The public'sinterest is measured bythe extent to which disclosure ofthe information sought would shed light on how the government body in question is doing its job or otherwise let citizens know what the government body is doing. It is not apparent how the disclosure of a private cell phone numberwould accomplish this objective. In contrast, it isquite apparent that a statewide officeholder has a non-trivial privacy interest in not havingeveryone in the state have access to or knowledge of his personal cell phone number, especially because such information could be used for purposes of nuisance or harassment.
A special committee formed by the House Democratic Caucus is inviting Republican colleagues to join them in crafting a legislative ethics package that includes ending the practice of using campaign funds for ticketed political events, prohibiting multiple campaign contributions for corporations controlled by the same majority owner, empowering the Ethics Commission to pro-actively review campaign finance reports when filed, increasing the penalties for violations of ethics laws, and creating a more transparent and navigable finance report database that is accessible to the public.
"For the last few weeks my colleagues and I have worked diligently to review current ethics policy and where our laws fall short of maintaining the public’s trust in Arkansas’ government,” said committee chairman Brent Talley (D-Hope). “Democrats and Republicans must work together to end loopholes created by backroom politics and support more transparency in our government."
Representative Mary Broadaway (D- Paragould) believes her colleagues should work together to present a legislative package during the next session that would hold all elected officials to a higher standard. "It is critical that we come together to have an honest and open discussion on setting a higher standard for all elected officials to follow."
Members in Democratic House Caucus who serve on the committee are Rep. Mary Broadaway (D-Paragould), Rep. Harold Copenhaver (D-Jonesboro), Rep. George McGill (D- Ft. Smith), Rep. Jim Nickels (D-Sherwood), Rep. James Ratliff (D- Imboden), Rep. Warwick Sabin (D- Little Rock), Rep. Brent Talley (D- Hope), and Rep. Marshall Wright (D- Forrest City). Sen. Linda Chesterfield (D-Little Rock) and Sen. Bruce Maloch (D- Magnolia) recently joined the committee.
During the recently-completed legislative session, Sen. Maloch and Rep. Sabin co-sponsored legislation that would have ended the practice of using campaign funds for ticketed political events and prohibited multiple campaign contributions for corporations controlled by the same majority owner (SB59 and SB109).
Among the reform proposals currently being discussed by the Arkansas Republican House Caucus are:I cheer them both. Let's get this done. (It's a little snotty for Republicans to blame Democrats for any shortcomings that might exist given that much of the existing law arises from a voter initiative. And the need for an end to ticketed events was never more sharply illustrated than by 2012 Republican abuses. But OK, each side wants to position itself as the ethical leader. Each as done so. Now put that aside and work for the common interest of good government.)
Mandatory electronic filing of Campaign Contribution & Expenditure (CC&E) Reports
Reducing or eliminating the reporting threshold for expenditures
Eliminating “ticketed events”
Addressing surplus carryover funds and how they are to be handled after an election
A look at Darr's expense report filings with the state shows he expensed multiple trips from his home in Springdale to distant places such as Hot Springs and his offices in Little Rock.
"By looking at his reports, it looks like Arkansas is paying for him to commute," [Talk Business' Michael] Cook said.
Another area of concern shows that sometimes Darr would expense gas or mileage with the state and then expense the same trip with his campaign, leaving a blurry picture of whether or not the trip was for campaign or state purposes, essentially "double dipping."
The annual audit of the office of Lt. Governor is currently being conducted and for me to comment prior to the audit results being released would not be proper. If any "questionable expense claims" or any other matter should be identified, I am committed as House Chair to be diligent in addressing the matter to the fullest extent in order to provide transparency and accountability. Respectfully, Rep. Hammer
The Huck speaks: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/14/us/polit… A quote: '“Anybody who would run for any reason other than…
BHR: ROFL!!!!! Thanks!
And thanks for the work of Blue Hog!!
The old Dixiecrats ARE the new Tea Party!
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