by Max Brantley
Earlier, we reported on how people with multiple corporate entities can make a mockery of campaign finance limitations by maxing out in contributions to political candidates through their various corporate properties. In the earlier case, we noted the many ways Bruce Burrow had found to contribute to Dustin McDaniel's race for attorney general. It's legal. It's relatively easy to see in the campaign reports. But it's as good a reason as we can find for doing, as many states have done, and outlawing corporate contributions.
One of Asa Hutchinson's many cutout blogs today has posted another seeming instance of a single individual directing more than the personal $2,000 limit to one candidate. Here, it's former attorney general staffer Alice Lightle sending multiple contributions to gubernatorial candidate Mike Beebe through various family companies. Again, as in the case with Burrow, it is almost certainly legal. It also happens that Beebe is a former partner in the law firm founded by Alice Lightle's father, a fine man who was something of a father figure to Beebe.
It also happens that we like Alice Lightle and her politics. (The Republican blog undoubtedly thinks it smears her to say she's worked for the ACLU and Vic Snyder -- hip, hip hooray, we say.) But we don't happen to like use of corporate entities to increase an individual's political contributions, even if the law does allow it. Unreasonably idealistic, we know. It would be an easy matter for a wealthy person to incorporate any number of dummy corporations through which to funnel contributions, all money coming out of the same pocket.
We presume the Republican blog has thoroughly scrubbed Asa Hutchinson's records and found no related contributions there, right?
UPDATE AND HYPOCRISY ALERT: We're disappointed, again, at slow Beebe team response. We needed to randomly choose only one Hutchinson campaign filing to find the same sorts of giving to his campaign that his supporters find so objectionable in Beebe's. Asa! has, among others, multiple personal and corporate contribiutions from poultry magnates -- John Tyson and Tyson Foods, for example. Better still is one string we found on his January report, all from the same Post Office box 8783 in Fayetteville (we suspect a little time would produce more examples, but you get the point):
BLB Holding LLC, $2,000
Dream Team Holding LLR, $2,000
Lyn Kohn LLC, $2,000
SCB Investments LLC, $2,000
Vera Crider, BLB Holdings executive, $2,000.
Careful, Truth Blog, when you start hurling stones from a glass house.