Monday, June 9, 2014

Runoff eve and the dark money rolls in

Posted By on Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 2:57 PM

FAITH AND FREEDOM: Or Key and Burris, however you want to put it.
  • FAITH AND FREEDOM: Or Key and Burris, however you want to put it.

Thank goodness tomorrow is runoff day. The nasty GOP races for attorney general and Senate District 17 will end. Above is a picture from a mailer that went out in Senate District 17 today. It features Sen. Johnny Key, who's vacating the seat, with Rep. John Burris, who's seeking the seat against teabagger Scott Flippo in the Republican primary runoff. The race is all about the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, which Burris piloted and which Key supported.

The seat is open because Key didn't run so he could seek a job as lobbyist for the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Smelled like a done deal, though it came out of the oven a little different than anticipated. The sitting senator was hired instead for a previously unfilled job, lobbyist for the University of Arkansas system. The UA system, as well as the Fayetteville campus, were helped immensely by university funding overseen by Key during the last sessions of the legislature.

But here's the other cozy angle: The mailer is from the Faith and Freedom Coalition, another one of those shadowy outfits that don't disclose much about their sources of money. It's an operation headed nationally by Ralph Reed, the infamous Moral Majoritarian. The Coalition has an Arkansas affiliate that used to pay then-Sen. Gilbert Baker $60,000 or so a year to help elect like-minded people to the legislature. Religious Right Republicans, in other words. Tax documents stopped listing Baker as an officer not long before he hit the Senate revolving door for a university lobbying job himself, at UCA. That UCA job fell apart after it was learned that ol' Gilbo also had a private "consulting" firm on the side and was hip-deep in funneling money into candidates for legislature and judge, some of it most curiously timed. Donnie Copeland, an Apostolic minister, has been listed as leader of the Arkansas affiliate on the most recent documents. in 2012. Baker was still a board member, along with Chris Stewart, the lawyer who created all those PACs that nursing home magnate Michael Morton stuffed with money about the time Judge Mike Maggio was cutting him a $4.2 million break on a jury verdict.

Something about senators with university connections that resonates with the Faith and Freedom crowd, I guess. This mailer just says Faith and Freedom Coalition. Doesn't include Arkansas in the title.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
    • Apr 20, 2017
  • Death Row inmates argue to keep stay of execution in place; urge 8th Circuit not to 'rush' analysis

    Early this morning, attorneys for nine Death Row inmates, filed an argument with the 8th United States Court of Appeals contesting the state's effort to override Judge Kristine Baker's order Saturday that halted executions scheduled this month.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • Federal judge denies execution stay for Don Davis but larger stay continues

    Don Davis, who's been moved to the killing facility of the state prison for killing tonight at 7 p.m. if a stay of execution is lifted in another federal suit, sought a stay in another federal court Sunday, but the request was denied.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • FOI lawsuit filed for State Police firing records on ABC enforcement boss Boyce Hamlet

    Russell Racop has filed, as promised, his lawsuit over the State Police's refusal — under guidance from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge — to release records that provide information that led to the firing of current Alcoholic Beverage Control Enforcement Director Boyce Hamlet as a state trooper.
    • Sep 9, 2015
  • State Police issues statement on Jason Rapert 'threats'

    The State Police have issued a minor clarification in what appears to be an effort to soothe an enraged Sen. Jason Rapert, exposed here as overly excited about both a Conway parking lot question from a constituent as well as some inflammatory Internet rhetoric that he's interpreted as a dire threat on his life. State cops took his reports seriously, they say. But in the end, they found nothing actionable.
    • Sep 15, 2015
  • 2nd guilty plea in bribery case over state mental health services

    Arkansas Business reports here on a federal court filing Wednesday that shows a second person has pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme to help a major contractor of the state Department of Human Services.
    • Sep 17, 2015

Most Shared

  • Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

    Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning.
  • The Ledell Lee execution thread

    Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Most Viewed

  • The Jack Jones, Marcel Williams execution thread

    The Arkansas Department of Correction is planning for the first double execution in the U.S. in 16 years tonight. Jack Jones, 52,  and Marcell Williams, 46, are scheduled to die by lethal injection. They would be the second and third prisoners put to death as part of a hurried schedule Governor Hutchinson set in advance of the state's supply of one of the three drugs used in the execution protocol expiring on April 30.
  • Lee's lawyer writes about executed man's last hours

    Lee Short, the lawyer for Ledell Lee, the man Arkansas put to death just before midnight last night, posted on Facebook the following letter of thanks for personal support and a bit about Lee's last hours, distributing his possessions and talking to family.
  • Supreme Court hears arguments in case that led to stays for two Arkansas death row inmates

    The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in an appeal yesterday that asks the court to rule that indigent criminal defendants are entitled to an independent expert witness. The case, McWilliams v. Dunn, goes back to the 1984 capital murder conviction of James McWilliams, who raped and murdered a woman in Tuscaloosa, Ala., during a robbery. But the high court's decision will also directly affect the fates of Don Davis and Bruce Ward, Arkansas death row prisoners who were slated to die this month, but given a reprieve by the Arkansas Supreme Court, which issued a stay in each execution, pending the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in McWilliams in June.
  • Legislature set to tackle changes to "Arkansas Works" Medicaid expansion in special session

    The governor is expected to call the special session to get legislative approval of his proposed alterations to the private option (now known as "Arkansas Works"). Here's what to look for.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation