Tagged: Haley Barbour

The news report you won’t see in MississippiTODAY

Did founder of MississippiTODAY suppress story about disgraced and once powerful Hollywood sexual predator Harvey Weinstein?

In Mississippi, Andy Lack is not exactly a household name. Nationally, as the head of NBC News and MSNBC, he is a giant in the media world. More relevant to Mississippi, Lack is the founder of MississippiTODAY. It would be safe to say the digital news organization would not even exist without Lack and his wealth. Besides MSTODAY, Lack has a family history in Mississippi. Although he was born in New York City, Lack’s great-grandfather was mayor of Greenville. But Lack’s tenure as chairman of NBC News may be on shaky ground. Numerous national media outlets are reporting Lack’s head may be on the chopping block. Lack took some heat with the scandals involving NBC stars Matt Lauer and Brian Williams. It was followed by serious allegations against another NBC star, Tom Brokaw. However, the most serious strikes against Lack may involve disgraced sex criminal Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein, a movie producer and once described as a pal of Lack, was once the most powerful man in Hollywood. Now Weinstein is now described as one of the nation’s most notable individuals guilty of sexual misconduct and as a serial sexual predator. Even worse, Lack has been accused by several news organizations of suppressing the stories about Weinstein. NBC reportedly suppressed the Weinstein story  before it broke in the The New York Times and New Yorker magazine. TV host Tucker Carlson said Lack clearly lied to the network’s viewers and actively covered up his lies. MississippiTODAY has ignored this major news story despite the fact Andy Lack is the godfather of this news organization.

MississippiTODAY lists former Republican governor as major contributor – On its home page, MississippiTODAY lists anyone who has contributed $1,000 or more. Among those listed are Haley Barbour and his wife Marsha. Besides the digital news organization’s bogus claim that it is non-partisan, Barbour giving financial support to MississippiTODAY is equivalent to the former Republican governor and GOP national chairman giving financial support to the Democratic National Committee.

Another disclosure lapse for the Jackson Clarion-Ledger?

Apparently, popular sports talk show host Bo Bounds of Jackson has noted another disclosure lapse at the Clarion-Ledger. In a column written by Josh Peters in USA TODAY,  veteran Clarion-Ledger columnist Billy Watkins and two others were listed as “contributing” to the Peters article which essentially asked the question, “Who is Hugh Freeze?” The conflicting perceptions are of a football coach who wore his religion on his sleeve or a flawed coach who cheating in recruiting and possibly cheated in his personal life. Billy Watkins of the Clarion-Ledger is the brother of W. G. Watkins, Freeze’s personal attorney. Nothing really surprises me anymore about the state’s largest newspaper that has also been very shallow in its coverage of the NCAA allegations against Ole Miss and the resignation of Freeze. (Editor’s note: In this original post, I said that Watkins had written several columns about the NCAA investigation of Ole Miss. That was not correct and for that, I apologize to Mr. Watkins. My next post will have additional comments about this issue.)

Mississippi neighbor as the next President of the United States?New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called darkhorse and longshot to be Democratic presidential nominee in 2020   LOL

The Big Easy or easy to get mugged?

Once upon a time, there were three ambitious governors in the neighboring states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. All three were considered hot national political property, all three were Democrats, and all three had degrees from Ivy League schools. There was also no question that Buddy Roemer in Louisiana, Ray Mabus in Mississippi, and Bill Clinton thought they were all going to be President of the United States. Roemer finished third in his re-election campaign for governor, Kirk Fordice derailed Mabus’ reelection bid in Mississippi leaving Clinton as the only one left with presidential ambitions. Interestingly enough, Clinton’s well-known reputation as a womanizer was expected to sidetrack his ambition. I remember being on a commercial flight to Washington, D.C. with Mabus and his security guard when Mabus openly talked about Clinton’s female problems. Mabus thought Clinton would not overcome the problem.Not long after that, but before Clinton won the Democrat nomination to oppose George H.W. Bush, I had a talk with Republican Haley Barbour. Barbour told me he hoped Democrats would nominate Clinton to oppose Bush for the same reasons cited by Mabus. They were

