Secretary of State's Office Wins E-Award
Not that you would read it in the Arkansas Establishment Media, but Secretary of State Mark Martin's office won a national award recently for their Go-2-Gov effort to be a one-place access point for all the information needed by a citizen. Over 375,000 Arkansas citizens and businesses have signed up! How did that happen with so little media coverage? Not that the blame is theirs alone. Heck the RPA can't even be bothered to brag on Martin's office, not even a tweet! They did find time to talk about how $1,000 donors to their new HQ will get their name etched in the foyer glass though.
Look, I have had my ups and downs with the Secretary of State's office. I've been a strong defender in the past, but I am also part of a lawsuit against Secretary Martin because his office seems determined to enforce new laws against independent candidates which have already been declared unconstitutional in the past. The one place I can't give kudos to Martin's office is the election law portion.
That has been so at least since Doug Matayo moved on and Martha Adcock unexpectedly passed away. Assistant Secretary A.J. Kelly has proven very partisan and defends the status quo to ridiculous extremes. For instance, he fought in court for a law forcing new parties to declare their candidates earlier than the establishment parties even after the legislature itself threw in the towel and repealed the law! The judge, Moody Jr. who our suit is also with, ruled in favor of the Libertarians. He also awarded the attorney in the case (Jim Linger who is also one of our attorneys) taxpayer money for legal fees because it was deemed a civil rights case. I have come to the conclusion that Kelly will use the powers of his office to defend the interests of the Republican party to the last taxpayer dollar.
But at the same time, it seems the media as are quick to pile on Martin as "his" party is reluctant to defend him. I thought the story about providing publicly available voter data to the commission on voter fraud was a nothing burger. I walked in the elections office myself today and got similar data for $2.50. Any of us can. It is what the commission might do with the data that would be untoward, not giving the data itself (for example singling out minorities to mail cards to see if they are still at their voting address in an attempt to suppress minority turn out. That was what Lt. Governor Tim Griffin did to minorities in Florida when he was working for Karl Rove.)
At any rate, congratulations is in order to the Secretary's IT department for winning a national award for work which is already helping large numbers of people in our state. The alternative media exists in large part because their are things that the establishment media seems very reluctant to tell people. Good things coming out of Martin's office is one of them even if they go on and on about "bad things" that don't amount to a hill of beans.