Thursday, January 1, 2015

Blue Hog Report 2014: The best of times, the worst of times

Posted By on Thu, Jan 1, 2015 at 11:19 AM

click to enlarge screen_shot_2015-01-01_at_11.15.44_am.png

Blue Hog Report,
the investigative blog of Little Rock lawyer Matt Campbell, had a heckuva year in 2014. His work was pivotal in forcing the resignation from office of Lt. Gov. Mark Darr and driving Circuit Judge Mike Maggio not only out of a race for Appeals Court but off the bench forever.

Today, he looks back on other investigative thrusts and notes some loose ends. The bottom line is that despite his best efforts, a number of the candidates he targeted won elections anyway. 

Among the highlights:

* THE NAKED FORT SMITH POLICE: Blue Hog makes a good case for credit that his reporting ended a Fort Smith vice squad practice of getting naked, digitally penetrating suspected prostitutes and receiving hand jobs as techniques to make prostitution arrests. 

* ATTORNEY GENERAL LESLIE RUTLEDGE: Yes, she was elected (though by the smallest margin of all the statewide Republican office winners) despite reporting on a variety of issues related to her experience, her work at DHS and her coordination with an outside election group on TV advertising. Campbell's complaint on the coordinated TV ad (she appeared in an ad paid for by someone else who doesn't report contributors) is a watershed event for the state Ethics Commission. It will find a violation and prohibit the practice in the future or we will have seen the end of any meaningful disclosure laws for political campaigns in Arkansas.

* SEN. JASON RAPERT: In his classic fashion, Blue Hog piles absolute command of the intricacies of the law to support his report that Rapert was guilty of multiple violations of campaign finance law in a fund-raising concert he held at UCA. He demolishes sketchy reporting by the Log Cabin Democrat in the process (it was under immense pressure from Rapert). It also holds Rapert consultant Ted Thomas up to a highly unflattering light for his defense of Rapert's shoddy reporting. This is important because of continuing rumors that Thomas will be tapped by Asa Hutchinson as head of the state Finance and Administration Department. Until now, it has been rigorously nonpartisan and perhaps the most accessible and accountable agency of state government. Thomas' record as a highly partisan campaign operative who doesn't readily make himself available to questions will require a dramatic change if he is to fill Richard Weiss' shoes.

* BEEBECARE: Yes, Blue Hog rains on Democrats, too. Here he recounts his belief that a $200 million contract awarded by the Beebe administration as part of the Medicaid expansion was set up to go to a pre-determined winner.

That Republican sweep? More for Blue Hog to check out. It's not over until he says it's over.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • It's official: Mike Huckabee has lost his mind

    Mike Huckabee's plan for winning the Republican presidential nomination is to convince primary voters there's a holy war underway against Christians.
    • Apr 24, 2015
  • Medical marijuana backers: Health Department opposition 'disingenuous' and 'cruel'

    Arkansans for Compassionate Care, the group behind the first medical marijuana initiative to qualify for the ballot, has responded sharply to yesterday's statement by the Arkansas Health Department that it opposes legal medical use of marijuana.
    • Jul 13, 2016
  • Mike Huckabee, meet James Madison

    Not that it will do much good, but Times columnist Ernest Dumas this week provides some useful Founding Father history, plus a little bit of Bible, for how wrong-headed Mike Huckabee, Asa Hutchinson, the Republican legislature and others are in using government to enforce their religious views.
    • May 26, 2015

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Lessons from Standing Rock

    A Fayetteville resident joins the 'water protectors' allied against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
  • Child welfare too often about 'punishing parents,' DCFS consultant tells legislators

    Reforms promised by the Division of Children and Family Services are "absolutely necessary," the president of DCFS's independent consultant told a legislative committee this morning. But they still may not be enough to control the state's alarming growth in foster care cases.
  • Donald Trump taps Tom Price for HHS Secretary; Medicaid and Medicare cuts could be next

    The selection of Tom Price as HHS secretary could signal that the Trump administration will dismantle the current healthcare safety net, both Medicaid and Medicare.
  • Fake economics

    Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.

Visit Arkansas

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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