UPDATE: Senators Key, Lamoureux and Williams fined by Ethics Commission | Arkansas Blog

Friday, December 7, 2012

UPDATE: Senators Key, Lamoureux and Williams fined by Ethics Commission

Posted By on Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Sen. Michael Lamoreux image
  • Sen. Michael Lamoreux
The Arkansas Ethics Commission has fined Sen. Johnny Key (R-Mountain Home), Sen. Michael Lamoureux (R-Russellville) and Sen. Eddie Joe Williams (R-Cabot) for violating ethics laws. All used their own campaign money to donate more than the ticketed price or suggested amount at Republican fundraisers. All three senators were issued public warnings. Williams was fined $850. Key was fined $100. Lamoureux was fined $150.

Fayetteville Prairie Grove public school teacher Dustin Seaton filed the complaints in July. He was working with the campaigns of Democrats Diana Gonzales Worther and Zac White at the time. In a note yesterday, he said, the "Ethics Commission should have more bite in ensuring appropriate ept campaign expenditures from the various campaigns, especially from unopposed campaigns."

Lamoureux told the Democrat-Gazette the ruling was "a close call that could go either way." He said he wouldn't be surprised to see lawmakers propose legislation to clarify ethics law.

UPDATE: editorial comment from Max. The law doesn't need clarification except to end the bogus loophole the Ethics Commission created for rampant exploitation by the GOP this year. It prohibits use of campaign money for other campaigns. How hard would it be to stick to the law? As it is a bogus fundraiser can be created in which unopposed legislators meet for lunch at Doe's to swap checks. Heck, the unopposed candidate need not even attend. Who will check? Not the toothless malleable Ethics Commission. There is no benefit or need for candidates to use campaign cash to give to another candidate except to evade limits on campaign contributions for others whose money they launder and to buy influence. The practice should be stopped. The nature of clarification proposed by majority republicans will tell us much about their ethics. But we already know plenty based on leaders' blatant violation of the law here and the recent push to allow these same boodlers to use campaign cash as a special interest-financed traveling fund to political conventions. Some fresh air this bunch will be. Not. Bring on Regnat Populus.

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