Sunday, July 31, 2011

Meet Tyrone Lewis & his friends

Meet Tyrone Lewis and his friends in this video placed on Youtube:

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Make your predictions.

Who ya got for Tuesday? Make your predictions in this post. Only predictions will be posted. Cheerleading will be zapped. Here are mine:

Governor: Phil Bryant
Lieutenant Governor: Reeves
Treasurer: Hmmm......... Smith & Yancey in runoff
Ag: Phillips
MDOT (R): Hall
Hinds Sheriff: Mac but at 54%
Madison Sheriff: Houston & Harbour in runoff
Senate #25: Longwitz
Senate #20: Harkins Ross in runoff

Madison County Supervisors? Who knows.

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Oh yeah

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Bill speaks

Madison resident Bill Billingsley discusses the Madison County Supervisor elections in this video:

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I report, you decide.

Updated with Hewes response.

Nothing like a good ole food fight a couple of days before a primary. The Reeves campaign sent a mailer concerning one of Mr. Hewes' bills to several Republican areas such as Clinton and Madison. The Hewes camp accused the Reeves tribe of race-baiting. WLBT picked up on the story:

and the Clarion-Ledger reported:

"Republican lieutenant governor candidate Billy Hewes is crying foul over a mail-out from rival Tate Reeves' camp that claims Hewes wants to merge certain school districts.

With four days left before the election, the mail-out is the latest point of contention in what has become the most bitter race of the primary election season.

Voters in areas with high-performing predominantly white school districts this week received mailings that imply Hewes wants to merge those districts with predominantly black schools."

The Hewes campaign says that is untrue and wants an apology.

"This is race-baiting, scare tactics - plain and simple," said Hewes spokesman Keith Plunkett said Friday

The bill is SB# 2024. The 128-page bill states on the first few pages:

SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Mississippi School District Reorganization Act of 2011."
SECTION 2. (1) From and after July 1, 2014, there shall be no more than eighty-one (81) public school districts in the State of Mississippi. Each county in the State of Mississippi shall constitute a school district and shall be known as the school district of ____________ County, Mississippi. Each county school district shall constitute a unit for the control, organization and administration of schools. All the other type of school districts, whether they be consolidated or line consolidated districts, municipal separate districts or special municipal separate districts, shall cease to exist on June 30, 2014. All county school districts created or reconstituted according to the provisions of this act shall have the same prerogatives, powers, duties and privileges as provided in this act. On June 30, 2014, every board of trustees of every municipal separate, special municipal separate, consolidated or line consolidated school district or agricultural high school shall cease to exist; and the newly created or reconstituted county school districts in this state shall be governed by the county boards of education selected as provided for by law. On June 30, 2014, every county superintendent of education and every superintendent of every municipal separate, special municipal separate, consolidated or line consolidated school district or agricultural high school shall cease to exist; and the newly created or reconstituted school districts in this state shall be administered by the superintendents selected as provided for in this act

The bill provides for a school board made up of one member from each Supervisor District. Any county with a population less than 3,000 is combined with an adjacent county school district (Not a bad idea.).

Keith Plunkett, Communications Director for the Hewes campaign, sent this email to JJ:

"Senator Hewes has introduced hundreds of bills. SB 2024 is a foundational bill intended to begin the discussion on education reforms. This is a common occurrence in the legislature and is intended to get ideas across and bring people to the table to talk about reforms. Few bills make it out of committee as introduced. This is one of those bills. If our opponent had any experience or understanding of how legislation is created and how consensus is built he would know this. He is taking a simplistic approach to campaigning because he has no in depth experience of the issues to discuss.

Senator Hewes DOES NOT support the consolidation of all school districts under one county administration. He supports consolidating administrative functions to save money. It is clearly stated in the Game Plan for Mississippi, and no amount of political gotcha changes that fact

I've read most of the bill and don't see a section where it states just administrative or purchasing functions are combined. I do not think Senator Hewes set out to destroy Clinton public schools or combine them with Jackson. I think its more a case of what is usually the case in the legislature: a piece of poorly drafted legislation. I spoke to Mr. Plunkett, who said the bill was a starting point and it was a way to get the attention of teachers and school boards who are resistent to any consolidation in any form. I've seen enough legislative sausage made to know what he is talking about and it makes sense. However, the Senator did write the bill, the language is there, and the Reeves campaign did jump on it and used it to their advantage.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Travis Rose: Southern District PSC

Note: Mr. Rose is a candidate for the Public Service Commission, Southern District.
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Stuart Irby indicted and the REST of the story.

A Madison County Grand Jury indicted Stuart M. Irby, Sr. on July 7, 2011 for cyberstalking Lee Bounds.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Tate Reeves blooper reel

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Mayor Rhoads endorses Dick Hall

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WJNT this morning

Here is the show from WJNT this morning. The Kingfish discussed with Kent and Larry various local races coming up in Tuesday's elections:

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(From DWF): Another Deadly Car Accident at Lakeland/Hwy 25 and Holly Bush Road

Just read online that an accident occured around 1:00 pm today at the intersection of Lakeland Drive (Hwy 25) and Holly Bush Road in Rankin County. The driver and passenger were killed. No word yet on the passenger.

An accident there just a few weeks ago also resulted in the death of a driver.

I think it's time for a change of the red light set up at this intersection. There should be flashing lights installed before the intersection, and more time added before changing from red to green to give traffic time to completely stop. This is a DEADLY intersection.

Now, who knows how to get this done?

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Bill speaks

Here is Madison resident Bill Billingsley in his second video. This time he covers redistricting.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dear Tony Bahou.....

Driving through the waterworks curve at 80 mph is never a good idea for you or whoever was driving that goofy looking blue SUV with the white top and Bahou magnets on the doors.

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Atlas Shrugged

Should make Dorsey Carson happy.

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Soldiers coming home tomorrow.

The Patriot Guard sent me this message:

Friday, July 29, 2011, 1530, Approx 100 Soldiers, part of the Ms National Guard, 155 they will arrive from Ft Sill, Ok, at the Delta Terminal at the Jackson International Airport, Jackson Ms ,,, Staging for bikes at 1430 KSU at 1500 at the warehouses on the west side of airport, next to FAA Building,, cars please use public parking lot and meet us in the terminal,,if you are late meet us in the terminal

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Justice Court Judge Candidate on the hot seat in Madison County

A Madison County Justice Court imposed a $3,500 judgment against attorney Michael Louvier in December. Mr. Louvier is a candidate for Justice Court Judge District in Madison County.

Deanna Abdullah sought counsel in July 2009 to obtain a divorce from her husband. Mrs. Abdullah paid Mr. Louvier a retainer of $5,000. Mr. Louvier said he would meet her the next day at the courthouse to obtain a restraining order against her husband. Mrs. Abdullah said the attorney never showed up as she literally waited at the courthouse with her children until 4:30 after arriving at 8:00 AM. Mrs. Abdullah went to his office to see if he was going to appear at the courthouse but was told by his his secretary he was in court in Rankin County. A clerk took pity on her, contacted Judge Dale Danks and obtained for her an emergency hearing. Mrs. Abdullah. Judge Danks granted the restraining order.

