What Gulf Coast Congressman Gene Taylor wanted the Easter Bunny to bring him.
South Mississippi Living 4/07

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

MS Senate race holds Katrina Recovery, Insurance Reform Future

by Ana Maria

Yesterday, a Hinds County judge ruled that the special election to fill the seat U.S. Senator Trent Lott (R-MS) recently vacated must be held by mid-March. Chalk one up for the people of Mississippi. Today, Barbour will appeal the decision to the State Supreme Court where he expects the court to reverse this decision setting the election not in March but in November.

Plenty of political analysis goes into what happens if this election date or what happens if that election date. Early, Dems win handily. November--Republican Governor Barbour's chosen date, Republicans win. Of course, Barbour never anticipated that the Democrats could have Senator Barack Obama at the top of its ticket as our presidential nominee and the electrifying impact that will have on plenty of Democratic, particularly the African American, voters in this state. As a good Democrat, I am concerned about, plenty of things that have gone so very wrong under the strong armed tactics of the Republican White House since 2001.

For right now, though, my concern remains focused on what happens to the Katrina-ravaged region if this or that candidate permanently moves into Lott's seat.

This election will determine whether Mississippi voters send to Washington, DC, an ardent advocate for Katrina recovery and Insurance Reform or send someone who mouths the words and doesn't work shoulder-to-shoulder with South Mississippi's Congressman Gene Taylor who has made insurance reform his signature legislation. When we get South Mississippi back up and running, the state will move forward since we are a major economic engine for the state.

Three candidates have filed for Lott's seat: one Republican and two Democrats. Polls indicate that a Democratic candidate can win. Great! So which candidate is more viable? Which is the better to support? Which will actually go to DC and do what the Katrina-ravaged region needs to be done? Which candidate will say one thing and do another? How can we tell before hand?

As Democrats, we must chose between the two Ronnies: Ronnie Shows (pronounced "Hows" with an "S") and Ronnie Musgrove.

Musgrove is loaded with baggage, plenty from his past and . . . plenty from his present. Last week's pieces titled Musgrove’s Ties to Big Insurance Smells to High Heaven exposed his ties to the very firm that represents State Farm, George Dale, and the insurance industry. Since July 2004, Musgrove has been on the payroll of the law firm Copeland, Cook, Taylor & Bush, the same law firm that Gulf Coast News reported “is involved what with almost every Mississippi insurance case.” And not on the side of home and business owners, either.

That will go over like a lead balloon down here inside Mississippi's Katrina-ravaged area. Talk about baggage! The man has so much baggage that one commenter on the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee blog called him Samsonite Mustgo Musgrove and another called him the Samsonite Senator. As soon as that piece of information becomes well known to voters in South Mississippi, Musgrove's campaign will become more toxic than a FEMA trailer. No amount of "messaging" is going to ease the visceral venom that naturally and quickly comes forth from South Mississippians when anyone mentions insurance. Katrina survivors have been through hell and back with that despicable industry, its hired guns, and its apologists.

Perhaps Samsonite Mustgo's failure to mention either Katrina or insurance reform in his formal campaign kick off speech was his attempt to hide being on the payroll of Big Insurance's law firm of hired guns. Read Musgrove Insults Gulf Coast, Writes Off South Mississippi Voters for a thorough analysis of this obvious omission in Mustgo's speech.

The Dems can win this race . . . as long as we field a candidate that genuinely and passionately promotes Katrina recovery and insurance reform in South Mississippi AND veterans issues. We have plenty of vets throughout the state. Here in South Mississippi we have an Air Force Base and a National Guard Camp. Many families--including my own--have vets, highly decorated vets, and disabled vets and we will vote on this issue as well. According to the Disabled American Vets, Roger Wicker is just awful on disabled vets issues.* No amount of flag waving is going to blow off that kind of betrayal. Once Wicker's horrible record on disabled vets is well known, his campaign can join Samsonite Mustgo's campaign in the "more toxic than a FEMA trailer" department.

