Monday, November 26, 2018

Food Fight: Court of Appeals!

The war over who will replace Judge Joseph Lee on the Mississippi Court of Appeals will come to an end tomorrow.  Jackson attorney David McCarty came within one point of winning the November 6 election outright as he beat Hinds County Circuit Judge Jeff Weill by more than thirty thousand votes. 

The two candidates have not just been fighting for votes but have also faced off over campaign tactics.  Both candidates filed complaints against the other with the Special Committee on Judicial Election Campaign Intervention. The Commission made several rulings on the race. 

*Weill accused McCarty of using campaign signs that didn't have the required language.  McCarty acknowledged the signs lacked said language but it was an oversight and would be corrected on the next batch of signs.  The Commission ruled that the McCarty campaign violated the law. 

*A sample ballot was distributed that urged Democrat voters to vote for McCarty along with other Democratic candidates.  A similar advertisement was placed in the Enterprise Journal (McComb).  The Commission said there was insufficient evidence to determine if McCarty violated the law. Win for McCarty.

* Weill's complaint stated that McCarty's campaign failed to report the expense of the sample ballots and Enterprise-Journal ad as campaign expenditures.  The Committee said there was no reporting requirement for McCarty for third-party expenditures.  Win for McCarty.

*The complaint charged the McCarty campaign with failing to report the purchase of radio and other media ads.  The McCarty campaign said it paid Chism Strategies to create ads and make media buys.  The campaign argued it reported the payments made to the consultant.  However, the Committee said the campaign must report the organizations who receive funds through the consultant.  Thus, the McCarty campaign violated the law. The Committee ordered the McCarty campaign to file an updated report with the correct information within 24 hours after the opinion was issued.  Win for Weill.

*The Weill complaint stated sample ballots were paid for by various groups such as "Espy for Senate" or "Friends of Bennie Thompson" were not reported as none of these groups filed campaign finance reports.  The Committee said they should have filed such reports and referred the complaint to the Ethics Commission.  Win for Weill.

* Food Fight.  Both sides accused the other of making false statements about each other (He touched me!).  Weill complained that McCarty said he only had one case "ruled on" by the appellate courts while McCarty touted his appellate experience.  Weill counted the appeals of his cases as appellate experience and said that he had more experience than McCarty.  McCarty accused Weill of making a false statement about the Judge's record.  The Committee did what both parents do.  It told each child to go to leave each other alone and stop touching each other.  Actually, it said the candidates had a First Amendment right to free speech and thus didn't violate the law.  Tie.

* Another Food Fight.  McCarty whined that Weill portrayed himself as a conservative, using the familiar buzzwords, while calling McCarty an Obamabot Hillary supporting lawyer who is pro-choice and hates guns.  It is not known if Weill is from Mars, rides around in a spaceship taking money from tobacco lawyers so he can give cigarettes to your children.    McCarty also complained that Weill was calling himself a former "Republican" City Councilman.  The Committee said that is true and that Weill was protected by the First Amendment.  Win for Weill.

Campaign Finance Reports

The plaintiff's bar opened up the checkbooks for Mr. McCarty as the Jackson lawyer out-raised Judge Weill $223,045 to $170,829*.  Judge Weill has always been a strong fundraiser in his previous campaigns for Circuit Judge and City Councilman, so it is a little surprising that the first-time candidate was able to beat him by over $60,000 in this race. 

Attorneys dominated the list of heavy hitters on Mr. McCarty's campaign finance report while business-oriented PAC's were Judge Weill's large donors. 

Kristie Nutt: $2,500
Robert A Smith, Jr.: $5,000
Barksdale Management: $5,000
Mississippi Counseling: $5,000
Maggio Thompson: $5,000
Danny Cupit: $5,000
David Nutt: $5,000
Mrs. Crymes Pittman: $2,500
Tom Rhoden: $2,500
Donna Barksdale: $5,000
Richard Schwartz: $2,500
Warren Martin, Jr.: $2,500
Morris Bart: $2,500
Dennis Sweet, III: $2,500
Robert Watson: $2,500
Lance Stevens: $2,500
James Barksdale: $5,000
Michael Saltarformaggio: $5,000

Doug Hindman: $2,500
Gulf Relay: $2,500
Lee Lampton: $2,500
Mississippi Physicians PAC: $5,000
Bankplus PAC: $2,500
Mississippi Poultry Assn: $2,500
MARPAC: $5,000
MM Pac: $5,000
Mississippi Bankers Assn: $5,000
Carson Hughes: $5,000
Jan Mounger: $2,500
Billy Mounger: $2,500

Mr. McCarty also loaned $25,000 to his campaign.

