Darr's deadwood finding new public and political teats | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Darr's deadwood finding new public and political teats

Posted By on Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 7:01 AM

click to enlarge SWITCHING TEATS: Bruce Campbell leaves public teat for political payroll. He'd already been working for Asa Hutchinson for free.
  • SWITCHING TEATS: Bruce Campbell leaves public teat for political payroll. He'd already been working for Asa Hutchinson for free.
I wrote yesterday that  the last three of four Darr's Deadwood —staff members who've collectively cost taxpayers $25,000 a month since Feb. 1 for doing nothing — were finally leaving the nonfunctioning lieutenant governor's office. I also wrote that the one staff member I reached, Josh Curtis ($51,564 annually) wouldn't say where the staff members would be going to work in new jobs.

I bet Sen. Michael Lamoureux, the Senate president pro tem who decreed that these four could  draw non-working salaries for five months, that chief of staff Bruce Campbell ($75,132) would wind up on a public teat, because he's suckled there for years thanks to Republican political appointments. He took the bet, undoubtedly fully aware of Campbell's next post.

Nonetheless, I was wrong and owe Lamoureux a doughnut. Campbell is merely, for the time being, taking a politically financed teat-in-waiting job. The Democrat-Gazette reports that he's been hired as political director for the Asa Hutchinson for Governor campaign. I'll bet another doughnut that if Asa wins Campbell will be back at the public trough.

The reporter didn't ask what political activities Campbell had been engaged in while nominally "working" for the state for  $75,000 a year. I'd been getting reports that he has been politicking for Hutchinson and other Republican candidates. All on his own time, of course. As if there was anything to do during his state office hours. My periodic FOI requests turned up no e-mails or documents issued by Campbell. He never would return a phone call. Busy, I guess.

Is this the kind of administration Hutchinson will run — countenancing a $300,000 do-nothing payroll because the non-workers happen to be political pals? His hiring of Campbell and dead silence on the five-month arrangement — not to mention the least possible comment on the corrupt Mark Darr, who resigned from the office amid an expense account scandal. Please note:  Some of the false expense claims were submitted for reimbursement by Campbell himself as office boss..

Another outpost of dead wood, the secretary of state's office, apparently will hire either Curtis or Raeanne Gardner ($33,660), based on the D-G article. The secretary of state's office wouldn't reveal which of these was in line for a job there, but said one had been offered. I've filed an FOI.

Darr's communications director — Amber Pool ($57,000) — stayed on the no-work teat only four months, through early June, before she got hired in the House of Representatives.

Do you sense a certain welfare Cadillac entitlement to government sustenance among the new Republican majority?

PS — Somebody in a position to know indicates Gardner is headed to private employment. So that makes Curtis the likely candidate for Mark Martin's place.

Tags: , , , , , , ,



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Little Rock school activists announce events for 60th anniversary of Central High crisis

    The group is not affiliated with the official "Reflections of Progress" commemoration of the 60th anniversary. However, at least two of the Little Rock Nine may be joining the group for an event at 2:30 p.m. at the state Capitol in the Old Supreme Court Chamber.
    • Sep 14, 2017
  • Trump tariffs hit farmers hard

    Well, the trade war has begun and the early returns for farmers are not good — sharp reductions in the prices for soybeans and corn. You may have heard that Arkansas, which overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump, has some agricultural interests, particularly in soybeans.
    • Jul 6, 2018
  • Arkansas legislature rejects bipartisan effort to study race relations

    On Friday, the Arkansas Legislative Council soundly rejected a bipartisan effort by two senators to to create a temporary legislative subcommittee to study race relations in the state.
    • Sep 15, 2017

Most Recent Comments


© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation