BREAKING: Reeves’ Family Businesses Received Nearly $1 Million From State, Inaugural, And Campaign Contracts Since Tate Reeves Took Office
Nonpartisan Watchdog Group: Mississippians Have Right To Know If Reeves Is Acting “In The Best Interest Of His Family’s Wallet”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 4, 2023
Nettleton – A new report from Fox News found that Tate Reeves’ sister-in-law’s business, Snapshot Publishing, has received nearly $1 million from taxpayer-funded government, inaugural, and campaign contracts since Tate Reeves first became Lieutenant Governor in 2012. The business was not filing business reports between 2004-2012 but applied to be reinstated as a business days after Tate Reeves became lieutenant governor. Then the company began receiving state contracts in 2014, and then received a $150,000 windfall from Tate Reeves’ inaugural fund.
Snapshot Publishing has received almost $800,000 from the state of Mississippi in total, with $84,075 in 2023 alone as of August.
The Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan government watchdog group, determined that this information “was cause for real concern over the use of taxpayer and campaign dollars.” Legal Counsel Danielle Caputo 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.”
Corruption has long been a family affair for Tate Reeves. Recent reports also found that that Todd Reeves, Tate Reeves’ brother, coordinated in a backchannel with state Auditor Shad White to do damage control for Brett Favre after the audit revealed that millions of taxpayer dollars meant for working families were stolen and misspent on a volleyball stadium, a horse ranch, and even to fund Tate’s own personal trainer.
This announcement comes just weeks after reports that Tate Reeves accepted a campaign donation of $10,000 just days before announcing financial incentives for Gulf Ship, a shipbuilding company in Gulfport whose parent company failed to deliver promised jobs to Mississippi. Recent reports also found has spent $3.3 million collectively on updates and renovations to the Governor’s Mansion, $2.4 million of which were taxpayer dollars and included a meditation garden and a lemon tree room, since he took office in 2020. Last month, an investigation from Mississippi Today revealed that during his first term as governor, Tate Reeves “used at least $31,000 in taxpayer funds to take trips on Mississippi’s state airplane to political events that don’t appear to directly involve state business.”
“Tate Reeves owes Mississippians an explanation for why there is always enough taxpayer money for his rich friends, his family, and himself - but never enough money to invest in our public schools or hospitals,” said Tai Sims, Communications Advisor for Brandon Presley for Governor.
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Fox News: Potential nail-biter race in deep-red state heats up as Dem nominee accuses GOP governor, family of corruption
October 3, 2023
The Democrat nominee in what could be one of this year's most unexpectedly close races is accusing his Republican opponent, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, and the governor's family of "corruption."
In a statement to Fox News Digital, Mississippi Democrat gubernatorial candidate Brandon Presley, the second cousin to famed rock-n-roll legend Elvis Presley, went after Reeves and his sister-in-law, Leigh Reeves, over the nearly $1 million her small business brought in from numerous contracts with the state government, the governor's campaign and his inaugural committee since he was first sworn in as lieutenant governor in 2012.
"Tate Reeves’ family business is corruption – and it's wrong that his family has personally profited from hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer contracts during his time in office," Presley said.
"Tate Reeves’ dad underwrote his political career, and now Tate Reeves’ family has made nearly $800,000 in taxpayer money off state government, $150,000 from his secret inaugural fund, and thousands more off his campaign," he said.
Leigh Reeve's company, Snapshot Publishing, LLC, was founded in 2004, but submitted no annual reports to the Mississippi Secretary of State's office until 2012, despite being required to do so by state law, according to data from the Secretary of State's office. The company was likely inactive during those years, part of which Leigh was working as the general manager of local magazine VIP Jackson.
According to the Secretary of State's office, Snapshot Publishing was administratively dissolved in December 2011 after failing to file an annual report that year. However, the business applied to be reinstated on Jan. 26, 2012, just days after Reeves was sworn in as Mississippi's lieutenant governor.
Snapshot Publishing began receiving state contracts in 2014, and between that year and 2023 – during Reeves' time holding statewide office as lieutenant governor from January 2012 to January 2020, and as governor from January 2020 – it received $799,930 from the state of Mississippi with $84,075 in 2023 alone as of August.
The work the business did for the state included various government agencies, and was largely labeled as "advertising and public information," according to statewide budget expenditure data. With the contracts, Snapshot Publishing jumped to one of the top 15 firms receiving public advertising funds in Mississippi, and has maintained that status since 2015, according to Mississippi Today.
After his election as governor in 2019, Reeves made Leigh the executive director of the now-dissolved inaugural nonprofit "For All Mississippi," which paid Snapshot Publishing $150,000 for work related to the inauguration, including for "marketing materials, gifts, printing and designs," according to a January 2021 report by the Mississippi Business Journal.
As recently as August 2023, Snapshot Publishing has continued to receive money from Reeves' campaign committee, which amounts to nearly $10,000 since 2020.
Fox spoke with legal counsel at the Campaign Legal Center (CLC), a nonpartisan government watchdog group, which reviewed the data referenced in Presley's allegations and determined it was cause for real concern over the use of taxpayer and campaign dollars.
"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," CLC legal counsel Danielle Caputo told Fox.
Polling in the race has consistently shown Reeves leading Presley, but by a relatively close margin for a deep-Republican state. The general election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 7.