"Why is a Canton PAC Interested in Jackson's Mayoral Election?" by Jackblog | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS


Why is a Canton PAC Interested in Jackson's Mayoral Election?

ENI, a Canton, Miss.-based political-action committee formed in late March.

But that's about all we know so far.

The statement of organization, filed with the Jackson city clerk's office April 2, indicates the committee is not authorized by any particular candidate and its purpose is "to raise money in relation to the City of Jackson Mayoral Special Election."

The form lists Alance McKinney of Jackson as ENI's president/director and Fletcher Shaw of Canton as secretary/treasurer. State records also show a south Jackson address for two dissolved companies. Reached by phone, Shaw said the PAC was set up to back a candidate in the mayor's race, but referred a Jackson Free Press reporter to attorney John P. Martin, who prepared ENI's paperwork, for particulars.

"It's a political-action committee set up and established based upon the guidelines the election commission set up — no less or no more," Shaw told JFP.

Martin, of the Canton firm of Montgomery McGraw PLLC, called the JFP back Thursday to say that his firm's role in the PAC is only to serve as its agent.

Employees of Montgomery McGraw, including partner Bob Montgomery, a former Mississippi state senator and chief of staff to former Democratic U.S. Rep. G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery, have contributed to several political candidate campaigns over the years.

Most recently, Bob Montgomery gave to Republicans Gov. Phil Bryant, transportation Commissioner Dick Hall and Lucien Smith, a 2011 state treasurer candidate who now serves as Bryant's chief-of-staff. In past elections, Montgomery also gave to Republicans former Gov. Haley Barbour, Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck and Tate Reeves when he was state treasurer.

In addition, Montgomery has contributed to former Democratic Insurance Commissioner George Dale as well as several state supreme court candidates, races that are officially nonpartisan.

Fletcher Shaw said the ENI would be in compliance with state financial disclosure rules; runoff candidates—Chokwe A. Lumumba and Tony Yarber—will be required to file reports on Tuesday, April 15.


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