Republican Gunner Delay catches attorney general opponent Democrat Dustin McDaniel in a misstatement on the bill to reduce maximum sentences for meth offenders. He did vote for it and did speak for it. Which, by the way, was the RIGHT thing to do. If Mike Huckabee's parole board is going to cut killers lose after a few years, there's no reason to force a crankhead to serve 70 percent of a sentence. The problem is crawfishing. Delay news release on the jump. Also McDaniels' statement, in which he says he misspoke.
UPDATE: Democrats volley that Delay was a hired lobbyist for a company accused of Medicaid fraud. (Gunner notes that McDaniel got a campaign contribution from the company.) Release and counter-releases on jump. Hurry November.
DELAY NEWS RELEASE
Little Rock, AR. - Today, at the state capitol republican attorney general candidate, Gunner DeLay, presented the media with video taped evidence that showed his opponent making false statements about the role he played in the passage of SB 387during the 2005 regular session. SB 387 was a bill that reduced the mandatory prison time for meth manufacturers from 70% of the sentence given by the jury to 50%.
McDaniel’s statements were made to reporter Roby Brock in a taped interview that was aired across the state on Sunday night. When McDaniel was asked about his vote to reduce the mandatory time served by meth manufactures, McDaniel replied, “I didn’t sponsor the bill, I didn’t carry the bill, I didn’t speak for the bill, I didn’t advocate for the bill, but I did vote for it.” He then stated that the bill was necessary “to make room for violent criminals”.
DeLay played a video tape of the debate on SB 387, which shows McDaniel taking the well of the House to speak in favor of the bill. In his speech from the floor, McDaniel claimed that other colleagues in the House were e-mailing him to see how he was going to vote. He then explained that prison overcrowding was not a reason to support the bill. “I’m not for this bill because of prison overcrowding. If you are voting for this bill for prison overcrowding I don’t think I understand that argument. Because I fully agree that this hasn’t got a darn thing to do with prison overcrowding. I think that we’re talking about some common sense re-evaluation of our sentencing laws that are gonna affect a small percentage of people that are there.”
DeLay said McDaniel’s speech clearly shows he is soft on crime and he has a blatant disregard for the truth. DeLay also commented that McDaniel’s lack of credibility is not a new issue to the campaign. He pointed out that when McDaniel was initially questioned about his role in a lawsuit filed against Remington Arms he claimed he only did “legal research” on the case. It was only after DeLay obtained copies of all the legal documents filed with the court that McDaniel admitted he was an actual participant in the lawsuit.
DeLay said, “I have been straight forward and honest about every issue that has been raised in this campaign about my record. Unfortunately, my opponent has not taken the same path. McDaniel’s credibility is going to be a big issue in this race. If a person will be untruthful during a campaign I can assure you they will be untruthful in office.”
DeLay said as attorney general he will work to reinstate the 70% rule for meth manufactures and he will fight to use a portion of the budget surplus money to build more prison space. He said these steps are necessary because he wants to send a message to meth dealers that their days are numbered.
"I don't remember speaking for Act 1034, but obviously I did. I'm sorry that what I told Roby was wrong. That doesn't change the fact that Gunner knows what he's saying is wrong," said Dustin McDaniel.
"Once again proving to the people of Arkansas his lack of understanding of the law, DeLay accused Dustin of reducing sentences for drug manufacturers. In fact, the legislation he is referencing, Act 1034 of 2005, did not reduce any sentences for any crime. What it did was allow prosecutors more discretion on a case-by-case basis," said Melissa Moody, McDaniel's campaign manager. "As a former police officer, Dustin has always been tough on crime and vigilant in keeping criminals behind bars, and as Attorney General, he will continue to do just that," Moody added.
With regard to Gunner's allegations that Dustin took money from Medical Transportation Management, Inc.
"They apparently sent me $250 in 2004. That doesn't change the fact that I know nothing about that company and that he was paid to do their bidding. If they are a bad company, he would know that better than I," Dustin concluded.
DEMOCRATIC PARTY NEWS RELEASE
The Chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party offered harsh criticism
today for the GOP candidate for Attorney General, Gunner DeLay. “DeLay
served in the Arkansas Senate until resigning his seat in 2001 in the
face of federal and state tax liens and fines for federal campaign
finance law violations,” Willett said today in a release. “In an effort
to cash in on his time in office, DeLay became a paid lobbyist for a
company known for unethical Medicaid billing practices. Just like his
cousin, Tom DeLay, Gunner was willing to sell out the people’s best
interests for money,” Willett said.
After resigning the state senate, Gunner DeLay became a registered
lobbyist for an out-of-state medical transportation service company,
Medical Transportation Management, Inc. (MTM). About a month after DeLay
became the company’s hired gun, MTM won a controversial state contract
“to provide Medicaid recipients with trips to doctors’ appointments in
north and central Arkansas.” (Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 12/31/03)
MTM, a Missouri based company, was investigated in 2005 by Missouri
Attorney General Jay Nixon for “overcharging the state for its
transportation services.” Nixon said in two cases in 2005, Medicaid
recipients notified MTM that they had to cancel their medical
appointments after their rides never showed up. But he said MTM still
billed Medicaid for the trips. In another case, according to the
Missouri AG’s office, “MTM submitted bills for three round trips on Jan.
17, Jan. 19, and Jan. 21, but the recipient had died Jan. 11.” (St.
Charles County Business Record, 01/04/06)
Ultimately MTM was required to pay a settlement to the Attorney General
of $2 million for Missouri Medicaid and $400,000 to that state’s
Antitrust Revolving Fund. The company also agreed not to continue to
seek payment for $17.5 million in Medicaid claims that had previously
been denied. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 09/28/05)
“That’s almost $20 million in Medicaid fraud by this shady company, and
DeLay got them a sweetheart deal with Arkansas Medicaid so he could line
his own pockets,” Willett said.
Missouri Governor Matt Blunt in December 2005 called MTM “a scurrilous
company” that bilked the system, which “hurt low-income Missourians.”
(St. Charles County Business Record, 01/04/06)
“This is another example of Gunner DeLay’s habitually unethical
behavior. Gunner’s resume is that of failed legislator, tax evader,
campaign finance law breaker and lobbyist for a crooked company,’”
“Arkansans need to know the record of our candidates for the Attorney
General’s office, and Mr. DeLay’s record is one of breaking the law and
failing to protect our low-income families. Mr. DeLay’s increasing list
of legal and ethical problems should give Arkansans great concern about
his ability to serve as Attorney General,” Willett concluded.
REPUBLICAN PARTY STATEMENT
Statement from Clint Reed, RPA—Executive Director.
“This negative, personal attack is ridiculous. This attack shows that Jason Willett and Dustin McDaniel have a credibility problem and are plainly trying to run from the facts. The truth is that Gunner Delay did not resign from office, but rather simply did not run for re-election in 2002. He provided legal services to assist the former Democratic Speaker of the House, Bobby Hogue, in efforts to provide reliable and effective transportation to Medicaid recipients. Does Dustin McDaniel disagree with this effort? If so, he should just say so.
“Dustin McDaniel is losing credibility daily. He initially stated that he did not sue Remington Arms, when in fact he did. He initially said he did not speak for a bill to reduce sentences for methamphetamine users from 70% of their original sentence to 50% of their original service, when in fact he did.
“Mr. McDaniel, again, if you disagree with the services that Mr. Delay and former Speaker Hogue provided on behalf of Medicaid recipients, just say so. I find it to be gross hypocrisy to personally attack someone when you yourself have accepted campaign contributions from the same entity.”