Monday, October 1, 2012

Lets get ready to RUUUUMMBLLLLE!!!!! (Video)

Note: This is some of the best video I've ever shot for JJ. These two didn't care and just went at it. Just watch.

The regular meeting of the Hinds County Board of Supervisors today was better than the WWF as two Election Commissioners, Jermel Clark (District 3) and Connie Cochran (District 4) went after each other at the podium. Mr. Clark is the President of the Election Commmission. Mr. Clark admitted the military absentee ballots were not mailed out to service members by the deadline.

Ms. Cochran finally appears at 13:30. She doesn't appear in part I.

This is not the first time these two have butted heads nor will it be the last. Mr. Clark (no, not THAT Mr. Clark), addressed the Board of Supervisors and was the only commissioner present. He accused Mrs. Cochran of sabotaging the election process, changing ballots that were mailed, removing the ballot from the computer system, and refusing to train him.

Supervisors Robert Graham and Kenneth Stokes asked questions about his allegations until Supervisor Phil Fisher said it was not fair to keep attacking someone and making decisions without giving her the opportunity to defend herself. Mr. Graham agreed and asked someone to call Mrs. Cochran.

Mrs. Cochran appeared at the podium a few minutes later and gave it right back to Mr. Clark. She said the reason he didn't know how to perform certain tasks was because he "refused to take the initiative." She said she had removed the ballot from the system because there were changes that had to be made to two precincts and the system would not allow any alterations to be made while the ballot was active. She said he was "misleading" the board of supervisors and finally said he was too dumb to understand how to operate the system.

The entire disagreement apparently stemmed from a dispute over the placement of candidates on the ballots. Mr. Clark wanted Democratic candidates placed first in each race, above the Republican candidate. Ms. Cochran told the board the Election Commission had placed the candidates for the major parties in each race in alphabetical order. Mr. Clark told the board he did not agree with that placement and said it was a tactic by Republicans to manipulate the ballot. He said Bill Marcy would be placed above Bennie Thompson and Marilyn Avery above her challenger. However, such bias does not appear to be the case upon closer inspection as under an alphabetical system, Barack Obama would appear above Mitt Romney, Gore over Wicker, and Banks over Waller.

Ms. Cochran told the board since she refused to draft the ballot with all Democrats placed first as desired by Mr. Clark, he attempted to create his ballot. She said after several days, Mr. Clark asked her for help. She said she would - if the candidates were placed in alphabetical order as the commission had done for over twenty years. Mr. Clark did not agree with her conditions and sent a letter to county officials accusing her of being "resistant" (Letter posted below). Board President Robert Graham repeatedly tried to get the two to direct their comments to the board but usually to little avail.

Mr. Clark naturally took greeeeeeeeeeat offense to being called dumb (but never apologized for his earlier accusations of sabotage and election fraud). He repeatedly referred to Mrs. Cochran as "that woman" or "this woman" as he refued to call her by name. The entire Board made it clear they wished the election commission would quit bringing their fights to them when the Supervisors have little authority to do anything regarding the commission. The Supervisors eventually voted to launch an investigation.


You Can't Make Dysfunction Go Away With Rebranding said...

Hinds County ... A World of Difference!

Anonymous said...

Chairman Clark has the responsibility to make himself capable and skilled to fulfill his office. If he depends on a fellow colleague to do the job for him, he should be taking notes at the very least. He has been on this board long enough to have learned how to produce the ballot.

Anonymous said...

On the bright side, somebody too dumb to prepare the ballot is probably also to dumb to steal the election.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of idiots. These people are supposed to be leaders. This is a shining example of why I am leaving hinds county asap.

KaptKangaroo said...

Mrs. Cochran, with much respect, thank you for the thankless job you do! I know the selfless hard work you do and am proud of you standing up to the ignorance that is, unfortunately, leadership in Jackson.

Phil I do not know you personally, but I'm shaking my head too.

Peggy keep the even keel and thank you for the motion.

Whether suburbanites want to admit it or not, so goes Jackson, so goes the suburbs. It is high time we actively engage in the politics of this town!

Anonymous said...

Whats Mr. Perry's position with Ms Cochran?

Anonymous said...

