Some pointers for the uninitiated that have never dealt with blowhard Koolaid drinkers like Rep. Jeffrey Guice

Folks, the story of Nicole Nichols trying to approach State Representative Jeffrey Guice is illustrative in a myriad of ways the main one being your average State Legislator is out of touch with the needs of their constituents. In this case we’ve come to a day in the poorest state in the Union where the less fortunate, in this case a family with a breadwinner that works two jobs, are regarded as freeloaders for using state resources in the form of medicaid to keep their Type 1 Diabetes stricken daughter alive.  In the case of the now blocked HB 1523, these same out of touch legislators voted against their own constituents by passing blatantly discriminatory legislation of the type guaranteed to create a backlash against the hospitality industry costing us visitors and the associated tax dollars in the process to go with the self inflicted black eye.  You gotta wonder if these folks have any clue how their average constituent lives and for most of them the answer is a resounding no.

But that doesn’t mean your average $tate legi$lator i$ incapable of communicating. They love communication$ in fact, ju$t a$k Phil Bryant’$ wunderkind Joe Cloyd and Josh Gregory, who routinely $core five and $ix figure no bid communication$ contract$ from $tate governmental agencie$. Unlike the working poor, those guy$ are not regarded as freeloader$ in the rece$$e$ of the $tate Capital $o they must be able to reach the average $tate Legi$lator in a way not widely known to the uninitiated such as Mrs. Nichols.

Now with Mississippi’s campaign finance laws being what they are the best way I can tell to approach a $tate legi$lator for help i$ with a bag filled with ca$h. If you are one of the 47% of the overall populace that doesn’t have $400 laying around to cover an emergency room visit (the number is certain much higher in Mississippi) or pay off contribute to the campaign of your state legislator, do not despair because all is not lost. If I may be so bold as to suggest that Mrs. Nichols offer to communicate via no bid contract on the State’s behalf (with the obligatory campaign finance return of 50% of the loot) her financial worries would be over and the legislative class would hold her in much higher regard.

Just a thought folks, please feel free to add yours in comments.

Friday Omnibus: Whoever picked Prince for their 2016 dead pool is going rake in some dough

I happened to be on Twitter yesterday when word of Prince’s death broke and when I was not tweeting I enjoyed seeing the reaction on social media, which included much wailing and gnashing of teeth. I’m personally a Prince agnostic so I wasn’t moved to grieve though I did wonder about an annual Dead pool some friends do instead of playing the lottery thus the post title. There was however, one tweet on the subject that stood out above the rest but since the Slabbed twitter account has an under age 18 component I didn’t re-tweet it. I am however happy to embed it below the jump: Continue reading “Friday Omnibus: Whoever picked Prince for their 2016 dead pool is going rake in some dough”

“These people do not know what they are doing” Part 2: Port n Harborgate – The Docs

But first we’re going to put a bit more meat on the bones of the Hancock County Development Commission fiasco:

Questions surfaced concerning who would represent the city on the Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission. In December, Council Chairman Joey Boudin – apparently without anyone else’s knowledge – wrote a letter to the governor’s office recommending local businessman Danny Johnson for the position. Johnson stood up in a public forum asking for other council members blessings as a nominee stating that “a recommendation is not a vote for or against anyone.”

However, the latest iteration of the commission was sworn in last month, so the point may be moot.

The four returning members are Robert Kane, Realtor with John McDonald Realty; Charles Gallagher, retired Navy captain and Ingalls Shipbuilding engineer; Rocky Pullman, captain of marine resources at Stennis Space Center; and Sherri Carr Bevis, the South Mississippi service coordinator for Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. New commissioners are Daryl Cornell, CEO of Triton Systems, the ATM manufacturer; Paula Jordan, office manager for Jordan Chiropractic Center; David Malley, contractor and real estate developer; and Realtor Jon W. Ritten Jr. of Coldwell Banker Coast Delta Realty.

As I mentioned Tuesday the legalities were not at all clear but after speaking with a couple of folks and finding the right Mississippi Code Section it appears the Board of Supervisors has the five appointments with the Governor having the other two ostensibly, as recommended respectively by the Cities of Waveland and Bay St Louis.

This being the case logic would dictate that someone that has never been appointed to the Board can’t be sworn in unless there is a bums rush exception in the law to which I am unaware but that would be for the lawyers to straighten out I guess. In any event who gives a shit if we just make up the Governor’s appointments ignoring the enabling legislation  in the process and this brings me back to this continuing series of posts and the quotation in the post title from Monday night’s meeting that sums it up on so many levels:

These people do not know what they are doing

But that is OK folks because Bay St Louis is the coolest small town in the entire Milky Way Galaxy, cooler even than Rigel II. Let’s go ride the trolley, drink, sing songs and pretend none of this matters.

