Clarion-Ledger: Don't Fund Children's Justice Center | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Clarion-Ledger: Don't Fund Children's Justice Center

A Clarion-Ledger editorial today says that the MCI settlement should only fund telecommunications-related causes:

The $4.2 million in the settlement for a Children's Justice Center to open in June 2006 at Jackson Medical Mall in Jackson is, no doubt, a worthy cause. It will coordinate law enforcement and advocacy programs to help victims of child abuse and neglect — which is a serious problem. But it must be wondered: Why this? In the $4.1 billion settlement with Big Tobacco, former Attorney General Mike Moore was able to provide funding for the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi for smoking cessation programs. That's logical: Smoking and anti-smoking programs. But telecommunications . . . and child abuse?

Previous Comments

ID
137875
Comment

Because it's a settlement for back taxes owed the state. Taxes are used to fund things. They weren't sued for negligent "telecom" practices. Sometimes I'm shocked that people at the C-L actually get paid for this stuff. That's a really stupid argument.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2005-05-13T10:15:10-06:00
ID
137876
Comment

Well, no. It's actually not a stupid argument. There's a lawsuit at this moment about the money that was set aside from the tobacco fund. The question is, is it proper for anyone other than the legislature to decide how to spend state revenue? Believe me, lawyers are debating both sides of this question.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T10:24:18-06:00
ID
137877
Comment

Well, you both make good sense. Let's see what happens. I did hear the CL piece read on MPR this morning, and it grated on my ears, sounded like someone grinding an ax about something. (It was actually longer than the printed one at the link, and there I was crossing MCI Blvd. in Clinton! ha. ) The tobacco fund was set up for that purpose because it related to that very misconduct. Good. This settlement money was not earmarked ahead of time (was it?), and so the legislature gets to decide how to use it or just put it into the general fund. Since it's a one time windfall, seems good to use it for an unbudgeted purpose that needs attention, even if just as seed money. IMHO. So, let the games begin. Er, I mean, write your legislator. I don't think many of us will be demanding money back on our phone bills, or whatever.

Author
sunshine
Date
2005-05-13T10:52:47-06:00
ID
137878
Comment

The problem is that it was Jim Hood who decided where the money should be used and not the legislature. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with any of it. But whether Hood has the right to allocate tax dollars is a legitimate legal question.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T10:56:21-06:00
ID
137879
Comment

winston, your argument is better than the C-Ls, which wasn't talking about who made the decision, but the decision itself. The tobacco settlement was money gotten from tobacco companies over a case involving their deceptive practices and cover-ups that affected the health of Misssissippians, so the money, which was meant to defray the costs that the state has borne as a result of actions by the tobacco companies, was earmarked for health and smoking cessation within the state. The money from MCI, as far as I can tell, is back taxes, not a compensatory award. That's just straight revenue, not a settlement from a class-action lawsuit. It should be used to fund programs within the state, whether or not they're related to telecommunications. It would, therefore, be no more appropriate if the money went, as the C-L put it, to "consumers insured by communications." WTF? It's another argument altogether as to whether or not Jim Hood should be making thos decisions, you're right. Do we know that Hood made that decision -- is it possible that MCI asked to send money to the justice center?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2005-05-13T12:04:42-06:00
ID
137880
Comment

Whoa, letís get some things straight here. The tobacco money in question was state settlement money directed to establish and fund the activities of a nonprofit group as part court settlement. In other words, the money was state money diverted by the court to start and operate non-profit. There is a legal argument over whether a court has the authority to designate the spending of state funds, which a higher court will have to sort out. That is NOT whatís happening here with money for the child abuse center. MCI and the attorneys hired by the state are making donations totaling $4.2 million to the Mississippi Children's Justice Center. This is not money given to the state. This is money donated directly to a nonprofit, regardless of whether it is a side negotiation to the settlement or not. As a donation it can be negotiated and awarded to whomever the donating parties (i.e., MCI and Booneville attorney Joey Langston) wish it to go to. The state settlement money for back taxes from MCI totals $100 million and is going into the general fund, with the hopes that it will go to public education.

Author
GDIModerate
Date
2005-05-13T12:14:01-06:00
ID
137881
Comment

OK, thanks for the clarification GDI. Is my read wrong, or does that make the C-L's argument in its editorial even *more* stupid? It certainly seems to have been written by folks who didn't have those facts at their fingertips.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2005-05-13T12:34:36-06:00
ID
137882
Comment

The C-L's argument that telecommunications and child abuse are unrelated is not nonsense. Let's face it, people who are questioning it are doing so because it looks like it is a way for Hood to pick up points politically. And the donation vs. settlement thing. They are negotiated at the same time. If it is being set up as a donation, it is only being done so to avoid the issues present in the tobacco litigation. Is that legit? I'm sure it will be another lawsuit.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T12:47:56-06:00
ID
137883
Comment

Let's face it, people who are questioning it are doing so because it looks like it is a way for Hood to pick up points politically. And no one in politics EVER does anything for political points! Not GOPers, not democRats, not indepenDunces. And certainly not Babar the Elephant You can almost make the argument about the MCI donation being part of the settlement, but it won't fly since the legal agreement likely does not mention it. But the donation from langston is strictly his money from fees paid to him for serving as the state's hired attorney. He. Can. Spend (or Give). As. He. Wants.

Author
GDIModerate
Date
2005-05-13T12:57:28-06:00
ID
137884
Comment

It's kind of sounding like nonsense, winston, if you don't offer any other facts. This is not convincing: Let's face it, people who are questioning it are doing so because it looks like it is a way for Hood to pick up points politically. winston, do you have nay more facts to counter what GDI said? If not, his fact-based argument is looking a lot stronger at the moment.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T13:00:36-06:00
ID
137885
Comment

And, by the way, the Ledge is looking really misinformed about now. Imagine.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T13:01:05-06:00
ID
137886
Comment

I never said that other politicians didn't do it. That would be ridiculous. Settlements can work any kind of way. "You can almost make the argument about the MCI donation being part of the settlement, but it won't fly since the legal agreement likely does not mention it." Im not sure that GDI knows any more about it than I do. I can say that you can structure a settlement and any side deals any way you want. How much is Langston's total fee? The donation isn't coming out of his pocket. He's getting a huge fee and part of it will be "donated".

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T13:15:07-06:00
ID
137887
Comment

Now, that's an interesting question. GDI?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T13:16:18-06:00
ID
137888
Comment

If it was money that MCI owed in taxes, it could not have been a difficult lawsuit to win. So whatever attorney got that business from the state just got a huge windfall. How much was his fee and how many hours did he work?

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T13:18:08-06:00
ID
137889
Comment

Im not sure that GDI knows any more about it than I do. Except that it sounds like you weren't aware that it wasn't "Jim Hood" deciding where the Leg's money should go. If it's a straight-out donation, then what you said here isn't really relevant: The problem is that it was Jim Hood who decided where the money should be used and not the legislature. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with any of it. But whether Hood has the right to allocate tax dollars is a legitimate legal question. If GDI's facts are accurate, might as well give him props for it. I can say that you can structure a settlement and any side deals any way you want. How much is Langston's total fee? The donation isn't coming out of his pocket. He's getting a huge fee and part of it will be "donated". I'm not sure that's fair. Does he have something to gain politically? Put another way, if he tithes to his church a portion of the rest of that settlement fee, is it a cyncial ploy to get a few cheap political points from God? I'm not saying that it might not be PR to donate money to the justice fund as a part of the public accounting of this settlement. It's probably a good idea for MCI, since they've screwed so many people in this state, to be seen as giving back. Last I checked, corporations do that stuff a lot -- pay a little very publicly when they owe a lot more. :-) And there's no doubt that this probably helps Hood's career, unless it can be shown that he could have gotten more out of MCI, which is something I'm kinda wondering about. What does follow from all this, however, is that the C-L editorial was *boneheaded* wrong, factually, and a waste of paper as an argument. What remains to be seen is if they correct it, or if it's another CL mistake down the memory hole.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2005-05-13T13:23:12-06:00
ID
137890
Comment

Don't know his total fee and don't know how much of it he is donating. Doesn't matter. Once the state pays him his fee it is HIS money. Ergo, it is "coming out of his pocket" in that, if he doesn't donate it, it goes into his bank account. Why should the state legislature or Babar the Elephant be able to tell him were he has to give HIS money?

Author
GDIModerate
Date
2005-05-13T13:23:19-06:00
ID
137891
Comment

Now if you are sneaking up on the question "Did Mississippi knowingly and fraudulently pay Langston too much money for the services rendered?" that a separate question entirely. But the money paid him, regardless of amount is HIS and he can do whatever he wants with it.

Author
GDIModerate
Date
2005-05-13T13:26:04-06:00
ID
137892
Comment

I have a hard time believing he did $4 million worth of work or even more than that since he's obviously not going to donate all of his "attorney fees".

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T13:26:42-06:00
ID
137893
Comment

hy should the state legislature or Babar the Elephant be able to tell him were he has to give HIS money? That strikes me as a good point, GDI. Sounds like government interference to me. And the editorial was clearly "boneheaded," based on what I've learned here so far.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T13:26:50-06:00
ID
137894
Comment

I'm not sure whether you can "believe" it is actually relevant to anything factually, Winston. It sounds to me like things here are on the up and up. You might like it, but that doesn't mean it was wrong. Or that the Clarion-Ledger was right.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T13:28:12-06:00
ID
137895
Comment

... might NOT like it ...