The mother of three called Mr. Louvier the following day. She claimed the attorney said he was in court in Rankin County and "you got it done anyway. You didn't need me, good job." She went to his office several days later and asked for her money back. She said Mr. Louvier said "I'm sorry, I spent it." He volunteered to repay her in monthly installments of $500 but only paid three installments. She filed suit on October 10, 2010. She said Mr. Louvier told the court he kept the rest of the money because of "research" he had done but could not answer basic questions about the case. The court awarded her a judgment in full for $3,500 and court costs of $65. Mrs. Abdullah represented herself. She later reconciled with her husband. Mrs. Abdullah did not go past tenth grade and suffers from dyslexia. A simple woman, Mrs. Abdullah at times shook with anger as she nervously told her story. Mr. Louvier has not appealed the judgment nor has he paid Mrs. Abdullah her money.

However, the judgment is not the only brush with the courts Mr. Louvier has endured over the last year as a party. The bankruptcy court in Jackson dismissed his Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition in November 9, 2010 after filing a petition in September 2010. The bankruptcy reports are posted below.

Note: An apology is owed to Mr. Louvier for posting the wrong bankruptcy documents. It happens. For example, Susan Ridgway has two actions in bankruptcy court, one spelled Ridgway and the other spelled Ridgeway. The proper ones have been posted below. The erroneous sentences have been corrected.

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Billy Hewes: Back then

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WAPT Lieutenant Governor debate & thread

Here is a link to the WAPT-sponsored "debate" last night between Billy Hewes and Tate Reeves. Video of debate. I thought both candidates did well. Both made their points, weren't afraid to go after each other- and weren't afraid to defend themselves as well. I'm going to watch it again before I declare a winner. Feel free to treat this post as an open thread for this race.

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WJNT this morning

The Kingfish was on WJNT this morning discussing the elections. Interesting discussion with Kent and Larry. Just click on play below to hear the show. I'll be back on tomorrow at 8:00 to discuss the same topic.

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Bill speaks

Madison resident Bill Billingsley discusses property taxes and the Board of Supervisors in Madison County. Enjoy.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Senate Districts 20 & 25 CFR review.

Time to review the campaign finance reports for Senate Districts 20 and 25.

Senate District #20

Pelahatchie Mayor Knox Ross raised $29,850 in July and $182,574 YTD. He reports cash on hand of $13,415. Mr. Ross donated $82,326 to his own campaign in 2011. Report. Josh Harkins raised $15,520 in July and $84,918 YTD. He reports cash on hand of $15,486. Tony Bahou, um, reported no money raised at all this year and cash on hand of $447. Steve Gaines raised $8,944 in July and $33,664 YTD. He reports $104 cash on hand. $17,794 of Mr. Gaines' contributions have come from Mr. Gaines himself. This race will be interesting as I think it will go to a runoff between Harkins and Ross.

Senate District #25

Good ole Charles Barbour raised $15,858 in July and $79,149 YTD. He reports cash on hand of $15,868. Significant contributions are Henry Michel $3,750, Henry Barbour $3,000, LeFlore Barbour $1,000, John McGowan $500, and $5,000 from the Creekmores. The campaign paid Clearwater Group (Austin Barbour) $6,000 to manage the campaign.
July 26 report, July 8 report

Will Longwitz raised $28,100 in July and $53,321 YTD. He reports $10,711 cash on hand. Significant donations came from I.P. Bruestler Trust $10,000, William Mounger $2,000, Will Longwitz $3,386. There were no significant expenditures. Report

Mr. Barbour has a clear lead in fund-raising but Mr. Longwitz raised enough money to win this race or at least get a strong message out to the voters. The race is a toss-up going into the final weekend before the primary.

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Allstate accuses Baker & Butler of securities fraud on Lost Wabbit bonds

Allstate Insurance filed suit against the law firms Baker Donelson and Butler Snow on July 15, 2011. Allstate accuses the two law firms of committing fraud and withholding vital information when the insurance company purchased all of the PID bonds for Lost Rabbit at $18,605,000 on July 17, 2008. Lost Rabbit is a planned development community by the Reservoir in Madison County. The development has been plagued by numerous financial problems for the last few years.

The lawsuit states a Public Improvement District (PID) was created to build infrastructure and "collect special assessments towards repayment of the bonds." Butler Snow was the bond counsel for the issuance of the bonds and Baker Donelson created the district and issued the bonds as well. Allstate states it:

"requested and the District caused the Baker Firm to prepare an opinion letter directed to the Plaintiff verifying that the District was properly and validly formed. The Baker opinion letter represented to the Plaintiff that the District was duly established and validly existed as a public improvement district with the right and lawful authority to fund, finance, and construct the development....'

Allstate then argues the letters produced by the two firms:

"contain misrepresentations of material facts and failures to disclose material facts relating to the establishment, legal validity, and authority of the District and the District's power to levy and collect special assessments on the revenues which were pledged to repay the bonds."

Allstate claims the PID was not created in accordance with the law and the two firms hid that "fact". Allstate accuses both firms of committing securities fraud under Illinois and Mississippi law and requests the court to approve a rescission of its purchase as well as awarding it court costs and attorney's fees.

What is interesting is an item appeared on the agenda for the July 18, 2011 meeting of the Madison County Board of Supervisors advertising a petition to rescind the PID. However, the petition was withdrawn before the meeting. What is interesting in this complaint is there are no real details of the alleged fraud or what facts were withheld from Allstate. I'm inclined to think this complaint is a shot across the bow and more will come later.

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Chris Webster passed away

Former Executive Director of the Mississippi Republican Party Chris Webster passed away. I have no further details. I knew him back in the 90's when he was in the mortgage business. He was always professional and a class act when he helped get a bill regulating mortgage companies passed. I know he will be missed by more than a few people.

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WLBT had an online poll asking who readers to vote for Billy Hewes or Tate Reeves.

Just one problem. The news broadcast showed the following results:

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Luke Woodham, yes, you read right, is applying for executive clemency.

A public notice appeared in the Rankin County Record on July 20 stating "I, Luke Woodham, am filing for executive clemency. I am sorry formy crimes and I am asking for a chance to live the new life that God has given me. July 6, 13, 20,27, 2011."

I'm almost tempted to say Haley, let him out so we can take him out.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Need money? Try Spenditol

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Burwell goes to court

Harborwalk developer John Burwell appeared in Ridgeland Municipal Court before Judge Hal McCurley to defend himself against simple assault charges on July 19. Jackson resident J.T. Clerk, 55 years old, filed the charges against Mr. Burwell after a confrontation between the two at Main Harbor on the evening of April 26, 2011.

