BILL MINOR: McDaniel linked to neo-Confederate, secessionist rally

BILL MINOR

BILL MINOR

Where have the state’s good Republicans gone – the Gil Carmichaels, the Jack Reeds or even the testy Clarke Reeds or Wirt Yergers?

They’re the party stalwarts who built Republicanism in Mississippi from a token opposition to traditional Democratic power into a formidable political force.

In my long career of covering the political scene I’ve traced the evolution of the Mississippi Republican Party from a virtual phone booth organization to the dominant force it has become in recent years.

At least 10 newspaper pieces I wrote, collected in my 2001 volume “Eyes on Mississippi…a Fifty Year Chronicle of Change,” mark the transition of the state’s GOP. I made a point of personally covering four Republican national conventions.

Gil Carmichael, a highly successful Meridian businessman and preservationist, became the Republican gubernatorial nominee in 1979. He offered a progressive platform that attracted many Democrats. He even advocated increasing the state’s oil and natural gas severance tax which for 40 years remained unchanged even while the petroleum industry reaped increasing profits.

He lost to Democrat William Winter, the former lieutenant governor and state treasurer, in the general election. However, Winter later adopted Carmichael’s idea of increasing the long-untouched oil and gas severance tax to fund his major education reform program. The powerful petroleum industry, helped by key legislators, forced Winter to abandon his plan and reach for other revenue sources to finance his historic education reforms.

In 1987, Jack Reed, Tupelo businessman, statewide civic leader and noted educational achievement advocate – whom I described as a “raging moderate” compared to Ronald Reagan – came within five points of becoming the state’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction.

Funding public education wouldn’t normally become an issue in a race for a U.S. Senate seat, but it has become one in the nationally watched Republican senatorial runoff. Reelection of veteran Sen. Thad Cochran is in jeopardy from 42-year-old State Sen. Chris McDaniel of Jones County. McDaniel, allied with the far-right Tea Party wing of the GOP, opposes federal educational subsidies.

McDaniel has been able to mask from voters how far to the right he really is. Investigative magazine Mother Jones in 2013 had reported that McDaniel was the featured speaker for a neo-confederate, pro-secessionist conference in Jones County at which many attendees wore Confederate uniforms.

The New York Times has sent two reporters into Mississippi to cover the Cochran-McDaniel runoff. Last Saturday one Times reporter interviewed Carl Ford, a 77-year-old lawyer in McDaniel’s hometown of Ellisville. Ford, a staunch McDaniel backer, admitted he was active in the county’s Sons of Confederate Veterans, which holds annual dinners on Robert E. Lee’s birthday.

What The Times didn’t know is that in 1998 Ford had been a defense attorney for the late Sam Bowers of Laurel, who in the 1960s and 1970s was Imperial Wizard of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The White Knights was a Mississippi-born group which the FBI said plotted several brutal terrorist murders during Mississippi’s celebrated 1960s “Freedom Summer.”

Bowers was three times prosecuted as the mastermind for violent racial crimes – once in federal court and twice in state court. In 1998, with Ford on the defense team, Bowers was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the Dahmer murder. Bowers died in prison in 2006.

Syndicated columnist Bill Minor has covered Mississippi politics since 1947. Contact him through Ed Inman at edinman@earthlink.net.

  • 1941641

    Thanks for your post, Bill. I’m not at all surprised about the radical nature of Mr. Mc Daniel. It sorta goes with the Tea Pot territory. It’s a form of politics we don’t need in a state that desperately needs to progress into a more modern state of existence.

  • Michael Cirillo

    Bill, while newspapers of yore sold their copy utilizing the type of innuendo you have displayed above, the average reader of today can see directly through the manipulative prose and understand that a politician can no more be responsible for the support of a voter than a pastor can be the attendance of a parishioner. The race between Mr.McDaniel and Mr. Cochran must be decided on the issues facing us in the state and the nation, nothing more nor less, and especially not on who a (non-candidate) defense attorney represented over 15 years ago.

    • countrydawg

      Name one thing that is incorrect in Mr. Minor’s piece. I’ll wait.

      Instead of whining about reporters and how the “media is out to get” your candidate, maybe you should be wondering about the company he keeps.

