Good government proposed: Can Democrats get a second | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Good government proposed: Can Democrats get a second

Posted By on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 4:51 PM

REP. CLARKE TUCKER: Proposes paid maternity leave for state employees.
  • REP. CLARKE TUCKER: Proposes paid maternity leave for state employees.
Democratic legislators filed a batch of good government bills today and apparently more expected tomorrow and the days ahead.

Can Democrats encourage bipartisan ethics legislation? That is the question. At a minimum, the legislation offers a forum for Democrats to get some positive attention despite small numbers. Realistically, they can't pass anything without some Republican support. Today:

* Rep. Greg Leding and Sen. Keith Ingram have introduced legislation, with 11 Democratic co-sponsors, to prevent members of the General Assembly from forming more than one political action committee. Multiple PACs, a trick particularly favored by some lobbyists, allow piling up contributions from the same sources more than once, in excess of the contribuition limits. Then each PAC, in theory, can contribute to the same candidate.

* Rep. Clarke Tucker of Little Rock introduced four measures. One would increase the penalty for personal use of campaign money from a misdemeanor to a felony, the level determined by how much money was wrongly used. Another would remove judicial immunity from judges who commit criminal acts by taking bribes. This would have allowed  claims against, for example, Mike Maggio, convicted of taking a bribe to reduce a jury verdict in a nursing home case. Another would expand the violation of abuse of public trust — passed in the last session — to include acts by someone elected to, but not yet serving, in office. In other words, taking a payment for expected action in advance of taking office would be a crime, too.

Tucker's most important legislation — and thus likely the most difficult to pass — is his bill to shine some light on dark money, the anonymously sourced money that has become so important in so many election races. His bill would require disclosure on all "electioneering communications," which would include those ads that are harshly critical of a candidate without explicitly urging a vote. Disclosure of spending would be required by those spending more than $1,000. Contributors of more than $500 to such efforts would have to be disclosed. It also place restrictions on coordination of activities between independent expendtiure groups and candidates' campaigns. This is a badly needed dose of sunlight, but given where the prevailing money has been spent in recent days, it will be hard to get Republicans on board I'd guess.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.

Most Viewed

  • Arkansas-linked Charlottesville marcher identified, apologizes to those misidentified

    A man who says he's a former University of Arkansas student now living in New England has identified himself as the person wearing an "Arkansas Engineering" T-shirt in the Friday white supremacist march in Fayetteville. He apologized for involving UA in the story and to the professor misidentified as being the person wearing the shirt.

Most Recent Comments



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