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: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


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…

  • Ex-Hog Darrell Walker spotlighted for collection of work by black artists

    Former Razorback basketball player Darrell Walker and his art collection get a mention in today's New York Times in an article about the rising profiles and prices of black artists.
    • Nov 29, 2015
  • 'Million-Dollar Thursday': A visit to Sherwood's hot check court

    We take a visit to the weekly hot check court in Sherwood District Court, the subject of a recent civil rights lawsuit filed by ACLU Arkansas and others, who say the system there results in a modern-day debtor's prison
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Federal judge wants John Goodson to explain class action maneuvering

    A show-cause order filed Monday by federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith indicates class action attorney John Goodson has some explaining to do about the move of a class action complaint against an insurance company from federal to state court with an instant pre-packaged settlement that has been criticized as a windfall for Goodson.
    • Dec 22, 2015

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Another week done

    • "'He's going to fire Mueller': MSNBC's Donny Deutsch warns Trump will take drastic measures to…

    • on July 21, 2017
  • Re: Another week done

    • "A white nationalist website has joined in the campaign against the Southern Poverty Law Center…

    • on July 21, 2017
  • Re: Another week done

    • Trump supporters and virtually 100% of the GOP have to lie and live in denial…

    • on July 21, 2017



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