Mark Martin's demerits grow | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mark Martin's demerits grow

Posted By on Sun, Jun 5, 2011 at 9:55 AM

PROMISES, PROMISES: Secretary of State Mark Martin, shown here taking the oath of office, has promised to take politics out of his office. It didnt take long for him to break it.
  • PROMISES, PROMISES: Secretary of State Mark Martin, shown here taking the oath of office, has promised to take politics out of his office. It didn't take long for him to break that vow.

Blogger-in-self-imposed-exile Jason Tolbert may not be blogging currently, but he still writes a column for Stephens Media.

Today, he rounds up — and adds to — the poor report card compiled by putative governmental reformer Secretary of State Mark Martin, the NWA Republican whose main achievements as a state legislator were loony ideas and expense account abuse. The R behind his name was sufficient for election in the anti-Obama surge of 2010.

Intriguing passage from Tolbert:

...Martin told the Yellville Chamber of Commerce in a speech last week that he wanted to use his office “to help connect local Arkansas businesses to international markets through the World Trade Center.”

He apparently was referring to the rather plush office space in Rogers, which would be a much easier commute for Martin and Matayo, who live in the area.

When asked about the statement, Martin’s office had no further explanation and also claimed to have no document pertaining to opening any office space in Northwest Arkansas — no proposals, no e-mails, not even a note. It is unclear if this means Martin’s statement was merely a dream or if it highlights his ongoing problem of poor documentation.

Bad as Martin's record looks in Tolbert's retelling, it's not all-inclusive. Among the unmentioned were his blowup at Mount Ida publisher Mike Graves for a joking remark at a chamber of commerce dinner. There's the embarrassment of his campaigning on how he'd remove politics from his office. He has political operatives on public payroll all over (his campaign ad man, a long-time Republican operative on contract, a couple of former Republican legislators on staff or contract — and don't kid yourself that they're not politicking). His staffers include some who've moonlighted on national TV as Republican partisans — Alice Stewart and erstwhile staffer Princella Smith, who came a cropper for driving infractions and whose public work record came in question by Blue Hog Report. Blue Hog's reporting spawned the Republican vendetta against blogger Blue Hog and Tolbert's blogging exile as a sign of solidarity with BHR.

BTW: I predict Blue Hog's return to the 'nets. A good place for him to start might be further reporting on political activity by Martin's staff. I think some additions are coming.

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