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Archive for the ‘Presidential debate’ Category

Grand Jury set to hear threats against Bush

Posted by paulquinn on September 8, 2008

I wrote a story that appeared in today’s Clarion-Ledger. An interesting and odd story to report, I found.

Here is the link.

This story initially caught my attention after I read an affidavit from the U.S. Secret Service.

Some excerpts that I thought might have some folks scratching their head.

   “Neal? its me – Barbra. I created a fraud account from an unknown
computer so nobody can track us. They have a tracker on my phone
though so do not call it. I’m thinking about going to North Carolina.
RESOND,” Barbra Roylance Roylance allegedly wrote.

“(Thomas fled) in order to take the high ground for his protection
against the government’s declaration of martial law,” the affidavit

We’ll have to see how this one shapes up.




Posted in Crime, Pres. Bush, Presidential debate, Secret Service | Leave a Comment »

Scruggs news: updates from a tired reporter

Posted by paulquinn on June 17, 2008

Recently while exploring the web I discovered Judge Henry Lackey won an award in his home town. The Calhoun County Journal Online reported Lackey received the Tom Cole City Spirit Award.

Donna Cole had this to say about Lackey:

“This past year the judge exhibited amazing courage by upholding the law of the land,” Cole said. “His actions raised the standard for his peers, showed the country that Mississippi does do right, and set an example for each of us, young and old, to follow.” 

More updates on this in the future.

Sentencing for Richard Scruggs is set for 10 a.m. Friday June 27 at the Oxford Federal Courthouse. Later that day Sidney Backstrom will be sentenced.

Something I have been wondering about is Backstrom’s objection to the pre-sentencing report.  If he plans to argue the benefit of the bribe is indeterminable, and the judge should only take into account the $50,000 when sentencing, how does this effect Scruggs’ sentencing hearing? It occurs before Backstrom’s and if the judge rules “yes only $50,000” how does he go back and re-sentence Scruggs? Does it even matter?

Zach Scruggs sentencing date will be on July 2 at 10 a.m.

We are still awaiting sentencing dates for Tim Balducci and Steve Patterson.

I have been trying to find any recent news regarding the investigation into Judge Bobby Delaugter and and former Hinds County D.A. Ed Peters, does anybody out there know anything?

I assume Joey Langston, who pleaded guilty in January to influencing Delaughter, won’t be sentenced until the DeLaughter/Peters investigation is complete.

Posted in bribing, conspiracy, Delaughter, Judge Lackey, Ole Miss, Presidential debate, Scruggs | Leave a Comment »

Scruggs case puts Miss. in national spotlight

Posted by paulquinn on June 12, 2008

The Dickie Scruggs Saga didn’t start in Nov. 2007 when he and five others were indicted on conspiracy charges, headlines bearing Scruggs name are almost a past-time in Mississippi. Asbestos, tobacco, and Katrina all put Scruggs in the paper; now the bribe and the famed attorney’s methods are making headlines nationwide.

Thursday’s Wall Street Journal ran an anti-Jim Hood, Mississippi attorney general, editorial about Hoods accepting State Farm’s Katrina related files from Scruggs, who obtained the files from State Farm insider’s Cori and Kerri Rigsby. The Rigsby’s worked for insurance adjuster E.A. Renfroe a company contracted by State Farm to handle claims on coastal Mississippi post-Katrina.

The editorial is referring to a ruling by federal Judge William Acker costing Scruggs and the Rigsby’s $65,000. The ruling was covered by the WSJ (again), USA Today, and at least 100 more news websites and blogs.

In an article written by Peter Boyer, appearing in the May 19 edition of The New Yorker, Boyer writes 18 pages outlining Scruggs affiliation with Ole Miss, his past lawsuits, and the bribe attempt of Judge Lackey. Here is a teaser, the full story is only obtainable in print form or with subscription to The New Yorker.

When the sentencing date for Scruggs and two others was announced AP stories appeared on CNN and Forbes‘s Website.

The day Scruggs pleaded guilty stories were written by the New York Times, The LA Times, and ABC news.

Also, on the day he pleaded guilty The Wall Street Journal wrote several thousand words pertaining to the bribe and other Scruggs issues, it was released prior to Scruggs pleading guilty. The story can only be seen with an online subscription. Another teaser is on their website.

Two months after the indictment Nelson Schwartz, for the New York Times, wrote an extended feature outlining the saga of Scruggs up until that point.

When Scruggs was indicted for attempting to bribe Lackey the NY Times had the story, along with every other major newspaper in the country. Several days later, when Hillary Clinton cancelled a fundraiser at Scruggs house, New York magazine wrote about Clinton’s dilemma.

Before the bribe attempt Scruggs was in the media some but not like after November 28. Scruggs made national headlines when he won billions of dollars for Mississippi when he beat big tobacco. PBS’s Frontline had an interview with Scruggs about the lawsuit; the movie The Insider also portrayed the fight with tobacco.

