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story.lead_photo.caption Rep. Jimmy Gazaway talks to fellow House members Wednesday about his legislation to make public the names of people who donate to groups that buy ads concerning appellate court elections. Gazaway pulled down the bill Wednesday after lawmakers voiced concerns about its specific language. More photos at arkansasonline.com/314genassembly/ - Photo by Thomas Metthe

Faced with concerns from fellow lawmakers, Rep. Jimmy Gazaway, R-Paragould, on Wednesday pulled down legislation that would attempt to expose who donates to groups that buy ads to influence appellate court elections.

Gazaway's bill, House Bill 1705, cleared the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday with broad support.

But the next day, in the full House, there were concerns with the bill. Gazaway said he was willing to try to find an agreement to ease those concerns in the Senate, though he promised no amendments.

"We've not heard what the specific language is," said Rep. Mark Lowery, R-Maumelle.

[RELATED: Complete Democrat-Gazette coverage of the Arkansas Legislature]

"We lose control of this bill if we pass it out today."

The bill would require the disclosure of donors by groups that spend money on ads in an attempt to influence the public's perception of judicial candidates.

The bill is a response to years of negative ads being bought by out-of-state "dark money" groups in races for the Arkansas Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.

However, some in-state groups, such as the Arkansas Family Council, have said the bill would affect their operations.

-- John Moritz

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  • RBear
    March 15, 2019 at 6:18 a.m.

    "However, some in-state groups, such as the Arkansas Family Council, have said the bill would affect their operations." Gazaway tries to do a good thing and the lobbyists get their claws into it and attempt to mangle it. AFC is one of the worst lobby groups in the state and has done more harm than good in it. More commonly referred to as the "nanny lobby," they seem to want to be in your bedroom, your healthcare, your school, and any other place where they can assert their "religious" ideology.

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