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Friday, August 23, 2013

UPDATE: TGIF — Hogs, ethics, advertising

Posted By on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Man. Wild day. Line is open. Final comments and updates on earlier items:

* SPECIAL TREATMENT FOR HOG FANS: Somebody asked who else, besides Mark Darr, enjoyed exemption from the required scholarship contribution for Razorback football tickets? Good question. I've submitted an FOI request for that information. Second question: Isn't that a financial benefit for a politician that should be reported? Another good question. Consider it asked.

* MARK DARR AND ETHICS: Matt Campbell, author of the Blue Hog Report and the man who unearthed serial errors in Darr's campaign finance reporting that he now promises to self-report and correct, said he'd taken the step of filing an ethics complaint against Darr before the whitewash began. Perhaps, for once, the Ethics Commission will do a meaningful analysis rather than work out a quickie deal with a politician caught red-handed who promises to sin no more. Here's Campbell's complaint.

* UA TRANSPARENCY I: Special favors for politicians from the Razorback Foundation. Just one more reason why that organization, which functions as an integral part of  a public university, should be open to public inspection, no matter how much Hogwild fans think it's none of my business. It is particularly ironic now, when the Foundation is rolling out a priority points program to qualify for good seats, which is sold by Executive Director Sean Rochelle as a blow for "transparency." Hah. He doesn't return phone calls or e-mails. Who knew price breaks extended to some nabobs but not the average Tush Hog? Perhaps he'd like to transparently explain.

* UA TRANSPARENCY II: No, no one at the University of Arkansas, top-heavy with administrators, marketers and all manner of other six-figure employees, answered the simplest of my questions concerning the firing of university spokesman John Diamond. I expect next week to receive information about his firing and, presumably, a response from him to whatever the UA spin turns out to be. He's already told me that he had fundamental disagreements with the university's approach to public accountability but is withholding specifics. Uh, yes.

* CAN A FELLOW GET SOME PR ADVICE AROUND HERE?: A lot of people in Arkansas are in need of some sound public relations advice, sounds like. Speaking of which: I've gotten a group of solid tips about some interesting movement in the local PR world, but the key players haven't gotten back to me yet. Will advise.

UPDATE: Hot off the cell phone late this evening comes confirmation that a couple of old pros departed Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods today — Jordan Johnson and Rebecca Tennille. The departures were independent, but both have worked on the Clinton Foundation/Library account. My efforts to reach them for comment have been unsuccessful. CJRW has had a number of departures in the last year. Though movement in the ad/PR business is not unusual, the changing nature of politics has to be considered. CJRW has long held some of the biggest state accounts. The state is moving from Democratically controlled to Republican controlled. News came out the other day that Johnson was thinking of another race for state House of Representatives. He's a Democrat. That was probably less of a problem the last time he ran.


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