The Truth About Barbour's ‘Blind Trust' | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

The Truth About Barbour's ‘Blind Trust'

Bloomberg News is still hot on Barbour's trail. Today, they reveal much more about his so-called "blind trust" in the lobbying firm that lobbied the state for Katrina-related contracts—it pays him $300,000 a year. It starts:

When Haley Barbour was sworn in as governor of Mississippi in 2004, he set up a blind trust to avoid conflicts of interest and said he had severed ties with the Washington lobbying firm he co-founded. The blind trust document he signed about six weeks later says that on Jan. 13, 2004, the day he took office, Barbour still had a stake worth $786,666 in the publicly traded parent company of Barbour Griffith & Rogers Inc., as well as pension and profit-sharing plan benefits from the lobby firm.

A copy of the notarized trust agreement, obtained from an individual who requested anonymity, says Barbour receives $25,000 per month, or $300,000 a year, from it. He lists the trust in his annual Mississippi ethics filing as his only source of income outside his $122,160 salary as governor.

Barbour, 59, a former Republican National Committee chairman, has refused to discuss his personal finances. His attorney, Ed Brunini Jr., said in a statement yesterday that "the provisions of his blind trust are fully appropriate and legal under Mississippi law.'' Brunini alleged that the disclosure of the information was unlawful. Barbour spokesman Pete Smith said Brunini's statement would have the governor's approval.

It couldn't be learned what, if any, interest Barbour had in Barbour Griffith when the members of the firm lobbied the state last year in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina two years ago. The minimal disclosure required by Mississippi law contrasts with federal executive-branch rules that individuals who set up blind trusts report publicly their initial holdings and what they are worth, within ranges.


Read the whole piece.

Previous Comments

ID
114304
Comment

Thank you, Donna:-)

Author
blu_n_a_redstate
Date
2007-08-29T14:50:31-06:00
ID
114305
Comment

No problem. Thanks for tipping me off to the story. I had a feeling Bloomberg wasn't done. These are the stories that should have been done years ago by media in the state with resources. We've wanted every since Katrina to look into what Barbour has really done, but don't have the resources. This isn't hard reporting, but it's good reporting. Instead, though, at the Ledger Sid Salter has done backflips to cover for Barbour. Remember when he blogged recently that the Bloomberg reporting was "old news." Burger will probably win a Pulitzer for exposing that the governor of a state devastated by Katrina has relatives, friends, and a lobbying firm back in D.C. that pays him $300,000 a year benefitting from the hurricane. It's just horrifying. Cheers to Bloomberg and Burger for giving a damn.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-29T14:56:44-06:00
ID
114306
Comment

Next issue for the JFP and all you bloggers out there... The Sun Herald ON THE COAST will not cover this story. It is a "liberal smear" on Barbour. Seriously, they will not print the story because "criticism of Barbour hurts the Gulf Coast. We need him" That is sad. They were against Mike Moore from the git go and were antagonistic to him in office, AND he did bring some of that on himself for he was antagonistic back. They HATE Hood, and they are very GOP based, but to ignore a Bloomberge media story (heck he was a member of the GOP when elected to the Mayor of New York and resigned to be more libertarian) as a "Liberal MEDIA? this is the CONSERVATIVE MEDIA OF NEW YORK You think the CL is bad and biased? The Sun Herald makes the CL look like the open forum on the street corner and THAT is saying something

Author
AGamm627
Date
2007-08-29T23:01:13-06:00
ID
114307
Comment

Had to log off for a while Donna. Just getting back to the site. Should be getting some sleep;-) All of the local, 2nd Year Katrina Anniversary reporting I saw today was fluff---designed to protect Barbour and further hide the truth about the lack of progress on the coast. But tonight's Anderson Cooper's CNN report told a very different story of this state's progress. I was down there last weekend and saw first-hand the many empty slabs and numerous FEMA trailers. There are no restaurants along that strech, and almost all of the vacant lots where homes once stood have FOR SALE signs out front. The once vibrant residential areas appear to be abandoned with all traffic flow conveniently directed toward the flourishing Casino Row area---the only thing booming along I-90. I refused to set foot inside any of the casinos and instead spent the night at one of the nice hotels along 90. I also drove back into Gulfport for dinner. I felt those establishments could use my dollars more than the casinos. Sorry to rant, but seeing my beloved MS Gulf Coast still in that condition after two years filled me with an overwhelming sense of sadness.