Then there is the matter of a story with published in the Clarion-Ledger last week:  

Ohmigoshmighosh, Hindman is Judge Weill's moneyman!!!  Wait a second.   There is just one problem with this headline - it is simply not true.  As shown above, Judge Weill's largest donors were five PAC's that each gave him $5,000.  Mr. Hindman gave him $2,500 while his company donated another $2,500 to the campaign.  If such donations are counted together, the Moungers are leading Weill donors as well as the couple gave $5,000.  Thus Doug Hindman is not the campaign's "biggest" donor as reported by the "state" newspaper. 

The story is more a tale of sloppy research disguised as reporting.   The reporter only looked at the most recent campaign finance report, even though the Weill campaign submitted ten campaign finance reports in 2018.  It is somewhat surprising Justin Vicery didn't read the other reports as he is usually thorough in his reporting.  The article states: 

The Hindman donation to the Weill campaign was the most of any contributor, according to recent campaign finance reports.  On Nov. 13, the Weill campaign deposited $2,500 from Hindman's company Gulf Relay Transport. The donation was $1,000 more than the second-highest contribution he received from Kay Hughes, a teacher at Covenant Presbyterian. The Weill campaign took in a total $10,450 in donations, the most recent records show.
The reports state the total donations for the campaign was only $10,450 when in reality the campaign raised over $170,829.  The second highest donation was not the $1,500 from Kay Hughes.  There were FIVE donations of $5,000 and four other donations of $2,500.  $5,000 is greater than $2,500 and $2,500 is equal to $2,500 - unless one is using Clarion-Ledger math.  It is not known if the candidate returned the donations or gave them to charity. 

Reporters don't write headlines so the erroneous headline falls on the editorial staff.   The story is filled with so many errors that the newspaper should simply retract the article.  A simple correction won't do after that headline was published.  Damage done.

*November 21, 2018 campaign finance reports.


Anonymous said...

Vote Weill tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Jeff is the best candidate hands down!

Anonymous said...

The trial lawyers and “fake news” aren’t enough to take down a true conservative like Judge Weill!

Anonymous said...

It's rich for Jeff Weill to complain about McCarty running a partisan campaign when he is the one touting his endorsements by the Governor and his connections to Republicans. Jeff Weill is desperate because he barely placed over Byron Carter, who literally no one knows. When you're that far behind, you pull out all of the dog whistles. McCarty is the most qualified, hands down.

Anonymous said...

Looks like McCarty's financial support is all coming from corporations and PACs. Hmmmm. For a judicial election?

Anonymous said...

12:34--I think you mean Weill. He's the one with corporate and PAC money.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Weill is a fine Christian man above all else. I’m proud to support him. Vote Weill!

Anonymous said...

Jeff earned my respect when he stood up to Tomie Green and cronies starting day one as a Jackson judge. We can count on him to do the right thing. McCarty is a crazy fringe liberal who would do great damage on the court.

Anonymous said...

12:34, look at those lists again.

Weill has been posting pics of himself posing w GOP pols like CHS. He’s in no position to carp about partisanship.

Runoffs usually favor GOP, but the Espy race ought to help Dem turnout. Will be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Mccarty’s clients include the ACLU, the NCAAP, the Magnolia Bar Association, and two judges charged with accepting bribes. No thanks.
Vote for Judge Weill tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

So McCarty violated at least two laws and Weill violated no laws. Not surprising there! I’m sure the Clarion Ledger, Jackson Free Press will print tha headline - NOT!

Anonymous said...

Judge Weil: practicing in an appellate court = appellate experience.

Parties appealing cases to an appellate court where you have no involvement does not equal appellate experience.

Your misleading claims notwithstanding.

Anonymous said...

Weil runs misleading ads on this very site. He had zero appellate experience but claims to have 3x more than McCarty. Taking credit for others work, including mine.

The Ghost of Years Past said...

