Monday, April 25, 2016

Will the House hold a Pimp & Ho Party?

The Mississippi House of Representatives continued to distinguish itself last week after it killed a conference report that would reform campaign finance laws.  Representatives Cory Wilson and Bill Denny led the fatally doomed Charge of the Reform Brigade as they sought passage of the report.  See the videos posted below for yourself as they show bipartisanship can occur in Speaker Gunn's House when members are properly motivated.

Geoff Pender ably described the scene that took place on April 19 in the pages of the Clarion-Ledger yesterday:

Mississippi politicians, as long as they avoid the tax man, can continue spending campaign money in ways that would land them in jail in most other states after the House killed a reform measure on a voice vote.

The voice vote Tuesday ensures constituents can't tell how their representatives voted on the first serious effort at campaign-finance and politician ethics reform in decades. The vote effectively killed the measure, although it technically could be revived as the legislative session enters its final days.

House Speaker Philip Gunn, who himself spends thousands of campaign dollars a year without itemization and has loaned himself money from his campaign, had questioned the need for reform. He ruled Tuesday that the "Nos" were loudest on the voice vote and a roll call was not required. Thirteen members could have stood and demanded a roll vote. But only a couple did. Some who were standing even sat down to ensure roll wasn't taken on the bill.

The mild reforms would have restricted politicians using campaign money for some personal expenses, such as buying cars and clothes, and required more reporting to the public how they spend it. Mississippi's lack of campaign finance and ethic laws and nonexistent enforcement has been described as "legalized bribery" and "a recipe for ethical disaster" by politicians and experts.
Watch for yourself.  JJ took the liberty of providing a small roadmap of who said what and when.

8:33 Percy Watson: Wanted to know if funds could still be used to pay a "utility bill" for someone who could not pay.

18:00 Jeff Smith: Complains about Ethics Commission having too much oversight over legislators.  Said the legislature continues to "surrender our sovereignty" to the Ethics Commission.  Smith then complained the Secretary of State would have too much authority over the legislature as well.  Watch the exchange.  Smith fights any attempt at reforming campaign finance laws.  He urges giving such power to the Legislature's own Ethics Committee.  Fox. Henhouse.  Mississippi.

 25:40  Randy Rushing: Says the bill "micromanages" contributions of $200 while ignoring trips paid for by lobbyists, companies, and PAC's.

29:00 John Moore: He had "grave concerns".  

32:50: Bryant Clark: Asks about using campaign donations to pay for funerals.  Said he was in favor of the bill.

41:00 Mark Baker: Protests against a ban on third parties and family members paying the fines for those convicted of  wilful misuse of campaign funds.  Said conferees were "holier than thou".  He also protested a requirement that newly-formed PACs register within 48 hours.  Mr. Wilson replied it was to prevent PACs forming and spending large sums of money right before an election (a la the Hinds County District Attorney's race) and then filing a report two months later.  Mr. Baker said that "sounded to me like people with thin skin getting mad because people get mad at them". Oooook.  Bill said there was a $5,000 fine for the PAC. Mr. Baker argued they were trying to bankrupt the opposition for being poorly organized.  He said this would keep groups out of the political process.  He argued elected officials who knew the rules would be able to "beat down" challengers who didn't know the rules.

52:30: Ed Blackmon: Called the bill a hammer being used for "gnats".

5:20: Omeria Scott:  Said some legislators help constituents with funerals. She said the bill outlawed the practice unless a nominal amount was given.

13:13: Andy Gipson: Had a "concern" about not repaying any "undocumented loans".  Mr. Wilson said the new rule wouldn't go into effect until January 1, 2017.  Mr. Gipson said he didn't have enough funds in his campaign account to repay money he and his wife loaned to his campaign right now.

20:00 Jeff Smith moves to recommit the bill due to "fatal errors" he read.

20:28 Bill Denny opposes motion to recommit.  He said the entire debate was over only eight pages. He said "we've made this as liberal as we possibly can".  He said the money in currently in campaign accounts are your dollars" until 2017.  He said legislators could hold a fund-raiser every week until the end of the year and raise $100,000 but it would still be their money.  Denny said "I don't know what else we can do to protect ourselves and protect you."

22:30 Speaker Gunn calls for a voice vote and rules the ayes have it.  He said "no roll call is demanded". 


Anonymous said...

