Thursday, October 6, 2016

Priester blames Wall Street for Jackson's woes.

Jackson Ward 2 City Councilman Melvin Priester, Jr. posted this epistle on his public Facebook page:

I realized why I've been so angry about what's going on with Jackson lately.

I'm frustrated because we've fallen into a trap that we can't get out of unless we do in the short run many of the things that our captors want us to do.

You know how I keep hammering on the fact that Jackson both circumstantially and by choice is gong down the same depressing path as other cities? You also remember how I've been comparing certain municipal banking moves to the same moves an individual makes like getting a payday loan. Let's start there.

Over the last 20 to 25 years, just as Wall Street found creative ways to suck money out of individuals by creating novel fiscal products and getting people who had no business getting loans hooked on credit, Wall Street has been doing the same to cities. Wall Street has basically been riding a vacuum born from the federal government choosing to underfund local and state governments since Reagan. Municipalities in past years rarely to never made moves like tax anticipation notes, heck, they rarely even issued plain old municipal bonds. Beginning in the 1980's, however, "debt-financing and privatized credit, the municipal bond market . . . has been growing at an explosive rate to the point that it is now valued at $3.7 trillion (SEC, 2012). As Kirkpatrick and Smith (2011) have explained, the exponential growth of the muni-bonds market must be understood as one facet of a wider and deeper financialization of urban development and (municipal) governance in the USA." (Tuck, link to source at end).

Put a pin in "financialization."

What does financialization mean?

Financialization refers to how cities like Jackson have come to rely on Wall Street wizardry to cover the fact that we're not able to afford everything we'd like to buy and, frankly, we can't even afford to pay all our bills this month. So along comes Wall Street to offer us a TIF (tax increment financing) or a TAN (Tax Anticipation Note) or a P3 (public-private-partnership).

Why does this matter? It matters because cities are just like individuals who find themselves in a worse and worse position because they got that Capital One credit card instead of just dealing with their budget and not borrowing further. In other words, cities like Jackson make a deal with the devil (i.e. a deal with consequences) when they choose to finance their way into postponing a real reckoning with their financial challenges.

As a result of the financialization of municipal government, cities like Jackson "have become ensnared in . . . . pouring billions of dollars into business attraction and retention, with ever-diminishing returns while being forced into the bond market and all manner of accounting tricks as means of financing not only infrastructure investment but also operating costs. In the process, local-government agencies have become increasingly subject to bond-market disciplines in general and to the judgments of financial gatekeepers, like the ratings agencies."

What does that mean and why is that bad? What that means is that cities have gotten hooked on Wall Street money to cover operating costs and a host of other things. That's bad because of the fundamental rule of dealing with Wall Street.

The fundamental rule of dealing with Wall Street is that Wall Street is out for one thing: maximizing profits for its shareholders.

Step one for Wall Street is getting you hooked in with what they offer.

Step two for Wall Street is to make you pay up by any means necessary.

On the individual front, the pay up stage is the part where the person who got that student loan to study folklore and mythology at an Ivy League school finds themselves eating ramen noodles every day to get by because "I don't want to screw up my credit score any worse than it is, I want to borrow money for a house one day."

On the municipal front, the pay up stage is when municipal leaders are forced to say stuff like "we need to layoff these workers because our bond rating is almost junk and we need to go to the credit market to get a tax anticipation note and we need to borrow against projected tax revenue to do this infrastructure project. Sorry, we have to live within our means because the ratings agencies are watching."

Sound familiar?

Jackson, like so many other cities, is now dependent on Wall Street and its profit motives to survive. That's not a joke. That's not an overstatement. That is a straight fact. To balance our books these last few years, we have had to do a string of debt refinancings and now a tax anticipation note.

That's bad because the longer we use Wall Street to hide our structural problems, the worse the comedown will be when we finally hit the wall.

Look, I've supported these financings because they were what we needed at the moment to survive. But we have got to get off this roller coaster because Wall Street is doing to more and more municipalities (here's looking at you Detroit) what Wall Street and the global financial markets did to countries like Greece: forced austerity.

