Monday, December 24, 2007

Mike Huckabee: The GOP Liberal

Much has been made of the meteoric rise of Ex-Governor of Arkansas Michael Dale Huckabee in the political polls in the past couple of months. He is wowing the social conservative voters of Iowa with his views on abortion and the social issues. He comes across as a good-ole-boy who can charm the socks off the average voter.

Nevertheless, he is the most liberal candidate on fiscal issues. And while a lot of Southern Baptists are supporting him because he is a former Southern Baptist preacher, he is actually a liberal in the Southern Baptist wars.

In 1979, the conservatives in the Southern Baptist Convention (Hereafter abbreviated as "SBC.") wrested control from the moderate wing. They elected Adrian Rogers as President, who was a well-known conservative from Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn. When Huckabee became president of the Arkansas Baptist Convention in 1989, he appointed liberals to head major committees in that state convention. NOT ONCE DID HE APPOINT A CONSERVATIVE TO A MAJOR POST. Paul Pressler, one of the architects of the 1979 takeover of the SBC, considered Huckabee a liberal in the Baptist wars. He is not supporting Huckabee for President. Oh, yes. Huckabee will not allow the churches he formerly pastored to release any of his sermons he preached. How come?

I agree with him on abortion and gun rights. I have mixed feelings about his stand on the homosexual marriage issue. As an Old Right Conservative, I think the homosexual marriage issue should be settled on the state issue. If a state wishes to legalized homosexual marriage, that is that state's business. But under no circumstances should another state be forced to recognize that marriage. Huckabee would have a Constitutional amendment banning homosexual marriage.

His record as Arkansas' governor is one of fiscal liberalism. Under Bill Clinton, the per capita tax burden rate was 9.8%. When Huckabee left office, it was 11.1%. He was for raising taxes to pay for his pet programs. He wanted to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants and allow illegal immigrants to go to college paying the same tuition rate as in-state students. He was all for illegal immigration in his state.

When it came to crime he made Mike Dukakis look like a flaming conservative. In his 10 1/2 years as governor (July 15, 1996-January 9, 2007) he gave 1033 commutations. In the 17 1/2 years of his three predecessors, only 507 commutations were given out. One of his parolees, Wayne Dumond, went out and raped and murdered a woman.

I'll admit a Presidential candidate has a faith that influences his stands on politics. But there is a difference between the other Republican candidates and Huckabee. He is a Shining Path believer. He's personally against smoking. Fine. But he wants a NATIONWIDE ban on smoking. Period. Would we have a Federal Agency to Rid Tobacco (F.A.R.T.) to implement this? He lost a hundred pounds because he was diagnosed as a diabetic. He's to be commended for that. But he wants to spend Federal funds to make people lose weight. He has always been in favor of illegal immigration and giving them benefits because "That's what Jesus would do." His foreign policy would be "Christ-like" and initiate a lot of talks with hostile powers. Well, I have no objections to that. But what happens when they don't want to talk? He wants to abolish the income tax and have the "Fair Tax"of a 23% sales tax? He said that is the kind of tax a "true Christian" would support. A 23% sales tax on groceries and prescription drugs would be a horrendous burden to the poor.

In the past twenty-eight years, Arkansas had three out of four governors that had morals or ethic problems. Bill Clinton (1979-1981, 1983-1993) had problems with the fairer sex. Jim Guy Tucker (1993-1996) had financial scandals and was forced to resign. Frank White (1981-1983) was honest and had a scandal-free administration. And then there was Huckabee.

Huckabee didn't mess around with the babes. You won't find any scandal remotely connecting him to any of that. Give him credit for that. But he sure liked the gifts. He tried to run off with $70000 in furniture that was donated to the Governor's Mansion when he was governor. He was cited on five occasions by the state's ethics commission for his accepting gifts. He made appointments to various boards and commissions to some of those donors. He demanded the state GOP pay for some of his personal expenses.

Huckabee as a person is not as nice as he seems. On the outside, he is very charming, witty and kind. But when conservative Republican state legislators in Arkansas challenged him on his policies and programs, he would get nasty and vindictive with them. He would tell them they "didn't drink the same Jesus juice he did." He made it seem like you were challenging God Himself if you disagreed with him. Is this the guy you want for President?

Do not take Huckabee lightly in Mississippi. I have talked to a lot of people in the Southern Baptist church I attend and they like him a lot. Even though our Presidential primary isn't until March 11th, the primary may still be very important because the Republican Presidential nomination may still be undecided and in a state of flux. Huckabee comes from a state that borders Mississippi and the Southern Baptist connection may just be the right combination for victory in this state.

But if Huckabee is the nominee, the Clinton machine (assuming Hitlery is the nominee) will make toast out of him. He'll be beaten like a bongo drum. The Clinton machine will make him look like a religious kook and ethically challenged (They should talk. But the mainstream media will pick up the Clinton attacks and skewer Huckabee.).

Under no circumstances will I vote for Huckabee for the Republican Presidential nomination.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Conspiracy, anyone?

There is an old cliche' I use when I go to political gatherings or observe politics on television and radio: Just when you are as cynical as you can get and you have reached the maximum in cynicism, you go to a political rally and find out there's room for more (cynicism).

As we all know, Sen. Chester Trent Lott has resigned his Senate seat. And we all know Congressman Chip Pickering announced he was not running for another House term. And, good ole Dickey Scruggs has been indicted for trying to bribe a Federal judge. For those of you in Mississippi who have been hiding under a rock for forty years, Dickey is Lott's brother-in-law.

Now I've been in politics since I was ten years old. I have seen things that seem so surreal it blows one's mind. In fact, a science fiction writer couldn't make some of this up. For example, when President Richard M. Nixon was reelected by eighteen million votes on November 7, 1972, nobody in his right mind would have thought Congressman Gerald Ford would be President in less than two years and Jimmy Carter would be President a little more than two years after that.

Now this is sheer speculation and maybe nut job thinking. But remember, this is politics where you can trust very few people. Sen. Lott knew all this stuff on Dickey was coming down months ago. He knows he will be implicated in some of Dickey's machinations (along with Mike Moore and Jim Hood) and he would be forced to resign. He told Chip Pickering he would resign by the end of the year. (For the politically uninitiated, Pickering is Lott's protege'.) Therefore, Pickering would be appointed as his successor to the U.S. Senate. So it would be best if Pickering were to announce he was not running for reelection.

Nutty? Think about it. Pickering is NOT going to run for a state office in 2011 or 2015. His cousin Stacey Pickering is now the Auditor-elect. Now Stacey is going to be running for something in 2011--either for reelection or for Lt. Governor. It all depends what Dewey Bryant does in 2011. If Dewey runs for Governor, Stacey will probably run for Lt. Governor. Chip would not run for Governor for two reasons: 1. Voters would be very reluctant to vote for members of a family (They are cousins.) for the two top state positions. 2. Chip would be engaged in a nasty primary against Dewey. Chip may win, but it would split the GOP.

It was Lott and the late Governor Kirk Fordice who got Chip his start in politics. Back in 1996, the top GOP areas were Rankin County, Lauderdale County and Forrest County. Cong. Sonny Montgomery stated he was retiring that year. Lott and Fordice encouraged Republicans in Rankin County to run for the Congressional seat. They were State Senators Mike Gunn and Dean Kirby and the 1994 Congressional GOP nominee James Dabbs. All three were led to believe they would get the support of the GOP poo bahs. Instead, in the first primary, those three candidates split the populous Rankin County GOP vote and Meridian's Bill Crawford and Hattiesburg's Chip Pickering slipped into the runoff. As we all know, Pickering won the runoff.

So who will Gov. Haley Barbour appoint? My gut feeling Chip Pickering will get the appointment. This may be his only opportunity to be Senator. I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts Sen. Thad Cochran will run for reelection in 2014. If a Republican other than Pickering succeeds Lott, then the earliest Pickering can run would be 2020. If Cochran were to retire after his next term, than it could be 2014. And there would be others besides Pickering to run for that seat. He may fade into political obscurity for six years and lose to someone who has a "name". Does he want to risk not getting the appointment? And if he wants Barbour to appoint him, he'll get the appointment. The GOP poo bahs will see to that.

We'll see. The Chinese have an ancient curse for this: May you live in interesting times.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Presidential Primary

On March 11, 2008, Mississippi will have its Presidential and Congressional Primaries. While the list of 3rd Congressional District contenders hasn't finalized, those running for President has. So I'll comment on the Presidential candidates. Of course, the GOP and Democratic nominees might be already known by that date. But in the GOP race, it still might be up for grabs (I think Hitlery Clinton will be the presumptive Democratic nominee by March 11th.).

Right now, I have no firm idea who I will vote for in the GOP primary. I like Congressman Ron Paul's libertarian and Old Right stands, but I wonder about the kook base he is attracting. A lot of conspiracy and white supremacist groups are gung-ho for him. I think he is far more intelligent and knowledgeable than any of the candidates running, but I don't think he stands a chance of winning.

Ex-Gov. Mike Huckabee is an excellent social conservative candidate. He is a former Baptist preacher and his stands on the social issues are excellent. But he is a big government advocate. He wants a national sales tax but won't endorse a Constitutional amendment repealing the Federal income tax. He said the national sales tax would replace the income tax. That may be true for a few years. But you can bet your sweet bippy the income tax will be reinstituted. He also wants a national ban on smoking. Plus, he wants government instituted programs on how to teach people to lose weight (Have they ever heard of weighing yourself on a scale?). He's got a list of government programs he'd love to see promulgated. As governor of Arkansas, he was not tight with a buck. I guess he can preach to us when he gives us the nanny state.

Senator John McCain hasn't voted for a tax cut in years. Plus, he gave us that monstrosity called the McCain-Feingold campaign reform act. He's also another big government conservative. He would like to institute national service for all of the nation's youth. Just what we need--another big government program.

Ex-Gov. Willard Mitt Romney gave Massachusetts its socialized health care program. Watch it to become a disaster for the state. He's also one of the biggest flipfloppers you'd ever want to meet. At one time, he was a big abortion advocate. Now he's against abortion. At one time, he was all for gay rights. Now, he takes a hard stand on gay rights. I don't trust him on any of the issues. He reminds me of a fish out of water; flipflop, flipflop, flipflop. And I hate to say it, I have a problem voting for a temple Mormon.

Ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani did a good job as mayor of New York City. But he's a flaming liberal on the social issues. Sure, he said he would appoint strict constructionists to the U.S. Supreme Court. But his court appointments in New York City were flaming liberals. He worked hard for George McGovern in 1972 and has backed Democrats for higher office. Plus, this guy dressed in drag for a party. Is this guy all there?

Ex-Sen. Fred Thompson was fairly conservative as a Senator from Tennessee. But he was once pro-abortion. He seems to be better than most of the other candidates. He did get the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee. I'll wait and see on him.

Congressman Duncan Hunter is an excellent candidate and would probably be one of my top choices. But he has no name recognition and stands little chance of traction in the race. He's right on all the domestic issues. Ditto for Congressman Tom Tancredo. But he won't go anywhere.

Except for Ron Paul, all of them support the war in Iraq. As an Old Right conservative, I believe we have no business being involved in the Middle East. It is none of our business. I believe in having the strongest national defense in the world. I also believe we should mind our own business unless it directly affects the national security of the United States. Saddam Hussein was no choirboy. But he did not threaten the national security of the U.S. If he did have weapons of mass destruction, he would have used them on Israel or Iran.

In Mississippi, I would say Fred Thompson has the lead. But Rudy Giuliani has surprising strength here--especially in the urban areas. Many people in my church support Giuliani because they see him as a leader and can get things done--despite his stands on the social issues. John McCain has some support from the military veterans, but the feedback I get is he is too old to be President. And Mitt Romney has little support here. He is perceived as a flipflopper on the social issues and his religion is hurting him among fundamentalist Christians (Our church had a seminar for two Sundays on how cultic the Mormon "church" is. Rest assured: Not one of those people will vote for Romney, especially when they found out he was a temple Mormon. The fact he can baptize dead people and he and his wife can have a spiritual kingdom and rule on another planet blew a lot of people's minds.).

I just may vote for Ron Paul just to express my frustration with the direction the country is going in. But let's face it. None of these candidates inspire me enough to go out and work for them if he is the GOP nominee. (There's no way in the world I could vote for Hitlery.) If this is the best the GOP can do for Presidential candidates, the party is a lot weaker than it appears.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Lack of Candidate Organizations

Yesterday in the Jackson Clarion-Ledger's editorial page, David Hampton had an excellent article on candidate laziness. He wrote about the lack of organization of candidates and candidates mainly rely on big bucks for advertising. He is absolutely right.

The Democratic and Republican county executive committees should be the impetus for an organization for candidates. They should provide the foot soldiers for getting out the vote. Walking door-to-door is a pain in the neck (and feet), but that is the way to get out the vote. Telephone banks are becoming more and more ineffective. Many people are dropping their land line phones and using strictly cell phones, where the numbers are unlisted (so far). And a lot of people don't like being called because the calls are canned or scripted.

Whether the candidate is running for a Legislative House seat or a statewide campaign, he should have foot soldiers in every precinct and a strong organization that can coordinate the campaign. Most candidate organizations do not have that. Instead, the candidate thinks spending the big bucks will give you the victory. In many cases, that is so. But in a close race, the candidate with the best organization wins.

I served on Republican county committees in two states. In the state where I went to college, the requirement was if you were on the Party committee, you HAD to walk your precinct. Each precinct had a committeeman and a committeewoman. The two of them would walk the precinct together and report to the district chairman. And the district chairman would report to the state chairman. I remember giving up ten to fifteen Saturdays every two years walking precincts for the Republican slate. Two of us would walk the street. We'd walk from 9AM to 12PM, from 1PM to 6PM, and then from 7PM to 8:30PM. Sometimes, we'd get the door slammed in our faces. Other times, the voter would treat us to lunch. We would write on our note cards about the houses we visited, the reactions and whether or not there was a need for follow-up. By the way, this state had party registration. On Election Day, we had a caravan of cars to transport voters to the polls. Plus, we'd have precinct walkers to make sure people voted. Usually, the GOP candidate won. Money was not the big thing in the campaign. It was the campaign organization.

Mississippi has Party organizations, but they are not known for walking their precincts. Plus, the Party structure in the counties is poor. Each precinct should have a committeeman and a committeewoman. Now I know that would mean the Party Committees would be huge. In Rankin County, that would be 104 members. But these would be 104 hard-working members willing to work their precincts. The committeeman and committeewoman can monitor their precinct and note changes. This is the nitty-gritty of grass roots politics.

In the 2007, our neighborhood did not receive ONE visit from any candidate or his (her) representative during the general election campaign. In fact, there were ONLY two candidates who had people walking my precinct--- Charlie Ross's representatives and Mitch Childre himself. And that was during the primary campaign.

Money in a campaign is fine. Speaking engagements are fine. But a candidate and his workers should walk door to door on some days. You may think that's a candidate's waste of time. But that is where he connects with the voters and finds out what they are thinking. I know Gov. Barbour did that for State Sen. Richard White (who lost). But very few candidates do that.

A candidate considering a run for office should get his organization together a year or more before he runs. He should have organizations in every county and in due time, in every precinct. That is time consuming, but that is one of the big keys to a successful campaign. County chairmen should have frequent meetings with the precinct workers. I found out walking precincts can be very effective if you have two people working a street. You may have a neighbor you are not crazy about and the other worker could visit him. Besides, the fellowship and exchange of information is much better with two people. These precinct people would report to the county chairman and let him know what is going on. With almost everybody having cell phones, that shouldn't be a problem.

Do you remember Mike Parker's unsuccessful run for Governor in 1999? The biggest complaint was not the money. The biggest complaint the GOP had very few grass roots workers to get out the vote. There was no enthusiasm for the candidate and getting workers was a pain in the rear. I read many an article about the GOP having very few volunteers to walk the precincts or phone to get out the vote. A lot of the GOP poo bahs were willing to give the big bucks to the candidate but would not walk the precincts or get friends to walk the precincts for Parker. He was heavily favored to defeat Lt. Governor Ronnie Musgrove. Instead, he lost by a very narrow margin.

Party organization is a new political animal in Mississippi. Until 1972, there was hardly anything called a Republican Party. County Party executive committees exist mainly to certify candidates running under their banner and raise bucks. The Rankin County GOP brags they raise $30000 to $40000 a year for candidates. That is very impressive. But how many of them are willing to walk the precincts to get out the vote? I have found out voters like that one-on-one contact. They are much more likely to vote for the candidate you walk for.

For a very effective Party Committee, there should be a committeeman and committeewoman from every precinct. In many Party Committees, many small areas are shut out and have no representation on the Committee. Not only does that create resentment in the area that has been shut out, it could mean that precinct may not be worked during the election campaign (Admittedly, it may be nearly impossible to find a person from that area.). Party caucuses in that precinct would elect the committeeman and committeewoman. The next week the newly elected precinct people would elect officers for the Party executive committee and delegates to the state Party convention.

Yes, there are 1899 precincts in the state. That would mean a potential 3798 Party workers throughout the state. That is one strong grass-roots organization. Having Party people give bucks to the Party is great. But isn't it time we brought back the people who walk the precincts and knock on the doors? Both parties would benefit by doing that. And maybe politics can get back to the grass roots as it used to be.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

My Take on the Nov. 6th Election Results

It's been a while before I posted. I was at a tax seminar last week and I've been playing catch up with the work in the office. Payroll tax deposits are due on the 15th of the month and sales tax reports are due on the 20th.

I was correct in seven of the eight statewide races. The only one where I was wrong was the MDAC Commissioner's race. I thought Rickey Cole would pull it out. I was wrong. I was surprised at the amount of votes Les Riley got in that race--about 7.55% of the total. In Rankin County, he got 11%. I figured a lot of conservative Republicans would vote for Riley and I was right. This is one race where Barbour's coattails pulled a Republican through to victory (Dr. Moo's 50.8% ain't a landslide.). Dr. Moo (Lester Spell) didn't deserve reelection, but the voters thought otherwise.

I was right in the PSC race and MDOT race. I wrote that the MDOT district was leaning Republican and the PSC district was leaning Democratic. A political maven (now deceased) told me the contradiction. People will vote Republican when it comes to management issues, which is what MDOT is. But people will vote populist, i.e. Democratic, when it comes to setting utility rates. I was right in my calls. (For the boob who commented on my last post, municipal election commissioners know NOTHING on the design of a state district. Municipal election commissioners deal with MUNICIPAL boundaries.)

Rudy Warnock blew the race for MDOT Commissioner with his negative ads in the last week of the campaign. He stated Dick Hall raised his salary and his pension (Untrue. The State Legislature does that.), spent millions to renovate the office building (Untrue. Again, the State Legislature appropriated the money.), and the helicopter (Hall gave an excellent rebuttal to that charge.). It was pretty bad mudslinging on Warnock's part and it cost him a lot of votes.

I have read many blogs giving the base vote for each party. Most of them have said the GOP has a rock-solid base of 40% and the Democrats 39%. These numbers come from the losing race of Shawn O'Hara (Democrat) and Al Hopkins (Republican). The numbers may be true on the Democratic side. But they are not true on the Republican side.

Let's take a statistic to lunch. Almost all of O'Hara's vote came from black voters. Tate Reeves, the incumbent Republican State Treasurer, received 15% to 18% of the black vote. The white vote went about 90% for Reeves. O'Hara spent just $1300 yet he received 39% of the vote! All he had to do was have a (D) after his name. He was considered a "kook" candidate with a reputation of advocating snow cone stands at rest stops. He was a joke. I predicted Reeves would get 73% to 77% of the vote. O'Hara's 39% shows how strong the base vote of the Democratic Party really is.

On the other hand, Al Hopkins was a credible candidate. He spent a lot of bucks and his advertising campaign was very good. He made a lot of strong valid points against Attorney General Jim Hood's trial attorney contributions. He was gaining strength as the election campaign went on. He got 40% of the vote.

