by Max Brantley
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mike Beebe got a clean sweep today from the Ethics Commission on some picayune Republican harassment. An advisory opinion, requested by the Arkansas Republican Party, said it was not a campaign contribution for Tim Wooldridge, in a campaign ad for lieutenant governor, to link himself to the party's unopposed nominee, Mike Beebe. That's no campaign contribution to Beebe, the opinion said. Duh.
The bipartisan Ethics Commission also voted 4-0, with Beebe supporter Herschel Cleveland abstaining, that there was no probable cause to find Beebe had done anything improper as alleged by Republican gadfly Jim Parsons. Yeah a group with a matter pending before Beebe wanted to throw a fund-raiser for Beebe, but he didn't attend. Yeah, before he was an announced candidate he met in a state office with a potential political consultant. Though the Commission has said clearly that use of state equipment like faxes and computers for political purposes is improper, it is not ready to say occupying air space enclosed by state walls for such pre-candidacy discussions is a violation.