There really is a method to the madness….

I hope everyone enjoyed Halloween.  I have less time than yesterday to post but all hell is breaking loose on several fronts. (h/t to several readers and commenters.)

The method to the madness is called building a critter called institutional memory. It comes in handy on days like today.  Here are some salient links:

A dispatch from ghouls of Halloween past ~ Jason Berry

Jason has been covering the Wisner Foundation and the MDL OIl Spill litigation for quite some time now. Seeing the intersections between those topics and a certain class action lawyer whose name has showed up frequently on these pages is most gratifying. Speaking of that clique:

Gusman ends controversial flat-rate contract with firm ~ Claire Galofaro

And from the whistleblower retaliation files Sheriff Gusman remains stuck on stupid…..

Orleans Parish Prison whistleblower who helped expose problems fears for his job ~ Naomi Martin

Meantime the jackassery on the Jefferson Parish Council is hitting full tilt with the gang deciding the voters really do need to have a say so on this hospital deal:

Momentum growing to let Jefferson Parish hospitals go their separate ways ~ Ben Myers

And from the DMR scandal a bit of evidence that lends credence to the theory that State Auditor Pickering role in the investigation was to hinder it and provide cover for the politically connected miscreants that looted the agency:

Judge: State auditor must provide DMR records to Sun Herald, public ~ Anita Lee

Like I’ve been saying folks, lowly school secretaries that steal a few thousand dollars are quickly dispatched by the State Auditor and local DA as a general rule. Pickering’s job performance in handling the DMR scandal is best described as pitiful and that assumes he is actually conducting a good faith criminal investigation of the wrongdoing.  Note to Auditor Pickering, autumn ends on December 21 buddy.

Next up is the CIAP program the way it is supposed to be run:

State acquires marshland property in Hancock County ~ Mississippi Business Journal

The purchase price works out to $470ish dollars an acre and that sounds about right for marshland. Compare and contrast the above to this similar type of CIAP transaction in Louisiana handled by the Elizabeth Rooks Barber, wifey to Madison County Tax Assessor Gerald Barber where the purchase price was more than double the $470 per acre paid for the Hancock County parcel.

Feel free to add your own links in comments.

32 thoughts on “There really is a method to the madness….”

  1. Stacey Pickering is a loser either way. His political future has been diminished by his own actions from participating in a conflicted fundraiser at money bungler Joe Cloyd’s house to covering for people other than the taxpayers who elected him. He must just be pretty damn dumb to have allowed himself to fall into these mudholes. Hope he is punished by the people next time around.

    1. I agree about the stupidity. Not only is it plain stupid but it shows the public the great lengths these people will go to to protect the regime. Its almost like watching young punk gang wars like you see in the ghetto of Compton. And the newest gang member–Jamie Miller, the rising Republican all-star.

  2. Holy Ghastly Ghost/ Dreams Batman,

    Paul Johnston looking a little pale in the T/P picture must have been a ghost for Halloween last nite or he had a dream of being a one term Councilman from co- mining a contested political gold claim on publicly claimed land with hospital gold bedpanners, Roberts and Lagasse.

    And though it is not quite crayfish season just yet I see a frantic migration of Council crayfish coming out from under the office doors of certain Councilpeople . Clear out da’ Yenni bldg. busting ass crayfishing backward but stupidly down the street into the boiling seasoned pot of hungry JP voters alla Seafood City and the re-known boiler, Dr. Al Scramuzza .

    Don’t let dem scape da’ boiling pot as JP voters done been ready to squeeze some tails and suck on dem fat heads, GNO Toll Bridge style.

  3. Why does the government want to spend our money on marsh property that is already controlled by regulations? All of the water within this property is already “waters of the United States.” This feel good moment for these political gladhanders would have been time and money better spent if this was buyouts of land that is in frequently flooded areas owned by people who need to recover and move out of harms way. The excuse that now people can fish and shrimp can raise their young since that the state has stepped in is so bogus and laughable because this marsh has already been placed in conservation by Mother Nature and Uncle Sam.

    1. From what I understand, they are looking to do some enhancement to the area and can’t do any work on the land unless they own it. Just because there are regs to help protect it doesn’t mean that its untouchable

      1. Respect what you are saying CS but I can tell you from my experience that all or most of this property is considered wetlands or waters of the USA .The EPA, USCOE, Ms.DEQ, and the Ms.DMR collectively have total control over all except that which is considered uplands. Any one of these agencies has the power to keep the property as is with the stroke of a pen. If for instance you could not get DEQ to issue a water quality certification you cannot get the USCOE to issue the necessary permit for any disturbance. My point was is this the best use for CIAP money when so many individuals need to sell what was once their homestead that is no longer buildable due to new regulations. We have already seen so much CIAP $ wasted by the powers that could. I know of many areas that could be purchased and returned to nature areas thus allowing the individual owners to recover something.