But that is not the base Republican vote. To get that, we must go back to the 2003 Secretary of State's race. The Republican nominee, Julio Del Castillo, got 201765 votes or 23.47% of the total vote. Del Castillo was a total unknown who spent very little money (Believe it or not, he took DeSoto County by a landslide.). The winner, incumbent Eric Clark received 610461 votes or 71.02% (There was a Reform Party candidate.). Allocating the third party vote to both parties, the GOP base vote is about 25%. That is it. The reason is there is no guarantee white voters will vote Republican, but there is a very strong guarantee black voters will vote at least 82% Democratic (I'm talking about state office races. I know Sen. Thad Cochran gets a near-majority black vote when he runs.).

In the Governor's race, Haley Barbour hoped to get 20% of the black vote. From the numbers I can see, he got about 9% to 10% of the black vote. That is an improvement over the 6% he received in 2003. But that is nowhere near what he was hoping to get. What helped Barbour was a lower than expected black voter turnout. Barbour's vote was down 55301 from what it was in 2003. But the Democratic vote was down 110024. If the downturn was equal for both parties, Barbour would have received about 54% of the vote. None of the Republican candidates did well among black voters. The best was Tate Reeves' 15% to 18%. The GOP has a long way to go before blacks start pushing the (R) button.

So for 2011, we can conclude the base vote for the Democratic Party is 39% and the base vote for the GOP is 25%. Perhaps all of you out there in the blogosphere can give me a better analysis to what the base vote for each party is. I've spent some time analyzing the vote trying to come up with the base vote. But all of this may change when party registration comes to Mississippi. We'll see.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Goodman Fearless Forecast

Tomorrow is Election Day. I have followed the state races closer than I ever have before, thanks to the Internet and blogs such as and And unlike other races, I was heavily involved in some of the races. So, here is the Goodman Fearless Forecast.

Governor: Republican Haley Barbour will easily be reelected. Democrat John Arthur Eaves' campaign had much better advertising, but he never explained how he was going to pay for some of his programs. Barbour became a shoo-in because of his leadership prowess in dealing with Hurricane Katrina. Barbour will get 55%-58% of the vote.

Lt. Governor: Regrettably, Republican Dewey Bryant will be elected. It'll be closer than the Governor's race. Democrat Jamie Franks was a far better candidate, but he couldn't shake the "liberal" label. Plus, he never did hit hard on Bryant's liberal stands on the social issues. gave Franks plenty of ammunition. Bryant will get 54%-56% of the vote.

Secretary of State: Republican Delbert Hosemann will be elected. Democrat Robert Smith is against voter ID and cleaning up the corruption in many elections in this state while Hosemann is for voter ID. Also, Smith is very arrogant. Hosemann will get 53%-56% of the vote.

Treasurer: Republican Tate Reeves will easily defeat Democratic politikook Shawn O'Hara. This race will show the rock bottom Democratic base of the vote in a state race. Reeves will get 73%-77% of the vote.

Attorney General: Democratic incumbent Jim Hood will be reelected. Republican Al Hopkins is gaining strength but will fall short. He has made traction on hitting Hood's buddies getting juicy contracts and then contributing bucks to Hood's campaign. If Charlie Ross had run against Hood, Ross would have had a much better chance. Look for a Hood-Bryant contest for Governor in 2011. Hood will get 54%-58% of the vote.

State Auditor: Republican Stacey Pickering will be elected. Democrat Mike Sumrall is far more qualified for the post, but he does not have the money or name recognition Pickering has. But this race will be fairly close. Pickering, an ordained minister and a PR flack (Those are two fantastic qualifications for the post which deals with auditing and accounting.), will get 52%-54% of the vote.

MDAC Commissioner: Democrat Rickey Cole will be elected by the Democratic State House in January, but he will get a plurality of the vote. Constitution Party Candidate Leslie Riley is draining a lot of Republican incumbent Lester Spell's vote. In the past five days, I've had a lot of staunch Republicans tell me they'll never vote for Cole but the Beef Plant fiasco is preventing them for voting for Spell (In my office, the staunch Republicans are voting for Riley.). At first, I thought Riley would get about 1% of the vote. But I think he could get about ten percent of the vote. Cole will get 47%-48%, Spell 45%-47%, and Riley 5%-8% of the vote. I know of very few, if any Democrats voting for Riley. But believe me, I know a lot of Republicans who are voting for Riley.

Insurance Commissioner: Republican Mike Chaney will be elected. Democrat Gary Anderson will not win not because of the issues, but because he is black. There are still a lot of lame-brained idiots who won't vote for a black no matter what the circumstances, but they exist. And they are a lot more numerous than just a small fringe group. Chaney will get 51%-53% of the vote.

PSC Commissioner--Central: Democrat Lynn Posey will be elected. This is basically a Democratic district and Cochran held it only because of his name. Plus, Cochran was a excellent Commissioner. He was quick to return phone calls and was always friendly. Republican Charles Barbour has baggage because of his wife's financial shenanigans with FEMA contracts. And the Hinds County Board of Supervisors, which he is one of the members, is the biggest joke in the metro area. Posey will get 55%-58% of the vote.

MDOT Commissioner--Central: Republican Dick Hall will be reelected. He's a poor excuse of an MDOT Commissioner, but he is running in a Republican district. Democrat Rudy Warnock is a very attractive and well qualified candidate, but he will fall short. His negative ads on Hall have hurt him. Hall will get 52%-55% of the vote.

State Rep. Dist. 61: Republican incumbent Ray Rogers will be reelected. Democrat Ponto Downing is almost non-existent in this race. His campaign biography in the Voter's Guide talked more what he would do for Hinds County and Jackson than Pearl, which is 98% of the district. He forgets he lives in Pearl. Rogers will get 70%-75% of the vote.

As for the State Legislature, I talked to a Republican legislator (unopposed) and gave me some surprising predictions. This legislator is very conservative and was a Republican when Republicans could fit in a phone booth. He predicts the Republicans will lose seven Senate seats and will gain three to six House seats. He and I agreed on who would win the state races.

We'll see tomorrow night.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Lester Spell's Attack on Rickey Cole

I don't know if you received the colorful enlarged postcard from Lester Spell on Friday, but I did. It was a doozy. It pointed out Rickey Cole is a liberal Democrat who is not fit to be the MDAC Commissioner. According to the postcard, "Rickey Cole, too Slick for Agriculture," was emblazoned on it. It went on and on how Rickey Cole was some kind of flaming commie liberal while Lester Spell was more conservative than Ronald Reagan.

Let's look at the facts. It is true Cole was a Democratic Party delegate for Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004. As I recall, Cole was the Democratic Party chairman of the state in 2004. Wouldn't it make sense for him to be a delegate? The postcard also stated as a delegate to those conventions he supported "Democratic ideas" like abortion, gun control and higher taxes. Now unless you are a space alien who just landed in this state, Cole has ALWAYS been opposed to abortion and gun control. I have followed Cole's campaigns and I also never have known him to advocate higher taxes. Perhaps someone can show me contrary evidence. Indeed, I've listened to him on talk radio and he sounds quite conservative to me. And I am very conservative (Sometimes that puts me at odds with the GOP and President Bush's nutty spending programs.).

Now he has advocated raising taxes when he was the Democratic Party chair. But he was a spokesman for the party, not his own man. When I was on the RCREC for twelve years, I supported candidates I could not stand. Such are the vagaries of serving on a political party committee. Did Spell expect Cole to tell the state Democratic Party he was going to speak differently than what they wanted? I'll be the first to admit there are too many turkeys in the Democratic Party who advocate raising taxes, such as Rep. John Mayo in the Delta (This gobbler wants a 6% income tax bracket. Jerk.).

I'm confused by the postcard's statement "Rickey Cole led the charge to kick conservatives out of 'his' Democratic Party." Huh? As I recall, he wanted more conservatives in the Democratic Party. He was afraid the state Democratic Party would become so liberal it would be a constant loser. Actually, the purge started AFTER he stepped down as party chair. I'd like to see evidence Cole led the charge to expel conservatives out of the Democratic Party.

I will agree with the over sized postcard on one thing: It is correct when it states labor unions, the National Education Association and trial lawyers are the three best friends of the Democratic Party. And Cole has affirmed that. But he was stating fact. They ARE the three best friends of the Democratic Party.

But on no space on that postcard did it state Spell was once a Democrat. In fact, he was a staunch Democrat until the mess on the beef plant came out. Then--voila--he switched parties and now was a tub-thumping Republican. He had no qualms about running under the Democratic Party banner in 1995, 1999, and 2003. He sure thought highly of Rickey Cole in the 2003 campaign.

In fact, he cared as much for the GOP back in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s as my cats care about being near rocking chairs. He had no use for the GOP and he let that be known in county races when Rankin County was still Democratic (That changed with the 1991 elections.). He was a good ole boy Democrat and he thought Republicans were a little bit lower than a bullfrog's belly. In his city races for mayor of Richland, he ran as a Democrat. BUT TO SAVE HIS POLITICAL TUSH HE IS NOW A FIRE-BREATHING REPUBLICAN! What principle. What political courage.

In our office, all but one of us are Republicans (One bookkeeper is a Democrat.). ALL of us are voting for Rickey Cole and so are our acquaintances. In fact, my barber is a die-hard Republican. He said he was voting for only two Democrats--Mike Sumrall for State Auditor and Rickey Cole. He is well-known in the area and is politically astute. All of us think Spell is arrogant for not taking ANY responsibility for the failure of the beef plant.

As for the beef plant failure, wasn't there a goat farm failure too? Now maybe Cole is no flaming conservative like Spell. But since when is it "conservative" to waste taxpayer dollars on frivolous and idiotic projects? At least Cole knows SOMETHING about farming. Spell has been a veterinarian until he got into politics. What does HE KNOW about farming?

Let's do the state a great service on November 6th. Let's vote in an honorable man and a knowledgeable farmer for MDAC Commissioner. Let's all vote for Rickey Cole.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Barbour Versus Posey: What a Choice

Republican Charles Barbour is running against Democrat Lynn Posey for the PSC--Central District. I have never seen two sorrier candidates. It is not which one is the best, but which one is the least worse. Neither one of them is fit to walk in present Commissioner Nielsen Cochran's shoes. Nevertheless, you have to vote for one of them (or leave the ballot blank).