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Prime parking at the Capital, but some have more prime parking than others

First Baptist Church in Jackson offers prime parking across the street from the State Capital for lobbyists and other visitors to the Capital.  From the reserved parking signs shown below, the giant law firm of Butler Snow has very special prime parking. Butler Snow has more than 20 offices across the United States in addition to offices in London and Singapore. These “Reserved for Butler Snow” signs turned a lot of heads during the regular session of the 2017 Mississippi Legislature.  I assume the reserved parking will still be available to Butler Snow lobbyists during the upcoming legislative special session on June 5.  In some political and legal circles, Butler Snow is jokingly known as “The Evil Empire.”  The firm is no joke and wields a lot of political power in the state.  Former Sen. Trent Lott and former Gov. Haley Barbour are affiliated with the firm.  I’ve been told Butler Snow does pro bono legal work for First Baptist and might be the reason for their special parking privileges.  I have not been able to determine if that includes special prayers for Butler Snow from the pulpit on Sundays.

A unanimous vote: Thank goodness it’s over

The day after the election, one of my neighbors rode by on his bike while I was walking my dogs. He shouted out just two words, “Crazy election”. Crazy election indeed. None of us have ever seen anything like the 2016 contest for President of the United States. I’m sure this is a sentiment shared by both Trump and Clinton voters. I repeat: Thank goodness it is over.

Election thoughts related to Mississippi …..

After the election, one of my dear liberal friends from Mississippi talked about the “masses” who voted for President-elect Trump. Sounds a lot to me like earlier in the campaign when Hillary Clinton referred to Trump voters as “deplorables”. Isn’t liberal elitism wonderful?

Vulgarity and corruption are not one-sided

Clarion.Ledger executive editor Sam Hall seemed to delight in the vulgarity of Donald Trump. Several times Hall “tweeted” his disgust about vulgar and tasteless statements made by Trump. There’s no question Trump frequently exhibited vulgarity and crudeness. However, I notice the liberal Hall didn’t ever tweet or appear disgusted with Clinton corruption.

I really hope Gov. Bryant and U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper’s remarks were “tongue in cheek”

Mississippi U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker served as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. When he took the position, I can’t think of anyone who didn’t think it was a no-win situation for Wicker. Incumbent Republicans in the U.S. Senate had far more seats

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Will Governor Increase His Campaign Account IRA?

On Oct. 8 Gov. Phil Bryant will host his annual statewide fundraiser in Madison, MS. (It is labeled “statewide”, but he has had many more during his current re-election campaign.)  Contributors have a choice of sponsoring and contributing to The 2015 Victory Fund or to the Friends of Phil Bryant. According to the invitation, Contributions to Victory 2015 will be used to “elect the best conservative leaders for Mississippi’s future.” Contributions to the Friends of Phil Bryant are for Bryant’s re-election campaign. There are a couple of initial impressions. On his most recent campaign finance report filing, Bryant listed $2.8 million cash on hand. I don’t think anyone questions that $2.8 million is enough to handle his November opponent, Democrat Robert Gray. Gray spent zero in his surprising win of the Democrat nomination. Gray, a truck driver, has even received a lot of national publicity for his primary victory. Still, there is no person in Mississippi who seriously thinks the likeable Gray represents any sort of serious challenge to Bryant’s second term. Bryant could probably spend little or nothing of his $2.8 million to turn back Gray’s challenge. The second impression is his Oct. 8 fundraiser will raise contributions for other Republican candidates running for statewide office or to ensure that the GOP remains in control of the Mississippi Senate and House. The obvious statewide race is the campaign for attorney general of Mike Hurst against Democrat incumbent Jim Hood. Hood is the last remaining Democrat to hold statewide office and the contest is the only real competitive race slated for November. To date, Bryant has done little or nothing to help Hurst financially in his challenge to Hood. Contrast this with former Gov. Haley Barbour. During his two campaigns for governor Barbour gave and directed millions of dollars to assist other GOP candidates for statewide office and the legislature. The sponsor levels for Bryant’s statewide event are not modest. The “Chairman” level is $25,000, the “Co-Chairman” level is $10,000 and someone can be listed as a “Host” for a mere $5,000. The cost to attend is $1,000. At this point there is no way to make an educated guess of how many contributors on Oct. 8 will give to the Victory Fund or will elect to contribute to the Friends of Phil Bryant.