  • Ells Worth

    Bill Minor and mother jones, now that is a marriage made in ________?
    Cannot get any more radical.
    Minor is Mississippi’s Al Sharpton from Mississippi, except Old Bill just cannot capitalize on racism and make a fortune like Al.
    Bill hates any republican, yet he wants to interject his warped mind into GOP politics because he democrats offer him NOTHING to mention in print.
    The confederacy and Robert E. Lee are southern icons that are part of the history of the south and of Mississippi. Our roots are just as important to Mississippians, whether black or white, and his attempt to shame the voters will be taken with a hoot and a laugh while Bill languishes self gratification of being a modern day scalawag.

    • FrereJocques

      Bill Minor is in no way similar to Al Sharpton. Mr. Sharpton has a tendency to jump to conclusions before all the facts are in, and frankly, IMO, he solicits racism to further his own personal gain. Bill Minor, TTBOMK, is not rich, and I have never seen him claiming racism unless he has the facts and data behind him.

      I think he’ll talk about Democratic politics all day log with someone who wants to discuss the subject. His calling out the Repugnicants on their agenda is because they DO proclaim it, loud and proud and in your face. So, like countrydawg asks, name one thing in Bill’s column that is incorrect. I’ll wait too.

      You are correct as far as it goes when you say that the Confederacy and Robert E. Lee are icons and part of our Southern heritage. It is ONE thing to recognize them and honor them for their service, dedication, wisdom, bravery and skill that they contributed to their cause in their day. But times have changed, their cause went away and is no longer our cause today. And there is a difference between honoring them for their past service and contributions to our Nation, and endorsing their cause today. And I think that you are smart enough to understand the difference, Mr. Worth. Judging by Mr. McDaniel’s past actions, his denials notwithstanding, he would return us to those days and time if he could. This is why I agree that the label Neo-Confederate applies to him.

      If you are going to be in the public eye, garnering the public’s support, one must be careful with whom you associate and call friends. Your friends and associates are one of the best indicators there is as to what you yourself actually believe. Mr. McDaniel’s past associations have made everything he says to be suspect of his TRUE beliefs and intentions.

    • 1941641

      Bill Minor and mother jones, now that is a marriage made in the news business.________?

      It’s interesting to watch how upset Ells gets when someone is about to expose him for being a radical of the first order. Bill Minor can’t hold a candle to him in this respect!
      Maybe someday Ells can revive the Confederacy for the Neo-confederates who are still staring out in space waiting for Gen. N.B. Forrest to ride into camp!

      • Ells Worth

        First of all number head, I am not upset with anything published by Minor. I am amused that you and fairy boy always jump like frogs every time you see that I have made a statement. Both make up your own little attempt at smut when it comes to any republican, just like doting old Bill. I think the people that want American values can decide who is right and who tries to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Minor had to bring up race because he alike Bro. Al stays alive living in the past.

        • FrereJocques

          “….. number head,……and fairy boy…..”

          Ah well, so much for trying to be civil. Seeing that it is YOU who rejected my offer to stop the name-calling, please don’t complain in the future if I use a few derogatory terms.

          Something that needs clarification is the definition of “American Values”. This now seems to vary from person to person and is often quite different than the “Values” I was taught and grew up with.

          American Values, first of all, includes Civil Rights for ALL. Men and women, majorities and minorities, young and old. The color of your skin doesn’t matter, your National origin doesn’t matter as long as you’re an American Citizen, your choice of who or whom you worship, or whether you worship at all doesn’t matter, your gender doesn’t matter, and your sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Furthermore, these Rights are declared in our Declaration of Independence, and codified in the Constitution. They are not bestowed by the will of the people, and therefore cannot be granted or denied by a majority of the people. We are a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy or a Monarchy. In this form of Government, the Majority rules, but MINORTY RIGHTS ARE RESPECTED. You are free to live your life as you see fit, but not free to prevent others from doing the same.

          Put another way, “The right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins”.

