Monday, November 7, 2016

Open thread about judicial elections tomorrow

Boring but important are the judicial elections that will take place tomorrow.  There are three races in this area.


First is the heavyweight bout between incumbent Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Jim Kitchens and Court of Appeals Judge Kenny Griffis for Kitchens seat on the top highest court in Mississippi.  Republicans have been smarting ever since Mr. Kitchens beat then-incumbent Jim Smith of Rankin County in the last election.  The Mississippi GOP has gone all in for Mr. Griffis while Mr. Kitchens vigorously proclaims he is not for sale.  This race could be close.

Next up on the card is a light heavyweight bout for a seat on the Court of Appeals between Judge Ed Hannan, incumbent Jack Wilson, and attorney Dow Yoder.   Judge Hannan is the County Court Judge of Madison County.  He has served with a good reputation for being a tough but fair judge.  What is interesting is that if he won, he would be the only trial judge on the Court of Appeals.  Mr. Wilson was appointed to the position a year ago by Governor Phil Bryant after serving as the Governor's lawyer.  He has a distinguished academic career but has never been a judge.  Dow Yoder was an Assistant District Attorney in the Madison-Rankin district until 2014.  He allowed his name to be placed on a fund-raiser for Chris McDaniel if one wants an indication of his politics.  What is interesting is all three candidates are fairly conservative in contrast to the Supreme Court race where one candidate is a liberal while the other is a conservative.  However, the Mississippi GOP has decided to go all in for the anointed one, Jack Wilson. Such support is somewhat amusing because some of the Governor's biggest blunders occurred due to Mr. Wilson's advice.  Blue Cross fight, anyone?

However, there is a welterwight bout still on the ballot that is the election for Madison County Court Judge.  Governor Phil Bryant appointed State Senator Will Longwitz to the bench after incumbent Steve Ratcliff moved up to Circuit Court Judge.  He faces long-time Madison County attorney Staci O'Neal.  Mrs. O'Neal forgot it was a show and thought it was a damn fight and is giving the incumbent a run for his money.  

Those are the judicial races for this area.  Fire away with the comments.   Their commercials are posted below if you want to learn more about them.










89 comments:

HDMatthias, MD said...

I strongly support Jim Wilson, Staci O'Neal, and Kenny Griffis. We don't need more "Empty Suits" on the Madison County Court bench, or more trial lawyers on the Supreme Court. Wilson is a supremely intelligent and hard-working Appeals Court Judge. Let's elect all three.

Anonymous said...

Missed the best one yet

https://www.facebook.com/griffis2016/videos/742659299221001/

Anonymous said...

Had Longwitz been running for this job as a sitting Senator might have considered him. Disgusted by his opportunism.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't longwitz get a real job and stick to it. I for one am sick and tired of seeing this empty suit pop up in every election. What kind of complex is he exhibiting?

Anonymous said...

Hannan is the only qualified person in the Appeals race. 19 years of experience on the trial bench to 0 for his opponents.

Anonymous said...

Every sign I've seen for Justice Jim Kitchens has been alongside a Hillary sign and a Bennie Thompson sign. He's a very liberal candidate that is bad for Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

It is preposterous that Will Longeitz is sitting in the bench. He has never tried or litigated a case. Just research his record.

Anonymous said...

The Court of Appeals reviews trials, experience as a trial judge is important. Judge Hannan has a record as a good judge getting re-elect several times.
Disappointed with Rep party spending my contributions on a nonpartisan race without a liberal to fight.

Anonymous said...

Dow Yoder is going to surprise ya'll and make the run-off.

Anonymous said...

Dow. Bless his heart. Can't get along with anyone. Can't keep a job. How bad is it when one cannot even keep a job as an assistant DA? That's bad.

Anonymous said...

Support an independent judiciary. Wilson and Hannan are both good candidates, but Hannan has the experience. Yoder is nuts.

Both Griffis and Kitchens are good condidates. The ads against Kitchens are not fair and mischaraterize his stand on the cases involved. I don't understand how somebody thinks a violation of a constitutional right is a legal loophole. A fair trial is good for the state, the accused, and the victim.