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T13:28:39-06:00
ID
137896
Comment

And it "comes out of his pocket" because that is the way the side deal is structured.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T13:30:16-06:00
ID
137897
Comment

yeah? And I'm not sure my family attorney earned the nearly $40,000 in fees he charged me over two and a half years either. But guess what?

Author
GDIModerate
Date
2005-05-13T13:30:42-06:00
ID
137898
Comment

Yeah, I think what people "earn" as opposed to what they're paid is a side issue here, and not particularly relevant to this discussion, unless I missed something. Did I?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T13:32:22-06:00
ID
137899
Comment

It looks like none of us have all the facts. And like I said, I don't really have an opinion one way or another and did not realize that this was a contest to see who knew the most. All I know is that settlements and attorneys fees and charitable donations are all negotiated between the parties whether they are in the actual settlement papers or not. I don't think it is wrong for the C-L to question it.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T13:34:38-06:00
ID
137900
Comment

Wait, I thought a number of facts have been added to the discussion, right? Winston, note that you started out making factual proclamations about Hood and defending the facts in the Clarion-Ledger. How else are we going to get to the facts if we don't discuss the "facts," go back and forth, and see what comes out. Come on; this is an interesting thread. It's not a contest. It's debate. No one calling anyone names, or such. I don't have an opinion on it, either, except that I want the Children's Justice Center because if any state needs one, it's this one. I'm figuring that out more every day. And, on the surface, until someone presented facts to prove otherwise, this MCI settlement thing sounds like a great way to do it. A major point on this thread is that the Ledge did not present a convincing argument at allóthus, the reason I posted it, hoping to see it fleshed. That's been happening. That's a discussion of ideas. Perhaps you're being a bit skin-thinned on this one.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T13:40:16-06:00
ID
137901
Comment

Well, I've participated in settlement negotiations before and, therefore, I know that you can structure them to look any way you want to. I don't have any particular knowledge about this one but to say it meets the smell test just because of the way the money has been labeled is a little naive. Maybe it is difficult for non-lawyers to understand all the ins and out (and I am not being condescending when I say that). And to say that Hood is making political points ior trying to make political points is stating the obvious, I should think (for a politician, that's like berathing). I'm not trying to win any argument here. But now that you guys have brought the topic up, yeah, I'd like to know more. But I'm not going to believe that all is kosher just because of the manner they've labeled the various aspects of the settlement.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T13:50:09-06:00
ID
137902
Comment

Actually, the C-L had the facts in this piece that lays it out pretty clearly, including the Governor's reaction, which seems to be what set off the C-L down this dead-end road. The money is donated by MCI and out of Langston's attorney's fees. That seems to be a fact. The C-L either missed that, or they're just parroting the Governor for their own purposes, who is trying to spin some of the egg off his face on this. Meanwhile...the editorial that the C-L SHOULD be writing is that the Governor wants to build roads with the money, but he's playing a shell game with MAEP? Hood called his bluff - the Gov. has the money, now, to fund MAEP this year. But he won't even bring it up.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2005-05-13T13:51:11-06:00
ID
137903
Comment

You can almost make the argument about the MCI donation being part of the settlement, but it won't fly since the legal agreement likely does not mention it. Langston can spend his money the way he sees fit but I'm sure somewhere in MCI's world of tax settlements and court filings there will be a paper trail that documents the linkage between the $100m plus both ends of the attorney's fees being paid by MCI plus MCI's kick of the one-time donation to the non-profit. I doubt those are viewed as three discrete actions inside of MCI but instead part of the overall package to settle the claim for taxes from Mississippi. The fact that Hood is playing politics like everyone else doesn't make it right. I also think, while not illegal, that some serious questions arise when Moore is brought in to finalize the deal on behalf of MCI. Former AG technically negotiating with the current AG who is a former employee he openly supported for statewide office. Langston's is also not the only firm involved, just the firm Hood brought in at the end. Langston made significant financial contributions to Hood's campaign and to a PAC that contributed a like amount to Hood's campaign the day after Langston gave to the PAC. If we are going to call for tougher campaign finance laws and reporting, we also should be concerned about excluding former state legal officers from representing clients in litigation with the state for some defined period of time after they leave state government. As long as no one in this non-profit is on the state payroll, and no state employees including those on Hood's staff are secunded to working on behalf of the non-profit, the initial setup is probably beyond the purview of the Legislature's appropriations control. Hood's problem is these donations are non-recurring funds. Not a chance in Hades the Senate or Barbour will agree to fund the non-profit with state dollars for the last two fiscal years before the next statewide elections. With no recurring stream of monies to milk and divert Hood will have to spend the next two years fundraising for the non-profit and his next campaign. Wouldn't be surprising to see Moore's Partnership throwing Hood's non-profit a lifeline until Moore's money gets cut off. You can bet the Mississippi Supreme Court will strike down the annual $20m off-the-top diversion to Moore's Partnership once it arrives for their decision. That is state money to be appropriated by the Legislature. The unconstitutional diversion only continues because it hasn't yet been challenged. Its over once it gets to the Supremes. Every member of the House and Senate know it. Call your own representatives if you don't believe me.

