Thursday, July 18, 2013

Graham says county will not pay for primary elections.

Hinds County Supervisor Robert Graham told the Hinds County Republican and Democrat parties the county will not pay for primaries for the supervisor special elections for Districts 2 and 4 in November. Both parties recently announced they will hold primaries and runoffs for the two elections to replace Phil Fisher and the late Doug Anderson. The letters are posted below.

Mr. Graham informed Chairmen Pete Perry and Jacquie Amos in two letters that the county had no money to fund the primaries. Mr. Graham wrote:

"regardless of what the cost may be, a primary election and possible run-off still comes at a time where it would not be prudent for Hinds County to impose such a burden upon its taxpayers. While you are correct in implying that the Board is fiscally responsible for election costs, the Board is also limited from exceeding its budgetary estimates. As there is not an estimate for primary election expenditures contained in this year's budget and we are nearing the close of the Board's fiscal year, it would not be a (are you ready for this?) sound financial decision for the Board to finance a primary election at this timme, nor would it be allowed pursuant to Mississippi Code Section 19-11-15*. As for the county reserve funds, the Board has no plans to access those funds for a primary election as they have been dedicated to cover other unforseen expenses that the Board has had to shoulder this year."


Update: Pete Perry, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Hinds County Republican Party, made the following comment below. I moved it into the post itself:

"Minor correction, KF. The letter was sent to Ms. Norris, and supposedly cc'd to me. But thus far, I have not received this letter.

That aside, Mr. Graham evidently thinks he is the Election Commission of Hinds County as well as the President of the Board of Supervisors. It is not in his purview to decide such things as whether there is time available to train pollworkers, etc. It is convenient that he decides that there is not money available for these legally mandated expenditures, while he continues to waste money spending on things that he chooses, outside all required purchasing requirements of MS statutes.

You properly state MS Code 19-11-1 that provides an exception to the "budgeted limits" for elections, a matter Mr. Graham conveniently overlooks. While I truly hope we can hold the costs of these primaries to a minimum while still complying with all the requirements of the MS Election Code, in the end, the primary election costs will be paid by the county.

Maybe Mr. Graham could find the money available to pay these unbudgeted costs by stopping the fraud, waste and abuse in other areas - for example, the unbid contracts to his buddies at Airwaves."


Kingfish note: Mississippi Code Section 23-15-301 states:

"All the expenses of printing the tickets or primary election ballots, for necessary stationery, and for paying the managers, clerks and returning officer of every primary election authorized by this chapter held in any county shall be paid by the board of supervisors of such county out of the general funds of the county, but such officers of primary elections shall receive only such compensation as is authorized by Section 23-15-227 to be paid managers, clerks and returning officer for like services in holding elections thereunder. However, this section shall not apply to the expenses of a primary election held by any political party which at either of the last two (2) preceding general elections for the office of Governor or either of the last two (2) preceding national elections for President of the United States did not vote as many as twenty percent (20%) of the total vote cast in the entire state."

Just food for thought.

*Code section: "The board of supervisors of each and every county of the state shall at all times keep within the sum named in its said budget and within the annual revenue, always seeking to lessen expenditure instead of exceeding revenue and budget estimates. The amount appropriated and authorized to be expended for any item contained in such budget must not exceed the amount actually estimated for such item, and the total amount appropriated and authorized to be expended from any fund, except for capital outlay, election expenses and payment of emergency warrants and interest thereon, or for extraordinary court expenses, shall not exceed the total amount actually estimated for all purposes. The total expenditures authorized to be made from any fund shall exclude reserves added thereto, and the total shall not, in any event, exceed the aggregate of the cash balance, excluding reserves, in such funds at the close of the fiscal year immediately preceding, plus the amount of estimated revenues to accrue to such fund, as determined and fixed in the manner herein provided, and the amount which may be raised for such fund by a lawful tax levy during the current fiscal year."


13 comments:

Pete Perry said...

Minor correction, KF. The letter was sent to Ms. Norris, and supposedly cc'd to me. But thus far, I have not received this letter.

That aside, Mr. Graham evidently thinks he is the Election Commission of Hinds County as well as the President of the Board of Supervisors. It is not in his purview to decide such things as whether there is time available to train pollworkers, etc. It is convenient that he decides that there is not money available for these legally mandated expenditures, while he continues to waste money spending on things that he chooses, outside all required purchasing requirements of MS statutes.

You properly state MS Code 19-11-1 that provides an exception to the "budgeted limits" for elections, a matter Mr. Graham conveniently overlooks. While I truly hope we can hold the costs of these primaries to a minimum while still complying with all the requirements of the MS Election Code, in the end, the primary election costs will be paid by the county.

Maybe Mr. Graham could find the money available to pay these unbudgeted costs by stopping the fraud, waste and abuse in other areas - for example, the unbid contracts to his buddies at Airwaves.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe Mr. Graham could find the money available to pay these unbudgeted costs by stopping the fraud, waste and abuse in other areas - for example, the unbid contracts to his buddies at Airwaves. "

And where is Stacey Pickering?

Anonymous said...

What's up with that clause in the law that addresses how many people voted in the past two presidential elections?

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Graham, they shouldn't be having primaries in the first place. What a waste of time and money. Just have a general election and be done with it. The Dems are the ones that wanted the primaries, let them pay for it out of their pocket.

Anonymous said...

Robert Graham and Kenny Stokes think if they refuse to pay for the general election in November that the Democratics and Republicans will cancel the primaries and then they can keep their hand picked buddies in there. Crooked politics as usual for Stokes and Graham.

Anonymous said...

"Robert Graham and Kenny Stokes think"

Uh, 10:54, your fundamental assumption/statement in your post above is a serious mistake, flaw, is incorrect, those two, whatever they are, I suppose I am obligated to call them people, those two people are not at all capable of being able in any way to "think". Sorry, had to point this out.

Anonymous said...

I think that the Republican Party will find a way to have primaries..much to the dismay of 4 supervisors...

Anonymous said...

I know what dat book say, I can read! But, dat ain't how we do things 'round heah.

Anonymous said...

Ideally nobody else will sign up to run against Greer and the GOP can sit back and watch the fireworks during the democratic primary.

Anonymous said...

12:48, that would be ideal. Hope your dream comes true!

Anonymous said...

Nominate the comment @ July 18, 2013 at 10:05 AM as one of JJ's most naive of 2013.

Watchin' From Over Here said...

Please follow this closely. Will it turn out that Graham actually DOES control politics in the county? Surely he doesn't have that much sense. He appears rather moronic on television.

Anonymous said...

hey 6:44, it's not just an appearance. He's a true moron and a legend in his own mind.

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