Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wyatt Emmerich takes on DUI arrests

Wow. Northside Sun Publisher Wyatt Emmerich has a few things to say about DUI arrests in his column:

"Meanwhile, there were 33,153 Mississippi DUI arrests last year, an astounding number. If DUIs were randomly distributed, every driver in the state would get at least one during his lifetime.

A Colorado study showed that 20 percent of those arrested for DUIs had legal blood alcohol levels. The problem is that residual alcohol in your mouth can distort the results of the unreliable portable breathalyzers police often use to make an arrest.

Applying the Colorado study to Mississippi, 6,500 innocent Mississippians are arrested for DUI each year. Many lack the knowledge or money to fight the charge and just plead guilty.

For the innocent, the personal cost of an undeserved DUI is immense: Lost reputations, job opportunities and the 90-day license suspensions. Car insurance rates skyrocket. A DUI often ends up costing $15,000.

If police followed the rules, they would never give a breath test without waiting for at least 20 minutes. But Mississippi police are not that patient, especially when quotas need to be met and $30 million in fines is on the line.

Police often administer breath tests without probable cause: red eyes, the smell of alcohol, weaving within your lane, a bad taillight, making a wide turn, and other vague and arbitrary reasons are often used by police as probable cause, even though they don’t stand up to judicial scrutiny.

Police are routinely asking, “Have you been drinking?” even though drinking is a legal activity. If you answer yes, count on being tested.

The police need to concentrate on drivers displaying clearly erratic driving, slurred speech and inability to walk straight - these are the behaviors on which genuine probable cause should be based. These are the people who are a danger on the road.

Then there is the infamous “sobriety field test” where the police ask you to do various acrobatic stunts. Studies show perfectly sober people fail this test half the time.

In its eagerness to battle drunk driving, the U.S. Supreme Court has carved out a special place for DUI enforcement, suspending many of the typical civil rights protections afforded by the Constitution.

The clearest case of this is the road block, where drivers are detained for no probable cause. Many legal experts believe road blocks violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure. In allowing road blocks for DUIs, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled several state supreme courts, which found them to violate the rights embodied in state constitutions.

Legal experts on the Web say Mississippi and Georgia have the most backward DUI laws in the nation.

For instance, in Mississippi blowing a .08 is automatic proof of guilt, but blowing under a .08 does not prove you innocent. If you get on the wrong side of an officer, which often can happen just by protecting your rights, they can arrest you anyway, even if you are under the limit. The state Legislature should fix this.

Current Mississippi law gives drivers the right to a blood test, but the statute is watered down and police ignore it. Police should be required to inform drivers that a more accurate test is available. Then police should be required to assist the driver in getting a blood test if they so choose. Any emergency room can do it. The more accurate blood test would further convict the guilty, but it would save thousands of innocent people from getting a huge blight on their record.

Breath samples can be saved for later verification by an independent lab. The cost is about five dollars. But under Mississippi law, the police do not have to save the samples. In essence, they are allowed to destroy the very evidence used to convict.

Like any profession, there are good police and bad police. In this age of smart phones, it is simple to audio or video record your interaction with police. Incredibly, dozens of American citizens have been arrested for recording their encounters with police based on outdated eavesdropping laws. The Legislature needs to change this. Any citizen should have the right to record his interaction with police to ensure proper adherence to the law.

Research has shown that law-abiding citizens who go out to dinner on Saturday night and have wine with dinner are not the cause of alcohol related traffic deaths. The deaths are caused by chronic alcoholic repeat offenders. These are the dangerous people who are weaving down the road and running red lights. The police need to spend their time watching for the true menace and not randomly stopping the two-thirds of Americans who like wine with dinner.

I have never gotten a DUI. In fact, I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket nor been in an accident or been arrested for anything. But I do like wine with dinner when I go to a nice restaurant.

I was stopped once several years ago and tested with a breathalyzer. I passed easily, but I can tell you the Ridgeland police officer did not follow the law. He was the law breaker, not me.

When I asked the officer why he stopped me, he said I was “weaving.” When I immediately reacted with an incredulous, “What?” he said, “Well, weaving within your lane.”

The lanes on Old Canton Road are very narrow, with a few feet on either side. The real reason he stopped me was I was driving a red convertible late on Saturday night. That is an illegal stop, completely lacking in probable cause. This goes on all the time. The Legislature should specify erratic driving, slurring of speech and stumbling as the only legitimate probable cause for DUI testing in Mississippi.

If you must drink and drive, buy a breathalyzer and learn to use it. Some cost as little as $30. If you are above the legal limit, go have dessert. As a general rule, don’t consume more than one drink an hour. When dining with friends, pick a designated driver.

With 33,000 arrests each year, it’s high time the state Legislature passed some basic measures to protect its law-abiding citizens from false DUI arrest. With fewer breath tests to do on law-abiding drivers, maybe the police could keep a better lookout for the real drunks swerving down the road.
" Rest of column

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sound familiar?

Found this Wall Street Journal op-ed piece about the Forumla One race in Baltimore. Might shake David Watkins up a little bit. See if any of this sounds familiar.

"The race exemplifies the city's development strategy: Subsidize big downtown projects with other people's money — in this case, over $6 million in federal stimulus funds for the two-mile race course — and proclaim an urban renaissance.

Away from the waterfront, this strategy's failure is apparent. The city has lost 30,000 residents and 53,000 jobs since 2000, marking the sixth consecutive decade of population and employment exodus. About 47,000 abandoned houses crumble while residents suffer a homicide rate higher than any large city except Detroit. The poverty rate is 50% above the national average.

Much of this decline is a result of the city's exorbitant property-tax rates, which are twice as high as any other jurisdiction in Maryland and Washington, D.C. The encouraging news is that all four major mayoral candidates are promising property-tax relief....

To attract what little investment Baltimore has in recent decades, public officials awarded subsidies to big developers to offset the difference between the city's confiscatory tax rate and that of nearby counties. But developers have to "pay to play," which assures a reliable flow of campaign contributions to sitting officials — and invites corruption. Indeed, Ms. Rawlings-Blake took office only 18 months ago, after the previous mayor resigned as part of a plea bargain to resolve a scandal involving her allegedly accepting gifts from a developer seeking subsidies.

Now Ms. Rawlings-Blake's challengers are asking: If tax breaks for the connected are a good idea, why not give them to everyone? State Sen. Catherine Pugh promises to halve the city's tax rate in her first term or not run for a second. Otis Rolley, a former director of city planning, offers a similar 50% cut for the first $200,000 of assessed value and higher rates for more expensive properties (or vacant ones). And Jody Landers, a former city councilman, promises a cut of 30% to 35% phased in over four to six years.

But tax revolts are hard to win at the local level. The problem is what Harvard economists Edward Glaeser and Andrei Shleifer have called the "Curley effect." In Boston during the first half of the 20th century, Mayor James Michael Curley built a political machine by strategically shaping the electorate — taxing well-heeled "Brahmins" heavily and redistributing the proceeds to poor Irish immigrants. This not only bought Irish votes but chased the old Yankees out to the suburbs, further tilting the political playing field in Curley's favor....

But Baltimore's high property taxes have repelled investment in physical capital for decades. As that capital decayed and became scarce, labor became less productive and less prosperous. In 1950, the city's median family income was 7% above the national average. Today it is 22% below it. And it won't be easy to undo this damage as long as City Hall remains in the hands of politicos who are committed to a fatally flawed business plan.