Author
Proud To Be Right
Date
2005-05-13T13:56:18-06:00
ID
137904
Comment

Maybe it is difficult for non-lawyers to understand all the ins and out (and I am not being condescending when I say that). And to say that Hood is making political points ior trying to make political points is stating the obvious, I should think (for a politician, that's like berathing). I'm not trying to win any argument here. But now that you guys have brought the topic up, yeah, I'd like to know more. But I'm not going to believe that all is kosher just because of the manner they've labeled the various aspects of the settlement. I can buy this. (If you've been involved in so many settlement negotiations them I'm surprised you aren't a little more diplomatic, esp. when GDI showed up with the fact, but I'll let that go.) I think Hood is using this as big-time politics. (1) He gave Haley the money to fund MAEP, so Haley can't hide behind not having enough to fund it. Barbour's answer -- pay off the beef processing plant?! I can hear that approval rating ticking down even further. (2) The Senate failed to pass the appropriation for the justice center -- I don't know if they held it for political reasons or not. Regardless, somebody else gets to be the hero. They'll probably have a big dinner for Hood and Langston and give them plaques. And there will be mostly Democrats at that dinner. (3) As long as they can't make the idea stick that Hood should have gotten more money, I think he just put himself on the map as a Gov candidate. With Haley being rather imperial with his special sessions that call for the Leg to pass Momentum Missisissippi piecemeal, Hood and Co. look like they care about kids.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2005-05-13T13:57:17-06:00
ID
137905
Comment

Thank you, proudtoberight. You get my point - just because they say it is a rose doesn't mean that it is one.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T13:58:23-06:00
ID
137906
Comment

Not sure what you mean by this : "(If you've been involved in so many settlement negotiations them I'm surprised you aren't a little more diplomatic, esp. when GDI showed up with the fact, but I'll let that go.)" And you don't have to be involved in a lot of settlement agreements just a few big ones (there's a ton of stuff on the abuse of class action lawsuits but that's a whole nother topic.)

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T14:01:00-06:00
ID
137907
Comment

just because they say it is a rose doesn't mean that it is one. But it doesn't mean it's not. ;-) Therein lies the point about speculation only being speculation and why fact is more convincing. Yet, speculation makes us ask interesting questions, but it is only speculation. As long as they can't make the idea stick that Hood should have gotten more money, I think he just put himself on the map as a Gov candidate. Yeah, especially with that 37-percent albatross cuddling Haley's neck about now.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T14:01:46-06:00
ID
137908
Comment

I guess you can say it's a fact that the donation is labeled as Langston's attorneys fees.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T14:03:44-06:00
ID
137909
Comment

I'm not quite sure what that proved, however. Maybe I missed something.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T14:05:14-06:00
ID
137910
Comment

(Now, by the way, I am going to officially leave now, so that when I come back and frantically post something after I've said goodbye, everyone can get started a little early on happy hour. B'bye. Drink.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T14:06:18-06:00
ID
137911
Comment

Y'all mind if I bring up all those building that MCI "gave" to the State of MS in the deal. If they (well one for sure) are used for State offices then Jackson is getting suckered again. Melton, Whitlow, and Johnson all need to get together on this one and get the property or the property taxes paid to Jackson for the next umpteen years to recoupe our future losses! MCI still had to pay yearly taxes even without occuping the building. Between the churches and the State this town is being eaten alive by non-taxable property! Therein lies the "local" impact to the citizens of Jackson. They should give the property to the city to help with redevelopment and move any new state employees out to Clinton (yes I know it not part of the deal; but a better idea then a jail) - let them enjoy the burden of non-taxable property!

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-05-13T14:07:16-06:00
ID
137912
Comment

My point is that labeling it so doesn't make it a fact. If you want to take the position that it's Langston's money and he can do with it however he wants, fine. You can do that. I still say that that is naive. I'd like to see more details including the hours Langston worked and the donations he has made to campaigns.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T14:08:13-06:00
ID
137913
Comment

Agreed about the taxes. It is a bum deal for Jackson at least in that regard.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T14:09:16-06:00
ID
137914
Comment

I missed the explanation for the "naive" part I think. Maybe it was drowned out by all the speculation. (Sorry.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T14:10:13-06:00
ID
137915
Comment

The naive part is believing that the donation is "attorneys fees" just because they are labeled that way.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T14:11:18-06:00
ID
137916
Comment

All together now: "DRINKs on ladd!"

Author
GDIModerate
Date
2005-05-13T14:12:09-06:00
ID
137917
Comment

winston3, are we to assume you are yourself an attorney? If so, then you certainly know that what's legal and what's ethical; are not always synonymous. Therefore "just because they say it is a rose doesn't mean that it is one" doesn't matter. not justifying it, just sayin'.

Author
GDIModerate
Date
2005-05-13T14:14:19-06:00
ID
137918
Comment

My point is that labeling it so doesn't make it a fact. If you want to take the position that it's Langston's money and he can do with it however he wants, fine. You can do that. I still say that that is naive. I'd like to see more details including the hours Langston worked and the donations he has made to campaigns. Yeah, me too. I think that is the interesting part. What *isn't* the interesting part is the C-L's argument that telecom dollars should't be used for the justice center because justice center doesn't have "communications" in its name. That is stupid, both from a rhetorical point of view (as if the money *needed* to be about telecom issues if it were taxpayer money) and it's made moot by the fact that the money isn't taxpayer dollars anyway.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2005-05-13T14:16:21-06:00
ID
137919
Comment

wow, this thread is really taking off! esp. like "Babar the Elephant" reference. Going to just print this all out and read later. Always had a good impression about Mr. Hood so won't give up yet. more please! and, I do respect the law profession actually . they are all we've got, (besides politicians, hmm) but let's keep their feet to the fire ..or take them to lunch. kidding, they can buy their own lunch. (need to know: have daughter in law school. if she survives. )

Author
sunshine
Date
2005-05-13T14:16:27-06:00
ID
137920
Comment

I am an attorney. What's legal and what's ethical are seldom the same thing. I'm not saying what was done was illegal or unethical. Was it a way to fund a project without having the legislature approve it? Yes. Was that legal? I guess if someone sues, we will find out.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T14:16:55-06:00
ID
137921
Comment

Hey, the "on" part is NOT in Kate's rules. >8-[ The naive part is believing that the donation is "attorneys fees" just because they are labeled that way. OK, but your trap is that you haven't proved that they are not. Isn't that naive as wellóor perhaps speculation at its worst, especially if you going to label people as "naive" for believing something that you haven't proved to be false??? It would only be "naive" if someone said it COULDN"T be true that that they're "attorney's fees"? That would be naivte. See the point? As it is, you seem to want to criticize the settlement and are building a case accordingly. That's fine, but it doesn't mean someone who doesn't automatically climb on board with your speculation, as presented, is "naive." That weakens your argument. Now, I'm leaving. ;-D

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T14:17:58-06:00
ID
137922
Comment

"and it's made moot by the fact that the money isn't taxpayer dollars anyway." That's the 4 million dollar (legal) question.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T14:18:28-06:00
ID
137923
Comment

What *isn't* the interesting part is the C-L's argument that telecom dollars should't be used for the justice center because justice center doesn't have "communications" in its name. That is stupid, both from a rhetorical point of view (as if the money *needed* to be about telecom issues if it were taxpayer money) and it's made moot by the fact that the money isn't taxpayer dollars anyway. AGREED. AGREED. AGREED. THE. EDITORIAL. WAS DUMB. DRINK. DRINK. DRINK.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T14:19:56-06:00
ID
137924
Comment

winston3: I'd like to see more details including the hours Langston worked and the donations he has made to campaigns. todds: Yeah, me too. I think that is the interesting part. It's public funds. I suppose you could seek information through the State Auditor's office. I'm Sure Phil Bryant (R) would love to look into authorized payments by Jim Hood (D) to a friend and supporter.

Author
GDIModerate
Date
2005-05-13T14:20:53-06:00
ID
137925
Comment

You don't have to climb on board my speculation. I was merely trying to make what I think are some relevant points about settlement agreements - particularly large ones. I'm not sure a non-attorney knows enough to determine whether these are relevant points. But, I think other attorneys familiar with the topic would agree.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T14:22:06-06:00
ID
137926
Comment

Oooo. Swat. Take that, girlfriend. Yeah, I'm a bozo when it comes to legal issues. The POINT, Winston, is about argumentation, which I know is irrelevant in that hard ole legal profession that is so beyond my grasp. You cannot (convincingly) say someone's "naive" for not automatically believing what you have not proven to be true. So you might try a different brilliant legal strategy. Dat's all. ;-P Bottom's up.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T14:25:40-06:00
ID
137927
Comment

ladd: Hey, the "on" part is NOT in Kate's rules. hehhehhehhehheh Where do you have a tab running?

