Monday, October 18, 2010

Scoping Out Haley Barbour

... Scoping out Haley Barbour ...

Suppose we let Steve McNichols' description of a politician set the baseline:
"Almost all politicians are hard-headed, two-fisted bastards. They wear a nice, conciliatory expression, but only compromise when they have to. Qualities painfully acquired during years of political competition and conflict."
This has no arguments from me. So what do we know about Mr. Barbour?

Yesterday, a google search on barbour pardon record found 331,000 mentions. Today it finds 337,000. That's a 2 percent increase overnight. This is a very general search. Extending the search phrase to haley barbour pardon record reduces the find set to about 10,000 hits. But some mentions may call him only by his last name, too, so this focused find would have some misses. What they say, of course, is what matters.

From a rather friendly Time Magazine article on him, dated Sept 23rd, 2010...
(at,8599,2020798-1,00.html )
"Among the totems in Haley Barbour's office in Jackson, Miss., is a cheeky sign that reads, "Power corrupts but absolute power is kinda cool." "
"His fundraising — expected to top $90 million by Election Day — has enabled him to pour millions of dollars into voter-turnout efforts that will help all kinds of Republicans further down the ballot and generate chits from grateful recipients..."
"Barbour also earned renown as a Republican who could battle with Democrats all day long and then invite them to kick back over an occasional toot of bourbon in the evening."

"Democrats from Donna Brazile to David Axelrod consider him cooperative and, in some cases, a friend. And Barbour would return the compliment. Several decades in Washington taught him never to make an enemy he doesn't need."

"...for all of Barbour's prominence, neither his lobbying work nor his record as governor has endured the kind of scrutiny a presidential run would bring. His associates express open concern about Barbour's financial and professional ties to the firm he stepped away from after being sworn in as governor."
- - - Aha! - - - ( He was for years a very successful Washington lobbyist. )

From a 09/02/2010 story at :
"Yet in an interview with Human Events yesterday, one high-profile Republican broke with his party and condemned conservatives advocating for policies that take advantage of immigrant labor but fail to comprehensively reform our immigration system. Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS), who comes from a state ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, explained that the state would be “way, way, way behind where we are now” if it wasn’t for immigrants — “some of there [who] were here illegally” — that helped to rebuild the state. He went on to say that people should search for “common sense” solutions for undocumented immigration,..."

" (quoting Barbour) "My idea is everybody from Stanford who’s from India that gets a PhD, we ought to stamp citizenship on his diploma. So instead of him going back to India and starting a business that employs 1,800 people, then he’ll start a business that employs 1,800 people in Des Moines, Iowa, instead of India."

TPM's Christina Bellantoni :
"Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said today that he opposes a Florida church's plan to burn copies of the Koran on Sept. 11, and said he accepts "totally" that President Obama is a Christian."
(He had previously opined that 'as far as he knew ' Obama is a citizen. Some think that he should be considered "birther-curious'.)

Here's something interesting from TalkLeft ...

Barbour Refuses to Pardon Innocent Man

by TChris

Clyde Kennard was railroaded. He was sentenced to seven years in a Mississippi prison for possessing $25 worth of stolen chicken feed. The only witness against him later recanted his testimony. His real crime was his attempt to enroll at the University of Southern Mississippi after four years in the service. His temerity drew the ire of segregationist leaders who were determined to fight integration at USM.

Kennard died years ago, but those who want to set the record straight were hoping that Gov. Haley Barbour would award him a posthumous pardon. Not gonna happen.

This does sound like the kind of guy who "only compromises when he has to." Not even pardoning the deceased victim of state oppression...

( )

Ethics group named Barbour one of America's worst governors

In its April 2010 report, the liberal ethics watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington named Barbour one of 11 "worst governors" in the United States because of various ethics issues throughout Barbours' term as governor.[51][52][53] Some of Barbour's ethics lapses cited by the watchdog include:

  • Allegedly laundered campaign contributions
  • Refused to accept federal stimulus funds to expand unemployment insurance
  • Used his position to enrich himself and his family members[54]

So he's about as Steve described, except maybe a bit more adaptive. He has a 70% approval rating. His term ends in 2011 and he cannot run for governor again. At 62, he may want to retire. If he runs for President, it would probably be more for the sake of collecting campaign funds, as his chances of winning the North are pretty slim.

A scandal "as big as Watergate" is breaking. (Soros) has discovered foreign money - $850,000 so far - flowing into attack ads on Democrats. Very illegal. It is being linked to Republicans who favor outsourcing. 80 foreign companies that were promised that their donations would be kept private are seeing their names on a list. Some are state-owned. American corporate cash pooled with this foreign money is tainted, and will be until full disclosure becomes the law. Does Barbour know his cash sources? Can he confirm that none of the 90 million dollars he expects to have by election day came from abroad? He will need to reveal his donors to do this. Can he confirm that none of it came from BP? He needs to be asked. He's the head of the Republican Governor's Association. Will he return the corporate money that was improperly given?

Barbour has his ears open. But he apparently doesn't do what he doesn't have to. He's not going to be spontaneously a good person. He doesn't do the 'pro quo' without the 'quid'.

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