Continue reading ““These people do not know what they are doing” Part 2: Port n Harborgate – The Docs”

Guest post: Bay Superintendent Responds to Bryant’s State of the State Address

Bay St. Louis Superintendent of Education, Rebecca Ladner responded to Governor Phil Bryant’s State of the State Address last night.

Two of the things she cited the Republicans for were underfunded schools and underpaid workers.

These two points are interesting coming from her when I reflect back on 2010 in her second year as Superintendent in the Bay-Waveland School District. There was a district wide pay cut for all certified employees, and while some long standing employees took as much as 12% to 16% pay cuts on salaries that never exceeded the $30,000 range, she took a 10% cut on her $110,000.00. I don’t remember her complaining about the sad state of her faithful employees then, and how that was going to affect their retirement. So, while she is familiar with underpaid employees, she makes sure administrators are never in that mix. In a community where 78% of the families live at poverty level, some in her administrative staff (including her) make more than some state level elected officials.

As far as underfunded schools, she seems to have lots of local tax dollars to spend in Bay St. Louis. She just doesn’t have any interest in spending it in the classrooms. While teachers have always dug into their own pockets to make sure their classrooms have what they need, Ms. Ladner did manage to find somewhere near a cool million dollars (no one can seem to obtain totals) to spend on field turf for the football stadium.

Yes, the Republicans leave a lot to be desired when it comes to producing an effective educational system in our state, but don’t hold your breath waiting for it to be corrected by Democrats like Rebecca Ladner.

Lana Noonan, Chairman
Hancock County Alliance for Good Government

Slabbed welcomes all points of view on the topics we cover. Our readers can submit guest columns to Slabbed New Media. While we allow anonymous comments on the blog, guest columnist must submit a verifiable name and contact information in order to be published.

Don’t make her come up there……

She ranks me Phil, and your Gov boots won’t impress her:

LANA NOONAN: Bryant has neither a plan nor a clue ~ Sun Herald Letters to the Editor

In rural Mississippi my experience is the very identity of the local community is completely intertwined with their local public schools.  I would not monkey around with that lightly, especially for cheap partisan political kicks.

Latest boondoggle proposed by Phil Bryant and the Mississippi Development Authority: Jackson Movie Studio

God help everyone hold onto their wallets because the Movie Industry is targeting the Mississippi treasury after successfully looting Louisiana’s with taxpayer funded boondoggle. Geoff Pender promotes the scheme for the Clarion Ledger:

Adam Rosenfelt, a film producer and president of Element Pictures with more than 15 feature films to his credit, including “Mr. Brooks” and “Waiting,” wants to create Mississippix Studios, based in Jackson.

And, he wants to create a new program of film incentives that would result in more money coming in to the state, and permanent jobs. Typically film productions are granted tax breaks or other incentives upfront, shoot for a few months then head back to Hollywood with states often seeing little direct financial benefit. Rosenfelt is proposing the state create a loan guarantee program that serves as a “backstop.” If his company is successful, the state pays nothing, and instead gets 10 percent of his profit.

One big clue the latest scheme is gonna be a problem is the guy in Jackson promoting it is:

  1. Spreading a BS story about how much he loves the Mississippi coast which is why he’s been 3 and a half hours away in Jacktown for the past year with his nose up Phil Bryant’s hiney. Bryant, never known for private sector financial acumen was likely sucked right in by the promise of getting to hob nob with Slabbed favorite Bull Durham, who was last seen celebrating his successful shakedown of BP back during the oil spill.
  2. Was a “pioneer in state film incentives, and helped develop Louisiana’s groundbreaking motion picture tax credit program.” This program was groundbreaking in the sheer amount of taxpayer money that has been pissed away into the pockets of people like Rosenfelt, who now splits his time between Los Angeles and Jackson.

In fact pioneering the latest movie industry scheme to fleece the taxpayers is exactly what Rosenfelt is doing in Mississippi because he’d no more live in Jackson, Mississippi than he would Montgomery Alabama if the taxpayers weren’t gonna pay for it some sort of way. Louisiana pissed away over one bllion dollars before people started to ask the critical questions that had not been previously asked about Rosenfelt’s Louisiana film tax credit boondoggle according the Louisiana Budget Project (PDF of their 12 page report can be found here).

One would naturally think that after the financial crash just 5 years ago the problems with Rosenfelt’s scheme would be apparent, especially to Lt. Gov Tate Reeves, who comes from a financial background.  Here are Rosenfelt’s talking points: Continue reading “Latest boondoggle proposed by Phil Bryant and the Mississippi Development Authority: Jackson Movie Studio”

State Auditor Pickering’s fuzzy math under the microscope: Exactly where are all the bucks stopping?