Other noteworthy victims of the "Curley effect" have been rescued via statewide referenda. Boston, for example, was in worse shape than Baltimore back in 1980: Its population had fallen more in the preceding three decades (30% as opposed to 17%), its per capita income was 2% lower, and its crime rate was 42% higher. Then, in 1980, Massachusetts voters adopted Proposition 21/2, forcing Boston to cut property taxes by an estimated 75% within two years and capping future annual increases at 2.5%.

It was the kind of reform Boston needed but wouldn't have chosen itself (akin to California's earlier Prop 13, which revived cities like San Francisco and Oakland). Businesses and residents flocked back to Beantown. Its population rose 10% between 1980 and today, while its per capita income is now 43% higher and its crime rate 25% lower than Baltimore's.

The spillover benefits of capital-friendliness — enhanced public safety, school quality, and economic and social mobility — are much-ignored but crucial elements of tax reform. As the renowned urbanologist Jane Jacobs once said, "cities don't [just] lure the middle class. They create it."

Baltimore stopped creating its own middle class decades ago, but it has a chance now to reverse decades of disinvestment, depopulation and decay. All voters have to do is invite capitalists back to town for more than just a weekend car race.
" Column

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Bill Minor. Sigh.

Bill Minor's latest screed:
"History-making as it was that a black Mississippian, Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree, became the first of his race ever nominated for governor by the state Democratic Party, his friendly gubernatorial runoff with Bill Luckett did little, if anything, to stem the decline of the state party.

No question, both DuPree and Clarksdale attorney-businessman Luckett, were excellent, qualified candidates. Luckett, who is white, is a newcomer to the political arena while DuPree, is a two-term mayor who has served as a county supervisor and school board member.

The downside of the DuPree-Luckett race was they cancelled each other's talents, with two candidates running on almost identical positive platforms, advocating similar issues and not attacking each other.

So does that mean Bill preferred a negative campaign? Maybe a Democrat Tate-Billy scrum? Lets keep going.

"How pleasantly different was the DuPree-Luckett Democratic runoff from the mean-spirited races I remember during the 1950s and 1960s when one candidate tried to out-segregation (substitute a word beginning with the letter N) the other and cuss the federal government the loudest.

There's no question DuPree's win was good for black pride, but in the real world of politics in present-day Mississippi, black pride is not enough to take you past the winner's finish-line. While difficult for black Mississippians to accept this reality: No African-American can be elected to statewide office in Mississippi, particularly the governorship

Oh really? Get it through your thick head, knucklehead. Most black politicians in Mississippi are liberals. Period. The last two Democrat Governors are conservatives in comparison to them. Like it or not, the voters in Mississippi are not going to elect a liberal Governor. It doesn't help the old Bulls of the Black Caucus and their friends that sit in most local government positions are old and have done little to encourage the election of younger black politicians. Few black politicians in Mississippi work at building support across racial lines. Most of them use majority-black districts to get elected then stay fat and happy in their little fief. Great for puffing up the number of black elected officials. Horrible for building support for statewide office. Gone are the Mike Espy types who might have had a chance at higher office. Oops, I digressed again. Mr. Minor then predictably trots out Gary Anderson:

"A prime example of that reality came in 2003: Gary Anderson who had years of experience as a governmental affairs and financial counselor, and had been director of the state Department of Finance and Administration, won the Democratic nomination for state treasurer. His Republican opponent was a 29-year-old Jackson bank employee named Tate Reeves.

Anderson is black; Reeves is white. Reeves was elected.

Thereby was sprouted a highly ambitious young ideologue with his eyes set on climbing the GOP electoral ladder. Using his treasurer's slot to milk campaign contributions, Reeves on Aug. 2 won the GOP nomination for the vacant lieutenant governor's job in a slashing campaign against mild-mannered state Sen. Billy Hewes of Gulfport."

Bill, I have news for you: Gary Anderson deserved to lose. In case you haven't noticed, Gary Anderson is a lazy campaigner. The only reasons you and David Hampton have given for claiming he lost due to racism is because of his leading a major state agency and he is black. You see Bill, there is this little thing called campaigning. That is where you get out, meet the voters, run ads, send out mailers, and make your case. Some candidates are good at this and they usually win. Some are not and usually lose. Gary is in the latter category. Lynn Fitch showed how a candidate with a similar background can win an election (at least a primary). She spoke all over the state. People laughed at her Mother's Day Message but she was still out there with it. Few people knew her when she started but come election day she beat someone with twice as much money and did it as a woman.

Minor also ignores the fact that Reeves is a very aggressive campaigner. Don't worry about Tate asking for your vote. He will and more than once. Tate also had the benefit of Barbour coattails, no question. However, the same traits noticed in the Anderson campaign for Treasurer appeared again in the race for Insurance Commissioner four years later when Mr. Anderson assumed he would beat a little-known Republican from Vicksburg. Someone forgot to tell Mr. Chaney that fact. While Anderson ignored conservative media outlets Chaney was giving interviews to the Jackson Free Press. Need I say more? Fact is Bill, Gary is a horrible campaigner while a good candidate. Such candidates usually do not win and its not because of racism.

"Reeves will waltz right into the state's No. 2 job because Democrats put up no candidate. Therein lies a behind-the-scenes story of the Democratic gubernatorial race.

Democratic elder statesman William Winter urged DuPree to run for lieutenant governor, to give the Democrats a strong one-two ticket. As it turned out, Reeves alienated many Coast Republican s in his race against Hewes, providing a pool of voters who could easily switch to DuPree, also a South Mississippian

Tate did? Tate was going to alienate a good number of Coast Republicans anyway if he beat Billy Hewes just as Billy Hewes alienated a good number of Rankin Republicans. Guess what Bill? Those same Republicans are not going to vote for Democrats come November. Here is another news flash for you: Dupree will have a better chance against Phil than he would have against Tate. Tate can raise more money than Phil, has a better campaign staff than Phil, and above all, is smarter than Phil. If you weren't so blinded by your hatred for all things Republican you might notice these things.

"Luckett aimed his campaign at beating Phil Bryant, the GOP gubernatorial nominee, on grounds Bryant as lieutenant governor, trivialized the need for a state pre-K education program as well as fully funding MAEP, both Luckett issues.

In the general election, Bryant can far outspend DuPree, especially if Barbour turns on the campaign money spigot of the Republican Governors' Association and sends a gusher of cash. Plus, he can count on a fine-tuned state Republican political machine built by Barbour

Bill, why don't you wake up and admit it: Luckett had no chance against Dupree in the Mississippi Democrat Party. Ike Brown has said more than once he wants to run white Democrats like Bill Luckett out of the Democratic Party. He doesn't want to share power with them. He doesn't want to be their friends, he wants them gone. Period. He is backed up by the Blackmons and other black Democrats. Whenever they have the numbers, which they do in a statewide primary, they are going to vote against the white candidate if there are two serious candidates of opposite races. How does it feel, Bill, to wake up and realize you are considered an enemy in your own party by the very people you worked so hard to protect for so long? Easier to blame Republicans. Face it Bill. Until Mississippi Democrats address this problem there will be more 2011s.

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Video & Audit of Levee Board

A little late, but here is the video from the July 11 meeting of the Levee Board (the Rankin Hinds Flood and Drainage Control District). It's a short video and most of the discussion is spent on property taxes (the Levee Board taxes a small area).

The Levee Board also received copies of its annual audit (posted below). The audit states the district's net assets are $591,698, and it received $693,199 in revenue for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010. Total assets are $2,497,528. However, the District suffered a loss of $29,965 for the year after expenses were deducted from income. The District spent $745,892 on flood control. Page 15 lists expenses. $63,468 was spent on legal fees (Watkins Ludlam represents the District) and $134,904 on salaries. The District also spent $68,710 on engineering fees and another $223,716 on the Lefleur Lakes Project.

