Mark Darr used campaign money to buy Razorback tickets | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mark Darr used campaign money to buy Razorback tickets

Posted By on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 4:40 PM


FUND-RAISING: The Darrs do football.
  • FUND-RAISING: The Darrs do football.

Blue Hog Report continues his examination of Lt. Gov. Mark Darr's campaign financial expenditures.

When last we visited, Blue Hog had totted up a lot of unusual Darr expenditures — gas, dining, clothing — as Darr continued to try to pay down debt from his 2010 political campaign. Darr and his spokespeople and campaign consultants have, to date, refused to respond to questions about the report. In due course, a complaint will be filed with the state Ethics Commission and he'll get an opportunity to explain there. An earlier explanation would seem useful to him politically, given his current candidacy for 4th District Congress.

Nonetheless, the news today from Blue Hog is that he's learned through an FOI request to the University of Arkansas that a $1,500 expenditure Darr reported in October 2011 as a "fund-raising expenditure" at the University of Arkansas purchased Razorback football tickets — season tickets in Fayetteville and in Little Rock. Blue Hog says his examination of Darr records doesn't turn up any contributions that appear related to that expenditure.

(Note correction: the original report misstated the purchase as 8 tickets.)

This brings us back, in a way, to John Burris.

As Burris told us earlier today, the Ethics Commission has signed off on his expenditure of campaign money to give to other candidates under the theory that his attendance at those events enhances his exposure and puts him in contact with many people useful to a politician.

If and when Darr gets around to explaining his ongoing use of campaign money, I'd be willing to bet we'll hear an excuse somewhat along those lines from him. And, given the wiggle room the Ethics Commission seems willing to extend, who knows if it might not prevail? (His car expenses are more problematic because of specific rules on maintaining logs and such. And: Does his honking big truck really use that much gas?)

And let me also do something that you won't catch a Republican doing when they find a Democrat stepping out of line on an ethical matter: I'll mention that Darr isn't the only person who ever bought football tickets with campaign money. In July 2010, then Secretary of State Charlie Daniels used carryover campaign money to purchase $760 in Razorback tickets. Carryover money is somewhat different from campaign money (campaign spending post-election is only allowed to pay down debt), though prohibitions on strictly personal use remain the same. But, as the Burris case illustrates, what's not political about getting out in public when you're a public official? 


Was it John Burris who said: "L'etat c'est moi"?  Maybe it was Louis XIV. 


Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Charter school accountability: Non-existent in Arkansas

    A state audit finds charter school spending violated state law, but the state Education Department says it has no responsibility for ensuring proper management of charter schools. Say what?
    • Mar 5, 2016
  • Policy group urges opposition to new charter seats in Little Rock

    The Arkansas Public Policy Panel is urging supporters of the Little Rock School District to tell state Board of Education members they oppose applications to be heard this week to dramatically expand the number of charter school seats in the Little Rock School District.
    • Mar 9, 2016
  • Civil War over in Fort Smith; lawyer strikes his Rebel mascot battle tent

    KSFM reports that Joey McCutchen, the lawyer who's been trying to restart the Civil War in Fort Smith over the School Board's decision to drop the Rebel mascot and related trappingsfor Southside High School, is dropping his School Board takeover campaign.
    • May 27, 2016

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

  • Death reported of Robert Johnston, former legislator and homeless advocate

    In a cruel coincidence, a new development in the city's ongoing struggle with how to deal with the homeless came the day of news of the unexpected death of Robert Johnston,  a tireless advocate for the homeless in a long career of public service.
  • Who you gonna trust? Not GOP politicans on health care

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson keeps insisting that the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal will be great for Arkansas. Evidence keeps mounting that it will strike the state (meaning Arkansas human beings) a devasting blow.
  • Legislature itches for more control over 'independent' agencies

    Michael Wickline of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports this morning on growing tension over the legislature's effort to exert more control over the state's constitutionally independent agencies. The immediae target is the Game and Fish Commission, but it's a sprawling dispute over balance of powers.
  • Alternate homeless feeding plan falls apart

    A plan to establish a volunteer effort to feed homeless in the far southeastern corner of the city, well removed from downtown, has fallen apart as was inevitable.
  • Police shoot suspect in SW Little Rock

    TV news accounts this morning say a Little Rock police officer shot a criminal suspect near a church at 53rd and Geyer Springs around midnight last night when investigation what's been described as a potential rape.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation