Thursday, January 1, 2015

Blue Hog Report 2014: The best of times, the worst of times

Posted By on Thu, Jan 1, 2015 at 11:19 AM

click to enlarge screen_shot_2015-01-01_at_11.15.44_am.png

Blue Hog Report,
the investigative blog of Little Rock lawyer Matt Campbell, had a heckuva year in 2014. His work was pivotal in forcing the resignation from office of Lt. Gov. Mark Darr and driving Circuit Judge Mike Maggio not only out of a race for Appeals Court but off the bench forever.

Today, he looks back on other investigative thrusts and notes some loose ends. The bottom line is that despite his best efforts, a number of the candidates he targeted won elections anyway. 

Among the highlights:

* THE NAKED FORT SMITH POLICE: Blue Hog makes a good case for credit that his reporting ended a Fort Smith vice squad practice of getting naked, digitally penetrating suspected prostitutes and receiving hand jobs as techniques to make prostitution arrests. 

* ATTORNEY GENERAL LESLIE RUTLEDGE: Yes, she was elected (though by the smallest margin of all the statewide Republican office winners) despite reporting on a variety of issues related to her experience, her work at DHS and her coordination with an outside election group on TV advertising. Campbell's complaint on the coordinated TV ad (she appeared in an ad paid for by someone else who doesn't report contributors) is a watershed event for the state Ethics Commission. It will find a violation and prohibit the practice in the future or we will have seen the end of any meaningful disclosure laws for political campaigns in Arkansas.

* SEN. JASON RAPERT: In his classic fashion, Blue Hog piles absolute command of the intricacies of the law to support his report that Rapert was guilty of multiple violations of campaign finance law in a fund-raising concert he held at UCA. He demolishes sketchy reporting by the Log Cabin Democrat in the process (it was under immense pressure from Rapert). It also holds Rapert consultant Ted Thomas up to a highly unflattering light for his defense of Rapert's shoddy reporting. This is important because of continuing rumors that Thomas will be tapped by Asa Hutchinson as head of the state Finance and Administration Department. Until now, it has been rigorously nonpartisan and perhaps the most accessible and accountable agency of state government. Thomas' record as a highly partisan campaign operative who doesn't readily make himself available to questions will require a dramatic change if he is to fill Richard Weiss' shoes.

* BEEBECARE: Yes, Blue Hog rains on Democrats, too. Here he recounts his belief that a $200 million contract awarded by the Beebe administration as part of the Medicaid expansion was set up to go to a pre-determined winner.

That Republican sweep? More for Blue Hog to check out. It's not over until he says it's over.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • FOI lawsuit filed for State Police firing records on ABC enforcement boss Boyce Hamlet

    Russell Racop has filed, as promised, his lawsuit over the State Police's refusal — under guidance from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge — to release records that provide information that led to the firing of current Alcoholic Beverage Control Enforcement Director Boyce Hamlet as a state trooper.
    • Sep 9, 2015
  • State Police issues statement on Jason Rapert 'threats'

    The State Police have issued a minor clarification in what appears to be an effort to soothe an enraged Sen. Jason Rapert, exposed here as overly excited about both a Conway parking lot question from a constituent as well as some inflammatory Internet rhetoric that he's interpreted as a dire threat on his life. State cops took his reports seriously, they say. But in the end, they found nothing actionable.
    • Sep 15, 2015
  • 2nd guilty plea in bribery case over state mental health services

    Arkansas Business reports here on a federal court filing Wednesday that shows a second person has pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme to help a major contractor of the state Department of Human Services.
    • Sep 17, 2015

Most Shared

  • Former state board of education chair Sam Ledbetter weighs in on Little Rock millage vote

    Ledbetter, the former state Board of Education chair who cast the decisive vote in 2015 to take over the LRSD, writes that Education Commissioner Johnny Key "has shown time and again that he is out of touch with our community and the needs of the district." However, Ledbetter supports the May 9 vote as a positive for the district's students and staff.
  • Workers stiffed

    How is it going with the great experiment to make the Republican Party the champion of the sons and daughters of toil instead of the oligarchs of wealth and business?
  • O'Reilly's fall

    Whom the gods would destroy, they first make TV stars.

Visit Arkansas

Fishing the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas

Fishing the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas

Arkansas angler and fishing expert Billy Murray shares his extensive knowledge of the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas

Most Viewed

  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
  • The Kenneth Williams' execution thread

    Kenneth Williams, 38, is scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m. tonight at the Cummins Unit near Grady. If a court does not stop the execution, he will be the fourth death row prisoner to die over the last eight days in Arkansas.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

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