Gov. Hutchinson auctions dinner with the governor at Mansion for charity | Arkansas Blog

Monday, October 5, 2015

Gov. Hutchinson auctions dinner with the governor at Mansion for charity

Posted By on Mon, Oct 5, 2015 at 7:10 AM

click to enlarge TOP PRIZE: Dinner with Gov. Asa Hutchinson produced more — $13,000 — at this dinners' s auction for the 20th Century Club than a year lease on an SUV or a diamond necklace. - FACEBOOK/20TH CENTURY CLUB
  • Facebook/20th Century Club
  • TOP PRIZE: Dinner with Gov. Asa Hutchinson produced more — $13,000 — at this dinners' s auction for the 20th Century Club than a year lease on an SUV or a diamond necklace.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Brian Fanney reports details on a topic that has been talked about lately — Gov. Asa Hutchinson's decision to break from past practice and allow charities to auction dinner with him at the Governor's Mansion

Hutchinson has done it twice — producing $13,000 for the 20th Century Club and $10,000 for the Children's Advocacy Centers of Arkansas. The charities also must defray the cost of using the public building for the dinners and tours for 10 people. The mansion is governed by an appointed commission, though in a manner in which the governor and spouse naturally have a lot of say. The mansion director is named by the governor (Don Bingham in the Hutchinsons' case.)

Hutchinson said the events were special circumstances — his wife served on the Benton County board of the Advocacy Centers and his daughter is a member of the 20th Century Club, which supports housing for cancer patients receiving treatment in Little Rock. He said he had declined other requests to auction himself off with the mansion for dinner.

Former Democratic Sen. Percy Malone bought the Advocacy Centers dinner. He'd worked on child abuse issues as a legislator. The buyer of the 20th Century Club dinner wasn't reported.

"I never auctioned me off," former Gov. Mike Beebe told the Democrat-Gazette. The mansion was used in his eight years frequently by charities in return for payment for facility use. He and Ginger Beebe were more liberal in allowing use of the mansion by nonprofits than the Mike Huckabee administration, Mansion staffers have said.

The Beebe administration held partisan events off-site at a private catering facility, a former advisor said.

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