Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Sid Salter: Sierra Club Grousing Aside, Posey Capable of Leading MDWFP

It’s unlikely that Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves was either seeking or expecting any praise from the Sierra Club – a liberal environmental organization - when announcing his appointments last for the new executive director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the new executive director of the Mississippi Public Utilities Staff (PUS).

Reeves appointed two veteran Republican public officials to the posts as Lynn Posey was appointed executive director of the MDWFP. Posey most recently served as interim executive director of MDWFP and is a former longtime Mississippi state senator serving portions of Claiborne, Copiah, Hinds, Jefferson and Lincoln counties and a former Mississippi Public Service Commissioner serving the Central District.

The governor also tapped State Rep. Jim Beckett, R-Bruce, as the new executive director of the Mississippi PUS. Beckett is an attorney who has represented District 23 (Calhoun, Grenada, Lafayette and Webster counties) in the House since 2004.

Neither Posey nor Beckett comes to these jobs without significant, relevant experience. Posey served as state Senate chairperson of the Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Committee for 16 years and was a prime mover in the creation of the Mississippi Sportsman’s Caucus in the Legislature. He also served two terms as Mississippi’s Central District Public Service Commissioner.

Beckett’s 19-year tenure in the Mississippi House of Representatives has included a decade of service as chairperson of the House Public Utilities Committee. In short, Reeves would have been hard-pressed to find two appointees with more relevant experience to both lead these agencies and work effectively with the Legislature in the budget process.

From his vantage point, Reeves said of the pair: “The individuals being appointed today have a long track record of distinguished public service. I have the utmost confidence in their abilities and look forward to seeing all that they will accomplish in their roles.”

The Sierra Club’s displeasure over the appointments of Posey and Beckett was offered by the group’s Mississippi State Director Louie Miller on the website Mississippi Today, in which Miller was quoted as calling the pair “political hacks” and supposedly told the outlet that Reeves should have “chosen more qualified directors.”

Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley, D-Nettleton, was likewise quoted in the Mississippi Today story with vague concerns – stopping well short of criticism - about the Beckett appointment. Presley was not quoted regarding his former PSC colleague Posey.

This current political flap, which isn’t likely to impede the Senate confirmation process for either Posey or Beckett, calls to mind a special session battle back in 2009.

Some 33 years ago, the Legislature took power away from the elected Public Service Commission by creating the Public Utilities Staff. The action came as a result of a public corruption scandal involving former Northern District PSC Commissioner D.W. Synder.

In reaction to that scandal, the Legislature in 1990 mandated a reorganization of the Public Utilities Staff. The “old’ PUS was abolished, and the “new” more powerful PUS was established as a completely separate and independent entity from the elected PSC.

Under the new law, the governor appoints the executive director of the PUS to a six-year term, not the commissioners, and that director hires all Public Utilities technical personnel.

In 2009, the Legislature adjourned the regular session without passing a budget for the PSC. The standoff was about partisan politics and the perception of an alliance at that time between the PSC and then-Attorney General Jim Hood, a Democrat. Then- Republican Gov. Haley Barbour was clearly behind the Legislature’s failure to fund the PSC in regular session.

Fast forward to 2022. Presley is perceived as a possible leading Democrat gubernatorial candidate next year. Controlled by the GOP, legislative interest in the PSC and the PUS will be about as keen as at any time since, say, 2009.

While the Sierra Club’s Miller has been consistently above his organization’s national fray and focused on environmentalism, the national Sierra Club has been hammered not from the conservative right but from the political left and internally over charges of alleged racism and misogyny against founder John Muir and modern era toxic culture criticisms against the national organization.

Suffice to say that Sierra Club disdain is unlikely to block these gubernatorial nominations

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at


Anonymous said...

If all of your “experience” is in government, then you don’t have any real experience. Sort of like spending your entire “career” on the campus of one university or another, isn’t experience either.

Anonymous said...

The Sierra Club is comprised of a bunch of lunatics who would rather see the south delta flood from a half-completed project than spend the money for the backwater pumps. They were instrumental in getting the project stopped. They would rather see the dead and staving animals and debris and chemicals in the water and people's homes destroyed than have the pumps installed. The tout the pumps will "drain the wetlands" which couldn't be further from the truth. The level the pumps would activate, there would still be significant flooding in the south delta, but not catastrophic like we have recently seen. If you can't tell my stance, F*&k the Sierra Club and all of their members.

Anonymous said...