Dressed in a dark blue blazer, Mr. Clerk testified he had been fishing in a spot in Main Harbor for 22 years and at times took his sons. Mr. Clerk said he got there between 7:30 and 8:00 PM and was alone but for two other people fishing on the bank. Both sides agreed an employee of Mr. Burwell's drove up and told them no fishing was allowed. Mr. Clerk testified he said "ok" but then his line got caught in the rocks and he worked for fifteen minutes to clear his line so he could leave. He said he then "broke my line and started carrying stuff to my truck. It took two to three trips. On the last trip a white Escalade drove up."

The following is Mr. Clerk's testimony:
Burwell "You dumb s.o.b., can you read?" and then said "you're a dumb s.o.b., you can't read. You need to learn a lesson."
Clerk: "You'd do better if you got along with people. I'm gonna leave."
Burwell: "You can't leave until I say you can leave".
Clerk: "I could smell liquor. This man was highly intoxicated. He shoved me three times. He went to his truck, opened the door and repeated, "you can't leave until I say you can leave."

Mr. Clerk testified he stopped when a man sitting in a nearby car said "that's enough, John." Mr. Clerk admitted "I never saw a gun" and that "after he shove me, he got on my truck and started opening my stuff. He got up on the bed and said 'this shit, you come up here to get this shit? I got in my truck after he got down and left." Mr. Clerk testified he was a diabetic and has nerve damage in some of his limbs.

Dana Kelly represented Mr. Burwell and subjected Mr. Clerk to a cross-examination that was contentious, colorful, but at times effective. Mr. Kelly first challenged Mr. Clerk's assertion he was "blocked in" by Mr. Burwell's truck. Mr. Clerk first said he could not remember if or when the truck was moved and then "his truck was in front of me." Mr. Kelly then held up a sign, 18" X 18" or so that said "No trespassing" in red and white letters and then told Mr. Clerk "You ignored this sign". The complainant admitted he ignored the sign. Kelly then comically tried to use the fact Mr. Clerk earlier sat on a bench that had a sign "reserved for attorneys' in the courtroom to show Mr. Clerk shows a pattern of disregarding posted signs. Everyone but the judge almost laughed Mr. Kelly out of court on that trick.

However, Mr. Kelly then challenged Mr. Clerk's assertion that he tried to leave within fifteen minutes after he was told to leave. Mr. Kelly used phone records to show 45 minutes passed between when he was told to leave and when Mr. Burwell appeared. Mr. Kelly stated the other fishermen left and didn't have a problem and said "You were there for 45 minutes and only left because you were forced to leave." The attorney requested dismissal but was overruled by the Judge. Mr. Clerk was again forced to admit he never saw a gun although he said he thought Mr. Burwell was making a "gun break" when he went to his truck.

Mr. Clerk stepped down and Mr. Burwell assumed the stand. He said there were 25 "No trespassing signs" posted and that "reluctantly posted them" after having problems such as trash and debris left by fishermen. He stated his employee twice told Mr. Clerk to leave and Mr. Clerk was standing on the rocks with a fishing pole when he arrived. He said he was not in the parking lot by his truck and he wanted to argue. Mr. Burwell, who appeared to be in a jovial mood before the hearing started, said "I should have called Ridgeland Police. Its hard for me to imagine someone wants to ignore a sign. I never moved my car. You couldn't block in an 18-wheeler in that parking lot." He later said "I think its kinder not to call the police."

Mr. Burwell heatedly stated "I never touched him." Mr. Burwell was asked if he had exclusive rights to the property. Mr. Burwell strongly replied "I own the property. I own the water." Mr. Burwell later reiterated his point near the end of his testimony: "I don't claim they are my property, they are." Mr. Burwell stated he paid $647,000 to the PRVWSD on July 2 as well as $170,000 in ad valorem taxes and $700,000 in sales taxes. He disputed Prosecutor Boty McDonald's contention his leases allowed people to fish even when Mr. McDonald pulled out a copy of the lease and said the leases granted the public access to Main Harbour. The prosecutor pointed to another section of the lease and claimed it allowed people to fish as well.

Lamar LeBlanc testified after Mr. Burwell. Mr. Leblanc was fishing on the bank when Mr. Burwell's employee told him to leave. He stated he told Mr. Clerk "let's leave, we really are not supposed to be here." Mr. LeBlanc rents a houseboat in Main Harbour. Jim Timmons testified last. He observed the exchange from his vehicle and said it grew heated at times. He stated Clerk said "I've been fishing here for 15 years" and he never saw the defendant push Mr. Clerk. He said he lives out of his car and Mr. Burwell lets him park his car in the parking lot at night.

Judge McCurley said he would issue a ruling on August 1.

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New ad by Delbert

Not a paid ad so fire away.

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No comment.

We report, you decide:

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From DWF: And The Winner of the Hottest Male Candidate Is........

Malcolm McMillin is the overwhelming winner of the "Hottest Male Candidate" poll, with 179 votes. Therefore, I proclaim him the Honorary Lifetime Hottie. (If nothing else to "retire" him. LOL). At least he has no commercials saying he "wants to be YO sheriff".

This was purely for fun (obviously), and to give some of the candidates additional public exposure. I took my choices, added them with those suggested in the initial comment section, and made a list of 15. I am hoping Kingfish will now do the same for the ladies...................

Delbert leads the rest of the pack, with the poll results shown here:

75 - Delbert Hosemann (it's Delbert, ma'am)
54 - Chris McDaniel
50 - Lee Yancey
46 - Todd Wade
45 - Josh Harkins
42 - Billy Hewes
32 - Tony Bahou
24 - Will Longwitz and Elvis
23- Michael Louvier
18 - Phil Bryant
13 - Stacey Pickering
11 - Mark Sandridge
10 - Roger Davis

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Phil Bryant sounds like Precious Martin today

See for yourself. Only thing difference was they weren't at a Waffle House and Phil was not saying "Black people don't need to fight each other". Notice Mr. Bryant didn't deny anything Mr. Dennis said.

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Dave Dennis Ad: Two Words

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Tate Reeves: Control spending

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More Rankin crime spills over into Jackson

Yup. Apparently a car is the weapon of choice for Rankin County Rednecks as yet another person was killed in Jackson by a Rankin County thug:

"Jeycob England, 20, of Florence, who is accused of running down a Utah man in the parking lot of the Target on I-55 North early Friday morning. England originally was charged with aggravated assault; however, victim Scotty Ford died Saturday at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and the charge against England was upgraded to murder.
" Article

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Madison County Journal endorses D.I. Smith

The Madison County Journal endorsed Incumbent D.I. Smith in the race for Madison County District 3 Supervisor:

"Incumbent District 3 Supervisor D.I. Smith has been a stalwart in the battle for good government in Madison County and deserves a second term.

D.I. Smith has served honorably and well. What makes him an anomaly is that he has been a voice of truth and reason in the barren and brutal land of Madison County politics.

