While his campaign contributors spent millions of taxpayer dollars on things like steak dinners and luxury cars for themselves, Tate Reeves turned a blind eye to the corruption right in front of his own eyes.
Mississippi families deserve better than a corrupt governor who looks out for himself and his wealthy campaign contributors — at their expense.
Tainted Tate's Friends Stole, Wasted, And Lost $77 Million
It's the largest public corruption scandal in state history, where $77 million meant to help working families went to the pet projects of Tate Reeves' wealthy and well-connected friends. That's right, your taxpayer dollars went to steak dinners, luxury cars, vacations, a volleyball stadium, horse ranch, and concerts.
& Zach New
Tate Reeves' own personal trainer Paul Lacoste received $1.3 million and used the money to pay himself nearly $11,000 a month, treated himself to a luxury vehicle, and took his friends to steak dinners. The money Lacoste received went to free fitness classes for Reeves and other legislators. Even the former welfare director, who has since pled guilty in this scandal, called this the "Lt. Gov’s [Reeves'] fitness issue." While he received stolen money from job training programs, Lacoste filmed an endorsement video for Tate Reeves.
Nancy New and Zach New, two of Tate Reeves' campaign contributors, have collectively been arrested and charged for misusing taxpayer dollars for their own personal use, bribing a public official, and racketeering. Federal prosecutors found that the News defrauded the Mississippi Department of Education of more than $2 million dollars and submitted false documents about their New Summit Schools, which are now shut down, fleecing the Mississippi Department of Education using a program that "serves hospitalized children."
Tate Reeves' Own Personal Trainer Received Over A Million Dollars In Stolen Funds
Tate Reeves' own personal trainer Paul Lacoste received $1.3 million meant for working families and spent that money on free fitness classes for Reeves and other legislators. Even the former welfare director, who has since pled guilty in this scandal, called this the "Lt. Gov's [Reeves'] fitness issue." While he received stolen money from job training programs, Lacoste filmed an endorsement video for Tate Reeves.
At this time, the athlete had already been putting on classes for professionals and government officials in the Jackson metro area, which included then-Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and many other lawmakers."
Mississippi Today, 4/4/2023
Lacoste's organization, Victory Sports Foundation, eventually received $1.3 million in funds from the federal welfare program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, through a private nonprofit called Mississippi Community Education Center, auditors found in 2020."
Because Reeves controls the welfare department, an agency under the governor's office, he's also in charge of the civil suit, which targets Lacoste along with dozens of others. Lacoste also endorsed Reeves for governor in 2019."
Reeves Did Nothing While This Corruption Ran Rampant
While criminals stole Mississippians' hard-earned taxpayer dollars, Tate Reeves did nothing. He failed to hold a single oversight meeting that could have caught this corruption - which was his job as President of the Mississippi Senate. "In the three years following arrests in the largest public fraud scandal in state history, the agency led by Gov. Tate Reeves has never released a full accounting of its current welfare expenditures. There isn't even a list of organizations receiving the funding on the agency's website, nor are its subgrant agreements available online." - Mississippi Today, 2/17/2023 Even fellow Republicans know Tate Reeves shirked his responsibility to safeguard Mississippians' taxpayer dollars. Former Governor Phil Bryant implied that the reason taxpayer dollars were wasted was because Tate Reeves did not perform oversight to catch the abuse. Maybe if his campaign donors and friends weren't at the center of this scandal, Tate Reeves would have done something.
Reeves Covered Up Corruption, Protecting His Campaign Donors
When the investigation into the largest public corruption scandal in state history got too close to Tate Reeves' friends, Tate Reeves fired the investigator tasked with figuring out what happened and replaced him with a law firm that donated to his campaign. Firing the investigator delayed 13 depositions of welfare scandal defendants that were scheduled. Even Republican State Auditor Shad White called Reeves firing the investigator a "mistake." The investigator said that he was fired when he tried to investigate why $5 million was spent on a volleyball stadium.
"Mississippi changes legal team to handle welfare fraud case"
"Mississippi Fires Lawyer Trying to Recoup Misused Welfare Funds"
"Attorney Brad Pigott filed a July 11 subpoena on University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation regarding the $5 million it received to build a volleyball stadium — the single largest known purchase within the state's massive welfare embezzlement scandal. About a week later, Pigott was fired by Reeves' welfare agency."
Reeves' Campaign Is Deeply Connected To Welfare Fraudster
Tate Reeves' campaign continues to highlight their relationship with Zach and Nancy New, who have since pled guilty to charges of bribing a public official, fraud, and racketeering, by using footage filmed at New's school in their campaign launch video and their first TV ad. Nancy New and Zach New were campaign donors to Tate Reeves - and he had pledged to return or donate their tainted money. But instead of fulfilling his own promise, Tate Reeves has pocketed their money, using it to power his campaign.
"Gov. Tate Reeves refuses to answer question about returning campaign donations tied to welfare scandal"
"No sign of Mississippi governor fulfilling pledge on campaign funds tied to welfare case"
"Tate Reeves' TV ad campaign again includes footage from Nancy
New-owned private school"
Tainted Tate Has Spent Millions in Taxpayer Dollars on Perks for Himself
Tate Reeves likes nice things for himself - and pays for them with your tax dollars. An investigative report from the Daily Beast found that Tate Reeves spent $2.4 million in taxpayer dollars on the governor’s mansion since taking office in 2020. Taxpayer dollars were spent on luxuries, including a meditation garden and a limonaia, which is “an architectural feature specifically designed for lemon trees.” Reeves also spent over $11,000 to repair the mansion’s dumbwaiter and over $4,000 on two ice machines. He brags that the mansion is “[his] home” - even though it belongs to Mississippi taxpayers. Tate Reeves thinks he’s doing such a great job as governor that he gave himself a nearly $40,000 raise funded by taxpayers while Mississippi families struggle to make ends meet.
Tainted Tate's Family Is Cashing In On His Political Career
It isn’t just Tate Reeves - his family is also cashing in on his political career. A Fox News report found that a Reeves family business has received nearly $1 million from state, inaugural, and campaign printing and advertising contracts since he took office. The business was not filing business reports between 2004 and 2012, indicating that it was dormant during that period, but applied to be reinstated as a business days after Tate Reeves became lieutenant governor. Then, the company received its first state contracts in 2014 and received a $150,000 windfall from Tate Reeves’ inaugural fund. In total, Tate’s family business has received almost $800,000 in taxpayer-funded expenditures from the Mississippi government in total. A non-partisan watchdog said, “The governor’s constituents have a right to know that their governor is acting in the public’s best interest, not in the best interest of his family’s wallet. This situation raises real questions as to whether that’s actually the case.”
Paid for by Brandon Presley Campaign