Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hypocrite of the Week: Joey Fieldinstream

If there's anything that aligns our radio show's namesake and I, it's our disdain for hypocrisy in government. I think Batman's really going to like this one:

In south Mississippi, an incumbent state senator, Joey Fillingane (pictured), recently mailed a campaign flyer to his constituents professing his love of guns. On the flyer is a photo of Fillingame in full camo gear standing alongside a similarly clad boy. Why, the NRA endorsed Fillingane over his opponent, the flyer says. There's nothing wrong with that, especially in Mississippi. Right? Well, sure there is. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks has no record of Fillingane ever having a hunting license. Gun lover, indeed; henceforth, let's call him Fieldinstream. (His opponent, Gerald Buffington, does have a hunting license, by the way, and has renewed it every year since at least 2005.)

Adding to Fieldinstream's hypocritical presentation is a pro-family screed that would make you believe he has sired the largest clan in Lamar County, Miss., while -- in reality -- his family credentials are as funny as his hunting qualifications. Fieldinstream is wifeless, childless, and according to his campaign finance reports -- he only moved out of his mommy and daddy’s house last year, at the tender age of 34, months before running for the Senate position.

Fieldinstream also lives two lives when it comes to his professional work. He makes enormous political points deriding personal injury trial lawyers, even going so far as decrying from the House podium in 2002 that "trial lawyers killed Jesus Christ." You probably can see the next one coming -- the doozy that sealed Fieldstream's Hypocrite-of-the-Week selection. That's right: Fieldinstream IS a trial lawyer -- complete with a full-page phone book ad soliciting auto accidents, slip-and-fall cases and wrongfuldeath claims, and defending DUI offenders. In previous elections, he received huge political contributions from trial lawyers statewide, a contribution from the state trial lawyers' political action committee, and even a contribution from the trial lawyers' president.

Congrats on your (apparent) newfound appreciation for the outdoors, Joey boy. But don't you just hate those icky, gooey little worms?


Lee said...

In 2003, I helped recruit a Republican candidate against Fillingane/Fieldinstream named Tony Mozingo. Mozingo ended up not running because, as he reported to my group, when he told Fillingane he was running, Fillingane STARTED CRYING and ran out of the room. If you ever met the guy, you'd understand.

John Leek said...

'even going so far as decrying from the House podium in 2002 that "trial lawyers killed Jesus Christ."'

Could you please give some sort of citation?

Mark said...

Hogie: Your idealism is admirable. Realistic? Probably not. But thank God somebody's trying. Large human movements start with individual human initiatives, so perhaps your dream of honesty in government will be realized someday.

mspolitics82 said...

The photo on the mailout of the man in camo gear, with what appears to be his son, is NOT Fillingane. So, with that, one might question the accuracy of the rest of the story. Did you see the mailout with your own eyes, or just get this information second hand from someone you know and trust? Did you compare that photo to one of Fillingane...or do you know Fillingane personally?

Like johnleek, I too, would like to see documentation of that comment re: Jesus Christ, when it was made, in what context, etc. Perhaps your trusted source(s) can help us out.

Not being a lawyer myself, I thought most lawyers were trial lawyers to some degree......the word TRIAL LAWYER in Ms. is mostly used to refer to those attorneys whose main income as an attorney comes from trying large, class-action-type cases or huge, millions-of-dollar deals.

Concerning Lee's comment: What kind of guy would let a man running out of the room crying deter his candidacy....seems like the best kind of opponent to have; yet Mozingo used that as an excuse not to run??? HHHMMMMMM!

To Mark: Idealism is indeed admirable---most of the time! Likewise, honesty in government is good...always! So is honesty and accuracy on blog sites....but I guess that is just IDEALISTIC !

gine said...

"Mozingo ended up not running because, as he reported to my group, when he told Fillingane he was running, Fillingane STARTED CRYING and ran out of the room."

Not crazy about Joey Fillingane, BUT I've met Tony Mozingo, the Honorable narcissistic Judge of the people's court in Purvis MS, and don't believe a word he says . . . . ;) Dude barely has walking around sense, much less deserving to be in a position to cast judgment upon others. Wouldn't know the truth if it hit him square in the face . . . . .If you ever met the guy, you'd understand.

Lee S. said...

Come on, people. Be honest. We know who (what) Joey is. That picture in camo raises two questions: 1. Is he lying about being a hunter (or at least mispresenting himself)? 2. As to the cute little boy in the picture with camo dude, would you let your little boy go on an overnight hunting trip with Fillingane? Come on, Lamar County Republicans, answer that.

