Cost-cutting Republicans pad their own pockets | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cost-cutting Republicans pad their own pockets

Posted By on Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Another nice bit of record sleuthing by Blue Hog Report.

He runs through the list of Republican legislators who blocked an appropriation for the Arkansas School for the Deaf yesterday because it contained $6,000 in increased spending. He notes the increases in reimbursements that several of the legislators are drawing for expenses. But good, too, are the unitemized amounts the legislators are paying themselves or family members, putatively for use of their premises for legislative offices. Smells a lot like a salary supplement to me. And it costs a helluva lot more than $6,000. And these are reimbursements apart from mileage and per diem. A few examples of the cost-cutting Republicans, mostly from Central Arkansas:

Minority Leader Rep. John Burris. $1500 monthly reimbursement paid to John Burris d/b/a Conservative Strategies, which is an unincorporated business owned by Burris and for which no Google results exist.

Rep. Ann Clemmer of Benton. $2200 monthly reimbursement paid to Ann Clemmer d/b/a Ann Clemmer Consulting, which is an unincorporated business owned by Clemmer at her home address. It does have a yellow pages listing.

Rep. Jane English of North Little Rock. $2250 monthly reimbursement paid to EJE Corporate Services, Inc., which lists Jane English as President and Incorporator, was incorporated in December 2008 (English first took office in Jan. 2009), and lists English’s home address as its place of business.

Rep. Ed Garner of Maumelle. $2350 monthly reimbursement paid to Mama’s Manna, Inc., of which Garner is President.

Rep. Jeremy Gillam of Judsonia. $1200 monthly reimbursement paid to Gillam Farms, which is owned by Gillam’s family.

Rep. Kim Hammer of Benton. $2050 monthly reimbursement paid to Kayla Lawrence, 2011 Harmon Dr., Benton, AR 72015, who is Hammer’s daughter.

Rep. Justin Harris of West Fork. $1200 monthly reimbursement paid to One Line, LLC, which was formed on January 21, 2011 (ten days before invoice was filed), by Harris’ wife, Marsha, and which uses Harris’ home address as its place of business. Harris, you'll recall, makes a living off taxpayer money that pays for daycare at his church school, including some without proof they are legal residents, though he's a government reducer and illegal alien crusader.

Rep. Allen Kerr of Little Rock. $2250 monthly reimbursement paid to Allen W. Kerr Insurance Agency, Inc., which lists Kerr’s home address as principal place of business and lists Kerr as President, Vice President, Treasurer, Controller, and Tax Preparer.

Rep. Andy Mayberry of Hensley. $2050 monthly reimbursement paid to Mayberry Advertising, which is an unincorporated business that uses Mayberry’s home address as its billing address, has a place of business in Little Rock, and is owned by Mayberry and his wife.

Rep. David Meeks of Conway. $2050 monthly reimbursement paid to Naomi Meeks, Inc., which was founded by Meeks’ wife on January 7, 2011. Unlike most invoices submitted by the legislators on this list, Meeks’ is not for “legislative support services,” but, rather, for “legislative consulting services,” which were apparently provided by his wife at their home address. Why Meeks needed $2000 worth of legislative consulting from a certified nurse’s assistant who did not even note the actual hours spent consulting is a separate question, I suppose.

Rep. Stephen Meeks of Greenbrier. $2050 monthly reimbursement paid to Stellar Political Consulting, LLC, which was created by Meeks on January 19, 2011, is based out of Meeks’ home address, and was predicted by this blog to have been formed primarily to bill for reimbursements.

Rep. David J. Sanders of Little Rock). $2050 monthly reimbursement paid to Arkansas Opportunity Group Limited, unironically formed with Sanders as registered agent on January 27, 2011 (five days before date on invoice) and using Sanders’ home address as its primary place of business.

There's much more at Blue Hog. Democrats play this reimbursement scam, too, but at least they don't draw $24,000 and more a year in unitemized expenses for — what? — at the same time they are picking at pennies at the School for the Deaf.

PS — People who live in or close to Little Rock (within 50 miles, I think is the limit) are allowed higher "office expenses" because they can't claim per diem and mileage. Which is another indication that this is more about pay padding than expense covering.

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