/How a planned Democratic forum quietly fell apart after Jim Hood balked

How a planned Democratic forum quietly fell apart after Jim Hood balked

Amos is the Mississippi Democratic Party’s field director and chairwoman of Hinds County Democratic Party. She organizes and manages the local chapter in the county that has the highest number of Democratic voters and citizens. Amos stated, “If we want to make political change at the state-level, we need to send the right messages to the voters in order to help them make the right choice.” “I don’t believe any candidate should claim they are a shoo in. Amos set to work on July 8. She called Dr. Elayne Hayne-Anthony from Jackson State University. She was chair of the journalism department and jumped at the opportunity to broadcast a forum with three top Democratic candidates for governor — Attorney General Jim Hood (Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith) and Velesha Williams (WJSU), the university’s public TV station. Amos and Anthony decided to invite the top three candidates for the nomination out of eight Democrats. The organizers decided that there would not be any debate or discussion among candidates. Each candidate would answer five questions about the key issues facing the state and stand in front of cameras. The forum was taped at 10 a.m. July 17th. It would be broadcast on WJSU July 19th and seven times more before the August 6th primary. Amos called all three campaigns on July 8 and extended an invitation. Amos and their campaigns quickly accepted the invitation, as did Shuler Smith. Williams stated, “I’ve been calling to have a debate for months so I was ready to go anywhere and cancel everything I had planned to make it happen.” Hood’s campaign claimed that there was a scheduling conflict on July 17th, Amos stated. However, they offered to record their responses at the WJSU studios earlier than the other candidates. Amos stated that they asked Hood if he could tape before he left town. However, WJSU wanted all the answers, particularly since the attorney general was slated to be the front-runner. It would make sense to have him there. They did not want to record him and give him any advantage. They cancelled it.” She said, “(The Hood campaign] is going to tell (you) that there was a scheduling problem, but I don’t know. It would have helped them all to do this. This would have been a great service to the public. I’m disappointed.” Hood’s campaign officials were unable to comment on the matter. They said that they didn’t have any additional information to support Hood’s absence. Hood’s opponents attacked Hood for failing to find a way to organize the forum. Shuler Smith stated that as an elected attorney, he can’t remember running from an argument — even though my professional and political ‘prestige’ appeared to be at stake. “One Mississippi needs strong-willed leaders who know that being for the people demands a heart of perseverance and not privilege,” Williams stated. On July 23, all three Republican candidates for governor will take part in a live televised debate. The debate will be hosted by Jackson’s WJTV and broadcast live to all TV markets in the state. The Democratic candidates have not been invited to such an event. Bobby Moak, Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman, said that Amos’ colleague had no involvement in the WJSU forum. He stated: “There was absolutely no effort by the Mississippi Democratic Party to have any debate between Democrats at the state or local level.” Moak laughed when asked if he believed Democratic candidates should follow the lead of Republicans and allow for an honest exchange of ideas within a debate setting. Moak stated that he was fine with Republicans having any debates they wish. “We are not going to do this on our side. It’s not something that we would even consider.”