Author
GDIModerate
Date
2005-05-13T14:25:42-06:00
ID
137928
Comment

Therein lies the "local" impact to the citizens of Jackson. Agree that this is a terrible deal for Jackson. MCI comes out of the property end of this smelling like a rose. The big building on Amite has foundation problems. I think he just put himself on the map as a Gov candidate. If you say so. Do you truly see Hood as a viable candidate? Barbara Blackmon or Eric Clark are more qualified to be Governor. It is a long way until November 2007. It is Barbour's job to lose and the only Democrat with a reasonable chance to unseat him will be Moore, not Hood. A one term AG Hood running in 2007 would only be a sacrificial lamb until some other more high-profile Democrat, probably Moore because they have no one else other than Gene Taylor, runs in 2011 after Barbour is termed out. Moore likes to be the big fish in the small pond which would work counter to a run by him for US Senate in the interim but anything is possible. Hood will lose against Barbour. Moore could make it a race but hasn't shown much stomach for running against incumbents. All conjecture but I do find your handicapping fun in light of the JFP track record of election endorsements.

Author
Proud To Be Right
Date
2005-05-13T14:27:43-06:00
ID
137929
Comment

Hey, you think I'm going to tell any of you lushes??? Nice try, though. (Y'all are gonna be snookered by 4 p.m, the rate I'm going. I'll do anything to not clean off my desk. Even argue about the meaning of "naive," it seems.")

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T14:28:25-06:00
ID
137930
Comment

I thought all journalists were supposed to question the "government line". "You cannot (convincingly) say someone's "naive" for not automatically believing what you proven to be true." I haven't tried to prove anything. All I have tried to show is that it is naive to think that labeling something as attorneys fees doesn't necessarily make it so. I haven't proven that they aren't. But I think to unquestioningly believe that they are is naive. WHat are journalists supposed to be doing if not asking questions?

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T14:29:11-06:00
ID
137931
Comment

A one term AG Hood running in 2007 would only be a sacrificial lamb Agreed. Hood wouldn't make it out of the primary. It is Barbour's job to lose And according to the latest poll, he's losing it.

Author
GDIModerate
Date
2005-05-13T14:30:57-06:00
ID
137932
Comment

Eric Clark: boo, hiss. Faux Republican. Blackmon already got smacked around pretty good. Considering the pack to date, Hood could be up top. It is Barbour's job to lose And he's doing a right fine job of it so far. As for election endorsements, our list is not bad for a progressive newspaper in Mississippi that most wouldn't expect to win a cotton-pickin' one (and who isn't here to blindly follow the, er, pack. We're running about 50-50 overall, I'd guess. For fun, I'll put together a list for the blog, so we can track our success/failure rate as the years go by. Nice try at an insult, though. (Can't resist, eh?) Everyone order a Pabst in PBR's honor.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T14:32:23-06:00
ID
137933
Comment

hmm, hello, but, agreed does not mean drink. imho. that's ok if you want, and the ed. was dumb for sure. and there are 'dumb' attorneys and bad doctors, and not so great therapists , and pathetic college professors and , sorry, journalists who suck up to the admin. artists, not so bad. musicians, no fault pretty much. but then, the Nazis did love Mozart. we are all in a leaky lifeboat. have no idea what that means! just a little humor.

Author
sunshine
Date
2005-05-13T14:32:26-06:00
ID
137934
Comment

Call me naive, but if a legal document labels something, doesn't that make it legally binding? I mean, the money in the bank is "labeled" as mine. Am I naive in thinking that it's still mine? If you're saying that the state is dumb to pay him that much in legal fees, that's one thing. But since the money is "labeled" as legal fees in a legal document, then it is his. And therefore his to donate, right? If it's legal, then it sounds like a done deal, and I'm going with the "labels" as they've been finalized. Are you saying that there was something illegal in how they labelled the money? Or just that you disagree with it?

Author
kate
Date
2005-05-13T14:36:51-06:00
ID
137935
Comment

I thought all journalists were supposed to question the "government line". K...Which government line should the jouranlists question? Hood's or Babar's?

Author
GDIModerate
Date
2005-05-13T14:38:21-06:00
ID
137936
Comment

All I have tried to show is that it is naive to think that labeling something as attorneys fees doesn't necessarily make it so. No one said it isn't, winston. Read. The problem is, you're accusing folks of doing something they're not doing. (drink) But you're doing it with passion, which I admire. Lord, if there were only one "government line" to question! We question them all, and the conventional wisdom of brilliant attorneys, and silly ones, and doctors, and Dems and Repubs, and libs. All sorts. Life is too short not to question. That's why I'm questioning your particular conventional wisdom. You don't get exempt because you're a brilliant attorney, even if my non-trained brain can't quite match up, legally speaking. BTW, GDI is rightóHood probably would lose the primary. Today. But things could change for him. And I sure like the way he's stood up to the governor and surprised some Repubs from time to time. There's hope there. Welcome back, sunshine.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T14:39:32-06:00
ID
137937
Comment

I don't have time to explain. Your money is safe but you are naive to think that because something is described in a legal document as something, it is that thing. If that were the case, there would be many fewer lawsuits.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T14:39:41-06:00
ID
137938
Comment

Damn, ladd. I'm getting awful shnockered here! I thought you left?

