And the battle is fully enjoined... Tate Reeves campaign response to Billy Hewes, saying he's "never seen a spending bill he didn't like"
Here's the full response from Reeves' campaign:
During the first 12 ½ years of Billy Hewes’ career in the Senate, the state’s total bonded indebtedness grew more than 392% (14.21% annually).
During the last 7 ½ years of Billy Hewes’ career in the Senate, the state’s total bonded indebtedness grew 18% (2.1% annually).
The difference? Tate Reeves was State Treasurer.
During the last eight years when Haley Barbour was Governor and Tate Reeves was Treasurer, the Mississippi Legislature has authorized $3.4 billion in new debt. During that time, the state’s total debt increased by less than $600 million.
The legislature must authorize debt issued by the bond commission, and Billy Hewes voted for 100% of the debt issued under Tate Reeves’ tenure on the bond commission. Essentially, he’s attacking Tate Reeves and Haley Barbour for issuing the debt he voted to authorize.
The increase in the state’s debt under Tate Reeves and Haley Barbour has been related to successful economic development programs that brought Toyota, Paccar, Severstal and other major employers to the state.
Billy Hewes has never seen a spending bill he didn’t like. In the Senate Billy Hewes cast hundreds of votes to usher in a massive increase in state spending from FY 1991 – FY 2010 – 1.999 billion to 5.5 billion – a $3.5 billion increase (up 175%).
As Treasurer, Tate Reeves has taken on the powerful Democrat Speaker of the House over the authority of the bond commission to issue debt in ways that saves the state money and has advocated paying down the state’s debt and only increasing the debt for essential economic development and job creation efforts.
As Lt. Governor, Tate Reeves will be different and will be in an even better position to ensure that the state is managing its finances responsibly. As Lt. Governor, Tate Reeves will not support debacles like Magnolia Venture and the beef plant that cost the state tens of millions of taxpayer dollars.
Statement from campaign manager Justin Brasell:
“Tate Reeves is campaigning across the state everyday telling voters why he should be Lt. Governor, not why someone else ought not to be. It’s sad that Hewes has resorted to these false, negative attacks in order to try to distract voters from his big-spending record as a career legislator. Voters won’t like Billy Hewes’ negative campaign or his big-spending record, and we’re confident we’ll see that reflected at ballot boxes across the state on August 2nd.”
Statement from Tate Reeves:
“Proactive debt management has reduced our interest costs and saved taxpayers millions. After 20 years in the legislature and hundreds of votes for more spending and billions more in debt, it’s heart warming to know that Senator Hewes has now finally realized with 50 days to go in this campaign that we need to reduce our debt burden.”