Politics and money: Eternally entwined

Wicker supporters have been trying to make hay from these indictments and guilty pleas, and really want Musgrove to become the face associated with the beef plant boondoggle.

But Musgrove supporters counter that as governor he really didn’t have anything to do with the beef plant and, more pointedly, they note the U.S. attorney prosecuting the case gave a donation to one of Wicker’s past campaigns – $200 in 2002. They insinuate the prosecutor is trying to give Wicker’s campaign a boost, if nothing else by the timing of the indictments.

I’m sure this isn’t over. Stay tuned.

And speaking of campaign cash and Mississippi, it reaches the national level, too.

Sen. Joseph Biden recently gave away some campaign cash he got from jailed Mississippi lawyer Dickie Scruggs and others who pleaded guilty to judicial bribery.

Biden has turned over $9,200 -$2,300 each from Scruggs, his son Zach Scruggs and two others convicted in the case. Biden gave it to a cancer nonprofit group.

Speaking of federal campaign-time foolishness, it appears state House Speaker Billy McCoy has joined in the zaniness. And state Republicans are having a field day questioning the ethics of a man who, even though many disagree with his policy and philosophy, has a long reputation of being a straight arrow.

The House somehow approved a travel-expense advance of nearly $1,800 for Rep. Tyrone Ellis to attend the Democratic National Convention in Denver, and approved the estimated total cost of the trip to be $5,000.

That’s right, tax dollars for travel to a strictly partisan political event – unprecedented at the very least.

Apparently, the House Management Committee never voted on this travel expenditure, as it usually does with legislators’ travel. That looks bad.

Geoff Pender
Sun Herald
8/24/8