As a judicial scholar, Longwitz is a great State Senator. Go with somebody that has actually litigated cases rather than somebody that makes deals at the Capitol.

Anonymous said...

Jim Kitchens has my support, the negative ads from the GOP left a bad taste. O'Neal seems like the logical pick in Madison.

Anonymous said...

The Kitchens-Griffis race has featured the most backwards, ignorant, and yes...un-American political ads of any recent judicial race. The lynch-mob mentality of some people is being highlighted by those who do not care to focus on issues and qualifications. They speak of "tough" judges and "looking for loopholes" to let despicable criminals "go free". Not one mention is made of a judge applying the law fairly no matter who the defendant might be. That's what protects us all, not some so-called judge who decides he's going to grease the skids for everybody accused of a crime. Our constitution was meant to protect us ALL from unfair persecution and it is the Judges duty to see that we all have that protection. Unfortunately, sometime hard and unpopular decisions must be made, but that's the job. The Supreme Court is an Appeals Court, the main job of which is to see that the law is applied fairly and equally, not "toughly". The candidate's ability and desire to do that job is issue number 1, not who led the mob. Griffis as a proper jurist ought to condemn that tripe if it's used on his behalf.

Anonymous said...

As for the Supreme Court race, both Judge Griffis and Justice Kitchens are fine men who would do an able job in that seat. It's actually a shame that one of them has to lose. In the Court of Appeals, I really hope that Judge Hannon prevails. While Jack Wilson is obviously a smart guy, it makes me a little uncomfortable to think that a Harvard Law guy is deciding divorce appeals. And he's a weirdo. Finally, as to the Madison County Court race, I'm all for Staci O'Neal. Perhaps it's just me, but I like the idea of having our judges come a background of practicing law, particularly in the areas where they will be judging. A bit old fashioned, I guess.

Anonymous said...

I financially supported Griffis. That was some time ago, before those vile ads started running. I'm walking away from that support and am voting for Kitchens.

O'Neal is bringing heat against Longwitz here in Madison. I believe she may take it.

Jack Wilson is still a child. Let the grown ups decide cases. Hannan is the logical answer.

Anonymous said...

Anyone but Yoder. He is seriously off-balance. Appreciate the comments on Wilson and Hannan.

I strongly support Will Longwitz. Strong and fair and of good character. Have heard that O'Neal has a gotcha' mentality.

I don't personally know Kitchens or Griffis, but I have been impressed with Kitchens. The negative Griffis ads sealed the deal for me. Cannot stand a candidate who hides behind political operatives who nitpick and distort the facts.

Recycle His Robes.. said...

Longwitz has a shit-eatin' grin. You can tell a lot about a man by how he treats his momma, whether dogs like him and whether he has a shit-eatin' grin. One or any combination of negatives in this trio would be a disqualifier. Thumbs down.

Logical said...

11:24 - Staci is also strong and fair and of good character. She has spent her career serving others through her ministry of troubled youth, church work, mission work, and as a public defender. I have no idea why you would vote for Will over her unless you are a personal friend. I don't know what in the world you mean by a gotcha personality. Unless you mean that she knows quite a lot.

Anonymous said...

That's funny, 12:22. But doesn't apply here. Mommas, dogs and kids like him, his smile is just fine, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't eat that.

Anonymous said...

I know all the candidates in this Court if Appeals race. They all have their merits. Jack Wilson has already been hearing appeals and writing opinions. Plus he did appellate work for a living when he was in private practice. I don't think Ed Hannan or Dow Yoder would do a bad job. I just don't see any reason to change since Wilson has been doing the job well by all accounts.

Anonymous said...

I don't know the Kitchens family, or Griffis for that matter, but I am really turned off by those negative ads. Pasting this from a CL letter to the editor from Kitchens' son, which I feel pretty accurately explains the claims in those ads. Griffis should have stopped this.

"You may have seen the disgusting attack ads against my father, Justice Jim Kitchens. The ads are paid for by Washington corporate interests trying to buy a seat on the Mississippi Supreme Court. They know Jim Kitchens isn’t for sale, so their secret donors are spending over $100,000 a week telling lies about him on TV.