Author
GDIModerate
Date
2005-05-13T14:40:19-06:00
ID
137939
Comment

I'm not accusing people of something they are not doing. I don't know what they are doing. But, I'm not going to believe the whole thing is kosher just because of the way they have labeled it. It had to be the world's easiest lawsuit. The state and AGs office has its own lawyer- employees. If they had done the work, all the money would go to the taxpayers.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T14:42:11-06:00
ID
137940
Comment

I don't have time to explain Oh, I see. Winston, you're losing credibility on this one. Dude, people here know what you're arguingóyou just haven't convinced us novices of anything, yet. I understand that you don't have time to, though, so we'll forgive you. This time. Back to the endorsement slight PBR lodgedóthat's a good opening to bash the Ledge again. Can you believe how bad their reasoning on their endorsements are getting??? Lord help me if we ever got to the point where we endorse a candidate based on their flimsy logic, or on who is most likely to win, or who make certain influential people the happiest. There is nothing "free" or "free press" about that. I'd run screaming from this business before I'd sell my soul to that devil. So buckle your seatbeat for a continued mixed record of endorsements of which we are infinitely proud. 8-D I know, GDI. Just sip slowly instead of throw back the stuff. Pace yourself. Damn, I gotta go.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T14:46:26-06:00
ID
137941
Comment

I don't NEED to convince anyone that just because something is labeled something it is not necessarily that thing. I know that, at least, to be true. There would be no contract disputes (or a lot fewer) if that were true. However, I do find that it difficult to believe that anyone disbelieves me on that.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T14:50:12-06:00
ID
137942
Comment

So, basically, you think the deal's not kosher. Fine. As long as it's legal, I think that's all that matters at this point. And, yes, I know that legal labels get changed via lawsuit. That's the whole point. They had a pile of money, and they stuck post-its on various parts of it. yes, there may be a lawsuit to re-label some of it. But, to say that it's not real because it's "only" a legal label is what sounds naive to me. At this point, you're speculating - I think that the attorney's fees are not really attorney's fees. As for me, I don't have the energy or motivation to file a lawsuit, so I'm letting the post its stay where they are. I'll go naively enjoy my friday afternoon now.

Author
kate
Date
2005-05-13T14:50:46-06:00
ID
137943
Comment

I don't know that it's kosher or not kosher. You are entitled to believe that it is kosher. Is that ok? Is it ok for me to think you are naive? I believe the answer to both questions is yes.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T14:53:24-06:00
ID
137944
Comment

you go Ladd, it's Friday. and it's getting sort of warm here. we all need to pace ourselves, there's a long haul out there. I too think Hood is worth keeping track of.

Author
sunshine
Date
2005-05-13T14:55:21-06:00
ID
137945
Comment

Everyone check new drinking rule... DRINK drink drink drinkdrinkdrink < canít. reach. keyboard. canít. get. up. >

Author
GDIModerate
Date
2005-05-13T14:57:36-06:00
ID
137946
Comment

The million dollar question is: By "not kosher" do you mean "illegal." Or, do you just mean "I don't like how they labeled the money."

Author
kate
Date
2005-05-13T14:58:42-06:00
ID
137947
Comment

OR "I don't like that Hood is gfetting political points"?

Author
GDIModerate
Date
2005-05-13T15:01:55-06:00
ID
137948
Comment

"gfetting" See?! Too many dirnks!

Author
GDIModerate
Date
2005-05-13T15:02:31-06:00
ID
137949
Comment

Whether something is legal is a tricky question because "legal" is whatever a judge says it is. Do I think it smacks of the usual politics where rich people get richer? Yes. Do I think it is kosher? I guess that depends on your own morality. In my book, I don't think it is kosher. But that's my opinion. I think a lot of things that are accepted as everyday occurrences are not kosher. I'd probably think differently if I had friends who were in a position to make me rich.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T15:02:53-06:00
ID
137950
Comment

The point, winston, is that either you're saying it's "illegal," or you're not. And if you are, you need to cough up the evidence, as we've discussed on another thread. Otherwise, it's rumor and innuendo. If you're saying it should be investigated, fine, but you can say that without calling whomever doesn't buy your "kosher" argument "naive." Folks are ganging up on you because you're lodging accusations without evidence and then condescending to us dumb little naive non-lawyers when we challenge your (seemingly) unsubstantiated assertions. Yours in naivete. (TouchÈ, GDI.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T15:05:51-06:00
ID
137951
Comment

I repeat, It's getting warm, it's Friday, let's pace ourselves. Go see a good movie. Is star wars here?

Author
sunshine
Date
2005-05-13T15:06:52-06:00
ID
137952
Comment

(Would somebody call GDI a cab already? He's going to get a DUI on his way home from work, rate he's going. He takes this drinking game pretty damn literally.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T15:07:17-06:00
ID
137953
Comment

Ladd, I thought you were gone! ha. so , go already.