        1. I don’t know where you live but I live on the Coast and for the $12 million that the feds have a problem with, I would have had public hearings, sure; but I would have sent out mass mailings and Vietnamese translators and Croatian translators (not to be racist) all over the Point in Biloxi for all your stated reasons. I would also have put notices all over every house and lot on Belle Fountain Beach in Jackson County because i have always thought with the marsh and the lagoon and the sound all meeting there, it’s a nature lover’s paradise and estuary and bird sanctuary, all in one, and anything built there will soon be washed away. That’s, like, just my opinion, man, but how much good could have been done for devastated property owners and the environment with the CIAP money?instead, CIAP purchased post-Katrina ongoing businesses and allowing the lucky owners to keep all the profits with no expenses for almost 2 years, as well as land held by real estate barons for speculation.

  4. The Sun Herald has redeemed itself with its bull dogging tactics of making sure the public has access to public records when Judge Schloegel ruled this week against DMR & Stacey Pickering.

    Who or maybe the question should be, how many big wigs were DMR & Pickering attempting to cover for by not releasing public records to the public? Pickering has it wrong! He is supposed to be helping the people of Mississippi; not the select few he seems to think is his calling.

    Thank you Sun Herald!

  5. I beleive what they did was good but I am still holding a grudge against them for what they did to the commenters.

    For the past month or so I have been getting free newspapers from Sun Herald on various occasions. I simply pick them up and throw them in the trash. It’s going to take a lot more than a few freebies to win me over.

    1. Eye-Spy, I too will never let the cheap ink from any McHearld newspaper touch my fingers again. Someone, somewhere could not handle the truth coming from the anonymous commentary and decided to make it more difficult for people to do so. The Sunherald started strong in the investigation of the DMR scandal but seemed to, for some reason, back off with the exception of the ongoing court action seeking access to the records. We the public still do not know many of the details on the big dollar scam areas like all of the land that was purchased with the CIAP money. Still to this day some properties purchased have just a name with no legal description or location given. I think certain connected people contacted those in charge at the Sunherald and reached an agreement of some kind to limit what was being published. We may never know the truth about a lot of what has taken place but I do know contact was made between certain people and the Sunherald trying to accomplish this. Probably just coincidental that restrictions were then put in place.

      1. Yes, there seems to be a lot of juicy details missing or are hidden from the public about the CIAP land deals. I would be almost certain since this involves government money, there would have been a committee or a ranking board which decided what land would be bought or not.

        1. The board that approved the CIAP land deals probably included Bill Walker, Tina Shumate, Scott Walker, David Harris and Frank Palazzo. Gerald Barber from Madison County sat in an advisory chair. There is just too little info for taxpayers to make informed decisions about what went on so we all have to assume they are crooks misusing the publics money. If they would all come clean and fill in the blanks for us we would probably be able to conclude they are crooks and have misused the publics money.

          1. Maybe they met monthly at the Columns 132 in Biloxi. I heard they had a nice banquet room for private parties after public money. Millions of dollars misused and people died sums up Dr.Billdo Walkers time as director of the DMR.

          2. I am quite sure the list may contain some already very popular people and perhaps someone else that may shock us. Or maybe not at this point in time 😉

          3. I overhead the most interesting tidbid while walking the Peter Anderson Festival. One friend mentioned that a Fed has commented to him the irony that the sitting Executive Director, was going to be indicted himself on Federal charges. When I asked for what, I couldn’t believe the answer. He was actually on the initial board that designed CIAP and decided which land would qualify!!! The Sith Circle is now complete! I wonder if the old acting director is still available…..might be needed soon!!!

          4. That is what I want to know too. Was Jamie Miller on that committee? I also want to know if any of them were around when Trent Lott was ushering the CIAP legislation through so they could tip off their buds to go and get cheap waterfront land. Or prime land, but most of those lots look pretty nasty since many had commercial uses, if they weren’t somebody’s parents house or son’s house or something.

        2. Still to this day some properties purchased have just a name with no legal description or location given.

          Yr fthfl rsrchr wld rprt th fllwng:

          Much is known but not posted, concerning both the CIAP and other related topics.

          Readers of the Purple Birdie comment below are reminded of the following bureaucratic shuffle which took place in the not too distant past.

          The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources will become the administrator of the Mississippi Coastal Impact Assistance Program in 2007.

  6. This is the best damn title in the whole shebang! To all fellow wearers of tin foil hats, (literally and figuratively), Hoo-Ah!

  7. So What is it you want to say “Don’t Make Me Dance”? What is the best title?? I am confused.
    I am happy that the Judge ruled the right way. Thank you ma’am. The Taxpayers appreciate it and won’t forget you for the good job you have done.
    Now, if only Mr. Pickering will get his behind in gear and get this show on the road!!!! I guess they are waiting for Santa to deliver the news….Ho Ho Ho!!!!