The truth is the entire Mississippi Supreme Court later agreed with Dad on the Wilson case. In the Jordan case, Dad joined an opinion written by Justice David Chandler, who is now in charge of Mississippi's foster child system. Neither Dad, nor any of these other justices, sided with child predators. Instead, they did their job and followed the law.

Dad’s opponent, Judge Kenny Griffis, refuses to condemn the ads. He’s even defended them. But what if the smear campaign were aimed at him? In one of his cases, State v. Campbell, Judge Griffis overturned the conviction of a man who sexually assaulted his foster child. The Supreme Court, including Justice Kitchens, unanimously reversed that decision and reinstated the conviction. Judge Griffis knows how unfair and hurtful it would be to attack him on TV with the Campbell case, or with any opinion cherry-picked from his voting record.

It's hard to express how hurtful these ads have been for my family. All of my father's commercials have been positive, including one featuring his grandchildren, who watch TV constantly hoping to see “their” commercial. Instead, they’re seeing nasty ads claiming their granddaddy sides with child predators. I'm proud my father, Justice Jim Kitchens, has and will continue to run a clean campaign. You won't see him running negative ads or defending dark-money groups. He has too much integrity for that."

Dan Kitchens,
Crystal Springs

Anonymous said...

Wow! An endorsement from the esteemed Heddy Dale Mathias! If you are Pro-Life, you MUST consider doing the opposite of everything Heddy Dale Mathias says. She has taken radically pro-abortion positions, and she was vocal and public in her opposition to personhood initiative. I am a Pro-Life voter and a omebody other than her nominees will get my vote.

Logical said...

Ah! My previous post was directed at 11:50. Sorry 11:24.

Anonymous said...

Dow Yoder has two things the other two do not: he's never been elected and he's not beholden to anybody. It's just a simple fact, Wilson is an appointee and Hannan has been a judge for a dozen or more years. I consider new blood more valuable than either of those other guys.

Anonymous said...

1. The anti kitchens ads are not being run by, or with the approval of, Griffis.
2. While the ads may be distasteful, they are necertheless true. Anyone who reads the hand-downs every Thursday know the ads are true.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering where the background is for the "Dow and the DA's office" stories? I've never heard anybody's actual, first-hand account of Dow's work or his departure. So please, unless you actually know something about the situation, why don't these commenters just comment on Dow, Hannan and Wilson as candidates and the job they'll do? That would be much more productive.

Anonymous said...

If you're telling me to vote for the guy with the most experience and the most relevant experience, I'm going with Wilson. What does Hannan's experience as a trial court judge have to do with being a capable appellate court judge? I've heard Hannan make thus argument at luncheon speeches and other places. There's no doubt he has trial court experience the other two don't have, or that Hannan is hanging his entire campaign on that experience. But here's what I don't get. Shouldn't Hannan be running for a higher trial court with all that trial court expertise, instead of appellate court?

Anonymous said...

The Kitchens Griffis race has been repulsive. All the negative ads for Griffis have done more damage to public confidence in the judiciary than any single Supreme Court Justice, regardless of ideology, ever could have (and, yes, I considered Chuck McRae before I wrote this). Maybe we need a new section in the judicial code: if you can't disavow dishonest smears in a race, you can be disciplined, disrobed or disbarred for your silence and complicity.

Anonymous said...

So I've always heard of the appellate courts as the place where lawyers are put out to pasture. So which one of these 3 court of appeals candidates should we put out to pasture and why?

Jane said...

The anti Kitchens ads are downright disgusting. I had a case in the Court of Appeals that was reversed by all ten justices including Justice Griffis. The defendant was convicted of assaulting a law enforcement officer. Using the logic of the anti Kitchens ads, Justice Griffis "is no friend of law enforcement." Which is just as ridiculous as claiming that Kitchens is against crime victims.

Anonymous said...