Author
blu_n_a_redstate
Date
2007-08-29T23:54:34-06:00
ID
114308
Comment

Note that BGR is at the heart of the recent scandal concerning Ayad Allawi's attempt to oust Iraqi Prime Minister Malliki. Allawi is paying BGR $300,000 a month to sell that idea here. It is now evident that unscrupulous lobbying firms routinely take money from foreign states and/or statesmen to manipulate public opinion.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-08-30T02:07:23-06:00
ID
114309
Comment

Well, for those of you that don't gat the Clarion Ledger- and I'd bet there are at least a couple on here- the Bloomberg piece made the front page! It is way below the fold, but at least it's there... Sidney, your doing a hell of a job!

Author
Rico
Date
2007-08-30T06:43:44-06:00
ID
114310
Comment

Good to see that the Ledger picked up this latest Bloomberg story off the wire today. They run so much wire crap that it's great to see them run stories of substance that they weren't involved with. Will the Sun-Herald not discuss the Bloomberg stories at all? That sounds like an attempt at a news blackout if so. The Sun-Herald is an interesting party. They seem to do much better local reporting, and state reporting, than the Ledger overall. But they have a real conservative editorial board.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-30T06:44:36-06:00
ID
114311
Comment

Not that this *should* be a conservative or liberal issue. Corruption, in its very forms, is what it is, regardless of which party the jerks are parading as. It's clear that Barbour has long been a "conservative" out of convenience. I mean, just look at his own lifestyle. There is nothing conservative there. He is a brilliant southern strategy and has gotten to where he is by using conservative (and sadly, the lingering racist) sentiments of his fellow southerners. Now the lengths he is willing to go to in order to grease his family and friends' wheels is coming out. This is not someone to admire or to protect.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-30T06:46:52-06:00
ID
114312
Comment

I don't often see the paper version. Not worth the 50 cents. I saw it online, but didn't know it was again on the front page. Good for them. If they're not going to bother looking into Barbour themselves, at least they are willing to run wire stories that do. That is certainly better than nothing.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-30T06:48:42-06:00
ID
114313
Comment

Ooooo, this is delightful. Andy Taggart is dancing a desperate Salter-esque-tapdance over on his little-commented-on Ledger blog. Local GOPpers are definitely not used to their top southern strategist being challenged with, er, facts, eh? (GOP talking point: Change the subject when all the damn liberal media call out facts on you. Talk about ridiculous crap. Hope people fall for it.) Looks like Bloomberg has gotten their attention. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-30T16:26:35-06:00
ID
114314
Comment

The best part is how whiny Taggart is about Barbour being (accurately) called a "former tobacco lobbyist." Andy, how can I put this delicately: If y'all are gonna be so ashamed of your past occupations, try not making millions and millions off of doing something you don't want people to know that you do. Just sayin'. (Quack, quack.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-30T16:28:05-06:00
ID
114315
Comment

Blue and Ladd... Here is another angle, again, and I thought the CL was bad. At least they covered the story once poked by the JFP, as a Sun Herlad reader... NO coverage in any detail... They claim it is an unsubstantiated liberal claim when I called to ask. I know they hated most challengers and all Dems... but come on, this IS relevant. AGamma627

Author
AGamm627
Date
2007-08-30T22:40:15-06:00
ID
114316
Comment

I know I repeat myself, but COME ON, when THE CL does more for journalistic integrity than you... SUN HERALD Either admit your a paid HACK for a party, or even for incumbents (including the one that sold your recovery away to his family and friends for millions) or change your name to include the words "National Enquirer owned." Sad when the CL stands TOWERS over another paper for integrity and the ability to report the news AGamma627

Author
AGamm627
Date
2007-08-30T22:47:14-06:00
ID
114317
Comment

I just dived into Nexis to see what The Clarion-Ledger edit-boyz said in the past about Barbour's blind trust in his lobbying firm. Here is what they wrote on Jan. 19, 2004, as he was inaugurated: He had already sold the firm, including the name, and it's owned by Interpublic Group of Companies Inc., a publicly traded company. It's the same as if he had started any business that was sold to become a nationwide franchise no longer under his control. He has no ownership or stock. Barbour's personal investments have been placed into a blind trust and he is doing what is required and generally accepted by federal public officials, distancing himself as best he can so there will be no conflict of interest between his private investments and public service.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-31T10:39:21-06:00
ID
114318
Comment

Whether it be Cheney, Barbour, Fred Thompson, or whomever, you can tell a lot about a person by what they will sell themselves to do. Lobbyist and lawyers can choose what they want to be involved in. These guys talk about Democrats as if they are another species, yet sell themselves to the highest bidder.

Author
Goldenae
Date
2007-08-31T11:23:35-06:00

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