    1. My fault, Charlene. I should have emphasized that I meant the title “There really is a reason….” I’m so starved for some connection to the truth, sometimes I read too much into things. I feel like that guy in “Close Encounters” trying to build a mountain out of grits. It’s the same feeling I had about ten years ago, trying to figure out why Jesus and the Apostles caught 153 fish for breakfast. I settled on the Trinity, but the point is sometimes ‘the why’ is a hard taskmaster, and makes you look nuts.
      I do believe in the interconnectedness of all of our issues, from Jeffco to Ocean Springs. And while I have two small personal stakes in getting answers to the Jackson County saga, (the Walkers and Culumber), mine are bit parts in the larger corruption issues. I feel very tied emotionally to the whistle-blowing team over there, and count your wins and losses as my own. To those people in the world who are still allowed to ask who, when, where, how and why, I salute you.

      1. I forgot to add one thought. If we did not have the primo web-sleuthing Handshoe and Slabbed, the only avenue where it’s safe to speak freely, where would we be, on that nasty topix? Good God!

        1. Amen fellow commenter. The powers that be would love to force Facebook on all of us. No thanks. Three cheers to Doug and speaking freely.

          1. Ya and don’t forget to donate to the cause. Doug needs new shoes now and then and he hates to prostitute himself for ads (I asked him) so make it rain.

            1. Excellent advice and now is an excellent time to donate. There have been a couple of you guys send donate to the cause recently, which I greatly appreciate.

  8. I have also heard of the current Executive Director’s involvement in the ever expanding scandal with CIAP and he has self professed his participation in the now infamous Marine Foundation fishing trips. And many of the co-conspirators are voicing their indignation and using their political clout to suppress the truth of their actions. I too walked the festival and what clamorous information was spoken of. DMR Executive Director was on this CIAP committee along with the Fisheries Director. The watch at the Bolton Building states that no one will apply for this position because they will be eliminated during the legislative session along with all those that cooperated against the entrenched political party. The environmental commissioner will not be appointed until the oil and seismic activities are approved. Much more administrative action will soon occur.

  9. Still to this day some properties purchased have just a name with no legal description or location given.

    Yr fthfl rsrchr wld rprt th fllwng:

    Much is known but not posted, concerning both the CIAP and other related topics.

    Readers of the Purple Birdie comment below are reminded of the following bureaucratic shuffle which took place in the not too distant past.

    The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources will become the administrator of the Mississippi Coastal Impact Assistance Program in 2007.

    1. Stacey Pickering said the other day after the judge told them to bring the records to her court “The court has spoken and we will move forward. We are committed to protecting the taxpayers of Ms. and will continue to do that as the investigation of the DMR is brought to a conclusion.” Then he called the FEDS and said “I need a little help hear protecting my friends and supporters” probably. Stacey Pickering is just another cheap suit with an R behind his name at some podium spewing whatever he thinks makes him look official. He could care less about the people of this state unless they are his money supporters If he did he would never have agreed to let the people at the Marine Resource Foundation walk away from the misuse of over a million in taxpayers dollars with out even a slap on the hands . At the same time he runs for the camera to announce the indictment of some working clerk for a few thousand dollars. This is who he really is, a two sided party man protecting the brand. He is disgusting.

    2. For some reason I get the feeling there is something huge contained within these records. Why else would a massive “nuclear defense system” be place around these particular records? Its almost like trying to track down an embedded Al Qaeda leader in the mountains of Afghanistan.

      1. The collusion between the Office of the State Auditor and US Attorney on this suggests we are close to indictments being issued. And yes there must be solid evidence of criminal activity in those records for this to occur.

  10. Who is Pickering attempting to cover for by not releasing those records deemed open for public viewing by Judge Schloegel? What is so important in those records that Pickering will most likely lose his any thoughts of a reelection bid? It makes no sense to the average person at the lengths DMR, Pickering and those that are involved in this debacle just how far they will go to cover their tracks. Will the FBI ever serve indictments in my lifetime?

  11. I’m hoping the Deacon can help me with this question. When exactly did we move from the ideal of protecting widows and orphans to producing them?

    I live in the hills
    You live in the valleys
    And all that you know are those blackbirds
    You rise every morning
    Wondering what in the world will the world bring today
    Will it bring you joy or will it take it away
    And every step you take is guided by
    The map of the light on the left and the blackbird’s cry
    You will walk in good company
    The valley is dark
    The burgeoning holding
    The stillness obscured by their judging
    You walk through the shadows
    Uncertain and surely hurting
    Deserted by the blackbirds and the staccato of the staff
    And though you trust the Light towards which you wend your way
    Sometimes you feel all that you wanted has been taken away
    You will walk in good company
    I love the best of you
    You love the best of me
    Though it is not always easy
    Lovely? Lonely?
    We will walk in good company
    The Shepherd upright and flowing
    You see…

    By Jane Siberry as sung by KD Lang

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