by Max Brantley
The Arkansas Republican Party got a helluva ride in the Democrat-Gazette this morning on an almost wholly empty complaint about state Ethics Conmmission member Robert McCormack of Conway. I quote from the story and provide the answer to an amazing question posed there:
Does state law forbid a person from putting his name on a candidate’s campaign website before his appointment to the commission?
Supplementary answer: How the hell could it?
State law also doesn't prevent a person from drinking alcohol before deciding whether to drive a car.
This story is real simple and real trivial. But with lead-local-new-section-play, it carried a big payload for Republican oppo researchers. McCormack supported his friend Linda Tyler's race for Senate BEFORE he was appointed to the Ethics Commission. Once a member, he may not contribute to her campaign or actively support her. He has committed no wrong by the fact that she continued to list him as a supporter on her website, but she should — and will — remove his name so that no ill appearance continues. Her opponent Republican Jason Rapert, got far less attention for accepting a $2,000 campaign contribution that was illegal because the donor had already contributed the $2,000 limit to his primary campaign. I'd like to note that, because such miscues happen periodically ( the $2,000 could have been legally reported for the general election campaign), I didn't report the Rapert violation despite Democratic oppo efforts to stir up a storm. Fair and balanced. That's me.