/Sherman campaign puts focus on business background

Sherman campaign puts focus on business background

Sherman, a 63 year-old venture capitalist from California, who lives in Meridian has created a campaign that highlights his businessman credentials in his bid to become the Democratic challenger to U.S. Senator Roger Wicker in November. Sherman won the June 5 primary over two veterans lawmakers. Sherman’s opponents were also critics. They raised questions about Sherman’s Mississippi connections and his lack of political experience. Rep. David Baria (a third-term Bay St. Louis legislator), who Sherman will face in the June 26 runoff election, has not stopped pounding that drum. WLOX-TV reported Baria telling a Biloxi crowd that he didn’t know much about Sherman. Sherman is not something I know. A review of Sherman’s U.S. Senate financial Disclosure form, which every candidate must file with that body’s clerk, lists more than 10 companies he was involved in in Mississippi, Florida and California, among other things. Sherman is listed as the managing partner of Inventure Holdings LLC and its sister company Inventure Medical LLC. Sherman often refers to deals he has made over the years that have created jobs and opportunities for workers. Sherman’s LinkedIn profile describes Inventure Holdings to be a company that generates, monitors, and mines “dealflow for start-up or young company opportunities where Inventure’s ‘playbook’, ‘rolodex’ and financial resources could positively impact enterprise performance, shareholder value, and enterprise performance.” Both companies are listed as Meridian-based on the Senate disclosure form. Inventure Holdings also has a Meridian address. The Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office has no record of either company. Mississippi Today visited the address for Inventure Holdings. It is located in a one-story building that sits between a CEFCO gasoline station and a Holiday Inn Express hotel in Meridian. Granberry Ward, Sherman’s brother in law, runs the Community Cable and Broadband LLC. Both Inventure Medical and Inventure Medical have been registered in California. However, the Secretary of State’s Office lists both companies as being suspended. Mississippi Today was told by a representative from the California Secretary-of-State’s Office that Inventure Holdings, LLC had been suspended on May 8, 2018, just one month before the Mississippi primary elections. Inventure Medical was also suspended by the California Franchise Tax Board on September 1, 2017. California law states that neither company can operate within the state until all issues are resolved. However, the representative from the California secretary-of-state’s office declined details about Inventure. Mississippi Today asked Anna Davis, an attorney with Adams and Reese in Birmingham, for clarification. Davis stated that both LLCs were formed outside of Mississippi, but that Mississippi was the principal place for business for both corporations and that both were headquartered in Mississippi. Davis also said that she didn’t know the reason for the suspension. Davis stated that it doesn’t matter where a corporation is incorporated. She denied that she had spoken to the California Secretary of State’s Office, but said that “generally a suspension occurs when a state employee forgets to enter a required form.” Sherman confirmed to Mississippi Today that he is currently registering in Mississippi. He often mentions Hope Village For Children Inc. in Meridian, which he and his wife founded in 2000 to assist children who have been neglected or abused. Five cottages are located on nearly 30 acres. The organization offers multiple services for children who have been taken from their homes. These services include emergency shelter for children while they wait for foster placement, reunion with their families, therapy, classes for older kids to learn how to live independently and psychiatric assessments. The Mississippi Secretary of State’s records show that the organization has steadily grown over the years. It started with just $630,000 in 2001 and grew to nearly $4.2 million in 2017. The IRS records of Hope Village also reveal that the organization, which employed almost 200 people in 2016, raised its operating budget through a combination government grants, donations, and fees. Sherman believes that his track record of success in the business world will prove to be a benefit if he is elected as senator. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Sherman sold Roundhouse Inc., a CD storage company worth $40 million, to Targus in 2000. Targus is a major manufacturer of tablet bags and laptop cases. Although the details of the deal weren’t disclosed to the public by Sherman, the newspaper reported that Roundhouse employees received cash and stock payments. Targus sued Sherman in Massachusetts state courts, claiming that Sherman had not accurately represented Roundhouse’s financial situation and resulting stock buy value. Court documents also state that Sherman claimed that Targus made misrepresentations about Roundhouse’s financial position, which could have affected the value of Targus stock. A Massachusetts appeals court upheld Sherman’s breach of contract claims against Sherman. Sherman stated that he has been a businessman since 1979 and has founded or been involved in over 20 businesses. He said that there was a dispute over an earn-out and that it was resolved by the courts. Sherman attributes his business planning skills to the development of several 100-day plans that address issues such as healthcare, education, criminal justice reform, and children. He described the 100-day plan as “transcend party” and said that it included many ideas. Sherman said that although it sounds very sexy, it is actually what we do in the private sector every day. Sherman spoke to Mississippi Today last week on The Jungle: Mississippi Today’s Election Podcast. He said it was a way for him to be accountable and to lay out precisely what he wants to accomplish. She said that Rep. Omeria Scott supported Sherman because of this plan. Scott and Sherman held a press conference to announce their endorsement in Laurel, days after she won 24 percent of the vote in the primary.

Scott said that it was his ability to clearly articulate the big areas he believed he could affect, Scott told Mississippi Today. “Those were the things I talked on the campaign trail. Howard’s 100-day plans contain those things.” Sherman is confident in this skill. He said that people don’t do favors in business unless they are benefiting them in some way._x000D

“It’s deal making. Sherman stated that while Sherman doesn’t wish to sound like the president, it is literally offering something. Sherman said that Roger (Wicker), right now, doesn’t have much to offer other than ‘I will vote for the president 97 percent of all times’.” Sherman believes that he is able to work with the entire aisle in Mississippi to achieve the goals of his campaign. Sherman stated, “Yes, we will argue about certain issues that are polarizing. But let’s at the least ensure our health care is fixed. We’ve got jobs. People are coming to Mississippi.” “Then, we can debate about the emotional issues.