Sunday, June 16, 2019

Showdown in H-Burg

 Mark Baker and Andy Taggart squared off in a debate  sponsored by the Gulf Coast chapter of the Federalist Society.  State Treasurer Lynn Fitch did not appear.  The complete video and a list of questions asked in the debate are posted below.  The debate took place at William Carey University in Hattiesburg.

Posted below is a list of questions posed to the candidates.

1. What experience do you cite that best qualifies you to be Mississippi’s next Attorney General?
2. What would be your office’s primary focus during your first term? Civil or criminal.
3. As attorney general, what steps will you take to protect religious liberties in Mississippi?
4. What steps will you take to ensure free speech on the campuses of our state colleges?
5. What will you do to ensure equal rights for all Mississippians?
6. Is there any proposed or existing Mississippi law that you would not defend if challenged? If so, how would you handle that task?
7. What is the appropriate relationship between the Attorney General's office and Governor's office? And, if there are any conflicts, how do you intend to handle such conflicts?
8. Under what circumstances do you believe it is appropriate to hire outside counsel, and will you use a competitive and transparent process to do so?
9. What is your position on civil asset forfeiture

Posted below are the campaign finance reports for the three Republican candidates.

Mark Baker: $377,000 cash on hand
Lynn Fitch: $412,000 cash on hand
Andrew Taggart: $104,000 cash on hand



Anonymous said...

Having met all 3 candidates it appears we may have several good choices for AG. Will have to make time to watch the 1:12:48 vid provided and get some answers before making a decision on whom to vote for.

The first question is regarding civil asset forfeiture. While I’m as pro Law Enforcement as most and even more anti-thug than the vast majority, taking cash, cars, etc. from people that have not been convicted of a crime is about as anti-American as it comes. I personally could not care less about drug dealers and thugs but when we start down that slippery slope of allowing law enforcement be the police, the judge, the trial and the jury, all of our civil liberties are at stake.

The second question is regarding Trump. Too many “establishment” so-called Republicans i.e. RINO’s didn’t vote for Trump via either
a.) not choosing anyone,
b.) a write-in, or
c.) the worst of all, voted for Hillary, like those POS’s Bush’s and McCain’s.

If any of these candidates lacked enough God given common sense to be a hard core Trump supporter over Clinton, considering the SCOTUS and other court picks, free speech, 2A rights, etc. then they are too stupid and/or too arrogant to hold public office as a Republican…and we need to make certain voters know this so we all can do whatever possible to see that they never hold office with an R by his or her name.

Anonymous said...

Taggart should just post links to that all over the internet. Great showing by Andy. The loser is the no-show

Ima Seymore said...

Oh wow, Kingfish! I can NOT believe you are allowing comments on a thread that might result in something negative being said about Fitch. This is a FIRST!

She's a perpetual no-show because she knows she has nothing to offer other than a smile and a flip of the hair.

But, to those who did bother to appear: Taggart rambled on about the state flag which the office of AG has absolutely nothing to do with. I realize that was the question, but he (thankfully) lost votes in his rambling diatribe about that subject. Taggart simply wants a job. Any job.

Taggart has wanted to remain a political operative since his days on Fordice's coat-tails. But, he screwed the pooch with that fiasco in MadCo with D.I.Smith. He's toast.

Anonymous said...

Taggart brings so much more knowledge & professionalism to the table ... this shouldn’t be close, but Baker is beating all the drums, like “pro-life” (which will be decided by the Supreme Court, not by MS AG)

Anonymous said...

How does Mark Baker keep claiming "we have shrunken the size of government" (meaning the legislature)? The state general fund expenditures are up about 20% over the last 8 years. And that is on top of most folks not getting raises. So what shrunk?

Oh, I know, employees paychecks shrunk because the state passed through the increased cost of health insurance. But the size of state government? Somebody needs to call him out on that claim.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi incumbents never debate anyone!

Impressed w Andrew said...

Andy Taggard seems well prepared. Was impressed with his answers. Too bad Lynn Finch didn’t take the time to debate.

Anonymous said...

So we have one guy who wants to fight for the average citizen, and Baker who's worried about white shoe law firms and CEOs and the CCJ crowd. About what I figured after Phil and Tater's social climbing. The Rankin redneck to Madison Reunion pipeline. Baker sold out on every moral/ethical issue that the alt righties and Richie Riches could come up with. Kaching. Andy's rich, but Baker's bought. Clear choice. Taggart. Shocked to see Baker's BSing.

Anonymous said...

OK, I'll just say it. I have had Fitch. Facial. Fatigue. for the last several years.