Now, the only polling to date didn't include Shows in the mix. Nor did the polls ask about whether a candidate in the back pocket of the hired guns for Big Insurance--even if he is a former Democratic Governor--would be supported. Nor did it ask about whether a candidate whose record reflects quite the betrayal to our disabled vets would be supported. So the polling data to date is not helpful.

What doesn't take a poll to divine the future, though, is that the road to a Democratic electoral triumph with this U.S. Senate campaign depends greatly on how a candidate does here inside the Katrina country of Mississippi, the importance of insurance reform and a candidate's ties to that industry, and the importance of vets issues.

With the campaigns for Ronnie Musgrove and Roger Wicker squarely in the "more toxic than a FEMA trailer" department, that leaves us with one candidate to examine.

Fortunately, former Congressman Ronnie Shows is good on Katrina Recovery & Insurance Reform and Veterans issues. Both are of great importance to South Mississippi voters--the state's second largest populous area.

To put another Dem in the U.S. Senate, we must ensure that the DSCC supports Shows (pronounced "Hows", with an "S"). This is the pragmatic thing to do.

If ya think someone with ties to Big Insurance can win without substantial South Mississippi votes? Ask former Insurance Commissioner George Dale--a 32 year incumbent--who lost his seat in the Democratic primary last August.

With financial resources and good staff to execute the ground campaign and media strategy, Shows can become the next elected Senator from Mississippi, a Democrat at that. To help get this ball rolling, let's call the DSCC and leave a quick, simple message to support former Congressman Ronnie Shows in the Mississippi Senate race. Tell the nice young man who answers the phone that Musgrove (also named Ronnie-- confusing, I know) is on the payroll of Big Insurance's law firm, that Dems can win and put another Democrat in the U.S. Senate thereby expanding our majority in that important legislative body. That is how we will be assured that the Katrina-ravaged region of this great nation gets a Senator who will remain focused on our recovery.

As usual, our ability to impact the political arena is at the end of our fingertips. Within a minute or two of our time. Phone (202) 224-2447, and let the DSCC know we want a win in Mississippi and can have that with former Congressman Ronnie Shows. Below is a brief phone script to help us along with this important race. Way beyond expanding our majority, this race is important because the American families and businesses struggling inside the Katrina ravaged region deserve someone who will pick up with great enthusiasm and passion the mantle of our recovery and insurance reform.


My name is _____ and I am a Democrat. I am calling about the campaign in Mississippi to fill U.S. Senator Trent Lott's seat. We have two Ronnie's running on the Democratic side. Ronnie Musgrove is the former governor, but he is on the payroll of the law firm that represents State Farm, the American Insurance Association and the former insurance commissioner George Dale who lost in the Democratic primary last year because he--like Musgrove--is cozy with insurance companies. Please, support Ronnie Shows who is great on Katrina recovery and Insurance Reform. Besides, Shows is great on vets issues--something that Wicker is quite vulnerable on, according to the DAV website.

Thanks! Let's put another great Democrat in the Senate!

* This page reflects the key votes DAV rated for the congressional member which represents the zip code 38802 (Tupelo, Mississippi). At the bottom of the page is a series of key votes from 1998-2006 for this congressional seat which Wicker held from 1994 through 2007. Wicker supported the DAV on six of the 18 key, important DAV votes for a grand total of 33% of the time. In 2006 alone, the DAV gave Wicker a 50% rating. In 2005, the DAV rated Wicker with a whopping goose egg-->0%. In 2004, the DAV rated Wicker with another whopping goose egg-->0%. In 2003, the DAV rated Wicker . . . with another goose egg-->0%!!!

