The Conservative from Carrollton, Mississippi on August 18, 1983 · 2
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The Conservative from Carrollton, Mississippi · 2

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Carrollton, Mississippi
Issue Date:
Thursday, August 18, 1983
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2
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THE CONSERVATIVE DTTORIAL Comments W OTTHiS SToFFI J The Political Scene by Wayne W. Wedie Power bills, the new lunch box When George Wallace was again elected governor of Alabama last year, it was said that Wallace had used campaign speeches from 20 years earlier. Instead of using a racial slur for black citizens, Wallace substituted Alabama Power and Light. The tactic worked for George and a lot of people are betting that it works next week for Attorney General Bill Allain. There is a legitimate question of just how much the next governor can really do to keep down utility rates. There is probably little that can be done by Mississippi's next governor or any other public official to reduce soaring telephone and electric costs. Others have suggested that Allain is also taking more credit than due for recent utility refunds. By the pitch of the campaign rhetoric, you would almost forget that there was a public service commission, courts and citizen action groups who filed suits against the utilities. This major campaign tactic of Allain appears headed for success if only because it is an effective symbol. The same populist, fighter for the underdog and champion of the average Mississippian appeal has propelled more than a few recent governors into office. Meanwhile, Evelyn Gandy is not sipping tea with little old ladies. Gandy has a better organized campaign and more effective advertising than in any previous contest. She is not hesitant to be aggressive and is going toe to toe in exchanging barbs with her Democrat opponent. Gandy is certainly in a more solid position to keep her lead in the race than she was four years ago against William Winter. Who snares the bulk of the black vote next Tuesday will be important. It seems natural to expect that most Mike Sturdivant voters feel more comfortble with Gandy. But, it could also be a mistake to mark off a major chunk of Sturdivant voters in the Gandy column. Not many people seem to have a good feel on the second primary and are willing to go out on a limb. With many Gandy still rates as the slight favorite. Others give the second primary edge of Allain. The reasoning is that Allain's anti-utility campaign Features may be with the lunchbox of 1983. In the middle of the Gandy-Allain shootout steps Charles Evers with his threats to run for governor. Even before John A. Peoples' resignation as president of Jackson State, two weeks ago at the Neshoba Cunty Fair there were rumors that Peoples would also toss his hat into the ring. Republican nominee Leon Bramlett says he doesn't want or will not take part in any Republican attempt to "buy" a black independent candidate into the race. For weeks rumors have persisted that some Republcians are willing to put up $150,000 to have an independent in the race. What some people are forgetting, however, is that if the leading candidate doesn't receive a majority in November, the election will be tossed to the Mississippi Legislature. Election won't be automatic as it was for Thad Cochran in the 1978 U.S. Senate race when he only received a plurality. People are still saying that even if a significant number of Sturdivant voters move to the Gandy column next Tuesday, they will switch to Bramlett in November. Other Republicans, and they could be wrong as they were in 1975, feel that Gandy is an easier foe for Bramlett. But as Allain puts a scare into much of the business community, some Republicans would prefer Gandy as a November opponent if for no other reason than she would be easier to accept as governor if Bramlett loses. Besides the race for governor, only two other statewide races for the Democrat nomination are left unsettled until next Tuesday. ' The general feeling is that in the race for secretary of state, John Ed Ainsworth may have already reaped the benefits of being first on the ballot and from his tenure as state land commissioner. If Dick Molpus can capture the votes that went to Dennis Dollar in south Mississippi Molpus should edge Ainsworth. Ray Mabus picked up the support of Murray Cain, the third candidate in the contest for state auditor. Both Cain and Mabus based their campaigns on charges of major inefficiency in the auditor's office. Assistant State Auditor Mason Shelby has taken the offensive in the second primary, but it may be too late. The "boys of spring" did very well in the first Democratic Primary on Aug. 2. Now the question is: Can they do as well in the runoff? In case you haven't heard, the "boys of spring" are the bright young men in pin stripes with whom Gov. William Winter surrounded himself in the governor's office. They were given the "boys of spring" label by journalists back in 1982 when they marshalled Winter's public crusade for educational improvements. That crusade, aimed at getting a favorable legislative response back in the spring of 1982, failed initially, but eventually had its role in gaining favorable results in the "Christmas miracle" special session of December, 1982. Two of the main "boys" on the Winter staff team, Ray Mabus, Boat nappers steal innocence by Waid Prather With mobile arsenals rambling about the area, with convicted felons seeking quick releases, with politics pressing on us from every side, with the temperature up and morale down I turn to the basic denominator of life in our times. What low-down, egg-sucking, dog-kicking, candy-thieving excuse for an adult human life form made off with Uncle Gary's boat? Excuse me. I was gone there for a moment but I'm back now. Let me explain. My younger brother, now larger brother since he's soared upwards to the 6-3 level of height, sailed northward from Jackson several days back with the promise from my heart to take him fishing. Knowing my all time favorite fishing hole is the moss-draped dep-ths of the Yockanookany backwaters, I made arrangements to go fishing with an old fishing friend known thereabouts as Uncle Gary. He's no kin, just Uncle Gary. He's an old fishing friend in that I've known him nigh unto four or five years and he's seen more day's fishing than I've seen the sunshine, having strode past 70 years in age some time back. "Why, sure you can come fishing. And if I'm not here you know where the paddle and the poles and all the fishing equipment you'll need are. Just help yourself." 