12:56,

I invested my money and several hours recruiting people to support Kenny's campaign because he asked me to. There is no reasonable person who read those opinions who would characterize their author with the language used in the ads. It's a disgusting maligning of a man for political gain in a position that should never be politicized. Each time I see one of those ads, I cringe with embarrassment for asking friends to vote for Kenny.

Anonymous said...

Kitchens' sock puppets have got their thesaurus out.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Jane, that's why we want Griffis, he doesn't have an agenda. He reverses when it is called for. Kitchens name appears on 90% of the cert denials as "would grant." He writes dissents without logic in just about every criminal case. Like Jane Tucker, he has an agenda.

Anonymous said...

Jane, a lay person could author your defense of kitchens. Y'all are cut from the same cloth

Anonymous said...

Keep the cat pee off the record, Jane, thanks.

Anonymous said...

12:56,

I gave money and several hours helping Kenny's campaign because he asked me to. I didn't walk away easily. But, no reasonable person can read the opinions used for that ad and characterize the author as they do. It's a repulsive maligning of a man for political purposes (for a role that should not be politicized). Each time I see that ad I wince with embarrassment that people now associate me with Kenny's campaign. I'm a little pissed that I trusted him, if you can't tell.

Anonymous said...

Court cases aside, Kitchens is a liberal jackpot justice trial lawyer. The record is very clear on that. Regardless of the record, I don't want a liberal on the bench, and I don't want one of the jackpot justices on the bench. The guy would have NEVER been elected if a substantial number of voters had not been intentionally duped by the campaign into thinking they were voting for JOHN Kitchens.

Anonymous said...

I guess 2:04 and 2:07 have ignored all the other commenters who've called the anti-Kitchens ads disgusting or distasteful? She also didn't say anything negative against Griffis or anything positive for Kitchens. She just called out the ads, like many other people here. It's fine if you want to vote for Griffis, and he personally didn't do the ads, but I think most can agree these ads are a total mischaracterization of the role of an appellate judge.

Anonymous said...

2:07, is your comment meant to be derogatory? She wrote it where you could comprehend it. That's writing to your audience. Your comment makes sense only in your head.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing that the self proclaimed former Griffis supporters do not understand the difference in ads approved by the candadite, and ads from groups who have nothing to do with the candadite. So here is a pro tip, if the commercial cobcludes with "I'm Kenny Griffis and I approved this message" then it's from his campaign. If it doesn't conclude thus, then he has nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

All 5 readers of Janes blog seem to be here.

Joe Maht said...

2:07, Lay person here. You realize that you're exactly the kind of jack ass that makes most people hate lawyers, right? The average lay person can read, and while I fully understand that your ilk hold us in the lowest of esteem, I'm a little upset that you didn't put more effort into it. Lay person is the best you have? We know that you mean "stupid" when you say something like that, right? The humor is, that while you think yourself so very clever... the teachers that educate your children, the tennis instructor that's serving your wife in more ways than you know, and pretty much everyone else with whom you do business fully understand how stupid you think we all are. Enjoy your take out dinner tonight. They totally didn't do something to your food because you're such a complete and total douche bag.

If you don't understand that our system should default to protect the accused then you should appear in person at your law school, JD in hand, and demand a full and immediate refund.

Anonymous said...

After seeing Jim Kitchens' "kitchen" ad for the first time I then decided not to vote for him. That was before I even knew that his opponent was Kenny Griffis.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Joe Maht has some serious issues with the term "lay person." It's just a word, bud.

Anonymous said...

Jane, if all ten of the judges on the COA reversed, obviously there was a serious question of something that happened or did not happen in the trial. Ten judges ruling the same is not the same as the Kitchens issue - where 7 of 9 judges felt the trial was appropriate and in accordance with the law. Kitchens and one other felt differently. Seems like you are making unfair comparison.

That being said - all this is a good reason why judges should not be elected, but appointed. Particularly when a judge is running for election (in this case it could be either Kitchens or Griffis) - anybody can find a case where the ruling from the bench can be placed in question before the uneducated eletorate. And in cases of Judicial elections - that includes 90% of the people that cast votes

Anonymous said...

