First, there was the news today that Democrat Senate candidate Ronnie Musgrove is the public official in the case of the failed Mississippi Beef Processors Plant. Now, there’s news that not only is Musgrove the public official, but that a defendant in the Beef Plant case admitted that “gaining the favor of” Musgrove was the purpose of a $25,000 campaign contribution — a contribution that charges in the case labeled a “gratuity.”
Of course, the Beef Processors plant project failed under Musgrove’s watch and Mississippi taxpayers were left to foot a $55 million bill.
A $55 million tab for Mississippi taxpayers. And a $25,000 tip for Musgrove.
According to the Daily Journal, “[g]aining the favor of then-Gov. Ronnie Musgrove was the motive behind an unlawful $25,000 campaign contribution in 2003, Beef Plant defendant Robert Moultrie admitted Monday.
“Moultrie, CEO of The Facility Group of Smyrna, Ga., pleaded guilty to one count of ‘knowingly and unlawfully rewarding an agent’ of Mississippi government with a ‘gratuity,’ which he apparently hoped would get him in good stead with Musgrove, if he should need him later.” (Daily Journal, 8/12/08)
Moultrie’s attorney even noted, “[t]his is a charge that he made the contribution intending to influence and reward the official for the performance of official duties should the public official’s assistance be needed on any potential problems on the Mississippi beef project.” (Daily Journal, 8/12/08)
“Have you ever given or received a $25,000 tip for work left undone?” NRSC spokesperson Mary-Sarah Kinner asked. “Ronnie Musgrove effectively passed the $55 million tab onto Mississippi taxpayers while accepting a $25,000 tip for his campaign coffers. Did Musgrove think no one would catch it? And if so, can he be trusted not to do something like it again?”