Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Sid Salter: Neshoba County Fair stump speeches should more sharply focus two key political races

A weekend visit to the Neshoba County Fairgrounds demonstrates that for the politicians and their supporters, the buildup to “Mississippi’s Giant Houseparty” is long since underway. Political signs and placards already dot trees, fence posts and power poles along the seven-mile stretch of Highway 21 running south from Philadelphia to the historic fairgrounds.

Inside the fairgrounds and particularly on Founder’s Square, the signs literally obscure every power pole and no small number of the fair cabins. Fair officials have for years enforced a “no signs on the trees” rule as best they could in an attempt to minimize damage to the old oaks on the grounds.

And the fair doesn’t actually start until July 27. The fair’s three-day marathon of political speaking will commence on Tuesday, July 31 and continue daily until the speeches conclude on Thursday, August 2 with a speech from Gov. Phil Bryant between 10:30 and 11 a.m. that day. By longstanding tradition, a Mississippi governor makes the last speech and gets the last word annually from the state’s premier political stump.

The Tuesday, July 31 speeches will feature remarks from Neshoba County area judicial and legislative officials including District Attorney Steven Kilgore, Chancery Judge Joseph Kilgore, State Sen. Jenifer Branning, State Rep. C. Scott Bounds, and Circuit Judges Mark Duncan and Chris Collins. There is a contested judicial race in the 6th Chancery Court Place 2 Judge’s position between candidates Rosalind Jordan and Kiley Kirk.

On Wednesday, August 1, the speakers will be statewide elected officials including Central District Public Service Commissioner Cecil Brown, Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall, Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, State Auditor Shad White, and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.

Democratic Class II U.S. Senate candidate Tobey Bartee will speak early on Wednesday. Also speaking on Wednesday will be Third District U.S. House nominees Michael Ted “Big Country” Evans and Michael Guest. U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper, the retiring GOP congressman Evans and Guest are seeking to follow, will give a farewell address to fairgoers as well.

But the marquee speeches on August 1 will come from incumbent Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood and incumbent GOP Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves. The two speeches are highly anticipated as forerunners of a possible 2019 gubernatorial race matchup between the pair – although Hood has remained more reticent about his 2019 intentions to date than has Reeves.

Thursday, Aug. 2 marks the final day of political speaking at the 2018 Neshoba County Fair. Statewide officials set to speak that day will include State Treasurer Lynn Fitch, Commissioner of Agriculture Andy Gibson, and Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn.

Incumbent Class I Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker is not scheduled to speak, but three challengers in his race – Democratic nominee David Baria, and perennial candidates Danny Bedwell and Shawn O’Hara – are slated to speak on Thursday.

Perhaps the most closely watched speeches of the week will come from Class II U.S. Senate candidates headed for an open primary showdown in November. Those candidates will include Republicans State Sen. Chris McDaniel, Democratic candidate and former secretary of agriculture and Mississippi congressman Mike Espy, and Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith.

Expect fireworks from the Senate candidates on Thursday from both parties. Many observers are likewise anxious to hear what second-term Republican Gov. Phil Bryant – who appointed Hyde-Smith to the Senate vacancy and who has previously criticized McDaniel – will have to say batting cleanup after McDaniel, Espy, and Hyde-Smith have said their pieces.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at


Seer-Sucker-Suits said...

I just have a real uneasy feeling when I see "Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith". I realize full well that's the case but would rather see the reality of the following:

"Democrat switched-Republican interim appointee U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith"

And please don't rush to your keyboard to type: "You do realize Reagan was once a democrat!" Yes, I do. But, Reagan didn't vote for Obama or Hillary Clinton, did he? And if he had, he'd own up to it and not claim he can't remember. And will Cindy be able to negotiate her way to the stage without Phil's handlers helping her?

On another note, I do hope there will be people on hand to fan Dick Hall with large Elephant Ears and keep him vertical.

Anonymous said...

I hope Sid will be able to tally the number of times Bryant uses the word "I" when he 'bats clean-up'. Ima go ahead and predict 32.

Anonymous said...

Did I miss the slot where Cong. Bennie Thompson speaks and goes through his list of accomplishments that benefit his district?

Anonymous said...

bla bla bla.

Anonymous said...

@7:44, he wouldn't come if he was invited. That's the hottest place on the face of the earth, he would probably kill over sweating in that heat.

Anonymous said...

@7:44, Bennie isnt invited, nor is Trent Kelly or Steven Palazzo, because none of the three represent Neshoba County

Anonymous said...

@744 - not his disttict; NCF rules. Only those who's district includes fairgrounds get to speak. Or candidates for office that include fair.

But would be interesting to hear his list of accomplishments for 2d district. Disagree with 943, of that was his speech it would be so short he wouldn't even break a sweat, even in that heat.

Anonymous said...

If the speech would be about Bennie's accomplishments over 25 years I could write it in thirty seconds.

Anonymous said...

The depth (or lack thereof) of Sid's "analysis" continues to boggle the mind.

Wow said...

I do not mind at all that she was a Democrat at some point. It tells me her mind has a wide range of ideological considerations. That's good news for Washington. (I guess TBD if this could also negatively mean she is opportunist / surface-level and party is just a mechanism to get power).

Mississippi is not a wealthy state. We do not have the luxury of sending senators or representatives on ideology alone. We need people in Washington that will establish relationships with everyone.

Anonymous said...

7:32, you are correct that Reagan didn't vote for Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton..... since neither of them even ran for President when he was still alive. But he didn't switch to the Republican Party until 1962 and was a Democrat until then, which means he probably voted for FDR, Truman, and probably even JFK since he was elected in 1961 when Reagan was still a Democrat.