And austerity lets me get to why I'm so frustrated.

Jackson, through a combination of circumstance and choice, is hooked on Wall Street to make ends meet. We, as a city, are thoroughly financialized.

Because we are throughly financialized, we have to keep playing the game of cut to keep Wall Street happy, raise taxes to keep Wall Street happy or we won't get that loan or refinancing we need from Wall Street to get by.

For the near term, that's what we have to keep doing. In the long term, however, we have to stop being addicted to the Wall Street model of government. For Jackson to thrive and get out from under the thumb of banks, we have to manage what we have more efficiently and learn to function independent of the fiscal wizardry that is saving us. In some ways that will, ironically, require more cutting than even the banks and ratings agencies presently request. But, in the long run, the way a city gains its freedom from Wall Street is no different than the way an individual gains his or her freedom from credit cards and student loans: spend wisely and stop borrowing.

Kingfish note: The councilman is going to blame Jackson's problems on Wall Street? Even if Wall Street was offering bond crack, Jackson didn't have to smoke the crackpipe.  There will always be those willing to lend money to cities but it's the responsibility of city leaders to just say no. 

It wasn't Wall Street that raised the city minimum wage, blew money on consultants, or millions of dollars on Farish Street "revitalization".  Wall Street didn't hold a gun to the head of Jackson and force it to go into the hotel business.  Those are small examples bad decisions made by city fathers over the years but you get the idea.  All Wall Street has said is that Jackson should get it's financial affairs in order.  One can only wonder what would happen if Wall Street wasn't around to issue such warnings. 

But hey, it is much easier to blame Wall Street.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like he doesn't know the meaning of leadership. No one made the Jackson officials spend more money that they had coming in. No one made the officials in Jackson borrow money. No one is making them do it today or any day after today.
The leadership in Jackson chose to do these things. Just like some people get a payday loan. Not everybody, or even most, fall for the payday loan scheme.
The lack of competent leadership is their problem.

Anonymous said...

Priester must be reading Yanis Varoufakis.

Anonymous said...

pointing out a symptom of a problem is not pointing blame, it only acknowledges that the problem exist.

but hey it seems to be much easier to point the finger at the folks trying to clean up the mess.

Anonymous said...

Before Priester uses code words to blame whites (actually he's blaming "the Jews") for Jackson's ills, perhaps he could wax eloquently about the "majority" of citizens who refuse to take responsibility for anything and won't even pay their damn water bill.

Anonymous said...

I was going to vote for him if he ran for Mayor, after reading that I just changed my mind.

Anonymous said...

While somewhat true, Wall Street didn't make Jackson take the money. What about towns like Brandon, setting a special tax allocated just for certain improvements and having the money to start them in a few short years, such as the ball park renovations with the amphitheater to boot? No Wall Street loan there. If you want to address the pink elephant in the room, then you need to look at the number of people using the cities services versus the amount of taxes or bills paid by those in the municipality. I would bet a shiny new nickel there are MANY not paying their fair share in taxes in Hinds County.

Kingfish said...

Mr. Priester has gotten very fair treatment from this website. JJ has posted his Facebook posts regardless of whether or not this correspondent has agreed with them.

Anonymous said...

He forgot Step Three: Support Hillary because I'm part of a group that group thinks my vote, and in turn support the greed of Wall Street as I talk out of both sides of my mouth.

Anonymous said...

The other option is to hold city leadership directly responsible for their actions. Something nobody white or black wants to do if they want to ever be elected or reelected in this city. This situation is a direct result of stupid, near criminal, and criminal actions by elected officials and other city figures. Workers that do not perform their jobs, supervisors in over their heads due to being political appointments and not a competent hire, and leadership that cannot enact policies that follow high school level math and economics because it might hurt the feels of people that don't pay any meaningful taxes anyway.

Anonymous said...

Mr Priester. Cut spending. Terminate employees. Downsize government to appropriate size for population and tax base. Collect water bills, ALL of them.

Your job is not to fund everything people 'want'. And Jackson isn't going to get the same deal on its financing that the Mayor got on his house. Someday the borrowed money will have to be paid back.

