Friday, August 26, 2016

The Republican junta at work in election oversight

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2016 at 7:48 AM

It was hardly surprising that the state Board of Election Commissioners, controlled by Republicans, chose a long-time recipient of various Republican appointed jobs to be the new chief.

It wasn't surprising because the 73-year-old choice, despite an absence of employment in the field, was Keith Rutledge, a Batesville lawyer who is the father of Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. Nor does it surprise that Heather "Republican" McKim (so nicknamed because she sought the partisan moniker as part of her name on the election ballot when she ran for office in Bryant) will remain in a highly paid deputy job at the election oversight agency.

Nor does it surprise that A.J. Kelly, Secretary of State Mark Martin's long-time top aide, and Republican Stu Soffer led the way for Rutledge's appointment. According to the Democrat-Gazette account, Kelly even foreclosed public discussion of the choice over other candidates, including one with years of experience as an election coordinator.

But... It should give all the slightest bit of unease to watch the orchestration of selection of a political foot soldier by the Mark Martin forces at this time. Martin is under scrutiny for mismanaging voter information in what looks an awful lot like an attempt to purge voter rolls of suspected Democrats.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge remain silent, despite inquiries, about the evidence of election funny business by Mark Martin, whose influence helped Rutledge get his job overseeing elections. Call us Republicansas.

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