General Hood: Channeling the ‘Kingfish’ Huey Long?

Senate Republicans and Gov. Haley Barbour oppose that shift in power and want to maintain the legal wall of separation that the Legislature put between the elected PSC and the appointed Public Utilities Staff after an elected commissioner was convicted of taking bribes from the companies he regulated some 20 years ago.

But the lowest political common denominator is a perceived political alliance between the elected PSC and Hood. For good or ill, true or false, that perception and the existing long-term partisan enmity between Hood and the Republicans is at the root of the PSC budget standoff.

That doesn’t make Democrat Hood’s partisanship any more or less noble than Republican Barbour’s. But it’s an honest, rational explanation why about 85 PSC and Public Utility Staff employees have been furloughed.

Hood’s been attorney general since 2004. Strange that changing PSC governance wasn’t on his radar screen until he got in a contentious 2008 lawsuit with Entergy, isn’t it?

Flippant about utility rates? No, Jim. I struggle to pay them, too, like everyone else. But I am flippant about Mississippi’s endless parade of demagogue politicians seeking to channel “Kingfish” Huey Long by unfairly demonizing public utility companies.

“Kingfish” had Standard Oil in 1924. General Hood now has Entergy.

Is it really necessary that Mississippi turn back the clock on PSC governance simply because Hood and Entergy are in a spitting contest?

Sid Salter
Clarion Ledger
7/12/9