Sunday, June 12, 2011

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.

and
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?

3 Comments:

Blogger ForThePeople said...

Mark we know the AG or should say we knew the AG was prone to lax ethical conduct standards from his first run for the office, that said; today the world operates on the reverse bad is good scale, followed closely by the I don't really give a damn scale. The state of Arkansas bought into that this last election, we got some new people in office and yet nothing of the real political power structure was touched or changed at all. Nothing surprises me any more, though it disturbs me we elected persons who described their positions as conservative, both economically and socially, yet key pieces of legislation written on life and gambling failed or never made it out of committee. Now on to Dustin's problems, he's wrong dead to rights yet the no one really cares meter is on. This is how things are in Arkansas, the same people who helped Huckabee and Beebe will get McDaniel elected. The voters or those who do vote at all feel like they have no say in who runs the kingdom. Is it that our society is a mirror of the government or the society is a reflection of its rulers? regardless society has scant moral and ethical standards today, people have lost sight of helping people, we could shut down every social agency run by government when or if the 10,000 churches in Arkansas are motivated to love others by uniting and working to organize a network to help the poor and needy. The sleeping giant out int the political landscape is our out of touch non assertive socially church community. The GOP or D's or anyone needs to find a never run for office candidate for Governor that is genuinely committed in heart and mind to achieving what's good for all Arkansans, perhaps a real leader will emerge from the darkness of it all, if not, Governor McDaniel will be with us for a long long time.

11:11 PM, June 12, 2011  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

There is the ring of truth in what you write. The church leadership has no interest in addressing this part of the scripture. Some among the people are apathetic, but I wonder how much of that is because they feel powerless to resist the well-funded corruption?

When you have every member of the Republican Sentate (sans1) promoting a fundraiser to re-elect the Democratic State Senator who is President Pro Tem, the idea that it is one cozy club at the top and interchanging them every other election cycle will not produce real change.

If the people could have hope, perhaps they would engage. I think it is going to have to come from outside the system. That is why I think the Tea Parties, and like groups, should recruit and back Independent candidates for the State legislative seats, the County Judges, the Sheriffs, and the Mayors and city councils that need replacing.

Playing by the rules of the game they have set up, where access to the ballot is obtained by working within one of two bought off, DC based political gangs, is not working. Why continue to stay within their rules?

And the good Republicans need not fear this truth. The best chance they have of truly "taking back" *they never had it* the GOP is to work with those who pressure it from the outside.

6:47 AM, June 13, 2011  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

There is the ring of truth in what you write. The church leadership has no interest in addressing this part of the scripture. Some among the people are apathetic, but I wonder how much of that is because they feel powerless to resist the well-funded corruption?

When you have every member of the Republican Sentate (sans1) promoting a fundraiser to re-elect the Democratic State Senator who is President Pro Tem, the idea that it is one cozy club at the top and interchanging them every other election cycle will not produce real change.

If the people could have hope, perhaps they would engage. I think it is going to have to come from outside the system. That is why I think the Tea Parties, and like groups, should recruit and back Independent candidates for the State legislative seats, the County Judges, the Sheriffs, and the Mayors and city councils that need replacing.

Playing by the rules of the game they have set up, where access to the ballot is obtained by working within one of two bought off, DC based political gangs, is not working. Why continue to stay within their rules?

And the good Republicans need not fear this truth. The best chance they have of truly "taking back" *they never had it* the GOP is to work with those who pressure it from the outside.

6:47 AM, June 13, 2011  

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