Friday, November 6, 2015

The wheels of Cindy

It appears other state officials have used campaign donations to purchase vehicles.  Mississippi Department of Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith's campaign apparently purchased a Dodge Charger in 2014.

The January 2015 campaign finance report states that the campaign purchased the Charger in January 2014 from Roundtree Dodge in Jackson for  $24,255.  The car sits in the Commissioner's parking spot on a regular basis. 

 JJ's attempts to contact Ms. Hyde-Smith were unsuccessful.

Kingfish note: If the Clarion-Ledger is going to report on one state official purchasing a car with campaign funds, then it should report on the rest of of them as well.


Anonymous said...

I've been trying to figure out why her campaign ads are still running.

I hope she's paying more attention to how state funds are spent.

Anonymous said...

I could understand a pony, or even a small horse or mule. But a car???

400HP said...

I had a relative who worked for the State Auditor's office. When he retired he told me the staff there were allowed to purchase Police Interceptor Crown Vics at state purchase price. And this continued after his retirement, when he bought a new one.

I'm sure Hyde-Smith has this same benefit. And the radio-rigging is done by state employees. If it is NOT her personal vehicle, state law requires that it be marked on the rocker panel and rear trunk.

John Dough said...

From MS Code 25-1-87:

"All motor vehicles owned or leased by the State of Mississippi or any agency, department ... when such agency or department ... is supported wholly or in part by public taxes or by appropriations from public funds, shall have painted on both sides in letters at least three (3) inches in height, and on the rear in letters not less than one and one-half (1 1/2) inches in height, the name of the state agency or department...

Where does it say rocker panel and trunk? It reads sides and rear. It can be on the doors and bumper, or wherever.

Also just FYI, "State-owned or leased motor vehicles operated by the Agricultural and Livestock Theft Bureau of the Department of Agriculture and Commerce and used to investigate livestock theft shall not be subject to the provisions of this section."

Anonymous said...

Cindy has also fitted her "Campaign Car" with state owned radios!!!

Anonymous said...

Certainly is a reasonably priced vehicle.

Kingfish said...

There are the questions I emailed to her.

1. Was the vehicle the gray Dodge Charger with the license plate RAC 855 that has Rankin County as the county of residence for the vehicle?

2. Was any state-owned radio equipment or other telecommunications attached to the vehicle?

3. Do you have plans to keep the Charger now that the election is past?

Anonymous said...

The problem she has is the same one that Hood and Pickering have. Did they pay income tax on the personal use of campaign funds? Seems the Department of Revenue should audit these officials just like they would a small business owner trying to eek out a living.

Anonymous said...

My question is, is this legal? If it is, what's the beef (pardon the beef plant snark, I had to) It is in most states. In LA, they passed a bullcrap law forbidding purchases with campaign money last year. But not leases. So, the leases *or, "fl-eases" as Dave Ramsey calls them) are perfectly legal and could be for 5 years. What a reform! They just a didn't figger that out, right? Is this saving taxpayers from having to provide a car? If so, why do we object unless we donated? It's donated money. It's a sunk cost if she would have a govt car and radios in it, unless you are suggesting she's somehow personally gaining by having an open network radio. Or is it just "mah GubMint" is a gettin' a car (from private money) and I don't so wahhhhh." As an executive, wouldn't she get a government car? So, if donors aren't objecting, what's the beef? And, no, I don't know her from Adam. Is it just the usual Tea Party obsession with micro minutiae while Wall Street reigns? Do we just want to "keep up with" old #49/50 LoserAnnie in the pretend game of GubMint Accountability? Or is it fun takin' pictures of GubMint officials and their cars and disabled wives, for example? Sure, audit her. Just like the IRS did to the Tea Party. Is that wise? Or, who didn't get a takehome car or their neighbor is a gettin' a work truck and they didn't? Unless she's filling up the Yeti with booze for an Ole Miss game in an MDOT truck, who gives a flying leap at a rolling doughnut?

Anonymous said...

As with Pickering and Longwitz and any other elected official using campaign money for personal use, it's between them and their donors as long as they're claiming it as income for tax purposes. Find something else to complain about.

Anonymous said...