          Too many people today, like you, Ells Worthless, are confusing (or even deliberately mixing) “American Values” and “Religious Values”. While American Values have much in common with Religious Values, they are NOT ALL THE SAME, and frequently clash with each other. This is why our Founding Fathers declared that there would be no State Church (“An Establishment of Religion”) in this country. Yet radical right-wing religious organizations are doing their level best to bring this about in this country. They are attempting to call in Caesar to enforce God’s law. The obvious evidence of why this is a very bad idea (look at any Muslim nation in the Middle East) is lost on these people; there are none so blind as them that WILL NOT see. This is why I refer to them as The American Taliban. If given the opportunity, they would bring their version of Sharia law to this country, and would not hesitate to punish or even execute those who disagree with them. Proof of this? Look at Africa, and some of the nations there (Uganda is a prime example) where American “Missionaries” have gone and spread their influence, and have actively supported the Governments to pass laws CRIMINALIZING homosexuality, even executing them for no other reason except that they are gay.

          This is running long, so I will stop, but I am in favor of AMERICAN values, and you can take your RELIGIOUS values, most of them anyways, and put them where the sun don’t shine. Supporters of true “American Values” want no part of them

          • Ells Worth

            Feel free to use all the derogatory terms you wish fairy boy, nothing you say irritates me because I am comfortable in my own skin. You just spent a lot of time rehashing your whole ideology over a subject which had nothing to do with the Minor article. Every time I make a statement you jump on me like a duck on a June bug, so when I get bored I post something.

          • FrereJocques

            “You just spent a lot of time rehashing your whole ideology over a subject which had nothing to do with the Minor article.”

            When Values are brought up in the responses to the article, they become fair game. And you can hardly find a topic where the discussion doesn’t wander over time.

            “Every time I make a statement you jump on me like a duck on a June bug”

            But…but…it’s so much FUN! And you make it so EASY……..

            “so when I get bored I post something.”

            You just admitted to being a troll.

            I rest my case.

          • Ells Worth

            Yeh, I bait my hook, seems you bite every time. How am I a troll I post then you attack because you just cannot stand to see my name. So I just sit back and enjoy.

          • FrereJocques

            As I said, you make it so EASY :) And it isn’t that you’re often wrong, you’re ALWAYS wrong :/

            I guess I reply as often as I do because I keep hoping against hope that you will see and recognize the inconsistencies and hypocrisies of what you say you believe in. But I’ve about concluded that that’s a vain hope. And yes, I used to believe much the same things you do, and defended them just as passionately. But after having others point out the facts, and the faults and inconsistencies in my beliefs, I finally admitted that I could no longer logically argue them, and I changed my beliefs. I’m much happier now, and don’t feel embarrassed when discussing my beliefs with others.

            I was brave enough and smart enough to admit I was wrong. You apparently aren’t. Ain’t no fool like an old fool……

          • Ells Worth

            Yes, many people go astray I am sorry to say. just because you choose to give up morals to become immoral is your choice. If one is a fool for his moral values then I am a old fool. I know I am right when you say I am wrong, so you just reinforce my beliefs.

        • TWBDB

          I want American values Mr Ellsworth, so I’ll decide.

          • Ells Worth

            I suppose I should lecture you about neo nazi values.
            I am NOT a member of any tea party. I decide who I want to elect.
            Any way I did not pull your chain, you are the one jumping on me.

          • TWBDB

            Really Mr Ellsworth, neither jumping on you or waiting for your permission to state my opinion, I’m actually agreeing with you. I too believe people who want American values can decide for themselves who is right and who is making a mountain out of a mole hill. I want American values, I believe the Tea Party is the predominant threat to our American values, and I’ve decided to state that fact. I also believe the Tea Party’s obstructionist methods equate to continually setting fire to the mountain. McDaniel is a proud member of the Tea Party, I don’t care if you are or not. What’s you problem with that?

            If you feel so inclined to lecture on new nazi values, be my guest.

        • 1941641

          It’s really WEIRD how “Al Sharpton” got mentioned in this discussion. Seems his name would be the most remote tag that could possibly find a place here among Ells Worth’s thoughts.

  • Michael Cirillo

    Countrydawg: In your haste to respond and attack let me point out to issues with your post –

    1.) Never once did I say any of the statements in the column were false. I simply pointed out that Mr. Minor’s stringing together of anecdotes and innuendo, along with an inflammatory headline, are not what a political race should be based on and that a reader deserves better.

