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

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

  • Two dead in Camden plane crash

    Two men were killed in a private plane crash last night at the Camden Airport. Both were National Guardsmen but were not on military duty at the time.
    • Sep 26, 2017
  • Charter school critic praises tough assessment of LR school progress since 1957

    Diane Ravitch, a powerful voice against the billionaires trying to replace an egalitarian public education system with a fractured system of winners and losers segregated by race and income in private or privately operated schools, is giving a shoutout to Barclay Key of Little Rock for his review of Little Rock 60 years after the school crisis.
    • Sep 26, 2017
  • Did Jerry Jones find an exit strategy for player protests?

    Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys may have found an exit strategy for the growing controversy over player protests of racial inequities and Donald Trump's boorishness.
    • Sep 26, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • In Little Rock, Marco Rubio sells American exceptionalism

    This is Rubio's axiomatic answer to Donald Trump's insistence that he and he alone will Make America Great Again: America is the greatest, always has been.
    • Feb 22, 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
  • 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

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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