Find something else to complain about.

Interesting. Was just going to suggest that you consider the same.

Anonymous said...

People have gone to jail for tax evasion. That is the issue here as these people have to pay both federal and state income taxes on any personal use of campaign funds. Using campaign funds for personal use is NOT illegal. Of course, I do not expect the Republicans, now that they have total control, will change this. GREED RULES. The present law basically legalizes kickbacks and bribes.

400HP said...

So, along comes John Dough-Boy @ 8:29 to offer a quote from Mississippi code. And, in defending the Commish, by attacking a reasonable messenger, splits hairs as to whether a rocker panel meets the definition of 'side' or trunk meets the definition of 'rear'. Your deflection fails and falls flat.

While showing up in a dunce cap of tinfoil, 8:29 offers no explanation or legitimate defense. The fact is the vehicle is unmarked. And we all know that vehicles used in certain investigative work (and a handful of others) are NOT required to be marked. I suppose you will have us believe that she's out at night catching cattle rustlers with a Q-Beam and doesn't have to mark her business ride.

She's playing cowboy, just like she does at the annual rodeo. Interesting that the Coliseum floor is full of Dodge vehicles during the rodeo and this one is probably a Wilson Dodge product as well.

Anonymous said...

Cindy bought her "campaign car" from Roundtree Dodge in Jackson. Another question is - Did she purchase the car on state contract? Rondtree has the state contract for Dodge Chargers. If she did, the Ethics Commission needs to look into this!

Anonymous said...

Did she pay sales tax? "Get along home Cindy, Cindy...."

Tax Man said...

NOT paying Federal Taxes is no longer a crime. I cannot quote the Federal Statute, but Al Sharpton is using it for his benefit.

Anonymous said...

The Agriculture Commissioner has law enforcement duties in her job description - timber and cattle theft. I believe there are a couple of officers per highway patrol district. The radios - if provided and installed by the state - would seem to be a legitimate part of her job.

Anonymous said...

She plays by CHS rules and is ruining that department.

Anonymous said...

She lives in Lincoln county so why the Rankin tag if this is her car?

Anonymous said...

Forget Cindy, to the people who bought her (er..donated), "Are you getting what you paid for?"

Anonymous said...

Not defending the Commish here, but not jumping to the same conclusions most of the psychotic posters here on JJ make.

1) Do we know if this is CHS 'personal' state car? JJ originally thought it was the one purchased by her campaign but it appears has changed the story to this particular vehicle being a state purchased vehicle sitting out in front of the MDAC office. Does any other state employee use this vehicle or just CHS?

2) Seems to me to be a big jump to conclusions that CHS campaign purchased a car on state contract. Any reason to assume that was the process? I would bet no because Roundtree would not put their state contract in jeaprody by being a part of such a sale. Not to say that Roundtree might offer a similar price, just as they do to many, many purchasers. I don't know what price was paid for a particular car, but not assuming that campaign car was purchased using the contract.

3) The reason this car has a Rankin Co tag - 9:50 - has been explained above. It is a state owned car with a law enforcement tag. That is how they are handled.

4) The issue of campaign funds for personal use is, as has been acknowledged, one would have to pay income taxes on the benefit. I would be willing to wage most any amount of money that nobody on here making accusations has seen the tax returns of Pickering, Hyde-Smith, Hood, Fitch, or any of the few dozen legislators that have used campaign funds for personal use, including the purchase of cars among many other ways. Without having seen these returns, it would seem to me that you are making accusations based on your bias.

Head 'Em Up - Raw. Hide. said...

It's NOT a law enforcement tag. It's a Rankin County tag. It's an unmarked car which appears to be for personal, rather than official, use. Does she have a pair of Feel's boots in the trunk for night work in the boonies?

Anonymous said...

Head Em Up - check your assumptions at the door with Feel's boots.

Anonymous said...

I imagine this is a Law Enforcement Tag. If the vehicle is unmarked, it is required to have a general tag provided by the state which is what is in the picture. If it is a marked vehicle, it is required to have a government tag. Much like MBN and other unmarked vehicles. Just clearing up the tag issue.

Anonymous said...

