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Ethics complaint filed against Hutchinson

By Brian Fanney

This article was published April 1, 2016 at 10:37 a.m.

gov-asa-hutchinson-is-shown-in-this-file-photo

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is shown in this file photo.

An ethics complaint has been filed against Gov. Asa Hutchinson in the wake of comments by former Democratic Attorney General Dustin McDaniel about whether lawmakers and constitutional officers are allowed to campaign for candidates during "normal business hours.”

Matt Campbell, a Little Rock lawyer and blogger, provided the complaint to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Friday. He said the Republican governor appeared at two campaign events in support of Sen. Eddie Joe Williams, R-Cabot, on Feb. 29.

Hutchinson campaigned for Williams — and other Medicaid expansion supporters — before the primary on March 1.

Campbell had filed a complaint against Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Treasurer Dennis Milligan in February when the pair traveled to Iowa to support former Gov. Mike Huckabee in his pursuit of the Republican presidential nomination.

But the Arkansas Ethics Commission tossed that complaint because the state’s definition of candidate does not include those running for federal office.

McDaniel said that means that elected officials supporting state candidates during work hours may run afoul of the law.

However, Sloan said the commission's analysis stopped when it established that Huckabee did not meet the state's definition of candidate.

The commission has ruled in the past that public servants — such as rank-and-file employees who clock in — may take leave to support a candidate.

However, there is no clear precedent for constitutional officers — such as the governor — who do not punch a timecard or accrue vacation time.

"We've advised them to take steps to document that they're off the clock, so to speak, but exactly how you would do that, it's never been spelled out," Sloan said.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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golfn says... April 1, 2016 at 12:57 p.m.

Someone needs to give Matt Campbell a one way ticket to California. He sues for every little thing he can find. He is suppose to be a lawyer but all he is is a big cry baby looking for attention.

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nrb says... April 1, 2016 at 1:31 p.m.

good

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EDDIEANN says... April 1, 2016 at 1:52 p.m.

Matt Campbell needs to find an honorable line of work. Anytime a Republican is being sued, his name is attached.

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Murphy01 says... April 1, 2016 at 2:15 p.m.

How about looking into the hiring/employment activities and duties at the Pulaski County Assessors office. Now that would be interesting.

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NoUserName says... April 1, 2016 at 3:37 p.m.

Give me a break. The governor, I would guess, is always on call and often works outside of normal business hours. To have to document that he is 'off the clock' for 30 minutes during the day to appease nuts like Campbell is ridiculous. And if Campbell's position is correct in terms of the law, than the law should be worded in such a way to allow normal business hours when the guy puts in (I would hope) significant off hours time.

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mhck52 says... April 1, 2016 at 8:34 p.m.

When you're elected there is no clock.

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MadyJ says... April 1, 2016 at 11:27 p.m.

Yeh, muck raking is dirty work ... but somebody's got to do it. Thanks Matt for a generally thankless effort to keep a bright light focused on public servants of which ever strip.

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mrcharles says... April 2, 2016 at 11:36 a.m.

As a firm believer that the right has lost their mind more than ever [ I both believe it and think it as most right wing writers state in their letters to the ADG] , We must leave Mr. Asa alone on this point. It should be pointed out that he could be much worse than he is ruling with his background and his heart of hearts ideas [ that bob jones institute of hate surely warped his mind to a degree- I take big offense that they hate catholics in general, you know the ones with the extra books in their bible that my baptist friends say are "dangerous ideas"- ] I would point out in Asa's defense his is not his pious brother , you know the one who for love of love left the mother of his children for wanting to get to "know " another woman [that didnt go so well with his children and church] , and he has listened to the economic christian wing of his repugnant party that puts economics above faith when push comes to dollars. Just think if we had Jason the Rapter man or the Hindsville version of Chris Christie! We would be burning witches daily, be racked on the rack of how much faith we have , and being forced to say methodist prayers, even Presbyterian prayers, answers in genesis and the Texas school board would require our schools to teach alchemy and astrology to students [ nothing like getting them young to turn them into demented parrots parroting nonsense in mantras]

Therefor in the spirit of reconciliation, atonement, scape goating, justification, justice, signifying , and snake handling, I call on Mr. Campbell to withdraw his complaint against Mr. Asa.

And to my fellow primates , those who may still be lemurs, you on the right, so righteous righteous, quit whining, get a life, enjoy the sunshine till the sun goes red giant, and quit being big cry babies and get over it.

I thought you guys didnt like attacking the messengers , .....Of I apologize, I remember you are of the right so consistency is Einstein type relativity- by the way he was not a southern baptist and google the nasty things the so called righteous called him, him being a descendant of Abraham- you know the guy that took his son for a dreary walk to throat cut him , gut him and burn him to be a pleasin odor , but GREAT ENOUGH TO BE A FOUNDING FATHER OF THE 3 GREAT MYTHOLOGIES.

Shalom .

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RaylanGivens says... April 2, 2016 at 12:46 p.m.

February 29th is a leap year day that only happens once every 4 years so this was legal. It's in the Geneva Convention, look it up.

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jmoz says... April 2, 2016 at 1:31 p.m.

Very comical comments by mrcharles. Sure he is opposed to Republicans and holds Asa Hutchinson responsible for things his brother did. Clearly mrcharles has a deep disdain for Baptists and is envious of the state of Texas. Something tells me he was busy looking the other way when his dear Democrats were exposed in the late 1990s for their corruption - some even got to spend time in federal prison. Perhaps mrcharles can explain why his fellow mydaddywasaDemocrat, mygranddaddywasaDemocrat, etc. concocted the 1962 law in question. The Dems controlled it all in those days and most since. But folks like mrcharles just hate those Republicans. Did he tell you his daddy was a Democrat, etc. That means only the Republicans can do wrong. But the Democrats are incapable of any form of doing wrong or law breaking. His comments are somewhat entertaining, however.

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