Shaking hands with Joey Fillingane makes your "x" chromosone collapse.

J. Boyd said...

I’m looking at this over here in Tennessee and wondering: Is this Mississippi’s Mark Foley? Wasn’t Jon Hinson a Republican from Mississippi?

David said...

HYPOCRISY is the worst SIN a politician can commit, and this guy is the poster CHILD. Mississippians better WAKE UP and elect someone else or this MOMMA'S BOY will bring shame to the State....LITTLE JOEY Fillingane appears to take a WIDE STANCE on these social conservative family issues but we all know the TRUTH -- and by "wide stance" I am not talking about how he holds a gun in a bogus hunting photo (where was that taken anyway?....looks like a Sears picture studio shoot). I only point this out because of his blatant HYPOCRISY.

Dale Beavers said...

I'm Dale Beavers, an attorney and the former Republican party chairman in Lamar County, and I just ran against Joey Fillingane's father, Harvey, for his former House seat. I have plenty of things to say about Joey, but first I did want to confirm to you that the man in camo is not Joey Fillingane -- I've known him since we attended law school together at MC -- and this guy isn't him.

Joey and I were very good friends until late last year. I had been probably his most loyal supporter, and many believed that I was "his" candidate to replace him when he got elected to the Senate. After he made the runoff with a very large lead against Deborah Denard Delgado, he called me three days later to ask me to prod WDAM into running a story they had concerning Ms. Delgado being suspended from the practice of law by the Mississippi Bar -- I was reluctant to do this because I knew I'd be accused of angling for the special election, but I ended up doing it because he was my friend.

After he won with 69 percent of the vote, I got thanked by having his father run in the special election. His father, is actually a much more honorable and family oriented man than he is, but does not have the educational background or leadership skills to be an effective representative without Joey telling him what to do. He beat four of us in December and me again in August, in spite of my having the endorsement of the Hattiesburg American and Police Benevolent Association, the only two groups that personally interviewed us.

What finally made my wife and I lose all respect with Joey is that all of us spoke at a Fourth of July celebration put on by the Sumrall Lion's Club. As people were just lining up to speak, I asked the emcee to let me speak last simply for strategic purposes. Joey then got up and accused me of "paying" (bribing) the Lion's Club more money to speak last which was an outright lie.

I've never supported a Democrat in my life, but I'm supporting Gerald Buffington in this race. And when I told him about your blog, he told me he's had a hunting license his entire adult life.

In any event, I did want to make the clarification with the picture, and also alert you that a big discussion of your blog is on another website www.myhattiesburg.com.

Lee S. said...

I know Fillingane personally, I have the full color mailer (BOTH sides, which includes an additional picture) in my hand and I've shown it to every person in my office. Every single person agrees that is Fillingane in the picture, even though no parent who knows him would let him get that close to their young boy. Perhaps it is a relative. And, by the way, how dishonest is it to use a look-alike to make you appear like a hunter (or a real man)? This guy, and his supporters, know no shame!!

Kevin Hogencamp said...

OK, because of I’m no longer fully convinced that the photo in the flyer, which I have now posted on this blog, isn’t of Fieldinstream. If it’s not, am sorry; I was duped by Fieldinstream's campaign trickery. So, why use a look-a-like? (To represent Fieldinstream as being a manly man?); and, if it’s not Fieldinstream, who is the Fieldinstream double? Does anyone know the full story on the photo? Mspolitics82, since you know Fieldinstream, ask him to set the record straight, already! Oh, what the heck, somebody send him an e-mail.

Except for the ridiculous (from mspolitics82) allegation of dishonesty and inaccuracy, I'm glad to get feedback seeking citations and clarification.
So here goes:

Campaign finance reports dating back to 1999 on http://www.sos.state.ms.us/ show Fieldinstream living with his parents at 241 Fillingane Road in Sumrall until 2006, when he was 34. Information from various sites, including Fieldinstream’s legislative web page, show that Fieldinstream moved to 8 Westbrook Drive in Sumrall in about June 2006. The deed and deed of trust on the Westbrook address, through First Mangus Financial in Tucson, narrows it down to June 14, 2006.

