Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Republican politicking at taxpayer expense in Saline County

Posted By on Tue, Jul 2, 2013 at 12:55 PM

fireworks.JPG

Here's an update on my item earlier today about how Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson had directed $5,000 in General Improvement Fund money from the state legislature to a July 4 fireworks show at the Saline County Fairgrounds to be promoted as an event co-sponsored by Hutchinson, the Saline County Tea Party and the Saline County Republican Committee.

I've learned since that Benton Alderman Kerry Murphy, secretary of the Saline Republican Committee, has been a driving force in the scheme. He's running for a vacant county judge seat next year and believes a fireworks promotion that he can take credit for is a sure vote-getter.

This is looking more and more like an illegal exaction of public money for partisan purposes. And new questions are raised, too, about the honesty and accuracy of the grant application under which the $5,000 in public money was received. Did Gary Webb at the Fairgrounds apply for it? He told me yesterday somebody else arranged it and directed me to Murphy. Who did the dirty work, in addition to Jeremy Hutchinson?

Here's the e-mail that went with the photograph above to Saline County Republlicans:

From: Saline County GOP
Date: June 29, 2013, 8:00:08 PM CDT
To: Saline County GOP
Subject: July 4th Fireworks - I need help with putting out Flyers this week and parking cars on July 4th

Hi everyone this is the fireworks flyer to post on facebook and send to all your friends. We will be shooting the fireworks on July 4th starting at 9pm. They will be shot from the Saline County Fairgrounds. The radio station KEWI 690am will play patriotic music from 8:30pm to 9:15pm. To get a good parking spot on the fairgrounds you need to be there by 8:30pm. We have $8,700 to shoot off and it should be a great show.

I need help handing out the flyers around town inviting people to come. Tammy Schmidt will have the flyers on Monday. You can call her at 501-515-088 and she will give you some flyers.

I also need to get help parking cars on July 4th at the Fairgrounds. Show up around 7:30pm and stay till 9:30pm. Please email me at kerrymurphy13@gmail.com if you can help park cars.


Kerry Murphy
Secretary
Saline County Republican Committee
501-580-3737
www.salinegop.org

Still waiting to hear from the Tea Party about this waste of GIF money, which could have gone to needed work at the Fairgrounds itself, the local historical museum and other places that typically cry out for state help.

I won't hold my breath for a call from Hutchinson. He knows my questions are potentially loaded with fireworks, but not about July 4. How much money has he made in legal fees working with John Goodson, the prime driver behind efforts to stifle the tort reform amendment with a competing measure Hutchinson introduced? How much money has he made from a furniture dealer objecting to sales practices of used matttress retailers, a practice that led to legislation Hutchinson introduced? How much money has he made from Tennessee doctors who planned to open a medical clinic in West Memphis once Hutchinson passed legislation that eased a limit on ownership of Arkansas medical clinics by people not licensed in Arkansas?

UPDATE: Interesting how Benton Courier phrased its cheerleading article on the event:

Alderman Kerry Murphy independently raised donations to fund a Fourth of July light show at the Saline County Fairgrounds.

"I asked the Saline County Fair Board to allow us to do this and Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson helped us get a grant from the Central Arkansas Planning and Development District to apply toward the cost," Murphy said.

Independently if you mean the taxpayers of Arkansas paying the majority of the cost under coercion from a state legislator.

ALSO: Hutchinson has been quoted in local press about the economic stimulus of this spending on a fireworks show. Government spending stimulates the economy? Didn't the Tea Party have some opinions on that at the federal level?

PS — The money has been delivered to the Saline County Fairgrounds, according to Rodney Larsen, director of the Central Arkansas Planning and Development District. It's the first grant completed based on 2013 General Improvement Fund money. That money has not yet even been received by CAPDD. Larsen said he'd borrowed the money from an agency operating account to make the payment and would replenish the account when the GIF money arrived.

Tags: , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

  • Rapert claims victory over Facebook; either way, he still doesn't get 1st Amendment

    September 20, 2016
    Sen. Jason Rapert sent me a Tweet early this morning claiming that Facebook had relented and reinstated some anti-Muslim Facebook posts that had been removed for violation of the private social media company's "community standards." True or not, he still doesn't get the U.S. Constitution. /more/
  • Casino v. Casino: The fight on Issue 5

    September 14, 2016
    The latest debate on more casino gambling in Arkansas is more likely to be decided by public attitudes about gambling in general rather than some of the legal questions raised by opponents, casino operators themselves. /more/
  • State to re-bid youth services contracts; senator in thick of negotiating for client

    September 10, 2016
    The state Department of Human Services says it will re-evaluate bids to operate Youth Services facilities about complaints from current operators who stood to lose the work to an out-of-state bidder with a higher price. Report from Arkansas News Bureau. /more/
  • Leslie Rutledge: Throw out the Clintons

    September 9, 2016
    Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is listed as author of this polemic on Independent Journal Review, a Republican-backed website, urging a vote for Donald Trump for president. /more/
  • Medical marijuana: a partisan divide over a simple choice

    September 4, 2016
    John Lyon of the Arkansas News Bureau highlights the emerging difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party on marijuana. This issue is simpler than it looks from where I sit. /more/
  • Democrats sue to remove convicted Republican from House ballot

    August 29, 2016
    State Rep. Johnnie Bolin, represented by the Democratic Party counsel Chris Burks, sued today in Drew County to have Republican James Hall removed from the November general election ballot as the Republican candidate for the currently vacant House District 9 seat. /more/
  • A plan for Arkansas to get more out of the money it spends on corrections

    August 26, 2016
    Arkansas's prison population is among the fastest growing in the country. The state now spends more than half of a billion dollars on corrections, a 68 percent increase since 2004, and our prison population, which increased by 21 percent between 2012 and 2016, is expected to rise by another 19 percent between 2016 and 2023 to 21,345. Those were the facts and projections Justice Center, a project of the national nonprofit Council of State Governments, reminded people of yesterday before presenting criminal justice reform proposals. /more/
  • Republican House candidate facing jail time

    August 25, 2016
    Jacob Kauffman at NPR takes note that the state Court of Appeals this week upheld a harassment conviction of Republican James Hall of Monticello, the candidate for a House seat held by the late Democratic Rep. Sheila Lampkin /more/
  • Arkansas criminal justice reform proposal due today

    August 25, 2016
    We'll get a good sense of what criminal justice reform legislation might look like in the 2017 General Assembly later today — as well as some potential stumbling blocks to its passage. Justice Center, an offshoot of the national nonprofit Council of State Governments, will offer policy recommendations to the Legislative Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force this afternoon at the Arkansas Association of Counties conference. /more/
  • That time Asa Hutchinson sort of endorsed medical marijuana

    August 24, 2016
    Advocates of medical marijuana are circulating a YouTube video of a 2011 debate at the University of Arkansas between Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, and Asa Hutchinson, not then governor but speaking as a former DEA Administrator and congressman. Hutchinson seemed open to medical use of marijuana. /more/
  • More »

Comments (11)

Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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