It has been unusually busy here today in advance of the holiday weekend but I’d like to take a second to let everyone know that I confirmed the recent incidents being cited in comments to yesterday’s post on Slabbed’s hacker. The comments in question start here which involve adultery, porn on state computers along with various and sundry other peccadilloes.
As for Slabbed that Horne contract has remained stuck in my craw since early June. We got to dig down on it just a bit deeper and we will.
What would appear at first blush to be a straight forward post has gotten a tad more complicated so what I am going to do is identify what the crackerjack Slabbed Investigative Journalism team found plus a bit more and then put some more meat on the bones in subsequent posts.
I guess the first question would involve identifying Waldo and for that we turn to this Google search string to accomplish that. I used Google instead of homegrown Slabbed links to illustrate that the gang at Frontier Strategies has attracted a good bit of statewide media attention and that attention has not necessarily been positive. I’ll let Wayne Weidie explain via this post on the Weidie Report dating back almost a year ago concerning the bruising primary battle between Senator Thad Cochran and State Senator Chris McDaniel that left the incumbent Senator in second place behind the newcomer McDaniel. Here is a snippet:
Poor campaign decision from the start
For his campaign leadership, Sen. Cochran had Kirk Sims and Josh Gregory fostered on him by Sen. Roger Wicker and Gov. Bryant. Sims was Bryant’s chief of staff before he was named campaign manager. No small factor is that Sims is Wicker’s son-in-law. Gregory has always been the man behind the throne for Bryant, and Gregory is already looking for his next horse to ride into the Governor’s Mansion after Bryant presumably is re-elected and serves his second term.
While the Cochran campaign had other able campaign professionals, by any measure, the management of the campaign was a disaster.
For people that make their living doing political coms consulting, the golden children of the Boss Hogg administration have not fared as well since Boss’s coattails departed the Govs mansion back in 2011 and the above criticism, from an well known, seasoned political operative had to sting. And yet it is more than just giving bad campaign advice as issues involving the maturity certain of the GOP golden boys have also been raised right here on these pages but the focus of my search was for Frontiersman Joe Cloyd and his long rumored no bid contracts with Mississippi DMR that morphed into a long term project.
You see folks normally you’d head straight over to the Mississippi State Transparency portal and pull up all the contracts by state agency and then locate the one you’re looking for – wham, bam, boom its done. But nothing connected with Joe Cloyd ever came up thus the issue became one of resolving the information imparted to Slabbed by sources in the Bolton Building Janitorial Department, an impeccable source of information on all things DMR without cluing the General in as to which sanitation engineer was leaking Slabbed New Media. Continue reading Where’s Waldo Part 1: Hiding in the no-bid DMR Consulting Contracts that’s where
Welp folks, I got another Department of Marine Resources care package that contained some pictures, including a few Silver Dollar group photos. But what was most interesting was a tip I received on the Slabbed Action Line involving alleged family-blood and/or in-law relationships in the current DMR senior management team but the tip was not specific enough for me to pursue.
I’ll see what I can develop and present from the care package and tip.
There is something about the narrative that does not make sense and that would be why it wasn’t the House version of the funding split that was not ultimately passed if the versions between the House and Senate bills were so radically different. Has Hancock County’s allocation of Tideland’s money been cut overall? If the answer to the second question is no, then perhaps the respective Hizzoners should have engaged the process in the State Senate.
At the bottom of this is a failure of leadership and that stretches beyond eliminating the wave break from the construction plans for the Bay Harbor.
Per Anita Lee’s story on yesterday’s sentencing of Joe Ziegler, Ziegler claimed he had nothing to do with the foundation but instead was the DMR lobbyist for the legislature. Trinity Walker begs to differ. I’m hoping some of you old DMR salts can help reconcile the difference.
This is what happens when, by design, the oversight board for an agency is structured to be captured out of the gate and people with an economic interest in specific outcomes allow their personal financial interests to trump the public interest:
Of course the people with the economic interest in specific outcomes were the same people who brought the public Billy Walker and his reign of thievery. That said there is one person on the CMR who is actually looking out for more than just himself:
Those same concerns were echoed by DMR scientists, as the CMR considered a limited dredging season this year.
“The areas where there’s a high recruitment and a good spat set, I think we need to look at limiting those,” said the DMR’s chief scientific officer, Dr. Kelly Lucas.
Commissioner Ernie Zimmerman said he couldn’t go against that recommendation.
“What scares me to death is letting these fishermen go make a dollar today and take two dollars out of their pocket next year,” said Commissioner Zimmerman.
Cuevas also said, “The department was being run like it had no oversight and the people in charge ran it like they owned it.”
That one statement sums up the DMR scandal better than anything written before or since. Why Governor Bryant and his legislature refuses to require every state agency to be audited annually defies the imagination…that is until one logically concludes that what we saw at DMR more than likely repeats across every state agency.
As for Cuevas, the man who knew where all the bodies were buried ended up with the best deal.
There is the media and then the media behind the media if that makes sense. The local environmental movement has a wonderful email list where pretty much everyone including those in officialdom are included in the missives.
I’m not gonna kiss and tell beyond saying that as per DMR Executive Director Jamie Miller the electronics aboard the Conservationist were saved. Meantime speculation swirls as to the cause of the accident.
Latin speculatus, past participle of speculari to spy out, examine, from specula lookout post, from specere to look, look at
Following the Latin word specula in turn leads here, which in turn leads us back to the 5th floor at the Bolton Building but there’s more as in more speculation, because people in the environmental community are openly wondering why the Sun Herald’s DMR beat Krewe has seemingly disappeared. This is a subject which I have no knowledge whatsoever but I do have some insight because I’ve been around the media business long enough to understand how it sometimes works.
Those that want the benefit of that insight should click here. I do not have time to fool with it but the answer could be just a public records request away for any of you that might be motivated to find out for certain.
What we do know is the DMR boat was moving Oysters from the polluted waters of the Pascagoula river to the oyster reefs that the CMR routinely allows to be overfished to the point where they are no longer self sustaining. I bet the amount of tax money that is spent on repopulating overfished oyster reefs does not justify the economic impact and I think the economic theory favors that hypnosis.
Now I wasn’t there yesterday when the boat capsized but my various peeks at the Mississippi sound yesterday from here in the Bay did not reveal it to be very choppy, especially for a 65 foot boat. As Eye-Spy points out there has been lots of turnover at the DMR since Miller time began. I am not certain we’ll ever get a straight up account of what caused the accident.