Monday Open: Advocate Series on Corporate Welfare rolls out

This is a topic whose time for exploration across the South is really past due. That said Gordon Russell and the gang at the Advocate put out a whopper of a first installment on Louisiana’s corporate welfare programs, which are being funded off the backs of its colleges and universities:

Special Report: Giving away Louisiana ~ The Advocate

Locally the pension disaster at the Singing River Hospital system continues to pop up in the news. A second bite at the subject here on Slabbed is past due.

In any event here are a couple more links starting with the MDOC scandal:

Benjamin Story Raises More Questions ~ Jackson Jambalaya

Conservative Activists Hint at Undercover Stunt Targeting Mary Landrieu ~ Elizabeth Crisp

Finally the local GOP is formally disavowing Louisiana PSC candidate Forest Wright, whose RINO baggage was first rolled out here on Slabbed back in September in response to party faithful contacting me. With PSC Candidate Eric Skrmetta being endorsed in commercials by folks like Steve Scalise, Forest Wright is now on the defensive with ads like the following hitting the airways:

In response to Wright’s ads alleging Skrmetta is corrupt, Team Skrmetta went into the CDC and got themselves a temporary restraining order on some of the more over the top Wright ads:

Click to obtain complaint
Click to obtain complaint and TRO

Finally speaking of that old RINO post long time democrat turned republican Johnny Lee, relying on a careers worth of local political connections, will likely be the next First Parish Court Judge.

7 thoughts on “Monday Open: Advocate Series on Corporate Welfare rolls out”

  1. Jack Donahue sounds like such a free market guy in the Advocate article. It would be nice to know how he has voted on the individual tax breaks.

    1. Notice, however, the usual list of suspects including LABI (which in reality is Louisiana Assisted Business & Industry) and progressives who over decades have fought against streamlining the tax system precisely because government has much power when it can pick the winners and losers. Given the clout of these groups, enabled by the courthouse crowd of grifters and kleptocrats, the Advocate stories are nice, but good luck with all of that.

    1. JR, yeah he definitely took advantage of that tax break. Not sure if he ever had to pay up. I guess that’s a question for Fitzmorris.

  2. Some time ago the public was assured that SRHS was no DMR. “We are not even close to DMR Brice, okay? We are not a DMR,” said hospital trustee, Morris Strickland, “And for someone to say we’re like DMR is a travesty on our employees and is unfair on our employees. And I’ve had more employees call me, crying about the fact we were compared to DMR.” So said Trustee Strickland not too long before he was forced to resign.

    These claims were not necessarily believed. One feature of the DMR Scandal was the widespread nepotism and cronyism from the top down. Examples were seen in both the DMR’s hiring, and it’s contracting and outsourcing of work to friends and neighbors. The friends and family plan method of operation is surprisingly widespread. It serves as a flashing warning sign for the taxpayer to bend over.

    Rumors abound that some of this may have gone on at SRHS. Recently it was alleged that Supervisor Cumbest’s wife has been employed at SRHS and that such employment while Supervisor Cumbest serves as a supervisor could be contrary to more than one state ethics opinion. Supervisor Cumbest has not exactly been the loudest advocate of openness with respect to the SRHS operations and/or problem solving. It is enough to make a curious person wonder if there might be something else. Could there be some other reason Supervisor Cumbest opposes disclosure? ” February 2, 2015 Sun Herald Jackson County supervisors Monday approved a resolution in support of Senate legislation requiring publicly-owned hospital board meetings be open to the public….Supervisor President Barry Cumbest did not support the resolution.”

    What happens if you give the Cumbest family tree a good shake? Do any cronies fall out?

    There were Cumbests in Jackson County before it was Jackson County, so lets hop on the internet for a trip back to the days of Spanish land grants. There is a lot of history, but you will have to read the links and do some research for yourself to get the complete picture. Since I know what I think I might have found, the quotes and links are limited to the relationships of immediate interest. Further research and insider comments may reveal other things to look at.

    The first Cumbest in Jackson County might have been Simon Cumbest, born about 1755 in Virginia. “In 1799 Simon made claim for a Spanish Land Grant, on the Pascagoula River. He removed from the St. Augustine, Florida to the North Gulf Coast.”
    Simon Cumbest’s family- wife: “His wife was Mary Eliza-beth, but the Graham family Bible listed her name as Mary Eve.”
    Simon Cumbest’s children-4th child: “Catherine Cumbest born 1797 Spanish Florida.”