There is the soon to come book being written by veteran reporter and Ole Miss Professor Curtis Wilkie.

Scruggs actions have been written about for almost 20 years, some good some bad. My only hope is Mississippi’s national attention is portrayed accuartley when the presidential debate happens in September.

Posted in Crime, Dickie Scruggs, Journalism, Mississippi, New York Times, Ole Miss, Presidential debate | Leave a Comment »

Mississippi right choice for Presidential Debate

Posted by paulquinn on June 10, 2008

While the Obama and McCain are out searching for the best vice president, Ole Miss and Oxford are prepping for the upcoming debate. 

Construction on University has become a headache but is looking good, new restaurants are opening up on the square, and journalist have visited to see how their team will cover Ole Miss’ historic weekend. 

I know the Daily Mississippian is thinking of story ideas and acquiring press passes for the few (if even) reporters and editors selected for on sight coverage (I have had my fingers crossed since the announcement was made in November 2007).

Ole Miss was selected as the first of three debates, of course we were all pumped when it happened, however the announcement made at least one city furious – New Orleans. The New York Time reports the story in November.  

Many in New Orleans were stung by the decision and said the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, which chooses the sites for the general-election debates, had unfairly sent a signal that New Orleans was still not ready for prime time. And they said politics had been at play because Republicans in particular did not want to have to confront the severe challenges that New Orleans poses.

“Members of the Commission on Presidential Debates continue to come up with preposterous excuses — some of them contradictory — as to why they snubbed New Orleans as a debate site,” an editorial in The Times-Picayune of New Orleans said yesterday. “No wonder New Orleanians think the process was rigged and three presidential candidates have criticized the decision.”

“The sense of outrage in New Orleans is very significant, from the state leadership to government to business,” said Arnold Fielkow, president of the City Council and former executive vice president of the New Orleans Saints. “We feel a wrong has been done, and we hope it will be corrected.”

The frustration in New Orleans was fueled by what many saw as a secretive process that turned its back on a chance to provide an eye-opening view of difficult issues that they want the candidates, and the nation, to address.

Sorry to say New Orleans but your not the only city in this country with problems.  Ole Miss has been recovering from our turbulent past for a lifetime, we still have some race issues and academic questions (easy to get in, low rankings for many  schools and Departments) but we are certainly “up with the times.” 

And the debate will only help address our remaining problems, quit being selfish and give us a break.

In the past 10 years Ole Miss has progressed more than the 100 years before, and its our time to prove to any doubters out there we aren’t as bad as we once were. (I still feel there are race issues on campus, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t improved ten-fold since even the 1980’s).

The historic significance of having the first major party black canidate here debating has also added symbolism to the Sept. 26 debate that NOLA just couldn’t have.

NOLA will still be recovering and dealing with Katrina (and new possible storms) in four years, but Ole Miss has come along way since 1960’s. Despite the racism I have seen (from NOLA natives as much as anyone) and written about it’s time for us to showcase what we stand for today.

One last time: you are not the all important Mecca of the world people should always be thinking about, I think history speaks for itself in why Oxford is a better choice than New Orleans.

Here is a link to everything Ole Miss presidential debate. Please go and explore this website. 



Posted in Journalism, New Orleans, New York Times, Ole Miss, Presidential debate | 2 Comments »

Ole Miss prof on NewsHour

Posted by paulquinn on May 7, 2008

Ole Miss Sociology and African American professor Kirk A. Johnson will be part of a discussion about race and the presidential campaigns tonight (May 7) at 6 p.m. on the public broadcast news show NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

“The ‘NewsHour’ invited me to participate in a discussion on race and the presidential campaign,” Johnson said. “While I have diverse experiences on race, mass media and minority health, I am deeply honored to participate in this dialogue.”

NewsHour is one of the most respected news publications in the country.

“NewsHour with Jim Lehrer airs five nights a week on more than 315 Public Broadcasting Service stations across the country and is also available online, via public radio in select markets and podcast. The program is produced by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions in association with WETA in Washington, D.C., and Thirteen/WNET New York.”

On September 26 Ole Miss will host the first presidential debate sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. Over 3,000 journalist are expected to be at The Ford Center the night of the debate.

As the university gears up for the event the The Daily Mississippian reports the Presidential Debate Student Steering Committee is looking over student ideas for the upcoming event.

“The student events range from hosting a ball, to welcoming journalists and dignitaries to town, to sponsoring a summer book club featuring the candidates’ autobiographies,” McGraw said. “We’re also working to bring ‘The Daily Show’ or ‘The Colbert Report’ to campus before the debate, host a televised town hall forum for college students across the country and hold a festival in the Grove that would feature a series of speakers and musical acts. The students are enthusiastic.”

Hopefully the steering committee is able to pull of some of the ideas mentioned, especially the town hall forum and Daily Show. Either way all eyes will be on Oxford come September and we’d better be ready.

Posted in Journalism, Ole Miss, Presidential debate | Leave a Comment »