Fieldinstream can't deny that he's a trial lawyer; someone please let me know if he does. Trial lawyers "chase ambulances" by representing civil plaintiffs and criminal defendants. Fieldinstream proclaims this to be his avocation in the Hattiesburg. Again, someone please let me know if Jesus has turned him in another direction. Indeed, he sued a Marion County logging company for $500,000 in personal injuries. That makes him a trial lawyer. For goodness sake, his ad says he represents DUI defendants, which isn’t the pinnacle of conservatism around here, either. By the way, his picture in the phone book also looks like the dude holding the gun wearing the camo.

Campaign finance reports show significant contributions just after Fieldinstream's 1999 race from Victor McTeer (a legendary civil rights lawyer) and Lowry Lomax (an asbestos and mass tort lawyer). Also documented are contributions before the election from LIMB (the Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association PAC) and Stevens & Ward (the law firm of a former President of MTLA); and ICE PAC (the super rich MS trial lawyers) worked very actively in his campaign. The trial lawyer money -- immediately after the race, by the way, according to the filings -- was used to pay back campaign money loaned to Fieldinstream by his father, House member Harvey Fillingane.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks has no record of Fieldinstream ever having a hunting license, while Buffington has had a license for as far back as the state’s computer system can calculate. Records that would reveal whether Fieldinstream has ever legally owned a gun are protected by the Feds.

Regrettably, the Mississippi Legislature does not transcribe arguments from the podium. Ask anyone who was in the gallery or on the floor on that fateful 2002 day and you will learn that Fieldinstream – responding to a passionate, Biblical-oriented plea from Rep. Jim Evans (a Baptist preacher) – declared: “Trial lawyers killed Jesus.”

Folks, I appreciate your participation and welcome constructive feedback.

Jimmy Matha said...

Alright, let's be fair, now, and let Joey weigh in to set the record straight. I just sent this e-mail to the senator. I'll pass his response along to you all.

Joey (jfillingane@senate.ms.gov) --

Is that you in cammo gear in the campaign mailer? If so, who is the boy? If not, who is the man in the mailer, and did you deliberate choose a look-a-like; and if so, why?


Jimmy Matha

Kent said...

I just stumbled upon this blog by happenstance and thought I should give my two bits since it seems that everyone else is. I too know Joey Fillingane and have never had any reason to not respect him or his family. The title of this blog posting "Hypocrite of the Week: Joey Fieldinstream" insinuates some great hypocrisy on Senate Fillingane's part, yet seems to be based far more on personal attacks and a hint of endorsement for his opponent (an immediate red flag to the neutrality of the article).

The only possibly true hypocrisy I find represented here is between the Senator's career and stance on trial lawyers, and as mspolitics82 pointed out, the term “trial lawyer” has a certain connotation (and one must give thought to the context of the term’s use, as well) that I do not think fits the Senator’s small legal practice. However, this is the strongest part of the article. As far as the rest of the article is concerned, I see nothing hypocritical.

Simply because the Senator does not have a hunting license does not mean that everything his campaign literature claims about his stance on second amendment rights is false or even a misrepresentation. I do not care if the person representing me has never even held a gun in his life so long as he consistently supports measures to protect my right to do so. And that is all that the flier says. Now if someone would like to analyze the Senator’s voting record on legislation concerning second amendment issues, I would be more than willing to listen to a well-grounded argument.

As far as the picture is concerned I think everyone may be getting a little too worked up. Looking at it without having the idea suggested to me I would have never imagined that the man was Senator Fillingane or someone supposed to look like him. Is it hypocritical for him to use an image of a hunter to demonstrate his support of the second amendment if he himself is not a hunter? Absolutely not. Does it suggest that he hunts? Absolutely not. It simply draws a subliminal connection in the viewers mind (as any good advertisement for any product does) that taking a certain action (voting for this candidate) will result in a certain outcome (helping ensure rights to bear arms… an important issue to hunters).

Further, the statements on the Senator’s sexuality that no decent parent would ever allow the Senator to be so near his or her young son are absurd. I have never asked him what his sexual orientation is and do not know, but if your argument here is based on the fact that you have a problem with a gay man serving in the legislature then say that and I will respect that opinion. But to make these statements insinuating that to be homosexual is to also be a pedophile is ridiculous, juvenile, and simply ignorant.

I too disdain hypocrisy in government, and I appreciate the effort Mr. Hogencamp is taking to expose it as well as the great political involvement that blogging and the online community offer Americans today. Let’s just all try to be responsible and realistic with what we say.