'Course, Uncle Gary was planning all the time to be there because a day without fishing is like peas without potlikker. So, of course, I forget to call him Friday night to fine tune the plans and I'm embarrassed to call at 5 in the a.m. on Saturday to tell him we're on our way then he says to not come. I didn't mean to make him mad. Well, I didn't make him mad. It just seems someone has violated the time-honored tradition of the Yockanookany landing, namely, "Don't make off with the boats." No one on the Yock has much THE CONSERVATIVE CARROLLTON, MISSISSIPPI ' SAM N. PITNER, PUBLISHER Telephone 237-4713 Entered as Second Class Mai matter in the Post I Office at CarroSton, Mississippi, under Act ot Published every Thursday Congress. March 3. 1879. S at CarroBton. Mississippi SUBSCRIPTION RATES: 38917 IN CARROLL COUNTY: By the Mid-State ' 1 YEAR $t.oo Publishing Co.. he. 321 Summit Street ALL OTHER ADDRESSES: ' Winona. Mississippi 1YEAR-...-........$10.00 38987 Pago 2 THE CONSERVATIVE, August 18, 1983 Eyes on Mississippi by Bill Minor Boys of spring surprise many Winter's former executive counsel, and federal-state programs director Dick Molpus, decided to get out into the front line of politics by seeking statewide offices. To the surprise of many, Mabus led the ticket in the first primary for state auditor, and Molpus managed to struggle out as the leader in a close five'way race for secretary of state. Both now face tough runoffs. Molpus must face former state land commissioner John Ed Ainsworth in the secretary of state showdown for the Democratic nomination (Republican Jerry Gilbreath is awaiting the victor in November). Mabus must do battle with Mason Shelby, presently the chief deputy to State Auditor Hamp King. That Mabus and Molpus did as well as they did in the Aug. 2 primary is credited by many to the bothered to register their boats, and not many have botherd to chain, lash or tie the boats down at the edge of the pasture which serves as the landing. You just walked down to the river, got into your boat or the boat you were okayed to borrow, fish your fill, beach the boat and put the craft right where you found it when you first walked up, If the boat was perchance locked Uncle Gary made sure to hide the key in plain sight so he could tell you where to find it easily. I admit when I was first introduced to this system I was somewhat set back. I figured someone would steal the boats. But after awhile I realized the boats were just like the cypress trees and the black waters. They just belonged there, had always been there and always would be there. Folks didn't try to steal the trees or the waters. Folks didn't try to r steal the boats. - If by chance a boat disappeared then high water was the culprit and when low water came the boat would be found where the waters had sunk it at the landing or down : in the swamps where it had floated. But no high water has been seen the last several weeks on the Yock. And a mutual friend had gone to the swamps to fish and came back with the sad news. The fish might be there but the boats were certainly gone. The low-life, the criminal, the despicable cad. Anyone who would steal a man's boat must have the soul of a grindle. Bad enough you squelched a good fishing trip. Bad enough you loused up a Saturday. Worse still Uncle Gary is talking about getting another boat "Gonna f take it down there to fish and bring 1 it home and lock it up when I'm through." He's 70-something years old. That's a tough age to lose that innocence. (USPS 129-900) relative popularity Winter is enjoying at this stage as an outgoing ; governor. Winter had been accused in some political circles of fielding a "ticket" in the Aug. 2 primary that included Mabus and Molpus, as well as State Treasurer Bill Cole, a former chief administrative assistant to Winter, and topped by Mike Sturdivant, the gubernatorial third place finisher whom Winter was thought to favor. At one point, this "ticket" was alleged to also have included Niles McNeel for attorney-general. But McNeel was subsequently dropped from the printed cards distributed statewide by Bill Gilbert, the first round foe of Cole in the treasurer's race. Gilbert was believed to have printed several hundred thousand of the cards with the purported Winter "ticket" to get back at the Winter administration for some supposed grievance. One - administration source said it was because he was not given a job by the administration. At any rate, Winter stoutly denied he had any sort of a ticket, and his denials appeared quite plausible to close observers of the state political scene. However, it remains to be seen if the cards distributed by Gilbert may yet take their toll in the political decisions still to be made by the voters. Obviously it did not hurt Cole, Gilbert's chief target, because he was a runaway winner. However, Cole was an incumbent and had put distance between himself and Winter. McNeel, who was a circuit judge until he resigned to run for attorney general, had opposed the