Friday, January 11, 2013

Nate Bell finds an acorn

Posted By on Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 10:42 AM

NO OAKLAWN PASSES: Nate Bell says he wont take them.
  • NO OAKLAWN PASSES: Nate Bell says he won't take them.
I get lots of opportunities to make cracks about right-wing Republican legislator Nate Bell of Mena. But credit where due. I liked his Facebook post today on distribution of free passes to Oaklawn Park, a long custom of the legislature. It is so ingrained that the legislature even passed a bill years ago to exempt their receipt of thousands of dollars worth of track passes from a state ethics law that otherwise prohibited them from taking gifts worth more than $100.

Wrote Bell as Oaklawn opens another season of horse racing to add a little blood sport to its lucrative casino operation:

Every year at this time I get many requests for the Oaklawn passes traditionally given away by legislators. As a general rule, I don't accept event tickets/passes from organizations offering them and do not have any to distribute. If you REALLY need $2 so you can watch a horse race let me know. I'll try to help out.

No freebies. Good rule. Good for Nate Bell. Give the honorable Mena legislator today's Duncan Baird Good Government Trophy .

Interesting thought. Would the proposed Regnat Populus ethics initiative, with its absolute ban on gifts from lobbyists or "anyone employing a lobbyist" end this pernicious practice? I think so. Meanwhile, more Nate Bells could de facto end it.

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