Friday, July 6, 2018

Better Together: Law don't Apply to Us

The Better Together Commission told JJ that it is exempt from all public records laws since it is not a government entity.  Governor Phil Bryant, the Kellogg Foundation, and Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba created the Commission last fall as part of an effort to stop a takeover of the Jackson Public Schools District by the Mississippi Department of Education. 

JJ recently submitted a public records request to the Commission for any records regarding the JPD $65 bond referendum.   Jason Thompson of Fahrenheit Creative Group sent this response:

This letter is to acknowledge the receipt of your request for access to records of the Better Together Commission. The commission is not a public entity subject to Mississippi Code § 25- 61-5.  However, in the interest of cooperation and transparency, we have reviewed your request and are  responding to let you know that we do not have records related to a bond issue for Jackson Public Schools.


 JJ sent a subsequent request for the Board minutes in 2018 but has not received a response nor even an acknowledgement. Welcome to the Barksdale-Kellogg Plantation.  Claiborne (Hell, the name even sounds like an overseer) Barksdale and his Kellogg buddies get to run a public school system without any accountability whatsoever. 

At least MDE was accountable to someone and subject to public records laws. 

32 comments:

Wow said...

Don't agree with this. Hope you pursue this. Similarly disagree with Republic's shielding of from public requests as well.

Anonymous said...

Real simple to determine is public or not. Under what law was this organization created? What is their tax status with IRS? If it is a private not profit and has a 501-c-3 type status then it is not public.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry Earthlings, Shad White to the rescue!! Not...

Next!

Anonymous said...

I Pheeel they are on the wrong side of this!

Anonymous said...

What a great opportunity for KF and Kennuth to work together! "NO TRICKS!"

Anonymous said...

That is just wrong. You should ask Shad White to handle this....oh wait.

Anonymous said...

KF, the MOU executed by Bryant, Lumumba and JPS (along with the Kellogg Foundation) at the time of the formation of this amorphous entity clearly states that there is no joint venture created by the creation of the commission. It essentially states that each party to the MOU retains all of its rights and there are no obligations created by becoming a member of the commission. Seems to me, therefore, that you would be better served to send public record requests to the individual government entities and demand production of all documents related to the work of the commission, including proposed minutes of the commission. You might find what you are looking for that way.

Anonymous said...

This proves that Shad White’s effectiveness is DOA. He will never be able to effectuate any reform or change because his livelihood depends on doing the exact opposite.

Anonymous said...

6:47 ----- ???????????????

Anonymous said...

@6:47

I have no idea who you are and I don't want to know, but you negative comments about Shad White are getting old in a hurry. And no, I don't know Chad White and had never heard of him until today. Give it a rest already!

Anonymous said...

7:11p!!! Hahaha!!! What a phony cover-up!! Never heard of “Chad”? That’s as believable as Ole Bill never inhaling!! Whatever gets you through 2018, Shad.

Not Gorsuch said...

Not a legal scholar but section 25-61-3 defining what is a public body seems to cover this commission.

Anonymous said...

“In the spirit of transparency, we choose not to be transparent.”

Not Gorsuch said...

AG opinion No. 2016-00545 dated 2/10/17 also seems to say the commission is a public body.

Anonymous said...

Remember that time when one of the previous Attorney General’s launched a thorough investigation of the sitting Governor’s affiliated non-profit? It was the same Gov. who had appointed this very AG....Wait, you don’t remember? Oh, I guess the bottle let me down again tonight.

Anonymous said...

Serious question: What has this Commission accomplished since forming last year? A study to study the problem? I'm guessing JPS will still be in the bottom 3-5 districts when their report card comes out.

Anonymous said...

Serious answer: Due to the insulation the Commission provides to all members- no blame shall attach to the continued failure of JPS to succeed.

Which of course explains why the Commission was needed- to prevent Pheel and friends from being in charge due to a state takeover of JPS, which would inevitably force them to admit they don't know how to fix JPS.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Fahrenheit the group that put together that all-but-forgotten fiasco back in 2012 called "Celebrate Jackson"? Remember they had an event at City Hall on a Wednesday night in November that no one attended (although Jeff Good still used it to get his face on the TV news) then put a few spec ads on YouTube before Hovvy fired them. They pissed away $100,000.

Just goes to show you can pretty much do what you want and get paid if you're "minority owned".

Anonymous said...

5:06...If your information is correct, then the entire body would be the point at which to make the request, not the individual components of the body. The individual components would not have complete knowledge of the working parts contributed by the others. The whole is equal to the sum of its parts. Basic math.

Anonymous said...

10:14, AG opinions are not always correct but until changed or over ruled by a court should be followed. When a public agency spends public money, the public has a right to know.

Anonymous said...

Records? We ain't got no records. We don't need no records. I don't have to show you any stinkin' records.

Anonymous said...

1:55....You are correct. This Commission was formed in the face of an impending state takeover, which no one backed (or wished to take on). The state didn't want it, the city didn't want it/knew it could't undertake it and JPD is obviously clueless. This is an effort to put on the breaks and at least get everyone talking with each other. Hopefully everyone can agree on some plan that's better than the nothingness we now have. It's a step, which is better than the unbelievably constant bitching in here

Anonymous said...

Are charter schools exempt as well?

Anonymous said...

2:57 - many folks did back the state takeover of JPS. Its just that a few political folks who lack a backbone didn't want to take on the issue. Yes, it might have failed and then their action would be questioned. But as it was before, and continues to be, it is a failure.

For you to say the city didn't want it sure flies in the face of what the city was saying --- no screaming --- when it appeared that the state via MDE was going to actually do its duty. They claimed it was racially motivated and that only black majority cities were subjected to such a disgraceful move. Maybe you are right and they "didn't want it" but that's surely not what any of the elected, appointed, or self-appointed city "leaders" were saying at the time.

Truth is, the state passed a new law regarding local schools and the triggering mechanism for a state tackover, AND what was required before a school would be returned to local control. And the Governor did not have the balls to actually do what the law --- the law that he signed --- required.

To say we all ought to sit back and hope that they can do something reflects the basic problem. Let's hope!! No, let's see the state do something since the school and the city responsible for it hasn't done anything for years, all the while losing another generation of kids. While the adults HOPE.

Anonymous said...

Transparency is best when applied to the other person and their dealings. Me? That’s different.

Anonymous said...

6:18pm Preach on! Grown folk continue to put they own interest in front of the children. It is dam tragic. A whole year wasted.

Anonymous said...

Who from the City of Jackson said the takeover was racist? False statement.

Anonymous said...

Form the Mississippi Educational Fund through the Lottery. That is what the other 45 states that have the lottery do!!!! Wake UP Mississippi!!!!

Kingfish said...

No one from Jackson government was saying the takeover was racist? Where were you last fall? Under a rock? Trapped in a Thai cave?

Anonymous said...

They must have been drinking some good stuff, KF. I seem to remember the mayor calling a press conference proposing alternatives to MDE taking over. Isn't that how we ended up w/ this commission so that "whitey" wouldn't take over?

Anonymous said...

They must have been drinking some good stuff, KF. I seem to remember the mayor calling a press conference proposing alternatives to MDE taking over. Isn't that how we ended up w/ this commission so that "whitey" wouldn't take over?

Anonymous said...

File a complaint with the ethics commission, they could probably weigh in.

2016 Hottest Reporter Poll

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Who is the hottest reporter?

Archives

Who is the Hottest Reporter in Jackson?

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
.