I've known David McCarty for over 20 years -- long enough to remember when he had very long hair and drove an El Camino with a license plate from his home state of Alabama -- and I can promise you that I'll be voting for Jeff Weill. You should, too.

David is a nice guy, but the good people of this state will get physically ill when they get a taste of his liberal judicial activism. It's scary that he came so close to winning in the general election.

Anonymous said...

@1:15 is spot on. Most of Weill's "appellate work" comes from the COA & SC reviewing appeals on cases he presided over. He didn't do the appeal work, some other lawyer(s) did.

Anonymous said...

The “appeals experience” that Weill touts is his orders being appealed. He does nothing but wait for the result. Which is often a reversal because he does his job so poorly.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Jackson Jambalaya will publish who illegally provided it copies of these confidential complaints and rulings. I have a guess who it was.

Anonymous said...

Who knew that a Special Committee under the Code of Judicial Conduct had the jurisdiction to rule that political consultants are required to list every expense paid on behalf of any candidate. Has anyone ever seen this?

I bet Weill's campaign is getting calls from every political candidate and consultant asking him, "What in the hell did you do?" Weill didn't even detail his own agent's expenses - Political Sourcing Group was paid $50,743.50. Fun to watch a judicial candidate who does not think far enough ahead to recognize the law of unintended consequences, even in his own campaign.

Anonymous said...

McCarty has made his living preparing appellate briefs for small-shop plaintiff's lawyers. Has he ever even tried a case in a court of record? Weill has presided over hundreds of civil and criminal cases, doesn't put up with BS, and is by far the superior candidate.

Kingfish said...

Got it off the agency's website, you idiot.

Anonymous said...

Weill reeks of desperation.

Anonymous said...

12:41>>> Weill tells everyone who will listen that he is a Christian... it has been my experience that a true Christian doesn’t have to tell you he is a Christian beacase it is evident in how he treats other people... maybe if Weill would start treating other people with kindness, he wouldn’t have to be the self-proclaimed saint

12:55>>> Weill took $5,000 from Doug Hindman and his company >>> for those who live under a rock, Hindman got arrested for trying to pick up a 12 year old little girl >>> that’s called pedophile and Weill took the money

1:45 >>> take a gander at Weill’s many reversals by the higher courts... beat down by the high court doth not equal appellate experience

Anonymous said...

McCarty is primarily an appeals lawyer (thus, his extraordinary qualifications for this position), but he has tried cases as well.

Anonymous said...

My experience with both men tells me that Weill will lean towards business and conservative interests and will apply the law in their favor. I think McCarty is likely to be open-minded and to apply the law favoring no one. Both are qualified but I would rather have McCarty deciding my case.

Anonymous said...

2:35....I think that ruling is a direct result of the Pickering-Mayor Mary feud in which she called him out (appropriately) for listing "Visa" as a campaign expense. Either the rules were adjusted in response or a judge ruled somewhere, I don't remember, but the disclosure requirements were tightened after that. As well they should.

Anonymous said...

McCarty is by far the better qualified of the two. Who cares if 20 years ago he had long hair? What, exactly, was US Supreme Court justice Kavanaugh 20 years ago?

Vote McCarty. Weil is a tired out old rag of a political judge.

Anonymous said...

I love how David McCarty’s and Chris Rout’s multiple postings above keep trying to deflect away from what this article is all about: DAVID MCCARTY’S CAMPAIGN BROKE THE LAW AND WEILL’S CAMPAIGN DID NOT!!!

Anonymous said...

now if Weill will sign that stack of orders on his desk that have taken root and are growing branches, he'll be complete

Anonymous said...

2:35, having been involved in a number of judicial elections, I did. So that's one. Sorry you didn't know.

2:24, Public records can be a bitch, I know. Try looking these things up - you might learn a lot.

Anonymous said...

Looking over that opinion, these violations are ticky tac. The sign issue is that the signs that say "David McCarty for Court of Appeals" does not say "Paid for by David McCarty for Court of Appeals", etc. Based on other comments here, it sounds like reasonable minds can disagree on itemizing what consultants pay. And, in either event, sounds like Weill did not do that either.

Anonymous said...

@3:26 I see where McCarty was required to make corrections and file more detailed reports for oversights. I don't think those are what caused Weill to lose every county by double digits. People know who Weill is and they know how he treats people in his court. Thats why they voted against him. Also, he had the highest rate of cases overturned on appeal than any other Hinds County judge. His rulings violated people's rights and the law. I think that is more telling than a campaign sign not having the exact wording.