Earlier post on Levee Board agreement with Pearl River Vision Foundation.

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

MPERS Investment Committee Video & Reports

This is a first for JJ and in some ways, Mississippi. I have been attending the bi-monthly meetings of the Investment Committee of the Mississippi Public Employees Retirement System. If you want to learn what's really going on with all of the funds and portfolios used by PERS, this is the place to be. I taped most of the meeting that day (I came in about 10 minutes late and missed the first part of the presentation, but all they are doing is reading off of the reports to a large degree) and have posted below reports provided to the Investment Committee at its last meeting on August 22. It's heady stuff and I'm still trying to figure it out. I have not had time to read through all of the reports but wanted to go ahead and post them as well as the videos for your um, entertainment. Enjoy. ;-)

Note: I apologize for the poor quality of the video. I have to lower the definition of the video so the files are small enough to upload to Youtube. I'll need to get a better mike as PERS instituted a policy after I taped the board meeting for the first time mandating all video cameras had to be placed at the very back of the room.

Presentation by Callan Associates:

Presentation by PIMCO

Table of contents (use page numbers on document itself, not pdf reader) for the next two documents:
1. Asset Management Overview
7. Asset Allocation and Performance
15. Manager Analysis Principal Protected
17. Money Market
19. Domestic Equity
54. Interntational Equity
76. Global Equity
84. Domestic Fixed-Income
98. Target Maturity
137. Definitions.

This document used in the PIMCO presentation:

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Friday, August 26, 2011

No comment.

A little bumper sticker was sent to me today:

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We report, you decide.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Obama war on energy continues

The Wall Street Journal reports the SEC of all government agencies is interjecting itself into the fracking debate:

"The Securities and Exchange Commission is asking oil and gas companies to provide it with detailed information—including chemicals used and efforts to minimize environmental impact—about their use of a controversial drilling process used to crack open natural gas trapped in rocks.

The federal government's investor-and-markets watchdog is stepping into the heated environmental debate surrounding hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," according to government and industry officials, even as state and federal environmental officials have begun to bring greater pressure on the industry. The process, which involves pumping water, chemicals and sand underground to free difficult-to-reach natural gas in shale basins, has come under criticism from environmental groups ad some lawmakers over concerns toxins in the mix may contaminate air and water.

The SEC move shows the broad interest among Washington regulators in taking a closer look at fracking and suggests companies that are betting billions of dollars on the technology will increasingly need to weigh disclosing techniques they often consider proprietary. Battles over disclosure have already broken out at the state level, including in states such as New York and Pennsylvania that sit on the giant Marcellus Shale, an underground formation that has become a fracking hotbed because of the large quantities of natural gas there. Just last week, Noble Energy Inc. paid $3.4 billion for a stake in developing 663,350 acres there....

In the past, the SEC has trained its attention on other areas of concern, such as subprime mortgages and credit-default swaps, and has asked companies to provide additional information to investors. Government officials said the SEC's interest in fracking is in ensuring investors are being told about risks a company may face related to its operations, such as lawsuits, compliance costs or other uncertainties. Other federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency are collecting information about fracking, but those efforts are separate from the SEC.

For the moment, the SEC isn't requiring broad, standardized disclosure of fracking information to the public. Instead, oil and gas companies are being asked by the agency's office that oversees corporate disclosure to supply information confidentially to the SEC, and the agency, in turn, will likely require them to publicly disclose some of that information, according to government officials.

"If there's something in [a company's] field of operation that creates uncertainty, that's something they may want to talk about" with investors, said a government official.

The SEC's requests drew criticism from some in the industry about potential regulatory overkill.

"While our industry absolutely supports common sense disclosure and transparency measures, such duplicative inquires that may fall outside of an agency's core mission, are troubling and counter to what our nation needs at this time," said Kathryn Klaber, president of Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group.

An SEC spokesman said "in the course of our filing reviews staff will ask questions related to the areas disclosed in the company's filings." The EPA didn't respond to requests for comment.

The SEC's foray into the issue comes as the Obama administration is trying to find a middle ground between environmental concerns over fracking and an industry that is creating jobs and increasing domestic supplies of an alternative energy source to coal. Natural gas currently provides about 25% of total U.S. energy and is projected to increase to 45% by 2035, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In addition to a fracking study being conducted by the EPA, the Department of Energy and the Interior Department have also been examining the practice. Some states have fined drilling companies for environmental problems
." Article

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Adopt these mutts

Free to good home. Half German Shepard/Half Chow. Females. Email me at

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Classic scene from The Godfather, Part II:

and in this one, always thought was a perfect example of irony:

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Election night thread.

Election night blogging from last night:
8:55: Fitch up statewide 55-45, 31,586 to 25,650. I think this will hold up. She improved from 47% in Madison County to 60%. Harkins is losing by 400 votes with 68% counted. McKinley won by 154 votes over Louvier. Marsha Weems Stacey beat Weber 54-46 by 337 votes.

Houston loses!!! Just wow. 55-45 Tucker. I didn't expect it and I don't think anyone did. He beat Houston 5,610-4,440. Barbour 1789 to 1178 in Hinds. By my calculations, Longwitz wins by 220 votes BUT I do not think that includes affidavits and absentee ballots. In other words, the next few days will be fun.

#20 in Madison. Ross goes ahead by 291-243. Expected Harkins to do better here. 1 precinct left. 6 boxes still out on Sheriff's race. 100% of Madison boxes counted in 25. Longwitz won with 57% of the vote, an improvement from his 54% showing in the primary: 3,067-2,247. Question is what happened in Hinds. I thought Longwitz needed 60% in Madison to win the race.

85% of precincts in in Madison and Tucker is killing Houston with a 59-41 lead of 1,174 votes. Wow. Just wow. No one expected this. Foreman KO's Norton in first round. 9/14 in and Longwitz has a 57.3-42.5 lead over Barbour in Madison only. Lead is 530 votes. WLBT has Barbour with a lead of 51-49: 3,052-2,948. 2,043-1,513 in Madison so Hinds must be heavily included in the totals 6,000 overall, 3,556 from Madison).

7 precincts in in Madison and Longwitz has a 507 vote lead with 50% of the precincts counted: 58.3-41.6%. Sheriff: WOW!!! Tucker kicking the hell out of Houston: 60-40 with 67% of the Precincts in- 949 vote lead. Harkins up by 22 votes with 4/9 precincts counted. McKinley 5 votes ahead of Louvier with 3/9 precincts counted. Marsha Weems Stacey is up by a 2:1 margin with 10/14 counted. Ouch. Advertising on JJ did pay off for her.

30% in and Charlie has 167 vote lead. Still only one reporting in Madison so must be Hinds. Fitch up 59-41 over Yancey statewide with a 2,692 vote lead.

26% of Precincts in in #25 race according to WLBT. Barbour has 179 vote lead over Longwitz but must be Hinds precincts as only one Madison precinct is in. I expect Barbour to get 70% in Hinds this time around. Question is whether he can improve in Madison.

25% of Precincts in. Tucker up by 422 votes at 75%. 1 Precinct in, Barbour up by 8 votes over Longwitz. Harkins up by 7 votes in 1 out of 9 precincts in. 10 precincts in and Fitch is at 60% but its only a margin of 160 votes. Dupree has 90% of the vote with 10 precincts counted.

Hinds: Where the heck is it on the website?

Rankin: nothing worth reporting.

Statewide: Fitch at 66% with a 2:1 lead in votes.

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Big blow to downtown?

Wow. The Clarion-Ledger reported today:

"The parent company of The University Club in Jackson will close the downtown private club.

The club will close on Dec. 31, Joel Jaffe, regional vice president of operations for ClubCorp, said in a statement.

