Dick Hall, Mississippi Department of Transportation Central District Commissioner, stole the show Wednesday at the political speeches at the pavilion by holding up last week's arrest report for MDOT Executive Director Butch Brown.

Describing MDOT leadership as "dysfunctional" Hall asked, "Is this all we expect nowadays? Is this the new standard for public service?"

Brown was arrested Friday morning by Biloxi police at the Beau Rivage Casino on charges of disorderly conduct and public intoxication. The former charge was dismissed in what the casino described as a "misunderstanding." A court date for the public intoxication misdemeanor charge is set for Oct. 13.

Hall made a motion Tuesday to suspend Brown. It requires two of three commissioners to take action and Hall could not get a second for his motion from either Southern District Commissioner Wayne Brown (unrelated to Butch) or Northern District Commissioner Bill Minor. Hall said he hopes Butch Brown gets professional help but doesn't believe there is help available for the other commissioners.

"You can't fix stupid," Hall said, quoting a billboard. Hall announced for reelection and asked voters to send him help on the commission.

Other speakers included State Auditor Stacey Pickering who announced a Statewide Performance Audit; Central District Public Service Commissioner Lynn Posey who reaffirmed his support of the Kemper County coal facility; and State Representative Scott Bounds (R-44) and State Senator Giles Ward (R-18) who both announced they would seek re-election and spoke on prudent fiscal restraint and budgetary responsibility.

Five candidates challenging incumbent Democratic Congressman Travis Childers spoke. Congress is in session and Childers could not attend. Republican Alan Nunnelee announced his first vote would be to fire House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Independents A.G. Bradley and Wally Pang cheered each other on and denounced both Republicans and Democrats. Constitution Party candidate Gail Giaramita called for a return to Christian values, and independent Les Green warned the "sovereignty of our nation is at risk." Reform Party candidate Barbara Dale Washer did not show up.

Also speaking were District Attorney Mark Duncan, Circuit Judge Marcus Gordon, and Chancery Judge Joseph Kilgore. The contested judicial race between incumbent Judge Vernon Cotten and Jes Smith focused largely on the drug court program, which Cotten defended for its low 5 percent recidivism rate and of which Smith was critical.

Attorney General Jim Hood said his lawsuits since 2004 have brought in more than $450 million; and while he has been fighting BP, he said Governor Haley R. Barbour "wants to start an Indian war with the Choctaws" - referencing the dispute between Barbour and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians over a gaming establishment in Jones County.

Barbour speaks Thursday morning at 1 a.m. along with other statewide elected officials and challenger candidates for the Second, Third, and Fourth Congressional Districts. Pavilion speeches begin at 9 a.m.