It did not matter what type of commercial, whether college savings plans, long lost assets for Mississippians or anything else.

There she was All. the. Time. and her picture always took up at least half the commercial. Some of them were doctored up, or I guess the proper word now is airbrushed.

Mississippi needs more than a pretty face now, so you guys need to bring it.

Google knows said...

@4:27. FYI there is no Incumbent. Jim Hood is running for Gov.

Anonymous said...

If Taggard wants to pander with the flag, I'll vote for Baker.

Anonymous said...

Taggart kept Hwy 463 from getting widened to 4 lanes out to Annandale and killed the reunion parkway interchange project as supervisor for Madison county. Mdot had funds to build both and Andy sent them (Mdot) packing. Great leadership Andy. I will vote for anyone running against him.

Anonymous said...

I am going to vote for Baker. Taggert is a has been that really never was.

Anonymous said...

Andy lost me vote the day he brought up the state flag. The voters are perfectly capable of deciding what flag they want. The issue is not complex nor is it an emergency. If they want to vote on it, fine with me. Just don't vote every year. Wait at least 25 years between votes. Any politician who wants to decide that issue FOR me, I won't support. The crazy thing is I have met Andy a couple of times and would have given him serious consideration but for this brain dead move.

Anonymous said...

All Baker knows to do it fall back on “Trump Conservative” and parrot all the crap he has heard from the big wig Rankin rednecks at the Capitol. The flag has absolutely nothing to do with the AG office but it will keep coming up and that is Bakers only hope.

Anonymous said...

1:46 is an idiot if he thinks a Mississippian’s vote in any presidential election matters at all.

Anonymous said...

“If you can’t debate, you don’t know Lynn Fitch.”

Anonymous said...

7:06—“I have no idea what AG means, so FLAG!”

The next AG will have zero input into the state flag.

So, maybe pick the best lawyer in the race to be the state’s lawyer?

Who is obviously Taggart. No contest.

Anonymous said...

Taggart is the only one you would want trying a case in court for you. Baker is a capable attorney but his arrogance is his undoing. I know, I have tried cases against him. My big question is, has Fitch ever even tried a case?

Anonymous said...

Not understanding Fitch's campaign strategy at all. I know many, many Republicans in Madison County and I'm not seeing or hearing any sort of buzz for her that would give any level of confidence that she's got this.

Anonymous said...

I've had interactions with Taggart. I'll vote for Fitch or Baker. Anyone but Taggart.

Anonymous said...

Taggart wants to fight another drug war. No thanks.

Anonymous said...

Andy is a nice guy but he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Anonymous said...

Every time I hear taggert or read something from taggert he talks about how awful the state flag is. I guess that let’s me know what he will be talking about and worrying about as AG. I’ll vote for someone else.

Anonymous said...

Baker would not have a chance against Taggart in any other state but Mississippi. But this is Mississippi

Anonymous said...

You think Fitch is noticing that the conversation is about Baker and Taggart? Who is running her campaign?

Anonymous said...

Taggart was a die-hard John Kasich fan even after the Ohio wonder boy burned out his flickering candle.

And this: "..this shouldn’t be close, but Baker is beating all the drums, like “pro-life” (which will be decided by the Supreme Court, not by MS AG. June 16, 2019 at 2:55 PM"

What drum would you have him beat, 2:55? People vote for those who most closely think like they do. It's more than fair to get a candidate's opinion and thoughts on a wide variety of subjects that have nothing to do with the actual job at hand. Besides, AG is typically a stepping stone job and we have a right to know the candidates' position on everything.

And while you were cheerleading (in your post) for Taggart, you failed to mention his fiasco with Smith in the MadCo Supervisor election a few years back. That speaks specifically to underhanded politics, not to mention shady character.

In summary, it's MY believe that Taggart is merely struggling for relevance.

Anonymous said...

Lynn Fitch has missed two bond payments during her term in office. I just wonder what would happen if she missed a court deadline for filing a response. When she refinanced some bonds about two years ago Morgan Stanley (the company refinancing the bonds) sent her the required paperwork to fill out. One of the questions was "has the State of Mississippi ever missed a bond payment. Her response was "NO". It took the Governor and Attorney General to call her and force the Treasurer to change the answer from No to YES. Do we want this kind of person for AG? Look closely at her finance reports. You will see contributions from trial lawyers. Mike Moore and Jim Hood want her in the AG's office so they can have control! Anybody but Lynn Fitch.

Anonymous said...

@8:01AM, as terribly disappointing as John Kasich has turned out to be, the question we really need answered is:

Did Taggart voted for Trump in the general election, or did he not?