I'm voting for Posey for the following reasons:

1. Since I live in Pearl, I have followed the Hinds County Board of Supervisors meetings. I can tell you Barbour has been a poor supervisor. While it is true he has voted against tax increase twenty-three times, the financial management of Hinds County has been very poor. The only person who has any sense on that Board is Peggy Calhoun.
2. One Barbour is enough. I cannot stand family dynasties, no matter who it is (Barbour is Haley's nephew.). I'm voting for Haley Barbour. I just can't vote for another Barbour. (It's also a reason, but not THE reason, I'm not voting for Stacey Pickering for State Auditor.)
3. Barbour's wife Rosemary has gotten some sweetheart deals from FEMA and has gotten in hot water for financial improprieties. Maybe Charles Barbour had nothing to do with it, but he did benefit financially.
4. Lynn Posey is a populist. I'll bet you he'll give the utilities grief if they try to raise rates. Maybe Barbour will do likewise. But somehow I just don't trust him as much as I trust Posey.

I would have preferred Pearl Mayor Jimmy Foster, who was a far better candidate than Barbour. Also, he has managerial experience in running a city and getting along with the Board of Aldermen. But Foster did not have the money to run an effective campaign or the name recognition (A kitty cat with the name of "Barbour" could get a passel of votes.). So the GOP got stuck with Barbour.

Lynn Posey has been hit hard for voting to raise taxes 110 times. That is the main reason I'm reluctant to vote for him. But because of the above reasons, I think he'll do a much better job than Charles Barbour.

Hold your nose in the voting booth and vote for Lynn Posey.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

We Desperately Need Mike Sumrall for State Auditor

I watched Stacey Pickering's commercial for State Auditor. I am SO glad he has a loving wife and two children. And I was impressed by his narrative on what a great guy he is and how great he looked in that sofa. I am certain that qualifies him for the job as State Auditor.

I received a large postcard from the Mississippi GOP talking about the "Liberal Team Bus." On the bus was a picture of Mike Sumrall. Now the seventh reason why your vote should be counted (to vote GOP, obviously) is Mike Sumrall "admits he couldn't even pass the test to become a certified public accountant." Now that is ONE big reason.

First of all, I don't see where Stacey Pickering has ever taken the CPA exam. Secondly, Sumrall has vowed to take the exam if he is elected. In due time, I believe he will pass it.

Since I did pass the CPA exam (the November 1983 exam), I can tell you it is a very hard exam. Few people pass it the first time. You have to put in a lot of study and study a lot of material. When I took it, you were not even allowed to use a calculator. The exam proctors would give you two sheets of legal paper and that is where you could do your calculations. Just have some pencils and some erasers. One calculation error and you could lose a lot of points on a section of the exam.

But Sumrall DOES have the experience to do a good job as State Auditor. He knows what a good audit is. He will not have to have on-the-job training to figure out what constitutes a good audit. He has had more than twenty years working in the OSA's office and other areas of financial management.

What experience does Pickering have in accounting? Indeed, does he even KNOW the difference between a debit and credit? Has he ever taken an accounting course? What makes you think he's going to stay on as State Auditor once he's elected? You can rest assured he'll be looking for another elective post after four years. Debits and credits are not a turn on for someone trying to have a political career and move up the political ladder. Pickering, like the individual who currently holds the post, will make it a political kingdom for his own political ambitions. Thanks to the current State Auditor, the OSA actually got a failing grade by a peer group of nationwide auditors. Turnover is high and the PEER Committee gave the OSA a very poor grade. Do you want to continue that? If so, Pickering is your man. Pickering can talk about what he's going to do to improve the OSA, but don't swallow it. He won't know what to do in that job from Day One.

Mike Sumrall has vowed not to seek higher office if he is elected State Auditor. I believe him. He has great ideas on how to improve the office and make it the top-notch office it was under the days of W. Hamp King. He will not make it a political satrap for him, but a top-notch professional agency which all Mississippians can be proud of.

Take it from this CPA: Mike Sumrall is the ONLY choice for State Auditor.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jamie Franks' Last Chance--One Week Left

If I were to call the race today for Lt. Governor, I would predict Dewey Bryant would defeat Jamie Franks for the post. I have talked to people and the "liberal" label is beginning to take hold on Franks. Franks can deny the label all he wants, but it's perception--and not reality--that decides the election.

However, there is a week left in the campaign. And in politics, a week is an eternity. I have seen leads dissipate into deficits in just one week. You can look at state elections and Federal elections for such swings. So Franks still has time to turn it around and win.

Here is what Franks has to do:

1. Paint Bryant as a liberal. Remember, he ran as the liberal candidate for Rankin County Supervisor back in the 1988 special election.
2. For the interim vacancy on the Rankin County Board of Supervisors, he wrote a letter to then-Gov. Ray Mabus' office and stated he had always been a Democrat and he wanted the appointment. I found that out from one of Larry Swales' (The eventual winner of that race) top campaign aides.
3. Dewey Bryant started out as pro-abortion. I wrote on a previous post on how vehemently he was for a woman's "right to choose." But don't take my word for it. It was also reported he was pro-abortion in the Rankin County News of April 17, 1991. (No, I did not write a letter to the News or contact any of the reporters.)
4. He is AGAINST cutting taxes. After all, he is bitterly opposed to cutting the grocery tax on working people. Conservatives are always favoring tax cuts. Why not Dewey?

Franks has GOT to point all of this out to have a chance. If there is one issue that Mississippians feel strongly about, it is abortion. Now Dewey can talk about his pro-life credentials all he wants. But he became pro-life ONLY because he knew he would never get elected as a pro-abortion advocate. Franks has been pro-life from the start. If Franks pointed that out, Dewey's support would melt like a snowball on pavement in Key West, Fla. on a summer day.

Now Franks and his campaign staff may not think abortion is not that big of a deal. So I'll remind him about the 1991 Governor's race. Incumbent Governor Mabus was heavily favored to defeat Republican nominee Kirk Fordice. But I remember the bumper stickers that were on many a car that showed a fetus saying "Savus from Mabus." Everybody in politics knew Mabus was strongly pro-abortion. But he and his staff thought that wasn't a big deal.

The Sunday before the election there were flyers in many Baptist churches contrasting Mabus' pro-abortion stance versus Fordice's pro-life stance. On Election Day, Fordice stunned Mabus with a narrow victory. The margin was only by fifteen thousand votes. You can bet your sweet bippy the abortion issue was THE issue that defeated Mabus.

I analyzed the 1991 results versus the 1987 election results. In 1987, Mabus faced Democrat-turned-Republican Jack Reed. Mabus got 53% of the vote. In 1991, he got 49% of the vote. Mabus actually picked up black support in those four years and stayed the same in the white urban areas. It was the rural and the blue collar areas where Mabus lost heavily--in some cases losing more than 10% of the vote from his 1987 run. What was the reason? Mabus was perceived as liberal on abortion and that cost him reelection.

So Franks has a choice--go nuclear in the last week of the campaign or go down in flames. Right now, he is perceived as the liberal (His support of Kerry-Edwards in 2004 is hurting him.). But if he hits Dewey hard on the social issues and paint him as a flip-flopper who is pro-life to further his political career, he has a good chance of winning.

But the hour is getting late. What will Franks do?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Why We Need Jamie Franks for Lt. Governor

I have written many a blog ripping Dewey Bryant to shreds. But there is a positive reason for choosing Jamie Franks as Lt. Governor. And that is we need an independent voice in the Lt. Governor's position.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Gov. Haley Reeves Barbour will be reelected by a good margin--anywhere from ten to sixteen percentage points. I don't see an upset for Governor on November 6th. All the Republican candidates--except Delbert Hosemann--is running on being a workhorse for Haley. But I wonder if that's what Mississippi wants---or needs.

It is very rare when a Lt. Governor is a parrot for the Governor. I can't recall whenever a Lt. Governor has run for office saying he (or she) will be a "wing man" or parrot for the Governor. This is the first time I can recall a Lt. Governor candidate stating he'll be a parrot for the Governor. But Dewey has made it a priority he'll be a parrot for Haley.

Jamie Franks will tell Barbour when he is right and when he is wrong. He won't be a parrot for the Governor but an independent voice. He won't deliberately block Barbour's programs just because he is a Democrat. If it is good for the state, he will support Barbour. But on an issue such as the sales tax swap, he'll oppose Barbour. And I believe the voters want someone who will stand up for them and not just a political leader.

Dewey is boxed in. Don't believe him one bit when he says he'll oppose Barbour when he feels the Governor is wrong. Amy Tuck could oppose Barbour because she wasn't going anywhere politically. Her term expires in January 2008 and she couldn't run for reelection. What did she have to lose by opposing Barbour on the tax swap?

But Dewey has a lot to lose by opposing the Governor. Even though Barbour can't run for reelection in 2011, you can bet your sweet tushie he'll have a big say in who will be the GOP nominee. Dewey wants to be Governor so badly it's like watching a big coon dog looking at a juicy steak. If the GOP nominee in 2011 is elected, he'll run for reelection in 2015. Say Dewey is reelected in 2011, he'll be term-limited in 2015. He'll lose in a Republican primary against an incumbent GOP governor and if the governor is defeated for reelection because of the party split, Dewey will be hated for splitting the party. But what is Dewey to run for? After all, he's the Republican Bill Clinton (sans babes) who lives for politics and has no life other than politics and satisfying his big ego (and combing his coiffed hair).

Now Haley may be a good ole boy with that thick Southern drawl, but he is not a jerk. He is a political wizard. You piss off Haley and he'll give you the screws. He has the intelligence, the contacts, and the political genius. He can politically turn you into cow manure. If Dewey is to go anywhere in the GOP, he'll have to royally kiss Haley's tush or he's dead meat in 2011 if he should run for governor (He'll be one of the stupidest men ever to serve as governor if he is elected.). Haley holds grudges and he has a strong party machinery. Call Haley the Mayor Richard Daley of the Mississippi GOP. And Haley won't be fading away after he steps down as Governor. He'll still be a mover and shaker in GOP politics. So don't believe any of Dewey's horse manure he'll oppose Barbour if he needs to. If you believe he will, I have a gold mine in the back of my yard planted there by Martians I'd love to sell you.

