Arkansas's toothless ethics law: Example, Mark Lowery | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Arkansas's toothless ethics law: Example, Mark Lowery

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 7:26 AM

BUSTED AGAIN: Ethics scofflaw Mark Lowery.
  • BUSTED AGAIN: Ethics scofflaw Mark Lowery.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Michael Wickline reported this morning that, for the second time in four years, Republican Rep. Mark Lowery had been cited by the state Ethics Commission for failing to comply with campaign finance reporting law.

Lowery this year agreed — the day after he was re-elected —to  a $150 fine and a letter of caution for failure to file seven monthly reports on time.

Got it? A repeat ethics offender can commit serial violations in a new cycle, wait until after the election, pay $150 and all is forgiven, with a "caution." He also is allowed to say he didn't know better and that complaints about his failure to follow the law were being used as a "political weapon." How terribly unfair to cite public official misconduct in a political race!

Lowery's belief that these were "administrative" errors is not credible, particularly on top of past violation.

Lowery made so many "administrative" mistakes over an extended period that he couldn't avail himself of the get-out-of-jail free card that legislators wrote into the laughable ethics law. With it, legislators can "correct" errors within 30 days after they are called to their attention.

Some complaints are pending against other scofflaws. In time, they'll receive slaps on the wrist and the world will move on. Until there are meaningful penalties for ethics violations, legislators need not worry about them too much, particularly since the Ethics Commission rarely initiates investigations, but mostly acts on outside complaints.( You know: People with a political axe to grind.) In one-party Arkansas, with an Ethics Commission controlled by that party, it becomes even less likely a politician will face consequences for ethical misconduct.

Lowery hasn't filed his final campaign report yet, by the way. His 10-day pre-election report showed a cumulative $41,000 in contributions for the whole race, but the month covered gives you a flavor of the grassroots he serves. Itemized contributions:

screen_shot_2016-11-16_at_7.20.22_am.png

The late primary reports were similarly larded with money from corporate PACs. You know, had the information been available in a timely fashion, somebody might have tried to make political hay of that.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016
  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016
  • Civil War over in Fort Smith; lawyer strikes his Rebel mascot battle tent

    KSFM reports that Joey McCutchen, the lawyer who's been trying to restart the Civil War in Fort Smith over the School Board's decision to drop the Rebel mascot and related trappingsfor Southside High School, is dropping his School Board takeover campaign.
    • May 27, 2016

Most Shared

  • Industrial hemp pilot program coming soon to Arkansas

    One of the booths at this week's Ark-La-Tex Medical Cannabis Expo was hosted by the Arkansas Hemp Association, a trade group founded to promote and expand non-intoxicating industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in the state. AHA Vice President Jeremy Fisher said the first licenses to grow experimental plots of hemp in the state should be issued by the Arkansas State Plant Board next spring.
  • The prayers of Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert is keeping a close eye on the Alabama Senate race.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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