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Speaking of Mark Martin: He ran for office as a budget-cutting Republican, but is off to a rocky start in misspending Board of Appropriation money, buying a new car the state didn't need and now spending $54,000 plus expenses for a "values-based strategic planning process" by the Soderquist Center at the conservative religious college, John Brown University.

The exercise will include interviews with employees and a retreat for top Martin aides at the Greystone Estate in Rogers about what the office does. Questions to be asked employees include: "What is the secretary of state's office best known for?"

Also: What would happen to the state if the organization stopped doing business? Answer: Fewer car and strategic planning expenses, for starters.

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