Smith is beholden to no one and speaks his mind, which frightens some and often ignites controversy - for the right reasons, of course.

Four years ago D.I. stood in the gap to block the first tax increase in decades in Madison County that Tim Johnson and his gang railroaded through in order to build an interchange for the federal government, a construction project that has since failed because the local politicos refused MDOT oversight of their shenanigans and pulled the plug."

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Landlord seeks to evict Old Captiol Green developers

The owners of the building located at 802 North Street filed a lawsuit in Hinds County Court Friday seeking the eviction of Full Spectrum of New York, Full Spectrum South, and Malcolm Shepard as well as monetary damages (Case #11-003522). The Stimley-Brown Law Firm owns the property and leased it to Full Spectrum, Inc. Full Spectrum is the developer for the Old Capitol Green Project (Photo gallery of artist drawings of project).

The Jackson Free Press reported in 2009 "The development, helmed by Full Spectrum of New York, would establish 4,000 units of mixed-income housing downtown between State and Jefferson streets. The project site encompasses both state property and land owned by Entergy, and Full Spectrum has yet to finalize its purchase. Entergy spokeswoman Mara Hartmann said that the infrastructure loan would allow Entergy to formalize its “gentleman’s agreement” with Full Spectrum and complete the sale." Article

The state provided a $20 million loan to fund infrastructure improvements. The site of the project, 802 North Street, is owned by the plaintiffs. County land records listing. The project has a Facebook page that contains many posts about topics such as urban development and financing such projects but few actual posts about progress on the project since December.

Full Spectrum of New York, LLC states on its website it is a company located in New York and

"is the national market leader in the development of mixed use and mixed income green buildings in emerging urban markets. This leadership has been established through work on its award winning flagship project 1400 on 5th in Harlem; the Kalahari Condominium in Harlem and its consulting work on the award winning Solaire at Battery Park City. Full Spectrum’s green development strategy provides triple bottom line returns while creating sustainable urban communities.

As a developer or a construction manager, Full Spectrum has been responsible for the production of more than one million square feet of residential, institutional and commercial real estate, with some two million square feet currently in its pipeline.

Three projects are listed on its website as under development, including Old Capitol Green. The Hinds County Tax Collector's online records do not show any property owned by Full Spectrum or Malcolm Shepard (Note: feel free to email land records or links showing otherwise if this statement is en error.).

The lawsuit states Full Spectrum leased the property in 2007 for a one-year term and had a right to renew for another two years at one year each.The previous owner of the property sold the land to Stimley-Brown in January 2008. Full Spectrum notified the Plaintiff it was extending the lease to January 31, 2010. The defendants leased the property at a rate of $2,500 a month as the law firm kept part of the office space for itself.

The lawsuit states the none of the defendants have made a rental payment for over one year (#19 in complaint below) and they acted in concert with each other to deprive rental payments due Stimley-Brown. Stimely-Brown also accuses the defendants of claiming phony repairs and problems so as to decrease the amount of the rent owed. Stimley-Brown requested an expedited hearing and the court order the defendants to vacate the premises within seven days if the court found for the plaintiff.

The plaintiff asks the court for twelve months of rent and late fees. The plaintiff claims said damages are $40,250 (14 months $2,500/month plus 15% late fees), attorney's fees, and court costs. Plaintiff claims attorney's fees and litigation expenses are at least $11,250. The case is assigned to County Court Judge Melvin Priester. However, the Secretary of State's website states Judge Priester is the registered agent for Full Spectrum South, LLC. Another judge will probably hear the case.

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Longwitz for Senate

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Rick Ward: The Real State of Our State

Former law enforcement agent and now novelist Rick Ward penned an ebook: The Real State of Our State. He takes no prisoners. He slams Barbour, casino & bingo influence in Mississippi politics, Phil, Moak, the lack of transparency in Mississippi government, and other items of interest. I've read three chapters now and can state Mr. Ward does not pull any punches. Whether or not his book is accurate is something we will put off for another day. Read the chapter that starts on page 169. Mr. Ward provides charts ranking legislators in terms of number of bills authored compared to the number of bills actually passed. His bio is at the end of the book. This is some interesting weekend reading as Mr. Ward even delves into Governor Barbour's family history. Fix a mint julep or light up a cigar and enjoy.

Here is the link to the book: The Real State of Our State

One final thought: Does anyone think Y'all, MIM, Cottonmouth, or hehe, Supertalk will even mention this book?

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ross-Bahou FOOD FIGHT!!!

Well, well , well. It seems there is a little food fight in the Senate District #20 race. Republican candidate Tony Bahou fired off a letter to fellow Republican Candidate Knox Ross of seeking a "table deal". Read for yourself:

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Nothing like Mississippi Ethics.

Revolving door government. Gotta love it. Regulate an industry and then immediately go to work as the "head" of that industry. The Sun-Herald reported:

"BILOXI, Miss. -- Larry Gregory, Mississippi's former chief gaming regulator, will become executive director of a casino trade organization in September.

The Mississippi Casino Operators Association said in a news release Friday that it had hired Gregory.

Gregory was executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission for about 10 years. Earlier this year he announced his retirement effective Sept. 1. On Thursday, the Gaming Commission named Allen Godfrey as its new executive director.

MCOA chairwoman Tess Ingram credits Gregory for helping move forward the casinos' recovery and reconstruction efforts after Hurricane Katrina and supporting a law that moved coast casinos as much as 800 feet inland
." Article

So much for the Denton Gibbes law. Of course, one should not be surprised when the regulators are working hand in hand with the people they regulate to raise money for their favorite causes:

"The establishment of a prestigious scholarship endowment coupled with an all-time high in fundraising highlighted the Seventh Annual “Passions of the Palette” event held April 11 at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg.

More than 150 casino regulators, industry professionals, gaming attorneys and long-time local supporters attended the event, which is sponsored by the Department of Casino, Hospitality & Tourism Management (CHTM) at The University of Southern Mississippi. Approximately 20 CHTM seniors help organize and coordinate the logistics of the annual gala...

The festive evening also included a tribute to Larry K. Gregory, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, who was named the Margaret M. McCarthy Industry Partner of the Year. In conjunction with that honor, John Payne, president, central division of Caesar’s Entertainment announced that a $26,400 endowment scholarship in Gregory’s name had been established by corporate donors from the Mississippi casino industry to honor his role in helping build the Southern Miss casino/resort management program and his legacy in gaming education in higher learning.

Dignitaries on hand for the event included Southern Miss President Martha Saunders; Mississippi Rep. Bobby Moak, chair of the House Gaming Committee; Jerry St. Pe, chairman of the Mississippi Gaming Commission and corporate representatives from gaming giants, Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International....