Whether suburbanites want to admit it or not, so goes Jackson, so goes the suburbs.


Anonymous said...

Connie Cochran did a great job of keeping her composure after being verbally attacked by someone who wanted to blame her for his incompetency.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Cochran only person with a normal reaction in that room . There is a time for screaming . There is a time for complete meltdown. This man should be drug tested. He seems awfully relaxed for someone who he screwing up a Federal Presidential election. I am beside myself to live in a state where such people can hold offices of any kind. Iq test should be required.

Shadowfax said...

I see no truth in the comment "As Jackson goes, so go the suburbs". It's quaint, clever and cute, but has no basis in truth.

Although this gentleman seems to be a bit incapable and disorganized, I can see his point, to a degree. How many of us have NOT gone into a new job only to find out there's someone in the department who holds too much knowledge, who has perhaps insulated herself as indespensable, relishes the notion that nobody else knows or can easily learn the systems and is unwilling to share knowledge or participate in system revision? I've certainly been there a few times.

Mrs. Cochran seems to be one of those people. It's one of those deals where the system is so complicated and 'secret' that only one person holds the key, and therefore, the power. She's 'done it for twenty years' and is unwilling to relinquish the power she enjoys.

So, we have a dunce, a saboteur, a gaggle of clowns and a failed electorate.

Anonymous said...

We have dumbed down our schools. We have dumbed down our city council. We have certainly dumbed down our board of supervisors. Now we have one person in the election comm. who has a clue what is going on. She has to take her peers to school and take the supervisors to school. This is a pathetic excuse of government. Yes, I know she is white and the rest are black except for one supervisor. I don't give a damn. If the most were white and we had a black lady in her place I would say the same thing. But it is what it is and we have no reason for the truth to be held hostage by fear of being called racial. By the way, you black folks in Hinds County who have a clue . . . it is time to speak up because they quit listening to the white folks years ago. It's on you now.

Kingfish said...

Shadow, you miss the point. He is trying to manipulate the ballot and is raising hell because she said no.

Kingfish said...

The CL story leaves out the part where Mr. Clark accuses Mrs. Cochran of sabotage and trying to manipulate the ballot before she lost her temper.

KaptKangaroo said...

But of cotrse he misses the point. He'll support turnips falling off a truck if it makes him *special*.

I guess in his fallacial world 8 years is not enough time to figure out how to manipulate the vote without getting caught. Connie deals with this crap all the time and her speaking yesterday is a true testimony to the tiring work she does.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating video, KF, thanks. I tend to agree with the Supervisors who said that these two seem to have forgotten their major responsibility is to the voters.

There seems to be conflict on several fronts that should be examined.

First is the listing of candidates.

I would have imagined that both parties would want their candidates identified clearly by party rather than simply have them listed in alphabetical order since both parties have gone to a great deal of trouble to develop loyalists.

I understand there are some studies that indicate that , when ballots are alphabetical and when no candidate name recognition exists, voters tend to vote for the first name on the ballot. This tends to happen in the lesser publicized races.

An argument can be made that it is more helpful to voters for party affliation to be more clearly designated than (R),(D),(I) and perhaps there should now be (TP) and (L) as well. But, for certain, doing any task the way " it's been done for 20 years" is a poor argument. Change without being able to defend how it would be an improvement is also without merit.

The second issue is the problems in dealing with redistricting.
Is is correct that voters now find themselves in different districts for different races? That seemed to be what was suggested at one point. Were the redistricting changes delivered in a timely manner?

The third issue seems to be with organization and lines of authority. This was fuzzy to me, but wasn't it suggested that some of the tasks are done, not at the county level, but at the state level and the communication is not good?

The fourth (and very disturbing to me )was that the company that made the voting machines has gone out of business and so training/servicing has become problematic.

I am certain of a few things, however.

The first is that you do not let a system fail simply because their are people above or below you who are not as competent in their job assignment as you think they should be. You get the job done and in not doing that here, we have our military votes at risk. That is unacceptable. And, THAT should have motivated everyone to put aside resentments.

Mrs. Cochrane is old enough to understand that those who hold Mr.Clark's position will continue to come and go with varying abilities and she should long ago have learned to adapt and suck it up.

