Gubernatorial candidates question campaign contribution motives

Gubernatorial candidates question campaign contribution motives

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Fundraising is part of political campaigns, but Jim Hood and Tate Reeves have accused each other of political favors in exchange for those campaign contributions.

Jim Hood stood alongside a chart that was labeled “Tate Reeves Wheel of Legal Corruption” at a press conference Wednesday.

“It’s time for us to throw the money changer out of the capitol and I’m talking about Tate Reeves,” said Hood.

Hood says there are several examples of Reeves passing or killing bills while in his role as Lt. Governor and says there were instances of the companies tied to those issues giving donations to the Reeves campaign.

One example, three bills that made it easier for companies to offer high-interest loans. He says those same companies later donated to Reeves.

“Everything’s transactional," noted Hood. "Everything he’s done, everything he’s passed has been to get campaign contributions back.”

“He needs to look in the mirror," said Reeves’ Deputy Communications Director Renae Eze. "Attorney General Jim Hood has taken 2.5 million dollars from lawyers... most of it from the same lawyers he’s given sweetheart contracts to.”

In a tweet, Reeves says Hood is “desperately spinning a web of lies” and cites a Wall Street Journal Investigation from 2008 that questions Jim Hood’s relationship with the state’s trial bar.

The WSJ article focused on AGs awarding legal contracts to firms that also gave them campaign contributions.

“If he was really that concerned about corruption, he wouldn’t have done it himself,” explained Eze.

“Whoever was first come, first serve brought us that contract. They didn’t get the contract by campaign contributions," said Hood Wednesday. "There’s a list in our office that is objective. You can see who sent in a request to handle that case. That was a fair process.”

Copyright 2019 WLBT. All rights reserved.