Noteworthy donors who contributed the Larry K. Gregory Endowment Scholarship included Ameristar Vicksburg Casino; Beau Rivage Resort & Casino; Boomtown Casino; Caesars Entertainment; Gold Strike Casino Resort; Harlow’s Casino Resort; IP Casino Resort & Spa; Island View Casi
no Resort; Riverwalk Casino & Hotel; Mr. and Mrs. Jerry St. Pe and Tom O’Donell." Article


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Friday, July 22, 2011

Breaking: Belvedresi resigns.

JJ just got word Chief Deputy (Madison County Sheriff's Office) Eddie Belvedresi retired today. Mr. Belvedresi was accused in a lawsuit filed earlier this week of refusing to hire an applicant because he was in the National Guard. Earlier post.

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Latest crime stats

Jackson crime reports for week ending July 10, 2011.

Jackson major crimes overview for week ending July 10, 2011.

Some quick observations about the crime reports:

Major crimes were down 14.4% from the week before and down 3.6 year to date compared to last year. Property crimes were down 1.4% YTD compared to a year ago and violent crime was down 16.5% YTD as well.

Precinct 4:

Violent crime declined 16.7% from the week before and 24% YTD compared to this time last year. However, property crime increase 12% this week and 6.2% YTD compared to last year. Property crime is up 29.2% in the last 28 days. Every other precinct showed decreases across the board.

House burglaries in Precinct 4 decreased 16.7% (20 from 24) that week but increased 37% for the last 28 days compared to the same time period last year (74 2011, 54 2010), and 31.8% YTD compared to last year (439 2011, 333 2010).

The increase continued with auto burglaries: The week was up 20% from the year before and 8.2% YTD compared to last year. Most categories of violent crime are substantially lower than a year ago (except for rape and aggravated assault).

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Dennis Smith has a few things to say about MCSO

WLBT News Director Dennis Smith had a few things to say in "Point of View" last night during the news broadcast about the Madison County Sheriff's Office:

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Tate Reeves: You forgot

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Hinds being sneaky again

Apparently Hinds County is engaged in a "rebranding" effort. The Jackson Free Press reported:

"Approximately 18 residents and county leaders discussed the county's image during a public meeting at the Eudora Welty Library last night. Earlier this year, the Hinds County Economic Development Authority signed a $10,000 contract with the urban-planning firm, Arnett Muldrow & Associates, to develop a brand for Hinds County. Tripp Muldrow, a partner at Muldrow & Associates, says the goal of branding Hinds County is to unite the county, attract industry and attract new residents. The county's branding process includes two days of public meetings in various locations throughout the city and concludes on Friday with a presentation." Article

Just one problem: As usual, there is no mention of these meetings on the county website. There was no mention of these meetings at the regular meeting of the Supervisors last Monday. Anyone surprised?

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Is Luckett a JJ reader?

I promise I did not write this. ;-)

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gubernatorial Debate thread.

Who won? Who sucked? Have at it.

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Billy announces his game plan for Mississippi

Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate Billy Hewes released his game plan for Mississippi and the following press release:


July 21, 2011--Senator Billy Hewes released his legislative agenda entitled "Game Plan For Mississippi" yesterday at a Press Conference at the State Capitol. The document lists Hewes' goals for what he would aim to achieve as Lt. Governor in the fields of Education, Government Reforms, Crime, Technology, Energy, Redistricting, and Jobs and Economic Development.

The items include targeting administrative efficiency across government agencies to reduce costs, and reinvesting those dollars back into government services such as classrooms and teacher pay. Hewes' "Game Plan" would repeal the State Inventory Tax to reduce tax burdens on small businesses, redefine what is allowed for borrowing and the issuing of bonds, and create rules that force elected officials to fully disclose all services and fees regarding the issuance of state bonds.

The plan also called for the drug testing of recipients of government assistance, specifically welfare and unemployment beneficiaries.

In response, Hewes' opponent Tate Reeves had this to say:

"In politics sometimes, you choose the agenda, and sometimes the agenda chooses you. After 20 years in the Legislature and with 13 days to go in the election, I wonder why (Hewes) is just now bringing up the issues . . ."

"Reeves’s response is just another example of talking about anything but his record of spending," said Hewes Spokesman Keith Plunkett. "He has yet to explain his 99% record on voting for debt, or his shady contributions from companies he gave 48 million in contracts to. His criticism of the Game Plan again shows how Senator Hewes’ experience in the Senate provides an insight that our opponent can’t manufacture, even as he ducks the tough questions about his record.

Billy has been talking about issues important to Mississippians for over a year now, and has been addressing specifics, not just generalities. With respect to the drug testing issue, once again our opponents handlers have dropped the ball and left him fumbling for answers. Senator Hewes has repeatedly introduced legislation in the Senate to drug test those on government assistance. If Reeves had done his homework and had studied the issues he would have known that this and many of the other items in the Game Plan are initiatives Billy has been working on for years.

We’re glad he agrees with us on our legislative agenda, but Mr. Tate-Come-Lately can’t get away with 'Me-too' politics anymore, and he can no longer get away without discussing his record. The people of this state deserve a leader who chooses an agenda, not someone who allows the agenda to choose him.

Sen. Hewes remains committed to focus on real issues that affect the citizens of Mississippi in this important race for Lt. Governor. The Game Plan for Mississippi shows that commitment

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Time to pour some gas on the fire.

I uploaded these campaign finance reports of the Madison County Sheriff's race a few days ago. The idea was to post them yesterday but the Burwell and MSCO stories broke. I'm going ahead and posting them now. Sorry for Mr. Tucker's report being separate. Automatic feed tray kept jamming up with his section so I had to do it separately. Anyone has Adobe pro and can combine the pdfs, email them to me and I'll upload everything as one massive file.

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Letters from a segregationist past (Warning: Language)

U.S. District Judge Harold Cox. To civil rights activists, the name evokes a wave of anger as he referred to blacks as "xxxxx" and "xxxxxzees" while on the bench. Jere Nash and Andy Taggart devoted several pages to the unlearned jurist in Missssippi Politics: The struggle for Power, 1976-2006. I never knew much about Judge Cox but after reading about him, I thought it might be worth posting his letters on this site to give younger readers a little view of Mississippi history and what civil rights activists faced in the courtroom as its history that should not be forgotten. Communist bomb-thrower Jere Nash was kind enough to provide me with copy of them from his research.  The book states:

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Latest crime stats

Jackson crime stats have not been updated in two weeks.

City of Madison crime reports through July 19, 2011.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Billy Hewes is....

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Madison County Sheriff's Office accused of discriminating against soldiers. (Video & Audio)

Audio recording of conversation between MCSO Chief Deputy and then-patrolman

A lawsuit filed this morning in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Mississippi accuses the Madison County Sheriff's Office of discriminating against National Guard soldiers in its hiring practices. Rodney Thompson is Staff Sergeant attached to the 155th Armored Brigade in the Mississippi Army National Guard and worked in law enforcement for over ten years. Mr. Thompson alleges he was not hired because he is a reservist. Co-plaintiff Josh Hobbes was a MCSO patrolman for over four years when he was terminated. Mr. Hobbes claims he was fired for confronting Chief Deputy Eddie Belvedresi about the refusal to hire Mr. Thompson and taping the conversation.