Mississippians are the losers here. Corruption runs deep in Mississippi politics, particularly the legislature. So sad that our elected representatives are consumed by greed.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same Phillip Gunn who, with Rep. J. Andrew Gipson of the Jones Walker law firm, gave us HB 1523 that 75 national companies just submitted a letter of condemnation on? When it comes to their campaign collections they want unfettered access to it, whatever the source or use. When it comes to the rest of us, they don't care how we suffer economically as a result of their bigoted legislation.

Burke said...

Pitiful. And even Hyper-Puritan Andy Gipson found a way to philosophize disgrace.

Corey and Bill, I will donate to your campaigns when the opportunity arises.

Anonymous said...

Corey, as I knew you would, you are doing a great job under difficult circumstances.

Anonymous said...

This boondoggle resulted in an unusual alliance between ultra liberals and ultra conservatives based on the one belief that they share among themselves -- GREED.

Anonymous said...

If your name ain't Wilson or Denny, don't ask for my contribution to your campaign.

Anonymous said...

Not surprised. Why would the foxes vote to put up a fence around the henhouse?

Anonymous said...

Crooks - every damn one of them.

Anonymous said...

Mother f&cker this makes me so mad I could eat my monitor!
THANK YOU Cory for having some balls and doing the right thing.
They are indeed crooks, and Gunn is flat chicken shit, HE ought to be investigated for handling this the way he did. Nobody, not a damn one of them made a point AGAINST the bill that held water, Wilson shot them out of the sky. It isn't a perfect bill but WHAT IS? It's called a start, getting moving with one foot forward in the right direction. This whole deal is so rank and crooked, RRRRRRAaaaaarrrrggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Yet we reelect them time after time.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. The worst part is their arrogance in assuming we're all dumb enough for this to go away.

Anonymous said...

6:20, no the worst part is they are right.

Anonymous said...

Cory Wilson's courageous stand is remarkable. It is especially so when people realize that not only are Mark Baker and Cory Wilson both Republicans, Baker is the chairman of the Judiciary A Committee while Cory Wilson is the vice chairman of that committee. I for one would like to see Philip Gunn reverse those roles.

Anonymous said...

And they'll all get re-elected easily. Be the time the campaigns roll around, the vast majority of y'all will be distracted by gays, guns, flag burning, Black Panthers, etc. and you'll vote them back in to protect you. All the while, MEMA's budget is cut some more, but that's ok cause climate change is a hoax, flooding be damned, and by God Ingalls needs us to give them that $50 million.

Honestly, how y'all keep voting for any of these crooks defies any concept of logic.

Anonymous said...

5:41 - It is a shame that this part of this bill died. But, it was not due to how Speaker Gunn 'handled it' as you think he did with your demand for investigation of him. He handled it according to the rules of the House. The motion requires a voice vote - if enough members stand and request a recorded vote the Speaker calls for one. Without the members action, it is not up to the speaker.

So - please tell us why you think Gunn should be investigated for his handling, other than you don't like the outcome.

Anonymous said...

Pimp and Ho Party? One thing is for sure....if ANY House member is going to vote for a Pimp and Ho party, it's going to be the only republican who voted to legalize MARIJUANA....the HIGH and Honorable Joel "How much you selling that stinky weed for old man?" Bomgar.

Anonymous said...

I call b/s on commending Denny on this bill. His original bill had nothing about campaign finance reform in it. All that language was added by the Senate. Denny's campaign reporting and expending over previous years would not meet the standards required of this bill in many ways. But the old fart is too out of it to understand anything in this bill. Most of the provisions in this several hundred page bill do nothing to 'reform' elections, except for the campaign finance work. The rest is nothing but trying to make the wording be good english. Cory did a good job trying to handle this, and losing the finance provisions was a loss. But other than those Senate provisions, there is little to crow about with all the other stuff.

GOP Panty Whips said...

@8:16 PM also believes NOTHING in either legislative body is ever staged.

Anonymous said...

If the dipshits in the legislature wouldn't approve this watered down do-nothing campaign finance reform, we certainly can't expec them to do more. Denny only pushed this cause he's a short-termer. No one else has the balls. The irony is that statewide officials like Phil, Tate, Stacye, and Jim Hood are all paddling in the same boat down shit river on this one. This should tell us one thing for sure, they are all alike regardless of the pandering bullshit they waive in our face to distract us from real issues like their pocketing of funds that were donated to help with campaign finances and not cowboy boots and RVs.

Anonymous said...

KF if you really want to be superman of the bloggers/reporters, you should ride this one constantly. Put more pressure on their sorry asses. They won't able to trick the masses by squabbling over partisan bullshit on this issue. They are all against it. Come on my man. Push for some real change.

