posted by Mark Moore (Moderator) at Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Asa Hutchinson has asked the Arkansas Ethics Commission to rule on whether he can transfer money given to him for his Congressional campaigns into his war chest for Governor.About $150,000 dollars is at stake. Current Arkansas law says that donations that were given for one race cannot be used for a race past a two year time limit. In addition, any transfer granted cannot be for more than the salary of the office being sought, in this case $70,000 or so.At first glance it would appear to this reporter that he his not entitled to transfer all of the money. Maybe not any of it. Even if there is some kind of exception on the time limit, there is still the cap on the amount to consider. What do you think the ruling should be and why? If Asa can't use the money, what should he do with it?
Let me add one possibility. He can return some of the money to selected donors- ones that are likely to turn around and give that money right back to his campaign. If the commission rules against him- and I expect them to but do not blame him for asking, then this is the only way I can see for him to get some of this money for use before the primary.
He should not use the money. Like you said he can return to the donors, and if they wish that can donate to his campaign for Governor. But some of those same people who supported him for Congress, may be for Winn Paul. If so tough luck.
Maybe he could use it to help elect more Republicans to the legislature. Both of these candidates would need allies in the General Assembly come 2007.
Good idea pachy, but if those guys failed to win, the money would have bought some enemies, but I like your aggressive thinking.
It's about time the Republican's stop worrying about making enemies. That has been part of the problem in Arkansas GOP history, and that is one of the reasons we are behind the other southern states in moving to the R column(Sanders, I hope you are reading this). I don't know anyone that would disagree that building the party through legislative races has not been a top priority of Huckabee over the last 10 years. He never pulled out all the stops to help elect Republicans to the legislature. Sure, he did help some, but in 10 years you would think we would be better than 72-28 and 27-8 had a stronger effort been made. And Janet's candidacy in 2002 made it even harder for legislative candidates in swing districts.My point is, even when he did go the distance for GOP candidates, he still had plenty of enemies in the General Assembly, including one from his own hometown that killed government reorganization in 2003.And while I'm at it, all the discussion about Win, Asa, Lagrone, Holt, Matayo, etc., is fine, but those aren't the races that will have the long-term impact in Arkansas. Until the legislature goes Republican, the GOP will continue to wander in the wilderness, while all of our "Moses'", i.e. Huckabee, Rockefeller, Asa, etc., have moved on to bigger things.
I first want to commend Asa for asking what the proper thing to do with the money is. If more politicians asked before they did things, there would be alot less corruption. I agree that he should give it to a group designed to help legislative races but also quorum court and maybe most improtant school board elections. 150,000 dollars could train and fund alot of good candidates and teach grass roots organizing to conservative activists.
Asa is doing the right thing by asking the ethics commision for a ruling. His is an unusual situation and he needs the guidance of the the commision.
Pachyderm,Excellent analysis!The Anonymous Coward
If the law lets him use it then he should use it. At least he worked to raise the money - all Rockefeller did was inherit the money.
I guess the commision answered this one for us- and the answer is NO.
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