Didn't you post an article about her having a free house to live in at the Ag museum on Lakeland Drive? Now this? Come on Cindy, you've been busted. Time to confess, payback the money (+ taxes + interest), blame it on a misunderstanding. You know the drill. NOTHING will EVER HAPPEN TO HER. Why you ask? Because she's a Republican. That's what runs our state now. They make and enforce the rules. Untouchable. This ain't my first rodeo neither is it CHS's-she's stolen before.

Anonymous said...

Republicans get special consideration. Just as Thad.

Anonymous said...

Damn 8:51. Blame it on the Repubs. Maybe you ought to go back and check how Dem Jim Buck Ross ran this agency - and what his perks were. Ain't no "republican" issue here.

Citizen's Arrest Stymied Again said...

I imagine this is a Law Enforcement Tag. If the vehicle is unmarked, it is required to have a general tag provided by the state which is what is in the picture.

So, you go to the trouble of posting that this is a 'general tag' but that it is a 'law enforcement tag'.

90% of the unmarked law enforcement vehicles I see have 'tear drop lights' beside the driver's side outside mirror. Maybe Cindy can't operate one. Maybe she doesn't get out at night. Maybe she doesn't want to alarm the cattle rustlers.

Your stupid post aside, maybe the good Commissioner will take time out of her schedule Monday to weigh in here and explain her vehicle and its tag.

As was posted earlier, if this is her personal vehicle, it was bought on state contract price. Those who work in jobs that loosely relate to law enforcement are allowed to purchase at state price and they can purchase the vehicle that meets state specks in terms of engine, etc.

Anonymous said...

12:52. 90% of 'the ones you see'?? Gues we ought to assume from your polling and study that we ignore the other 10%, and operate on your theory that CHS needs to answer whatever accusation you have.

I trust your study, from which you have calculated the '90% figure' was widespread and not limited to just certain type of law enforcement vehicles like highway patrol cruisers, city police patrol cars, etc. Did your study include those of the undercover folks at MBN? What about small town sheriff and police cars? How about the MBI?

Oh, I guess I'm just picky. Point is, your comment is worthless. 90% of your observation of some vehicles, ergo Commish needs to do some 'splainin'. I call BS.

Anonymous said...

No, dipstick, it's true that most unmarked law enforcement vehicles DO have a teardrop light on the left front fender beside the mirror. If you don't like that, screw you. I can't help it.

You can alibi and be the apologist til the feds come home. Fact is, CHS, as you call her, can explain it or she won't. Who cares? She's too old to run for office again anway.

Anonymous said...

Im guessing your 90% comes from vehicles you see first hand with the tear drop spotlight. How about ALL the other unmarked/undercover vehicles you pass on a daily basis but don't even realize it law enforcement vehicle? That is the intended purpose of a undercover vehicle "not to be detected as a LEO vehicle.
Take into account all the unmarked/undercover vehicles registered in this state and your 90% stat is way off! Just to name a few agencies HSI, FBI, DEA, MBN, MBI, MDOC Investiagors, MDOC parol/probabtion, US Marshalls, IRS, ATF, AG Office just to name a few.

Im not condoning or condemning what she has done but just giving a little information about the tag. I know this because I drive a unmarked vehicle and have had Warren County tag, wild deer tag ETC and live/work in Rankin County.

Anonymous said...

The state Department of Revenue provides tags to agencies for undercover work. Only the Department of Revenue and the agencies know the tag numbers. The Governor, as in Cowboy Phil" has the authority to grant an agency the ability to get an "undercover tag". Cowboy Phil did this with one agency that I am aware of about 4 years ago. The head of that agency is no longer driving that car and it remains in the agencies fleet. By the way, this agency does have investigative powers and has undercover tags. The governor has to reissue the authority by letter every year to these agencies. Perhaps that is what Phil did for Cindy Hyde-Smith.
I remember, back in 1995, when Steve Patterson was auditor, his wife had a wreck in a range rover in NE Jackson. She had an undercover tag on the SUV and Patterson lied to the tax collector saying that the SUV had been in the shop in Greenwood for 2 years to avoid paying taxes on tag. Ed Beulow was tax commissioner then and sent agents to the department of audit to get all of their tags!
Mike Moore didn't do anything to him until WLBT & WAPT starting pouring the heat on him in 1996. Patterson later that year plead guilt and resigned. That's when Fordice appointed Phil to be state auditor. He must have had cancer on his brain even back then!

