by Max Brantley
A communication this morning from Paul Spencer, the teacher volunteering as leader of the Regnat Populus movement to improve the state ethics law by curbing corporate contributions and ending freebies for pblic officials from lobbyists.
The attorney general's office has been very sticky about approving the form of a new petition for the 2014 election, objecting in recent refusals to some contested points of punctuation. Want to be picky? Spencer decides to be a little technical about the rules, too. He's anxious for the A.G.'s office to get moving.
My Dear Friends,
Just a brief update with regards to the status of our interminable quest (attempt #4) for ballot title certification of the Campaign Finance and Lobbying Act of 2014. Although the taxing task of changing those one or two words, and the punctuation- oh! the punctuation!- took our team of savvy legal minds (David Couch) several long minutes , we still have not received notification from Mr. McDaniel’s office as to whether these drastic changes were up to the state of Arkansas’ standards for grammar. David faxed the amended language back to the attorney general’s office on 19 December. According to the election information that I was given last year, the time given to the attorney general to either certify or reject the title is 10 days. Clearly it has been much longer-in fact, twice the time period noted by state’s “Election Laws of Arkansas” published by the Secretary of State’s office. Now in all fairness, Mr. McDaniel’s office gives the disclaimer that his office interprets this to mean “10 business days” beginning the day after receiving our title. David was unable to find when the statute was changed, so I find this time frame discrepancy to be, well, as ambiguous as punctuation on a Regnat Populus ballot question title!
As an educator, I place a time limit on assigned work. I have time constraints placed on me by my administration. Every one of us must fulfill the requirements placed on us by our employers. The same must hold true with our public servants.
We are eagerly awaiting, hour by hour, the release of Mr. McDaniel’s opinion so we can proceed with what we regard as a highly important matter-the public responsiveness of elected officials to the citizens that they serve.
Rest assured that we will keep you updated as soon as we have any news to report.