Attn 8:07 I visited a friend on one of the paddle wheelers a couple of years ago in Vicksburg during an historic high water level on the Mississippi River.the river was flowing “into” the sunflower and yazoo rivers. This means the pumps would be completely ineffective. The only real benefit would be the influx of funds developing a virtually useless project.

Anonymous said...

to 8;06... that's on of the best comments i ever read

Anonymous said...

Get those 4 high years, with lots of free hunting trips as a bonus.
But if Sierra Club is against them I am for them. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Anonymous said...

If the Sierra Club is against it I am for it.

Anonymous said...

8:06, I am absolutely certain that your lifetime of private sector experience as a tire engineering technician at Bubba's Used Tires and Snow Cones in Bovina would greatly outweigh that of someone like Dwight Eisenhower, who was merely an Army Officer, Commander of Allied Forces in WWII and President of Columbia University. Yep, you are head and shoulders above them "eggheads" and "GubMint" types, for sure!

“What separates the successful from the unsuccessful are the expectations that they had for their own lives. Yet the message of the right is increasingly: It’s not your fault that you’re a loser; it’s the government’s fault.”
― J.D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy:

JD Vance, who is now running for government office. Oh, the irony. At least he attended Yale Law and not Ole Piss. He was also, in your eyes, a failed person as a combat Marine.

No, it's not your fault you are a loser; it's the GubMint's fault.

Anonymous said...

If the commie pinko Sierra Club is not happy, then I am very happy.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if he now gets to hunt the uber exclusive Great River Road hunting camp in Rosedale, MS. This was a state owned park with a river overlook that was closed and was supposed to be used for one of the nicer wildlife management areas like Canemount, Phil Bryant, etc. where the state and MDWFP buy nice properties and turn them into nice draw hunt areas. Art Kinard heads up the property acquisition for MDWFP. However, the state already owned it, and it has big deer on it. Since they burned down the river over look, no one has been able to use the property except politicians and high brass at MDWFP as their private hunting camp. This is not speculation, this is a fact that no one wants to talk about. Mississippi now has no state park with direct MS River access or an overlook. It was closed in the name of public hunting opportunities and now is a private hunting camp for the politically connected. KF, can you do some digging on this?

Anonymous said...

Maybe they can get the state parks fixed up. Alabama's state parks are 5 star resorts Mississippi state parks are like low rent motels in south Jackson.

Anonymous said...

You are completely wrong. There are levees holding the water in the Yazoo and Sunflower. Do a little research. This has been debated many many times on this site. Try to be informed before showing your lack of knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Everybody knows the Mississippi flows up into the Sunflower and Yazoo. That is not in dispute by anyone.
You dont even know what the pumps are designed to do.
Educate yourself.

Anonymous said...

Posey is knowledgeable and likable.

Hopefully he can direct the Commission away from some of the spur of the moment ideas from Cossar which don't appear near, much less grounded in the science of wildlife biology.

Anonymous said...

Sid Salter has always loved him some Blue Dog Democrat Lynn Posey.

I wish I was in the land of cotton, old times there are not forgotten,
Look away, look away, look away, Dixie Land.

Anonymous said...

September 28, 2022 at 8:23 AM = Arrives in the full regalia of staggering ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Get all them low PERS years in the legislature or other elected office doing favors for the party brass and toeing the line for 20 years, then get them fat high 4-5 final years at some do nothing director or commissioner position as a payoff. Then sail off into the sunset with your set six figure retirement.

See: these two appointments, Sally Doty, Greg Snowden, Stacy Pickering (he really “blew” it though lol) etc. etc. ad nauseam.

Good ole boy Mississippi home cooking.

Anonymous said...

September 28, 2022 at 9:01 AM, are you really ignorant enough to believe that a flat fixer reads, and posts on this board?

Don't get mad, and pissed off because the comment hit you dead center. It's not the poster's fault you can't make it in the private sector.

His comment was correct.

Anonymous said...

Sid and Bill Crawford are always is a tussle over who is the worst writer on this website.

Anonymous said...

8:23 I implore you to research the Steele Bayou Control Structure. Also, ignorance is bliss.

Anonymous said...

It is tempting to think PERS is involved here.

Anonymous said...

Rosedale is absolutely a misuse of tax dollars.

Unfortunately, a low-level clerk isn't the guilty party so Shad White isn't interested in investigating.

Anonymous said...

