Late last week, Kingfish over at Jackson Jambalaya unearthed an email sent between an unnamed Democrat lawyer and former MS-03 Democratic candidate Vicki Slater. Slater happens to be the current president of the Mississippi Association of Justice (AKA the Mississippi Trial Lawyers).
Though the author of the email is not named, they’re obviously an insider of the highest order. The thought process is fascinating, and I thought we’d break it down paragraph by paragraph (in italics) as it is probably the most candid exchange about the inner workings of Mississippi Democratic politics that we’ve seen in quite some time.
Fortunately, I speak “Democrat” so allow me to do the honors.
Vicki: I think you would be a great Congresswoman. I would vote twice if I could. However, I hope we can take a historical perspective and determine whether a run at this moment is best for you, the Party and those other non-partisan candidates that we support. I am copying xxxxx xxxx with this e-mail and hoping he will contradict me where I am wrong.
Translation: We need you to get out of the way.
First and foremost, the last competitive race in this district was Ronnie Shows, an incumbent Congressman with a very moderate voting record and excellent name ID, who worked on the race for two years and spent $1.5 million (not counting independent expenditures). He lost by either 28 or 32 percentage points. Really. 2 to 1. This district is so unwinnable for a Democrat that I have not given anyone a nickel since Ronnie lost. I promise you the Crymes/Cupit/Liston group will not write checks. It is the reddest district in the reddest state in the U.S.
Translation: You’re done before you start and make no mistake about it, I will make sure no one helps you.
Second, although I am not positive it was in the same year (may have been) the other races around that district (McRae’s race) cost Jim Brantley the COA position. Too easy to link them. Too conservative a district. Because of your contributions (see below) and your position as the current MAJ president, the Republicans will not even have to lie when they link you/trial lawyers to Flip and to Earle. The sheets won’t lie. This will fire up the tort reform base and maybe even bring in some additional outside money for them. I even think it will help Romney, who will own this state, because at least of few of these folks will stay home before they vote for a Mormon. But they will vote against you (and press the Romney button along the way).
Translation: Flip Phillips and Earle Banks are who the trial lawyers want in the Mississippi Supreme Court. In fact, (Richard T.) Flip Phillips was the President of the Trial Lawyers in 1993-1994. If the current head of the trial lawyers runs a race she – you – won’t win (remember the author already said they would make sure no help would come), it would have a spillover effect and make it easy to track the money between the trial lawyers and Phillips/Banks.
Third, this conservative area will build fires with your contribution record. It’s what keeps me (along with my prickly personality) from running for office. I bet you gave Obama money—the devil. I bet you gave McRae money—Beelzebub. Hillary Clinton. Bill Clinton. John Kerry? Johnny Dupree? It’s the classic ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ political nightmare. Because you have been such an awesome supporter of Jesus-like causes, the Jesus crowd will nail you to a cross.
Translation: You have a paper trail . . . and it sucks politically. We need less obvious supporters to run as candidates to fool the electorate.
Fourth, getting stomped is not the good fight. All it does is reinforce the stranglehold the Red Barons have on our state. It discourages Democratic fundraising. It does not polish our brand.
Translation: Our political party is totally inept and up a creek. The only way we can win is by disguising our political interests in “non-partisan” races for folks like Banks and Phillips.
My friend, your candidacy for this position will cost Banks any chance of winning. It will hurt Phillips. And it won’t faze Gregg Harper, who could stay in Washington for the next two months, spend a million dollars and beat you by 20 points. He could beat me by 35 points, even if I spent a million of my own money.
Translation: Your potential contributions and Banks’ contributions would likely look identical (and you’d probably take needed funds from him). And there would probably be enough names that your list and Phillips’ list would have in common to cause him real problems, too.
I hope that you and the Party will give these matters considerable thought.
Translation: Time to take one for the team and stay at the house.
This sort of thinking is not new, my fellow Mississippians. Pulling the wool over the eyes of voters is how Mississippi Democrats and their liberal supporters have operated for years. But now, thanks to new media and an engaged few, such antics are being unveiled; they can no longer sweep such liberal political engineering under the rug.
(Special thanks to Kingfish for making this available and allowing me to repost.)