If I wanted stupidity and a thoroughly gutless Lt. Governor who is vain, hot-headed, a liar and vindictive, I'd vote for Dewey Bryant.

I want a Lt. Governor who has brains, is honest, and has a political backbone. That is why I'm voting for Jamie Franks.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Dewey Bryant's Interwiew with the Clarion-Ledger: An Analysis

Based on his interview with the Clarion-Ledger, Dewey Bryant has shown the citizens of Mississippi he is not fit to be Lt. Governor. He is also either one of the stupidest people in politics or a pathological, habitual liar.

Jamie Franks stated back in 2002, Dewey knew the Mississippi Beef Plant's owner had forged invoices, yet he NEVER told lawmakers. Bryant also gave "glowing" reports about the beef plant project. How Jamie Franks found out Bryant knew about the forged invoices is not known. But Franks is an exceptionally intelligent man and digs deep for information when he needs it. Knowing Franks, I think he speaks with authority.

Lawmakers gave Bryant money in 2003 to assist the Land, Water and Timber Board in monitoring the plant. Now read Bryant's brilliant response: He wasn't sure the legislation gave him much legal authority.

Huh? Is this guy an absolute mental dullard? Does he believe space aliens exist on the planet Quandax? Why didn't he try to find out what legal authority he had? Why didn't he consult the state Attorney General (Mike Moore had been Attorney General for fifteen years. He knew the office and the legislation.) to find out what legal authority he had? If he needed more legal authority, why didn't he get with Republicans in the State Legislature, such as legal eagle State Senator Charlie Ross (who is very intelligent), and ask for more legal authority? I think it would have been a slam dunk for him to get more legal authority.

As we all know, the Beef Plant went big burp in 2004. The Office of State Auditor, which became a political satrap for Bryant, first discovered criminal activity in November 2004. Did you read that? NOVEMBER 2004!! Now my math tells me there was at least a two-year gap between Franks' accusation Bryant knew about the plant's owner forged invoices in 2002 and discovering criminal activity in November 2004. What was going on in that two-year gap? Stocking up on Dippedy-doo for his hair?

Bryant stated it was not his job to advise lawmakers on projects. Why not? True, State Reps. Billy McCoy, Tommy Reynolds and that buffoon Steve Holland might have told him to blow away. But as I recall, there are Republicans in the State Legislature. My State Representative and State Senator are Republicans. He couldn't have talked to them? There was his own State Senator and good friend Charlie Ross. He couldn't have told him? Even back in 2003 a good solid one-third of the State Legislature was Republican. He couldn't have met with the GOP caucuses and informed them?

Bryant also said a private firm wrote a tax swap tobacco-grocery sales tax was not feasible. He didn't cite the study or give any data. But the Stennis Institute of Government at MSU said it would work. I have given you the raw data on the swap and I'm convinced it would work. Maybe the private firm Bryant cites is imaginary. If not, don't we voters have a right to know so we can make an informed decision?

He also suggested hiring a private accounting firm to study the state's tax code. Is this a payoff to a CPA firm that has been the main recipient of audits from Dewey's office and perhaps some of his biggest campaign donors? Why just one firm? There are thousands of CPAs out there who could do an excellent job in analyzing the state tax code. (No, I'm not angling to serve on such a panel.) Why not appoint a smorgasbord of CPAs, such CPAs working in public accounting and some on the Mississippi State Tax Commission?

Finally, he says he will not be a "yes-man" to Gov. Barbour. Hahahahahahahahahaha!! If he gives Barbour the shaft, he's toast. If Dewey runs for another office, Barbour just might give him the royal screws. Unlike Dewey, Barbour is very intelligent and is a political mastermind. You can rest assured when Barbour tells Dewey to jump (so long as it doesn't mess with his coiffed hair), Dewey will ask "How high?" Anybody who thinks Dewey will be independent of the Governor has been smoking the wacky weed.

This November 6th, vote for a man who is intelligent, independent and hard-working. Please vote for Jamie Franks. The State of Mississippi can't afford someone as stupid as Dewey Bryant to be Lt. Governor.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rudy Warnock: Now More Than Ever

Have you driven over Highway 80 in Pearl during a rainy night? You are in for a real treat. You can't even see what lane you are in. Plus, the highway is as slick as glass. Just make certain you have excellent tires.

Last night, I had to work the church kitchen for a special dinner we had for some church members. When I drove to church I got in the turn lane to make a right-hand turn. I thought my car was going to roll over because of the uneven highway versus the turn lane. When I left about 9PM, you couldn't even see what lane you were in when you were headed west. Plus, the road was real slick.

You can thank MDOT Central Commissioner Richard "Tricky Dicky" Hall for this royal mess. There was nothing wrong with the highway. It needed a little patching but not much else. As I recall, it was just a couple of years ago the highway was repaved. I'll be the first to tell you it is a frequently driven highway. It is the main artery in Pearl. The highway is vitally important to the city's economic health. But if it's so vitally important for the highway to be repaved, why wasn't it done in the summer or late spring when the days were a lot longer? Plus, there was a dry spell where we weren't getting much rain. The highway would be repaved by now and we wouldn't be risking our lives on a real slick highway.

But why does it need to be repaved? In case you can't figure it out: IT'S AN ELECTION YEAR!!! All Trick Dicky cares about is getting re-elected. He may waste money and have poor timing of projects, but it doesn't matters. All that matters to Tricky Dicky is getting back in office by showing folks he cares about us and he's doing something about our roads. I always stand amazed how there's so much highway construction during an election year.

Rudy Warnock is an engineer and knows what he is doing. He has been responsible for building hundreds of miles of roads and bridges in the Central District. He can discuss transportation issues with any engineer at MDOT and know what they are talking about. He would look into why our jobs are sent out of state to other construction companies and not stay in our state. He'll be tight with a dollar and will spend our money wisely.

Warnock is also not interested in being a political potentate. Tricky Dicky has spent thousands of dollars of using a helicopter and office renovations (Why can't he drive over our roads like the rest of us?). Warnock also knows how to get along with people in all walks of life as a professional engineer. Hall has had major and fiery disagreements with other members of the MDOT Commission. Warnock will be a unifier rather than being a divider.

I know Rudy is a Democrat and that is poison to a lot of people. But we are electing an individual for a very important position that involves our safety and even our lives. Shouldn't we elect someone who knows what he is doing and can do a far better job than what is being done right now?

This November 6th, the decision is very simple. Vote for a man who has the knowledge and temperament to be an excellent MDOT Central Commissioner. That man is Rudy Warnock.

John Eaves' Campaign Has Lost Momentum

John Arthur Eaves' campaign was gaining some traction. He came up with some good proposals and he came across as sincere. He criticized some of Gov. Haley Barbour's programs and his handling of Hurricane Katrina's recovery efforts. He also criticized Barbour's relatives getting "sweetheart" contracts for recovery work. Eaves was behind, but his economic populism and conservative social stances was getting him some momentum.

Then came "The Bible" commercial. If there was any turning point in the campaign, it was that commercial. In the TV ad, Eaves is holding up a Bible and talking about the differences between Barbour and him. He went on how Barbour serves the powerful and the "moneychangers" while Eaves served the little people. He said he and Barbour were lawyers, but they used their legal expertise for totally different reasons. All that time, Eaves was clutching and prominently showing his Bible. To say the least, I thought the commercial was fit for the trash can. I'm a very fundamentalist Baptist, but I resent it when a shown Bible is used for political purposes. Mr. Eaves, have you no decency?

I was turned off by that commercial. However, I am not alone. I talked to folks in my Sunday School class plus some of my friends I saw at Wal-Mart where I shop. One person who was leaning towards Eaves switched to Barbour because of Eaves' using the Bible for political purposes. What turned him off was using the Bible to bash Barbour. This person has about six people in his family and they were all turned off by Eaves.

Eaves' criticism of Mike Espy was in poor taste. Admittedly, it was a body blow to the Eaves campaign, since the Espy name is big in black political circles and Eaves needs a near-unanimous black vote to have a chance to defeat Barbour. Now an endorsement is not going to swing a large amount of votes, but Espy's endorsement will give Barbour a little traction in the black community. Calling those Democrats who endorsed Barbour "moneychangers" and wondering what they would get in return was a cheap remark. (In all fairness, Barbour will not get 20% of the black vote. If he did, he would cream Eaves on Election Day. However, I do think he'll get more than the 5-6% he received in 2003. He could get as much as 12% of the vote. My guess is he'll get 8-10% of the vote.)

Maybe it's just me, but Eaves' TV commercials are getting more shrill and are basically Barbour-bashing narratives. Eaves should debate Barbour's health care proposals in his ads. He should state he would do all he could to pass the tobacco--grocery tax swap. Barbour's basically been running a positive campaign (I know he's knocked Eaves' suing the military, but he could really tear him apart for being a high-falutin' ambulance chaser.) stressing more jobs and his leadership during Hurricane Katrina.

In an earlier post, I predicted Eaves would get between 44-47% of the vote. Today, I think he would get between 41-44% of the vote. There are two weeks left and two weeks in politics is a political eternity. But Eaves has done one thing for me: He's solidified my vote for Barbour.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Delbert Hosemann for Secretary of State

It is rare when a race for lower state offices has such a great contrast. Usually, it is Tweedledee versus Tweedledum. But that is not the case for the Secretary of State's race. While I have been a very strong supporter of Secretary of State Eric Clark, perhaps one of the most honorable and decent men ever in Mississippi politics, he is not running for re-election. So the choice is between Republican Delbert Hosemann or Democrat Robert Smith.

I'm voting for Delbert Hosemann. I know him and I can tell you he is a fine person and is well-qualified for the post. He's been active in local affairs and has been active in a lot of charitable organizations. I have listened to him on talk radio (WJNT 1180 rocks!) and he is very well-informed on election matters.

