Josh Miller protects crooked colleagues from harsher penalties | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Josh Miller protects crooked colleagues from harsher penalties

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 12:27 PM

click to enlarge ETHICS KILLER: Rep. Josh MIller gave the death penalty to legislation to increase the penalty for legislators who spend campaign money on personal expenses.
  • ETHICS KILLER: Rep. Josh MIller gave the death penalty to legislation to increase the penalty for legislators who spend campaign money on personal expenses.
Catching up on Wednesday action: Rep. Josh Miller, the Medicaid recipient who opposed Medicaid for others, won an overwhelming "do not pass" vote Wednesday morning in the House State Agencies committee on HB 1008.

Bills typically go up or down on "do pass" votes. Do not pass recommendations are almost unheard of. They are the death penalty to legislation.

And what was HB 1008?

It was by Rep. Clarke Tucker of Little Rock. It would have increased the criminal penalty for legislators who use campaign money for personal expenses.  One former legislator, Sen. Paul Bookout, went to federal prison for doing this, but it required a federal wire fraud charge for tens of thousands in personal expenses from money accrued in uncontested elections.

Tucker's bill explicitly allowed candidates to employ their spouse and kids with campaign money. It explicitly allowed loans at certain times.  It allowed candidates to rent themselves space in their own buildings. It allowed exceptions for campaign meals. It allowed personal expenditures from campaign carryover money.

The bill would have continued the violation as a misdemeanor up to $500 worth of personal spending. Then it would have become a felony, up to Class B for $25,000 or more.

Personal campaign spending is prohibited by ethics rules, but the penalties are insignificant. The threat of a misdemeanor violation didn't deter Bookout (nor once Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, who resigned after his personal spending of campaign and state money was revealed.)

The slap on the wrist prevails. DO NOT PASS, Josh Miller said.

Tags: , , , , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • A response to police arrests becomes a tutorial on race, class and policing in Little Rock

    John Walker, the 79-year-old civil rights lawyer, and his associate, Omavi Shukur, 29, a young lawyer devoted to criminal justice reform, talked to press this afternoon about their arrests Monday by Little Rock police for supposedly obstructing governmental operations in observing and attempting to film a routine police traffic stop. It was a tutorial on sharp views of race, class and governance in Little Rock.
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • Rep. Mary Bentley's website now supports gay rights

    Somebody has cybersquatted on Republican Rep. Mary Bentley's website, replacing her messaging with a call for equal rights for LGBTQ people.
    • Jul 18, 2017
  • Donald Trump declares war on Hillary Clinton's marriage

    Donald Trump gave a remarkable interview to the New York Times yesterday in which he declared open season on the marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton's past infidelity. Seems like a loser, but I've been wrong before.
    • Oct 1, 2016

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

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