posted by Mark Moore (Moderator) at Tuesday, August 23, 2005
The Demo-Zette's Michael Wickline has reported that the Democratic Party of Arkansas has significantly raised filing fees from 2002 levels, and the way in which it was done was either incompetent or dishonest. Committee members voting on the new schedule of filing fees were led to believe that the fees were the same or nearly the same as in the past, according to reports from Wickline and the Arkansas Times blog.Here is an example from the ArkTimesblog "As a Democrat who attended the meeting and voted for the increase, I feel that at best I was mislead. At worst, I was lied to. This is unacceptable. Posted : Mad Dem. 8/23/2005 "Here are some examples of the filing fee increases:Governor: from $6,000 to $10,000Lt. Gov.: from $3,500 to $7,500All other state offices: from $5,000 to $7,500.State Senator jumped 50% from $3,000 to $4,500. State rep. had the same percentage increase- from $2,000 to $3,000.Prosecuting Attorney filing fees have gone up from $3,000 to $7,500! That is a 150% increase over the four year cycle.Several bloggers from the liberal Arkansas Times claimed that they were present and given incorrect information about the filing fees that they voted on. They thought they were basically keeping them the same!Chairman Jason Willet and his aide Gabe Holstrom seem to be causing another furor. This is on the heels of disclousures that the party is $150,000 in debt. Now for the fallout. Will the increases in filing fees rescue the Democratic Party of Arkansas? Perhaps, but it could also cause them to have fewer candidates. It is just like raising taxes does not always raise revenue and cutting taxes does not always reduce tax revenue. The steep rise in fees could cause fewer individuals to step forward.Blogger "no more judges" gave another good reason why the steep increases won't help the donkeys as much as in the past. He noted that when judges filed by party affiliation, the were almost all Democrats. That gave the Democratic Party of Arkansas a quarter of a million extra dollars every two year cycle. Judges file independent of party now. The Dems don't have that money stream anymore, and Jason Willet has proven unable to raise money.Between that and the unfolding plane gate scandal, the Demoratic Party of Arkansas looks ready to implode. Be that as it may, they do have tradition and inertia on their side, along with a state GOP that has had its own major difficulties.Expect Wickline to write more on this story in tomorrow's Demo-Zette!
After you get past the hate of the folks that lost the chairman's race in February and the fact that Drew Pritt and his posse can't raise any money for a filing fee this story runs out of steam.
Explosive Story - If you want a real story, take a look at Marion Berry filings with FEC and see how much Jason Willett has turned in on "reimbursments" in the past few years.We are talking tens of thousands of dollars. Here is how it breaks down in the past four years: 2004 - $22,526 2003 - $8,847 2002 - $15,127 2001 - $5,4062000 - $5,467Do the research yourself and you'll find the same thing. In 4 years, Willett was "reimbursed" $57,373. That it highway robbery. No reasonable person can believe that in 2002, that he had $22,526 in real reimbursements. This story is as big or bigger than "plane-gate"
The story is not running out of steam, but gathering it. There was another article in the Demo-Zette about it today. Making the state-wide paper three days in a row is not the sign a story is running out of steam. Your assertion deserves to be ridiculed.As for the other fellow sayin that Willet's expenses are bigger than plane-gate, I am not sure of that one either. Willet's is not running for Governor. If he runs for Congress it might be a bigger deal, but if he does he will be smashed, so it still is not as big a deal. The Bebee campaign is off to a stumbling start and no attempt to deflect it all onto Willet can change that.
This scuttlebutt that Drew Pritt cannot raise money for a filing fee is ridiculous. He's been on the ballot twice in Bradley County, when he had to pay filing fees. Also, I think this just shows a spiteful and vindicative person who is scared of Drew Pritt. Get a life!
Drew Pritt was a write-in back in 1998 and didn't pay a filing fee as he ran as an independent against a DEmocratic & Republican nomineee. As for the filing fee for Bradley County Judge I can attest it is a whole lot less than a fee for Guv Lite.
Hey, I'm going by petition, I can't afford filing fees but would appreciate your support at my web site.
Please remove the above post as Mr. Pritt did not make it. Also, please record the I.P. address of this miscreant and ban them!
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