Were Hewes loans just 'for show'?

Recently, as reported here on Crawdaddy, the Tate Reeves for lieutenant governor campaign questioned whether opponent Billy Hewes was inflating his campaign finance numbers by including loans that he might never actually spend. At the time, a Hewes campaign spokesman denied this was the case. But as the election draws near, the Hewes campaign IS repaying many of the loans, not spending the money on the campaign.

A few weeks ago, Hewes campaign spokesman Keith Plunkett said: "The money in the Billy Hewes account for lieutenant governor is meant to be spent." This after I asked about $300,000 in loans the Hewes campaign received from family and friends.

But as the new campaign finance reports released this week show, Hewes has been repaying the loans, having repaid about $225,000 so far.

So the question remains, were these loans just 'on paper,' to inflate his fundraising numbers to look like he was keeping pace with Reeves?

It also would appear some of these loans were being repaid right about the time Plunkett was telling me that they absolutely planned to spend the money on the campaign and it wasn't for show.

-- Geoff Pender/political editor