The main issue this race has is a very sharp contrast on the matter of voter ID. Hosemann is for voter ID; Smith is against it. This may shock Smith, but there is voter fraud in this state. Has he ever heard of Noxubee's Democratic primary races? In Smith's home county of Rankin, there were MORE votes for the liquor referendum in 1980 than there was in the Presidential race. There was a lot of talk of voter fraud, but nothing was ever done.

In the Laurel Leader Call of October 7, 2007, Smith said voter ID would stop people from voting. He said he was most concerned about elderly people voting in 2008 due to possible re-registration due to party affiliation. In the Hattiesburg American of September 19, 2007, Smith also stated many older black Mississippians say providing voter identification is a reminder of the Civil Rights Era when the state used poll taxes to keep blacks from voting.

Delbert Hosemann has responded that he has encountered very little opposition to voter ID. In the Biloxi Sun Herald he has stated he would make certain nobody would be left out from voting. He said 97% of the people in the state have a driver's license. As for the other three percent, he would find some other form of identification for them. In the Laurel Leader Call of September 29, 2007, Hosemann said he would lead the fight to pass a state constitutional amendment voter ID program, which would ensure only citizens would vote.

Smith has also come up with a plan to bring all the circuit clerks and county election commissioners together and come up with a better plans and various plans to conduct elections. Newsflash Smith: HAVA (Help America Vote Act) throws cold water on such plans to conduct different modes of voting in various counties. You can't use lever machines and punch card machines. 492 people CANNOT be in charge of elections (82 circuit clerks and 410 election commissioners). You can't have different counties have different voting systems and performance levels. There is only one boss: The Secretary of State. If different counties have different voting systems, the Secretary of State can be hauled into Federal court for violating the equal protection clause. Has Smith even READ HAVA? When the county clerk messes up (and that has been known to happen), the citizens will be calling the Secretary of State's office--not the circuit clerk.

(I'm a municipal election commissioner and I can tell you that office has radically changed since HAVA took effect. Other than conducting elections (not primaries--only general elections), the municipal election commissioners don't do a thing. Before HAVA, we used to meet at least three times a year to clean up the voter rolls. Under HAVA, we can no longer do that.)

Smith has no plans for bringing Mississippi up to code with the Americans with Disabilities Act. He has gone on record saying we should have BOTH electronic and paper ballots for the voter to choose between. Is this guy NUTS? As an election commissioner, that would be total chaos. It is a recipe for disaster and total confusion. Does Rob Smith know ANYTHING about how an election is run? Is he ignorant or just plain stupid?

Smith is also not a friendly person. I have had people tell me he is cold and caustic when they dealt with him when he was in the State Senate. I've talked to him in the past and found him to be a cold, aloof individual. What happens when he has to deal with angry voters if he puts some of his nutty ideas into effect (If the Feds don't stop him.)? Is he going to flip them off?

Hosemann is intelligent, friendly, well-informed, witty and a very hard worker. I know he will do an excellent job and continue the great work Secretary of State Eric Clark has done.

The choice is so easy even a caveman can do it: Please vote for Republican Delbert Hoseman for Secretary of State on November 6th.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Three Stooges at WJTV---Channel 12

For a change, I am not writing on politics. Instead, I'm going to vent on the sheer stupidity of WJTV in Jackson, Miss. I have never seen a more callous station that treats the viewer like ignorant, dumb trash.

Last night(Wednesday, October 17) I was watching "Criminal Minds." It was a gripping episode of serial killers and the climax was coming to a head. The child had gone back to the foster home and shot somebody. At this time, Shemar Moore heard a shot and came out of the car to inspect. At that second, the show was interrupted by a weather bulletin. There was some tornadoes out of the metro area and they were reporting on it.

For fifty-five minutes Tony Mastro and Ken South went on and on about the stinking weather. They constantly repeated themselves. Unless you are the stupidest, most ignorant human being that ever walked the face of the earth, you understood what they were saying the first time they reported. They kept on and on with the same information. My opinion of Tony Mastro is unprintable. He talks to us on TV like we are a bunch of dumb, ignorant rednecks. He's from Rhode Island and he probably thinks the average Mississippian has the IQ of an iguana.

Then that Californian Linda Allen came on. She started running her mouth on what we should do during a tornado. I thought we heard the same malarkey from Ken South (at least he's a native Southerner). She was very patronizing when she talked about the interruption of the two best Wednesday night programs on network TV (I don't have cable or satellite.)--"Criminal Minds" and "CSI:New York." I found her tone insulting and she would have been better off not even coming on TV.

The regular programming came on to show the conclusion on "CSI:New York." But before that, we had to put up with five minutes of idiotic commercials. That added insult to injury. On the news, all we heard was the stinking weather. There was no sports at all. It was weather, weather, weather. It was like listening to a broken record.

In our office, the complaints about the rude interruption was loud and long. A lot of us felt cheated for they're butting in just as the climax was coming to a peak on "Criminal Minds." If they had to interrupt, couldn't they have waited for five minutes? Would that have been too much to ask?

I called WJTV twice. The lady was surprised I was fairly polite. She said the answering machine was piled with complaints. The language that was used was totally unprintable except in porn magazines. The phone was ringing off the hook in the morning with people complaining about the rude interruption. They were white-hot with anger. The lady said she had never heard of such loud complaining and had never had as many complaints.

I called near noon to see when they would show the programs. I told her it would be stupid to show them at 1AM. I suggested they show the programs at 7PM and 8PM on Saturday, since the station has latitude in showing repeats of crime programs. She said they had no intentions of showing the programs again. I was miffed. She did tell me the management had a meeting and they plan to do things differently.

I suggested they interrupt commercials and report the weather on the half hour and for the rest of the time just show a trailer at the bottom of the screen. I told her people in this state can read. I curtly informed her she should inform Linda Allen and Tony Mastro that Mississippians are educated and can read the English language. She chuckled but didn't comment.

These rude interruptions have got to come to an end. They have done this in the past and taken up as much as three hours running their mouths about some storm in Buttsville, Miss. They constantly repeat themselves like magpies in heat. I honestly believe the management at WJTV thinks we Mississippians are dumber than dog turds and they have to constantly repeat themselves. It is nauseating, disgusting and insulting. Whenever they have rescheduled the interrupted programs, it has been at 1AM or some other kook time. This is insulting and insensitive to the average viewer. Who is going to watch TV that hour or record it on a VCR? The management must think we don't have jobs and all we do is watch TV 24/7.

Linda Allen, Tony Mastro and Ken South are the Three Stooges of WJTV. All three of them sorely lack common sense and don't have the brains to come out of the rain. All three of them are insulting and very patronizing. I believe they honestly think we are dumber than dog turds and if it weren't for their enlightened reporting and knowledge we would never know anything about bad weather. If they are that stupid and insensitive, they should be immediately fired.

What happened from 8:53PM to 9:48PM was an insult to the average viewer. They should apologize. And if management had any brains (which they don't), they would fire the Three Stooges (Fat chance of that happening.).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Why I Will Vote For Haley Barbour

I'm no big fan of Haley Barbour and I think he represents the "Country Club" faction of the Mississippi GOP. Nevertheless, I plan to vote for him. I strongly believe he deserves another term as Governor. I disagree with his stand on the tobacco-grocery tax swap, but I respect his stand of not raising taxes.

I know there are still problems with the Hurricane Katrina Recovery. But he showed extraordinary leadership on August 29, 2005, when the hurricane hit. He was on top of the tragedy and he did a yeoman job in getting relief to the Gulf Coast. I don't like the slow recovery, but that's government for you---slow as molasses. His leadership was in strong contrast to Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blank-o and the New Orleans Mayor EmptyRay Noggin.

John Arthur Eaves, Jr. slams Barbour for his blind trust and getting money from his lobbying firm. That's a fair criticism. But what about Eaves? He's a trial lawyer who has made millions from the agony and tragedy of others. He gets fat contingency fees and sues at the drop of a hat if he thinks he can make a buck. I'm not crazy about lobbyists, but I have raw contempt for trial lawyers. I still remember years ago about some trial lawyer in another state suing McDonald's because some lady spilled hot coffee on herself while driving her auto.

Another strong criticism is his lack of knowledge of basic economics and accounting. In one of his ads (and they are very good ads), he accuses "Big Oil" (Why not "Big Law"?) of gouging consumers and the government does not do a thing. Perhaps he needs to understand a little accounting. Most oil companies use FIFO--First In First Out--inventory pricing. Let's say Exxon sells a barrel of oil for $100. Under FIFO, the cost of the oil would be the oldest inventory. So let's say the barrel cost $50. So, Exxon had made a profit of $50. But that is a fictitious profit because the replacement cost is $88 a barrel. In reality, oil profits are only 4.6% of revenue. The normal profit margin for all industries is 5.4%. And I'll bet it's a lot lower than the profit at Eaves' firm. Eaves strikes me as ignorant about economics and the free market. Barbour does know business and the marketplace. And his lobbying connections just might bring more industries and jobs to the state.

While I admire Eaves' fundamentalist Christian values and exhortations, I was turned off when he held up that big Bible and ripped into Barbour, talking about Eaves' serving the little people and Barbour serving the powerful. Yeah, lobbying firms are powerful. But what about those trial lawyer firms like Dicky Scruggs? They aren't powerful?

I also have doubts about Eaves' statement his proposal that every child be covered by health insurance. He said it won't raise the cost of medical care in this state. Where have I heard that before? Back in 1965 when Medicare was being debated, the liberals said Medicare would cost only $10 billion in 1990. In 1990. Medicare cost over $100 billion--ten times the projection! Do you honestly believe Eaves' plan won't raise medical costs? If you believe that, I strongly suggest you look at other plans in other states--especially Illinois. In EVERY case, health costs were much larger than originally projected.

Eaves also slammed Barbour for investing in Toyota and not investing in Mississippi companies. First of all, I don't have a problem with Toyota coming to Tupelo any more than Musgrove's bringing Nissan to Canton four years ago. After all, these are Mississippians working in those plants. I do tax returns for some of those employees and they get great benefits and wages. And the money is spent in Mississippi. Secondly, what Mississippi businesses would Eaves have the state "invest" in? What criteria will be used? We had a real turkey with that beef plant. Will we have more turkeys?

