This race promises to be a really interesting race. Democratic candidate Rickey Cole is running against Republican incumbent Lester Spell (hereafter referred to as "Dr. Moo") for State Commissioner of Agriculture.
Dr. Moo is a great veterinarian. If you have a sick animal he is the man to see (I wonder if he takes care of cats? I have five of them, one being stone deaf.). I've had people tell me he is kind to animals and treats them with loving care.
But Dr. Moo was never a farmer. He's a veterinarian and grew berries. He spent quite a few years being mayor of Richland. He's a nice guy and a really pleasant person. He never knew what it was like to spend your life growing cattle or grains.
Dr. Moo, however, suffers from arrogance. He absolutely refuses to apologize for the Beef Plant fiasco. Not once. $55 million down the drain and he can't even utter a simple apology. He can't even say he was wrong. At most, he calls it a "mistake". How noble of him. That money thrown away on that Beef Plant could have built FIVE burn centers in this state. As of today, this state does not have ONE burn center in the state. If you have severe burns, you'll have to go to Louisiana.
I also didn't care for his party-switching. For years in Rankin County, he was a leading Democrat. Oh, I know the mantra he gave: I'm a Democrat but vote Republican in Federal elections. But not once did he ever do anything for the GOP. But once the Beef Plant fiasco came to light and the fallout hurt him, he suddenly switched to the GOP. Yup, he used all that Democratic money to get reelected in 2003 but now he was a real rootin' tootin' Republican. He knew he was dead meat (no pun intended) in the Democratic Party and decided to switch to the GOP. Explaining his switch, he stated he agreed with the GOP on fiscal issues. If that's so, what was the big issue that made him switch? (Crickets chirping.)
Rickey Cole is a REAL farmer. Plus, he is one great speaker. The Beef Plant fiasco is well-known. But he hit Dr. Moo's claim the MDAC conducted 4500 supermarket inspections in 2006. That sounds great, but there are only ten inspectors in the MDAC. There's no way that can happen. And with all the food and pet food imports from Red China being tainted, don't we deserve better than that?
Unlike Dr. Moo, Rickey Cole doesn't pretend to know everything about agriculture. But he plans to appoint people who can do their jobs and give him excellent advice. If Rickey Cole had been MDAC Commissioner this Beef Plant fiasco would never have happened. The MSU study showed the cull cattle beef plant would be a disaster. Do you think Spell listened? NO!!!! He approved it because it was politics through and through. He wanted to curry favor with House Speaker Billy McCoy, State Rep. Tommy Reynolds and the biggest buffoon the Mississippi State Legislature has seen in my lifetime, State Rep. Steve Holland.
Rickey Cole is one of the "little people" who knows what it is like to WORK for a living. He actually farms and puts in a lot of time farming. This is not some hobby for him. He knows what it is like to be a farmer and hence, small business. He'll promote small business and help them grow and prosper. Having Nissan and Toyota plants are great, but we have to eat. He'll help the small farmer and the small businessman.
I met Rickey Cole years ago and tell you he is a humble and kind person. He also has a lot of common sense. This is why Mississippi must elect Rickey Cole as MDAC Commissioner.
And that's no bull.