With ever the gift of timing, current State Democratic Party Chair Jamie Franks had some harsh words for Central District Public Service Commisioner Lynn Posey after Posey switched parties today from Democrat to Republican.

From the Democrat’s release . . .

“Democrats worked hard to elect Lynn Posey in 2007, and he responded by voting to increase the utility bills for thousands of Mississippians. Now,
he turns his back on the people who swept him into office to join a party controlled in part by the energy companies getting rich from those increased
utility bills.”

Franks said it’s most disappointing to ratepayers, who have been under-represented by Posey. Franks said Posey’s voting record shows that he
has never taken a courageous stand against special interest groups during his entire political life.

“Mississippians elect public service commissioners to regulate an industry that is vital to our everyday life,” Franks said. “When our regulators are
so flimsy they vote one way one day and the exact opposite the next, then people start losing trust and confidence in our government. That’s what
happened with a lot of people – Democrats and Republicans – after Posey flipped on his vote over Kemper County.”

Franks said Posey’s vote would cost Mississippians more than $2.5 BILLION in additional expenses.

“Asking people to shell out that much more money with state unemployment growing and a state economy in shambles is unconscionable,” Franks said.
“Regardless of what party Posey joins, he’s going to have to answer to voters next year.”

Franks also responded to GOP state Chairman Brad White, who said Posey left the Mississippi Democratic Party because it is becoming too liberal.

“How can being for protecting jobs at South Mississippi power plants and against raising the utility bills of Mississippians be liberal?”, Franks asked. “I’d say kowtowing to the whims of millionaires and huge energy companies is a lot worse than fighting for the interests of hard-working people who just want jobs, a good education, affordable health care and safe communities. Mississippi Republicans have cut programs that provide all of those things.”

This party switch is a pretty big deal. That central district is not exactly a conservative bastion. Remember that MSSC Judge Jim Kitchens unseated former MSSC Chief Justice Jim Smith in that district and Posey himself beat a guy with a Barbour for a last name to win the seat. The fact that Posey is switching to Republican speaks volumes to (1) the current political environment and (2) the extent to which the pendulum will likely continue to shift through 2011 and 2012 in Mississippi. Posey’s desire to put some political distance between himself and Jim Hood, who has interjected himself in PSC affairs ad nauseum, probably factored in as well.

One would think that Mr. Franks would have voiced these concerns about Posey publicly BEFORE Posey decided to switch parties. No word yet on whether Franks will defriend Posey on Facebook.

Jamie, do us a favor. If you have any more public comments about your dissatisfaction with current Democrats in the party, do us all a favor and let us know now. I think a few more elected Democrats are about to defect in very short order. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Besides, doing so before they leave makes you look not so . . .what’s the word I’m looking for . . . pathetic.