The complaint states Mr. Thompson "sought employment as a patrolman with Defendant in March 2009" and MCSO "refuse to hire" him. Mr. Hobbes spoke to the Chief Deputy and asked him to reconsider the decision to refuse employment to Mr. Thompson. The recording states (Link to audio recording):

Hobbes: You know we talked yesterday and I know you said about Rodney being in the Guard and all you didn't want to hire him because the weekends off and the two weeks here and all. Is there any way you could reconsider?
Belvedresi: Well, I really can't because it
Hobbes: The scheduling and all?
Belvedresi: I mean, it really puts that shift in a bind, whichever one he's on, you know. And like I told you, you know, I don't want him to know that because I appreciate what he does but
Josh: Yes, sir
Belvedresi: but uh, it just as far as a law enforcement agency, especially one like ours with few weekends off anyhow, it just, it puts everybody in a bind on that
Hobbes: So its not him living out of town or anything or, I mean, that's not holding him back or nothing?
Belvedresi: No, no.
Hobbes: If he was, if he got out of the Guard, down the road, (B:yeah), would you reconsider?
Belvedresi: yeah, yeah......

Belvedresi: I've got enough sense to realize that if he found that out and brought a suit against us, he'd probably win for not hiring him, you know?
Hobbes: Yes sir...

Belvedresi: But I understand they've got to do what they've got to do and I appreciate them doing it.
Hobbes: Yes, sir.
Belvedresi: But also I've got a job to do too, you know, so
Hobbes: All right, well, I just thought I'd come and ask again to see.

Jackson Jambalaya interviewed Nick Norris, the attorney for the plaintiffs shortly after the lawsuit was filed in the video below:

The plaintiffs ask for "equitable and injunctive relief,compensatory damages in excess of $15,000, lost benefits and unemployment, liquidated damages and attorney's fees and costs for violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA 38 USC 4301-4333)*. Mr. Norris stated in the interview they are not seeking punitive damages as they are not allowed under the law. A message seeking comment was left with Sheriff Trowbridge's voicemail at the Madison County Sheriff's Office. WLBT will cover the story tonight.

*Section 38 USC 4311(a) states "(a) A person who is a member of, applies to be a member of, performs, has performed, applies to perform, or has an obligation to perform service in a uniformed service shall not be denied initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or any benefit of employment by an employer on the basis of that membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation."

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Phase II E911 update. (Video).

Allowing the police to use GPS to pinpoint your cellphone's location during a 911 call is closer to reality according to an update given to the Hinds County Board of Supervisors Monday. The phase II upgrade of the Hinds County E-911 system moves closer towards completion. Blake Wallace, Hinds County Economic Developer Director, briefed the Board of Supervisors and said the county just finished remapping the county. The next step is enter the new data into the mapping system. However, 15% of the existing data is incorrect and corrections have to be made before the system can go "live". The corrections for Byram, Clinton, and Jackson will be made by those cities while Hinds County will perform the remainder of the corrections. Mr. Wallace said he could not give a timeline on when the project would be completed.

Phase II of E-911 allows the police to use GPS to determine the location of your cellphone if you use it to call 911. Very important if for some reason you can not talk when calling 911. Rankin, Madison, Warren, Copiah and over thirty other counties have had it for more than two years. Jackson is the only major city in Mississippi lacking the service. That's right. Hattiesburg, Greenville, Brookhaven, McComb, Collins, Laurel, Meridian, Natchez, Tupelo, even Oxford, provide the service.

Earlier posts:
WLBT: Hinds taxes for Phase II E-911, does not provide service
Rest of the story on Hinds failure to offer Phase II E-911
Map of counties without Phase II E-911

Here is the video of the meeting. Phase II discussion starts at 18:50.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dick Hall gets the job done.

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Vann Leonard update.

Still in the Rankin County Jail. His attorney Joe Holloman recently tried to speak to Judge Grant about his client. . Judge Grant quickly made it clear until Mr. Leonard produced $111,000 for the Downing Estate he would not be getting out of jail and then told the attorney he would see him next year.

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And you thought Billy and Tate were bad

The original American literary jackass nails it on elections in this short story:

A few months ago I was nominated for Governor of the great state of New York, to run against Mr. John T. Smith and Mr. Blank J. Blank on an independent ticket. I somehow felt that I had one prominent advantage over these gentlemen, and that was--good character. It was easy to see by the newspapers that if ever they had known what it was to bear a good name, that time had gone by. It was plain that in these latter years they had become familiar with all manner of shameful crimes. But at the very moment that I was exalting my advantage and joying in it in secret, there was a muddy undercurrent of discomfort "riling" the deeps of my happiness, and that was--the having to hear my name bandied about in familiar connection with those of such people. I grew more and more disturbed. Finally I wrote my grandmother about it. Her answer came quick and sharp. She said:

You have never done one single thing in all your life to be ashamed of--not one. Look at the newspapers--look at them and comprehend what sort of characters Messrs. Smith and Blank are, and then see if you are willing to lower yourself to their level and enter a public canvass with them.

It was my very thought! I did not sleep a single moment that night. But, after all, I could not recede.

I was fully committed, and must go on with the fight. As I was looking listlessly over the papers at breakfast I came across this paragraph, and I may truly say I never was so confounded before.

PERJURY.--Perhaps, now that Mr. Mark Twain is before the people as a candidate for Governor, he will condescend to explain how he came to be convicted of perjury by thirty-four witnesses in Wakawak, Cochin China, in 1863, the intent of which perjury being to rob a poor native widow and her helpless family of a meager plantain-patch, their only stay and support in their bereavement and desolation. Mr. Twain owes it to himself, as well as to the great people whose suffrages he asks, to clear this matter up. Will he do it?

I thought I should burst with amazement! Such a cruel, heartless charge! I never had seen Cochin China! I never had heard of Wakawak! I didn't know a plantain-patch from a kangaroo! I did not know what to do. I was crazed and helpless. I let the day slip away without doing anything at all. The next morning the same paper had this--nothing more:

SIGNIFICANT.--Mr. Twain, it will be observed, is suggestively silent about the Cochin China perjury.

[Mem.--During the rest of the campaign this paper never referred to me in any other way than as "the infamous perjurer Twain."]

Next came the Gazette, with this:

WANTED TO KNOW.--Will the new candidate for Governor deign to explain to certain of his fellow-citizens (who are suffering to vote for him!) the little circumstance of his cabin-mates in Montana losing small valuables from time to time, until at last, these things having been invariably found on Mr. Twain's person or in his "trunk" (newspaper he rolled his traps in), they felt compelled to give him a friendly admonition for his own good, and so tarred and feathered him, and rode him on a rail; and then advised him to leave a permanent vacuum in the place he usually occupied in the camp. Will he do this?

