Friday, November 9, 2012

Sen. Gilbert Baker lands UCA lobbying job at $132,000 a year

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

NEW LOBBYIST: Sen. Gilbert Baker.
  • NEW LOBBYIST: Sen. Gilbert Baker.
Outgoing Republican Sen. Gilbert Baker, with a retirement plan under his belt from the University of Central Arkansas already thanks to time on the music faculty, is heading back to the campus in more rarified territory. UCA release:

University of Central Arkansas President Tom Courtway announced today that Gilbert Baker will be joining the UCA executive staff effective January 15, 2013. Baker’s title will be Executive Assistant to the President and his salary will be $132,000 per year.

Baker’s duties will include work on special projects; university development and communications; community outreach throughout Arkansas; government relations on the federal, state and local levels; and other matters.

“Gilbert Baker knows the University of Central Arkansas very well”, Courtway said. “For over twenty years, he was a valued employee of UCA until his election to the Arkansas State Senate in 2000. Although he began his service at UCA as an instructor in the music department, and later was granted tenure as an Assistant Professor, he also served UCA as an academic adviser, Associate Dean, and was a member of the UCA Faculty Senate. I am very pleased that he has agreed to come back to UCA. He is coming back home.”

Government relations. That's a euphemism for lobbying, whether Baker tries to distance himself from direct bill advocacy or not. (He claims he won't be technically lobbying for a "cooling off" period, but he's already been making nice to elected officials with friendly phone calls, just don't call it lobbying. He didn't promise not to set foot in the Capitol during the coming legislative session as far as I know.) Baker, please note, was part of the 2011 legislative majority that exempted current members of the legislature, such as himself, from a new ethics law. It allows people like himself to go to the lobby immediately after leaving their legislative jobs this year. There's a one-year delay for future members. That was called ethics reform by this gang of boodlers.

Baker, former Joint Budget co-chair who worked in political organizations to support the agenda of the new Republican majority, undoubtedly will have lots of friends to meet and greet in the Capitol hallways. I had asked him several times this year about everyone's expectation that he was heading to the lobby. He never would respond.

It stunk when sitting Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Ross took a government relations job. It stinks when Gilbert Baker does it. Surely nobody will say this deal wasn't discussed WHILE BAKER WAS STILL A MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE. Baker, of course, sponsored UCA spending legislation in the last session, plus the state funding formula for all colleges, plus support for more charter schools (a key focus of an organization based at UCA).

LuCA lives.

Remember Gilbo stinks already from the Lu Hardin era. His kid got preferred housing one of several inside special cases uncovered and the school also provided crew and tents for a campaign fund-raiser at a UCA trustee's house when Baker ran for U.S. Senate. He also drew some pay working for a private foundation that raised some of ITS money from, where else?, the UCA Foundation.

Sorry, Tom. You don't get sainted on this one.


Debra Hale-Shelton, where are you?

Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (18)

Showing 1-18 of 18

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-18 of 18

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Arkansas Supreme Court denies rehearing in death penalty challenge, but delays mandate

    The Arkansas Supreme Court today refused to rehear the case denying Death Row inmates information about drugs used by the state in the lethal injection process.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Welspun layoffs: Another example of corporate welfare folly

    Layoffs at the Welspun pipe plant in Little Rock are a reminder of the folly of corporate welfare and the inability of Arkansas to separate itself from global economic forces. See the Fayetteville shale. And keep a watchful eye on that Sun Paper pulp mill proposed near Arkadelphia.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Hamburg bank manager gets 21 months for theft

    Melinda Gwin, 49, of Hamburg has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered to repay $210,875 stolen from the First National Bank of Crossett. She was sentenced in El Dorado federal court, according to a Justice Department news release.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Father and son turned away from "Muslim-free" Hot Springs gun range for being brown

    A college student and his dad who visited a gun range over the weekend for some bonding time over target practice were told to leave after the owner grew suspicious that the pair were...Muslims! Nope, not Muslims — they just happened to not be white. Either way, though, it's rank discrimination.
    • Jan 13, 2015
  • Digging into Little Rock school adviser, Boston Consulting Group

    The arrival of the Boston Consulting Group, thanks to Walton Family Foundation backing, in the Little Rock School District encourages a look at the group's work in education elsewhere in the U.S. Privatization of schools often follows.
    • Jan 31, 2015
  • Eureka Springs City Council passes civil rights ordinance, sets stage for potential lawsuit

    The Eureka Springs City Council last night suspended the rules and hurriedly passed a civil rights ordinance that extends anti-discrimination protection to gay people in employment, housing and public accommodations. It sets up a potential legal challenge if the legislature completes passage of a law aimed at preserving legal discrimination against gay people.
    • Feb 10, 2015

Most Shared

  • Best of Arkansas 2016

    Readers elect their favorites.
  • These Hogs won't be thin

    This may be the strongest returning receiving corps that the Razorbacks have fielded in the post-Petrino days.
  • Trump-Putin 2016

    Among the thousand bizarre aspects of the presidential campaign has been the Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin axis.
  • Hillary hit jobs

    It's always been my conviction that if Hillary Clinton could be appointed president, she'd do a bang-up job. Getting elected, however, might prove more difficult.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation