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.
National debt is approaching $20 trillion ($20,000,000,000,000.00) – Drops in the bucket add up to a full bucket
The national debt of the United States is approaching $20 trillion dollars. That’s right – $20 trillion. Let’s put all the zeroes on $20 trillion – $20,000,000,000,000.00. That is almost $155,000 in debt owed by every man, woman and child living in this country. Now, let’s talk about Essential Air Service. EAS has always been a sore spot with me. This is a program the U.S. taxpayer subsidizes to small airports serving less-urban areas. The program currently subsidizes four airports in Mississippi – Tupelo, Meridian, Hattiesburg-Laurel and Greenville. I’d like to note an excellent report on EAS written by journalist Steve Wilson of Mississippi Watchdog.org. Mississippi Watchdog is part of a 50-state national organization sponsored by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. It is a network of news websites reporting on state and local government issues. The stated mission of the organization is to hold politicians and bureaucrats accountable for handling of taxpayer dollars and to focus on government waste. The highly regarded Columbia Journalism Review says the Watchdog sites are “impressive”. If you’re not receiving the emails of Wilson and reading the web site, I strongly recommend it. Wilson often does a better job of investigative reporting than much larger news organizations in the state. He has especially done a fine job reporting on the boondoggle that is better known as the Kemper County energy plant built by Mississippi Power Company. But let’s
Ocean Springs’ Walker makes grand and bizarre exit from prison
Many celebrities are known for making a grand entrance at various functions. Scott Walker of Ocean Springs has made what could be described as a grand exit from federal prison. Politician and businessman Scott Walker was recently released from federal prison after serving 18 months, was in a halfway house in Hattiesburg for a short time and was under house arrest for a month. He did not arrive home quietly. After graduating from Ole Miss, Walker worked for Sen. Trent Lott, did a stint in the White House when George W. Bush was president and later worked for Sen. Roger Wicker when he returned to Mississippi. Not short on political ambition, Walker ran for mayor of his hometown of Ocean Springs. He spend a huge amount of money on the campaign but was defeated by incumbent Democrat Connie Moran. He then eyed a race for the Mississippi Legislature, but his rapid fall began that led to federal prison. Walker got caught up in the scandal at the Mississippi Department of Resources where his father Billy served as director. Dr. Billy Walker is now serving five years in federal prison. Scott Walker’s business partner, former state legislator and D’Iberville city manager Michael Janus, was also sentenced to federal prison. After gaining his freedom, Walker did not waste any time posting pictures of himself, his wife Trinity and two children on Facebook. The pictures left the impression that Walker was celebrating a homecoming from some major public service or business success. The real kicker came shortly in a interview he gave to Sun Herald reporter Anita Lee.
Walker claims he was innocent, but he should read his own guilty plea agreement before Federal Judge Keith Starrett
He told the Sun Herald he never committed a crime. In his plea agreement signed on February 20, 2014, Walker admitted he was guilty of fraud and consipiracy. In the March interview with Anita Lee, Walker also blamed his imprisonment on former Gov. Haley