Pillager of state 

Like Goldilocks in the bears' house, but not as cute, Secretary of State Mark Martin helped himself to whatever he wanted at the state Board of Apportionment, unconcerned that the property belonged to someone else. Ethics has never been Martin's best subject. As a legislator, he was an incorrigible fudger of expense accounts.

The Board of Apportionment, consisting of the governor, the attorney general and the secretary of state, meets every 10 years to redraw the state's legislative boundaries after the federal census. The current board was allotted $200,000 to work with. At the board's first meeting last week, the governor and the attorney general were dismayed to learn that Martin had already spent $70,000 of the board's money, without authorization or consultation. He used the funds to buy a car and to hire a former Republican legislator as the board's director of redistricting. Martin is the only Republican member of the board.

Governor Beebe and General McDaniel were remarkably gracious on discovering Martin's rash behavior. Beebe, apparently not well acquainted with Martin, suggested that the new secretary of state might not have known he was doing anything wrong. Even so, Beebe and McDaniel laid plans to hire a different person as the board's redistricting director. The Republican former legislator will apparently go on the secretary of state's own payroll. Payment for the new car, too, will become the secretary of state's responsibility.

Experts predict this will be the first of many irregularities during Martin's tenure as secretary of state. People are already starting to refer to his predecessor, Charlie Daniels, as "Charles the Good." By comparison, it's justified.


From the ArkTimes store

Speaking of Secretary Of State Mark Martin, Board Of Apportionment

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Most Shared

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


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
29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Trust and obey

    • A very timely and beautifully written piece. Indeed, the whole frightening paradigm is about preserving…

    • on October 15, 2017

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