group of Congressional Dems led by House Judiciary chairman John Conyers (D-MI) are now demanding Justice Department intervention in the Mississippi Senate race, where GOP officials are tying to bury the race at the bottom of the ballot. "What we have here is a clear intent to confuse voters," said Mississippi Dem Congressman Bennie Thompson, in a press release from the group.

New Musgrove Ad

Famous McCain quotations

Here are some golden John McCain quotes. If he could keep his mouth shut he might have a chance of getting elected.

"I’m always for less regulation" – to The Wall Street Journal, March 2008

Remember John McCain's economic advisor Phil Gramm led the charge to deregulate the very financial instruments that first caused the housing crisis and now is bringing Wall Street to its knees.

"And I promise you, we will never put America in this position again." – campaign speech, September 15, 2008

At least he is admitting that it was his cohorts who were in power and whose policies lead to this meltdown.

"The fundamentals of our economy are strong." – campaign speech, September 15, 2008

Say what?

"The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should." –to the Boston Globe, December 2007

Ah, the old Straight Talk Express.

"I'm going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated." – to the Wall Street Journal, 2005

More straight talk

"There’s been great progress economically over that period of time (since Bush took office)." – campaign speech, April 17th, 2008

He must be referring to some of those houses he bought. Good times I tell ya.

Women need "better education and training" - said in April 2008 in opposition to a Senate bill that would have secured equal pay for women.

Right, women at this point don't deserve equal pay because they are not as well educated or trained as well as men...

"Bomb, Bomb Iran." – campaign speech, April 19, 2007

Your next Commander-In-Chief making a joke. Real funny.

Hat Tip to Daily Kos blogger StrangeAnimals

State Senator Lydia Chassaniol repeats myth in Clarion Ledger

One would think a State Senator would be knowledgeable of the facts of an issue in an article they submit to the state's largest nespaper to be published. Senator Chassaniol (district 14) repeats a myth that has been debunked repeatedly to the point that Republicans won't even say it anymore because they know it is not true. We can't have an honest debate on any issue without at first coming to grips with the facts. How you interpret those facts as is your business. Misrepresenting the facts is called lying. As an elected official is it disgraceful to spread falsehoods regarding an issue as important as our energy crisis.

In today's Clarion Ledger's opinion page Senator Chassaniol repeats the myth that China is partnered with Cuba and drilling right off our shore. Even Dick Cheney admits that this is not true. Republican Senator Mel Martinez called the alleged Cuba drilling “akin to urban legend.”

Here are some more links for you Senator Chassaniol:

McCaltchey - GOP claim about Chinese oil drilling off Cuba is untrue

Fox News - Cheney Admits Mistake in Claim of China Drilling Near Florida

FactCheck.org - Are the Chinese drilling off the coast of Cuba?

CBS News - Report: No Chinese Offshore Drilling Near Cuba

Either Senator Chassaniol is ignorant or she is lying. Being that she is a state Senator, I don't know which one is worse. One word, shameful.

Phonebank for Musgrove

Message from the Musgrove campaign:

Election Day is right around the corner. In just 50 days, Mississippians will go to the polls and choose who can best change the old Washington ways, lower gas prices, fix the economy and bring jobs back home to Mississippi.

With such a short amount of time left, we have to act now to get organized, get in touch with the undecided voters, and identify Gov. Musgrove's supporters.

Over the past few weeks, our volunteers have helped us reach out to tens of thousands of voters across Mississippi. But we need even more help to make sure we get Gov. Musgrove's message out to every voter in the state. We need your help.

No political experience is required. We'll provide you with everything you'll need. All you have to do is sign up and we'll fill you in on all the rest.

Sign up now to help out at a phone bank in your area.

We're up against a formidable opponent with powerful allies. And now some state officials are trying to bury our race at the bottom of the ballot, where some people might not find it. These partisan tactics aren't going to stop us. We need to be prepared and we can't afford to wait one more day.

There is a real opportunity to win this Senate race this year, but it is going to take all of us working together to pull it off. That's why Gov. Musgrove's supporters all across the state are pledging their time to help send a leader to Washington who puts Mississippi first - not party bosses and not special interests.

One-on-one personal contact with neighbors, community members and undecided voters is the most effective way to get Gov. Musgrove's message across. And with Election Day in sight--it's just 50 days away--we must act now.

Reach out to your community by signing up to attend a phone bank.

This election is in your hands. Ronnie Musgrove will help change the way Washington works and improve the economy in Mississippi--but that won't be possible without the help of supporters like you.

Monday, September 15, 2008

2002 special election listed near top of ballot

I wrote about this yesterday in a post focused on the erroneous claims of a Sun Herald opinion piece. This information is not only worth repeating, but also more than worth it's own post. This information is the proof that special elections since 2002 have been placed with like elections on the general election ballot.

In 2002 we had three special elections on the ballot. Two of these were placed at the bottom of the ballot. These races were district attorney races, which there were none of on the sample ballot. However the third special election was for the Third District Court of Appeals. This election was placed in the section with the other races for the Court of Appeals, near the top of the ballot.

Link to 2002 ballot.

From page three of a twenty-three page ballot.

OFFICIAL SAMPLE BALLOT - September 9, 2002

Special Note (not to be printed on the ballot): Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-979 (1972), the names of all candidates for Judicial office which appear on the ballot shall be listed in alphabetical order.

