What Real Abuse of Office Looks Like (McDaniel)
The issue: When Attorney General Dustin McDaniel wins a lawsuit for the state, what does he do with the award money? Does he deposit it with the State Treasury so the legislature can appropriate it? Nope. Does he send it to some other department of government that has a reasonable connection to the people hurt by the defendants in the suit? Nope. It turns out he keeps it and spends it to expand his own office however he sees fit! He also gives it to private charities of his choice, and he tends to choose those that would be able to show their gratitude should he run for Governor. Two of the many money-quotes from Advance Arkansas' Dan Greenberg....
McDaniel has illegally used public funds to benefit private interests in a way that violates both case law and the Constitution. In the process, he has assumed extra-constitutional spending powers his office does not have.
This is not simply a case of an officeholder using an office to advance his or her political aims. There is a larger concern: the de facto establishment of a fourth branch of government in the attorney general’s office, in which the attorney general has assumed the power to spend public money while ignoring the legislature.
But please, read the whole report from Greenberg here. It's not that long, and its very clear and well reasoned- unlike McDaniel's attempts to excuse the matter. The report takes every figleaf McDaniel's office has used to attempt to justify the action and shreds them. Greenberg is the one who sounds like an Attorney General ought to sound. McDaniel's office sounds like some low-rent lawyer trying to throw up any half-excuse they can think of for a used car dealership that has run afoul of the law.
So through was the Greenberg paper, and so obvious McDaniel's abuse of office, that not only John Brummett, but even Max Brantley has said "count me with the Republicans" on this one. I suppose I have a small crow to eat on that one. I have portrayed him as someone who can't or won't see misbehavior in one side, but is quick to hallucinate it from the other. This abuse of power is so clear that the entire political spectrum, from Brantley to Brummett to Greenberg to me, and if there is anybody out towards liberty more than me then likely them too, can agree on it.
The question now, what to do about it? When agreement is so complete across the political spectrum, when the abuse is so brazen, and the excuses for it so shallow, what is to be done? Who is our legal representation when our legal representative is the one we need to sue? If McDaniel persists in this illegal activity, what ought be done about it? What can be done?