Hood targets push polls in SC races

by Chris Rizo |
Sep. 23, 2008, 2:39am

Jim Hood (D)

JACKSON, Miss. (Legal Newsline)-Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is investigating what some are calling dirty political tactics in the state Supreme Court races.

The Democratic attorney general told The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger that so-called Push-polls, which appear as legitimate political surveys but are used to spread lies about a candidate or issue, have been reported in at least three of the judicial races.

"We are looking into these sleazy, bogus calls to determine if they violate our criminal and/or civil laws," Hood was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

Supreme Court candidate Jim Kitchens, who is running against Chief Justice Jim Smith, is the target of one of the push polls, the newspaper reported Tuesday.

One push poll alleged in questions that Kitchens represented Wayne Williams, "who killed 34 black children in Atlanta."

But the truth is Kitchens only temporarily assisted Williams' attorney, Al Binder, after Binder became ill.

In separate push poll, respondents were asked if they'd be more likely or less likely to vote for Justice Chuck Easley if they knew he took contributions from disgraced trial lawyer Dickie Scruggs.

The Oxford, Miss., attorney is currently in federal prison for his part in a conspiracy to bribe Lafayette County Circuit Court Judge Henry Lackey with $50,000 in exchange for a favorable ruling in a dispute over $26.5 million in legal fees.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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