Fair game -- UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Fair game -- UPDATE



Gunner DeLay knocks Dustin McDaniel today for taking a bunch of campaign contributions from utility sources. This is fair game for a candidate for attorney general, who nominally represents consumer interests in ratemaking proceedings before the PSC. Far more relevant than an ancient traffic ticket, Mr. Willett.

News release on the jump.


UPDATE: Sorry, we're out of pocket most of today on family matters. But we've just seen a non-response response from the McDaniel campaign. He bobs, weaves and changes the subject. On the jump.


Today, Gunner DeLay, republican candidate for attorney
general, stated there was a clear contrast between himself and his
opponent concerning the funding of their respective campaigns. DeLay
pointed out that early in his campaign he pledged that he would not
accept utility money to fund his campaign and further pledged that as
attorney general he would work to pass a law that would restrict utility
contributions to candidates for the office of attorney general.

“The reason I have chosen not to accept utility money as a candidate for
this office boils down to one word; ethics. The rules of professional
conduct that govern attorneys in the private practice of law make it
unethical for an attorney to receive compensation from an opposing
party. Since Arkansas law makes it clear that there is supposed to be an
adversarial relationship between the attorney general’s office and
regulated utilities, accepting contributions from public utilities
creates an inherent conflict of interest.”

DeLay pointed out that A.C.A. 23-4-302(a) (3) provides that, “The people
of Arkansas need aggressive and effective representation in utility rate
hearings and other utility related proceedings”. DeLay stated that the
rate payers of this state have not received the aggressive
representation they deserve for many years because utility companies
have invested so much money in the attorney general candidates. He
pointed out that the trend has continued with his opponent Dustin McDaniel.

Contributions to McDaniel’s campaign from regulated utilities and their
lobbyist include:

ENPAC (Entergy’s PAC) $2000.00 8/1/06

Tom Kennedy Entergy VP $1000.00 8/1/06

Hugh McDonald Entergy Pres. $1000.00 8/1/06

Steven Strickland Entergy attorney $250.00 8/1/06

Bob Neissi AOG director $250.00 8/30/06

Southwest Energy Co PAC $1000.00 8/30/06

Eddie Drilling Pres. AT&T Ark. $500.00 8/10/06

CenturyTel $1000.00 2/20/06, 8/03/06

CenterPoint Energy PAC $500.00 2/28/06

Rural Ark. TelCom PAC $1000.00 7/20/06

South Arkansas Telephone $2000.00 1/27/06

Ark. Telecommunications PAC $500.00 5/15/06

American Electric Power PAC $1500.00 7/28/06

Ron Fuller Entergy lobbyist $1000.00 6/24/06

Fuller Enterprises Entergy lobbyist $1000.00 5/25/06

Prairie Grove Telephone Co. $500.00 7/20/06

In closing DeLay stated “It is obvious that my opponent is trying to
sell the office of attorney general to those interests he is required to
oppose. The amount of utility money flowing to my opponent ought to
concern every rate payer in this state because their money comes with
expectations that their interests are going to be protected. I can
assure the voters that a vote for Dustin McDaniel is a vote for higher
utility rates. I am committed to returning this office back to the hard
working people and families of Arkansas.”


State Representative and nominee for Attorney General, Dustin McDaniel responded to another false, negative attack from Gunner DeLay today that seeks to impugn McDaniel’s integrity.


“Gunner DeLay’s campaign sinks into deeper mud and desperation by the day. I’ll be an Attorney General focused on keeping families safe and consumers protected,” said McDaniel.
   “I am committed to keeping utility and gas prices as low as possible, to protecting Arkansans from identity theft, and to making sure our communities are safe,” added McDaniel.  

With regard to Mr. DeLay’s latest attack on Rep. McDaniel, DeLay once again demonstrates himself to be nothing more than a bomb-thrower.
  “The polls show that these desperate attacks aren’t working for him,” said Melissa Moody, McDaniel’s campaign manager.  “I don’t know why he keeps trying to use such negative campaign tactics.”
“Mr. DeLay brags about this commitment to not take utility money, at the same time he is privately seeking their support,” said Moody.  Attached is a campaign solicitation letter Mr. DeLay sent to the Action Committee for Rural Electrification, which is an organization with 18 members that are all regulated by the Arkansas Public Service Commission.  “This solicitation proves that his promise didn’t mean much to him,” said Moody.

It is also curious that Mr. DeLay would even broach the subject of ethics.  During his time in the legislature, Mr. DeLay has a long history of betraying his constituents’ trust and using his elected position to line his own pockets. 

In 1995, DeLay voted against prohibiting state legislators from voting on matters in which they have a financial interest.  Ironically, he was a sponsor of this legislation.

DeLay, a workers’ compensation attorney, used his office to feather his own nest in 2001, when he advocated for legislation to increase attorney fees in workers’ compensation cases, including SB439, a bill to double the percentage of a workers’ compensation claim that lawyers keep as their fee.  “He is a workers’ comp lawyer who filed bills that would make himself money.  He has no business lecturing Dustin McDaniel on ethics,” said Moody.  

Arkansans have a clear contrast in their choice for Attorney General.  Someone like Dustin McDaniel, who has been a law enforcement official and a legislator focused on protecting consumers – or someone like Gunner DeLay who has been in contempt of court, owed thousands in back taxes, used his position to enhance himself financially, and lobbied for a firm charged with Medicaid fraud.





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