Mr. Bill, the Commish, and Other Things

At least one blogger must be ecstatic over last Saturday’s election of former state Rep. Jamie Franks of Mooreville as chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party.  The Commander, publisher of the great red spot, previously blogged at Franks Tanks, which succeeded in its main purpose of helping defeat Rep. Franks in his race as the 2007 Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor.  Saturday’s news no doubt means that Chairman Franks will be an inviting target for The Commander and other bloggers for several years to come.

The Commander had a post on Saturday in which he called Sidney Salter the “Dean of Mississippi Political Journalists.”  At least one journalist has been commenting on Mississippi politics since long before Smiling Sidney started chirping from his perch in Scott County– columnist Bill Minor, Sidney’s good buddy.

In fact, Mr. Bill is rumored to have begun his journalism career during the construction of the Indian mounds in Mississippi.

The Commander also alludes to the fact that the scheme for the state beef plant boondoggle was hatched by House speaker Billy McCoy and Rep. Steve “The Undertaker” Holland during a trip up (or down) the Natchez Trace (if the exact spot could be determined, a historical marker should be erected).

In addition, the Commander correctly calls into question the Republicanism of Lester Spell (not that the average Mississippian really gives a hoot about such things).  Dr. Spell previously was elected mayor of Richland as a Democrat, under which label he also won his first three races for agriculture commissioner.  In 1995, he beat the Republican Charlie Hull, who was the father of a football star and who was encouraged to run by the late Gov. Kirk Fordice.  Spell also defeated the Republican nominees in 1999 and 2003, but when it became expedient to switch to the GOP, he did so during the course of his third term.

Last year, Commissioner Spell beat Max Phillips of Taylorsville in the Republican primary.  He then got slightly over 50 percent of the vote against the Democrat Rickey Cole and Les Riley, the nominee of the Constitution Party.  If neither candidate had surpassed the 50 percent mark, the race, of course, would have been decided by the state House of Representatives last January.  That would have been an interesting turn of events, since the Democrats have a majority in the House.

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