If he didn’t, this is all any Republican, Conservative or Libertarian should need to know. If Taggart did vote for Trump in the general, then he should have about as good a change to be elected AG as the other two, except maybe in Madison County where some might still have a problem with the D I Smith stunt.

Anonymous said...

MS has a unique ability to shoot itself in the foot on anything that suggest we let go of the old south traditions. Our "flagship" university leads the charge and produces most of the attorneys and politicians that keep it going. The flag is way past time for change and if state leadership had a set they would just make it happen. Letting the public vote on that is not required. The fact that it is a hot button is embarrassing enough...

Anonymous said...

Imagine the furniture she could buy for the AG's office though. If Haley were not spending so much time carrying the water for Nic Lott (suddenly), he could be carrying it for Fitch. Can't the boy carry two buckets at the same time?

Anonymous said...

Mike Moore and his cronies are behind Lynn Fitch. The Dorsey Law firm gave money to her campaign. Trial lawyers are going to love having Fitch as AG!

Anonymous said...

This race is unfortunately probable going to be a toss-up.

Lynn refuses to debate--even after Taggart challenged her to a series of debates. It is MY opinion that she is running for AG to help her continue to climb a ladder. That's just my thoughts. I DO know that she's actively saying she's "Jim Hood's pick" as his predecessor. not surprising. Check out her campaign finance reports. Quite interesting to see her supporters. She seems to be using the same strategy as Sam Britton and Tate Reeves--let's not acknowledge that we have Republican opponents. And let's not show up for most forums or debates. i dont understand. Candidates should be transparent and let the voters know why they're running and what their platforms/policies are.

Mark Baker is a great lawyer and his tenacity would make him a good AG. Unfortunately personality does matter and his is not too great. He seems to be rude to people who can't financially support him or they're not "someone" in society's circles. His attitude and arrogance made him lose any support that I was giving him. I have several friends who feel the same way.

Andy Taggart should not have ever brought the state flag issue into his campaign. Ultimately, in 2001, 65% of Mississippians voted to keep the flag as is. The AG's office has no power to change the flag and the legislature is NOT going to touch it. They will let the people decide. I am sure that change is coming in this area, but it isn't a good platform to run an AG campaign on.

Personally, I'll be voting for Taggart. While I don't agree with his view on the flag; as AG, he cannot change that anyway. He is passionate about being AG, he wants to see that office changed and he has a clear vision for the future. Also, personality, attitude and genuineness will sometimes win votes and in this instance--his won my vote.

Anonymous said...

I nominate 9:24 to run for something.

Anonymous said...

@10:30, that is a possibility one day! But it will be a while...I would love to know who you are but since we are all anonymous here that has to be kept a secret!

Anonymous said...

Lynn Fitch has smeared her plastic face all over Treasury promotions. She is all a/b self promotion and she is Hood's chosen (check her finance reports - lots of $ coming from Mike Moore and Co). If she gets the AG job, she'd likely miss a deadline for filing a response in the same way she missed bond payments for the state. All you have is teeth and hair. Go home, honey.

I will vote for Taggart. I appreciate his transparency to change the flag, albeit the AG has nothing to do with that. He is a practicing attorney that has tried cases and is knowledgeable in his speech. Baker has less of those two, Fitch has zero.

Anonymous said...

If Fitch is Jim Hood's candidate, that tells me all I need to know. She's in the plaintiff lawyers' pocket, and I'll be voting fir Baker or Taggart.

Anonymous said...

Vote for Baker, he will do more than talk about the State
Flag and Drugs. These are important but so are other
Issues. Vote Baker

Anonymous said...

Unless one of the Republican candidates publicly denounces Trump as the egotistical liar he is, he/she will not get my vote.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the slates of candidates for every statewide race from Governor on down ought to give a good indication of why Mississippi is last or nearly so in every good metric and first or nearly so in every bad metric. Looking at the potentially viable candidates in those races ought to just about cement those indications. With the possible exception of Bill Waller, every viable candidate is both unsuited and unfit for the positions they seek.

If I were 30 years younger, I'd have been gone 5 years ago and we get closer to throwing in the towel with each passing month. Nearly every month, one or more friends tells us about their kids leaving the state and ours never seriously considered remaining in Mississippi. We are blessed with relatively good life and lifestyle as well as a largish social circle and my general impression is that of the middle-aged and older members of that circle, those with college-age or older children who plan to make their lives away from Mississippi now significantly outnumber those whose children plan to make Mississippi their long-term/permanent home. I know several members of the boomer generation of a large long-time Mississippi family who have about 10 20-30 year old children among them. Not a single one of the kids lives in Mississippi and none apparently have any interest in returning. Yes, all of my personal observations are anecdotal, but based on the reporting I've seen it is in-line with the actual numbers of young people leaving Mississippi versus staying in the state. Not that this will shock anyone, but Mississippi is in deep, deep trouble.

