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Sunday, November 19, 2017, 10:40 p.m.

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E-filing opt-outs few for Arkansas hopefuls

Campaign law’s sign-ons hit 225

By Michael R. Wickline

This article was published October 22, 2017 at 4:30 a.m.

Rep. Jana Della Rosa, R-Springdale

State Rep. DeAnn Vaught

Rep. David Branscum, R-Marshall

Rep. Lane Jean, R-Magnolia

State Rep. DeAnn Vaught filed an affidavit with the secretary of state's office on Aug. 22 in which she said that she didn't have access to the technology needed to submit her campaign-finance reports in electronic form, so she agreed to file on paper for the rest of the 2018 election cycle.

State Rep. DeAnn Vaught

Rep. David Branscum, R-Marshall

Rep. Lane Jean, R-Magnolia

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Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 total comments

RBear says... October 22, 2017 at 8:12 a.m.

To start with, this is great to see this type of transparency finally coming to Arkansas. Prior to coming back home to AR, I regularly reviewed campaign finance reports for both local and state elections. In one case, I was able to highlight the extensive influence one candidate received from trial lawyers for a state office. In another case, contribution discrepancies were noted including some that violated TX campaign finance laws.
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The downside is that having this information easily available could bring out the antagonists who use this information to dog elected officials about minute discrepancies. In TX, one such group existed in Houston specifically for the purpose of harassing Democratic officials about some of the most minute issues. Each has to be addressed and failure to do so results in fines in the thousands of dollars.
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With regards to the three who filed affidavits, one doesn't really have an excuse and I can venture to say the other two don't either. If a student can get to a public library to do homework when their Internet service is bad, they could do the same. In the case of Branscum, the rep tweets regularly and posts articles in tweets so my guess is that's a ruse on his part.
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Now that the data is out there, it's time to start digging into who is financing the campaigns of some of these legislators and understand who has influence on the laws of our state.

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LR1955 says... October 22, 2017 at 8:45 a.m.

Some issues might be glitches, but some of what was described above sounded like errors in the architecture of the program the state paid $700K plus for.
As far as access to the internet, since all schools in AR are suppose to have high speed internet, they should be able to visit their local school district and get these reports filed on time.
I didn’t see any mention of penalties mentioned for filing late. Are there some and we’re they waivered because of the “glitches”?

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Popsmith says... October 22, 2017 at 2:51 p.m.

While we're at it, how about efiling of income tax returns. It would save Arkansas and the tax payers a bundle.
Oh, but it would exclude too many in the tax return business.

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RBear says... October 22, 2017 at 3:22 p.m.

One thing that came to mind after thinking about this more is that those three reps should be the first in line to drive at better broadband in Arkansas. If they are having such a hard time e-filing their campaign finance (which really isn't that much of a bandwidth hog, more an excuse to be lazy), then they should be lobbying hard for greater broadband access across the state.
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Popsmith, I agree. My guess is they haven't built out the infrastructure for it and rely on file transfers from processors to get their information.

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