Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Republican PAC announces more spending on Ark. legislature

Posted By on Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 11:13 AM

THE GOPS BOTTOMLESS TREASURY: More spending announced today.

Without a scorecard, it's hard to keep up with all the inter-related Republican PACs, unaligned but sympathetic independent organizations and fat cat individuals ready to pour money into Republican control of the Arkansas legislature. It's not about altruism, that's for sure.

Another one popped up today. The Arkansas Republican Party, with Chair Doyle "Where there's a will there's a" Webb at the podium, announced further contributions by the GOPAC in six legislative races it deems critical.

I wasn't invited. Maybe somebody else asked about the Three Stooges.

David Goins of Fox 16 was there, he listed the special Republican PAC money will go to:

* HOUSE CANDIDATES: Mary Bentley, who's challenging Democratic Rep. John Wayne Catlett of Rover; Bill Gossage, who's challenging incumbent Rep. Leslee Milam Post of Ozark, Allen Kerr, who has his hands full with Democrat Barbara Graves in Little Rock.

* SENATE CANDIDATES: Jane English, challenging Democrat Barry Hyde of North Little Rock; Jason Rapert, challenging Democratic Rep. Linda Tyler of Conway, and Linda Collins-Smith, challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. David Wyatt of Batesville.

Each GOP candidate will get $2,000 from the national organization.

Face in crowd: Laurie Lee (nee Masterson) Twitters that she's on hand to cheer conservative Republican candidates. Among other political activities, she's lately been working for the Billionaire Boys Club lobby that hopes to jam their takeover of public education through the next legislature. That lobby is non-partisan, of course. Luke Gordy, who makes six-figure pay working for the Billionaire Boys Club, assured me that it is. If you can't trust Luke Gordy, Jim Walton, Claiborne Deming, Walter Hussman and Jackson T. Stephens on their bipartisanship, I ask you: Who can you trust?

Rapert's attendance at the GOPAC check ceremony perhaps explains why he hasn't responded to my question about criticism of his campaign finance reporting by opponent Tyler's campaign. Public records show Rapert has spent more than $50,000 on local cable TV advertising. The Tyler campaign says no expenditures for those ads have yet appeared on Rapert's campaign finance reports. If Raper is going to insist on increased transparency and oversight of government, the Tyler campaign asks, what is the public to make of lack of same in his own financial reporting? I'll update with his response when and if it appears. (UPDATE: A campaign consultant claims Rapert wasn't billed for the ads until after the Oct. 1 report filing date. Maybe so. Interesting, too. I always thought political advertising generally was provided only for cash, given the difficulties of collecting after an election from a losing campaign. ALSO: The consultant says he charged the ad buy on his credit card. Isn't that a loan to a campaign by his consultant? Is that legit?) Tyler release follows and a further statement from Rapert's ad buyer:

Jason Rapert Fails to Report Thousands in Campaign Expenditures

Rapert has spent more than $51,000 on television advertising but has reported $0

CONWAY, ARKANSAS — Jason Rapert of Bigelow has failed to report more than $51,000 in cable television advertising in his campaign for Arkansas Senate.

According to public records available through Conway Corporation, since August 15, 2012, Rapert has purchased and aired $51,501.50 in ads. However, Rapert has reported no television advertising expenditures, as legally required on monthly financial reports filed with the Secretary of State.

“Mr. Rapert’s failure to report such a large campaign expenditure begs several questions,” said Linda Tyler. “Does he know what is actually on his campaign’s financial reports? Is Mr. Rapert intentionally hiding this information from Arkansas voters? Is someone else paying for this ad?”

“The public deserves to know the truth,” Tyler said.

In campaign e-mails sent on August 15, 2012, and September 12, 2012, Rapert announced new campaign ads.

“This is just the latest in a long series of ‘listen to what I say, not what I do’ actions by Mr. Rapert,” Tyler said. “He calls for ‘increased transparency and oversight of state government,’ but he will not apply those same rules of transparency to his campaign.”

STATEMENT FROM RAPERT CAMP

My firm, Diamond State Consulting, bought the ads. As of October 1st we had not billed the Rapert campaign for the expenditures. All laws regarding disclosure and reporting have been followed to the fullest.

The accusations from the Tyler campaign are completely baseless. Polling shows that Linda Tyler is losing this race badly. She is looking for any attack, no matter how baseless, to change the trajectory of this election.

Keith Emis
Diamond State Consulting

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