Ronnie Musgrove = Public Official In Beef Case

Democrat Ronnie Musgrove is already on an uphill climb in his race for Senate. Yesterday afternoon, another obstacle appeared in front of Musgrove. Since announcing his candidacy for Senate, Musgrove has faced question after question about his involvement in the failed Mississippi Beef Processors Plant. Now, it’s the news that Ronnie Musgrove is the public official in the Plant fiasco case.

According to The Clarion-Ledger, “[a] Georgia businessman pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to corruptly influence a public official in connection with Mississippi’s costly and failed beef plant venture — a decision that could spill over into a U.S. Senate race.”

Robert Moultrie “admitted he gave $45,000 in contributions to the re-election campaign of then-Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, who is now running for the Senate.”

According to the same The Clarion-Ledger article, “[t]he contributions were made with the intent to influence or reward Musgrove for the ‘performance of his official acts in connection with the management of the design and construction of the Mississippi Beef Processors project.'” (The Clarion-Ledger, 8/12/08)

So when will Musgrove publicly say whether he’s the public official? In March, he took a hard-line stance telling the Associated Press through his campaign manager, “If anyone defrauded the taxpayers of the state of Mississippi, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” (The Clarion-Ledger, 8/11/08)

“Ronnie Musgrove needs to come completely clean with the people of Mississippi,” NRSC spokesperson Mary-Sarah Kinner said. “Musgrove has already left them to foot the $55 million bill when the plant failed, and now it appears he may have assisted the project for his own electoral gain. When will Musgrove honor the commitment he made to the taxpayers of Mississippi in March and answer these questions?”