NOTE: Thanks to MsPundit [comments below] for letting me know in her own special way that the original link to Wicker's AWOL record needed to be updated. As a result, we now know that from 2003 through 2005 Republican Congressman Wicker had three solid years of being AWOL when it came to supporting our disabled American veterans. Of course, three solid years might actually be considered more of a desertion. After three long years in which Congressman Wicker consistently betrayed the needs of our disabled vets, he did attempt to improve to show up for duty in 2006. Then, he failed our veterans half the time.

Because of MsPundit, I dug a little further and found more documentation. Thanks, MsPundit. You're a doll. Glad that you could help shine tremendous light on Wicker's record. He owes you. ;)

© 2008 Ana Maria Rosato. All rights reserved.
Return to A.M. in the Morning! Home.


MSpundit said...

You are repeating absurd claims about Wicker being bad on vets issues - the facts are blatantly against you. Wicker is the ranking Republican member of the appropriations committee that funds VA and recently oversaw the largest increase in dollars to vets IN HISTORY. $43 billion for this year alone. Not to mention the fact that when the Dems were holding up this spending bill for political purposes, Wicker went to floor multiple times railing against that and even introduced his own bill that would get vets the money despite the Democrats' shenanigans. So to claim that he hasn't done anything for vets is so far off base it is laughable.

MSpundit said...

Also, that group you site is misleading. The group's website claims he didn't support all of these vets bills but lo and behold he voted for EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM when they came up for a vote. So again, he is and always has been a supporter of vets and anyone who says otherwise is distorting the facts or just plain lying.

Ana Maria said...

What's laughable is that you failed to state that you have personally contacted the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) to dispute their public website in which they demonstrate quite clearly that Wicker has turned his back on disabled American veterans.

Personally, I take offense to any public official who turns his back on vets in general and to disabled vets, in particular. It's VERY personal for me, honey.

What's truly absurd is that you would think that coming here to my own blog to spew your foolishness would actually do some good. The only thing it does is make me realize just how vulnerable Wicker is on this issue.

What's laughable is, well, Wicker and his campaign believe that he can somehow blow smoke in our faces to make us believe that he is different than his black and white record as the DAV published is incorrect.

Do cc me on your email to the DAV, ok? I'll publish it.

Other than that, feel free to provide me and others with your highly entertaining, factually devoid diatribes.

When I quit laughing, I'm sure I'll find you sad, really. For now, though, I'm laughing mao.

Ana Maria said...

Proof, my dear. Where is your proof? To reiterate my prior comment, please cc me at for your letter to the DAV correcting their website with your proof of Wicker's record. I'm sure the organization will be happy to review their records and reflect the true nature of Wicker's record.

Again, my email address is Looking forward to publishing your email!!!

Of course, if the DAV is accurate, then, your silence, the lack of an email, is understandable.

Understanding as always,

Ana Maria said...

Are you calling the DAV a bunch of liars?

You, my dear, have no call to do that. Are you on Wicker's campaign staff? Is your view that of the Wicker campaign? What is your relationship to the Wicker campaign?

MSpundit said...

What I said was that the information on that site was misleading and that people who used it to paint a picture of Wicker were being less than truthful. If you look at their site, they give you his record as a Senator. He's been one for about a week and hasn't even been to Washington yet so I don't think its fair to make a judgement about him based on a Senate record that hasn't started yet. If you look at his time in the House, you will see that he has been a supporter of vets including just getting $43 Billion for them last year.

Ana Maria said...

The DAV gives a clear picture of Wicker's votes as a member of the House of Representatives and that is the record to which I linked.

Again, MsP, please, write an email to the esteemed DAV providing your well-documented evidence of your allegation of the organization's erroneous analysis of Wicker's voting record while he was a sitting member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Why do you hesitate to do the honorable thing? Instead, you continue to challenge the DAV's analysis of Wicker's record without providing any shred of evidence.

The members of the DAV are proud, courageous, and brave men and women who have served our country with tremendous honor. The DAV represents them well.

If you have the audacity to challenge the honor of the DAV, then you should have the courage to do so with solid documentation and do so in a respectful manner.