Anonymous said...

In fact, when Mike Moore was Attorney General, the head of his consumer protection unit Morgan Shands had a state-issued Chevrolet with an undercover tag. Shands was indicted on Bingo fraud a couple of year ago and nothing has been done to him yet! Secretary of State Dilbert Hosemann cut a deal with Shands to repay about $300,000.00 WITHOUT INTEREST!

YEEE HAWWWW! said...

I can spot a black dodge with tiny blue lights inserted in tiny places and a NASCAR tag...a mile away. Oh, and dark windows. Sometimes a tear drop and sometimes not. These cowboys (and one from Rankin posted above) are testosterone driven teenagers, mentally, who rode the bench in high school and have four-wheel drive trucks and ATVs back at the home-20.

But, this is about the Commissioner of Agriculture. It matters not that the AGENCY has law enforcement duties. The fact is (and you all know it), SHE, personally has none.

She's merely milking the tit that's there for the milking. Just like with the 'cabin' she lives in part time on our dime on our land. If she had an ounce of credibility, she would have answered JJ's email questions by now. But, hell, why do THAT. People at this level of hubris are untouchable.

Kingfish said...


State-owned or leased motor vehicles operated by the Agricultural and Livestock Theft Bureau of the Department of Agriculture and Commerce and used to investigate livestock theft shall not be subject to the provisions of this section

Anonymous said...

If we had elected Addie Lee Green, we would not be having this conversation. I

Anonymous said...

Just heard thAt Cindy Hyde-Smith is trying to get rid of Drake Elder's widow at the ticket office! WHAT ABOUT IT CINDY? IS IT TRUE?

Anonymous said...

@400HP -
The reason there are Dodge vehicles at the rodeo is because Dodge has been a long-time sponsor of the PRCA you dipshit. Has nothing to do with this. So your deflection falls flat and fails.

Anonymous said...

As far as the radios go: in the event of some disaster such as widespread tornados or a hurricane, the Ag Commission would be very involved in some parts of the operations. MISWIN radios as well as radios for communication with her staff would be vital in a time like this.

Anonymous said...

Has Cindy Hyde-Smith responded at all to these allegations?

Anonymous said...

"Just heard thAt Cindy Hyde-Smith is trying to get rid of Drake Elder's widow at the ticket office! WHAT ABOUT IT CINDY? IS IT TRUE? "

Mr and Mrs Elder ran a more professional and user-friendly ticket operation than any I have seen in Philly, NYC, Houston, Minneapolis or D.C./Baltimore. It would be shame if this political hack 1) muscled a grieving widow out of her job and 2) deprived citizens of an outstanding ticket service.

Wouldn't surprise me if she did, though.

SILENCE! You Numbskulls... said...

Right. Now we have it. In the event of a natural disaster, the State Ag Commissioner needs a state-band radio connection. She would also need to be housed/officed in a central location near the intersection of Interstate 55 and Lakeland Drive, thus the cot and slop jar at the Ag Museum.

The nay sayers have now been silenced.

Dual Exhausts said...

Anonymous said...

25-1-87 MS Code gives clear instructions on unmarked vehicles. Also there are a number of agencies,legislators,universities who have "state police" radios.

Anonymous said...

The Commissioner of Insurance would be far more involved than the AG Commissioner in the event of a disaster! Do we provide him with an apartment/house at the AG museum? No - he drives from Vicksburg every day in his own vehicle - not paid from his campaign fund, as the AG Commissioner drives from Brookhaven every once in a while in her "campaign car' - paid from her campaign fund. No wonder the attendance was down some 30-40% at the fair this year. I understand that the AG Department is going to try to slip in funding for the fair in their Department's budget bill this coming year. The fair is supposed to be self funded by proceeds it generates by attendance. No way Cindy - you've been caught!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone looked at the resume of the Executive Director of the Fair Commission? If you look real close and check out some items, you might be surprised!

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