“The closing comes 36 years after the club opened and in spite of several years of earnest efforts by all involved to increase membership and club usage to keep pace with the rising costs of operations during difficult economic times,” he said..

The club, located in Regions Plaza, has been a gathering spot for business leaders.

“The decision comes weeks after longtime general manager John Hardy retired to open a restaurant in One University Place.

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Precinct check

Made a quick check of Precinct numbers in NE Jackson this afternoon between 2:30 and 4. They are printed in chronological order.

Republican votes:

Precinct #32: 93
Precinct #33: 145 (2:50 PM)
Precinct #35: 266 (3:10 PM)
Precinct #34: 314
Precinct #79: 73
Precinct #45: 300
Precinct #44: 117
Precinct #46: 419
Precinct #78: 120 (4:00 PM)
Total: 1,847 votes

Rough estimate of 64% votes cast today compared to August 2 at that time. Take it for what its worth as I'm no expert.

Here are totals from previous elections taken around the same time:

August 2:

#32: 171 Rs/88 Ds = 259
#33: 270 Rs/69 Ds = 339
#35: 386 Rs/116 Ds = 502
Willie Morris: 462 Rs/127 Ds = 589
#79: 104 Rs/237 Ds = 341
St. Phillips: 456 Rs/ 150 Ds = 606
#44: 198 Rs/208 Ds = 406
#46: 616 Rs/320 Ds = 936
#78: 200 Rs/128 Ds = 328
#9: 206 Rs/175 Ds = 381

Total (without #9): 2,863

November 2, 2010:
Willie Morris Library: 700 at 3:05 PM
St Philips: 765 at 3:15 PM
Old Colonial Baptist Church: 500 at 3:20 PM
Fire station on Ridgewood (#79): 463 at 3:30 PM
Spann Elementary: 655 at 3:40 PM
Casey Elementary: 455 at 3:45 PM
Fire Station on Lakeland (#30): 360 at 3:50 PM
Belhaven (#9): 458 at 4:15 PM

May 5, 2009
St. Phillips: 614 votes
Firestation on Ridegwood (Precinct 79): 400 votes
Willie Morris Library (Precinct 34): 536 votes (Updated at 5:00 PM) 1016 votes in 2005.
Casey Elementary (Precinct 33): 465 votes (6:45 update)
Belhaven College (#9): 284 votes.
Spann Elementary: 492 votes (5:00 PM) 842 total in 2005

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Election day open thread.

Ross or Josh? Randy or Jimmy? The anointed one or the brat? The Hamma or Da Mayor? Republican Junior or the $120,000 man? The bond shyster or da Preacha Man? The Saints Fan or who? Blondie or Dear old Dad? Fire away but don't get out of hand.

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Vote Longwitz Today

This post is a paid advertisement.

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OK, time to make predictions. No cheerleading, just who ya think will win and by how much and just do it once, we get the point, you REALLY like your guy.

Fitch by 10.
Harkins by 4.
Longwitz by 3.
Houston by 5.
Marsha Weems Stacey by 6.
Dupree by 13.
Doug Anderson by 15.
Louvier by 8.

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The Clarion-Ledger is a threat to public safety.

If you see this man, call the police or shoot him if you have a reasonable fear for your physical safety. This man is Romaro Johnson and he is wanted for the charge of rape by the city of Ridgeland. WLBT reported "Ridgeland Police were heavily patrolling the Greenbrook neighborhood Monday in search of 35 year old Romaro D. Johnson. Johnson was accused of raping a 15 year old girl.

"Obviously when we got a victim that is 15 years old and this gentleman's 35 we're not sure what he's capable of at this point," said Ridgeland Police Lt. John Neal. "This was a violent act against this juvenile."

WLBT even included a previous mug shot of this creep. Now check out the Clarion-Ledger today:

"Ridgeland police have issued an arrest warrant for a 35-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl at knifepoint.

Police Lt. John Neal said Romaro Johnson, 35, of Ridgeland is wanted in connection with the Sunday assault.

"We got the call about 5:15 a.m. on Sunday morning from the victim's mother," Neal said. "She (the victim) spent the night with a friend of hers on Saturday night. She and a female friend companion left the house around 4 a .m. and went to visit some other guys."

The Clarion-Ledger does not name alleged sexual assault victims.

The alleged assault occurred at a home on Greenbrook Drive, Neal said. Johnson is a relative of the residents, Neal said.

"When they got to the house, there was an older gentleman who we've identified as the suspect who was staying at the house," Neal said.

"He convinced the victim to go outside. Once they went out to the back yard of the residence, he sexually assaulted her and used a knife as a means to threaten her."

Once the assault ended, the teen and her friend went back to the friend's home.

Neal said the victim was treated at a hospital, and detectives are waiting for lab results. Detectives are following up with interviews of the victim at her home.

Police are asking people with details regarding Johnson's whereabouts to call the Police Department at (601) 856-2121 or CrimeStoppers at (601) 355-TIPS

The newspaper does not provide a picture of the man, a description of him, or any other information but his name and age even though he is on the loose and a picture is available. Is Gannett so wedded to its philosophy of not including race in suspect descriptions that it won't even include a picture of the suspect? Its time to say it: The Clarion-Ledger is a threat to public safety.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Leland rings the bell

Mr. Speed gets to ring the bell at the NYSE today:

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The David Archie Saga: Part I, II, III... Never Mind, Lost Count

Here is a post written in January 2009 about David Archie. He is facing off against Doug Anderson tomorrow. I know it's Doug Anderson but Archie, in my opinion, is a thug, hoodlum, punk, you get the idea. He does not need to be allowed anywhere near a government position., period. I know it's Doug Anderson, but if you watch the board meetings, this is not the Doug Anderson of 20 years ago, as he just sits there and doesn't say anything. Better that, than a David Archie full of piss & vinegar and up to no good. Read the original post:

David Archie, community hell-raiser and attention-hound, oops, I meant local "activist", recently announced he was running for Mayor of Jackson. This is not Mr. Archie's first run for office as he was a candidate for Jackson City Council Ward 1 and for seat on the Madison County Board of Supervisors in recent years. Mr. Archie was last seen protesting at the convenience store where a clerk shot someone who allegedly stole some beer. Mr. Archie was arrested earlier this year in Canton as he marched without a permit and after being explicitly warned by the police he would be arrested if he did so. Such behavior is the norm for Mr. Archie as he has had earlier scrapes with the law even though they received little coverage by the media.

In 2000, Mr. Archie was arrested at the Ameristar Casino in Vicksburg for "trespassing after warning". Mr. Archie was present in the casino in 1999 when another patron ( Seyed Toliat, whom Mr. Archie did not know) was asked to leave after claiming he was dealt the wrong cards. (See linked documents at bottom of post). Mr. Toliat refused to leave after being repeatedly asked to do so. Security personnel began to escort him from the premises. You may ask why Mr. Archie was involved in this incident. It seems as though Mr. Archie was present in the casino, saw what was taking place, and decided to stick his nose into the confrontation between the two parties. Ameristar states in its motion Mr. Archie picked up a chair in a threatening manner. Mr. Archie was asked to leave as well and was given notice at that time he was banned from the casino.

Mr. Archie was caught on December 22, 2000 in Ameristar again. Casino personnel recognized Mr. Archie (as stated in the motion, which represents one side of a legal argument) and called the police. Once the police arrived (See officer's statement in incident report), they asked Mr. Archie for ID. He refused to produce any ID and was arrested for trespassing.

