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Brandon Presley, The Populist

May 16, 2011
tags: 2011 Public Service Commissioner, Boyce Adams, Brandon Presley, Marvin Cox
by Brett

Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley is running for a second term this fall, and is one of only two Democratic incumbents running for the 14 statewide and regional races (statewide, PSC, and transportation). Jim Hood, of course, being the other.

Presley, like many north Mississippi Democrats, has staked his reputation on being a populist. He was the sole member of the three-person PSC to oppose the Kemper county lignite coal plant arguing that it would cost ratepayers too much. It did get the PSC’s approval, although the Sierra Club (not exactly popular company in Mississippi) is suing hoping to block production. Some labor groups also opposed the plant.

And recently Presley, who is one of (if not the most) active elected officials on Twitter said this: “CEO pay rose 24% from ’09 to ’10, to an avg of $9 million a year while the American worker saw a 3% raise, if anything. Anyone surprised?” And I imagine most people in his district agree with the sentiment.

In 2010, the traditional brand of Democratic populism that has been so strong for decades in North Mississippi didn’t help Travis Childers too much. As for Presley, he should be the favorite but has drawn a couple challengers and some reason to be concerned. For one, Presley has raised about $11,000 this year and has less than $2,5000 in the bank. Many of Presley’s past fundraising channels were eliminated with the judicial scandals of a couple years go, but I would expect stronger numbers of the incumbent.

Presley has two Republican challengers. Boyce Adams of Columbus raised a little more than $29,000 with a little less than $15,000 in the bank. Marvin Cox of Southaven raised a little less than $6,000 and has around $3,500 COH. Money is key in the GOP primary but geography could also play a role, and that would certainly favor Cox.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. GOPMaverick permalink
    May 17, 2011 1:55 pm

    This race is very important,even if not considered to be
    And often overlooked. This position deals with utility rates and various other services that are used daily by Mississippians as current and future businesses. Marvin Cox has the conservative values,Education and leadership ability to serve and protect the interests and needs of our citizens and businesses which will in turn sustain and improve quality of life and allow for a more positive, productive economy for our great state.

  2. Dan permalink
    May 20, 2011 2:57 pm

    Commission with Suspicion of Corruption Looks like a Re-Run of Lynn Havens Days
    Is it legal for Public Service Commissioner Leonard (Lenny) Bentz to have a business with his employee (state employee of PSC) KPR Properties. He did it for the last five years and have the cell phone records of Commish Lenny been checked along with his district director to see if the calls are state business or his personal business. Could it be that Commish Lenny does not want anyone looking at his state cell phone bill to see what KPR and other business (not Mississippi constituent services which is who pays for it) calls are on the bill? Could it be that Commish Lenny does not want people to know that he also has Jay McKnight in business with them at KPR properties, who is also an employee of the fine people of the state of Mississippi (oh yea, Mr. McKnight works for Lenny at the PSC) and doesn’t want his cell phone bills looked into as well? Could it be that expenses that are/were paid to Commish Lenny and Jay McKnight by the people of Mississippi are in fact private business expenses and should not be reimbursed by the people of the state of Mississippi? Does that mean they did not pay personal income taxes on monies they received as reimbursement from taxpayers but is in fact income to them? Is that fraud? Is it true what people are saying that Commish Lenny was working a boat and paid by BP Vessels of opportunity program even though he was a full time employee of the state and elected official? Did his district director do the same? Is the state attorney general looking into all of this? Could it be that Commish Lenny just does not want the people of Mississippi to know that he and employees of the PSC have been in private business together while supposedly working full time, will full benefits, retirement, health insurance, cell phones and reimbursed expenses? Could it be that Commish Lenny is trying to avoid an audit by the state auditor? Could it be that Commish Lenny is trying to avoid an internal audit by the state for the PSC? Is it true that Commish Lenny’s Father recently started a business that sells products to water and sewage utilities Commish Lenny regulates and decides how much profit they make? Could it be that the Mississippi Public Service Commission office of Lenny is a great place to go to work if you want to build a business on the backs of the hardworking/taxpayers (Taxed Enough Already) of South Mississippi? Could it be this is an “All in the Family” rerun or is it “Lenny and Squiggy”? Could it be, either way, it smells bad!

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