There’s a lingering suspicion, even among many Republicans, that Bryant will have a huge cash on hand balance after he is elected to his second term and final four years as governor. Under the state’s current, and very pitiful campaign finance law regulations, Bryant will be allowed to convert any leftover campaign funds to personal use as long as he pays the applicable federal and state income taxes. Thus, many people view his campaign account balance as sort of a campaign contribution IRA. As one veteran Republican told me earlier this week, reporters, at every opportunity, should ask Gov. Bryant if he intends to convert any campaign funds to personal use.

“Black Lives Matter” activists boo and heckle D.C. mayor

National Review magazine reports that murder is way up in the District of Columbia. The new mayor, Muriel Bowser, says she intends to do something about the soaring murder rate and will put more cops on the street in the most violent neighborhoods. At a meeting when she made the announcement, Mayor Bowser was booed and heckled by “Black Lives Matter” activists.

It’s not fantasy sports, it’s fantasy gambling

During the past few weeks, there is hardly a time when I listened to a TV or radio broadcast that I didn’t hear an ad for a fantasy sports website. A small blurb in USA TODAY made it clear.  Combined sum daily fantasy sports websites DraftKing and FanDuel spend $27 million on television ads during the opening week of the NFL season. If you’ve heard or seen the ads, most tell you to pick your sport, pick your team (players) and pick up your cash. Sure, quit your day job and just participate in fantasy sports gambling. In August, Mississippi casinos had $172 million in gaming revenue. It is more accurate to say gamblers lost $172 million at the Gulf Coast and Mississippi River casinos.


POLITICAL SCENE ARCHIVES: Texan John Connally Ran Out of Money, and Haley Barbour returns to Mississippi (Mar. 20, 1980)

Editor’s Note: This column was first published on Mar. 20, 1980 as part of Wayne Weidie’s syndicated column series, “The Political Scene,” which ran through 43 newspapers in the state of Mississippi and spanned from 1970 to 1990. Political Scene columns will be periodically republished on The Weidie Report.

March 20, 1980 The demise of John Connally’s presidential campaign also returned Haley Barbour home to Mississippi. Since last September, Barbour had been a fulltime staffer in Connally’s abortive campaign for the presidency. Long regarded as one of the state’s most astute political operatives in Republican ranks, Barbour was Connally’s regional coordinator for seven southern states. Barbour was joined in the Connally camp by two other of the state’s GOP heavyweights, Clarke Reed of Greenville and U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran.

Connally was expected to be a more formidable challenger. Upon his return to Yazoo City last week, Barbour gave major credit for Connally’s poor showing to campaign finances. Barbour won’t say that more money would have assured Connally of the GOP nomination, but feels that if the money problem had not been so acute, Connally would have at least had “a chance to have a chance.”


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Would Cochran Have Retired If He Had Seen into the Future?

Like most Mississippians I had hoped that the nasty, mean-spirited Cochran versus McDaniel campaign would be over on the night of the first primary on June 3. Of course it wasn’t. It extended for another three weeks until the June 24 runoff. That wasn’t the end, either, as the charges and counter charges, mostly by Chris McDaniel and his supporters, have continued on an almost daily basis.

Several times during the current campaign I thought about 1982 when Sen. John Stennis, 81 years old at the time, was challenged by upstart Republican Haley Barbour. Barbour was considered a serious political challenger to Stennis, although it would be more than 20 years later in 2003 when Barbour would win the first of his two terms as governor. Stennis, despite his age, which Barbour made an issue in 1982, trounced his Republican opponent, 64-to-36 percent.

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