Rutledge again rejects wording of ethics amendment | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Rutledge again rejects wording of ethics amendment

Posted By on Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 4:25 PM

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has again rejected the wording of a proposed constitutional amendment submitted by Little Rock lawyer David Couch to counteract all the loopholes the legislature put into the last ethics amendment.

Rutledge said Couch's ballot title doesn't sufficiently inform voters of the consequences of the amendment.

Funny. I thought the same thing when Rutledge zipped onto the ballot, if sufficient signatures are gathered, a proposal aimed at making hard for people harmed or killed by health care negligence and malpractice to sue. She approved a ballot title that doesn't begin to inform voters of the ill consequences, including the very specific end of punitive damages for bad actors. Rutledge had support from the nursing industry. Good government people don't have a lobby. So Couch is having a hard time while the nursing home lobby is AOK.

To pick my own nits from just one bit of Rutledge nitpicking:

Article 19, Section 30(a) of the Arkansas Constitution currently prohibits certain officials from accepting gifts from lobbyists. However, a voter might logically conclude from your proposed popular name—“An Amendment to Prohibit Lobbyists Gifts”—that there currently is no prohibition on gifts from lobbyists. The popular name you have proposed is therefore misleading in this respect. 
Rutledge is simply wrong. The Constitution prohibits gifts, but the legislature added exceptions and they take gifts daily — ice cream cones today to name one small example. Couch would flatly prohibit them.

She also, for example, says it is inaccurate for Couch to say that a ban on corporate contributions is inaccurate because it includes LLCs, limited liability COMPANIES. Whose existence you'll find in the corporate register of the secretary of state, BTW.

Similarly, Rutledge contends Couch's requirement for reporting contibutors to independent electioneering is some redundant to existing reporting requirements. Again, I think she's dishonestly represented this issue. Groups that run "informational" ads that are clearly intended to influence elections but avoid direct language need not report sources of money or amounts spent. Couch aims at this disclosure. It was just such dark money spending that helped Rutledge get elected so you can see where sunlight might send her running like a cockroadch.

It's easy to conclude this is a putup job — that Rutledge doesn't want this amendment on the ballot in any shape or form.

Tags: , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Now, the main event

    I write Tuesday morning, before polls close on primary and judicial election contests.
    • May 24, 2018
  • 16 sheriffs endorse Asa Hutchinson

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson had a campaign event todasy to announce an endorsement by 16 of the state's 75 sheriffs, including retiring Sheriff Doc Holladay of Pulaski County (a Democrat).
    • May 23, 2018
  • The line is open

    Here's the open line today. Lots of news today. Check it out on the daily video.
    • May 23, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • The inspiring Hillary Clinton

    Hillary Clinton's campaign for president illustrates again the double standard applied to women. Some writers get it. They even find the supposedly unlikable Clinton inspiring.
    • Oct 16, 2016
  • French Hill votes against disaster aid to Puerto Rico

    Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill alone among Arkansas's House delegation voted last week against a measure that provided $36.5 billion in disaster aid, a portion  for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico as well as money for wildfire response and to support the flood insurance program.
    • Oct 14, 2017
  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation