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September 16, 2008

Republicans hammer Musgrove on ethics

Former Mississippi governor Ronnie Musgrove’s relationship with two jailed trial attorneys is the basis for the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s latest attack ad against the Democratic Senate candidate.

The ad connects Musgrove with famed attorney (and Trent Lott brother-in-law) Dickie Scruggs, who was an icon in Mississippi before he was caught bribing a judge. (Check out this outstanding New Yorker piece for background on Scruggs’ fall from grace.)

Also mentioned in the ad is Paul Minor, who was sentenced to 11 years in jail for bribing two judges.

Scruggs and Minor both were donors to Musgrove’s gubernatorial campaign, and the ad accuses both of having influence on Musgrove’s judicial appointments.

“Minor had so much influence on Musgrove, insiders called him the Judge Maker. Now Minor and Scruggs are in jail, convicted of trying to bribe judges,” the ad says. “Ronnie Musgrove: a record that makes you want to blush.”

Musgrove is challenging Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), who was appointed last December to fill the vacancy created by Trent Lott's resignation.  After trailing the better-known Musgrove early on in the campaign, Wicker has regained the lead in public polling