U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin told the Democrat-Gazette yesterday that he endorsed the ballot initiative to tighten Arkansas ethics law.
Good for Griffin. I wouldn't think he'd want to be on the wrong side of this issue if he does make a race for governor in 2014. I'd been sending him questions on the point for days without response though his former press aide and regular social media defender, K. Ryan James, has been among the Repubs pot-shotting the good government effort.
Thus the split among Republicans grows, with opposition particularly from the far-right House contingent. I'd also be interested in hearing from Sen. Missy Irvin (R-ALEC), whose re-election campaign is powered by tens of thousands in corporate cash and whose Democratic opponent, Zac White, a Heber Springs lawyer, is on the volunteer committee pushing the ballot initiative.
Might the rabid response of the Irvin forces indicate this could be an issue with traction? The senator's defenders choose to overlook the merits of the initiative and her tens of thousands in corporate cash to blast White for reporting a single $750 contribution from the McMath Law Firm. White says that was an error; that he thought he'd received a personal check from a member of the firm and that if he did not it would be returned. He says he won't be accepting corporate money. Republicans also find noteworthy that White got a contribution from an individual, Brent Bumpers, who is the unpaid volunteer chair of the ethics drive. This is exceptional why?
End the hog slopping. Legislate a stronger law for legislators unwilling to pass one themselves. Let those who oppose it continue to scratch — see would-be House Speaker Terry Rice — for non-sequiturs and straw men to oppose clean government.
PS — Ethics canvasser Robert Nunn was at the Naturally Blue PAC meeting last night. He'd personally gathered more than 800 signatures. 62 people like him and the deed can be done. The drive continues to ramp up with a bit more than three weeks remaining. Going to be close.