Also,he( she in this case) who controls information, controls power. There are those who know that and like to exercise that control. When these types of folks drop dead, and I've been in situations where that happened, it is disastrous for those who must then reinvent the wheel. They leave little information behind as keeping it in their head or at home is the key.

Mr. Clark is not articulate and may well not have made the effort required, but for Mrs. Cochrane to simply get tired of trying to help him without caring whether on not the system worked is nothing short of childish at best and a word that rhymes with witch at worst. Her crossed armed body language was loud and clear and easily recognizable to another woman.

Shadowfax said...

That's your opinion. However, assuming you're right, what if he were NOT trying to manipulate the ballot? My post would still be accurate. No system should be so complex that nobody (save one person) understands it and one person can hold the process hostage. It's not a black and white issue, necessarily. She should have been requred years ago to develop a 'standard work manual' that clearly outlines every facet of the system. In case she dropped dead or sulled up, the process would not die or sull up with her.

Kingfish said...

The parties are listed next to the candidate's name. If you had been voting, you would know that. ;-)

This is all about going from a listing that is fair to both parties to one that favors one party. Wasn't right when the segregationists did it 50 years ago, isn't right now.

Kingfish said...

We shouldn't have elected election commissioners in the first place. If it were up to me, I would abolish them in all counties and have the SOS run the elections as they do in other states. I would also take the primaries away from the parties as well.

Kingfish said...

Its not an opinion Shadow. Mr. Clark said so and again said so in a letter what he wanted to do.

Anonymous said...

October 2, 2012 8:12 AM is CLUELESS.

KaptKangaroo said...

I believe from what was said in the testimony Mrs. Cochran was working on the ballots, to get them out,up through last Friday. I am missing where she is not helping Mr. Clark.

He sent letters in advance that he was going to miss the deadline? This is just now coming to light.

I am as appalled as anyone when we take away the right to vote, it makes it more appalling to believe our soldiers are the ones impacted here.

Anonymous said...

The answer to whether or not " as goes a city, so goes a suburb" can be found in looking at struggling cities.

Geography plays a role in that it matters if suburbs are located near other CITIES of size that are thriving.

It also matters if the city is a capitol city or not.

One could look at several capitol cities on the east coast and note the differences in the suburbs of thriving cities versus those that are struggling in attracting businesses and new residents.

Simply stated, suburbs near thriving cities are MORE prosperous than those near struggling cities.

Also, suburbs that boomed ( for whatever reason) tend to have some trouble over time when the facades are trendy but the " bones" of construction were not all they should be.

Some of you should take a ride through the first subdivisions of Madison and see how they are doing. How are the roads? What are the inherent problems with drainage, water lines, sewer lines, etc.?

Anonymous said...

This situation is "dumbfounding" but not surprising.

It can't get any can't get any can't get any worse.

Yes it can.

Pete Perry said...

Anon @ 8:12

To your (uninformed) comments:

"I would have imagined that both parties would want their candidates identified clearly by party rather than simply have them listed in alphabetical order since both parties have gone to a great deal of trouble to develop loyalists."

The practice in Hinds County, and most if not all other counties in the state, has been for the last couple of decades to list the CANDIDATES in order alphabetically. This includes a listing of their party affilliation, as is required by state law. Ms. Cochran, and the majority of the Election Commission, have proposed this manner of listing candidates as the 'fairest' method of creating a ballot. Mr. Clark changed this unilaterally - as is allowed to him as chairman (something that probably should be changed in the law) to list them "alphabetically by party, if you only include 'major parties'. Your assumption that party designation would not be included is a misinformed opinion you chose to post anyway.

"Were the redistricting changes delivered in a timely manner?"

Simply answered, No. The information required to make the changes was not given to the Election Commission until after the date the ballots were supposed to be developed, ordered from a printer, and made available to absentee voters.

"The fourth (and very disturbing to me )was that the company that made the voting machines has gone out of business and so training/servicing has become problematic:.

Response: The company, AVS, has gone out of business, as have most of the other DRE voting machine manufacturers. But, as is normally the case in any business, not just voting machines, another company has developed that offers the services of maintaining the voting devices, offering service for the devices, and offering training.

