About a year ago, the Wall Street Journal published an article praising Florida's attorney general for his full support of "sunshine" legislation, which serves to shed "sunlight" on the deals that are cut between the attorney general's office and outside attorneys.
All too often, an attorney general can use this vehicle to hire friends at outlandish rates to try a case that the state's paid attorneys are perfectly capable of handling. Remember Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's friend Joey Langston, who was paid several million dollars for his work on the MCI settlement?
After Gov. Haley Barbour's infamous special session in 2004, which successfully passed tort reform, a Wall Street Journal article about our state claimed that, under the direction of the governor, Mississippi has passed the most comprehensive tort reform in the country.
Wouldn't it be nice if they could write the same about Mississippi's passage of sunshine legislation? I don't foresee that happening under Hood's watch.
Monday, March 23, 2009
It ain't just about emails and incident reports. We could use some sunshine on the Attorney General's secret no-bid multi-million dollar contingency contracts sometimes with major campaign contributors. We're glad Helen McCarty agrees in her letter to the editor to the Clarion Ledger last week.