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

Readers also liked…

  • Saturday's open line

    Got any thoughts? Put them here.
    • May 21, 2016
  • City Board votes to table homeless feeding ordinance for 8 weeks, study with commission

    The Little Rock Board of Directors voted tonight to table for eight weeks an ordinance that homeless advocates say would severely limit the ability of charities to feed homeless people in city parks. Before the ordinance was punted, Vice Mayor Kathy Webb proposed a nine-member commission to study the issue and make recommendations to the board.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 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.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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