As an aside, note that Mr. Clark wants to have the county spend millions of dollars on new voting devices just because he has failed to learn how to use the current DRE machiens owned by the county, rather than avail himself of the training available for those currently in use. Taxpayers in Hinds County should be up in arms over this wasteful spending of our tax dollars.

Pete Perry said...

Shadowfax - it is not the responsibility of one (or more) commissioner to teach the others how to do their job. The SOS offers a training session to all new commissioners upon their taking office. And there are annual training sessions required of all commissioners.

The office of Election Commissioner is a part time job. Each commissioner is elected on their own, and get paid equally (a per diem pay.) Ms. Cochran is not the only commissioner that "has knowledge" of the voting devices. But if she was, it is not her responsibiltiy to develop "a manual" for them. Fact is, "a manual" does exist. Problem is, as she said, Mr. Clark is too dumb to understand it.

Over the years, Mr. Clark has been shown how to use this equipment. I have personally observed it at times, although I believe there have been many more times when I haven't been present.

Mr. Clark has "campaigned" and "complained" for years, wanting to become Chairman of the Commission. He finally got his wish, being elected to the Chairmanship this year. With the "title" goes "resonsibility". One of those is the development of the ballot - a responsibility given specifically to the chairman by 23-15-351. He wants to exercise that authority in determining the listing of the candidates on the ballot, but abdicate it in doing the other things included in that section - developing the ballot, ordering them from a printer with specific requirements (i.e. a certificate of how many were printed).

If you want the job, then be prepared to do it.

Pete Perry said...

KF - you are only "half right". The election of "Election Commissioenrs" should be abolished. But it shouldn't be put in the hands of the SOS - also an elected official. The EC should be appointed, with equal representation of both parties.

And the primaries should remain as a responsibility of the parties. Otherwise, why have a primary. The purpose of a primary (although often misunderstood) is for a party to chose its nominees. State law dictates how that process must be done, but to take away this process from the parties would eliminate the entire purpose of the primary.

Pete Perry said...

Now a comment not answering someone else - Mr. Clark "claims" that ballots are now available. This is close to being correct - problem is, they are not legal ballots. They are being produced on a copy machine as an absentee voter requests one. Statute requires that 'scannable ballots' be used that are printed by a printer, counted, certified, and accounted for. Why, you may ask. So that there is an accounting for all paper ballots - something that we all should want to 'help' insure a fair and accurate election. Mr. Clark, as Chairman, has the specific responsibility, individually, to meet this requirement. And he was required by statute to have these proper ballots available to the Circuit Clerk prior to September 22nd (45 days prior to the November 6th election.) He has not ordered any ballots from the printer yet. To use these "copy machine ballots" subjects them to challenge once the election is over, thus costing those absentee voters their right to cast a (countable) ballot.

To ignore this fact is again an abdication of his responsibility. The reason he hasn't ordered them is that he has not yet developed a ballot in the AVS system - without that, he cannot order the ballots. Nor can the voting machines be programmed for use in the election.

And, in response to 10:58 PM above, Ms. Cochran is a long-time friend, as is Ms. Avery and Dr. Rhodes. I have had a professional relationship with all three of these individuals for many years while working with the Election Commission. I have also had many personal (yet public) disagreements with all three of these Commissioners, as I have had with Mr. Clark, Ms. Graves, and their predecessors, Mr. Figgers and Ms. Anderson. Yet I have continued to attempt to work with them (all) and support them when they are doing their job. I have called them all out when I disagreed with them. Would welcome you to join me.

Anderson said...

I can't think of a neutral way to list candidates other than alphabetically. What nonsense.

Anonymous said...

I can't think of a neutral way to list candidates other than alphabetically. What nonsense.

Perhaps by weight class...

Anonymous said...

It's not the responsibility of Election Commissioners to train one another -- that's hoe bad information gets continued. The election device vendors and the Secretary of State's office have an INSANE number of trainings offered for election commissioners -- I would be curious if Commissioner Clark ever attended any. Is that public record? Could someone call the SOS and find out?

That's one of the unfortunate things about the training -- the SOS is REQUIRED to offer it, but no Election Commissioners are REQUIRED to attend it in order to be allowed to do their jobs. They get paid for attending, but there is no negative action for NOT attending.

