Blogger Russ Racop announces for Little Rock City Board | Arkansas Blog

Monday, October 2, 2017

Blogger Russ Racop announces for Little Rock City Board

Posted By on Mon, Oct 2, 2017 at 7:30 AM

click to enlarge RUSS RACOP: Announces for City Board.
  • RUSS RACOP: Announces for City Board.
Russ Racop, whose blogging activity includes Bad Government in Arkansas, is entering the political realm himself. He has announced on Facebook his candidacy for the Ward 6 seat on the City Board now held by Doris Wright.

This could be interesting.

As I disclosed long ago, Racop's public record includes a contentious domestic case before my now-retired wife, a judge. He wasn't happy with her rulings. His record also includes one battery charge for which he was not convicted. But also notable in the political context is his obsessive pursuit of Freedom of Information and ethics complaints and document probes against a wide variety of public officials.

His work led to a correct finding by the state Ethics Commission that the law means what it says — you can't give expensive gifts to cops just for doing their public jobs (Jerry Jones and the NLR PD.) He's ridden the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Division endlessly for perceived shortcomings in enforcement (I believe approval of a beer permit in his neighborhood triggered some of his early activism). He's uncovered misuse of a public job by an employee of Faulkner Prosecutor Cody HIland (soon to be U.S. attorney). She got access to sealed domestic files in another state and Racop's complaint about that is pending before the Ethics Commission. He's also raising cain (with good reason) about home cooking by Faulkner County judges that produces secrecy for divorce cases of the well-connected. He dug up the names of the men who took a $5,000 bonus for signing up to be Little Rock cops and then left the force shortly after qualifying. As I noted yesterday, he uncovered 10 months ago some questionable spending of state surplus on a dubious Saline County enterprise guided by state legislators (the D-G made this a page one story just yesterday). He uncovered— again before the daily newspaper — his opponent Doris Wright's use (some might say abuse) of city money to establish a radio station (and  ALSO a magazine) that seem to be run by Wright for her political benefit, not to mention ongoing questions about the city-funded community center in her neighborhood that she effectively controls. His opening announcement features Wright's reliance on real estate developer money in a past campaign. He's enmeshed currently in a big tussle with City Attorney Tom Carpenter over access to police records.

As I say: Could be interesting. Racop's self-description:

Russ Racop is a political outsider that publishes several blogs that expose and document misdeeds and misadventures of local, county, state and federal agencies and their employees in Arkansas.
It's a double-edged sword. Racop's own background will merit the close examination he gives others. It includes cause for voter concern. But that doesn't mean everything he says should be discounted. The record on that is clear.

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