UPDATE: Lamoureux explains his work for $120,000 consulting payments | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, October 22, 2015

UPDATE: Lamoureux explains his work for $120,000 consulting payments

Posted By on Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 4:05 PM

click to enlarge faithfreedom.jpg
Michael Lamoureux,  Gov. Asa Hutchinson's chief of staff, has issued a prepared statement about his payment as a consultant by a political nonprofit during the time he was president pro tem of the Arkansas Senate.

He'd earlier told me that he'd ceased taking legal or consulting fees after joining the governor's staff. His statement:

“Concerning my work for Faith and Freedom: at all times I followed the law and ethics rules and reported any income received by my law firm on our tax returns. This position in no way influenced my job as a state senator.

“The nature of the work I did for F&F included traveling to recruit candidates, recruiting and organizing volunteers, educating candidates on our issues, and handling legal issues as they arose.

“I was last paid for this work in early 2014 when it was decided that F&F would wind down operations.”

Claudia Lauer of the Associated Press reported that the Arkansas Faith and Freedom Coalition, a conservative political organization, had paid Lamoureux $120,000 in 2013 as a consultant and that the organization drew on money contributed by tobacco companies, a nursing home concern, a nursing home owner and lobbying firms.

Since the fee was paid to Lamoureux through his law firm, he was not required to disclose specific payments in his own statement of financial interest filed yearly. Other legislators have consulting businesses that also are beyond the reach of disclosure laws.

The coalition, we'd previously long ago, had paid Gilbert Baker, now a lobbyist, when he was an influential member of the Arkansas Senate.

To repeat: Just because something is legal doesn't mean it smells good.

An agent for the coalition was former Republican legislator Marvin Parks. He's also the leader of another nonprofit political group, the Arkansas Civil Justice Institute. It works to change the law to make it harder to sue for damages and is active in encouraging judicial candidates with meshing philosophies. Gilbert Baker was also associated with this organization

I earlier today linked to tax filings by that organization. It reported spending almost $357,000 on consultants over three years through 2014, but it didn't disclose either sources of the money or recipients of the consultant fees. Parks has not responded to my request for specifics, which don't appear on either state or federal reporting forms. But he did respond to one specific question:

Mr. Lamoreux was never paid or involved with ALR in any way.

Best,
Marvin

Our ethics and financial disclosure laws for legislators, lobbyists and political nonprofits with advantageous tax circumstances are too lax. Of that, I'm sure.

I'm also sure this story hasn't run its course.

UPDATE: To stay tuned completely on this story you need to follow Claudia Lauer at AP.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

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

  • Latest Obamacare repeal proposal even worse for women

    The Graham-Cassidy bill to undo the Affordable Care Act will be devastating in Arkansas — an overall reduction in Medicaid spending by billions and  a pathway to gutting of premium protection for people already sick are certain to dramatically reduce access to health coverage. But wait. There's more bad news.
    • Sep 19, 2017
  • Trump rejects findings on net benefit of immigration

    The Trump administration has rejected a study that concludes immigrants produce more through taxes and labor than they cost the federal government. To do so, it had to jigger with the study.
    • Sep 19, 2017
  • Sierra Club touts benefits of solar power

    The Sierra Club in Arkansas says the state Public Service Commission should not change rules in a way that could discourage people who use solar power for electricity.
    • Sep 18, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • City Board votes to table homeless feeding ordinance for 8 weeks, study with commission

    The Little Rock Board of Directors voted tonight to table for eight weeks an ordinance that homeless advocates say would severely limit the ability of charities to feed homeless people in city parks. Before the ordinance was punted, Vice Mayor Kathy Webb proposed a nine-member commission to study the issue and make recommendations to the board.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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