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Who Is Paying Burton’s Legal Fees?

April 14, 2011

When it was announced that Sen. Terry Burton, Chairman of the Legislative Reapportionment Committee, was planning to intervene in the NAACP lawsuit hoping to force a court to draw new legislative lines by this November, one of the first questions asked was who is paying for the legal fees involved with this.

Here are a couple things we have learned; some facts, some speculation. Fees are being paid by a third-party, not taxpayers. Just whom may that be? I have learned no one in the business community is involved. You may remember, business was a key player involved with the behind-the-scenes work in convincing Republicans in both chamber’s to oppose the House plan.

The group I have heard who was teaming up with Burton is the Hospital Association. They were some of the strongest proponents of the House maps, and have been with Democrats on this issue throughout the entire process. Which is essentially the same position Burton has held throughout as well.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. JoshM permalink
    April 14, 2011 2:49 pm

    Very, very interesting! Thank you, Brett, for looking into this. I’m glad somebody did.

    “The group I have heard who was teaming up with Burton is the Hospital Association.”

    If it is the Hospital Association, what are doing getting involved in this court case? Are they also funding Rep. Tommy Reynolds? There is that fishy small again!!!

    • Concerned Citizen permalink
      April 14, 2011 3:57 pm

      Well, Josh, not that I care if the Hosp. Assn. is involved, but I noticed that you didn’t ask why the Manufacturer’s Assn was involved….or why BiPEC was involved. Why does any citizen or group get involved? Duh….because they are interested in THEIR government, maybe?

      • JoshM permalink
        April 14, 2011 6:33 pm

        Actually, Citizen, according to the Miss Business Journal it appears Sen Burton is bought and paid for by the Hospital Assoc. They pay his legal fees…he pushes their agenda in court…Burton gets a cooshie job at Medicaid. I hope that isn’t true.

        As far as the other associations you mentioned, I don’t think they should be paying elected officials’ bills either. lobbying is one thing. Legal campaign contributions are part of elections. But to pay for an elected official to lobby your side in the court of law is pushing it.

        • JoshM permalink
          April 14, 2011 7:01 pm

          Read it for yourself:

          http://msbusiness.com/blog/2011/04/burton%E2%80%99s-actions-are-slimy-at-best/

  2. Geoff permalink
    April 14, 2011 7:02 pm

    I think the fact that Andy Taggart is Burton’s attorney brings a large measure of integrity to his actions.

    • JoshM permalink
      April 14, 2011 7:27 pm

      Unless Taggart also represents the Hospital Association. Is the Hospital Association paying for whatever lawyer Sen. Burton hires, or are they providing THEIR lawyer at no cost to Sen. Burton? BIG DIFFERENCE. Who’s interest is Sen. Burton trying to protect by joining this lawsuit? His own? The Senate Republicans? All senators? Or the Hospital Association and their $millions in medicaid fees? Fishy fishy fishy!

  3. Mike permalink
    April 14, 2011 7:30 pm

    To the point, the fact that the Mississippi Hospital Association is involved at any level should concern you. Furthermore, the fact that MHA has been intricately involved in drawing maps for the democrat leadership in the House should concern you greatly. Many legislators have stated that Steve Dickson, MHA’s head lobbyist was in the room when they were allowed to review and modify their individual district map.

    Now, here is another concerning point. MHA was intricately involved in the drawing process, yes and who was the lead map artist for the House?…Tommy Reynolds, who stated very pointedly that no state funds were going to be used when they hired Rob McDuff to represent the House committee. Hmmm….wonder who is paying for that…MHA, perhaps?

    It seems to me that MHA has hired attorneys for the House and the Senate, which I might add differ immensely on redistricting plans for the House of Representatives. Is it illegal? I don’t know. Is it unethical? By my standards, YES. But not all moral compasses point the same direction.

    I am wondering what PEER or the federal judges think of the way that MHA is manipulating this process right under their noses. Maybe their moral compass can lead us out of this mess.

    The question still remains…whose interests are being represented in this case? It seems we have the hospitals interest covered. Now, let’s all try to focus on the 2.9 million citizens of the state.

  4. jack bauer permalink
    April 15, 2011 6:00 pm

    Don’t I remember Gallo recently talking about some group with a $4 Million war chest? Did he ever say who that is? I’m asking because I just re-read the email Sam Cameron at MHA sent out on why they are involved in redistricting. Cameron said he actually prefers the districts as they are now and would like to see the Legislature run twice. As he put it, MHA would be one of the last groups standing who could pay for two elections. If that’s true (and if they are the group with $4 Million), MHA has already won: they drew the plan that passed the House, they drew the plan that passed the Senate, and now they have enough money to buy the Legislature if there are two elections. That’s all so bizarre, none of it can be true. Right?

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