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What The New Dem. Executive Director Said Six Years Ago

March 17, 2009
tags: Mississippi Democrats, Sam Hall
by Brett

Last week, the Clarion-Ledger reported that state Democrats had tapped former newspaper editor and current political consultant Sam Hall to be their next Executive Director. This appointment is set to be finalized on March 25.

His most recent work was serving as campaign manager for Jim Kitchens, who went on to unseat former Chief Justice Jim Smith.

However, as I mentioned last weekend, some Democrats were not happy with this decision. This includes Willie Griffin of Greenville who is a member of the Executive Committee.

Griffin questioned Hall’s loyalty, telling the Clarion-Ledger he was a Republican and has endorsed GOP candidates in the past including Haley Barbour, Phil Bryant, and Chip Pickering. I could not find any information on the Internet where Hall did in fact make those endorsements.

However, I was able to locate a couple of Hall’s editorials from years back, including this one from the Natchez Democrat in 2003 titled: Dems must stop bleeding or they lose.

When talking about party switchers (mainly Amy Tuck who had just qualified for her second term as lt. gov. as a Republican), Hall had this to say about Democrats:

For one, it is clear the Democratic Party leadership in Mississippi has fallen out of touch with some of their bread-and-butter elected officials.

Check below the fold to see the rest of what Hall had to say about his fellow Democrats in 2003.

He goes on to talk about another conservative Democrat:

But the telling tale comes in the rural, middle class areas where Democrats are shedding their allegiances or just plain not running anymore. Sen. Neely Carlton, D-Cleveland, has opted not to run. The 32-year-old lawmaker is expecting her first child and said that was the motivating factor in her decision not to run…However, when talking heads were talking about the Tuck switch on the Monday following Thanksgiving, Carlton’s name was being tossed around as a possible switcher. Carlton herself is fairly conservative, and her voting record reflects such.

He also says this about former Rep. Clem Nettles, D-Jayess, who opted against a run after a couple of factors didn’t go his way:

Nettles’ decision comes as no surprise, nor is it something that people have not expected since the Legislature passed their new district lines. “When you look at the map, it looks like my party kind of hung me out to dry,” Nettles said just days after the new lines were announced last year.

Nettles had all but made up his mind at that time. He was unhappy with Democrats over their treatment of him in legislative redistricting. He grew more unhappy with them over tort reform.

He also has this critique about the Democrats and their ties with trial lawyers:

But so long as the trial lawyer lobby in Mississippi continues to control the Democratic leadership, conservative Democrats will only find allies in Republicans.

And he ends it with these last three lines:

It is quite clear many Democratic lawmakers are not happy with their state party.

It is also clear a majority of Mississippians tend to lean toward and vote for more conservative candidates.

If Democrats want to keep that comfortable majority in the House – and any majority in the Senate – they better wake up and make some changes.

This column I just referenced is dated January 3, 2003, so obviously some time has passed since he first wrote this.

Hall now blogs at Mississippi Perspective.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike permalink
    March 18, 2009 11:42 am

    Well then, it is not good news for conservative Democrats that trial lawyer money is backing Hall, then. But if Hall is correct, his presence in the Mississippi Democratic leadership is good news for Republicans. Wait, isn’t his boss (Chairman Jamie Franks) a trial lawyer?

    • March 18, 2009 11:50 am

      The thing that I find interesting is that Hall had it right in 2003. He pointed out the problems they had the way a leader should. Now, he seems to be supporting the liberal cause- almost like how Democrats run to the left in primaries. That’s the impression I get.


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