Mark Martin on the ropes | Arkansas Blog

Mark Martin on the ropes

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ROPEADOPE: Did Mark Martin lie about the ropes course for his staffs big retreat?
  • ROPEADOPE: Did Mark Martin lie about the ropes course for his staff's big retreat?
Our FOI requests finally dislodged the secret Secretary of State Mark Martin and Co. didn't want you to know. That is, that the budget-slashing Republican planned a $54,000 (plus various expenses) Memorial Day weekend retreat at a luxe NWA retreat operated by the godly Soderquist Center for ethical government.

Blogger Jason Tolbert picked up on the story, with nice photos of the plush accommodations and news that the Martin staff would be engaging in one of those stupid "team-building" rope courses in the course of patting themselves on the back. The Martin staff denied that any such frivolity was on the menu.

Riiiiiight.

Tolbert has the goods. Unfortunately, he's in self-imposed blog exile in a show of solidarity with Matt Campbell, the Blue Hog Report blogger who went silent for a time after the Republican Party retaliated against Campbell's probing FOI's on expense account and other abuses by Martin with a crazy — and so far fruitless — all-encompassing FOI against Campbell and a friend's employers. The copied pages are at thousands and counting with nothing to show for the GOP vendetta.

Anyway, follow the Tolbert twitter account.

If there was to be no ropes course, how come Tolbert has copies of the waivers Martin's employees had to complete to participate in the course?

UPDATE: See the three pages of the waiver here, here and here.

To boil it down, below is a screen shot of the relevant portion of another piece of evidence for those who think that honesty is not part of the Mark Martin (R-Uranus) policy. No ropes course? Why a waiver for it? Maybe it's all just a bureaucratic snafu. Martin is an expert at that.

ropes.JPG

UPDATE II: Martin's spokesman Alice Stewart insists the waiver is a standard, comprehensive form and the mention of the ropes course should not be taken as evidence that it was ever contemplated for Martin's group. She insists there had never been plans to have a ropes course as part of the retreat. She adds it was productive. OK. No more ropes.

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