1009 - sitting as a judge makes one a better appeals court judge? hogwash. i don't know where you stand on the MSSC race but to use your theory you prefer kitchens over griffis.

appeals court judges have a totally different role than a trial court judge - those sitting on the appealate bench need to be more studious and less activist. to apply your theory we should replace 85% of our current appealate bench as it currently exists. and while i am sure there are plenty of folks out there that would like to replace some of them i would bet you cant find someone that thinks all of the nine supremes and ten COAs are not qualified.

(for the record, without checking but going from memory, i think there are two sitting supreme - recently appointed Dawn Beam who was a chancellor - and retiring Ann Lamar, and on the COA the bright star Ceola James who served as a chancellor.) three out of nineteen total with previous trial court experience.

Anonymous said...

Please do not insult my intelligence by saying that Kenny Griffis had nothing to do with the negative ads that were run on his behalf. If they weren't going to help him, he could have stopped them. The fact that he did nothing to stop or condemn them shows you he is a person who wants to win at all costs, even if one of the casualties is the truth. I'm not voting for Kenny Griffis tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

A "real" Christian would ask the pacs to stop running those ads.

Anonymous said...

3:54 - you obviously do not know anything about elections - or at least people who follow election laws as they are written and intended to be followed.

The ads you are talking about are 'third party ads'; like the name implies they are run by a third party, not the campaign. Current law in MS judicial elections has a cap on what anyone can contribute to judicial candidates (basically 5,000 for appeal seats). Because of that limit, the use of third party campaigning has come into play. And the law specifically requires that there be NO - that is an absolute NO - connection, communication or coordination between the campaign and the third party.

I know that there have been plenty of cases where some less than scrupilous candidates have worked with third party groups and ignored the coordination law. But the fact that some people choose to break the law doesn't mean that others should. And this is especially true with candidates for judgeships in my opinion.

BTW - the first case of outside funding to come into play in MS judicial elections was in 1994 with the creation of ICEPAC. It would be a good exercise for you to go research who all was involved in funding ICEPAC and their advertising efforts against certain judicial candidates, because you would find most of them involved in supporting Kitchens this year. But you can't do the research. WHY? Because ICEPAC never filed any campaign finance reports despite spending over $400,000 that year on television advertising.

Anonymous said...

4:01 - a real person cannot by law ask the PAC to stop running the ads. It would be a clear violation of the campaign finance law. But - thanks for chiming in, and showing that those supporting Kitchens don't care about the law.

Anonymous said...

They are all crooked. They are politicians after all. They cannot be good honest people. If they were they would not be on a ballot.

Anonymous said...

It is beyond crazy that anyone would think Longwitz is the better choice than O'Neal. How many cases did Longwitz try in private practice? One?

He's running as "the only candidate with judicial experience" because his political connections got him put in the job that the voters rejected him for. It's all who ya know, in his world.

As for the appellate-court races, they're supposed to be non-partisan. That's a joke. Candidates send mailers where they're literally embracing politicians.

Maybe when we all realize that's how it really works, we'll move to appointing judges, and stuff like that anti-Kitchens ad will be a thing of the past.

Anonymous said...

Vote O'Neal for judge. Longwitz likes to think he's important and wants to make his way up the ladder through his connections. He is all talk.

Anonymous said...

4:14 Again, please do not insult my intelligence. I've been around enough to know that if Kenny Griffis had a problem with the ads, his people would call the PACS and tell them to stop. My guess is he thinks they are working and is happy about it. He's never said a word against the filth. I was going to vote for him but my neighbors and I talked about the ads and now have switched.

Anonymous said...

@ Logical: You wrote: 11:24 - Staci is also strong and fair and of good character. She has spent her career serving others through her ministry of troubled youth, church work, mission work, and as a public defender. I have no idea why you would vote for Will over her unless you are a personal friend. I don't know what in the world you mean by a gotcha personality. Unless you mean that she knows quite a lot.

And that's what I read on her mailer I received. When I read her list of accomplishments, I said to myself. Those are great. And they are really great for a do'er - someone you want to get things done. But, not a leader. She needs to stick to doing and let others lead. That's why I am choosing Longwitz.