Again, write an email to the DAV with your documented proof that the DAV erred and cc me here at I will publish your letter with your alleged documentation.

This is the most appropriate action for you. Anything else is pure cowardice.

What'll it be? Cowardice or courage?

MSpundit said...

This is my last post since you are clearly too emotional to have a civilized discussion with. Again, the link you have shows a bunch of SENATE bills and that Roger has not supported those SENATE bills. Going back to Civics class, a member of the House can't co-sponsor or vote for a bill in the Senate. So people who are using that link to say he is bad on vets issues are misleading people. I am not saying that the group is bad, I don't know anything about them. But to use the link that you use and claim that he hasn't supported those SENATE bills during his time in the HOUSE is misleading. Signing off, enjoy your padded room.

Ana Maria said...

Thanks for letting me know that the link needed to be updated. As a result, we now know that Wicker was AWOL on disabled American veterans issues in 2003, 2004, and 2005. For three straight years, I believe that would qualify as outright desertion.

Wicker has you to thank for helping me to expose his record of deserting disabled American vets and their families when we needed Wicker to show up for duty.

Thanks for making the case for Ronnie Shows so much easier now that we know that for three years in a row, Wicker deserted disabled vets and their families. This issue is extremely personal for my family and me.

From the bottom of my HUGE patriotic Democratic heart, I salute the tenacity with which you ensured that I find the documentation that demonstrates clearly Wicker failed to support disabled vets over and over and over again through many, many, many years.

The piece has been updated to reflect the new information and credit went to you for ensuring that I completely expose Wicker's record.


Chuck said...

What an exchange. It will be hard for anybody to try and sink Roger on the DAV issue. The man is a retired Air force pilot and has huge support from all Vets around the state. It’s funny how the tide changes when another Democrat gets into the race. You first bash Musgrove and for a moment, I thought you would utter a brief approval of Roger, but Hell hasn’t frozen over yet and now you switch from your staple cause of Katrina to DAV issues. What gives? You know Roger has been great for the coast, but now you want to cut him down on a misleading website because of your partisan ways. The papers on the coast like Roger, but it seems you want to make up your own news and that’s fine. I thought you were just hell bent on coast recovery? Your blog is littered with all kindsof Katrina issues and how we need a leader to help resolves these issues. Well, if that’s what you want then Roger is your man. There will always be people like you that go after someone at their knees just because of partisanship, but please tell and show me how Shows is the better candidate. Is it experience, or just the looks? Some ladies vote on just that. Either way you cut it, Shows is one of those old coats in the closet that you try and bring back, but it doesn’t fit and never looks as good as it use to. The only way a Democrat in this race has a chance is for the other one to fold. Both Ronnies will split the vote someway and leave Roger with a B line back to Washington. Rumor has it that Shows will fold if November is the date, but it’s not the first time a candidate, or so called staffer in this race, has been misleading.
Ana, maybe you need to run for Senate!! You have all the answers and a clean record in Mississippi. Go for it!!

Ana Maria said...

Care to provide some sources for your allegations, Chuck? What do you make of the DAV labeling your good friend Wicker with a big goose egg THREE years in a row when our disabled vets needed him to stand with them? Are you calling the DAV a bunch of liars?

Chuck said...

Your man,Gene Taylor's record is worse than Roger's according to DAV website and Bennie's is worse than that. Bennie only voted once in their favor. So the Republican congressman has the better record of both Democrats combined. What say you? I really dont know where you are going with this, but you are going to have to come up with some more so called "dirt" to put Roger in the mud.
Speaking of sources, where is your prof that Shows is "Good on Veteran issues"? I cant seem to find anything on Shows when it comes to DAV. Please help me find some.

Chuck said...

Good friend? I know Roger about as well as I know you, but he has a record I can see and you don't. Except for the race baiting in San Jose. Ouch!! That must of hurt.

Ana Maria said...