The municipal court found Mr. Archie not guilty of the trespass as it said he was not given "written notice" despite the fact the statute (MS Code Sec. 97-17-97) states:
"If any person or persons shall without authority of law go into or upon or remain in or upon any building, premises or land of another...... after having been forbidden to do so, either orally or in writing including any sign hereinafter mentioned, by any owner, or lessee, or custodian, or other authorized person.... such person or persons shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or by confinement in the county jail not exceeding six (6) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment."

Instead of quietly accepting his victory in court (which was at odds with the law), Mr. Archie then stayed true to form and filed a lawsuit against Ameristar Casino, claiming malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Ameristar eventually settled the case with Mr. Archie. Although I've been told what the amount of the settlement was, I have not been able to confirm it but will instead will say if true, would allow one to purchase a new car. One can only speculate after reading through the witness statements and incident reports that it was cheaper for Ameristar to settle than pay the firm it engaged, Wells, Marble, & Hurst, the fees required to win the case (This case is a great argument for tort reform.)

Such behavior from Mr. Archie seems to fit a pattern as he was previously involved in an incident at the Jackson International Airport (See footnote on page 3) where the Ameristar motion stated:
"It is important to note that this is not the first time that Archie has brought a lawsuit in which he asserts a claim for malicious prosecution. Archie sued the Jackson Airport Authority following his arrest for disturbing the peace, assault on a police officer, and resisting arrest after an altercation at the JIA....The altercation began when a rental car company would not allow Archie to rent a vehicle using another person's credit card. Archie responded by throwing a phone at the rental car company's employee."

Repeated arrests, protests, threats, using objects to intimidate others. Is this something people want to see in a Mayor? Is this "community-organizing" or "activism"? Jackson can do without such "activism" and one can only hope the next time Mr. Archie faces a judge and is convicted, the judge will throw the book (I meant that rhetorically, don't want a frivolous lawsuit claiming I threatened Mr. Archie) at Mr. Archie and impose the maximum sentence available to him at that time. One can debate whether Mr. Archie was guilty or not of said offenses but one thing is almost certain to occur: Mr. Archie will be in some kind of trouble.

Documents (Read them, they are veeery entertaining):
Witness Statements
Police Incident Reports
Ameristar Motion

If links do not work, go to and enter "jackson jambalaya" in the search box.

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Quick review of the 48's

Not much happening in the filing of 48-hour campaign finance reports:

Lee Yancey: Richard West, Robert Shelton, John Hoffman (Pharmacy owner): $5,000 each. Kathy Short: $4,000.

Knox Ross: dropped another $20,000 of his own money.

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Sheriff's race open thread

Madison Sheriff's race open thread. Have at it.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011


Can't believe this material went out:

Update: Campaign managers for the two candidates posted these comments:

The flyer did not come from our campaign.
All material we release is "Paid for by Friends of Lee Yancey"
George Nassar, Campaign Manager
August 22, 2011 12:34 PM

Anonymous said...
George, do you and Lee disavow the message of the Flyer? Please do so publicly here on JJ. In other words, give the campaigns position on the flyers. Thanks.

Hayes Dent
August 22, 2011 1:24 PM

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Taggart disavows mailer

Republican Grand Poobah Andy Taggart wrote on his Clarion-Ledger blog tonight:

"The volume of the complaints -- on both sides -- of the "Thad" post-card issue in the State Senate runoff between Will Longwitz and Charles Barbour rivals anything I have recently seen in a legislative race. It's really enough to make me wonder whether everyone is not protesting too much.

Charles Barbour's post card yesterday re-hashing the matter quoted an early draft of a blog post I wrote on the issue, and did not reflect the change I made in the permanent post and as the post was printed by the Clarion-Ledger edition. Moreover, the Barbour card was sent using my name but without my authorization, and after I had declined to give his campaign authorization to use my name in a radio ad.

As for the "Thad" card and the Longwitz campaign, I've been told that the card was a result of the innocent signing of individual cards by a volunteer in the Longwitz campaign, unknown to Will Longwitz himself.

Both the Barbour card and the Longwitz card are tactics that the campaigns have to live with. In NCAA regulations dealing with the oversight of university athletics, there is a concept known as "institutional control." It means the school is responsible for the actions of its boosters.

And campaigns are similarly responsible for the actions of their supporters, for good or for ill."

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Uh-oh. They still haven't learned.

Two "housing advocates" penned this letter in the Clarion-Ledger last week:

"Asking creditworthy, middle-income families to come up with a 20 percent down payment on a mortgage is asking for a lot, given the current economic climate.

Asking credit worthy, low-income families is asking for the impossible, but that is exactly what a new, proposed federal rule does.

Without a 20 percent down payment, borrowers will have to pay more in interest rates and closing costs for their mortgages, creating a two-tiered lending system: one for the wealthy and one for the rest of us.

The rule is known in the industry as the Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) provision, and it poses a new set of threats to home ownership for countless families and especially minorities and first-time homebuyers.

According to housing experts, it takes an average African-American household 15 years to accumulate a 10 percent down payment and 5 percent closing costs, and average Latino households would need 12 years to do so. How long might it take for an African-American family to save up a 20 percent down payment? Far too long.

Buttressing this data are Census Bureau statistics indicating that African-Americans had a median net worth of about $8,600 in the mid-2000s, which is not enough to generate a 20 percent down payment plus the 5 percent needed for closing costs (a total of $25,000) that the QRM will require to secure a mortgage for even a modestly priced home of $100,000.

When faced with these daunting statistics, it is almost unfathomable to consider the additional ramifications of the QRM's restrictive lending guidelines, which include requiring prospective borrowers to spend less than 28 percent of their monthly gross income on housing, and have total monthly household debt capped at less than 36 percent of their income.

When these stringent criteria are coupled with the additional stipulation that borrowers must present virtually impeccable personal credit histories, the profile of the new American homeowner comes into clear focus: wealthy and, most likely, white...." Letter

Yes, you read this right. These numbskulls advocate borrowers, especially minority ones at that, taking on more debt. There is a reason monthly household debt is capped at 36%- so the borrower can actually....... make the payments. What a concept. Keep in mind the 36% based on gross monthly income. Take out 40-50 percent for all taxes. Then there is gas, groceries, clothing, etc. The cap is used to ensure the borrower can afford the payments and he doesn't get in over his head financially. Can't tell that to these guys as they just want to load down the blacks they love so much with more debt than they can afford. Guess that is their version of tough love except for those who follow their advice, they wind up financially ruined. No problem, they will just blame that on racism and da man.

Then there is the part about how criminal it is to require a twenty percent down payment. These guys can blame their fellow Democrats for this problem. The QRM ruled was stuffed into the Dodd-Frank bill? Remember when some of us raised hell over passing a 2,500 page bill no one had read? Here is one of its goodies. explained in March:

"Under the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform, loan originators will be required to retain capital reserves equal to five percent of all but the safest mortgage loans. The safe loans that will be exempt from this risk retention are called “qualified residential mortgages” (QRMs). The definition for a QRM is expected to be released in the next couple of weeks, but the expectation is that in order to be a QRM, a mortgage loan will need a 20% down payment. This means that those that do not have a down payment of this size will be subject to increased mortgage rates to make up for the risk retention on the part of the lender. The Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, the FHA, and other regulatory and governmental agencies are responsible for defining a QRM. Additional explanation at the Wall Street Journal

The rule is intended to ensure that lenders have “skin in the game”. In the past, some mortgage originators would make risky loans, and in turn bundle them into mortgage backed securities and sell them to investors, effectively passing all the risk to another party. These practices were partially to blame for the meltdown of the housing market. Theoretically, the QRM rule would end these risky lending practices."

