Ethics reform: Look to Nevada | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ethics reform: Look to Nevada

Posted By on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 6:11 AM

KOCH GROUP: Why not make AFP disclose.
  • KOCH GROUP: Why not make AFP disclose?
Highly interesting story in Politico. I'd say it constitutes put-up-or-shut-up time for Arkansas Republicans who say full disclosure is the cure to complaints about insufficient ethics laws in Arkansas.

It looks like Nevada law might require the billionaire Koch brothers to disclose contributions and spending on mailers targeting candidates for state legislature. It's a little quirk of law. Federal law allows — crazily — secrecy if you avoid direct advocacy words like "Elect John Smith" or "Defeat Joe Jones." You may, however, spend millions calling a candidate a mother raper and father stabber in complete anonymity as long as you avoid "direct advocacy."

Nevada law takes the common sense approach.

If there can be “no other reasonable interpretation” than that the ad seeks the election or defeat of a candidate, then the producer must disclose the funding source for the ad.

The Democratic Party has asked for an investigation of spending by the Koch-founded Americans for Prosperity in Nevada because of its heavy mailing activity in state races. The country will be watching, because the Kochs are busily at work attempting to buy state legislators all over the country. It has a big paid staff on the ground in Arkansas, headed by Teresa Oelke of Rogers and including as a staff member the wife of reactionary Republican Rep. Nate Bell.

The AFP Arkansas contingent spent a huge sum defeating so-called "moderate" Republicans in contested primaries and it will be spending heavily in November to defeat Democratic legislative candidates.

What about it Sen. Lamoureux, Rep. Burris, Rep. Westerman (I don't bother asking Nate Bell; we know who's buttering his bread)? Do you really favor disclosure on campaign spending? Let's make the Kochs disclose their state legislative campaign spending.

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