Blaming it on the federal government and Reagan doesn't work either. The federal governments job is not to fund municipal governments, just because Jimmy Carter tried to do that with his "Revenue Sharing" programs of that wonderful economic model of the late 70's.

Wall Street has its role and business model, like you say with their profit motive as its guide. And they serve an appropriate purpose. Just as it is OK for a family to borrow money to purchase their house -a long term investment - certain things like a new treatment plant or a major highway are appropriate for financing. But not just because borrowed money is available do you have to take it so that you can keep a golf course open or maintain a duplicate museum or pay the annual operating costs of a treatment plant.

Leadership means making hard decisions and sticking with them even when the cries arise from those still stuck to the title of wanting everything, expecting others to pay for them. Show some.

Anonymous said...

Quite surprised that a usually cogent Priester suddenly lurches to blame the drug dealer for the drug addiction problem.

Creative Class Claptrap said...

@DonnerKay: P.S. Don't diss #Detroit to me. After what I've learned, I'll cut you just like I do people who trash Jackson. With words, of course.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry Melvin. You're in good company. The Kenyan just doubled our national debt in less than 8 years but unlike you, to your credit, he doesn't give a damn about digging the hole deeper.

Maybe next time you could blame Jackson's debt woes on global warming. It caused the Syrian "civil war" you know.

Anonymous said...

People like Priester and Claptrap epitomize the word "DIM-O-KRAT" with emphasis on "DIM"....

Anonymous said...

I am sympathetic to uneducated individuals who get tied up in payday loans.

I am not sympathetic to the elected leaders of municipalities who do the same, then claim that mean old Wall Street gave them choices they weren't informed or mature enough to make.

Anonymous said...

I'm not from Jackson or live in Jackson, but I can read. I appears that this guy is just informing readers of what's going on, and I did not read, where he is it is Wall Street fault, but he did state the obvious of what Jackson had done to get in the mess. Don't be so quick to put words and thoughts into someone's statement. Hell, I'm glad he informed us. We all know the leadership sucks, and that's pretty much what he was saying, not blaming Wall Street. As in the words of Trump "I love the uneducated", In my words "Uneducated people keep hate and racism going, black or white"

Anonymous said...

12:53 - he starts with the premise that municipalities are in trouble because in 1980's the feds took them off the tit. So, his first premise is wrong - it is not the federal government's job to feed the mouths of local governments that don't want to take care of themselves.

And, if you are not from Jackson, maybe you don't know what is going on in Jackson. They don't have the money to keep the basic operations of the city operating (police, streets, water/sewer) but they complain because they can't have a golf course that cannot even collect $8 green fees and get the money to the bank. The city cannot collect the water bills from its users - or for that matter, they cannot even get the bills sent out in many cases. But they still want to maintain all of the programs that have been here for decades. Why? Because they were here when the other folks were running the city so they should continue now even though we don't have any money any more. And to do so, we can borrow money to do it because Wall Street is feeding our habit.

He is not 'just informing' the readers, he is trying to transfer the blame from our 'leaders' to the 'dealers'.

Bill Clinton is a Rapist said...

"Uneducated people keep hate and racism going, black or white"

Since you can read and recognize the obvious and know a mess when you see one ... don't be so quick to monger.

Anonymous said...

12:53, try going back and reading it again. Especially the 4th paragraph. We are not putting words in his mouth. He is running his mouth so much most people do not even read what he says. You are one of the people who do not read what he says.

Anonymous said...

"Chil' please!" (As pronounced In the street dialect)

Anonymous said...

From Mr. Priester: "Financialization refers to how cities like Jackson have come to rely on Wall Street wizardry to cover the fact that we're not able to afford everything we'd like to buy and, frankly, we can't even afford to pay all our bills this month."

Case described.

"not able to afford everything we'd LIKE to buy and, frankly, WE CAN'T EVEN AFFORD TO PAY OUR BILLS THIS MONTH"

Solution obvious.

Don't buy it. Just because Wall Street offers you a new credit card, you can do like responsible people and throw the mail in the trash.

