BPF Resorts To Intimidation After Questions Raised About Its Use of Taxpayer Money
JobKeeper Alliance issued the following press release on September 30, 2013:
A private investigator from Mobile, AL says he has been hired by Bigger Pie Forum to investigate JobKeeper Alliance. Now, JobKeeper is raising new challenges to Bigger Pie Forum’s use of taxpayer funds transferred to the organization by the state and federally funded Institute for Technology Development (ITD).
Eddie Curran, whose website says he is a licensed private investigator from Mobile, emailed the leadership of JobKeeper saying he was “retained by a group in Mississippi called the Bigger Pie Forum.” Curran’s email says he has been hired to investigate JobKeeper and other groups that have opposed the positions taken by Bigger Pie Forum.
“JobKeeper shined a light on Bigger Pie Forum’s use of taxpayer-derived funds to kill jobs in Mississippi. So now they are using those same taxpayer-based funds to hire a private investigator to attempt to intimidate our organization. This is really a new low for Kelley Williams and Ashby Foote,” said Patrick Cagle, Executive Director of JobKeeper Alliance.
“It is more than ironic that JobKeeper’s call for an investigation of Bigger Pie Forum has resulted in private investigators accosting our organization, while at the same time no investigation of Bigger Pie Forum and its use of taxpayer money has been launched,” Cagle said.
“Today, I am calling on the Attorney General, other state officials and every member of the state legislature to exercise the investigative abilities at their disposal to get to the bottom of what ITD and Bigger Pie Forum have been doing with taxpayer money,” Cagle said.
Earlier this year JobKeeper accused the organizers of Bigger Pie Forum of taking money from the publicly funded ITD to establish and support Bigger Pie Forum. Kelley Williams and Ashby Foote, both board members of ITD, are the primary founders of Bigger Pie Forum. Since JobKeeper’s public accusation, Bigger Pie Forum has confirmed that funding for the organization comes from ITD.
“JobKeeper blew the whistle on the scheme Williams and Foote put together and now, with public funds, they are hiring private eyes to attempt to intimidate us and make us go away. Well, that is just not going to work,” Cagle said.
JobKeeper Alliance is a 501c(4) alliance formed between the business community and labor. This partnership is cemented by the two group’s mutual interest in protecting jobs and working to create new jobs.