Could anything be more deliberately malicious than that? For I never was in Montana in my life.

[After this, this journal customarily spoke of me as, "Twain, the Montana Thief."]

I got to picking up papers apprehensively--much as one would lift a desired blanket which he had some idea might have a rattlesnake under it. One day this met my eye:

THE LIE NAILED.--By the sworn affidavits of Michael O'Flanagan, Esq., of the Five Points, and Mr. Snub Rafferty and Mr. Catty Mulligan, of Water Street, it is established that Mr. Mark Twain's vile statement that the lamented grandfather of our noble standard- bearer, Blank J. Blank, was hanged for highway robbery, is a brutal and gratuitous LIE, without a shadow of foundation in fact. It is disheartening to virtuous men to see such shameful means resorted to to achieve political success as the attacking of the dead in their graves, and defiling their honored names with slander. When we think of the anguish this miserable falsehood must cause the innocent relatives and friends of the deceased, we are almost driven to incite an outraged and insulted public to summary and unlawful vengeance upon the traducer. But no! let us leave him to the agony of a lacerated conscience (though if passion should get the better of the public, and in its blind fury they should do the traducer bodily injury, it is but too obvious that no jury could convict and no court punish the perpetrators of the deed).

The ingenious closing sentence had the effect of moving me out of bed with despatch that night, and out at the back door also, while the "outraged and insulted public" surged in the front way, breaking furniture and windows in their righteous indignation as they came, and taking off such property as they could carry when they went. And yet I can lay my hand upon the Book and say that I never slandered Mr. Blank's grandfather. More: I had never even heard of him or mentioned him up to that day and date.

[I will state, in passing, that the journal above quoted from always referred to me afterward as "Twain, the Body-Snatcher."]

The next newspaper article that attracted my attention was the following:

A SWEET CANDIDATE.--Mr. Mark Twain, who was to make such a blighting speech at the mass-meeting of the Independents last night, didn't come to time! A telegram from his physician stated that he had been knocked down by a runaway team, and his leg broken in two places--sufferer lying in great agony, and so forth, and so forth, and a lot more bosh of the same sort. And the Independents tried hard to swallow the wretched subterfuge, and pretend that they did not know what was the real reason of the absence of the abandoned creature whom they denominate their standard-bearer. A certain man was seen to reel into Mr. Twain's hotel last night in a state of beastly intoxication. It is the imperative duty of the Independents to prove that this besotted brute was not Mark Twain himself. We have them at last! This is a case that admits of no shirking. The voice of the people demands in thunder tones, "WHO WAS THAT MAN?"

It was incredible, absolutely incredible, for a moment, that it was really my name that was coupled with this disgraceful suspicion. Three long years had passed over my head since I had tasted ale, beer, wine or liquor or any kind.

[It shows what effect the times were having on me when I say that I saw myself, confidently dubbed "Mr. Delirium Tremens Twain" in the next issue of that journal without a pang--notwithstanding I knew that with monotonous fidelity the paper would go on calling me so to the very end.]

By this time anonymous letters were getting to be an important part of my mail matter. This form was common

How about that old woman you kiked of your premises which
was beging. POL. PRY.

And this:

There is things which you Have done which is unbeknowens to anybody
but me. You better trot out a few dots, to yours truly, or you'll
hear through the papers from

This is about the idea. I could continue them till the reader was surfeited, if desirable.

Shortly the principal Republican journal "convicted" me of wholesale bribery, and the leading Democratic paper "nailed" an aggravated case of blackmailing to me.

[In this way I acquired two additional names: "Twain the Filthy Corruptionist" and "Twain the Loathsome Embracer."]

By this time there had grown to be such a clamor for an "answer" to all the dreadful charges that were laid to me that the editors and leaders of my party said it would be political ruin for me to remain silent any longer. As if to make their appeal the more imperative, the following appeared in one of the papers the very next day:

BEHOLD THE MAN!--The independent candidate still maintains silence. Because he dare not speak. Every accusation against him has been amply proved, and they have been indorsed and reindorsed by his own eloquent silence, till at this day he stands forever convicted. Look upon your candidate, Independents! Look upon the Infamous Perjurer! the Montana Thief! the Body-Snatcher! Contemplate your incarnate Delirium Tremens! your Filthy Corruptionist! your Loathsome Embracer! Gaze upon him--ponder him well--and then say if you can give your honest votes to a creature who has earned this dismal array of titles by his hideous crimes, and dares not open his mouth in denial of any one of them!

There was no possible way of getting out of it, and so, in deep humiliation, I set about preparing to "answer" a mass of baseless charges and mean and wicked falsehoods. But I never finished the task, for the very next morning a paper came out with a new horror, a fresh malignity, and seriously charged me with burning a lunatic asylum with all its inmates, because it obstructed the view from my house. This threw me into a sort of panic. Then came the charge of poisoning my uncle to get his property, with an imperative demand that the grave should be opened. This drove me to the verge of distraction. On top of this I was accused of employing toothless and incompetent old relatives to prepare the food for the foundling' hospital when I warden. I was wavering--wavering. And at last, as a due and fitting climax to the shameless persecution that party rancor had inflicted upon me, nine little toddling children, of all shades of color and degrees of raggedness, were taught to rush onto the platform at a public meeting, and clasp me around the legs and call me PA!

I gave it up. I hauled down my colors and surrendered. I was not equal to the requirements of a Gubernatorial campaign in the state of New York, and so I sent in my withdrawal from the candidacy, and in bitterness of spirit signed it, "Truly yours, once a decent man, but now

"MARK TWAIN, LP., M.T., B.S., D.T., F.C., and L.E."


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Dedmon stays, Rice free, JJ obtains police report

JJ obtained the police reports for the alleged murder of James Craig Anderson. The reports state:

"The witness stated Deryl Dedmond came to Jackson to mess with people, the witness stated they ended up at Wendy's on Ellis Avenue. They saw the complainant James Anderson beating on the window of an orange Chevrolet Avalanche. The witness thought the complainant was trying to steal the Chevrolet Avalanche, but the complainant was drunk and trying to find his keys. The suspect Deryl Dedmond and the complainant were fighting. The witness stated Dedmond called stating he just ran that nigger over."

The report states the charge is murder. The Clarion-Ledger reported yesterday Judge William Barnett reduced the charge against John Rice to simple assault and set his bond at $5,000. Deryl Dedmon still faces a murder charge and is in jail with bond set at $800,000. The article states:

"It's still unclear what led to the confrontation that morning between Anderson, Dedmon and Rice.

Detective Smith said there is no evidence the parties knew each other, and there is no evidence of drugs being involved. He said Rice told police they initially thought Anderson was trying to break into a vehicle, but then learned he was apparently trying to unlock his own vehicle after locking the keys inside.

Rice said he was trying to help Anderson find a clothes hanger to try to open the vehicle.

