Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MS Democratic Party Executive Director Rickey Cole drops the hammer on Republican House Candidate Deborah Tierce

Well, this is quite the bombshell.  Republican Attorney General nominee Steve Simpson has been exposed for failing to pay property taxes, but Republican 21st House District nominee Deborah Tierce may be taking it to a whole new level.

According to Rickey Cole, Executive Director of the Mississippi Democratic Party, Tierce is apparently filing homestead in two different counties.

In a press conference today, Cole unveiled tax documents that show Rep. Donnie Bell's opponent filing for homestead tax exemption on two different properties in two different counties, one of which isn't even in District 21.

Here are the documents, and here is the text of the press release:

The Mississippi Democratic Party demands that Republican Deborah Tierce withdraw from next month’s race for State House District 21 because of questions surrounding her residency and where she filed homestead exemption.

Rickey Cole, executive director of the Mississippi Democratic Party, cited Article IV Sections 42 of the Mississippi Constitution, which states that State House candidates must be a resident of the district they wish to represent for two years before the election.

Tierce faces incumbent Democrat Donnie Bell in the Nov. 8 general election. State House District 21 includes parts of Itawamba and Monroe counties.

Documents show that Tierce and her husband apparently filed for and received homestead exemption for two separate residences they owned at one time.

Documents show the Tierces claimed homestead exemption on property in Lee County outside of District 21 for calendar years 2009 and 2010. Documents also show they claimed homestead exemption on property they owned in Itawamba County inside District 21 for calendars years 2001 through 2010.

“The Mississippi Constitution is clear: Candidates for the state House of Representatives must reside in the district they plan to represent for two years before the election,” Cole said at a news conference in Fulton.

“These documents raise serious questions about where Mrs. Tierce actually lives. Does Mrs. Tierce live in Lee County or in Itawamba County? And because she apparently filed homestead exemption in Lee County, her action raises the question of whether she actually lives within House District 21.

“With the state elections less than a month away, it’s too late to file a challenge with the Mississippi Elections Commission,” Cole said. “But voters have a right to know the full story. Therefore, we ask Mrs. Tierce to fully explain these documents and to formally withdraw from the District 21 race.”


James said...

Amazing that Ricky Cole would jump on residency of a candidate. When does he plan to question the residency of many of the current members of the House of Representatives. A redundant question, of course, since the violators are all Democrats. Check out Jim Evans, Bobby Moak, Ed Blackman, for example. Want more -- they are there. But they are all given a pass by the Dems - including SOS Hosemann - in checking their residency.

And Matt - BTW - you should well know that MS statutes regarding residency are not determined by homestead exemption filings. Check the CJ of the COA for his homestead filings and various campaigns as a good example.

Cottonmouth said...

First, I'll start at the end, James. You said "And Matt - BTW - you should well know that MS statutes regarding residency are not determined by homestead exemption filings."

Um, here: "The general rule in this state is that there is a rebuttable presumption that one's domicile and residence are where his homestead exemption is filed." Young v. Stevens, 968 So. 2d 1260, 1263-1264 (Miss. 2007). And the Mississippi Supreme Court references Hinds County Election Comm'n v. Brinston in saying that. 671 So. 2d 667 (Miss. 1996)

Now back to the beginning. Evans, Moak, and Blackmon all live in the districts they represent. Heck, I went after Evans myself back in the Spring, but lo and behold, he actually lives in his district.