Anonymous said...

Priester must be reading the Bryant / Tater playbook.

Anonymous said...

Priester makes one huge unforgivable mistake in his analysis of a cycle of fiscal opportunism that works in Wall Street's favor-He uses the word "Reagan". To evoke St. Reagan along with any claim of corporate opportunism is to invite the ire of his many worshippers and to totally erase the remainder of his observation. I totally agree that a drug addict must take responsibility for his own actions before blaming the pushers for his addiction, but I also understand that pushers are in business and make their product openly available hoping that some weak or stupid individual will get caught in the cycle of dependence. If they can promote the dependence, so be it. That's business. Just because some sucker recognizes the dependence cycle does not mean he cannot accept responsibility for his own actions or his need to make painful corrections. Had Preister simply said, "the cycle began when during administrations like Johnson's and Carter's, cities took bloated federal funding for granted" his observations would have been universally accepted by this bunch. Instead he started a timeline with the Reagan cuts instead. That means he's whining. Reagan-sacrilege or not, it still doesn't change the fact that Wall Street is in a predatory business and cities like Jackson are credit junkies who need to wise up. That, in summary is what Preister said. At least Preister smells what's cooking.

Anonymous said...

I took it to mean that what we are doing is borrowing one-time money, just like Obama does. It is just like charging groceries. There is no way to ever get out of the "loop". Yes, Jackson must do better on collections, not just the so-called water bills (they include sewer service and garbage pick up) but also the large amount of fines. We would come out ahead to hire bill collectors for 50% of what they collect -- absolutely no expenses or liability offered to them. They collect at their own risk.

Anonymous said...

Ok...cities used Wall Street money to expand and used too much....muni bonds became sexy investments for pension funds...the cycle repeated itself.

What is the answer? The city owes the money...and it cannot pay the money with its current residential composition.

It sounds like Mel is just about through with Chapter 8 and may be getting ready to open up Chapter 9....where he might find a few solutions.

Anonymous said...

Priester's anger is slightly misplaced.

Behold your friendly neighborhood crack dealer:

Unfortunately, Jackson bought what he was peddling. Whose fault is that?

Anonymous said...

How dare this young upstart characterize our Wall Street financiers
as hustlers and payday loan sharks. Hustlers don't graduate from Harvard and loan sharks wear pinstripe suits and pointy-toe patent leather shoes. Jeez

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with him pointing out some pretty important facts. Bottom line is that you have elected officials who cannot make reasonable fiscal decisions. We don't have enough reasonable people (of any color or background) to competently elect our own government. You could argue the opposite, but the continual fiscal mismanagement does not lie.

Anonymous said...

It is really simple. Tithe 10%, save 10% and live on less than you make. If you don't make much, such as minimum wage, then put a plan together and execute it to facilitate future opportunities to improve your income. Don't sit around, bitch and blame others. First and foremost, it is a spending problem, after that, it is an income problem.

Anonymous said...

Melvin is a Harvard alumni and went to Stanford for law school. He then worked in banking and financial law in CA according to his official bio on the Jackson Official gov website. I think Melvin realizes how bad it will look for his professional resume to be associated with the failure of the Jackson City government. He has identified only half the problem. It is true that Wall Street much like the mob will supply the money if you go to them. The problem is they will also send the leg breakers. And the real problem is that Jackson no longer has a tax base that can support their desired standard of living. Eddie Fair pointed it out but I am not sure they were has left and is leaving. With the business goes tax paying residents. A double whammy. This is real simple accounting 101. They want to throw up all kinds of blame but the buck or the lack of them rest squarely on a city government that does not function and never will.

It's gettin hot in here said...

I think the Devil is to blame

Anonymous said...

Your cart is before your horse. The businesses follow the rooftops.

Anonymous said...

only Jackson leader who has any accurate comprehension of ANYTHING.

Anonymous said...

Some of you are holding Mr. Priester responsible for changes that he well describes but that took place before he was born...literally. He deserves a great deal of credit for trying to understand how the hell this happened.

He's trying to point out that the system is broken and has put us all in a Catch 22.