While Eaves has never said it, I get the gut feeling Eaves would have no qualms about a 6% personal income tax bracket. That idiot State Rep. John Mayo introduced that in the State House a session or two ago. I am bitterly opposed to raising the personal income tax. I have a gut feeling he'd raise the income tax to pay for his health programs.

There's only one candidate for Governor who can lead Mississippi forward and continue the progress we have made in the last four years--especially after the horrific effects of Hurricane Katrina. And that man is Republican Governor Haley R. Barbour.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Highway 80 Follies

Have you driven over Highway 80 in Pearl going from Kroger to Park Place Baptist Church? It looks nice, doesn't it? But why is Commissioner Tricky Dicky Hall spending all these bucks for a highway that does not need asphalting or even major repairs? Answer: IT'S AN ELECTION YEAR!!

My friends and I were travelling over the Interstate to get to the Rankin County Courthouse and we were talking about the major traffic tie ups on Highway 80 because of one lane being closed. Now I don't mind the highway being asphalted. I like nice highways. But what was wrong with it? It was still a very smooth drive. There were probably some minor repairs that needed to be done, but there was nothing major. In fact, from Airport Road for a mile east the road had just been paved just a couple of years ago. Head west on Highway 80 and get in the turn lane to enter Pemberton. Does your car dip a little? That's because the two westbound lanes are paved, but the turn lane isn't. I'll bet your shocks love the wear and tear. Thank Dicky Hall for that.

And yet, we Pearlites look at our streets and shake our heads. You'd have to see the potholes and major repairs that need to be done. Now I'll admit MDOT can't do anything about the city streets. But it would be great if MDOT could have transferred those funds to the city so we could get repairs to our streets rather than repaving Highway 80.

This is why we need to get rid of Tricky Dicky and replace him with Rudy Warnock. As a professional engineer, Warnock would know how to judiciously spend the money. He wouldn't waste money on election year projects to make himself look good. Perhaps he will endorse a plan to give cities more discretion on using funds to repair city streets. Dicky Hall is a politician. He just wants to get reelected so he can get a juicy pension. Warnock is an engineer and he doesn't need the bucks as MDOT Commissioner. He wants to better our roads and make driving a lot safer and smoother.

Just drive down Highway 80 in Pearl and you will see it is time for a change. It's time to elect Rudy Warnock.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Lt. Governor and the State Senate

Let us take the scenario that Dewey Bryant is elected (God forbid!!) Lt. Governor. He will have the power to appoint all the State Senate chairmen. Now he has made it perfectly clear he will appoint ONLY REPUBLICANS as committee chairmen. (Of course, he has flip-flopped on that issue. Please see for more info.)

Right as of this moment, the GOP controls the State Senate 27-25. If that holds up in the general election, Dewey can make all Republican appointments. He's a very partisan Republican and if the State Senate is GOP-controlled, making those appointments makes political sense. To the Republican victors belong the spoils.

But what if the Democrats take over the State Senate. I have a good friend who is a Republican State Senator (He is unopposed for re-election). He was a Republican when all the Republicans in the state could fit in a telephone booth. He knows his politics. He told me the GOP will lose four to six seats in the upper chamber. He even ticked off the Republican seats the Democrats could win. He would be absolutely stunned if the GOP maintained its majority. Now remember: This State Senator is a very strong conservative Republican.

Looking at a gain of six seats, the GOP would have 21 seats to the Democrats' 31. So now let's get this straight. There are 31 Democratic State Senators yet Dewey baby is going to appoint all Republicans to chairmanships? Huh? Are Martians going to dig up all that gold in my back yard?

Here is what could happen (and my Republican friend doesn't think it'll happen, but he doesn't discount the possibility). The Democrats are so pissed off they tell Dewey to kiss their grits and refuse to accept his appointments. (It would be interesting to see how blacks would like being shut out of the legislative process. Remember: State politics in Mississippi has gotten a lot more polarized in the past few years. And there is bitterness in both parties.) So they decide to caucus and say they are rejecting his appointments and vote on a straight-party line vote to reject Dewey's choices. The Democrats may throw a bone or two to some Republicans, but essentially they'll control the legislative process. Dewey will just preside over the State Senate, but the Democrats will just flip Dewey the well-deserved bird.

There is a possibility of the reverse: Jamie Franks being elected and a Republican State Senate. But Franks is wise enough he can't be a die-hard partisan. He said he would make appointments that would "reflect Mississippi." He would appoint Democrats, Republicans, whites and blacks to committee chairs even if the Democrats took control of the State Senate. And he would defuse some of the partisan bickering that has affected the State Legislature.

Dewey has painted himself in a real corner (I keep telling you this guy is an empty suit and is dumb as a brick. I know the guy.). If he keeps his word and appoint only Republicans to committee chairs, he will piss off the probable Democratic Senate and there could be a partisan revolt against him (Just what Haley needs to get his programs through. Dewey won't be Haley's "wing man". He'll be Haley's dodo.). On the other hand, if he flip flops (Surprise!) and appoints chairmen that "reflect Mississippi" (i.e., appoint blacks and white Democrats), he'll piss off the red-meat Republicans whom he will need when he runs for governor in 2011 or re-election as Lt. Governor.

Believe me, Jamie Franks would do a much better job than Dewey. He would keep the waters of the State Senate smoothly flowing. With Bryant, there would be constant turbulence. But if Dewey were elected, it would be a raucous four years. There would be no dull moments with that empty suit and pretty boy being Lt. Governor (Just make sure he has plenty of Dippedy Doo for his gorgeous hair that is coiffed at Monique's.).

1995 Redux?

In 1995, there was no doubt Republican Governor Kirk Fordice was going to win by a landslide. The big question is how many Republicans he would sweep into office with him. Then-Republican Chairman Billy Powell predicted good-sized Republican gains. Indeed, there was even talk of the GOP taking over the State Senate. The Republicans already had the Lt. Governor's post and there was talk of the GOP winning the Secretary of State's, Treasurer's and MDAC Commissioner's posts. Democrats were depressed and were bracing for the worst.

Election Day turned out to be a lot different. Kirk Fordice was re-elected with 55.9% of the voted. He was the ONLY Republican to win a statewide post. Republican incumbent Lt. Governor Eddie Briggs went down to defeat to Ronnie Musgrove. Republican candidates for Secretary of State, Treasurer and MDAC Commissioner got no better than 39% (You read right.) of the vote. As for those big GOP legislative gains, Republicans actually lost seats in the State Senate but gained some in the House. Billy Powell hurt GOP hopes by calling Democratic conservatives "liberals", a charge that badly backfired.

So now it's 2007 and we are getting the same rhetoric again. I do believe incumbent Republican Gov. Haley Barbour will be re-elected. But unless he diverts some of his money to Republicans running for the State Legislature, he won't have any coattail effects. A lot of Republicans (and Democrats as well) think a governor has coattail effects. He doesn't. Fordice had none. Musgrove sure didn't have any.

Let's look at the math. Barbour will get 54%-58% of the vote. Usually, a candidate has to win with at least 60% to have coattails. As of today, I can't see Barbour getting 60% of the vote. If Eaves gets below 40%, that means his support among white voters is very weak. I think he'll get at least 20% of the white vote. If he can't get that, he ought to drop out of running for statewide office in the future or come up with a new campaign theme if he does run.

But Mississippians are very independent in their voting. Party labels don't excite the average voters. Unless you are a party activist, party labels don't turn you on in statewide or Legislative races. With the exception of the Treasurer's race (where politikook Shawn O'Hara is running his umpteenth race), the Democrats have a strong ticket. On the social issues, not one of them can be painted with the liberal paintbrush.

It is very conceivable on Election Day the GOP could win only two statewide offices, Governor Barbour and State Treasurer Tate Reeves. Jamie Franks should get the same base vote as Eaves (44%, as I wrote in a previous blog) plus more. Franks is bleeding Dewey Bryant with the cigarette tax-grocery tax swap. (And don't believe Dewey's polls showing him more than twenty points ahead of Franks. That means Franks is getting about 9%-12% of the white vote. I believe my cat Bueller is a Martian if Franks is that bad with white voters.). Attorney General Jim Hood will win with about 62% of the vote (I plan to vote for Hopkins because I think Hood is a lapdog for trial lawyers.). MDAC Commissioner candidate Rickey Cole has an excellent chance of winning (Les Riley of the Constitution Party will get a couple of thousand of votes.) against Dr. Moo (Lester Spell). State Auditor candidate Mike Sumrall is a very strong candidate and may win if he can convince the majority of voters the state needs an auditor and not a politician for the post. I do not think Rob Smith will defeat Delbert (Eggbert?) Hosemann for Secretary of State. Hosemann will win with 55%-59% of the vote (I plan to vote for Hosemann. I cannot stand Rob Smith and his aloof arrogance.). And I believe Gary Anderson will run a good race for Insurance Commissioner but will lose to Mike Chaney (Unfortunately, Anderson will lose because race is still an issue with the dumber parts of the voting electorate. Those turkeys will never vote for a black. I'm voting for Chaney because Anderson is too closely tied to Dicky Scruggs, a notorious trial lawyer who has given Anderson big bucks. Yeah, I know Chaney has gotten insurance money. But I just can't stand trial lawyers.).

But none of the Democrats other than O'Hara are poor candidates. I don't see how Barbour can help them. As for the Legislative races, the GOP will lose control of the State Senate. I talked to a Republican State Senator who is a political animal and a Republican when Republicans caucused in a phone booth. He thinks the GOP will lose four to six seats in the upper body. As for the State House, he thinks the GOP will gain five or so seats. Again, just like 1995.

I could be wrong. Maybe the GOP will sweep everything in sight and they not only keep control of the State Senate but take control of the State House. And maybe my cat Bueller will become a CPA and help me during tax season.

Monday, September 24, 2007

My Favorite Blogs

I do have some favorite blogs for the 2007 Mississippi elections and I heartily recommend them to you. I have reviewed a lot of blogs and there are some that are outstanding. So here I go.