Winter program for alterative sentencing of convicted felons, made a special effort and had his name taken off the second batch of Gilbert cards printed. He believed the original listing of his name on the "ticket" did hurt him. Apart from the fact that Mabus polled far more votes in the first Letters the editor Dear Editor: Please allow me to speak through your newspaper to my friends in Montgomery County. I have been upset by the false information about the State Department of Audit that has been distributed by politicians who seem to feel that downright lying is perfectly acceptable so long as it furthers their goals. I have worked as a field auditor for the State Department of Audit for 10 years. I take pride in the thorough and professional audits we perform. We are career accountants who are aware of the public trust placed in us as auditors and we take our responsibilities very seriously. The Department of Audit is responsible for annual audits of about 350 state agencies, counties, school districts, junior colleges and universities. Every day we receive numerous requests from public offices for assistance with a variety of problems. We have not been perfect in our attempts to meet these demands. We have not denied allegations that our audits are not current. However, we do emphatically deny that we are four or five years behind state-wide. Only one audit, Hinds County, is four years behind and that's because a lengthy investigation of some very serious problems in the tax collector's office were required. We audit to verify that financial statements are presented in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles and to test for compliance with state law. Documentation of exceptions must be in detail and this takes additional time. Of the approximately 350 annual audits we are required to perform, at least 80 are completely current, approximately 75 are in progress and the remainder range from 1 to 3 years in arrears. The additional accountants authorized by the legislature in 1983 will alleviate the problems we've had due to insufficient personnel. The recent reorganization of our department ; -'??'?. r, ' ; against a more seasoned political figure than almost anyone expected, the former Winter assistant turned into a far different kind of campaigner than his ex-boss has ever been in his many statewide races. While Winter was never good at going on the attack and never really tried, Mabus came out with a hard-hitting offensive against the long-standing "hand-me down" system of picking state auditors, charging the office has been "soft" on errant county officials and slow in producing audits. The runoff for Mabus shapes up as a battle against tougher odds. Generally, county supervisors and other county courthouse politicans around the state are believed to strongly favor Shelby because he posses far less of a threat to the status quo than Mabus. Some observers say that the county courthouse. pols underestimated Mabus strength in the first primary, but they won't be caught napping this time. The Molpus bid against j Ainsworth provides no similar distinctions. It's a case of a bright young man who came out of business life to serve state government in an important appointive job and doing it well versus a former statewide elected official who helped bring about progressive change while he was in office. . Both Ainsworth and Molpus can lay claim to having done important things for public education, Ainsworth in pushing for the 16th section school land reform bill back in 1978, and Molpus in helping with the passage of the 1982 school reform act. While polls show Winter enjoys exceptionally high public esteem for an outgoing governor, he also has a negative sentiment out there which may be fed by the emotions being raised in the gubernatorial runoff. All this enters into the way Mississippians make their political decisions and it could have its effect on the "boys of spring." to into specialized divisions has already begun to improve our effectiveness. The Department of Audit has nothing to do with the bond ratings of counties and was not responsible for the withdrawal of Hinds County's bond rating. A bond rating for a county is similar to a credit rating for an individual. It isn't based on whether you've been audited or not. It's based on your ability to repay what you borrow. When Hinds County's bond rating was withdrawn, some politicans said it was due to untimely audits by the Department of Audit. When the bond rating was restored one week later (still without audited financial statements) these politicians were very quiet. I wonder if they deliberately tried to mislead us or if they just didn't know what they were talking about. As an employee of the State Department of Audit, I am very interested in the upcoming runoff election for State Auditor. I was originally supporting Mason Shelby because, as an accountant familiar with the complexities of governmental accounting, budgeting, and reporting, I firmly believe that his -accounting background is essential to the office of State Auditor. An accounting degree is required for obtaining a job as an auditor of the lower level of the Audit Department. If you can't start at the bottom without a degree in accounting it seems' absurd to think that a non-accountant would even consider trying to start at the top. I was originally supporting Mr. Shelby because of his professional qualifications. I am now supporting him because of his character and his professional qualifications. I respect him for basing his campaign strictly on his education and his experience. I find it hard to believe that a candidate can conduct a campaign based on deception and then, when he's elected, serve with integrity as a public official. Sincerely, Ruby Brown Graves, CPA

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