Kingfish said...

Sit tight. ;-)

Anderson said...

10:47 - in that case, Chris Christie would *definitely* have run for the White House!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the informed and specific responses to my 8:12 am post. I don't think I pretended to be up on election law. I'm glad to know another voting machine vendor has stepped in and apparently some of you have confidence in their abilities and resources.

I do, however, have more than a little experience serving on boards and commissions and with group dynamics where dealing with the lazy or incompetent is not exactly rare. And, so I especially appreciate and share 9:50 am's attitude. I expect 9:50 am is task oriented and a problem solver.

So, I don't understand why it should matter that manuals exist or other people could also have helped enlighten Mr. Clark, or even if Mr. Clark attended training. If there is a person who cannot, for any reason , perform their responsibility, the rest of the commission should help.

Functional as opposed to dysfunctional groups do that.

I did not assume Mr. Clark to be competent, responsible and energetic though I don't know how hard he tried or if the information is simply above his head despite trying. Not everyone who tries succeeds. Government speak and legalspeak is not for the fainthearted.

At least, Mr. Clark asked for help. It's much worse when someone doesn't "get" that they don't "get it".

It was , however, apparently obvious to Mrs. Cochran that Mr. Clark was not up to his responsibilities.

So, her choice became embarrass Mr. Clark and let this mess happen rather late in the game or to step in yet again to make sure the process worked. I can't admire her for picking door number 1.

If she was personally tired of helping him, she also could have asked all those informed others mentioned to take a turn.

So, explain please, why both of these people and indeed, the entire Commission doesn't have shared responsibility for this embarrassing video.

It appears that Mr. Clark had the authority to change the ballot.

I still fail to understand how listing candidates alphabetically with the party letter in parenthesis is " more fair" than listing alphabetically under party designation. I'd be pleased for someone to enlighten me.If there is a reason it's been " done this way" since the dawn of history, what is the important difference I'm missing? Surely, we all know that the letters are not more informative to the voters that the words spelled out once.So, what the heck is it? And, why wouldn't voters want the most clarity in party affliation?

Anonymous said...

I do, however, have more than a little experience serving on boards and commissions and with group dynamics ...

Appeal to Authority Logical Fallacy.

Anderson said...

"Appeal to Authority Logical Fallacy." A little learning is a dangerous thing.

An appeal to authority, properly speaking, is more like "but Aristotle says X, therefore X."

Citing one's own experience is not an "appeal to authority." The alleged experience, and conclusions drawn therefrom, can be more or less credible. But it's not a "logical fallacy."

Shadowfax said...

It's hard to debate a point with Kingfish posting ten times and his bud Kangaroot lambasting me at the same time.

If either of you had worked long enough in private industry, you'd understand the value and intent of a 'standard work manual'. The purpose is to outline every facet of an operation from A to Z so that most any employee can step into the positon and assume the work and so the procedure and the incumbents can be audited and the operation evaluated,

The woman obviously (if you listen to the tape) had no intention of assisting him. She said numerous times if he wanted her to 'do it for him', she would 'do it her way' but was not interested in training him.

Again, complex systems made difficult by people who want to appear indispensable are problematic. I have no dog in this hunt and am not interested in defending the 'hard working woman' or in defending 'the obvious dunce who has an agenda', plus nappy hair and an angry demeanor. And I'm sorry some of you cannot abide alternate viewpoints.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it stated that Ms Cochran assisted/collaborated with Mr Clark to prepare the March Primary ballots? Did he take notes, so he would know how to do the ballot himself? Apparently not!

Anonymous said...

Somebody give that lady a glass
of water!
I bet she's STILL smokin'!

Anonymous said...

hey s-fax, you give jermal way too much's not a 'complex system made difficult...' requiring volumes of manuals to understand. It's a simple system and btw, there is a manual available and he has one. (and yes, I have first-hand knowledge). So Ms. Cochran is right- he really is that dumb and he's over his head and bit off more that he can chew. Now it's time to swallow.

Shadowfax said...

Would it be safe to assume that blacks and whites simply cannot work together in Hinds County?

