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Fact Check: Nothing Tate Reeves Says Can Help Him Escape His Role In The Largest Public Corruption Scandal In State History

New Reeves Ad Even Undercuts Tate Reeves’ Very Own Old Ads Touting His Self-Proclaimed ‘Fiscal Watchdog’ Persona


August 3, 2023

Nettleton – Today, Tate Reeves desperately released a new TV ad to try to hide his role in the largest public corruption scandal in state history. But nothing Tate Reeves says or does from now until election day will change his links to the scandal and how he failed Mississippians. Here are the facts:

First, in the new TV ad, Tate Reeves claims, "It all happened before he was governor.” However, the reality is Tate Reeves used to brag about his watchdog responsibilities and overseeing the state budget. While Reeves was Lieutenant Governor, second in command of the Mississippi government, he failed to perform his oversight duties and do anything to stop the welfare scandal. And during that time, Reeves personally met with the former welfare director, who was then inspired to covertly funnel $1.3 million dollars to Reeves’ personal trainer.

  • Back then, Tate Reeves ran a TV ad titled, “It’s YOUR money…” where he said he was “managing the government’s money like it’s your money - because it is.”

  • In an interview, Phil Bryant placed the blame on Tate Reeves’ legislature, “So, no one caught that during the appropriations process, during the audit process, the attorney general, but I was supposed to catch it? None of them caught it, but I’m, being governor, and I’m supposed to catch it?”

  • This week, the Associated Press noted Reeves’ oversight role, saying he “had considerable power over setting the state budget, including for the Department of Human Services, and that the state Senate has power to hold hearings about the conduct of state agencies.”

  • The Clarion-Ledger also pointed out Reeves’ responsibilities, explaining that “Reeves did have oversight ability as lieutenant governor… there is a joint committee on oversight of DHS to which the lieutenant governor appoints members.”

  • When he was lieutenant governor, Tate Reeves’ personal trainer of 15 years received $1.3 million after Reeves and the trainer met with the former welfare director, who is now sentenced to 32 years in prison. A few days following that meeting with Reeves, Davis was inspired by Reeves to order his deputy director to covertly funnel $1.3 million into Paul Lacoste’s fitness program, which he called Reeves’ “fitness issue.”

  • Tate Reeves fired the investigator, delaying key depositions, during his time as governor.

So, what happened to former fiscal watchdog Tate Reeves? $77 million got his tongue?

Second, Reeves falsely claims he “has supported the prosecution to find the truth.” In reality, he actually fired the watchdog when they got too close to his donors. After Pigott was fired, the state indefinitely postponed depositions of key welfare scandal figures like Nancy New, Zach New, Brett Favre, and Paul Lacoste. Even Republican State Auditor Shad White disagreed with Reeves’ decision and said at the time, “I think that firing him [Brad Pigott] was a mistake.”

“Tate Reeves will do or say anything to hide his role in the largest public corruption scandal in state history, where Tate Reeves blocked the investigation into $77 million lost, squandered, and stolen taxpayer dollars to protect his rich friends who received illegal payments for a horse ranch, a volleyball stadium, and even his personal trainer received a million dollars,” said Michael Beyer, Communications Director for Brandon Presley.


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