What has been rumored for months was officially confirmed last week when President Donald Trump, as recommended by U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, announced his nomination of Mike Hurst as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi. Trump also announced the nomination of Chad Lamar as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District. I do not know Lamar except for the fact he is highly regarded. I do know Hurst, and I think he will make an excellent U.S. Attorney. I first met Hurst when he served as a top aide to then Congressman Chip Pickering. Hurst left Pickering’s office and became an assistant U.S. Attorney in Jackson. He handled several high profile corruption cases before resigning to run as the Republican nominee for attorney general against Democrat incumbent Jim Hood. Hurst lost that contest but made a good race. In 2019, many expect Hood not to seek another term or run for governor. Hurst was again mentioned as a probable candidate to succeed Hood. In many ways I think Hurst can do more for our state as a U.S. Attorney than he could as state attorney general.
Is Hurst a persecutor or a prosecutor?
Many weeks ago when Hurst was mentioned as a prime candidate for U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, I smiled when I was told one prominent state Republican, opposed to Hurst being nominated, said Hurst was more of a “persecutor” than a prosecutor when he
was with the Justice Department. One suggestion was the “persecutor” comment came from a friend or family member of a public figure who was rumored to be under investigation by the FBI. I like another comment I heard. Someone told me if Hurst’s own mother committed a crime, he would seek an indictment against her. That’s what a good U.S. Attorney should do even if he has strong Republican credentials. Federal crimes by Republicans will be just as vigorously pursued by Hurst as any criminal action by a Democrat.
Email from a state senator’s daughter
A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Daye Dearing who said she is the daughter of Sen. Bob Dearing of Natchez. You will recall Dearing was a state senator for many years before he was defeated in 2011 by Republican Melanie Sojourner. Sojourner was McDaniel’s campaign manager in the very bitter and nasty challenge to Sen. Cochran’s re-election bid. Dearing ran against Sojourner again in 2015 to take back his old seat and won a very narrow race. In January the WeidieReport noted that Dearing was having a fundraiser to help pay his legal expenses from the campaign. Nothing wrong with that except Dearing used official Mississippi Senate resources to promote the event. It was a serious ethical violation when the RSVP for the fundraiser was directed to a senate staffer and a phone number at the Capital. The email from Ms. Dearing didn’t take issue with that post, but her email noted that when Dearing realized the improper used of legislative resources, the February fundraiser was cancelled. That should be the end of the story, but it isn’t. Ms. Dearing noted that on June 13, just last month, reference to the Dearing fundraiser appeared in the Mississippi Conservative Daily. The story, entitled “Dearing Commits Ethics Violation: Political Double Standard”, was written by someone named Ryan Walters. The Mississippi Conservative Daily is just another political arm of Chris McDaniel and his followers. Mississippi Conservative Daily bills itself as a “true conservative” web site. By McDaniel standards, I don’t think Barry Goldwater, William F. Buckley Jr. or Ronald Reagan would qualify as “true” conservatives. If the Dearing’s original ethics mistake has long been settled and corrected, why, on June 13, would Mississippi Conservative Daily write about the issue? Is Sojourner thinking about running in 2019 to regain the senate she lost two years ago to Dearing after just one term? You never know with the McDaniel group. Mississippi Conservative Daily is also taking frequent shots at U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker. McDaniel has hinted he might challenge Wicker when Wicker is up for re-election. McDaniel, Sojourner and their followers remind be a great deal of the nut jobs from the John Birch Society that plagued the national Republican Party in the 1950s and 1960s.