Tagged: Mississippi Business Journal

Reports say Brandon Presley eyeing U.S. Senate race

State and national Democrats encouraged by Doug Jones’ win over Republican Roy Moore in Alabama special election

One of the current political rumors making the rounds as 2017 draws to a close is Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley will enter the 2018 contest for the seat currently held by Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker. If Presley gets in the race, it will not really be because he is taking on Wicker but would run in the event Wicker is upset by state Sen. Chris McDaniel in the GOP primary. It’s never been a secret Presley has bigger ambitions for higher office and would like to run for statewide office. His statewide political liabilities are pretty obvious. Presley, despite serving as one of three public service commissioners since 2008, is not well known outside of North Mississippi. It is also a very valid question if Presley, especially within Mississippi, can raise the vast amount of money needed for a statewide race. The reason for a possible candidacy is obvious besides his own ambition. Democrat Doug Jones’ victory over Republican Roy Moore in Alabama has made both national and Mississippi Democrats giddy over possible inroads into the strongly Republican south. However, it is easy to dismiss some of the Democrats’ glee of the Jones victory. The narrow win by Jones was not the result of a rapid increase in anti-Republican feelings or anti-Trump backlash in a state Trump won by 63 percent. Roy Moore lost a very narrow race to Jones because Moore was a terrible candidate. In the past I have used the word “wacko” to describe some left-wing Democrats, but the wacko description certainly fits Republican Moore to a T. If Democrats were to pick an ideal Republican candidate to oppose, in any state, Moore would be the winner in a landslide. The Democrat scenario in Mississippi is pretty obvious. McDaniel beats Wicker in the GOP primary with Presley ready for McDaniel next November – a Mississippi version of Alabama’s Jones versus Moore. If McDaniel were to upset Wicker in a primary, he almost defeated Cochran in a close and bitter primary in 2014, there’s no doubt in a contest with Presley, McDaniel would be taking shots not only from Democrats, but from the state’s left leaning press and the so-called establishment Republicans who supported Wicker. However, whatever you think of McDaniel, he’s not a Roy Moore. McDaniel’s negatives, while many, would never approach the negatives associated with Moore. The flip side is Wicker is leaving nothing to chance. He has a ton of campaign cash to spend and is making all the textbook moves needed to ward off a challenger. He has embraced President Trump and will have a first rate team as campaign consultants. On the negative side, Wicker’s strong embrace of changing the current state flag with its Confederate emblem will not be popular with a significant number of Mississippians who will vote in a Republican primary. Wicker cannot be encouraged by a recent poll that showed him with very mediocre approval ratings in the state. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could be hung around Wicker’s neck. While many state Republicans are not fans of the Steve Bannon, Tea Party and other Republicans who often seem to attack Republicans

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Fast and Loose With “Worked for Former U.S. Sen. John Stennis”

Another left-of-center writer, David Dallas of the Mississippi Business Journal, has jumped on the bandwagon to change the state flag. Along the way in his column, Dallas also takes cheap shots at Lt. Governor Tate Reeves. Perhaps we should review Dallas’ own credentials. At the end of each column he writes for the MBJ, the publication notes that Dallas “worked for former U.S. Sen. John Stennis.” Just as there is truth in lending and truth in advertising, there should be truth in journalism credentials. As someone who worked on a congressional staff for 14 years, I would argue that if you worked for a U.S. Senator that means you worked on his personal Senate staff, his staff in the state or even his committee staff since Stennis was chairman of two powerful committees. You could even stretch working for Stennis to being on his campaign staff for one of his re-election campaigns. In fact, Dallas’ so-called “work” for Stennis came after Stennis had retired and was living back in Starkville. Dallas, who also worked at the Stennis Institute, was paid by Mississippi State University. As a graduate student at MSU, Dallas and two other State students took care of Stennis 24 hours per day. Stennis was in very poor health after he retired and before he died. Dallas and the others drove Stennis to his home in Starkville provided by MSU, drove him to church, took him to Stennis’ hometown of DeKalb, pushed his wheelchair and was generally a personal assistant to Stennis.

Calls Lt. Gov. Reeves “Tater” 12 times

In his recent column about the state flag, Dallas called Lt. Gov. Reeves “Tater” 12 times. That’s pretty disrespectful and tacky, at best. In praising House Speaker Phillip Gunn as “courageous to a point” for Gunn supporting Mississippi changing the state flag. He notes that Gunn is “sincere enough with his Christian love and faith.” Is that a suggestion that those on the other side of the issue cannot have Christian love and faith? Dallas adds that the “hate-base” has been the backbone of the Mississippi Republican Party. Evidently Dallas’ graduate education did not teach him that the South’s most racist governors, Ross Barnett (Miss.), George Wallace (Ala), Lester Maddox (Ga) and Orval Faubus (Ark) were

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