I was there on business just a few weeks ago and actually know a few of the inhabitants. I mention this because the Sun Herald has a connection or two there as well as Donna Harris and photojournalist John Fitzhugh showed up yesterday at Bolton while a few folks from the investigative division of the State Auditor’s office were holed up in DMR executive director Bill Walker’s office going through his files and computer hard disks.
Naturally the rumor mill is going full tilt and I shook the tree to get the low down, which I did on an off the record basis. As the comments to Harris’ story illustrate, most everyone knows Bill Walker has double dealt most every chance he’s had while at DMR enriching himself and his cronies at the taxpayer trough for years. There was the Cedar Point land swindle involving David Harris and Ben Stone funded by the Jackson County taxpayers for instance. More recently we have Walker and DMR playing Santa Claus for Harris on a sweat heart land deal to create green space on the Ocean Springs waterfront, bailing Harris out of a previously money losing investment with taxpayer funded largess. And since the oil spill we’ve watched Walker try to get control over Mississippi’s portion of the BP fines via the DMR, no doubt with an eye towards self enrichment as that issue almost scuttled his renomination as DMR Director earlier this year.
Let’s be clear, the Investigators with the OSA are not the FBI and the OSA typically pursues civil rather than criminal remedies. That said I do not think they’ll have to look very hard to figure out what DMR is about in its new role as Santa to the politically connected. To the extent Walker is highly connected in statewide GOP circles, the fact this investigation was green lit by the powers that be is telling. Stay tuned.
Around a week ago I spoke with a new reader who paid me the ultimate compliment IMHO when telling me I distilled the subject matter and made things understandable. I tell you folks no one in these parts can hold a candle to T-P OpEd columnist James Gill along those lines and today’s column illustrates why. It is about the post Katrina Danziger Bridge shootings, a subject we’ve occasionally blogged on. Here is a snippet:
The latest prosecution motion can hardly do much to taint the jury pool, because it is good and tainted already. Media coverage has been so exhaustive that, if you can find a potential juror who comes to the case fresh, you have found an idiot.
Geoff Pender has a great story in today’s Sun Herald on the Mississippi 4th Congressional District race. In the piece Pender debunks many of the BS talking points that have been repeated to the point that smaller minds often quote them as gospel such as the meme that Gene has not risen in the ranks given his seniority. The sad lesson here is that simply doing your job well isn’t good enough when the other political party results to telling lies and half-truths to gain traction. Unfortunately too many people sleep walk through life and do too little due diligence when picking candidates to support the result of which is they end up as dupes, voting against their own best interests. Continue reading “James Gill strikes again plus Geoff Pender sets the record straight.”
In Mississippi it is called the GOB or Good Ol’ Boy network and today at the post insurance forum print media luncheon the topic of the 1990s era “Cedar Point Land Deal” in Ocean Springs came up in context of the discussion of the congressional race between Gene Taylor and Steven Palazzo. It came up because candidate Palazzo’s dad, Frank Palazzo, was part owner of a parcel of land along with politically connected Gulfport lawyer Ben Stone for all of one minute before they resold it to Jackson County for $3 million dollars netting a cool $1.5 million in the process. This in turn caused the folks at Fire Gene Taylor.com to conclude they could not support Mr Palazzo for Congress as they consider him a political hack. In support of that the Mississippi Informer has done a bang up job compiling all the old Sun Herald reporting on the subject. Here is an excerpt from those reports all of which are well worth reading that the Informer was kind enough to highlight almost at the bottom of the page:
Frustrated county grand jurors, who spent five months examining the deal, said they failed to find enough evidence to indict anyone. But they urged county officials to keep looking “for information that may convince a subsequent grand jury to conclude otherwise.”
Jackson County bought 214 acres in November 1995 from two Gulfport land speculators who doubled their money in one day. Taxpayers spent $3 million on the land.
One month later, the county gave the land to the University of Southern Mississippi to expand the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. But USM had no concrete plans, timetable or money to expand the lab.
“The whole thing was rotten in my estimation,” Attorney General Mike Moore said Friday, “but not being able to find anyone with a bag of cash who made a bribe to anyone made an indictment difficult.”
That Mike Moore quote was priceless and here is why. Moore’s name also came up a good bit in the Dick Scruggs Judicial bribery scandal and conservative author/blogger Alan Lange laid out a large amount of evidence against Moore, especially his role in a certain case in the Jackson County Court System as it related to the tobacco litigation. Chances are Moore was dicked up in that land deal in one way shape or fashion as I offer this old story from Continue reading “I mentioned a few concerns some well intentioned folks on the political right have about GOP Congressional candidate Steven Palazzo. Slabbed adds to the discussion.”