However, there is one little fact these two "housing advocates" left out: the rules do not apply to mortgages guaranteed by the government. That means FHA mortgages, which have been available to minorities and lower income borrowers for decades, will not be subject to QRM and the tougher requirements. FHA currently allows a minimum down payment of 3.5%. Oddly enough, QRM will not apply to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as long as they are in government receivership. That means QRM will not apply to over 90% of the mortgages underwritten today. It should also be pointed out the mortgage insurers are fighting this rule as it assumes a mortgage carries no mortgage insurance.

However, the letter gives one a glimpse into how these people think: they still don't get it. There is a reason 20% is considered to be a magic number in mortgage lending. Defaults skyrocket when lower down payments are accepted. Self employed borrowers and those making a five percent or less down payment always rank at the top of the foreclosure charts. They expect a bank to offer a loan with a much higher risk of default the same rate as a loan that is considered to be "safe". Trustmark offered Fannie Mae subprime loans (E.A. I & II for you mortgage nuts) but the reason it did not get into trouble offering them was because they had interest rates one to two points higher than the competition. In other words, they actually priced them for the risk and guess what? Trustmark did not suffer as did the other banks.

It does these minorities no good whatsoever to get a home they can not afford, take on more debt than they can handle, and see their lives ruined because "housing advocates" such as these ignore reality wedded as they are to their philosophy. All they care about is bragging how much they do for the poor, not what they actually do for the poor and in this case, they will definitely hurt the poor. They are a threat to the people they pretend to support. They complain about Wall Street bailouts but want to follow policies that will ensure more bailouts become the rule and not the exception. But they don't care about that. Better to rabble rouse and keep their supporters stirred up then face economic reality.

There should be a debate over the rule. and no mortgage should be underwritten unless it has a down payment of five percent. However, that same mortgage is riskier and should have an interest rate that reflects the risk. These "housing advocates" ignore the fact the new rules will not apply to FHA and for a time Fannie and Freddie as they are determined to sink lenders everywhere. They want to put minorities into homes they can not afford and bankrupt them with more debt. If I were a minority, I'd punch them in the mouth for their "help".

Note: Already wrote the post but here is this gem of a last paragraph in the letter:

At a time when employment opportunities are vanishing and existing homeowners are losing equity in what is likely their largest investment (and asset), Americans who are creditworthy and otherwise suited to take on the obligations of home ownership should be encouraged to pursue this part of the American dream if they so desire. And the rising foreclosure rates in the Mississippi Gulf Coast area, which are at 3.23 percent, according to CoreLogic, only compound the situation, undermining any kind of real recovery to the market. Low down payments didn't cause the collapse of the housing and financial markets. Poor and risky underwriting standards and subprime loan schemes are the true culprits.

Um, the rule does not deny a mortgage to someone who is creditworthy, only if he has a 60 day late on his credit history. Low down payments didn't cause the collapse but risky underwriting standards did? Accepting low down payments given the fact such mortgages have high defaults rates is risky underwriting. Idiots.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Madison County Deputies endorse Randy Tucker

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Obama & Haley working for change

President Obama announced he was suspending the deportation of illegal immigrants:

"There are more than 10 million people who are in the U.S. illegally; it’s clear that we can’t deport such a large number. So the Administration has developed a strategy to make sure we use those resources in a way that puts public safety and national security first...

So DHS, along with the Department of Justice, will be reviewing the current deportation caseload to clear out low-priority cases on a case-by-case basis and make more room to deport people who have been convicted of crimes or pose a security risk. And they will take steps to keep low-priority cases out of the deportation pipeline in the first place. They will be applying common sense guidelines to make these decisions, like a person’s ties and contributions to the community, their family relationships and military service record. In the end, this means more immigration enforcement pressure where it counts the most, and less where it doesn’t – that’s the smartest way to follow the law while we stay focused on working with the Congress to fix it." White House press release

The New York Times reported the change this morning:

"WASHINGTON — The Obama administration announced Thursday that it would suspend deportation proceedings against many illegal immigrants who pose no threat to national security or public safety." Article

What does this have to do with Haley? Well, you might remember Mr. Barbour was a lobbyist for the Mexican government at $35,000 a month to push..... amnesty. Time Magazine reported earlier this year:

"According to a State Department filing by Barbour's former lobbying firm, The Embassy of Mexico decided to retain Barbour's services on August 15, 2001, to work on, among other things, legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for foreigners living illegally in the United States--what opponents of immigration reform call "amnesty."

"Haley Barbour and I will lead the BG&R team," wrote Lanny Griffith, Barbour's former business partner, in the filing. According to subsequent filings, Barbour's work included "building support in the legislative branch for passage of a bill related to Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act." As part of that work, Barbour's firm arranged meetings and briefings with "Senators, members of Congress and their staffs, as well as Executive Branch Officials in the White House, National Security Council, State Department, and Immigration & Naturalization Service." Barbour's firm charged Mexico $35,000 a month, plus expenses.

At the time, Mexico was seeking an extension of a provision that allowed undocumented immigrants living in the United States to receive legal visas or green cards without returning to their country of origin, provided they pay an additional fine
." Article Here is an image of the filing made by his firm:

Backdoor amnesty for illegal immigrants. Is that the kind of change we want from Barbour & Obama?

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Knox Ross votes Democrat

The Josh Harkins campaign sent out the following mailer:

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What was Harvey up to in this letter?

Incidentally, Downtown Jackson Partners was reauthorized by the property owners downtown this week. Lacey McLaughlin penned a nice, in-depth story about DJP in the Jackson Free Press. Yeah, I know. Long story but has some good information. The letter was obtained through a public records request.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Evans sentencing postponed.


Set/Reset Hearings as to Charles H. Evans, Jr, Jon Christopher Evans: Sentencing reset for October 5, 2011 at 9:00 AM in Courtroom 5A (Jackson) Jordan before District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III. (SP)

For a collection of all posts on Evans case, see special coverage section on right side of the page.

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Barbour criticized for negative campaign tactics

The Longwitz campaign issued the following press release:


August 18, 2011—Charles Barbour has launched yet another deceptive negative attack to try to fool the people of District 25. First, as reported by the Madison County Journal today, Charles Barbour was told the truth about a postcard sent by Longwitz supporter Thad McLaurin, yet Charles Barbour continued to lie about both Longwitz and his volunteers. Barbour has inundated voters with multiple negative mailers over the past two weeks. Now, the latest mailer falsely attempts to connect Will Longwitz to President Barack Obama. The people of District 25 deserve better.

Will Longwitz has worked on Capitol Hill for Republican Congressman J.C. Watts. He worked on the presidential campaign of Bob Dole. He volunteered as an attorney for President George Bush's re-election campaign. He also worked on the Governor's Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal after Hurricane Katrina. He has volunteered for Republican causes in Madison County, including efforts to register new voters and recruit new members to the Republican Party.

"I have worked for Republicans on Capitol Hill, and in Republican presidential campaigns," said attorney Longwitz of the mailer. "The very insinuation that I am somehow an Obama supporter is offensive to me, and it is offensive to the voters to treat them like they don't have the sense to know better."

Longtime Republican activist and former Mississippi GOP State Chairman Billy Powell said the mailer goes too far.

"I'm disappointed Charles is going so negative when everybody knows it's incorrect," said Powell. "Apparently, Will's opponent has no issues to run on other than negative attacks. To say Will Longwitz is anything other than a solid Republican is ridiculous."

Madison County resident and political activist Bill Billingsley had this to say: "Will Longwitz is as good a Republican as I have ever met. He has worked tirelessly for the Party, and we should thank him for that. We don’t have to put up with this nonsense. The solution is to get out Tuesday and vote for Will Longwitz."