Jas N said...

@Ghost of the Past, I doubt you've known David for 20+ years. You obviously knew him in the past, but if you've known him for as long as you say then you would know that he is one of the most sincere and honest people you could ever meet. I have known David for 20+ years and his idea of the judiciary is an idealistic one that hinges on respect for all people and equal treatment under the law. Not sure where you are coming up with the rest of that junk you spouted, but clearly you do not know the man you speak of. He also has years of arguing before the Court of Appeals, working with the Supreme Court, teaching law, and serving people of Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

4:18 - no, what caused Weill to lose counties to McCarty was the Espy GOTV turnout machine. Look at all the counties, check their precinct numbers. Espy and McCarty virtually match in each precinct, with a few notable exceptions that can in most cases be explained by local conditions (family members, e.g.). Being put onto the Bennie Thompson, Derick Johnson NAACP sample ballots being distributed by Espy's workers is what made the difference on the 6th. And, of course, having the dollars that came from the numerous trial lawyers. (KF's post didn't begin to touch on them; name all the players - Morgan & Morgan, Oliver Diaz, Will Bardwell, Crymes Pittman, Lance Stevens, Mike Moore -- keep on naming them, and you will find them numerous times on McCarty's reports. That's what made the difference. The other things that you refer to just show that he doesn't care about following the explicit laws - the ones that all candidates are schooled on and understand well. But since he's a Democrat at heart, those rules don't have to be followed by McCarty.

Matt said...

Weill accused his opponent, David McCarty, of “illegal” and “unethical” conduct. He did this on his FaceBook page and, apparently, in a complaint with Judicial Performance.

He did this after losing every County in the 4th appellate Court district. Weill alleged as follows “My opponent David McCarty has joined forces with [a political party] in an unethical attempt to win this nonpartisan election. Your support is the only way we can stop this orchestrated liberal attack…Last minute illegal newspaper ads told [a political party] to vote downticket for…David McCarty in my race. Droves of voters were badgered at the polls and handed illegal pre-marked sample ballots soliciting votes for the [political party] candidates, including “nonpartisan” David McCarty. These sample ballots were prepared by … by secret [political party] operatives, and thousands of these illegal “cheat sheets” were handed to voters all across the district immediately before votes were cast…Dirty tricks like these have been reported from precincts all over our great nation following the recent election, and it is likely that McCarty and his [political party] fixers will approach the runoff with more tricks and “cheat sheets” in hand.“ Desperate candidate’s Facebook page.

In an Opinion handed down on Tuesday, the Special Committee on Judicial Campaign Intervention, found “[b]ased on the information provided, the Special Committee does not find sufficient evidence to determine that P or his committee are in violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct or Mississippi election laws in the preparation and distribution of sample ballots…” You may be thinking well that is not that powerful, however that is as good as it gets in clearing your name when a sitting Judge makes false allegations! This really means that there was NO proof offered by the candidate alleging “illegal” and “unethical” conduct. He lied!

Despite his statements of droves of voters being badgered, not one came forward. Despite his allegations of illegal cheatsheets blessed by the candidate, NONE materialized. The complaining candidate simply made false allegations, had NO proof and publicized it on FaceBook.

Think about what would happen to you if you made allegations against a Judge with no proof. Think about how you would feel going into that Courtroom. Do you think you would get justice? How would you feel knowing your Judge has NO regard for making false statements? It is time to hold our Judges, our candidates and ourselves to a higher standard.

David McCarty is that higher standard. I fully support and endorse David McCarty for Court of Appeals Mississippi. He represents all Mississippians regardless of race, creed, socioeconomic status and above all he has a love and respect for the rule of law. THAT is what you want in an appellate court judge. Respect for the rule of law. Not a blind bias to one party over another, not a preconceived notion of guilt,, but a pledge to uphold the law, apply the law and carry out the law with integrity and fairness.

I do not always agree with David McCarty. I expect that will continue going forward, however, I will NEVER questions his integrity, his motives, his judicial temperament or his bias. I cannot say that for his opponent. David has beat him once. Please help David beat him again on November 27, 2018.

VOTE McCARTY. Mississippi needs and deserves him.

Anonymous said...