You're such a comedian! Again, you have no documentation for your opinions on this campaign. Apparently, you didn't bother to read the note at the bottom of this article. It has links to Wicker's goose eggs.

If you are so sure footed that the DAV has erred in its evaluation of your man Wicker, please email the DAV with your documentation to the contrary and cc me at I will gladly publish your well documented letter.

Run along now, Chuck, and try to find that mysterious documentation on how Wicker stood with rather than deserted three years in a row--2003, 2004, and 2005--America's disabled vets and their families.

Chuck said...

Ha!! I was the class clown one year in school, but thats another story for another day.

I see how Roger voted and Bennie and Gene, but how did Ronnie vote in the past? You said he was good on Vet issues. Where is your documentaion on that statement?

I'm not saying DAV are liars nor am I saying that Roger didnt vote the way that DAV shows. I just want to see Ronnie's record on DAV bills. If its anything like Gene or Bennie he is much worse than Roger on Vet issues. Can you produce Ronnie's record to show me that I'm wrong? I wont hold my breath.

By the way, you need to put the DAV site as the primary source. The Vote Smart site does not do as good of a job of showing actual votes. The Vote Smart site shows one thing, but DAV site shows another. You site it because it says what you want it to say. Typical.

Let me know about Ronnie's record.

Ana Maria said...

So, since you agree that your man got a big goose egg THREE YEARS in a row, you agree that Wicker is NOT the friend of DAV and their families (like mine). Again, thanks for agreeing with the DAV.

Truth Gets In The Way said...

Ana, once again you have been "called out" by the people that can spot obvious bias and slanted stories to support your liberal democrat views. I notice you make NO EFFORT at defending "OUR HOMETOWN HERO" Gene Taylor's record per Chuck's statement. Soooo, when you don't have the information to truly defend your position you simply change the subject and "blow off" the people making the comment eh? This is the same maniacal rhetorical folly you have displayed time and time again with your Katrina hogwash. Information from credible, unbiased sources, sworn testimony, etc. dont sway you away from your position of ignorance. I am sure you will delete this post or post some blah blah blah honey, darling, sweetie, sort of reply using your quaint southern mis-speak but as the nick says, sometimes the Truth does get In The Way.

Ana Maria said...

Enlighten and dazzle us with your family's saga here inside Katrina Land. How did you and your family fare after Katrina's winds blew through town? What was the financial impact on your neighbors, your place of worship, your schools and groceries and car mechanic's shop? Which insurance companies did you and your family use and how well did they treat you? We all want to know because we're shopping for the good guys.

Speak from experience.

Chuck said...

All we are asking for is Gene's, Bennie's and Shows record according to the DAV. You won’t produce it because you know those Democrats have worse records than Roger.

It has nothing to do with being a friend or not, it’s called being a responsible Legislator. Just because something is politically popular doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do all the time.

Nothing against Gene, he has done a great job for the coast, but he is not the DAV supporter you want him to be nor is Shows.

You have been called out on your statement about Shows being good on Vet issues. Produce the documentation that supports your statement so you can shut me up. You should of learned about documentation in high school, but I think it’s more of a liberal spin than anything else.

redwood201 said...

Ana Maria, liberal blogs (or as you like to say "progressive") like yours are attacking Roger Wicker for his work on veterans' issues. I find this quite funny. 1) Roger Wicker is a veteran. 2) Harry Reid thanks Roger for his work on veterans' issues on the Senate floor ( What do you think about the Senate leader of your party praising Wicker on the Senate floor? You should dig a little more before you make such baseless claims.

I also call your attention to a recent article in the Sun Herald where your Congressman, Gene Taylor, attended a ceremony honoring Wicker's appointment:

"Wicker said he did not know what committee assignments he would be given by GOP leaders but Taylor, standing next to the new senator, interjected "insurance, banking, insurance." Taylor's multi-peril insurance bill passed the House but is pending in the Senate. Wicker would not say what committees he had requested but spoke eagerly about the need for Taylor's legislation to cover wind damage as part of the federal flood insurance program.

