A month after the conclusion of a vitriolic state Supreme Court election season that saw unprecedented levels of spending by out-of-state "dark money" groups, the Senate Judiciary committee this afternoon discussed two potential reforms to how Arkansas selects its judges.
An updated campaign finance report for failed chief justice candidate Courtney Goodson shows she loaned her campaign $641,000 and received $35,000 in contributions the last few days of the campaign from Pennsylvania lawyers who have become high-profile because of Arkansas political activities.
Another in a series of reports from a good-government says TV spending in the races for Supreme Court in Arkansas topped $1.6 million, not a record by the figuring of Justice at Stake but also not a complete tally of spending because it leaves out huge expenditures on direct mail and other costs.
Circuit Judge Shawn Womack, the candidate for associate justice of the state Supreme Court, does not have records on file with the Arkansas Secretary of State's office itemizing some 45 percent of his total campaign contributions for a previous judicial race.
Citizen journalist Matt Campbell's Blue Hog Report has a new post out about Judge Dan Kemp of Stone County, who is currently running for Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court against Justice Courtney Goodson. Specifically, Campbell is on the trail of a 2014 case in which a Stone County woman reached a plea agreement before Kemp on two drug-related felonies just before her influential parents made a contribution to Kemp's campaign and, later, a public endorsement.
Justice at Stake, a national organization that monitors judicial election expenditures, yesterday announced that its analysis of Federal Communication Commission filings showed a conservative "dark money" group called the Judicial Crisis Network has bought at least $532,030 in television ad contracts attacking Associate Justice Courtney Goodson.
Plaintiffs' lawyers made their case today to continue to trial with the civil suit over then-Judge Mike Maggio's reduction of a $5.2 million jury verdict in a nursing home negligence case to $1 million, a reduction he said he made in return for campaign contributions from the nursing home's owner.
Attorneys for the businessman argue that his cash payments to a former deputy director of DHS, Steven Jones, did not constitute corruption. They say prosecutors cannot prove the money was given in exchange for any particular "official act" from Jones.
Donald Trump is right. There was a time when America was great and it didn't pussyfoot around to avoid offending people who thought they were victimized by discrimination. It was, let's see, the period after World War II, when everyone prospered and America was kicking butts, at home and abroad, and Arkansas's leaders were at the center of it.
We are receiving 200-pounds of large heirloom tomatoes Friday morning from Times publisher and farmer Alan Leveritt. We have dark, brick red Carbons, Goldies (large, high acid golden tomatoes) and Annis Noire, a delicious French heirloom that is green with red marbling when ripe.
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group has issued a news release about freeway expansion with relevance in Little Rock. It's about wasting money to widen freeways that only create more congestion. Sound familiar?
Attorney General Loretta Lynch is announcing she will not participate in any decisions made on the federal investigation of use of a private e-mail server by Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state.
The state's performance on the ACT college entrance test was released today and, in the words of the Education Department, "held steady." In short, the state didn't improve noticeably and scores still lagged behind the national average. In none of four categories did a majority of students demonstrate college readiness.