Anonymous said...

no, that would be an incorrect assumption. blacks and whites work together fine everyday in hinds county. but a few bad apples can spoil the whole bunch.

Anonymous said...

In the case of Hinds it is more like a bunch of bad apples can spoil the orchard. It isn't merely a few.

Anonymous said...

Anderson said:
"Appeal to Authority Logical Fallacy." A little learning is a dangerous thing.

An appeal to authority, properly speaking, is more like "but Aristotle says X, therefore X."

Citing one's own experience is not an "appeal to authority." The alleged experience, and conclusions drawn therefrom, can be more or less credible. But it's not a "logical fallacy."

No, Anderson. "Appeal to authority" attempts to give validity to a conclusion by citing a perceived authority. It is most often used as a personal authority and NOT, less often used, the authority of a third party.

Citing one's experience might provide some validity for one's own opinion, based on that experience. But trying to win an argument where an assertion is deemed true because of the positional experience or authority of the person asserting it is most certainly "appeal to authority."

Keep safe. A "little learning is a dangerous thing."

Pete Perry said...

Shadow, it would be more interesting to read your comments if you had a glimmer of what the actual "facts on the ground" were, rather than you just spouting your opinion.

There is a manual on "how to do this". There have been many training sessions available to Mr. Clark. Members of the Commission, including but not limited to Ms. Cochran, have tried to assist him in his job previously.

It is not Ms. Cochran's responsibility to develop "another" manual of instructions. It is not any member of any of the 82 election commissions to train other commissioners. Each is elected in his/her own right, and just as in any other job, they claim to be capable of the duties when they ask for the office. If there is specific training needed, it is available, but one must attempt to utilize and learn from this training.

Mr. Clark campaigned for the position of chairman of the commission for years - in fact, accused the other commissioners of discrimination because they would not elect him chairman. With the position go responsibilities and duties. If he was incapable of performing them, he should not have asked for the job.

What do you expect of the other commissioners? To do their jobs and the job of Mr. Clark? Not quite fair in my opinion, and certainly not reasonable.

Election Commissioners get paid by the day for the days they work. Mr. Clark has billed the county for numerous days with his "actions" spent during those days repeatedly being "studing the code". Maybe he should have spent some time "studing the manuals" as well. Maybe while "studing the code" he should have checked out his responsibilities and learned them.

BTW, I have plenty of time spent in the private sector (yes, I know you were only referring to KF and KK with your comment) but you indicate "what the private sector would do." There is a standard manual - problem is, you assume that with such a manual ANYBODY has the ability to learn from the manual. You also assume that it is a "fellow employee's responsibility" to develop such a manual.

You should know, with all your private sector experience, that it would be the responsibility of management to develop and provide such a manual, not a fellow co-worker. Why do you place that responsility on another commissioner - equal in status to Mr. Clark?

When I hired someone for a job in my companies, I would provide them the availablilty to learn the duties, or the processes, required to perform the job. But if they couldn't or wouldn't learn them, i would terminate the individual. To bad we can't do that in the public sector!

If either of you had worked long enough in private industry, you'd understand the value and intent of a 'standard work manual'. The purpose is to outline every facet of an operation from A to Z so that most any employee can step into the positon and assume the work and so the procedure and the incumbents can be audited and the operation evaluated,

Anderson said...

So, 8:29, you're under the impression that it's a *fallacy* to give credit to X on subject Y because X has expertise in subject Y?

Allow me to, er, cite an authority:

Fallacious arguments from authority often are the result of failing to meet at least one of the required two conditions (legitimate expertise and expert consensus) structurally required in the forms of a statistical syllogism.

First, when the inference fails to meet the first condition (inexpert authority), it is an appeal to inappropriate authority, which occurs when an inference relies upon a person or a group without relevant expertise or knowledge of the subject matter under discussion.

Second, because the argument from authority is an inductive-reasoning argument — wherein is implied that the truth of the conclusion cannot be guaranteed by the truth of the premises — it also is fallacious to assert that the conclusion must be true.

All this sounds sane enough, I would think. Arguments from authority aren't guaranteed to be true ... but then, few interesting arguments are.

Anonymous said...

I thank those of you for your " lessons". It was a well done review on arguments and you all, clearly, also learned how to deflect from the point made.

