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HD39: Who Is Endorsing Who

July 8, 2011

In the GOP primary for the House District 39 seat, longtime Rep. Jeff Smith is hoping to win his first election as a Republican, but he must defeat Jack Larmour to do so. In general, incumbents are generally heavily favored in primaries borrowing some scandal or other major issue, but party-switchers (at least in national elections) have had a tough time of it of late. As for this specific race, I am not here to make any predictions but I do know Smith is viewed very favorably in the district.

Another thing we know is the favorability enjoyed by the NRA, and their sought after endorsement. As we have talked about in the past, they favor incumbents and they did so in this case. Smith received an A+ rating and their endorsement. Larmour received an A rating; the highest rating available to a challenger. After receiving his endorsement, Smith ran an ad in the Commercial Dispatch with the letter. After that, Larmour counted with his own ad that has the NRA very angry and a number of questions that still remain.

First, here is the official letter that Larmour received from the NRA:

However, the Dispatch ran an ad which looks to be an edited version of Smith’s letter (view it here) and a forged signature from NRA liaison Tara Reilly Mica. Here is what ran (full-size here):

According to an extensive rundown of these events from Sarah Fowler, a reporter with the Columbus Packet, Larmour is claiming innocence in the matter and the Dispatch has apparently attributed the error to the graphic designer. (Here is the entire story from the Packet).

The Dispatch then ran the correct ad along with a disclaimer in Wednesday’s paper. It said: “Due to a transcription error by a graphic artist and failure to see the mistake in the proofing process, an ad in Sunday’s dispatch mistakenly stated that the NRA endorsed the candidacy of Jack Larmour. That is not the case. The organization gave Mr. Larmour an A rating and a positive response. The Dispatch regrets and apologizes for the error.”

This still seems pretty suspicious. There was a forged signature, a + added to the A rating, and a line announcing the endorsement if we are to believe the graphic artist is at fault.

Also from the Packet, here is an editorial on what happened from Ron Williams.

This comes a couple weeks after Smith has his own endorsement issues that had him and Rep. Mark Baker backtracking.

Baker, the leader of the House Republican Conference, used official letterhead to pen an endorsement for Smith. While signed by just Baker, the letter did include the names of members of the Republican conference.

Here is the letter (via Fire McCoy):

Smith initially posted on Facebook: “Officially endorsed by the Mississippi House Republican Conference in my primary race! I humbly appreciate the support!”

Several members were outraged over these events, and Smith took full blame for the postings on Facebook and said he was going to tear up the letter, which has been taken off his Facebook page.

This was the new post from Smith: “My post from yesterday should have read: I have officially been endorsed by the Mississippi House Republican Conference Leader Mark Baker. I apologize for any confusion. I am still very excited about the support!”

16 Comments leave one →
  1. True Independece permalink
    July 8, 2011 1:38 pm

    After reading the story to get all the facts, I agree with Brett. How does a graphic artist do all of the things, including forgery, on a scanned copy of a letter? Also, after reading the article from the Packet, it shows this Larmour guy had to approve all of the changes in the ad before it was published! When asked this question, this Larmour guys’s wife said “do you read everything?”. Unbelievable! Like a comment on the editorial story said, “I don’t know what is worse about this situation: the possibility that Larmour participated in this fraud, or the possibility he was incompetent to know this was wrong?”The NRA rep even said this Larmour guy did nothing until she called him to ask about it!

  2. Smitty permalink
    July 8, 2011 2:01 pm

    This looks all around awful on the part of Larmour

  3. Grizz permalink
    July 8, 2011 2:08 pm

    Just more political shananigans,however,Forgery is a Felony.

