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Bobby Harrison’s article Tuesday on the Legislature paying attorney Mike Wallace $60,222.01 to defend it against a lawsuit involving Initiative 42 is quite ironic given the truth behind the suit.

Harrison wrote:

“Wallace was hired after Adrian Shipman, a mother of two in the Oxford Public School District, filed a lawsuit contesting the title given to the legislative alternative to a citizen-sponsored education funding initiative… Shipman was represented by 42 For Better Schools, a private group that is advocating for the citizen-sponsored Initiative 42 designed to enhance the state’s commitment to public education...

...Patsy Brumfield, a spokeswoman for 42 For Better Schools, said, ‘this $60,000 expense paid by the people of Mississippi…is enough for two first-year teachers or 600 textbooks or 200 classroom computers for our schools.’”

Yes, you read that right. Patsy Brumfield (bless her heart) of 42 For Better Schools is upset that the legislature had to pay the lawyer defending against the lawsuit that 42 For Better Schools supported. This is like someone who killed their parents asking for mercy from the court on account of being an orphan.

Oh, and by the way, the legislature won at the Supreme Court, overturning the county Court ruling - the court in the same county pro42ers want to have appropriating your tax dollars should 42 pass and remove the Legislature’s authority by way of general law.

But there is another irony some have missed.

Where was the lawyer for the State of Mississippi? Where was Attorney General Jim Hood when his client, the Legislature, needed his defense?

Harrison’s article explains:

“Attorney General Jim Hood did not challenge [Judge] Kidd’s decision, saying he had no problem with the new ballot title.”

Apparently, Hood’s dedication to his clients in the Legislature disappeared when Republicans gained the majority.

Here’s a blast from the past (2008) from the award winning YP Memory Division: Hood says hands are tied again, withdraws from suit against Gov. Barbour

Much like his decision not to file state charges against the attorneys who pleaded guilty to a pair of judicial bribery schemes, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is claiming a conflict of interest prevents him from defending Gov. Haley Barbour in a Medicaid lawsuit.

Hood, a Democrat, told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger that he must protect the interests of other branches of the state’s government, a stance Barbour, a Republican, called “absurd.”

A group of hospitals are suing Barbour for attempting to increase the statutory Gross Revenue Assessment they pay. Barbour is trying to fix a $90 million Medicaid shortfall.

“I have to make sure that claims made by one branch of government do not violate the powers of the other two branches,” Hood told the Jackson paper Monday.

“Due to the specific issues involved in this case, we would not be able to raise defenses that could conflict with the powers of my other two clients – the legislative and judicial branches.”...

...Now, Barbour will have to hire a private attorney to fight the hospitals.

“Neither the legislative nor judicial branches are parties to the lawsuit, so it is absurd for Jim Hood to suggest some sort of conflict as his reason for begging off the case,” Barbour said in a statement.

“Good lawyers do not turn their backs on their clients at the last minute. But this is not the first time Attorney General Hood has done so since I’ve been governor. It is a shame the taxpayers of Mississippi will have to pay extra to be represented because Jim Hood has changed his mind again about who he represents.”


Just so we all understand who Attorney General Jim Hood represents:

- He doesn’t represent the Governor when there is a Democratic Legislature.

- He doesn’t represent the Legislature when they are Republicans.

- He DOES represent a former campaign contributor convicted of judicial bribery (who Hood refused to prosecute) in his bid to keep the $14 million Hood gave him AGAINST a Republican State Auditor who sought to recover it on behalf of taxpayers.

And just ‘cause we’re keeping score, Ms. Brumfield, that $14,000,000 would have paid for 140,000 textbooks or 46,666 classroom computers.

Oh, the joy that is Mississippi politics.


Posted September 9, 2015 - 8:34 am

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