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Hood camp questions Simpson's consulting job

The campaigns in the attorney general's race appear to be in hyperdrive.

Here's the latest: AG Jim Hood's camp says challenger Steve Simpson has "secretely" hired on with a company who got a contract with the state while he was Public Safety commissioner.

Simpson's camp is responding with "pay-to-play" allegations that Hood is lining his campaign coffers with money from law firms to which the AG has given lucrative contracts.

Simpson is working as a consultant for L-1 Identity Solutions Inc., which operates drivers license renewal kiosks across the state for DPS. Records show DPS since 2007 has paid L-1 more than $2.1 million for computer and other services. Simpson was head of DPS from April 2008 to February. He signed on as a consultant with L-1 in June.

Simpson's camp responds that he doesn't work for the company in Mississippi and that ethics opinions are clear he can do the work. They counter that of 30 legal contracts Hood has givent to law firms across the country, 23 are to rirms that have donated to his campaign since early 2010, at least $112,000.

To read more on this, and some of the other mud being slang (as Dizzy Dean would say), read Sunday's Political Buzz page in the Sun Herald and at sunherald.com.

-- Geoff Pender/political editor

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