Anonymous said...

So,4:47, you want a leader who does nothing? Interesting line of thinking. That is our problem today. We have leaders who do nothing.

Anonymous said...

I'm a lawyer in Madison County. I have practiced in county court for over 20 years. I have never seen Stacie O'Neal in a courtroom in a normal case. She is a public defender in youth court which is a very minor part of what the court does. She has been trying to pull the wool over people's eyes here. She has little to no legal experience outside of being a public defender which in youth court is meaningless as there are no trials.
I have been in front of Longwitz. He takes time to really listen to both sides, which not all judges do. He doesn't attempt to embarrass attorneys, plaintiffs or defendants but is respectful. We need more judges like him. He gives a damn.

Anonymous said...

4:47 "But, not a leader. She needs to stick to doing and let others lead. That's why I am choosing Longwitz."

Stupid people get to vote, just like everyone else. You be you, 4:47.

But non-stupid people might ask why "leadership" (what's the German? F├╝hrerprinzip?) is supposed to be a quality one wants in a *judge*.

If Longwitz is such a leader, let him run for a political position and lead from there. I don't want a "leader" deciding my case. I want someone who's experienced, fair, and devoted to justice, not to politics and "leadership."

4:14 here said...

4:42. Have you ever run a campaign? Have you ever worked in a campaign at a level to be making decisions? If so, I would like to know who you worked for because I will never support them in the future if you believe it is ok to disobey, actually flaunt, the law.

I have done it and been in a similar situation with outside groups running ads for and against my candidate. But we did what we were supposed to do. Nothing. We did not know when the outside groups were going to send out mail, or run ads, or what they were going to say. We did not even share photographs of the candidates for their use.

Go ahead and play the job that Kitchens is asking you to do (either paid or volunteer, I don't care) But the law says you cannot coordinate efforts with outside groups. And I respect candidates that respect the law.

Anonymous said...

@4:54 Being a Senator and now a Judge are being in leadership positions. Scary you can't see that. I'm sure she is a great person, and based on the experience listed in the flyer she sent out, if I was voting for a prosecutor she would get my vote.

Anonymous said...

5:12, I never said it is ok to flaunt the law. That's what your employer Griffis is doing. I said that if Kenny Griffis had a problem with those ads he could make a few phone calls and they would be taken down. You know it, I know it. Every thinking person knows it. It probably wouldn't take him more than 2 phone calls. He did not condemn the ads or call for them to be taken down because he thinks it's working.

Anonymous said...

5:12 - You say you want a judge who follows the law, but . . .

Q: Which candidate was reprimanded for violating the Code of Judicial Conduct?
A: Kenny Griffis.

Even if we were to accept that Judge Griffis can't control the 3rd party groups, he can certainly control what is posted to his FB page and the mailers from his committee. He might not be able to stop the GOP from endorsing him, but he doesn't have to embrace it in clear violation of Code of Judicial Conduct.

Anonymous said...

No on Yoder and Hannan... both of them are awful. All the others are competent and qualified..

Anonymous said...

The Supreme Court is an appeals court. How does a Supreme Court Judge get "tough". Just wondering...

Anonymous said...

Kingfish,

You forgot about another judicial race--Ceola James v. Latrice Westbrooks..

Anonymous said...

#LongwitzLandslide by 75% tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Latrice Westbrooks is a criminal defense attorney who has represented murderers and rapists. That's all I need to know to vote against her.

Anonymous said...

Longwitz by 15 points. O'Neal dropped a boatload of her own cash on this one but it won't be enough to get her the name ID she needs. She should have talked to some of Longwitz's former opponents before running. I think the same people promised to support them and then disappeared after the qualifying deadline.

Anonymous said...

Jack Wilson is supremely qualified and, contrary to KF's assertion, has judicial experience--he's been doing the job, very well, for a year. I'm glad I live under a rock and have missed the Supreme Court drama.

Anonymous said...

All I know is Griffis and Kitchens agreed early on to run a clean campaign. Kitchens kept that promise but Griffis did not. If he thinks what he's doing is clean I'd hate to see what he would call dirty. Big turn off for me. Can't vote for Griffis.