The " just don't buy what you can't afford" and " cut spending" and " slice government" mantra is ridiculously simplistic. One would think none of you had a mortgage or a car loan and had always paid for everything in cash! Would you say to your sick child, " you'll have to suffer or die because we have a cash flow problem and can't pay the doctor"?

Money is either well spent or poorly spent. Congress can either make it easier or harder for you, individually or as a state or local government to make good decisions about how you spend your money. Congress can make it easier or harder for you to be bilked by financial institutions.

Some of you are apparently too young to remember when your pensions, your investments your insurance, and your money in a bank account could not be used for high risk schemes and those who had control of your money had a fiduciary responsibility enforceable by law not to con you out of it to enrich themselves! Once upon a time when one corporation bought out another, they were legally required to honor the commitments made by the business they bought. Once upon a time, interest rates for all credit was tied to the prime. Anything over 5% more than prime was usury/loan sharking.

So you know what the prime is today and yet credit cards from retail corporations and money lenders are charging 28-33% interest rates legally. They do have to " confess" now in fine print how much more you'll really pay over time but they offer you sweet short term deals and don't mention the long term consequences. The same is true of cellular service or WiFi , etc. We used to call that a crime.

What you don't know hurts you as well as being so blinded by partisanship that we can't have a real discussion about what changes need to be made to fix our broken systems.

I applaud Mr. Priester for trying to start an serious dialogue about the specifics of how we all got to the mess in which we find ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Regan! Really how many liberal democratic Presidents have we had since then? Who has managed and run these cities for so long? Lots of blame to go around but Regan, give me a break.

Anonymous said...

Hey, let's blame Obama for Jackson's financial condition.

Anonymous said...

Priester is just like all of the other leaders the citizens elected to do a job. He is not qualified to do the job and does not have the ability or inclination to learn. Why should he, he would be out of a job if the people of Jackson actually elected people with knowledge and experience.

The only people left in Jackson are those who live off the govt. They know nothing of paying bills and balancing a budget as they have never done it. They elect pretty much the same type people. Jackson can never do any better. The only thing that would help is working people returning to Jackson and voting, which is not going to happen.

Anonymous said...

Priester paints with too broad a brush, which makes me worry that he has an agenda here. TIF's and PPP's have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the City is currently spending too much money. TIF's are a way of encouraging private sector development by allowing the developer to offset infrastructure costs against anticipated increases in property tax revenue. PPP's enable cities with poor credit ratings to partner with private entities (with good credit) and issue tax-exempt bonds for long-term infrastructure projects. They've been used successfully thousands of times around the country. Detroit didn't go down the crapper because of those type deals, and it's wildly disingenuous to suggest it did.

Priester IS correct to say that tax anticipation notes (TAN's) are a problem, because they're just borrowing against next year's revenues to pay this year's bills.

Mark my words - by mixing all these things up and lumping good financial deals in with bad ones, Priester is just laying the groundwork to oppose decent projects that he wants to kill for ulterior motives. I just don't trust the guy anymore.

Anonymous said...

@ 4:35 AM - Not always. In an improving economy business growth generally follows residential or "rooftops" as you say. In a declining market where business is leaving you will see rooftops follow. You can look to Detroit as one example. You can look at Las Vegas as another. As job opportunities died in one city the residents left for work and as jobs became available in the other the residents showed up after.

Anonymous said...

To suggest that Priester is "not qualified" or that everyone left in Jackson does not work is at best a gross exaggeration and at worst racist stupidity. Priester is probably one of the most intelligent and talented young men to enter municipal government in the history of this city, especially when you consider some of the brilliant scholars like Allen Thompson and Ed Cates. Priester may however, have an agenda for some self-serving projects or he may wish to align
himself with certain political powers that be. Hopefully, Priester will devote his considerable talents to saving a drowning city rather than personal advancement, but to suggest that a person as capable of cogent analysis as Priester is "unqualified" raises more questions about the person making the suggestion than about Preister's background.

Real Estate 101 Says... said...

