Lt. Gov. candidates Billy Hewes and Tate Reeves have been back and forth today with missives, with Hewes coming out with the first direct negative TV spot of the campaign season, which I understand is running in the Hattieburg and Jackson markets but not here (at least one version of it is up on Youtube).
Here's a broadsides that Hewes just sent out. I'll follow in a bit with one Reeves has sent. Enjoy!
REEVES CAN'T RUN FROM HIS RECORD
June 24, 2011—Tate Reeves’ response to serious questions about his record is nothing more than another attempt to mislead Mississippians. When confronted by the obvious contradictions in a recent ad all Reeves can do is refer to a ready made laundry list of quotes from newspaper articles that are 6 and 7 years old.
However, the record Tate is running from is clear:
1) As State Treasurer, Tate Reeves is charged with managing Mississippi‚s Affordable College Savings Plan. In 2008, Morningstar, the premier fund-rating firm, ranked both of Mississippi‚s College Savings Plans among the five worst college plans in the nation. Specifically, they cited the exorbitant management fees that Tate Reeves paid to investment firm TIAA-CREF for managing the fund‚s investments. Reeves paid the firm much higher commissions than what most firms charge for similar investments, leading Morningstar to rate the funds performance as poor and urging Mississippi families to "seriously consider other alternatives." Here is a link to the Morningstar article: http://news.morningstar.com/articlenet/article.aspx?id=234422
2) Due to Tate Reeves misleading accounting tricks, the college fund's $84 million unfunded liability has led lawmakers to ponder the possibility of a future bailout at taxpayers' expense. Reeves defends his management of the plan with projections that show the fund in good shape for the next several years. But Reeves projections are based on a 2% annual tuition increase, much lower than the rate that tuitions have actually increased over the last several years. Reeves admitted as much in an interview with the Laurel Leader-Call on June 16th saying, "Tuition is rising 7 percent a year, and the price doubles every ten years." Here is a link to that article: http://tatereeves.com/news/laurel-leader-call-reeves-voters-want-true-conservative
3) Tate Reeves has spent $2.3 million dollars from the College Savings Fund to put himself in expensive commercials that star...Tate Reeves. That money, contributed by parents and grandparents to fund their kids' education, would have paid for 920 semesters of tuition. Instead, Reeves used the money to craftily promote himself.
4) As Treasurer, Tate Reeves is the only elected official to serve on the board of the Public Employees‚ Retirement System (PERS). In 2009, with Reeves as its Chairman, the fund saw losses of $3.8 BILLION. Although Reeves has defended the pension funds performance since then, an $11 billion unfunded liability leaves a huge question mark as to whether the fund can meet its future obligations. Here is a link to a recent article detailing the problems: http://desototimes.com/articles/2011/03/02/opinion/editorials/doc4d6ea2934dfe4194915373.txt
"Our campaign pointed out the difference in the words and deeds of our opponent," said Hewes Spokesman Keith Plunkett. "We pointed out that there is indeed a record to look to that indicates the difference in leadership between these two candidates. Senator Hewes is a straight talker and has 20 years of legislative experience. He wants to start talking about solid issues that matter to Mississippians, not the lofty rhetoric we are hearing from his opponent. Telling the truth is not a negative attack. The only negative attack that has occurred here is the one that Reeves continues to pull on the Mississippi voters."