Wills takes no-money pledge | Arkansas Blog

Friday, February 5, 2010

Wills takes no-money pledge

Posted By on Fri, Feb 5, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Under criticism from Republicans, House Speaker Robbie Wills has announced he won't accept contributions for his 2nd District congressional campaign during the coming fiscal session of the legislature. House rules prohibit acceptance of campaign contributions during a legislative sessioin, but this general rule has been interpreted in the past as not applying to congressional races. A House rules committee has been set on interpretation of the rule and many had expected that it would be given a broader interpretation. Wills had originally said he'd take money.

Now, he says, the issue has become a "distraction."

NEWS RELEASE

Speaker of the House Robbie Wills today announced that he would voluntarily not accept campaign contributions during the Fiscal Session starting February 8th. “The focus of this session should be solely on balancing Arkansas’ budget. The debate surrounding fundraising during the session is a distraction.” said Wills.

A previous interpretation of the House rule banning fundraising as well as federal law allow representatives running for Congress to accept contributions during the session. Wills had previously said that he planned to accept contributions during the session. “House rules permit me to raise funds during the session. However, my role as Speaker and a personal desire to lead by example does not. My political situation may have changed, but my ethics haven’t. My first responsibility is to Arkansas and the House of Representatives.”

The fiscal session will begin February 8th and is constitutionally mandated to last no longer than 30 days. “I ask that every member of the General Assembly join me in focusing only on balancing Arkansas’ budget during this precedent setting session.”  Speaker Wills said that the fundraising portion of this campaign would resume immediately following the close of the fiscal session. “Fundraising has gone well. In less than 2 weeks as a candidate, I will have raised over $100,000. I look forward to resuming the campaign and taking my message of jobs for Arkansans and a stronger economy for Arkansas across the district.”

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