Anonymous said...

7:34 she talked to all of his former opponents no one took the bait! No one can beat the #LongwitzLandslide

Anonymous said...

I know Kenny and he should be ashamed of these ads. They have cost him votes.

Anonymous said...

Hannan is clearly the best and most qualified candidate for the Court of Appeals due to his 19 years of experience as a trial court judge. Most people do not realize that the majority of appellate cases involve issues raised at the trial court level. As a result, trial court experience truly matters in deciding those issues. Jack Wilson has absolutely no experience at the trial court level as either a judge or litigation attorney. It amazes me how anybody would be comfortable with someone deciding trial court issues who has never even stepped foot in a trial court, much less tried a case in state court.

Anonymous said...

5:12 while you are correct that a campaign and a PAC can not communicate legally, can you please explain how the PAC garbage ads started running (and yes they are garbage. A cursory view of the cited cases made that clear. Funny how Kitchens was looking for a legal loophole in 09, and said legal loophole netted a unanimous vote in 2012) and quickly after Griffis' ads started playing up the children bit? Or how the Judicial Canons specifically prohibit a Judicial candidate to be partisan in an election, much less send out a mailer, approved by the candidate, proudly proclaiming the endorsement of a party? Since you are a campaign guru, perhaps you could explain those things to us.

Anonymous said...

Here is what you need to know about Westbrook: the Fifth Circuit found her to be negligent in her duties as an attorney, a finding it said was not confined to an isolated incident. The 5th Circuit recommended that the Mississippi investigate her fitness to practice law. Latrice Westbrooks v. United States of America, No. 09-60889 (5th Cir. 2010).

Link here: http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/ca5/09-60889/09-60889.0.wpd-2011-03-16.html


Vote for integrity, vote for Ceola James.

But Back To Logic.. said...

O'Neal has the womens' vote. That's what matters up here in Madison. They not only control their own votes..they also control those of their hubs. I mean, who wants to be cut off for two months because they voted for Wee Willy Longstick?

Anonymous said...

Whoever Phil Bryant endorses, I am definitely voting against! That som'itch is more worried about social issues than real brick and mortar issues. Time to remove his finger prints from our state government structure.

Anonymous said...

Just saw Longwitz commercial. He's a county court judge. Exactly how is he protecting Madison against drug dealers? And how is he keeping everyone safe and making it tough on criminals? Forget what should be immediate DQ for running such an ad (judges are supposed to be impartial but that ship sailed many years ago) he's a county court judge. He isn't doing a single thing about any drug dealer, except perhaps presiding over a preliminary hearing. He does't hear a single felony case, other than preliminary hearings, and so the only dealings he might have with drug dealers is to pass them on to a Grand Jury so a Circuit Judge might hear the case. I guess he's protecting Madison from those crazy simple assaulters or potentially misd MJ possessors, assuming they appeal to Madison County Court.

Anonymous said...

That platform - keeping criminals locked up - is what Kenny Griffis ran on when he was first elected to the Court of Appeals. Like Longwitz, he was counting on the fact that most people don't have a clue what appellate judges do.

Anonymous said...

5:12 pm I have worked on several campaigns.
I got my candidates elected without smearing our opponent and won even though our opponents' supporters smeared my candidates.
And, yes, the party tried very hard to persuade us that " negative ads work" and dangled more money in front of us from the same group that financed the ads.
There is nothing to prevent Kenny from disavowing these hateful ads.
You have rationalized away your integrity.
I quit politics when both parties began to put party loyalty before good government. I had helped both Democrats and Republicans and was not about to drink the toxic party Kool Aid of either!
We have gone from dirty tricks to negative to "take no prisoners" to rage politics in my lifetime.
Rage politics has caused a lack of trust in our institutions and our leaders based on falsehoods like those contained in these ads.
Rage politics is ripping apart the very fabric of our society.
Rage politics has even infected our churches so that even church leaders are bearing false witness and have forgotten that The Bible clearly states that spreading false stories is a violation and that ignorance of the falsity is no exception to the Commandment. In doing so, they have put the souls of those they are to minister at risk.

