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Ross comes out swinging on Bryant...

Ross comes out swinging on Bryant & Partnership

By: Magnolia Tribune - June 15, 2007


Issue #1 – Did Phil Bryant stand with Conservatives or with Mike Moore on the illegally-funded Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi?

THE FACTS – Sen. Charlie Ross stood with Gov. Haley Barbour and Treasurer Tate Reeves to halt the illegal diversion of money rightfully owned by the taxpayers into the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi.

But Phil Bryant stood with Mike Moore at the Partnership. In a radio debate this week, Bryant admitted he had an official role at the unlawfully-funded Partnership.

ROSS: “Can you tell us what your involvement, if anything, was in the Partnership? Were you an advisor? Were you on the board, a non-voting board member? Can you just tell us what your involvement was?”

BRYANT: “Sure, Charlie. You know this. I was a non-voting board member. Mike Moore asked me to come over and provide some accountability as State Auditor.” (American Family Radio debate, June 11, 2007)

Bryant even claimed his work made sure the Partnership spent the diverted money legally — a contention is totally opposite of the conservative critique of Moore’s Partnership.

BRYANT: …”I went in there and said, “You know, you guys need to make sure that you are spending this legally. Need to make sure you’ve got internal controls, internal auditors and make sure that you spend a lot of it on drugs.” “I mean we’re having trouble here with drugs in our schools, on our streets. I advised the board who was then made up of some wonderful people to do that. I thought I was adding accountability where there was none and I thought it was the right thing to do.” (emphasis added – American Family Radio debate, June 11, 2007)

But, the Mississippi Supreme Court has said the Partnership was illegal in and of itself. (i.e. unconstitutional)

“Every Republican had a choice to make on the Partnership,” Ross said Friday. “I stood on the side of taxpayers, conservatives and Governor Barbour rather than Mike Moore.”

Charlie Ross Press Release

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This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.