Favorite

Library promises openness 

Bobby Roberts, director of the Central Arkansas Library System, promised openness about the details of the campaign for a library property-tax proposal on the ballot March 13.

The library proposes to reduce a one mill tax to .9-mill, but extend it for five years to refinance bonds at a lower interest rate and raise $19 million for more materials and construction projects including branch libraries and archive space.

We asked about transparency because of Times' columnist Max Brantley's crusade for detailed reporting of expenses on issue campaigns. The state Ethics Commission ruled recently that, while it wasn't happy with the circumstances, state law didn't require the city of Little Rock sales tax campaigners to disclose more than the checks it had written to the Markham Group, a political consulting firm. How the Markham Group spent that money could be kept secret.

The Ethics Commission will seek a law clarification. In the meanwhile, we're asking groups seeking tax increases to voluntarily commit to reveal how campaign money is spent.

Said Roberts, who'll be using Mary Dillard as a political consultant, as he has before: "I agree with you about the reporting and we will itemize how the money is spent in the report. In our case the Coalition does not pay very much through Mary. That is we pay directly to the vendor supplying the services so almost all of the coalition's expenditures will show in the report. Most goes for printing and mailing."

Pulaski Tech, which is planning a summer property tax election, is going to discuss hiring a political consultant this week. The Times has called on Tech to promise full disclosure in its campaign. The Markham Group, which told the Ethics Commission such transparency would require it to disclose proprietary information (though none was identified), was among those Tech planned to talk with.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Most Shared

  • In the margins

    A rediscovered violin concerto brings an oft-forgotten composer into the limelight.
  • Donald Trump is historically unpopular — and not necessarily where you think

    My colleagues John Ray and Jesse Bacon and I estimate, in the first analysis of its kind for the 2018 election season, that the president's waning popularity isn't limited to coastal cities and states. The erosion of his electoral coalition has spread to The Natural State, extending far beyond the college towns and urban centers that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. From El Dorado to Sherwood, Fayetteville to Hot Springs, the president's approval rating is waning.
  • Arkansans join House vote to gut Americans with Disabilities Act

    Despite fierce protests from disabled people, the U.S. House voted today, mostly on party lines, to make it harder to sue businesses for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course Arkansas congressmen were on the wrong side.

Latest in The Insider

  • All in the family

    Old habits die hard. We may have a new Republican majority in the legislature, but like the old Democratic majority, it still doesn't hurt to have a lawmaker spouse to land a part-time job during the legislative session.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • 'Circuit breaker' legal

    When we first asked Gov. Mike Beebe about the "circuit breaker" idea out of Arizona (automatically opting out of Medicaid expansion if the feds reduce the matching rates in the future), he said it was fine but noted that states can already opt out at any time, an assurance he got in writing from the feds.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • Church goes to school in Conway

    An interesting controversy is brewing in Conway Public Schools, periodically a scene of discord as more liberal constituents object to the heavy dose of religion that powerful local churches have tried to inject into the schools, particularly in sex education short on science and long on abstinence.
    • Jan 23, 2013
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

February

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28  

Most Viewed

  • Pharmacy reimbursement fight prompts special session call

    Since Jan. 1, Brandon Cooper, a pharmacist at Soo’s Drug Store in Jonesboro, has turned away a number of patients seeking to fill routine prescriptions. The problem is not that the pharmacy lacks the drugs in question or that the patients don’t have insurance, Cooper said. It’s that the state’s largest insurance carrier, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, recently changed the way it pays for pharmaceuticals.
  • Locked away and forgotten

    In 2017, teenagers committed to rehabilitative treatment at two South Arkansas juvenile lockups did not receive basic hygiene and clothing supplies and lived in wretched conditions.

Most Recent Comments

 

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