Lyn Posey is a very qualified person to take the helm of the MWF&P. Mr.Posey is well traveled man in all areas of his business life, and public life as a State Senator, Committee Chairman for MWF&P matters, and on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Mr.Posey was responsible for the MWF&P Budget for the Senate for many years. Mr.Posey’s knowledge of the Agency, its operations, its Staff its and its varied Divisions is a deep as it wide and without Peer. Lynn is a Gentleman with great Integrity, and a reputation as an Honest “down to earth” Straight Shooter. Lynn will have an “open door” to any employee, citizen or License Holder. I have known him professionally since 1989. He was a model Legislatorand Public Servant. He will be an Outstanding Man to lead this Agency which touches so many Mississippians in such wonderful pleasant ways in every walk of life. Drop by and see him sometimes……….He’s the real deal for all Outdoors people.

Willie Shootem said...

I remember D.W.Snyder and his son who was unceremoniously ram-rodded into an above mid-level job with the Employment Security Commission roughly forty years ago. At the time, that was well known as the first time that sort of political appointment had ever, in the agency's history, been made.

Meanwhile: Don't forget the fact that the present governor's chief finance campaign manager, VanDevender (Archie's college roommate at UMAA) was THE primary mouth in opposition to the Delta Pump Project. Why? He HAS and wanted MORE financial interest in the Delta wetlands and his wife owned The Onward (Teddy Roosevelt) Store before he ran his mouth in print and other media.

PS: I had heard the primary candidate for the position to which Posey was appointed was Brett Favre. He's been known to hunt in camo and pal around with big shots. Reckon that fell through.

Anonymous said...

Rosedale is an absolute waste of tax dollars?

The Great River Road runs the length of the Mississippi River which handles 2/3 of the water runoff for the entire country. Mississippi is the only state along that road that does not (any longer) have a state overlook park, pavilion, tower and camp area for state residents and tourists. You can thank MDWFP District Commissioner Coopwood (Cleveland) for that.

Hooray for being 50th once more.

Anonymous said...

"Mr.Posey is well traveled man in all areas of his business life, and public life as a State Senator, Committee Chairman for MWF&P matters, and on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Mr.Posey was responsible for the MWF&P Budget for the Senate for many years. Mr.Posey’s knowledge of the Agency, its operations, its Staff its and its varied Divisions is a deep as it wide and without Peer."

But what does he know about WILDLIFE, FISHERIES and PARKS? Not the agency, the work. You don't learn biology from budgets.

Anonymous said...

"I remember D.W.Snyder and his son who was unceremoniously ram-rodded into an above mid-level job with the Employment Security Commission roughly forty years ago."

You are kind of correct @ 4:56 PM.

One or two others preceded those two.
Linda Ross Aldy is one of the first that comes to my mind.
I can't remember which "gub'nor" put that woman in charge. I think it was either Bill Allain or William Winter. I'm thinking it was Allain.

I was working for the Employment Security Commission back then, and had actually forgotten about the Synders.

However, I got to know the young Synder very well.
D.W junior was a great guy and a very hard working employee.

Anonymous said...

9:01 AM’s unhinged screed said more about themselves. So insecure! Probably upset that they can’t complain to the State Personnel Board.

Anonymous said...

Screw the Sierra Club.

Anonymous said...

Per On X mapping, the Rosedale State Park(MDWFP Hunting Camp) is labeled as Great River Rd Wildlife MGMT Area owned by the state. It is not an active wildlife management area as the public can't access it. Has never been since it was closed down, overlook burned, and hunted by the politicians. Coopwood, that owns Delta Magazine and "hunts"(use that term loosely) at Donaldson Point up the road in Gunnison. One of the neighbors of the WMA property is a good friend of Coopwood, the Janoush's who own the tow boat company in Rosedale. More than likely the Janoush's got mad there was going to be public hunting next to their place and pitched a fit to Coopwood. That is more than likely why it's not going anywhere for public use but for the MDWFP higher ups and their politician friends. It is an exceptional piece of public hunting property that was fleeced from the public.

Anonymous said...

The MDWFP has a draw hunt at Riverfront WMA this year. The area doesn't appear nearly as large as what was originally proposed a couple years back before the overlook destruction.

Anonymous said...

Don't count on ol' Shad to go out'em woods.

Shad don't know nothing about huntin' but I'm guessin' he'll try to learn somethin' so he can run for higher office.

I mean, the fella did join National Guard to beef up his resume. Why not pretend to be a deer hunter?

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