Anonymous said...

Baker is the only candidate with a conservative voting record to back the rhetoric. Other 2 candidates are complete guesses on their actual opinions, but it should be fun watching Taggart/Fitch knock each other out in a pander-off for irrelevant Madison. Vote Baker

Anonymous said...

both of these clowns should thank god everyday that the third world republic[an] of mississippi exists cause neither could make it anywhere other than this federal government welfare state.

Anonymous said...

Baker’s ad says he is a “Trump conservative.” Does that mean he is a liar? And an egomaniac? And a mental midget who only knows about 8 words?

Anonymous said...

8:41 AM, it seems like Andy admitted publicly that he would be writing in his uncle in Arkansas in the Presidential election. Unless he's changed his mind for political expedience, he's a hard core never-Trumper.

Anonymous said...

Somebody said Taggart's personality won him over. Holy Schmoly, I have no further comment!

Anonymous said...

@4:23PM, if we can get proof Andy didn’t vote Trump, he will not only not get my vote, I will do everything I can to make sure as many voters as possible are made aware that Andy was more willing to have

an Anti-2nd Amendment believer in Government Funded/Late Term Baby Killing/Clinton as Prez instead of

a man/Trump who made it clear enough even to evangelicals who his SCOTUS picks would be…so much so that he got their support.

One can only imagine the 2 SCOTUS picks we would have gotten had Clinton been elected.

There is absolutely no excuse for being this stupid and/or this pro-establishment and any Repub with any age knows this is a violation of Reagan’s 11th Commandment.

I would have voted for any of the Repubs in the general but supported Trump in the primary because you didn’t need a whole lot of sense to know he was the only candidate out of the bunch that would get in the trenches with the slime ball left.

We didn’t need another pussy footing Romney or McCain type. We needed someone who would go for the jugular vein…and that’s exactly what Trump did… and that’s why leftist hate him so much…and the more they hate Trump, the more we should love him.

Anonymous said...

12:50 makes a good point, once my wife starts collecting her 13th check we are leaving too.

Anonymous said...

"...once my wife starts collecting her 13th check we are leaving too."

12:50 responding. The potential trollish nature of your comment aside, it is an interesting comment on several levels even if you didn't mean it to be. The first, purely subjective, is that I really didn't even consider such things as PERS in my initial post because the majority of our immediate social circle is not retired nor works for any local or state government entities. I am business friends and acquaintances with a reasonable number of people who do and now that I think about it, I can think of (now-former) business acquaintances who have retired and either moved completely out of the state or spend the vast majority of their time and more importantly to the state, money, elsewhere. I can also think of a handful who had their 20-30 years of state employment and then moved to LA, AL, TN, etc., for the remainder of their careers. I cannot speak for them but I do not see many if any returning to Mississippi. But the big problem for PERS and the state would seem to be the "brain drain" as they call it, with its resultant dearth of capable young people staying, working for government entities, and if nothing else supplying PERS with new money. At worst, what Mississippi is rapidly winding up with is a labor force many or most of who simply have no "market value" outside of government entity employment _in Mississippi only_ (i.e., they are not truly qualified for much so no entities in other states and certainly no private employer would recruit, desire, or hire them). That can only lead to an accelerating downward spiral. I say again, Mississippi is in deep, deep trouble and the more one thinks about it, the deeper it seems.

Anonymous said...

@7:25AM, why is Mississippi in deep, deep trouble?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

June 18, 2019 at 8:03 AM asked, "Why is Mississippi in deep, deep trouble?"

Well, for starters, people ask questions like that.

Anonymous said...

You may call it Trolling, I am just telling it like it is. We have already bought our house in a neighboring state where our son lives. Once she qualifies in about 3:years, we are out of here.
The cost of living is cheaper here, but the quality of life is at or below 0.

Anonymous said...

Baker's AG goals, as spelled out in his ad on this website:

1. End taxation by litigation and public lawsuit abuse. Jim Hood’s no-bid/no-lose contingency fee lawsuits have paid lawyers over one hundred million dollars. That must stop.

2. Defend our recently passed fetal heartbeat bill that bans abortions after a heartbeat is detected. We need an Attorney General who’s willing to fight that all the way to the Supreme Court and win!