    Catherine Cumbest married Capt. Francis Cunningham. They had a son John Cunningham born January 4, 1815 in Jackson County. “John Cunningham is the son of Capt Francis Cunningham and Catherine Cumbest who married on March 7, 1814.”
    John Cunningham first wife was Martha Ellen Lyons. “Children of Martha Ellen Lyons and John Cunningham married March 27, 1840”

    The sixth child of John and Martha Ellen is the one to look at.
    “Virginia A. Cunningham b 1-6-1853 d 1-18-1941 m F. Delmas Cronier on August 26, 1869”

    SAY WHAT? A Cronier in the Cumbest family tree? Say it ain’t so! Well genealogy can be confusing and just because it is on the internet doesn’t mean it is true. All sorts of people post this stuff and the quality probably varies a lot depending on who posts it. Anyway, some marriage in 1869 is a long way back and who knows which Croniers and Cumbests this might be. Better see where this goes before jumping to conclusions.

    The ninth child of F. Delmas Cronier is the one to look at.
    “F. Delmas Cronier and V. Bama Cunningham Cronier’s children are: Marvin Zeno Cronier 11-25-1890 – 12-8-1919 m Salema Coleman”

    Marvin Zeno and Salema Virginia Coleman Cronier’s oldest child is the one to look at.
    “Sidney Delmas (“S.D”) Cronier is the oldest child of Marvin Zeno Cronier Sr. and Salema Virginia (Lema) Coleman Cronier Cunningham…Children of S.D. Cronier and Gwendolyn Dickens Cronier…4. Allen Lee Cronier”

    Well that’s interesting. A Mississippi Supreme Court decision concerning a person injury traffic accident also turned up. Cronier v. Denson No. 44416 198So.2d 252 (1967) Mrs. Gwendolyn Cronier, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. James Denson, Defendant-Appellee. Cumbest, Cumbest, O’Barr & Shaddock, Pascagoula for appellant..
    “Allen Cronier, plaintiff’s eighteen year old son, testified he was driving his mother’s automobile and had followed..” v DENSON

    About now you might say something like “Ben Dover, this seems really weak. A marriage in the 1860s and a traffic accident in the 1960s? Did the Cumbests even know they were representing some sort of distant relation if they actually are related? Even if Supervisor Cumbest and Trustee Cronier are related they might not even know it. That’s a pretty distant relationship. Besides, Supervisor Cumbest didn’t appoint Trustee Cronier the first time, he just reappointed him. There must be something else otherwise what a waste of time.”

    HOWEVER recall several statements and actions by Supervisor Cumbest. First the controversy about Trustee Cronier’s residence. The Sun Herald reported “Allen Cronier has a homestead exemption on State Line Road property in Moss Point, according to Jackson County records. He also has a homestead exemption on a Mobile County home on Fawn Circle in Grand Bay AL, according to tax records. Tax laws in both states require that a home be the primary residence in order to receive the exemptions. Mississippi law says members of a county-owned hospital board must live in the county where the hospital is located.”

    “County Supervisor Cumbest appointed Cronier to the board (re- appointed) and is satisfied the trustee lives in Jackson County. Cumbest said cronier has done an exceptional job as trustee and…Cumbest said he had been told about Cronier’s double homestead exemption. “What I do know for sure is that he is filing homestead in Jackson County,” Cumbest said. “If he has a problem in Alabama, that’s for him to look at. It concerns me some, but what concerns me more is the hospital.

    “Allen Cronier

  3. Continuing

    Then there was the January 13 2015 resolution the Jackson County Supervisors passed demanding all supervisor appointed SRHS trustees resign. “Supervisors Monday approved a resolution asking for the SRHS trustees they appointed to step down, effective immediately.” Also of note: “Board of Supervisors president Barry Cumbest voted against the resolution, saying he supports his trustee. Allen Cronier. ‘ I know where his heart is, ‘ Cumbest said, though he noted Cronier indicated he’d resign if asked to do so. ”

    So apparently Supervisor Cumbest would have the public believe that he possesses some insight both into the previous actions of trustee Cronier and his heart too. So maybe they have known each for a while, whether or not they are related or know that they are related.

    Oh one more thing. when viewing the information at the findagrave links, note that many of them (including the one for John Cunningham where his daughter married a Cronier) were created by an “Allen Cronier.” So for some reason an Allen Cronier has at least a passing interest in the Cumbest family tree.
    Like you say sometimes say when coon hunting…TREED!

    Any mistakes in transcription or fact are unintentional- no need to make things up in such a target rich environment! Submit corrections to the slabbed blog.


  4. Ben Dover :

    I thought the biblical Genesis of Abraham Cumbest I previously gave was a more complete family tree of the Cumbest family but you gave it a good try. He,He, He

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