My email today is absolutely filled with city politics. I just came out of a meeting and discovered that the Jackson 20/20 PAC that we wrote about in this earlier story has now endorsed candidates other than Jonathan Lee (when we wrote the story, all the money had gone to pay Lee's campaign folks). Attorney Dorsey Carson sent an email out inviting people to meet the candidates today at Hal & Mal's.
In response, attorney and Harvey Johnson supporter Sam Begley replied to Carson, copying me, a local blog and The Clarion-Ledger reporter who made Lee supporters very happy this weekend by reporting that Begley had sent an email to someone linking to judgments against Lee (a story we broke last Wednesday--but based on an envelope of documents, not on that email which we did not receive). In those replies, Begley accuses the 20/20 PAC of "laundering" money to Lee's campaign.
Here is the 1/31/13 Jackson 20/20 campaign finance report.
Begley also included links to other potential judgments against Mississippi Products Inc., Lee's family company. Rather than try to sort it all out immediately, I'm pasting the entire email thread below, as well as the invitation to the PAC's candidate gathering. (I also have some other comments about The Clarion-Ledger story this weekend, but this post is confusing enough, so I will blog it separately.)
We in no way endorse Begley's accusations in the emails. We are posting this for the public to examine yourself.
Here are the emails; the most recent one is on the top:
Dorsey, Being the sage lawyer you are perhaps you can explain why, with the only documents of record with the Mississippi Secretary of State showing Jonathan Lee as the President of Mississippi Products,Inc., the decision makers for your PAC would endorse a man for mayor whose company can't pay its bills, to the tune of $170,000, and lets default judgments be taken, then hides from WJTV and evades questions from the Jackson Free Press., and tells us he never owned the company and hasnt been associated with it for more than a year. Oh, and it looks like MPI has an answer due on a complaint brought by yet one more of its vendors. see link below and documents attached. Please tell us that this is just a business dispute that happens all the time. SAM
On 4/29/2013 4:25 PM, Carson, Dorsey wrote: I'll resist the urge to respond, Sam. If the media wants a comment, then I'll be more than happy to provide one on the record.
From: Sam Begley [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Monday, April 29, 2013 4:17 PM To: Carson, Dorsey Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Subject: Re: After work "MEET THE CANDIDATES" hosted by Jackson 20/20 from 5:00-6:30 p.m. TODAY: Jonathan Lee, Kevin Lavine, Joseph Kendrick, and De'Keither Stamps
Thanks Dorsey. The "multi candidate endorsement" appears to be a nice way to launder money intended for Jonathan Lee without Jonathan having to adhere to state campaign contribution laws relating to candidate reporting (such as the filing of 48 hour reports.)
This reminds me of similar schemes in use during certain state elections.
Have fun, but don't get into trouble. SAM
On 4/29/2013 2:42 PM, Carson, Dorsey wrote: Come meet, mingle, and show your support for Jackson 20/20's endorsed candidates:
Jonathan Lee for Jackson Mayor Kevin Lavine for Byram Mayor Joseph Kendrick for Terry Mayor De'Keither Stamps for Jackson City Council
5:00-6:30 p.m. TODAY Hal & Mal's