District 2 (Southern)
Position One (VOTE FOR ONE)
Larry Buffington ............................. ( )
Jess Dickinson.................................. ( )
Charles R. (Chuck) McRae............. ( )
........................................................... ( )

First Court of Appeals District
Position Two (VOTE FOR ONE)
Ralph H. Doxey................................ ( )
Roger H. McMillin, Jr. ................... ( )
........................................................... ( )

Second Court of Appeals District
Position One (VOTE FOR ONE)
Tyree Irving..................................( )
.......................................................( )

Fourth Court of Appeals District
Position Two (VOTE FOR ONE)
Joe Lee .............................................. ( )
........................................................... ( )

Fifth Court of Appeals District
Position One (VOTE FOR ONE)
William H. (Bill) Myers ................... ( )
........................................................... ( )

Third Court of Appeals District
Position Two (VOTE FOR ONE)
Jim Brantley ..................................... ( )
Kenny Griffis.................................... ( )
........................................................... ( )

WLOX weighs in on the ballot dispute

Debunking the "Obama will raise your taxes" viral email

What is with it Republicans and viral chain emails. You kow the ones that see how many lies they can fit on one computer monitor? I am beginning to think these are the same folks who send out the : "forward this email to ten of your friends and Bill Gates will send you $10...". But during election season they turn their focus to Democrats.

Most of these emails are so blatantly false that only an idiot would believe them. Those who believe the Obama is a secret Muslim/Antichrist/terrorist lies do so because they choose to believe them. That is what they want to believe, and no amount of evidence will change their mind. A bigot is a bigot is a bigot.

There is one email that deals with taxes that is somewhat believable to the uninformed. John McCain and his surrogates repeat the lie over and over that Obama will increase taxes on the middle class. Even Fox News called out Tucker Bounds, McCain spokesperson, on this blatant falsehood. This only a couple of days after Karl Rove said that McCain had gone too far in stretching the truth. Have I stepped in to an alternate universe?

From the HuffPo:

KELLY: I want to hold you accountable for what McCain is doing, and get you to weigh in on this. Has your candidate gone too far, has he stretched the truth with the voters?

BOUNDS: Well, Megyn, what we have done is gone to great lengths to discuss Barack Obama's record. And I think what you're seeing in this ad today is that he would rather hurl insults than examine his record. I mean, it is true that during a struggling economy, he proposes raising taxes.

KELLY: Not on the middle class.

BOUNDS: Well...ulp...on job growth and small businesses that drive the job growth of this country.

KELLY: But you guys have suggested he's going to raise taxes on the middle class and virtually every independent analyst who took a look at that claim said that's not true. He'll raise it on people making $200,000 or $250,000, but not the middle class.

BOUNDS: Well, Megyn, you're giving him an enormous amount of credit for a guy who has voted only to raise taxes in the United States Senate. For now...for him to make a new claim...for him...now, keep in mind --

KELLY: No, no! Let's stay on point, I'm not giving him any credit. I'm saying what the independent analysts say. They say that claim is false. And if that's false, why would John McCain do that, Tucker? Why wouldn't he just level with the voters and say, look, he's going to raise taxes on the wealthy or whatever you consider somebody to be making over $250,000, it's going to have a trickle down effect. That may not be good for the middle class. But why say he's going to raise taxes on the middle class when he's not?

The Obama tax email is reprinted in full and debunked point by point on the Snopes website. After reading I now know where one of our readers got the false information that Obama was going to raise the capital gains tax to 40%.

Read the Snopes post here.

Here is a sample: (email in italics)

Capital Gains Tax

McCain: 0% on home sales up to $500,000 per home (couples). McCain does not propose any change in existing home sales income tax.

Obama: 28% on profit from ALL home sales

The statement that Senator Obama proposes instituting a 28% tax "on profit from ALL home sales" is false. Both candidates' proposals would leave intact an existing capital gains exemption for the first $500,000 per household of profit from the sale of a primary residence. Homeowners who realize a profit higher than the current exemption amount from the sale of their primary residence might pay more capital gains tax under an Obama presidency than they would now, but those instances currently constitute a very small minority of all home sales. (For the purposes of this article, the term "per household" refers to married households who file taxes jointly.)

The mention of 's imposing a 28% capital gains tax as president is also misleading. Senator Obama has indicated he would likely raise the capital gains tax rate, but has not specified by how much - the 28% figure is a previous (i.e., pre-Bush) capital gains tax rate which Obama stated he certainly would not exceed while noting that his capital gains tax would be "significantly lower".

The Tax Plan fact sheet posted on Obama's web site says that he will "create a new top capital gains rate of 20%"

Are you registered to vote?

To see if you are registered, or to register online, or to request an absentee ballot, you can use this cool new tool from the Obama campaign.

Obama Voter Registration Tool


The deadline to register for the Nov. 4 election is Oct. 4, 2008.


To register in Mississippi you must:

be a citizen of the United States

have lived in Mississippi and in your county (and city, if applicable) 30 days before the election in which you want to vote

be 18 years old by the time of the general election in which you want to vote

have not been convicted of murder, rape, bribery, theft, arson, obtaining money or goods under false pretense, perjury, forgery, embezzlement, or bigamy, or have had your rights restored as required by law

not have been declared mentally incompetent by a court Note: State law changed by federal court order in 1998 and by state legislation in 2000. We now accept the form as registration for voting for all state and federal offices.


United States citizen.

Eligibility requirements of my state.

The information I have provided is true to the best of my knowledge under penalty of perjury. If I have provided false information, I may be fined, imprisoned, or (if not a U.S. citizen) deported from or refused entry to the United States.

Supreme Court set to rule on ballot dispute

The Sun Herald just reported minutes ago that the Supreme Court has all the relevant paperwork necessary to render a decision on the ballot controversy.

The Mississippi Supreme Court has received all the paperwork it needs to settle a dispute over where a special election for Trent Lott's old U.S. Senate seat should appear on the ballot.

The court has given no indication of when it might rule.
The 2002 special election for Court of Appeals was not placed at the bottom of the ballot. This fact combined with the 2000 law, should be sufficient to render a decision in favor of placing the election near the top of the ballot where it belongs. We shall see.