Friday, May 8, 2020

Speaker Stonewalls

Speaker of the House Philip Gunn and Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann professed their love for transparency last week as they sparred with the Governor over $1.25 billion in CARES Act money.  However, true to form, the Speaker was for it before he was against it.

The Speakah sent a seven-page letter to Governor Tate Reeves Monday that took strong exception to the Governor's criticism of the legislature.  Various media outlets such as the Clarion-Ledger published the letter online. The Kingfish could have ripped it off another website but instead took Mr. Gunn at his word  after what he said about transparency last week and attempted to get a copy directly from him.  Yours truly contacted Mr. Gunn's office.
Unfortunately, a Gunn staffer said he was not releasing the letter to the public.  I pointed out it was already published in the media and several members had sent it to me.  The response was that the Speakah sent a copy to all 122 members so as to "keep the members informed."

 The Kingfish said the Governor's office is more transparent than the Speaker and Lieutenant Governor despite their boasts about transparency.  The public records law apply to the Governor but not the Speaker as the legislature exempted itself from the same law.  Truly a case of special laws for special people.

JJ submitted a public records request to the Speaker for a copy of the letter.  However, the Speaker is under no legal duty to respond to the request.  

Kingfish note: One of Mr. Gunn's flaws is that he sometimes tries to be clever by half but usually fools no one.  The Speaker is simply trying to have it both ways.  He gives the letter to the House, knowing full well it will wind up in the media but hides behind his special privilege because he doesn't have the backbone to stand behind his words in public.  Ironically, the letter could be obtained through a public records request from the Governor's office.

The Covid-19 virus devastated Mississippi.  Hundreds of thousands of hard-working people are out of work, many with no hope of regaining their old jobs.  Homes will be lost while businesses close.   Children are unable to go to school while many are unable to exercise their faith by going to church.

The public has a right to see the communications between its leaders as they fight over Mississippi's future.   They are supposed to be our servants, not our Lords, a fact that seems to be lost on them.  

Transparency indeed.


Anonymous said...

The farmer is a comin and the hogs are a jostling at the trough.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish, I enjoyed your comment about the speaker trying to be clever. Speaker Gunn’s only problem with being clever is much the same as a one-legged man trying to win a butt kicking contest. They both lack the functional requisites needed to accomplish their goals. But if I had to bet on one of them being successful my money would definitely be on the one-legged man because there just ain’t no way Mr Gunn will ever be clever.

Clinton resident said...

I have been a big fan of the Speaker since his election to the House some 17 years ago. Have been proud to support him politically and publically, thinking he brought a new, smart, and honest leadership to a position that had been sullied by many during the past several decades.

But this month he has proven that now that he is comfortably (or thinks) ensconced in his lavish office, he has let the position and power move him to be no better than Billy McCoy or Buddie Newman.

This hypocritical attitude that KF points out is part of the larger new "Speakahh" that we have now trying to compete with the LG -- who we all knew would have this kind of attitude before he ever walked across Mississippi Street from the Ladner Building (btw, has he abandoned his office space in the SOS office?).

Sorry Phillip, can no longer be a cheerleader for you, your integrity, or your leadership. Realize that probably won't hurt much at all, but from the word on the street, and among some of the members, its not an isolated opinion of this one of your constituetent.

Anonymous said...

I thought the subject here was federal funds sent to the state and the contest over who has authority to obligate or administer them. I only just now realized the real subject is Kingfish's pissing contest over his self-serving 'right' to obtain a copy of a letter. So much time and key-strokes wasted on that nonsense.

Yep...This post goes straight in the shit can.

Anonymous said...

But this we know they all keep getting reelected!

Anonymous said...

I never dreamed there would be TWO guys who would make Tater look like a mature, sober leader with a vision for the state.

Anonymous said...

@10:29 Hello Mr. Gunn

Anonymous said...

Please stay on top of the Legislative hog-slopping for us, KF. No one else will do it.

I didn't vote for Reeves but I am pleased with how he is handling the coronavirus catastrophe. Apparently he is brighter than he appears and has the emotional range to experience and express concern for his constituents. Let's stay the course till this nightmare is over.

Anonymous said...

The "leadership" in this state are an absolute disgrace. A bunch of hackneyed rubes clamoring for their slice of federal welfare pie. All while claiming to be conservative.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Kingfish- I "applaud" you. Not like in the Brett Favre kinda way. Please stay on top of this as you have put these bastard lifer bureaucrats in the light of day now.

Bill Barr Fan Club said...

Longtime readers know that in his 13 years of publishing JJ Kingfish has done more to demand (and force) transparency upon state and local government in Mississippi than Gunn and Delbert ever have. More than the CL, JFP and MT too. It isn't even remotely close.

Anonymous said...

I don't get why this is labelled a lack of transparency issue by Gunn. It's in the public domain. Any one that wants to try to find it can. It is just not on this site because Gunn's staff didn't personally respond to this blog's request. If I'm Gunn and his staff, I'm thinking, "why is this blog asking us for it? It's out there. Is he just trying to stir some stuff up?"

Kingfish said...

Because it is BS that the legislature exempts themselves from the public records laws. SO when they brag at a presser about being transparent, they are going to be held accountable. IF you don't like, too damn bad.

This website has filed 3 lawsuits and 8 Ethics Commission complaints over the years over public records violations. I'm pretty consistent.

Anonymous said...

If Gunn wrote it, and is in a governmental leadership position, he should be able to produce it to whoever asks for it rather than be told "I gave it to XXXXXX go get it from them".

Anonymous said...

Kind of off topic, (as he's not publicly involved in this fight). But at least Andy Gipson has stopped wearing that damn goofy ten gallon cowboy hat when in front of the camera.

That's a good thing !

He might be a great cattle farmer, but Rankin County ain't Fort Worth, Texas.

Anonymous said...

5:32... Hell yes!!! I’ve been saying for months he needs to take the damn cowboy hat off AT LEAST when he’s indoors.

Real farmer from Simpson County said...


Cattle farmer? You bought that pig in a poke?

He had fewer cattle on his land in Rankin County than I have fingers on one hand. (And I'm missing one, but who's counting.)

And about the same number of blueberry bushes to even off the cattle.

He lives in the country. And was against everything except guns and knives. His GGG philosophy (guns, gays, and God) got him where he is, not his cattle.

As to the hat, he didn't own one until the day of his appointment - but Jim Buck had one, so he figured he needed one too.

Anonymous said...

How many cattle did he have in Simpson County?

Anonymous said...

Really hope someone challenges Delbert for the gubber race when he runs for gubber.

Anonymous said...

"Jim Buck had one, so he figured he needed one too" .

Laughing my ass off !

But Jim Buck Ross could handle the Dairy Farms, Catfish Farms, Soybeans and the State Fair.

The State Fair has already become a fiasco within Gipson's first 100 days.

Anonymous said...

Tim Ford was a real Speaker. Gunn is an amateur.

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