Jeff is desperate it seems....he keeps posting bad things about David.

Keep posting Jeff.....idiot.

Anonymous said...

As Miss Maudie Atkinson said, in To Kill a Mockingbird: "There are some men in this world who are born to do our unpleasant jobs for us."
David McCarty has taken on the unpleasant job of seeing that appellants have the same right to a well written and well argued appeal that the Constitution guarantees they have in the trial courts. He has briefed well over 60 or 70 cases in our appellate courts. In my view, that makes him the best qualified candidate to become our next Court of Appeals judge. End. of. discussion.

Anonymous said...

Weill is going down tomorrow. My advanced congrats to our newest COA Judge: the Honorable David N. McCarty.

Anonymous said...

@ 5:25 - What's up with your hesitancy to type the word 'democrat'? It's cute, but it's also nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Notice how mccarty’s donors are actual people. Weil’s are all orgs except for the felon and Billy M.

Anonymous said...

OMG, a candidate for judge once had long hair.

Kingfish said...

Dale, is that you?

Anonymous said...

Both these guys suck.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to think of anything more sleazy than a judge taking money from a guy with a past like Hindman. We already know what that money got him one time so you have to wonder how many other times he's bought his way out of similar situations.

Anonymous said...

So I see lots of dancing around the fact that the order says McCarty violated the law in at least a couple of ways and Weill didn’t violate the law - what am I missing?

As to experience, as a judge Weill applies the law to the facts and rules based on his interpretation of the law usually in the form of a written opinion. If someone (like McCarty) thinks Weill is wrong, they ask the appeals court to look at the opinion Weill wrote and find Weill wrong. From what I’ve seen, the appeals courts have said Weill was RIGHT in his interpretation of the law 80+ % of the time and have said McCarty was WRONG 80% of the time - put another way, Weill was right 80% of the time and McCarty was right only 20% of the time. So Weill was correct 4x more often than McCarty - if someone offered me $4.00 or $1.00, call me stupid, but I’d take the $4.00 - I’m voting for Weill. Distorted, twisted McCarty spin counter arguments in 3 2 1 . . .

Anonymous said...

Has Jim Barksdale become a full-time liberal now (I’d say Democrat, but this is nonpartisan)?

Anonymous said...

So, Chris Routh is using his taxpayer funded salary to be the McCarty campaign’s main errand boy, and y’all are talking about some fella named Hindeman?? Maybe you need to read more about Mr. Routh. In the news stories below you will find “the story of Christopher Routh, who in 2001 was charged with the murder and molestation of 23-month-old Emily Woodruff.”

Anonymous said...

Weil will Lose this race and he will have given up a pretty good job to do so....

Win win for litigants and civility when he loses.

Anonymous said...

Barksdale is an independent. Said so.

Going to vote for the person, not party.

More people should do the same.

Anonymous said...

weill is a whiney little mr rogers who thinks he is some kind of a badass. hes been reversed so many times he walks backwards. i doubt seriously if all of his supporters on this thread have ever spent a day in his courtroom or practiced before his pompous self. BTW, im a member of the bar and have been there. he is not fit to be a judge.

Anonymous said...

You can read here about how we was acquitted, with the Georgia State Medical Examiner definitively finding that there was no scientific basis for the charges. And how Routh used that trial to motivate him to help others:

Hindman pleaded guilty.

Anonymous said...

Judge's races are supposed to be " non-partisan" for good reason.

This morning I received a robo call supporting Weill that was blatantly partisan and mentioned his support /opposition to national party figures by name.

I will not vote for a judge who thinks the rules of law don't apply to him . Nor would I vote for a judge whose supporters are so confident that he would be biased in their favor, that they would shell out money for robocalls.

I want all citizens to be fairly and impartially judged no matter what their party affiliation.

But, these days, it seems too many of us have lost sight of why that is important.

Anonymous said...

I will not

Nor would I

I want

too many of us have lost sight

Anonymous said...

Barksdale is as much of an independent as Dickie Scruggs was a law-abiding attorney.

Anonymous said...

@8:37 - I guess that eliminates McCarty too since he appeared on the illegal democrat identifying sample ballot prepared by Espy for his sheep and since McCarty was found to also have violated at least two election laws. Write yourself in, you sound like a person of integrity that stands on principle (as long it favors the McCarty liberals of the world).

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