William Allain bigraphy, stories - Governor of Mississippi

William Allain : biography

February 14, 1928 -

William A. "Bill" Allain (born February 14, 1928) is a Mississippi politician who served as the 58th Governor of that state as a Democrat from 1984 to 1988.


Allain was born in Washington, Mississippi. He attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, and received his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law at Oxford.John Howard, Men Like That: A Southern Queer History, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1999, pp. 286-287 Allain served in the United States infantry in the Korean War. He was a member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. After the war, he practiced law in Natchez, Mississippi, until his appointment as assistant state attorney general in 1962.

Allain was elected state attorney general in 1979, having defeated the Republican State Senator Charles W. Pickering of Laurel. Allain earned a reputation as a consumer advocate, fighting utility rate increases and stopping the storage of nuclear waste in Mississippi. State labor president Claude Ramsay sought to broker an agreement between the Democratic Party presidential candidate Walter F. Mondale and the subject when the latter sought a veto over the federal storage of nuclear waste in Mississippi as a condition for his political support of Mondale.Cawthon, Raad. "Allain's behavior befuddles Democrats". Clarion Ledger. August 24, 1984. p.3B. He also fought the powerful Mississippi Legislature, which for decades had diluted executive branch power by appointing legislators to executive department boards and commissions. The Mississippi Supreme Court, at Allain's insistence, struck the practice as a violation of the constitutional principle of separation of powers. The resulting decision, Allain v. Alexander, is sometimes referred to as "Mississippi's Marbury vs. Madison," after the landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court which delineated the powers of the three branches of the federal government. Allain's efforts strengthened the Mississippi executive and streamlined Mississippi's political processes.

In 1983, while running for the post of governor against Republican candidate Leon Bramlett, Rex Armistead helped spread rumors that Allain had sexual intercourse with two African-American male transvestites.John Howard, Men Like That: A Southern Queer History, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1999, pp. 281-297Warren Johansson, William A. Percy, Outing: Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence, Routledge, 1994, p. 156 Allain denied the charges. Both men went on the record with a lie detector, but in 1984 claimed they had never met Allain, and had been paid for their testimony.

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