Biggie Pie Forum says accusations by an Alabama-based organization that the Kemper opponent has been funded with public money are false.
Patrick Cagle, the executive director of JobKeeper Alliance, wrote Aug. 16 in an editorial for the Clarion-Ledger that Biggie Pie’s funds came from the mothballed Institute for Technology Development, a nonprofit corporation formed in 1983 to promote economic development. Cagle claimed that more than $32 million in public money had gone to Bigger Pie via the ITD.
A Bigger Pie press release issued Tuesday denied those claims, saying money received by ITD had been generated via research contracts with federal agencies and private parties. Bigger Pie claims ITD money – which it claims is not public – has been spent appropriately, and monitored by independent auditors and accountants.
“All of (JobKeeper’s) claims are blatantly false and are reckless and irresponsible attempts to quiet opposition to the Kemper Power Plant through intimidation and by misleading the public and public officials,” Bigger pie says in its release.
ITD, the Bigger Pie release says, also generated money via the development and commercialization of technology related to microelectronics, space remote sensing and infrared sensing.
Bigger Pie was formed in 2012 as a Mississippi LLC. Its mission is to promote economic development, although its most public image has been that of the chief opponent of Mississippi Power Co.’s Kemper County coal plant. Bigger Pie has claimed the facility relies on unproven technology, and is an unfair economic burden on the utility’s 190,000 ratepayers.
JobKeeper is a business-labor cooperative based in Montgomery, Ala. It was formed in 2011 to, according to its website, promote new jobs and keep existing jobs.