@ 2:12 PM. Priester CANNOT save Jackson! Only private investments coupled with gentrification CAN save Jackson!

Anonymous said...

2:12, you may be impressed with him but most people only see him as part of the group of clowns. Just reading what he said puts him right smack in the clown car. He may be the driver but it is still a clown car full of clowns.

Who Can We Blame This Right Here On? said...

When attacking a problem, some people believe the problem and it's cause should be identified.

Some others believe the important thing is to deflect and place blame somewhere other than where it belongs.

The first is taken from a study of Root Cause Analysis. The second is taken from the Community Organizer Handbook.

Anonymous said...

In this market businesses are following rooftops and have been for 30 years. You must not live here to suggest otherwise.

Anonymous said...

1:21 pm In what universe do you live? The federal government has played a role in helping local governments since conception. How do you think goods and services got from the docks to towns? How do you think gas lines got financed into homes before the Civil War? How do you think electricity got to homes? How do you think large damns got built? How do you think running water happened?

Anonymous said...

12:53 pm You are right. The lack of reading comprehension skills and failure to understand that sentences don't stand alone but have connection and context is pretty stunning in many of these comments. There's even an inability to recognize the subject.

Anonymous said...

8:22 - damn what an answer! I'm awed at your comprehension. Yes - the federal government has built highways, and made loans to (some) entities for electric lines. And the federal government has built dams. The feds have done a lot of other things too while you are at it - they financed armies, and to some extent have protected our borders.

But that is not what Priester was referring to, dumbass. He was wanting to go back to the democratic policies of the Great Society of LBJ, and Revenue Sharing of Jimmie Carter - where the federal government sent dollars to cities to pay for policemen, and day care centers, and CETA programs, etc. etc. Those policies made dependents out of local governments just like LBJ's other Great Society programs made dependents out of the poor in our country.
All those programs you mention are still carried on by the feds - so pack your tears back in your eyes and try to find a better argument.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an opportunity for a sequel to "The Big Short." There could be a lot of money made when all these Democrat-lead cities fold under.

F mickns said...

In defense of Mr Priester, he did make a statement right off the bat acknowledging that poor decisions of the past are to blame for the situation he was about to describe.

"You know how I keep hammering on the fact that Jackson both circumstantially and BY CHOICE is gong down the same depressing path as other cities? You also remember how I've been comparing certain municipal banking moves to the same moves an individual makes like getting a payday loan. Let's start there"

From my cursory research, other entities who have fallen victim to the "wiles" of wall street and their associated minions. Folks with a lot more "qualifications" than the leaders of the City of Jackson.

1. City of Pearl Mississippi having trouble making stadium bond payment, gets lower bond financing rating.

Jackson Jambalaya: Bloomberg: How the Braves (and their Wall Street minion) fleeced Pearl

2. Lehman Brothers (founded 1850) went broke

3. Merrill Lynch, AIG, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, HBOS, Royal Bank of Scotland, Bradford & Bingley, Fortis, Hypo and Alliance & Leicester all came within a whisker of doing so and had to be rescued.

4. General Motors Federal bailout due lack of access to cash during Wall Street meltdown(among other things, but lack of cash was the catalyst).

GM in Crisis—5 Reasons Why America's Largest Car Company ...

5. EVERY individual, business and government agency in the US, and some evidence indicates worldwide as well, suffered from the Wall Street scheme and meltdown. All of them. All of us!

6.Also, please remember that Wall Street is a faceless, nameless and unaccountable creation on paper. The true culprits are the individuals who created, lead and engineered and greatly benefited this theft. There names are not secrets. Read your Forbes for their names, and their family connections. Those individuals are the true villains; not your local stockbroker

Yes , bottom line is the leaders of all of these entities, including Jackson, should have been wary of the Wall Street "Masters of the Universe", bearing gifts. However let's be fair. A lot of "experts" got "fleeced".

I applaud Councilman Priester for giving this history so we may not go down the same or similar path again. More importantly, I applaud and commend Mr. Priester for publicly, vocally and loudly, leading the way for Jackson's future financial recovery and prosperity

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

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!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS