It’s a simple dance, really. You just take two steps back and grab your wallet. Welcome to the Mississippi Shakedown.
Here’s how it works.
Mississippi’s Attorney General, Jim Hood, has initiated an investigation against Miller Coors over the scourge of (get ready) . . . caffeinated alcohol drinks. Miller Coors is one of the largest manufacturers of beer in the world.
In announcing his investigation after attempting to get the company to voluntarily cease marketing this legal product, Mr. Hood stated . . .
“It is amazing to me that in spite of being under investigation by the Attorneys General, MillerCoors intends to introduce Sparks Red with an even higher alcohol content in October. Consequently, today I have sent a letter to Leo Kiely , the chief executive officer of MillerCoors, asking for copies of documents regarding the marketing strategy for Sparks Red. I just wish the company would respond more responsibly as did Anheuser-Busch. I guess MillerCoors’ lust for the corporate annual profits of $114 million off of the caffeinated drinks, overrides their concern for our young people.”
Wow. Imagine the nerve of a company introducing a new legal product . . .
However, that quote certainly puts Anheuser-Busch in a favorable light. I wonder how that happened. Many might be interested to know that A-B retained the services of former Attorney General Mike Moore shortly after Moore left office.
While he was in office, Moore was approached by A-B about an effort to cut underage drinking in Mississippi. Moore says he was “skeptical” but came to see the effort as sincere. After he left office, he became an A-B consultant on the issue.
Mike Moore, of course, has been a close advisor on both the criminal grand jury threats against State Farm and representing plaintiff’s against State Farm. Those are issues near and dear to AG Jim Hood.
Step #2 in the Mississippi Shakedown is that you have to give the right amount of money to the right folks.
According to the Democratic Attorneys General Association, Miller Coors has only put in $10,000 since 2005. However, Anheuser-Busch has put in $125,000. Alcohol and caffeine apparently mix better than not having the right political friends and campaign contributions. Oh, by the way, Jim Hood has received over $400K from DAGA funneled to it from now convicted felons Dickie Scruggs and Joey Langston.
While our Attorney General is out chasing the supposed scourge of the equivalent of a mixed drink (i.e. Jack Daniels and Coke), two of the largest political scandals in a generation have happened in Mississippi with almost a dozen guilty pleas between the two, yet not one state criminal charge has been filed in either case.
It’s easy to understand when the AG is out “getting his drink on” and doin’ the Mississippi Shakedown.