Welcome to the last 72 hours of a Democratic Primary. . . home of dirtball politics in Mississippi. Phones and mailboxes are burning up right now with half truth filled bombs lobbed by “anonymous” sources or people trying desperately to shade the truth.
You don’t have to look far. In my mailbox, I received a letter from the “Concerned Citizens of Hinds County” talking about the necessity to re-elect Faye Peterson. It came in a plain white envelope with no address and no contact information. Also enclosed was a reprint of an article from the Jackson Free Press entitled “The Mayor and His Women”.
Though there doesn’t appear to be any official connection with the Jackson Free Press (because the article seems to have been reprinted without permission), the JFP was the same group that “magically” uncovered a 10 year article accusing Frank Melton of the worst things imaginable one week before an election. They, of course, endorsed Melton’s opponent.
According to the Secretary of State’s website, no such group called “Concerned Citizens for Hinds County” exists. However, a Yahoo Search reveals that in 2004, a group calling itself the same thing bitterly protested and called for the resignation of Dr. Phylla Eiland of the Hinds County School Board over some perceived injustices.
Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s race is heating up with some incendiary targeted mailpieces. Two mailpieces have hit Northeast Jackson mailboxes from the “Committee for Better Law Enforcement”. Of course, no such entity is registered with the Secretary of State’s office.
In one, entitled “Crime Scene”, the back of the card says, “If you do not vote for Sheriff Malcolm McMillin in the August 7 Democratic Primary, Save this Card. You may need to nail it to your door. If your house is burglarized, your car stolen or a loved one being knocked down in a parking lot and robbed, calling Charlie Ross or Phil Bryant will do you no good.”
In another entitled “Your Worst Nightmare”, the back of the card says “You wake up on August 8 with Kenny Stokes as your Supervisor and Tyrone Lewis as your Sheriff and you didn’t vote for Malcolm McMillin in the Democratic Primary.” Again the same piece was paid for by the “Committee for Better Law Enforcement”
Direct mail isn’t cheap and real money has gone into these direct mail pieces. Since these organizations do not officially exist, unless the candidates have funded them under different names, campaign finance laws may have been broken at the state level.
I don’t know about anyone else, but these political tactics have got to go. I certainly understand running a hard-nosed campaign, but this is not what it is all about. If you are going to make the argument that you should be in office, make that argument, but racially-tinged insinuations to just certain groups of people is just revolting. Hopefully, readers of YallPolitics and others in the media can help find out who did this and shed some light on these sorts of tactics.