  4. bullygal permalink
    July 8, 2011 2:19 pm

    I am appalled at both The Dispatch and Mr. Smiths’ opponent reaction(or lack thereof). First, that the Dispatch would so carelessly call “a mistake of the graphic artist” with a simple poo poo apology, re-run the opponents’ ad in the right format (still haven’t figured out how they could do that when the first one was edited before being scanned and the opponents’ wife said she scanned and sent it) and then throw their own employee under the bus! Secondly, that someone other than the opponent is commenting and who then proceeds to snidely blame it on the paper when neither opponent or wife bothered to read or proof said publication (come on, really?). The Baker endorsement was not a forgery and the letter posted above reads I (not we) endorse so don’t know why it is included with this reported fiasco. How sad to read he is grasping at straws and proclaiming to be something he really isn’t. From the articles linked above, I guess the NRA is not happy with either the Dispatch or the opponent. Hope Rep. Smith soundly wins his primary! I will say this, Lowndes is lucky to have a qualified representative in that district and they should vote in droves to hang onto Rep. Smith as long as he wants the job!

    • July 8, 2011 2:39 pm

      I never intended to put the Baker letter at the level of the NRA endorsement, I was just mentioning it which I thought tied in because they were both from HD39.

  5. Of, for, and by the people permalink
    July 8, 2011 2:34 pm

    I think Grizz is right. How is there no criminal liability for either Larmour or the Dispatch worker?

    • Grizz permalink
      July 8, 2011 2:48 pm

      @ of–Bretts post clearly says THE SIGNATURE,( not the entire letter ) is a forgery.you are correct,and bullygal is mistaken–but,happens to us all—-

      • Republican Dawg permalink
        July 8, 2011 4:15 pm

        What exactly is Bullygal mistaken on?

  6. Jo Wow permalink
    July 8, 2011 2:56 pm

    What gets me is how you can say you didn’t know something was wrong because you didn’t read it. I mean, do you not even look at the ad you pay for when it runs in the paper. Can you not notice a difference in bold type of one page letter? Brett is right, there is still too much suspicion that hasn’t been laid to rest. I would like to see this investigated a little more to really get to the bottom of it…

  7. SRG permalink
    July 8, 2011 4:17 pm

    Geez Louise, how crooked is this Larmour guy?! Reminds me of All the King’s Men kind of stuff!

    • Seminole permalink
      July 8, 2011 4:43 pm

      SRG, I don’t think this is something smart enough to be included in a Robert Penn Warren classic, it more or less falls under the guise of what Boss Hogg from the Dukes of Hazzard would do. The guy even kind of looks like Boss Hogg in his picture.

  8. Grizz permalink
    July 8, 2011 4:45 pm

    maybe larmour was on obamas birth certificate printing team.

  9. rubradog permalink
    July 8, 2011 10:06 pm

    My Interpretation: Larmour is new to politics. He tried to pull a fast one and upgrade his NRA approval letter. He just did not know how closely these things are examined by political junkies like the people at MIM and their readers. It has now blown up in Larmour’s face. He was a long shot to beat Smith in the first place and now he has gone and screwed up royally. Congratulations on your re-election Rep. Smith.

  10. Dontreadonme permalink
    July 9, 2011 9:21 am

    First, The Commercial Dispatch has had a leftest slant every time I’ve read it. Which is a limited number of times. I would l like to know if the paper historiclly endores Jeff Smith. (former democrat).
    Second, The news paper admitted it was their error. Which leads me to two conclusions.
    Either Larmour has connections at the paper and they co-conspired this fraudulant endorsement, or the paper deliberately changed the document and published it in order to sabotage Larmour. After looking at Larmour’s personal apperance, I’m leaning more toward sabotage.
    This is a very intresting event.

  11. Jack Bauer permalink
    July 10, 2011 8:26 am

    And remember, this guy was actually recruited BY THE PARTY to beat Jeff.

  12. Billy Reese permalink
    August 1, 2011 3:35 pm

    Jack Bauer PERMALINK
    July 10, 2011 8:26 am
    And remember, this guy was actually recruited BY THE PARTY to beat Jeff.

    The party is playing in primaries? I thought that was a no no…
    since the party paid for the ad and knew about the ad…does that make them a co conspirator to the forgery felony?

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