It appears that you didn't spend time with organizational theory.

Apparently, all of you function within your specific job requirements without any interest in whether or not the group structure to which you belong in the moment succeeds or fails. Nor do you care why the organized structure exists. You are all more involved, it seems in inter-office politics and personal advancement. Your professional behaviors are apparently determined by internal competition and " right fighting".

I'm also amused at the defense of manuals...especially government generated manuals. I've not looked to see if the research on manual use is on the Internet , but really??? really??? All your office manuals are all frayed from use??? ROFL. I'll bet your auto manuals and electronic manuals are frayed from use as well.

I mentioned my experience, as many others have on this blog for two reasons. First,some knowledge about the person opining is regarded by some as having value. Such people think, for example, a legal opinion on a legal matter from a lawyer should be given more serious consideration than the legal opinion of a farmer.That does not , of course, mean the farmer's opinion can't be spot on. Some of you seem to just want to " choose up sides" or having your intuition reinforced.

Secondly, I mentioned it because I was accused of being " clueless".

I admitted and will admit again that I have NO experience with the Election Commission or election law and how the peculiarities of both might make my observations incorrect. But, so far a philosophy lesson isn't enlightening. KF, Pete,9:50 am,9:36 am. have been enlightening on the election process and I thank them.

But, I STILL don't have the answer to why one ballot form is " more fair" than the other. Nor do I have a good argument for WHY not assuming the responsibilities of an incompetent is better than making sure the job ( not an unimportant one) gets done.

Anonymous said...

Its not HER job or any other commissioner’s job to train him. Get off your lazy butt and learn the skill needed for your job.

“So, I don't understand why it should matter that manuals exist or other people could also have helped enlighten Mr. Clark, or even if Mr. Clark attended training. If there is a person who cannot, for any reason , perform their responsibility, the rest of the commission should help”

Wrong. The person should be replaced.
1) You apply/get elected to do a job.
2) You refuse to learn how to do the job.
3) You get fired.

This guy is following orders from Democratic party. There is a push to get all dems listed at the top. Geeeeee, wonder why? (here's your $5, just mark all the names listed like this...) Already happened in Oklahoma (AP: “The names of Democratic candidates in Oklahoma will appear above Republicans on the November ballot.”).

Anonymous said...

It appears that you didn't spend time with organizational theory.

I could venture a gazillion subjects you've spent zero time learning but will not burden the other readers here due to the sheer length of the list.

Pete Perry said...

10:40, you admit to not being informed on election law. Obviously, you are not informed on election politics either.

The reason one form of ballot order is an advantage/disadvantage is well tested - oftentimes, particularly the "further down" the ballot one goes (to lesser offices, i.e. constable vs governor) the first name listed is worth several percentage points. Depending on the race, sometimes as much as 10%, but even the top of the ticket it can mean as much as 5%. This is due, generally, to uninformed voters that don't know any of the candidates, so they vote for the first name on the list.

Historically in MS, during the early years of the Republican Party (1960's thru the late 80's in many counties) ballots in most every county were structured with a separation of the party, i.e.
a "heading" of DEMOCRAT PARTY followed underneath with the nominee, then "REPUBLICAN PARTY" again followed with the nominee, then "INDEPENDENT" again with any and all independent candidates.

Over the recent years, the separation has generally been removed, with the party designation to the side. And in most counties (not all) the candidates are listed alphabetically by name. (They used to claim that they were listed alphabetically by party, thus putting Democrat first - but could never understand the R being ahead of the I; but I digress.)

As Ms. Cochran noted, for the past 20+ years, Hinds County has listed all candidates alphabetically, trying to provide a fair, rather than a partisan, listing of candidates.

Obviously, Mr. Clark - formerly a member of the Democrat Party Executive Commmittee until we threatened a lawsuit and his removal from office - understands the advantage of candidate listings. Listen again to the tape where he explains why he unilaterally chose to change the long-standing policy of the Hinds County Election Commission.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Hinds County!! Both the Board of Supervisors and the Election Commission "leadership" operates on the theory - forget the law, forget what is right, make sure my personal interests are met.