But at some point an altercation ensued between the two, and Rice punched Anderson, knocking him to the ground. Then Dedmon came over and started hitting Anderson while he was on the ground. Rice then left the scene in the vehicle he was riding in, according to what's on the video.

The video then shows Dedmon in his vehicle backing over the concrete curb at the edge of Metro Inn's parking lot and Ellis Avenue, running over Anderson, Smith said
." Article

The totally unconfirmed and unsubstantiated- so take it for what its worth- scuttlebutt from Brandon is these guys were part of a little redneck group and the alleged incident in Jackson was not the first time such an excursion took place. One teenager at Brandon High School accused them of hitting him with a truck and claims to have it on video. As these are minors, their names will not be revealed but the incident in South Jackson was not the first time the lads have been accused of violence and the victims were not always black.

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Tate Reeves: Family.

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Idiot of the day.

Charles Louis Kuebler. Caught in Pineville after his bond was revoked by Judge Kidd Friday. Fracking idiot. WLBT did a great job last night in getting the facts out on his capture in the video below.

Must have seen this video too many times:

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Pro-Life groups support Hewes


"July 13, 2011--Senator Billy Hewes today picked up the support of Mississippi Right to Life in his bid to be Lt. Governor.

"Today, Mississippi Right to Life has recommended Senator Hewes candidacy," said Hewes Spokesman Keith Plunkett. "They, along with other Pro Life groups, recognize Senator Hewes experience in the Senate and his perfect Pro Life voting record is exactly the type of leadership we need from our next Lt. Governor. This should assure voters that Senator Hewes has done more than talk about Pro Life issues, he has worked hard to protect the unborn and make Mississippi the safest place in the nation to have a child."

"We must protect the most vulnerable among us, and we must take responsibility for the lives of future generations," said Hewes. "I have a long track record of doing that in the Senate. I am honored to have this recommendation from Mississippi Right to Life and to have received the Americans United For Life Award for my work on Pro Life legislation. As Lt. Governor I will continue to vigorously promote Pro Life legislation, and to stand against abortion."

A small business owner and conservative leader, Billy Hewes was unanimously elected by his colleagues as President Pro Tempore and is serving his fifth term in the Mississippi Senate. Appointed to 13 standing committees, he is responsible for providing leadership in the development and implementation of policy measures, as well as the operational functioning of the Senate. Hewes has an extensive list of community service activities. By profession he is an insurance agent and real estate broker with his family agency in Gulfport, and is a graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi. Billy and his wife, Paula, make their home in Gulfport with their four children, Katie, Sarah Margaret, Gardner, and Sam.

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Should Mississippi lower out of state tuition fees?

Interesting story in the Wall Street Journal this weekend about North Dakota's success in attracting college students. It seem leaders of that state noticed a drop in population and made a concerted effort to attract out of state college students. The result is a rise in population as 39% of them stay in North Dakota. Read on.

"But college students are flocking here in ever greater numbers. Out-of-state students account for about 55% of the 14,500 enrolled at North Dakota State University, as well as at similarly sized University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. Nonresident students at North Dakota's 11 public colleges constitute a higher ratio than in almost every other state.

High school juniors and seniors scouring online college guides find North Dakota universities are inexpensive and well-regarded, with modest-sized classes typically taught by faculty members rather than adjuncts or graduate students

"I found it online, showed it to my Dad and he was impressed," says California resident Samantha Carlson, who graduated in May from North Dakota's Valley City State University, where her younger brother is now enrolled. For California residents, North Dakota colleges cost about $10,000 a year in tuition and fees compared to about $12,000 in the University of California system.

Many students hail from states far beyond the region. Floridians numbered 182 in 2010, up from 37 in 2000. During the same period, international enrollment rose to 1,600 from 1,125....

This isn't happening by accident. A dozen years ago, a years-long decline in the number of state high school graduates was accelerating. Faced with the prospect of closing academic departments or entire schools, university leaders instead moved to attract more students, particularly from beyond state borders.

The state poured money into improving academics. In the National Science Foundation's rankings by federal research expenditures—a key measure of prestige for research universities—North Dakota State and University of North Dakota each jumped ahead of more than 30 other institutions over the past 11 years, to the 147th and 143rd spots, respectively

However, oil did help:

"While improving its schools, North Dakota kept tuition low. In recent years, state revenues gushing from an oil boom in western North Dakota have given the state more resources to lure nonresidents.

The result: Even as the number of North Dakota high school graduates fell below 7,400 in 2010 from 9,058 in 2000, enrollment at public colleges surged, climbing 38% in the decade ended in 2010, to 48,120. Leading that growth was a 56% jump in nonresident students.

Out-of-state students who have stayed after graduation have helped reverse a decades-long population decline, with North Dakota now on the verge of breaking its 1930 record of 681,000 people.

"For anyone who wants to be at a place on the rise, this is it," says NDSU President Dean Bresciani, the former vice chancellor of student affairs at Texas A&M University. He sees other cash-strapped states as ripe for raids on students, faculty and administrators. "Not to be a vulture about it," he says, "but this is a fantastic opportunity.

A key to attracting out-of-staters was undercutting other states on price.

"The highest-priced public colleges in North Dakota—UND and NDSU—officially charge nonresident students about $17,000 in tuition and fees. That's half what nonresident students pay at many public colleges elsewhere. And it's less than some in-state rates at public colleges in places like Illinois and Pennsylvania.

But as it happens, few nonresidents at UND or NDSU pay anywhere near that rate. That's because North Dakota belongs to consortiums in which it and about 20 other states agreed to charge each other's students no more than 1.5 times in-state rates.

As others raised tuition, North Dakota held its price down. In many cases, North Dakota waived the premium, enabling out-of-staters to enroll full-year for about $7,000, lower than resident tuition in most other states.

Traffic charts of higher-education consortiums in this region show heavy student migration toward North Dakota. In a Midwest student-exchange program in 2009, North Dakota enrolled 557 students from Wisconsin, Missouri, Nebraska and three other neighboring states, while losing only 39 North Dakotans to the bunch of them.

The payoff:

"The influx of out-of-state students to the school has benefited Fargo's economy. North Dakota research indicates that about 39% of nonresidents remain in the state at least one year after graduation. The city's population has risen to 105,000, 16% higher than in 2000, and an array of defense, medical, computer science and other firms have sprouted along the Red River corridor stretching north to Grand Forks and UND. City leaders say that its image finally is recovering from the Oscar-winning 1996 film "Fargo," which described it as "the middle of nowhere." Article

By the way, only six states have a higher percentage of in-state students than Mississippi (86%). Maybe its time our legislature started seeing out of state students as a potential investment in Mississippi instead of tourists to gouge. Chart. Oh wait, they are too busy trying to run off out of state schools looking to invest here instead of actually bringing in more students. Here is what Ole Miss charges:

Undergraduate Tuition (and Fees) $5,790.00
Housing/Food $8,390.00
Books $1,200.00
Additional Fee for Nonresidents: $9,006.00

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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