Author
sunshine
Date
2005-05-13T15:08:11-06:00
ID
137954
Comment

I not making any allegations. I'm just saying there are some things that need to be looked at. I think that if you accept this as on the up-and-up without knowing the details, you are, in my opinion, naive. That is my opinion. Opinion is not the same thing as fact and it is not the same thing as making accusations. I don't believe I have accused anybody of anything other than being naive and that was an opinion.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T15:08:25-06:00
ID
137955
Comment

Why do I have to take a stand on whether it is legal? Is that some rule?

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T15:09:27-06:00
ID
137956
Comment

And this seems like a good place to remind everyone what is being funded here: A Children's Justice Center that "will coordinate law enforcement and advocacy programs to help victims of child abuse and neglect." We're not talking about some useless pork project.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T15:11:13-06:00
ID
137957
Comment

I'm also a bit befuddled about what, exactly, is not kosher. Is it the lawyer fees only, or is there something more? and, winston, yes, there are some rich folks getting richer, but at least while they're doing it, they're trying to give a few million to fund a Children's Justice Center. It's funny - if they weren't trying to fund the center, then this deal would probably be getting alot less scrutiny. I mean, if he just kept the money, then there'd be no story, no scrutiny. Benevolence doesn't pay.

Author
kate
Date
2005-05-13T15:20:01-06:00
ID
137958
Comment

In my defense, I only stated that I was a lawyer because someone asked me directly. And like any good lawyer, I'm not having any opinion or accusing anybody of anything until I have more facts. Everyone else can take a stand on the issue as they see fit. Can we leave it at that? I'm not sure why you are "ganging up" (your words, I believe) on me merely because I am suggesting there might be more to the story. If my suggesting that there may be more to the story means I am making accusations, we are working with different dictionaries.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T15:33:31-06:00
ID
137959
Comment

Winston, for the record, I'm not tweaking you for pointing out that you're a lawyer, but for saying this: I'm not sure a non-attorney knows enough to determine whether these are relevant points. No one has said you can't say there could maybe be more to the story. But, respectfully, many of your comments have gone much further than that. And that's different saying that it is "naive" to think there's not. We've been trying to discuss the nuances of your language, which started out very accusatory, but has come back down to earth a bit. (We all have our hyperbolic moments, so we won't hold it against you.) So, yes, we can leave it all here. I think we've aired it out quite well enough for one day. After all, GDI, is probably praying to the porcelain god by now, so we'd better stop. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T15:47:09-06:00
ID
137960
Comment

Since I'm not the story, I don't know what is gained by dissecting my statements word by word. I should think that journalists welcome inquring minds. I'm not sure why everyone has to take a "side." Especially when there is insufficient information to have a side.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T15:56:45-06:00
ID
137961
Comment

Funny, I and most others haven't taken "a side," but you did. No one is dissecting your statements "word by word"; that would be a real picnic. What we're doing is challenging your unsubstantiated rhetoric and labeling of people who don't automatically buy your arguments as "naive." That is not useful discussion or debate; it's just lodging accusations, and you're not the first one whose been challenged for doing that in the world. Such challenges make us all better, and more convincing, debaters. I would have thought you would have run into this particular debate strategy in law school. I certainly did. G'night, John Boy.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T16:02:47-06:00
ID
137962
Comment

Well, I think the record speaks for itself.

Author
winston3
Date
2005-05-13T16:07:08-06:00
ID
137963
Comment

Agreed. Have a great weekend, Winston.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-05-13T16:07:43-06:00
ID
137964
Comment

Do you truly see Hood as a viable candidate? Maybe "put himself on the map" was strong language. Put himself on the *road* to being a Gov candidate? The road to the map? (The roadmap?) And then there's always the possibility of Lt. Gov, assuming that's a step up from AG...not really sure I'd see it that way. :-) But, yeah, I think Moore would be a strong challenge to Barbour (if it doesn't, in fact, turn out that Barbour is his own strongest challenger). A Moore/Hood "ticket" could be a popular way to "throw the bums out" if people sour further on the current Gov/Lt. Gov dance card. Moore could make it a race but hasn't shown much stomach for running against incumbents. All conjecture but I do find your handicapping fun in light of the JFP track record of election endorsements. I understand your confusion, PBR. But the purpose of an endorsement is not to annoint the eventually winner (although you might not know that if your experience in this realm is governed exclusively by the C-L), but rather to suggest who we believe is the better person to hold a given office. So far, looking back, I think we're battin' close to a thousand :-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2005-05-13T17:42:21-06:00
ID
137965
Comment

well, if you didn't see, governor porkchop didn't pull a special sessiopn for the budget OR education. there are NO priorities for this bastard. i say screw the next election, we need a RECALL!

Author
jp!
Date
2005-05-14T00:49:44-06:00

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