In case you're not aware, Brett Favre is being accused of using money intended to help the poorest of the poor in one of America's poorest states to build a volleyball arena at his alma mater, where his daughter - perhaps not coincidentally - is on the volleyball team. A situation which, if true, would put him in a bit of a bind:
Of course, I'm not - and I cannot stress this enough - accusing Brett Favre of any wrongdoing. Others may say these things, but I do not. Because I believe that one of the foundational principles of our nation is that one is innocent until proven guilty. That the right to a fair hearing in a court of law is the great civilizing influences in our system.
More to the point, I never accuse anyone of committing a crime when they're suing anyone and everyone who is accusing them. And Brett Favre is feeling particularly litigious these days. If I had any common sense, I'd give this whole story a good leaving alone, and just go find some celebrity sex hijinks or Florida Man story to write about. But ultimately for me, it's like telling your 10-year-old not to climb a tree because he might get hurt; he's going to run off and do that very thing. I'm drawn to the danger.
For Brett Favre, this latest development in the legal battle, if true - and just because I want to be clear as crystal I'm not saying it is - will make it very hard for him to mount a defense that doesn't involve suing people. Like, for instance, handsome, silver-haired bloggers who are just trying to pay their bills and not start trouble. If you're rooting for Brett Favre, as millions of good, God-fearin' folk no doubt are, this spells trouble:
Source - Often lost … is that Mississippi auditor Shad White also has been accused of telling lies about Favre’s role in the state’s welfare-fund scandal.
White is now pushing back publicly against Favre.
Recently, Mississippi filed a response to Favre’s effort to be removed from a civil complaint aimed at recovering welfare funds. The State’s filing includes what White’s communications director, Logan Reeves, characterizes as “never-reported Favre text messages.”
Reeves also points to a Twitter thread from White regarding the situation. White tweeted an excerpt from the state’s new filing, regarding what White says are new text messages from Favre.
“Will the public perception be that I became a spokesperson for various state funded shelters, schools, homes, etc. . . . and was compensated with state money?” Favre asked, per the filing. “Or can we keep this confidential.”
Favre also asked, per the filing, about a potential solution to “the brick and mortar issue,” which the state characterizes as Favre knowing that welfare funds couldn’t be used for actual construction of buildings, “but he sought to secretly obtain those funds for that purpose anyway.”
Says White one of several tweets: “The public already knew Favre knew he was receiving public money. But the new texts make it clear Favre knew he was receiving ‘grant’ money intended to benefit people in ‘state funded shelters, schools, homes, etc.’ In other words, the poor.”
White also takes aim at Favre’s request to keep the payments quiet.
“The point is that there are multiple exchanges where Favre stressed the need for secrecy,” White tweeted. “National news has talked about how Favre said in one text that he didn’t want the media to find out. This wasn’t a one-off, transient thought, though. He said it repeatedly.”
White also contends that the texts provide “definitively” that “Favre was aware there were concerns about the legality of spending this money on a volleyball court . . . [a]nd he knew there was a need to get around those rules.”
White discloses in the thread that he is indeed a defendant in Favre’s defamation case.
“Bear in mind, this is the guy suing me for defamation for having the temerity to tell taxpayers the truth: that Favre knew he was being paid in public funds and he knows this was a sham,” White tweeted.
Here's the thread in question, so you can dive in and make up your own mind:
Now, none of us knows anything about this Shad White. He could be a fine public servant of unquestionable integrity who is completely above reproach, or he could be just another crooked bureaucrat in a corrupt state turning rat in order save his oily hide. If so, he certainly wouldn't be the first. But it's hard to be accused of wrongdoing while claiming you didn't know the public funds you were getting were coming to you illegally and harming the most vulnerable people in the your state if you're talking about about the money being meant for "state funded shelters, schools, homes, etc," the legality of it, and the need for "secrecy" in "multiple exchanges." Especially if the auditor you're suing has it all in writing. And can prove the money came from the state, went to you, and then straight to the "bricks and mortars" of a volleyball arena. I mean, major public works projects tend to leave a paper trail.
But hey, that's the for the courts to decide. All we know is that he's been accused of something, and has counter accused his accusers. We don't judge. Regardless though, the one takeaway we can all glean from this is what an old mob boss allegedly used to say. And that is, "Don't write when you can speak. Don't speak when you can nod. And don't nod when you can wink." And if - a big IF - you're allegedy involved in misappropriating taxpayer dollars for a completely unnecessary vanity project? Don't text about it. That's a lesson for us all.