The best by far is I really do believe it is the number one political blog in Mississippi. While I do not agree with John Leek on many issues, I bow down to his excellent reporting. He broke two stories that the mainstream media (MSM) did not report until much later--Dewey Bryant's hitting Jamie Franks' truck and Les Riley being re-placed on the ballot for MDAC Commissioner. John also has the courage to put his name on the blog instead of being anonymous. I predict this blog will be the leading political blog in Mississippi in due time. If you want hard-hitting reporting and editorials, this is the blog to bookmark. It is a populist Democratic blog, but at least you know where John stands. I check it at least four times a day.

Another blog that is fantastic is I have laughed my tush off reading this blog. It is written by Hammer of Logic. Hammer not only is a great reporter, but he has a rollicking sense of humor. His poem on Dewey's billboards is a classic. I wish he would write every day. Believe me, this is one of the funniest and yet most incisive blogs I have ever read on Dewey Bryant. If Franks is elected Lt. Governor, you can give some of the credit to Hammer of Logic.

If you want die-hard Democratic partisanship, read The blog is very good, but it is Democratic all the way. I read it for a different point of view, since most of the candidates I'm supporting are Republican. But I respect good reporting when I see it. Yallerdog is very good at reporting the Democratic side. is a very good blog and staunchly Republican. Britt Kittredge is excellent and does a very good job of reporting. I wish he would blog a lot more. He does an excellent job in reporting the Republican and conservative points of view. Like me, he does not blog on Sundays because of church. I respect that a lot. is another Republican blog. He does a good job of reporting and even quotes those whom he disagrees with. My only complaint is that he doesn't blog enough. But when he does, it is worth a good read. is a good left-libertarian blog. Tom Head is excellent in analyzing the candidates and their platforms. I strongly disagree with his blog on the social issues, but he adeptly defends his stands. I can disagree with a person and still strongly respect the individual. I recommend this blog just because of Head's excellent analyses of the candidates. is an anti-Franks blog. But he also writes on other candidates and issues. He is conservative. I strongly disagree with him about Franks. If he met Dewey Bryant, he'd be gung-ho for Franks. But this blog is excellent in reporting and it has a great sense of humor.

There are only two excellent websites on Mississippi politics. is perhaps the best of them all. They give the links to all the major political news reports of the day. For sheer excellent reporting, it is tops. The only thing I regret is there hasn't been a political report issued since February 26th. I check in to the website at least twice a day. reports the same news as Magnoliareport. But it also allows for commentary. It makes the website unwieldy and hard to navigate. Alan Lange writes good editorials but he is a partisan Republican. I'd like to see a tad more objectivity. A lot of the commentary by other commentarians leaves much to be desired.

These are the blogs I will look at throughout the campaign. While I may disagree or agree with them on the candidates and issues, they are all very informative. They are all worth a good read.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Commercial Franks Should Run on TV

There is no doubt Franks can win on the issues, especially the sales-tax-on-groceries issue. Here is a TV commercial I would love to see.

On the TV are the large cedar doors of a fashionable country club. The narrator intones:

"These are the doors of a very fashionable country club. After a tough morning of playing polo, eating filet mignon and lobster for lunch and drinking Chivas Regal, Phil Bryant is meeting with his country club buddies and rich campaign donors. They are discussing the big income tax cuts Phil is going to propose for them and opposing the sales tax cut on groceries for us little people. Phil doesn't care about us. Elimination of the grocery sales tax would give us more money so we could buy school supplies and clothes for our children.
"We working people can't get in a country club. We're too busy working for a living. That's why we're backing Jamie Franks. Our kind of man. Our kind of Lt. Governor."

Please vote for Jamie Franks. One of the working people for all of us working people.

Just a thought. But I think it would be a very effective ad. I've been in campaigns before and even managed (winning) one.

Questions Jamie Franks Should Ask Dewey

Jamie Franks can't defeat Dewey Bryant on looks or rhetoric. Dewey (I'm going to call him that rather than Phil, since Dewey seems more appropriate for him--real prissy.) is a very good stump speaker and he is a dandy in the looks department. It's hard to compete against a blow-dried candidate.

However, Franks can defeat Dewey on the issues. If I were Jamie Franks (and he hasn't asked me for any advice), here are the questions I would ask Dewey:

1. Most Mississippians want elected officials who will support the Governor when he is right, but object when he is wrong. You stated you would be Gov. Haley Barbour's "wing man" and be a slavish follower of Barbour. Is there anything you disagree on issues with Barbour?

2. Polls show 80% of Mississippians are in favor of raising the tobacco tax and lowering or eliminating the sales tax on groceries. Why are you opposed to it, even though studies have shown it would not cost municipalities any funding?

3. You stated you wanted to lower income taxes. Just what are your specifics on lowering income taxes?

4. In your race for State Auditor in 1999, you stated you wanted to eliminate some of the smaller counties in Mississippi and "consolidate" them. Could you please be more specific?

5. You stated just before the Republican primary you would appoint ONLY Republicans to head all the committees in the State Senate. Now just a few days ago you may not appoint all Republicans as chairman. I have always said I would appoint chairman that would reflect Mississippi. Just what is it, Dewey? Have you flip-flopped again?

6. The State Auditor's office could have put a stop to the wild spending for the failed Beef Plant, but it didn't. The fiasco cost the state $55 million. Why didn't you put a stop to this boondoggle?

7. You want to be second in command to run the state, but your office has been highly criticized by PEER for poor and incomplete audits. Turnover has been over 85% during your administration. The NSAA audit on your office has for the first time ever given the OSA failing marks. The NSAA wrote the quality of state audits is terrible. Can we really trust you to effectively run the office of Lt. Governor?

8. You state you are a conservative. But when you ran for Rankin County supervisor in 1988 you were considered the most liberal candidate. You were once in FAVOR of abortion. The Miss. Right to Life and National Rifle Association organizations endorsed your opponent in the primary. Why are you NOW conservative?

9. You state to religious leaders you are bitterly opposed to gambling. But on the Gulf Coast you stated you are a strong supporter of gambling. Indeed, you have taken contributions from the Band of Choctaw Indians. Dewey, just where do you stand on the issue? Or are you flip-flopping again?

10. As you know, Hurricane Katrina was one of the biggest natural disasters to hit this state in its history. Yet your office failed to properly audit the dollars that were spent on recovery efforts. Instead, much of the money was spent on pet boardings, limousines, gym passes, first class air transportation and other amenities for Reznik (a group hired by Dewey to oversee Katrina money). Why did you allow a company to steal from Katrina victims on your watch?

11. For years, you never said a word about illegal immigration. Not a peep. Now you are gung-ho in bashing illegal immigration. Why the sudden change?

If I were Jamie, don't expect any answers. Dewey is an empty suit and is one of the stupidest men ever to run for Lt. Governor. But if Dewey ever has the guts to debate Jamie, those are the questions I would ask Pretty Boy.

Good luck, Jamie.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Math of Barbour versus Eaves

Right now, many people think Republican Gov. Haley Barbour will win by a towering landslide over Democratic challenger John Arthur Eaves, Jr. On the, I read one comment stating Eaves would "be lucky to break 40%."

As we say in the accounting profession: Take a statistic to lunch. So I did some number-crunching. I do believe Barbour is ahead and will likely win. But if I were the Barbour enthusiasts, I would not be too overconfident. It may be a lot closer than you think.

I have reviewed the voting statistics in Mississippi elections from 1975 through 2003 in state elections. The voting breakdown is 68% white and 32% black. True, these statistics are not always the same in every election, but that is about the average.

So let's see how this breaks down in the Governor's race. Eaves will get 95% of the black vote. I hear every election (except for Fordice) where the GOP nominee will get 10-15% of the black vote. Barbour thinks he'll get that percentage of the black vote. I believe, at the maximum, Barbour will get 8% of the black vote. So, Eaves will have a 30.4% base (32% times 95%) to work with.

Now we get to the white vote. Eaves will get at least 20% of the white vote. NO Democratic white candidate for state office has ever gotten below 20% of the white vote. Dick Molpus in 1995 got about 20% of the white vote, the lowest percentage of the white vote for a Democratic gubernatorial nominee. So, Eaves has another 13.6% added to the base (68% times 20%). That gives him 44% of the vote. (For Eaves to get below 40% of the state vote he'd have to get 14% of the white vote. My cat Bueller could do better than that.)

If Eaves is going to win, he must get 28.9% of the white vote. That is not as easy as you think. The suburban and urban white vote will go 85% to 95% for Barbour. Eaves will do poorly in the Reservoir, Crossgates and Castlewoods areas of Rankin County. And he will get creamed in DeSoto County.

But the crucial vote will be what I call the "blurals". This is a combination of the white rural and/or blue-collar workers. They are very conservative on social issues but liberal to populist on economic issues. Eaves must do well with these voters to even have a chance to win. It is hard to determine the percentage of the vote this group makes (For example: Bankers, lawyers, CPAs and engineers could live in the rural areas.).

Can he do it? His ads are heavily laced with fundamentalist Christian overtones. One ad has him saying, "Jesus healed the sick" in reference to universal health insurance for children. Another one has him talking about the "moneychangers." Another ad talks about his opposition to abortion, homosexual marriage and supporting prayer and Bible study in the schools. While this may turn off some economic conservatives, it is strongly appealing to the blurals. I've talked to a lot of the blurals. While most of them are voting for Barbour, the Eaves ads are very appealing to them and it is possible for them to change their minds. I plan to vote for Barbour. But as a very fundamentalist Baptist, I like Eaves' ads a lot better than Barbour's. Indeed, if I were voting just on my religious beliefs alone, I would definitely vote for Eaves. (I can't help but notice the bitter irony. It is a Democrat that is running a Christian Right campaign and a Republican running a secular, economic-based issues campaign. This is like having a Baptist preacher having Wild Turkey with his Sunday dinner.)

It is early in the campaign and it is hard to tell what will happen between now and November 6th. But if I were the Barbour people, I wouldn't get too cocky or overconfident. Eaves will not be a pushover. As of today, my prediction is Eaves would get 44% to 47% of the vote.

As I always say: Take a statistic to lunch.