DMR Scandal Day 151: Of brother in laws, toy helicopters and no accountability

It sure is folks as I have enough data points to call BS, assign blame and point a finger or two but first.

DMR required no formal bids for $5.8 million in reef work ~ Anita Lee and Paul Hampton

I love seeing the term “conprofit” in reader commentary as it is a living testament to the very good work Jason over at AZ did on Cedric “C-Note” Richmond.  In this case the fishing community filled a need after Hurricane Camille forming the Mississippi Gulf Fishing Banks to build artificial reefs in state waters.  After federal money earmarked for the purpose of reef building entered the fray, politically connected swine moved in to slop on the trough. In the end a little bit of good work gets done but it is really about the slop (and the hope by those wanting to do good the slopping swine will occasionally throw them a bone). This brings me to another point that I made a few weeks ago because the Sun Herald editorial board has picked up on what is going on.

Legislature still has time to require audits of all agencies ~ Sun Herald Editorial Board

So where is former State Auditor turned Gov Phil Bryant on this?  In hiding perhaps?  You see folks despite years of spouting off  “In God we trust all others we audit” in his standard Auditor Bryant stump speech, nothing of the sort was happening in the State Agencies where the vast majority of the tax money is spent.  Gov Phil claims to be a Christian man and he in fact panders to the religious right at every opportunity but what I see is a liar that does not practice what he preaches.  He lied to coast resident Kevin Buckle about supporting the Insurance Policyholder Bill of Rights when he was running for Gov, just like he routinely told that whopper when he was state auditor. The lack of oversight benefits him thus the inaction.

The bottom line is accountability in state government is not what Phil Bryant is about so let’s roll in Mark Moseley and Fred Heebe as the concept is the exact same as Jeffrey over at the Yellow Blog well explained:

High ranking public officials are not “dragonslayers.” They are club men. Their most common distinguishing characteristic is cowardice. This isn’t always a bad thing, of course. Because we are fortunate enough to live under a mildly responsive, somewhat functional, kind of democratic form of government, we can occasionally frighten the cowardly club men into doing the right thing. But what that requires from us is constant attention, and much screaming and yelling at no small expense to our leisure, our security, and to our pocketbooks.

Even so the failure rate remains high. The club, after all, is the club and its members enjoy many privileges most of us do not. In any case, there is no time in this to stop and pretend any of our presumed leaders, even when occasionally made to behave, is our friend.

If the entirety of state government were to be audited how many more of Phil Bryant’s political supporters would be under the gun?  Remember folks, Bryant took money from Billy Walker’s taxpayer funded conprofit without giving it a second thought.  Conversion of public money to serve their private self interest is how these snakes get elected to begin with but alas maybe years of auditing Mississippi government has left me jaded as I’ve seen state and local governments throw away tens of millions of dollars through the years, so I found the following somewhat amusing but certainly not shocking: Continue reading “DMR Scandal Day 151: Of brother in laws, toy helicopters and no accountability”

DMR Scandal Day 136: “In God we trust, all others we audit.” Not…..

In God we trust, all others we audit. ~ Former State Auditor Phil Bryant.

It was massive accounting frauds at ENRON and WorldCom that led to government regulation of large swaths of the CPA profession and deservedly so I’ll add.  For instance at ENRON there was an ossified, ineffectual Board of Directors stacked with politically connected phonies like Senator Phil Gramm’s wife Wendy, an economist that could rationalize about anything. At DMR, by their own admission we have a Board of Trustees that had no clue what was going on and who evidently did not bother to engage their jobs beyond the free boat rides, fishing trips etc.  When the people that are supposed to be running the show are asleep at the switch bad things happen as we found out at ENRON and now DMR.

ENRON used off balance sheet special purpose entities or (SPE in accounting lingo) as a major vehicle for much of the criminal activity that occurred   DMR director Bill Walker created an off books foundation that sucked all manner of tax dollars away from DMR’s  mission to support the boats Walker used to wine and dine everyone on the taxpayer dime and lord knows what else.

And speaking of what else I detailed some of it as it relates to Hancock County’s role in the CIAP disaster.  None of these schemes are particularly innovative and in fact are of the in your face variety.  When there is no oversight to begin with why bother with the bells and whistles of a complex corruption enterprise like the one Aaron Broussard created in Jefferson Parish. Lest I digress.

Governor Phil should well remember from his time as State Auditor that in 1992  the Governmental Accounting Standards Board issued GASB Statement 14, The Financial Reporting Entity under which Billy Walker’s Private Foundation certainly fell.  Yet here is Walker with his own private slush fund buying millions of dollars of fishing boats and lord knows what else and no one knew anything about it.  The question ladies and gents is what does this say about the level of oversight at these state agencies?  Simple folks, despite Governor Phil serially saying for years at speaking engagements “In God we trust, all others we audit”, nobody was auditing his coast based political cronies at DMR, or even worse if someone did audit them there is an audit failure of massive proportion. It is just that bad folks but we already know all this from months ago.

And all those days ago seeing where this would end up was too predictable:

DMR hasn’t been audited by the state in over 10 years ~ Michael Newsom Continue reading “DMR Scandal Day 136: “In God we trust, all others we audit.” Not…..”