One of the more interesting takes from this hour-long bitch session by Mr. Clark is the fact that Supervisor President Graham is focused on only one thing. NOT the fact that voters don't have absentee ballots available. Not the fact that overseas military still cannot vote their absentee ballots. But that the voters in the two all-black precincts he moved into District 1 (precincts 39 and 41) get a card telling them that they are now in District 1.

At the beginning, he brings this issue up. In the middle he raises hell with the IT director about why they got the wrong card - something that he was only responsible for "printing", not creating. Again later Graham discusses - not the failure to have a ballot, but the failure of "his" new voters getting a card. And again at the end - we are going to conduct an investigation "and we'll find out exactly what happened with those cards". (His closing statement.)

Shouldn't the "why don't we have ballots" - something that IS NECESSARY for voters to cast their ballot, be the subject of his interest? And the investigation? Would be to normal leaders - but to Graham, all he wants is to insure that his new 4000 black voters get a card, which is not necessary to cast a ballot.

Good grief!

Anonymous said...


8:29 here.

I have a very distinct theory about individuals who like to start comments with the word "So".

They have no desire to acknowledge truth and accuracy, just the desire to reframe a conversation in order that they may appear, to themselves, to win an argument.

To answer your straw man question: No, I'm under no impression of the such that you suggest. I am of the knowledge that it is most certainly an appeal to authority attempt to justify your argument solely based on your supposed experience.

You could be a DuPont scientist working on colors for 573 years, but that experience still wouldn't change red to blue.

Anonymous said...

I have a very distinct theory about individuals who like to start comments with the word "So".

They have no desire to acknowledge truth and accuracy, just the desire to reframe a conversation in order that they may appear, to themselves, to win an argument.

Anonymous "Anderson" in spades.

Anderson said...

I have a very distinct theory about individuals who like to start comments with the word "So".

That must save you a lot of thinking.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Pete.
I think I did mention the advantages of being an Anderson rather than a Yeager.

Why is it, though, that listing alphabetically solves the problem of being a Yeager? If you are a Republican Yeager, you'd still be last for lesser office.

I can see if ALL the Democratic offices and ALL the Republican offices are listed on one ballot but wouldn't they be listed under each office?

If you want to vote Republican, you'd skip over Democrat and go to the people alphabetically listed under party. It seems that would help a Republican Yeager.

So, I'm still missing something. What is it?

Anonymous said...

As far as I'm concerned, both Mr. Clark and Mrs. Cochran behaved badly in that neither fixed the problem and it got personal.
I could blame one more than the other as most everyone here seems to be doing , but as a voter who is not a " true believer" follower of either party or gives a hoot about their skin color, I hold them both responsible for losing sight of why they hold their positions.
It's not to protect their party at the expense of voting rights. It's not to be aggravated with someone else on the commission to the point the job doesn't get done and if you can't do the job, admit it and quit.
I want both of them gone.

Anonymous said...

What you are missing October 5, 2012 7:25 AM is a lick of common sense.

KaptKangaroo said...

in re: October 5, 2012 7:25 AM

Head over to Google. Search for "best car". Which comes up first?

OK? Mazda.

Whether Mazda is the best car or not, why would they pay a lot of money to be listed first?

Hmmmm. Lemme' think, because people are more likely to click on them. And may be persuaded to consider a Mazda because they see it first and begin to form opinions immediately about Mazda.

This is a real world example of the tactic of being listed first on the ballot to get "lazy" or "uninformed" or "undecided" votes.

Yes, R/D will vote party. But you have to realize that the spectrum is 25% R/50% Middle/25% D. These tactics are targeting the middle, not the edges. Think Bell Curve.

KaptKangaroo said...

As to fairness. I've always seen it done in a similar manner to MS. I've voted in different states where the alphabetical listing is the most fair and proper way to go. Stinks if your last name is Zappa.

The employment of the tactic readjusting the ballot by Mr. Clark is, in my mind, contemptuous and improper.

Anonymous said...

As Kappy points out it is really simple for those with an ability to comprehend. There is a reason why there are so many company names that begin with either "A-1" or "AAA".

Jermal Clark is a partisan Democrat hack who is also well known as an avid supporter of party loyalty challenges for primary elections despite the fact that voter registration in Mississippi does not require party affiliation.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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