Will Longwitz is an active member of the Madison County Republican Party and the Madison County TEA Party. Working for Governor Haley Barbour’s Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal, he helped Mississippi recover from its worst natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina. As a federal civil prosecutor, he has worked to fight fraud and protect people’s money. He has worked as an attorney for the State of Mississippi, helping to administer funds for rebuilding housing destroyed by the Hurricane Katrina. As a small business owner, Will understands what it means to make a small business run every day.

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It's campaign finance time

It's that time of the season: another round of campaign finance reports. Time to dig into them and see who got what.

Treasurer (48 hour reports not included in totals)

Lynn Fitch hauled in $296,290 this period (yes, you read that right) and $499,830 for the year. She reports cash on hand of $127,223. Major donation: Daddy Fitch loaned the campaign $252,000 this period and $377,000 for the year (No mention of said loan on Y'all Politics or Majority in Mississippi. Don't want to hurt a paid advertiser I guess.). I didn't recognize any major donors in the bond business but someone can correct me if I am wrong. Report

Lee Yancey reported $107,225 for the period and $314,869 for the year. He has $35,227 cash on hand. The bond cartel moved their money behind him as Butler Snow attorneys donated $20,000, Balch Bingham attorneys donated $8,000, and the Baker Donelson PAC gave $5,000 for a total of $33,000. Donald & Gamble, LLP employees donated $15,000. Report, report

Senate District #20

Knox Ross raised $17,175 this period and $200,149 this year. He reports $2,518 cash on hand. He also reported an additional $20,000 loan to his campaign from himself.

Josh Harkins raised $21,300 this period and $106,218 for the year. He reports cash on hand of $10,700.

Senate District #25

Charles Barbour raised $31,388 this period and $110,532 this year. He reports cash on hand of $29,171.

Will Longwitz raised $27,709 this period and $31,030 this year. He reports cash on hand of $14,518.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

She's in rare form.

I'm not going to add any commentary, just let you read Ladd in her own words this week:

"Bill, Jackson has always been an extremely violent city. When you were growing up, it was more white-on-black crime, granted, but it was very violent and terroristic even. And sure, law enforcement ignored those crimes for the most part and were even supportive of that violence; do you call that better law enforcement than today?

I'm also curious about your "plain and simple" solution of stopping "teenage pregnancy and fatherless children." What are your specific solutions? And what do you believe are the roots of those issues? I assume you believe that stopping those issues means figuring out what causes them, no?
posted by DonnaLadd on 08/16/11 at 08:38 AM"

No,Donna, Jackson has not always been an extremely violent city. Sure during the civil rights era it was, no doubt. By the 70s, not so much. The most violent thing I can remember from then was the shootout between The Republic of New Afrika bunch and the JPD/FBI. And the solution to the single parent plague? I suppose we should go back to when the out-of-wedlock rate wasn't so high and compare the societal norms for then vs now. I'm not saying I have all the answers, but it's fairly plain to me that that would be a good starting point. Society has to WANT to change before it can.
posted by bill_jackson on 08/16/11 at 07:05 PM

Sounds like we've read through decades of different archives, Bill. First, it wasn't just the "civil rights era" when white terrorism reigned in Jackson and all of Mississippi. It was our entire history at least until the early '70s. Then there might have been a crime or two more than you're not remembering in the 1970s -- interesting to me that the only one you remember involved an FBI-JPD dawn raid on armed blacks, complete with the Thompson tank. Then the drug war/crack era kicked in full force by the 1980s and peaked by mid-1990s. Crime has dropped dramatically since then (although it spiked a bit during Melton era.)

Also, crime trends have shown that in many of our recent years, Jackson has enjoyed the lowest violent crime rates in decades. Of course, the mainstream media isn't going to tell you that. And where do you hear about crime, but from the media.

Our glory days, Bill, are most certainly not behind us. Jackson was a hateful, hateful place prior to the 1970s, and we're still dealing with the effects of that white-on-black terrorism. Our best years are ahead if we start getting smart about preventing crime and stop blaming teen mothers for problems with much deeper and more difficult roots than that.

It's fine to look at "out-of-wedlock" rates, but why not look at our history of destroying the black family unit, first through slavery, then Jim Crow and now through the Drug War? If you want strong families, there's a whole lot the rest of our society has to make up for. Iagree with your last sentence, but its going to take some serious reckoning about where these problems stem from and what needs to be done about it. Simplistic rhetoric about teen pregnancy won't get us there, even though I want to see teen pregnancy lowered myself. We need to start with good sex education and access to birth control and go from there.
I assume you're a mentor of young people? That's one place to start.
posted by DonnaLadd on 08/16/11 at 07:41 PM

Then there is this great post obviously directed at this website:

"It is time that readers demand that real journalism outlets adopt serious and ethical moderation policies and reject hateful, personal comments. If we wouldn't publish it in print, we shouldn't allow it online. We own these websites, just as we own our papers. We're not government entities; the "First Amendment right" to be a libelous a-hole isn't even a question. It doesn't apply to private businesses.

Oh, and readers: It's up to you, too. Don't go to sites that allow long threads of hateful "anonymous" comments. And when you choose blogs to read, remember the adage that you cannot trust someone who is not willing to attach their name to their work. Especially if they claim to be journalists. They are playing at a very serious game; real journalists dig deep for information, put it into context and are not afraid to use their real names and to talk to real people for responses. If journalists do not follow these standards, the public suffers, and the journalist ends up in trouble, usually. And people who don't use their real names often destroy good people, including elected officials, in their rush to sensationalize.

Choose wisely, folks, if you want good watchdog journalism to continue in this country and not be overtaken by sensationalistic garbage designed to drown out the truth. It's up to you to become media literate and demand better. "

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I bet yellow makes Professor Bankhead sad.

Looks like a former Democratic candidate likes to handle criticism the Farm Bureau way. Ole Miss Political Science Professor and Lawyer Jordan Bankhead didn't like it when the right-wing site quoted some passages from Mr. Bankhead's website. Mr. Bankhead was a candidate in Mississippi House District #10 this year. In fact, Mr. Bankhead sent the following email to

From: Jordan Bankhead
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2011
To: Frank Corder
Subject: Copyright Infringement

Dear Sir,

Please remove the blog post at

If you do not remove the blog post within 3 days I will file suit for copyright infringement as you have copied sections of my website at

Let me know if you have any questions.

Jordan Bankhead
Bankhead Law Firm/BC Real Estate LLC
1124 North Lamar B

Well Professor Dickhead, perhaps I should school you on fair use law. I will simply post my reply to Farm Bureau over the same issue last year:

Federal law states:

"the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright." 17 U.S.C. 107

The Mississippi Code, you know, state law, further affirms this use of copyrights or trademarks if used in criticism, comments, or news reporting:

"(d) The following shall not be actionable under this section:
1) Any fair use, including a nominative or descriptive fair use, or facilitation of such fair use, of a famous mark by another person other than as a designation of source for the person's own goods or services, including use in connection with:
(B) Identifying and parodying, criticizing, or commenting upon the famous mark owner or the goods or services of the famous mark owner;
(2) Noncommercial use of the mark; and
(3) All forms of news reporting and news commentary."

Mississippi Code Section 75-25-25

The American Bar Association has even weighed in on this subject:
"The fair use of copyrighted works for purposes such as criticism or comment is not an infringement of copyright. See 17 U.S.C. § 107. The idea of fair use
reflects copyright law’s careful consideration of First Amendment principles, as fair use permits later authors “to use a previous author’s copyright to introduce new ideas or concepts to the public.SunTrust Bank v. Houghton Mifflin Co., 268 F.3d 1257, 1265 (11th Cir. 2001).....