3. Fight to keep ‘In God We Trust’ on our state license plates and in our state seal.

4. Work to ensure voters decide the fate of our state flag, not politicians in Jackson.

5. Protect our constitutional rights and liberties, including our 2nd Amendment rights and our religious freedoms.

6. Fight public corruption.

7. Partner with President Trump to take on illegal immigration,

8. Stand up against increasing federal government overreach into matters we should decide here in Mississippi.

1. The MS budget would have been in much poorer shape without Hood's lawsuits. While Baker has a law degree, one must wonder if he knows how contingency fees work. While the lawyers handling the cases did get large fees, MS got the rest. How exactly is MS getting hundreds of millions of dollars, while not outlaying any money a bad thing?

2. Yay! Useless pandering drivel. So Baker is against the AG's office recouping money for MS, but is perfectly fine with pissing away money on pandering issue. That's that true conservative mindset.

3. More pandering. Somehow we survived for 135 years without "In God we Trust" on the State seal until the brave panderers in the legislature rescued us from certain doom in 2014. Call me crazy, but shouldn't the State Seal have the State Motto on it? Virtute et Armis? While "By valor and arms" doesn't make much sense in a State context, it at least is the motto. As for the car tags, everyone hates the new ones, which is the one with "In God we Trust" on it. Again, somehow we survived all these years without that. And who, exactly, is coming to get our car tags and state seal?

4. 3rd pandering "point". Does Baker even know what being AG entails? Dealing with the flag ain't in the job description. But it is funny to see him disparage those "politicians in Jackson" all while being one.

5. 4th pandering "point". Does he even know there are other constitutional rights than the 2nd? I doubt it.

6. Finally, something connected to the AG's actual job, but considering he's a Rankinite, I'd imagine his idea of public corruption is different than most.

7. 5th pandering point. In any other time in our Republic, publicly supporting someone like Trump would be political suicide. Alas. Someone please get him a globe so he can see what MS borders. I'd ask that someone explain that immigration is Federal power, but I can only hope for so much.
8. 6th pandering "point". Federal overreach. You mean like how 40% of the State budget is from Federal money? Or how every time there is a natural disaster MS goes begging the Federal government?

So 8 points, 6 of which are utter nonsense, 1 of which is just plain stupid and the shortest one is the only one that remotely touches on the job he's running for. Can we start over and get someone with sense and actual experience to run?

Anonymous said...

Candidates and voters can do whatever they wish with the following and I fully expect most to ignore it or take it with a large grain of salt.

While I'd offer that Trump's chances in 2020 are significantly better than many might wish or imagine, it is still a real toss-up as to whether any of these "Trump conservatives" (whatever the hell that is supposed to be) will get an opportunity to work with him in a second term. I voted for him in a contest between him and Hilary and did so with my eyes and mind wide open, knowing the man and his proclivities very well. But no one will be forced into that choice in 2020.

It is clear to me that all of these candidates who claim such kinship with Trump do not have the slightest idea of how he thinks or how he feels about people like them. Let me help: he does his best to avoid people like them and when forced to associate to further what he perceives as his own interests, he hates every millisecond of that forced association. He doesn't "hate" them but he just thinks they are white trash nobodies "who have no class." I would add, for both them and Trump, that there are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

The real problem for them, however, is that those who Trump truly listens to on any level, particularly Jared and Ivanka, are hard-core New York urbanites who think they are all racist redneck white trash, beyond contempt, and want nothing to do with them for almost any reason, even if it is completely self-serving. Donald Jr., on the other hand, is actually a bit of what his family and peers would call "a redneck" (at least around the edges and in the way only a Trump, born-wealthy NYC'er could ever be), which his why his father, sister, Kushner in-laws, and those to whom they listen really do not take him very seriously or show him any real respect.

The bottom line is that five minutes after the 2020 election, Trump and his family will have absolutely no further use for anyone, elected official or voter, in Mississippi and any AG, governor, lt. gov, congress member, etc., from a state like Mississippi who claims they are lined up to "work with Trump" on anything is a liar or an idiot. See Phil Bryant and especially Dane Maxwell as exhibits A and B.

Anonymous said...

@1:29PM, be sure to vote Trump again with your eyes and mind wide open, knowing the man and his proclivities very well, because unless something changes he's the far better choice over leftist lunatics.

Anonymous said...

While I don't know Mark Baker, I do know Andy Taggart and Lynn Fitch personally. Andy is a far superior attorney and clearly the better choice for AG between those two. Lynn is just trying to move up the political ladder, while Andy is truly trying to make a difference. He doesn't need the job, but is willing to offer himself for public service to better our State. I appreciate his offer of service and intend to give him my vote.

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