"I am absolutely Gene Taylor's partner on that issue and it becomes more and more clear that the Coast will not recover until we'll be able to get that legislation," said Wicker. "It's number one."

Taylor and Wicker joked how they had been colleagues for over 20 years, starting in the state senate, then moving to the U.S. House. Taylor, a Democrat at the GOP-dominated event said, "We've worked together for 20 years now. I'm impressed he's been to the Coast twice. Obviously we've got to work on multi-peril legislation.

icker, who lives in Tupelo, said after Katrina, his staffers answered phones at U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor's Gulf Coast office while Taylor and his staff got their affairs in order. He said he also helped feed evacuees in Tupelo, and he helped organize a load of goods sent to a Pascagoula church.

Wicker said he would also push Taylor's multi-perils insurance bill in the Senate. The bill, which extends the National Flood Insurance Program to include wind coverage, passed the House of Representatives last year, but the Senate has not acted on it.

"I am absolutely Gene Taylor's partner on that issue," Wicker said."

Ana Maria said...

Redwood 2001,

When you read my last piece titled MS-Senate Race: The Nose Test Knows Best, you can click on the links to the DAV site where the organization rates legislators on key votes. The DAV gave Wicker a big "0%" in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. Furthermore, the DAV also rated. FOUR years in a row. OUCH! Ask my vet friends and family members-- Republican and Democratic--and their reaction is the same: dismissal of the man as fit to fill U.S. Senator Lott's shoes, a candidate unworthy of our votes because rather than champion the concerns of those who wear the uniform and serve our nation, Wicker didn't show up for duty FOUR years in a row.

That's not just going AWOL on vets issues. That's outright desertion in my book.

Read MS-Senate Race: The Nose Test Knows Best. It has all the DAV links.

PS Have you ever seen the massive California redwoods? I loved being surrounded by such awesome, majestic creatures! I highly recommend being int he middle of them at some point in life. A jewel of a treat!

redwood201 said...

A.M., where in the world did you get your "four years in a row" so-called fact? This sounds like another Dan Rather story. I know you remember A.M., when our good friend at CBS, Dan Rather, ran a false story on President's Bush's military service. It cost him his job. Remember?

I hope you check out my blog soon. With Majority in Mississippi shutting down, it's my turn to carry the conservative banner in Mississippi.

Ana Maria said...

Oh goodness, gracious. Surely you are a lot smarter than your public comments reveal. As a courtesy, I'll break it down for you n-i-c-e and s--l--o--w. ;)

In each of the following sentences, simply click on the hyperlinked words (hint: they are the ones that are the color blue.) and you will be taken to a Disabled American Veterans page that lists the federal legislators by name (hint: look for the name "Wicker").

With each of the hyperlinks that you click, locate the name "Wicker" and look to the right of it and you will see a number indicating the percentage of the time that Wicker showed up for duty to support our men and women in uniform who are disabled veterans. This is the "score" that the Disabled American Veterans has concluded represents the percentage of time that our disabled vets could count on the legislator to support disable vets interests.

In each of the four years listed below: 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005, you will see the percent for Wicker to be . . . drum roll please . . . . . 0%. Go ahead, click and you'll see for your self.

In 2005, the DAV rated Wicker with a whopping goose egg-->0%.

In 2004, the DAV rated Wicker with another whopping goose egg-->0%.

In 2003, the DAV rated Wicker . . . with another goose egg-->0%!!!

In 2002, the DAV rated Wicker with . . . another goose egg-->0%.

If you wish to challenge the Disabled American Vets organization rating of your guy with a big ZERO for a grand total of FOUR years in a row, then please contact that organization directly. Of course, copy me on any written correspondence between you and the DAV concerning this matter in which you challenge the DAV organization. I will happily publish.