The Supreme Court has unequivocally held that a parody may qualify as fair use
under § 107. According to the Court, a parody is the “use of some elements of a prior author’s composition to create a new one that, at least in part, comments on that author’s works.” Id. at 580. Like other forms of comment or criticism, parody can provide social benefit, “by shedding light on an earlier work, and, in the process, creating a new one.” Id. In other words, parodies can be considered “transformative” works, as opposed to merely “superseding” works.... ABA paper

And by the way Professor Dickhead, feel free to file suit against this website for the same alleged offense. I'll be more than happy to file a bar complaint against you as well as an application for sanctions in the court you file.

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Prosecutor endorses Marsha Weems Stacey

Rankin County Prosecutor Richard Wilson endorsed Madison County Justice Court Judge candidate Marsha Weems Stacey (District 1) in this letter:

This post is a paid advertisement.

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Triple play!!!

Triple play took place between the BoSox and the Devil Rays:

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Judge Green dismisses Help lawsuit. (Video)

Hinds County Circuit Judge Tomie Green dismissed Ablene Cooper's lawsuit against The Help author Katie Stockett this morning. Judge Green ruled the statute of limitations for intentional infliction of emotional distress expired and Ms. Cooper had no recourse, even if the tort did occur. Kathryn Stockett did not attend the hearing in the spacious courtroom. Reporter Emeritus Jerry Mitchell even attended the hearing, lending an air of solemnity to the proceedings although the reporters from WJTV did their best to imitate two kids at McDonald's playland with their unprofessional behavior.

Ablene Cooper filed suit against Kathryn Stockett, the author of The Help, for $75,000 in damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, in Hinds County Circuit Court on February 11, 2011. Ms. Cooper worked as a maid in the home of Ms. Stockett's brother and also "served as a babysitter" for his child.

Ms. Cooper alleges she asked Ms. Stockett not to use her "name and likeness" in the novel and Ms. Stockett refused. Ms. Cooper claims "It has been emotionally upsetting and highly offensive to Ablene to be falsely portrayed in 'The Help' as an African-American maid in Jackson, Mississippi who uses this kind of language and compares her skin color to a cockroach" and that her "portrayal of Ablene in such a false light is highly offensive to a reasonable person." Ms. Cooper also states Ms. Stockett still refuses to acknowledge her misappropriation of Ms. Cooper's identity and treatment of her as well.

Ms. Stockett filed a motion for summary judgment on April 14, 2011. Ms. Stockett argued most, if not all, of Ms. Cooper's claims are barred by the statute of limitations. Ms. Cooper filed her lawsuit two years after publication of The Help. Ms. Stockett argues the torts of invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress are subject to a statute of limitations period of one year. Ms. Stockett also claims the novel is not about Ms. Cooper but "is about a matter of public concern", race relations. Ms. Stockett opines to the court there is no way anyone could mistake the Abilene character for the real-life Ablene. She states "the first names are spelled differently", "the last names are different", and the character would be 102 years old today and thus no one would mistake a 102 year old lady for a middle-aged woman. Ms. Stockett also trots out the expected free speech arguments, again arguing the book is about a matter of "public concern" and is entitled to "special protection" under the first amendment. Ms. Stockett is represented by Fred Banks, a highly-esteemed lawyer who was the second black Justice on the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Ms. Cooper responded with an answer to Ms. Stockett's motion filed on April 27. She claimed Ms. Stockett "fraudulently induced" her to "believe The Help was no big deal and the book was rejected no less than sixty times. The response includes a quotes from an 2009 interview (last page of documents posted below) with the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

"When I was writing this book I never thought anyone else would read it, so I didn't get real creative with the names. I just used people I knew. Some of them aren't talking to me right now, but I feel like they'll come around...."

"I was terrified when I realized it was going to be published

Needless to say, Ms. Cooper used this statements to argue Ms. Stockett was terrified because she allegedly misappropriated identities and would be found out after publication. The rest of the response merely restates the alleged injuries and damages outlined in the complaint and Ms. Cooper's affidavit (The two documents are included in the linked posts below.).

The war of the motions continued in Ms. Stockett's reply to Ms. Cooper's reply to her reply to Ms. Cooper's lawsuit (sorry, could not resist). It argued Ms. Cooper "does not dispute the material facts" - one of them being the book was published before February 10, 2009. Ms. Stockett uses that date to argue the statute of limitations of one year had expired, thus depriving Ms. Cooper of her ability to sue. Ms. Stockett claims Ms. Cooper was put on notice when the author sent her a free copy of the book and said she told Ms. Cooper "her favorite character in the book was an African-American child-carer names Abileen who was born in 1911" and the character was based on Demetrie McLorn. Ms. Stockett states no concealment occurred and there was no "plan" to keep the plaintiff in the "dark about the contents of the novel." Indeed, Ms. Stockett calls Aibileen the heroine of the novel and one who is not demeaned in anyway by her portrayal.

Judge Green appeared in the courtroom without a copy of Leaves of Grass in her hand. She spoke in regular voice, avoiding the use of rhyme or iambic pentameter. Green immediately brought up the issue of whether the statute of limitations had expired. The jurist made a big deal out of the fact the author sent Ms. Cooper a copy of the book after the plaintiff's lawyer admitted she received a copy of the book in January 2009 from the author but then argued she was misled by Ms. Stockett's words and actions. He argued Ms. Stockett did not tell her the book was set in Jackson, did not mention the cockroach reference, and said the character was based on her favorite maid, Demetri.

The counsel for Ms. Cooper argued under a discovery rule a jury should determine whether the statute of limitations had expired. Judge Green replied "she does not have to be told and the issue was "when she should have known, not when she actually found out." "She may very well be the character" but that there was no "concealment" and "she could have read it". Judge Green ended her remarks by stating "your client had the information she needed to file" and dismissed the case.

Reaction of Ms. Cooper to decision:

Note: Here is

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George Smith conceded.

Yup. Smith conceded the election this morning. Kenny Stokes will finally get his wish of a $45,000 a year salary and a government car.

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Judge Green rules against Cooper

Working on post now but will say Judge Tomie Green ruled against Ablene Cooper in her lawsuit against The Help author Katie Stockett. Judge Green took special notice of the fact Ms. Stockett gave Ms. Cooper a copy of her book in January 2009 and Ms. Cooper did not file suit until 2011. Judge Green said the statute of limitations for the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress was one year and had expired. Judge Green further said Ms. Cooper could not wait several years to file when she was given a copy of the book prior to publication and said nothing. More to follow.

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Lee Boozer endorses Longwitz


August 11, 2011—Republican Candidate for State Senate District 25 Will Longwitz announced an endorsement today from Ridgeland High School Principal Lee Boozer.

“Will Longwitz knows Ridgeland." said Boozer. "I know he will work hard to make sure the students and teachers at Ridgeland High School get the support we need."

"I am honored to have Lee's support in this race," said Longwitz. "He has done an incredible job at Ridgeland High School. Under his leadership the school has quickly become one of the flagships of Madison County's commitment to excellent public education. He knows education and he knows my dedication to public education runs deep. Both my mother and grandmother spent their entire careers teaching in public schools and I am a product of Mississippi public schools. Education will be my top priority as the next Senator from District 25."


Will Longwitz is an active member of the Madison County Republican Party and the Madison County TEA Party. Working for Governor Haley Barbour’s Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal, he helped Mississippi recover from its worst natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina. As a federal civil prosecutor, he has worked to fight fraud and protect people’s money. He has worked as an attorney for the State of Mississippi, helping to administer funds for rebuilding housing destroyed by the Hurricane Katrina. As a small business owner, Will understands what it means to make a small business run every day.

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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