That’s a softball question in the post title because all of the bucks are stopping over at Joe Cloyd’s house for a celebration funded in part by the no bid, $50,000 contract Cloyd scored to supposedly communicate the results of Jamie Miller’s outside CPA firm review of the “culture of corruption” that is the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.

I don’t know about you good folks reading this, but Slabbed New Media did not discern any communication from Team Cloyd on the topic of the review done by Horne CPA group, a connection Michael Newsom brings up today in his column in the Sun Herald. In fact, a seasoned, albeit slightly jaded pundit would observe stuffing money into a political strawman’s pocket via a no bid $50,000 DMR contract is eerily reminiscent of what Slabbed New Media covered back during the depth of the oil spill with our own Magnum hosting a multitude of political fundraisers in close proximity to receiving a multimillion dollar contract with BP to help with governmental relations. True dat, Cloyd is jonesing by comparison with a paltry $50K but Mississippi ain’t BP.

But this is not what has us common folk upset at Auditor Pickering, no siree.  I was glad to see the Sun Herald Editorial Board was bright enough to pick up the problem today despite Auditor Pickering’s sophistry on the subject and it is at this point that I’ll direct everyone back to a post I did in December 2012, Mississippians are being robbed blind by Phil Bryant’s political cronies. Exactly where are all the bucks stopping:

If this had been a school secretary embezzling a few thousand dollars from the Student Activity Fund or a secretary at (insert name of state agency) doing same that person would be, at the minimum put on a leave of absence while the investigation sorted all the dirty deeds out.  If you are a political appointee of Bryant on the other hand you get to keep your job and search for a graceful exit.

This turned out to be somewhat prophetic because I have also observed the State Auditor’s Office was expert at crushing school secretaries that steal a few thousand dollars and there it is for all to see in Auditor Pickering’s 2013 exception report, which includes as a State Auditor’s Office recovery the restitution from Roger Ladner of Hancock County, a case the FBI and US Attorney’s Office investigated and prosecuted. Like the typical political that he is, Pickering will take credit for everything he thinks will make him look good, even the stuff he had nothing to do with. Let’s take a peeksie at the report: Continue reading “State Auditor Pickering’s fuzzy math under the microscope: Exactly where are all the bucks stopping?”

Time to go, know what I mean Vern?

For the second time the Sun Herald has called for a complete house cleaning at the Commission of Marine Resources, a subject which Slabbed has reserved judgment upon until very recently.  With the release of the Horne CPA Group report on the internal control structure of the very troubled Department of Marine Resources it is abundantly clear the very people charged with overseeing the agency and its governance were completely derelict in the discharge of that duty. The taxpayers will get stuck with the bill.

Since the scandal broke the consistent theme from the Commission on Marine Resources has been a Sergeant Schultzian “I know nothing” and I think the gang is being 100% truthful saying that.  It betrays the fact they were simple rubber stamps for Bill Walker.  Later they continued in their role of lackey, this time for Phil Bryant as they conducted the charade of an open hiring process for DMR Executive Director that landed Jamie Miller at DMR.

Another word for a rubber stamp board, Godfather style, is “buffers” and that is the real purpose of the Commission on Marine Resources which is to give the man really responsible for the operation of State Government, the Governor, cover when his cronies are caught with their hands in the cookie jar.  The Board members will point to the fact they are essentially volunteering their time to this state agency and that is true enough.  However it is equally true they are an expensive bunch of volunteers to support with the taxpayer funded freebie deep sea fishing trips and all the other toys that also come with the turf.

This goes way beyond a money issue though money to fund the agency is certainly the topic de jour.  The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, as it is currently structured, is constructed to fail. Since the Governor is really calling the shots, the Commission on Marine Resources should be eliminated, or a new board constructed and empowered to provide proper oversight free from political interference from Jackson save for the power of appointment.  I am not so naive to think the latter will ever happen so the chop shop it is.  There is no way this bunch of bumbling lackeys will ever regain the public’s trust.

Finally I’m certainly aware there is huge uncertainty among the worker bees at DMR, the vast majority of whom are still discharging their job duties at a high level despite the circus show like atmosphere iternerate to hosting monthly an oversight board of know nothing stooges.  At this point in time there should be no reason the agency should not have a firm grasp of exactly where it stands financially.  This needs to be clearly communicated to the employees so the uncertainty is minimized.

Da Noose hangs all the birds with a wire……..

He kills it folks. Must read:

New regime, new network at DMR ~ Michael Newsom

They call it the Mississippi two step. Clean the Trent Lott hogs out of a state agency and replace them with Boss Hogg’s hogs. Classic.

Coming soon, I’ll explain why the good folks in the TEA Party need to join hands with Slabbed’s most famous anarchist Patricia.  Yes, it is a high bar but just like Da Noose, Slabbed does not shy away from tough topics.  😉