Ethics amendment didn't stop corporate money flow | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ethics amendment didn't stop corporate money flow

Posted By on Thu, Jan 21, 2016 at 7:12 AM

The so-called Arkansas ethics amendment included a prohibition on corporate contributions to political candidates.

Many expect the corporate-friendly U.S. Supreme Court to strike down such a limit some day, but meanwhile, it is not exactly standing between corporate money and political candidates.

One small example: See the latest campaign finance report this week from Sen. Eddie Joe Williams of Cabot, a legislative luggage carrier for the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce.

His most recent campaign report shows he raised $6,825 in the most recent reporting period (for a total of more than $117,000 for the campaign.) Where did that money come from?

* $4,775 came from corporate-financed PACs .

* $1,000 came from the former CEO of Murphy Oil.

* $1,000 came from a lobbyist

Not exactly grassroots money. Earlier Williams reports included at least $35,000 in PAC money, plus major individual contributions from familiar political corporate executives such as $2,700 from Fort Smith nursing home baron Michael Morton.

Williams' Republican primary opponent, R.D. Hopper of Cabot, has raised about $16,000.

The moral is that key incumbent legislators will get all the corporate money they need, ethics amendment or no ethics amendment.

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