This is real irony. The verification test asked me to select all pictures with recreational vehicles in them. Thanks Stacey.

Anonymous said...

everything in the legislature is staged. but that still doesn't address what @8:16 was stating. Gunn ran the session by the House rules. What did he do justifying anything, much less an 'investigation'?

Anonymous said...

Stop giving the fat asses money!

Anonymous said...

Omg 8:24.

You mean a Republican voted to legalize a PLANT?!

Wow. If that ain't evil....

Anonymous said...

There are only 2 state wide elected officials that I would trust - Mike Chaney and Tate Reeves. Look at the rest of the candidate's reports - paying for garage doors and buying cars on state contracts! what a bunch of losers!

Anonymous said...

Y'all don't think those legislative pimps should have to paid their whores' utility bills or the whores' family's funeral expenses?

A few of the pimps' wives might ought to ask exactly which constituents bills are getting paid and what is expected in return!

The other wives are just happy that their yard man or maid has their utilities paid and family funerals paid and get use of a car to run errands for her. It's better than have to pay them money!

Anonymous said...

@ 8:24 - The Joel Bomgar troll has been hard at it the past couple of days.

I seriously doubt Joel has smoked weed ever in his life. If you have been around him for 2 minutes, you would know this. My guess is he sees how much money we waste on arresting, prosecuting, and jailing small time pot offenders. Also, think about the additional revenue the state would receive if we could tax it.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of busy...either Cory or one of his three allies is busy as hell posting above.

Anonymous said...

About time Cory took a stand for something. Wish he would do so on all the spending that goes on down there.

Anonymous said...

We must keep up the pressure. Wouldn't it be good if the Department of Revenue started auditing these people for tax fraud? Any personal use of these funds is taxable income. Put the offenders in jail. The tax angle is the Achilles heel of these crooks.

Anonymous said...

Yep, Mike Chaney's backdoor attempt to implement Obamacare under a different name and line Haley Barbour-darling Mike Leavitt's pockets in the process, well, that was very trustworthy. All at the same time while the Barbour family lobbying cabal was efforting to become the health care matchmaking Majordomos in Kansas and other Republican governor controlled states.

Very, very trustworthy and the timing all purely coincidental.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be good if the Department of Revenue started auditing these people for tax fraud?

A dreamer in every bunch.

Kingfish said...

Anonymous submitted this comment that was fine but for the first sentence, which was removed:

Hey 8:13, watch just some of the video, it's long so I understand most people aren't sitting around all day watching these things, but if you DO watch just some, you'll see why there are people heaping praise upon him. AND, you'll see why he graduated Yale law and was a WHITE HOUSE FELLOW. He's doing mental gymnastics around these dumbasses. I do know Cory and would say he's a friend, but I am not an "ally" of any sort. If he were acting like the opposition on the video I'd be wearing his ass out just as well

Kingfish said...

If the dipshits in the legislature wouldn't approve this watered down do-nothing campaign finance reform, we certainly can't expec them to do more. Denny only pushed this cause he's a short-termer. No one else has the balls. The irony is that statewide officials like Phil, Tate, Stacye, and Jim Hood are all paddling in the same boat down shit river on this one. This should tell us one thing for sure, they are all alike regardless of the pandering bullshit they waive in our face to distract us from real issues like their pocketing of funds that were donated to help with campaign finances and not cowboy boots and RVs.

Actually, Gilbert and Tate brought their credit card records for the CL Editorial board to see. CL said their expenditures was above-board.

Anonymous said...

Ok 2 out of 200. But, why doesn't Mr. Transparency Reeves do something about it. If he can push through tax cut when the state is bleeding red, surely he can reform campaign finance.

Anonymous said...

Mike Hurst submitted a copy of his credit card expenses along with his finance reports. Gilbert would not accept them - said it could not be part of the required report.

And this so-called election reform bill of Dilbert's did not include any of the campaign finance reform. Denny's bill in the House did not include any campaign finance reform. All that language was added by Republicans (gasp, oh my God!!) in the Senate.

Anonymous said...

Mr Transparency Reeves does not have control over the House of Representatives. Go back to your 9th grade civics class.

The Senate (under leadership of Mr. Transparency Reeves) passed the finance reform bill and sent it to the House.

Find something else to bitch about.

Anonymous said...

I've not heard Transparent Tate speak publicly to advocate for campaign finance reform. When he does, I will find something else to bitch about.

Anonymous said...

With our legislators it's a continuous "PIMP & HOE PARTY". They have the morals of an alley cat !!!!!!

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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