Anonymous said...

@744 - not his district; NCF rules. Only those who's district includes fairgrounds get to speak. Or candidates for office that include fair.

Thank you for this explanation........I was unaware of NCF rules. But I couldn't resist poking a stick in Uncle Bennie's list of accomplishments.

Anonymous said...

Say what you will about Dick Hall, but at least the guy is frugal. He had someone design a logo for his campaign in like 1934 and he has used that white H with an arrow on a red background ever since.

I think he added a black dotted line when he left the Legislature and ran for Transportation Commissioner.

Of course, that also shows that he has changed his ways of thinking very little in the century he has held state office.

Anonymous said...

1:56 - I trust the stick you were using to poke was from your package of toothpicks in the pantry. Any stick larger than that would be too large to pierce the list of Bennie's accomplishments.

Anonymous said...

When he speaks at the NCF, I’d love to know Tate Reeves opinion of the current state flag. (I know, I know, we voted on that in 2000 - or was it ‘01?) That was then, this is now. The flag is offensive to many people in our state for a variety of reasons. As a state leader, does Tate believe that our current flag positively represents all citizens of our state and is an accurate representation of our “brand” or not? Tate, where do you stand?

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure she is bankrolled by the U.S. Chamber which is in support of amnesty and some degree of open borders, along with globalization. If you want another Paul Ryan establishment type RINO, go for it. I'm for McDaniel.

Ask NOT Who I voted For... said...

12:06 - Most of us who are alive and thinking, are not much concerned with Truman, Kennedy and FDR...but we are damned sure aware of Obama and Ladye Clinton and the fact that Hyde-Smythe had to support one or the other or both but can't remember. Who Reagan supported half a century ago is pretty much irrelevant today.

Anonymous said...

With the way things are going a lot of people wish they would have voted for Clinton.

Anonymous said...

9:06 - Stay tuned in to that Maddow guy and you wind up with that opinion. Meanwhile, take off the blinders and realize what all has changed for the better. Or don't.

Anonymous said...

With the way things are going a lot of people wish they would have voted for Clinton.

Said no one ever.

lovermangenuis said...

a lot of people wish they would have voted for Clinton

Not even for a minute.

Anonymous said...

Folks aren't as blind as you guys think, they can't dump him in November but they will put a thorn in his butt.

Anonymous said...

7:50 am Y'all must not know any Libertarians that either voted for Trump or punted off their vote .
You also must not be aware that life long conservatives like George Will are not just leaving the GOP but urging others to vote Democratic in the upcoming election as distasteful as it is to break the grip of the Alt-right and Trump hold on the GOP.
I don't know whether Trump is typical of the poor little rich boy whose Daddy got him through the early years or whether when he was so in debt that he turn to Russian mob money ( and those guys make the Mafia look like choir boys) or laundered Russian money for oligarchs through the Deutsche Bank, or whether Putin has something on him or whether his just senile.

But, I do know fact from fiction as I bother to find out. So...

What I do know is that President Trump repeatedly says things that are ridiculously untrue ( like the Queen hasn't reviewed the her guard until she did it just for his visit...but the list is long and some of the ridiculous more dangerous stupidity), changes what his position is on any issue from day to day, can't remember what he said or misspeaks daily on important issues, doesn't listen to or either can't recall what his advisors tell him, doesn't understand why there are things Presidents should and shouldn't do or understand why somethings have to be done a certain way for good historical reasons cause. That last one works because so few Americans know how a good government must work.

I know he insults our allies and praises tyrants.

I know he says that Kim Jong Un and Putin have agreed to things for which he has nothing in writing or means to verify...only says " no need to worry about Russia of North Korea anymore".

I know his golfing trips are being paid for by taxpayers and worse, his Trump properties are prospering. And, that's interesting because just after his bankruptcy he bought lost of golf courses that were losing money ( that a tough biz for profiting) and lots of Russians bought his condos and apartments.

I know the debt has gotten worse faster.

I know trade wars don't have a good history anyway, so that makes me a bit nervous because of the above that Trump knows what the hell he's doing starting one and why I should be confident he'll win it rather win it.

I know he rants and rambles and is bombastic rather than delivers a coherent set of facts...entertaining in a celebrity and a politician on the stump but not in any leader of the free world or when a serious event has taken place in this country.

I'm supposed to believe his in fine health when I see a nearly 72 year old overweight man for whom hitting a golf ball is his only exercise . I happen to remember doctors in The White House didn't reveal the serious illnesses of Wilson, JFK, LBJ or that Reagan had the onset of Alzheimer's at the end of his presidency either because they didn't have the cooperation of their patient, they didn't look or didn't say...I don't know which.

So, yes, I like others think that as much as I hated Clinton, we'd have had a better chance of getting through 4 years without disastrous consequences.

And, all the name calling you want to do or attempts to restate dumb misinformation or suggest we believe stupid liberal thinks that we do not believe, will not alleviate the concerns we have for our Nation.

Anonymous said...

All of what 9am said about Trump is true, but Trump true believers are so mind numbed to the reality of who they supported that even when the shit hits the fan and our economy takes a nosedive they'll blame Clinton or Obama instead of Trump because Rush, Sean and Fox News told them to.

Anonymous said...

In response to 11:10am, anyone who blames or credits Trump, Obama or Clinton (either of them) for the current economic bubble or the almost-certain brutal bursting of that bubble doesn't have a clue of how markets, economics, trade, the economy, or anything else related works. In other words, the vast majority of the US population.

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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.

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