    2.) Where do I list my support for any candidate or suggest the media is out to get either of the two running for Senate? My issue is with the tabloid style of writing found above , which is not helpful for either candidate to truly get their message out, nor is it worthy enough to have an overall place in such an important race.

    • 1941641

      Mr. Cirillo, There is nothing in any way false about what Mr. Minor wrote about the Tea Pot McDaniel, nor is there anything false about what Mother Jones wrote on the Tea Pot Mc Daniel. Both Mother Jones and Bill Minor are practicing their own professions reporting the news around the nation, including Mississippi. Maybe what bothers you so much is that the report came from Liberal sources. Now, would you have been better satisfied if Rush Limbaugh or Brian Fischer had been reporting this very news to the nation? As it was, hundreds of organizations from the right and left reported this news. People of all stripes want to know about white supremacy in America today, in the 21st century and you can bet they want to know WHO these people are. McDaniel got his Tea Pot exposed, Too bad! So sad!

      And then what happened? The McDaniel campaign conspired to unlawfully enter Mrs. Cochran’s nursing home facility for reasons they should be publically exposed for and by news reporters that report the news like Bill Minor and Mother Jones.

      • Michael Cirillo

        :) For my last reply on this subject I have to say “Bravo” to your excellent attempt to troll me. I began my last retort to you by stating very clearly that never once did I say anything in the column was false. Yet you begin again by suggesting I am claiming there are falsehoods in the column?

        The problem with column’s written by so many commentators today , in this case Mr.Minor, is that they do not qualify as reporting, just opinion and when you have that you get spurious arguments and misdirection away from the actual issues. That is my dilemma and criticism here.

        • FrereJocques

          You admit they told the TRUTH, yet you dismiss their reporting. What they stated was not opinion; if you can’t tell the difference, then you need to quit posting here, as you are just plain embarrassing yourself.

          • Michael Cirillo

            At least four opinions were stated in the column:

            1.)They’re the party stalwarts who built Republicanism in Mississippi from a token opposition to traditional Democratic power into a formidable political force.

            2.) The powerful petroleum industry, helped by key legislators, forced Winter to abandon his plan and reach for other revenue sources to finance his historic education reforms.

            3.) Funding public education wouldn’t normally become an issue in a race for a U.S. Senate seat, but it has become one in the nationally watched Republican senatorial runoff.

            4.) McDaniel has been able to mask from voters how far to the right he really is.

        • 1941641

          Cirillo:
          “The problem with column’s written by so many commentators today , in this case Mr.Minor, is that they do not qualify as reporting, just opinion and when you have that you get spurious arguments and misdirection away from the actual issues. That is my dilemma and criticism here.”

          I don’t know what your idea of “reporting” is but my idea of “reporting” is informing the public of what’s going on around them. Politics is in the category of NEWS the people want to know especially where the common good of all is at stake: McDaniels involvement with white supremacists in North Mississippi is important news for the common good unless you can make the case that the common good is none of your responsibility as a citizen of Mississippi. White supremacy is a radical, dangerous force in Mississippi that prevails because there are some who support it outright. Mc Daniels presence at their rally speaks for itself: Mc Daniel is a radical racist who does not belong in Washington nor, for that matter, does he belong in the Mississippi legislature. Thanks to Bill Minor’s reporting and other commentary from the citizens, the people of this state may do whats right and give the Tea Pot Mc Daniel a “thumbs down” come election day. Consequently, a lot of fears about the ramifications (defunding education) of the extreme Tea Pot Political Agenda could be wiped away.

          • Michael Cirillo

            The issue of education funding is relevant to the campaign and is direct way to compare and contrast the candidates.The history of a defense attorney, who happened to represent a terrible person and now attends political rallies of his chosen candidate, is not.

            As a supporter of the ACLU, I have seen many cases were good lawyers represented clients who they disagreed with (Ford). For Minor to utilize a second column, 7 months after the first, in order to rail on this topic is rather odd, even beyond the self plagiarism that has taken place.

  • Liedetectors

    Is Bill Minor still alive?
    I had no idea.
    He and Thad should get together.

    • 1941641

      Some people, because of their good works here on earth, never die! They are truly destined to get together along life’s pathways. Will you ever be able to claim any good works, Mr. Liedetector?