Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

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: , , , , ,

Speaking of...

  • Pryor campaign responds to Cotton's debate proposal

    April 13, 2014
    The Pryor campaign responds to Cotton's debate proposal: "Mark looks forward to debating Congressman Cotton at the appropriate time and in a format where voters statewide can finally hear Mr. Cotton's explanation for recklessly voting to turn Medicare over to insurance companies, cut benefits and raise the age to 70 for Social Security and Medicare." /more/
  • Tom Cotton proposes series of five debates with Mark Pryor

    April 13, 2014
    Rep. Tom Cotton is having a press conference shortly to propose a series of of five one-on debates with Sen. Mark Pryor. I'll update this post shortly with details. Cotton is proposing what he calls "Lincoln-Douglas"-style debates. There would be no moderators or panelists — just opening and closing statements, candidate-to-candidate questions, answers and rebuttals. /more/
  • AG McDaniel will appeal federal ruling overturning heartbeat bill: Update

    April 11, 2014
    Sen. Jason Rapert and Family Council president Jerry Cox announced this morning at the state Capitol that the state will appeal a federal judge's ruling that declared Act 301, to prohibit abortion after 12 weeks gestation. /more/
  • Mark Pryor hammers Tom Cotton over budget votes

    April 10, 2014
    On the one hand, it's easy to poke fun at the epic, novel-length press releases that Sen. Mark Pryor's camp sends out detailing all of the stuff that Rep. Tom Cotton votes against, or votes to cut. On the other hand, Cotton's preferred policies really do amount to a whole lot pain, and cataloging all that is a big endeavor. Today Cotton voted for both the Ryan budget and the even more draconian Republican Study Committee budget. That means voucherizing Medicare, benefit cuts for seniors, cuts for preventative care, and more. /more/
  • Asa Hutchinson airs boring television ad

    April 10, 2014
    Asa Hutchinson's strategy in running for governor appears to be positioning himself as a generic Republican, so I suppose it's no surprise to see him airing an almost perfectly generic ad. Washington liberals? Check. Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi? Check. Asa with a gun? Check. Annnnnnnd....Obamacare. /more/
  • Another poll shows Mark Pryor leading Tom Cotton

    April 10, 2014
    For the second time this week, a poll has found Sen. Mark Pryor leading over challenger Rep. Tom Cotton in a tight race. A non-partisan live-caller poll released this morning by Opinion Research Associates showed Pryor up 48-38. This comes on the heels of a Talk Business poll showing Pryor leading Cotton 45.5 percent to 42.5 percent, a statistical dead heat. /more/
  • Mike Ross campaign accuses Asa Hutchinson of hypocrisy on pre-k

    April 10, 2014
    The Mike Ross campaign accuses Asa Hutchinson of hypocrisy, highlighting an interview in which he appears to endorse a gradual state spending increase for pre-k, even though earlier this month Hutchinson called Ross's pre-k plan "irresponsible" and a "classic example of over-promising in an election year." As with the private option and the minimum wage, what we're mostly seeing here is Hutchinson's fence-straddling, avoiding taking clear unpopular stances while also making sure not to piss off his base. /more/
  • Another ethics complaint filed against Tom Cotton

    April 9, 2014
    Here's a copy of the ethics complaint filed today by former Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Jack Holt, alleging that Cotton failed to disclose clients he had worked for as a McKinsey consultant. In a press release, Democratic Party of Arkansas attorney Benton Smith said, “Arkansans deserve to know whether Congressman Cotton sees himself as above the law. From the complaint: "By refusing to identify the private clients he worked for during the years immediately preceding his election, Mr. Cotton has effectively thwarted the purpose of the federal financial disclosure requirements. Mr. Cotton's actions demand further investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics to determine whether a formal reprimand or more serious action is warranted." /more/
  • Office of Congressional Ethics dismisses complaint filed by Arkansas Democratic Party against Tom Cotton

    April 9, 2014
    The Office of Congressional Ethics voted unanimously to dismiss a complaint made by the Arkansas Democratic Party which alleged that U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton may have conducted a radio interview with right-wing talk show host Hugh Hewitt that included an appeal for campaign support while at the U.S. Capitol. /more/
  • Tom Cotton offers hot air to Hot Air

    April 9, 2014
    Tom Cotton gives an interview to the right-wing blog Hot Air, covering immigration, foreign policy, guns, and his own military service. Asked about how to kickstart a sluggish economy, Cotton responds with all Obamacare all the time. /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

  • Connecting the dots

    There's ample reason for ethics, judicial and perhaps even prosecutorial review of the curious creation of a group of political action committees solely funded by contributions from Fort Smith nursing home magnate Michael Morton.
    • Apr 10, 2014
  • The real story about the judicial system in Arkansas

    The big story isn't campaign finance funny business except to the extent that it reflects a much larger story about justice in Arkansas. Gilbert Baker and co. have worked for year in the employ of forces who want to make it harder to sue for damages in Arkansas courts: the so-called "tort reform" campaign of big business.
    • Apr 4, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

April

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30  

Blogroll

Slideshows

  • As part of Ball State University's BSU at the Games, Arkansas Times photo intern Matt Amaro covered the culture of Sochi during the Winter Olympics.
 

© 2014 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation