I’ll tell you what, before I started blogging about Katrina issues, I never would have dreamed that I would spend a Tuesday night in August watching streaming TV coverage of a Mississippi primary election. But that’s exactly what I did last night: heck, I know more about some of these people than I do the elected officials in my own state. Plus I got to hear all the great inside dope on the live feed, like the election anchors on WAPT-TV bickering at the break — the phrase "Stay with me, Joyce" comes to mind.
The race I was most interested in, of course, was the Insurance Commissioner position. For those that don’t follow this much, the eight-term incumbent, George Dale, ran afoul of tobacco, asbestos and policyholder lawyer Dickie Scruggs and many other Mississippians who believed he was too soft on insurance companies. In the Democratic primary, I watched as Dale started out at 45 percent and then began creeping up, slowly, slowly, slowly as the night went along, like a guy fighting his way forward in the face of hurricane force political winds fueled in part by big Dickie Scruggs dollars, but ultimately stalling about 11,000 votes short out of 400,000 cast. Those 400,000 votes were by far the most in any of the statewide races. Speaking of Scruggs, did you see the news about the Mississippians for Fair Elections, the anti-Dale PAC? According to Y’all Politics, here’s the scoop:
Mississippians for Fair Elections, the inaptly christened PAC that is supporting Gary Anderson in his Democratic campaign challenge to Insurance Commissioner George Dale, missed Tuesday’s filing deadline for its campaign finance disclosure. When the Mystery PAC finally did file, late, its disclosure showed only two transactions: the $250,000 contribution bragged about by Dickie Scruggs, and a $250,000 disbursement to Murphy Putnam Media, LLC. Neither the contribution nor the disbursement is dated as required by law. And no one other than Scruggs has given a dime to the PAC.
Remember when Scruggs called Dale a toadie of State Farm and a pig with lipstick, and said he was "political toast"? You remember when he did that? Although this PAC looks a little like a pig without lipstick, it was effective. It may not matter in the general election this fall, however. One of the commentators on WAPT said that "Republicans are on the march" in Mississippi and are expected to sweep all the statewide offices, with the possible exception of Attorney General.