Challenger Brandon Presley calls out Gov. Reeves in ‘War on Corruption’ campaign address

In his speech, Presley challenged Reeves on his alleged misconduct in financing his campaign.
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 6:05 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Tuesday, Democratic candidate for governor Brandon Presley visited the Gulf Coast for a press conference.

Presley presented a fiery address outside the Harrison County Courthouse in Gulfport; he continuously called out incumbent Gov. Tate Reeves in what he calls a “war on corruption” in Mississippi.

He unveiled his second plank of items for his comprehensive ethics reform plan. Presley then cited the ongoing investigation into millions of misspent welfare dollars in the state as the reason why these changes are critical.

In his speech, Presley challenged Reeves on his alleged misconduct in financing his campaign.

“The difference between me and the guy that’s in the governor’s mansion today is that I’m willing to take it on and change it,” Presley said. “I’m willing to subject myself to that. So, if Tate Reeves would like today... If he would like today to say that he would agree to federal limits to campaign contributions in Mississippi between now and November, let’s have it. Let’s get after it. If he wants to do that, we will hold ourselves accountable. The difference between me and him is that while we have to operate under the system that it is today, I am the only candidate in this race talking about fixing it.”

Presley also revealed plans to build a Task Force on Public Integrity and hire an independent investigator appointed by the Ethics Commission.

See a full list of planks one and two below.

Plank One: Curb the Influence of Lobbyists and Giant Corporations

  • Ban the unlimited gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers and elected officials from the governor all the way down to stop the unlimited flow of special interest money to state officials and require weekly gift and lobbying disclosure forms
  • Place limits on the currently unlimited flow of campaign contributions from individuals and political action committees and ban direct contributions from corporations
  • Ban state officeholders and candidates for state office from accepting contributions during any legislative session
  • Stop the revolving door from state government into lobbying firms by implementing a 1-year waiting period for former government officials to lobby the state legislature and for lobbyists to join the state government
  • Increase fines and penalties for politicians that violate ethics and campaign finance laws
  • Expand the Mississippi open meetings law to include the Legislature, state elected officials, and hold every state agency responsible for timely public records request responses
  • Reauthorize the Public Records Act and not let it die

Plank Two: Clean up the Largest Public Corruption Scandal in State History

  • Hire an independent investigator appointed by the Ethics Commission that cannot be fired by the governor or the legislature, a departure from Tate Reeves, who fired the investigator once he got too close to his lobbyist buddies who gave him football tickets
  • Create a Task Force on Public Integrity with appointments from the state auditor, attorney general, and executive director of the Department of Finance and Administration to review all state contracts and evaluate the performance of any recipient of taxpayer dollars, with a focus on the Department of Human Services because under Tate Reeves’ watch as lieutenant governor, he failed to provide oversight of $77 million that was stolen or misspent at DHS

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