There is no rationalization or justification for telling such outrageous lies!

Heddy-Dale Matthias, MD said...

Hey, Anonymous at !2:48.

First off, I'm distressed that folks on this website never use their real names when they comment. If you really believe in what you're saying, put your name on it! Otherwise you're nothing other than a troll.

Secondly--I am not a "litmus test" voter. Although I don't know my candidates' position on abortion, I'd take a bet that most, if not all, are "pro-life." The majority of contenders for public office in Mississippi are either "pro-life," or say they are. That's just the way it is here in the deep South. Can anyone remember the last "pro-abortion" candidate who won a state-wide election in Mississippi?

Unlike most, I am "pro-abortion" and "Pro-death penalty." That is consistent.

The Constitution, intelligence, and work ethic are the most important factors to me. And, the ability to take a position, defend it, and let it stand despite criticism (i.e. to some cajones) is important, too. That's how I make a decision. No litmus tests, including abortion. That's why I'm NOT voting for Hillary.

Anonymous said...

I'm distressed that folks on this website never use their real names when they comment. If you really believe in what you're saying, put your name on it!

Spare us this garbage Heddy. You are obviously not that distressed.

Anonymous said...

First off, I'm distressed that folks on this website never use their real names when they comment. If you really believe in what you're saying, put your name on it! Otherwise you're nothing other than a troll

I am distressed that people can use any name they want on this website. Just because they put it at the top of their post does not mean a damn thing. I could use the same name on my posts.

Anonymous said...

Heddy-Dale Matthias, MD.

Who is this person who is using my name?

Anonymous said...

"5:12, I never said it is ok to flaunt the law. That's what your employer Griffis is doing. I said that if Kenny Griffis had a problem with those ads he could make a few phone calls and they would be taken down. You know it, I know it. Every thinking person knows it. It probably wouldn't take him more than 2 phone calls. He did not condemn the ads or call for them to be taken down because he thinks it's working."

You never said it is ok to flaunt the law? That's exactly what you said before, and it is what you are saying again here.

I certainly hope you never get into a position of determining law - because you contradict yourself in such a simple matter as this. For a candidate to "make a few phone calls" to the outside group would absolutely violate the law. Don't know how many times this has to be explained to you but there can be NO COORDINATION between the campaign and the outside groups. No means no. Except to people like your candidate and his supporters, evidently.

No coordination. No discussion. No few conversations. No few phone calls.

Understand now? If not, read the law yourself and see if you can figure this simple rule out.

Anonymous said...

9:37 - the Judicial Canons require a judge (or judge candidate) to be non-partisan. The law passed in the mid-90's changing judicial offices to non-partisan also said that parties could not be involved in the campaigns. A quick filing in the federal courts overturned that law as unconstitutional violation of the 1st amendment. So, parties are allowed to be involved to whatever degree they choose to be.

A candidate is entitled to note any group that has endorsed him/her in his campaigning, be that an association, a church, his family, or - in your question - a party. The candidate is not becoming a partisan just because they list the endorsement just like they are not joining the union if they happen to list the AFL-CIO endorsement.

And despite your very liberal description, anything done in this campaign related to any party endorsement was not, and has not been found to be, a violation of a law.

Anonymous said...

Griffis could publicly disavow the ads without being guilty of coordinating. The fact he chooses not to says a lot about his lack of integrity.

Anonymous said...

The anti Kitchens ads imply that when Griffis is deciding whether to affirm or reverse criminal cases, he decides based on what the defendant was convicted of. How stupid is that?

Anonymous said...

12:36. I don't care what somebody else says I will do - it only counts if I say what I will do. (Which of course, Judicial candidates are not allowed to do, but that's another subject). The anti ads are not run or approved by Griffis. Just like the anti-Griffis flyers that have been distributed (without any disclaimer as to who did the distribution) are assumed to not be approved by Kitchens.

But maybe they were Kitchens flyers. Should we believe that they reflect your guy's personal stance about Griffis?

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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.


Note: Security provided by INS.

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
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