Corruption Risk Report Card
Rank among 50 states: 28th

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Despite a handful of recent reforms, Arkansas is plagued by weak ethics laws that often are poorly enforced.  Read more from SII State Reporter James Jefferson.

 

Latest state news for Arkansas

State integrity news for Arkansas, from the Arkansas News Bureau:

Gov. Mike Beebe said today he will support a ethics reform initiative if it qualifies for the Nov. 6 general election ballot. Supporters of the proposed Campaign Finance and Lobbying Reform Act of 2012 have until July 6 to gather 62,507 valid signatures of registered voters to qualify the measure for the ballot.

Beebe said he does not plan to campaign for the proposed initiated act, but that he will speak for it if asked.

Read the rest of the story at the Arkansas News Bureau.


State integrity news for Arkansas, from the Arkansas News Bureau:

A bipartisan group with political and financial influence has formed to see that a proposed ethics and campaign reform initiative gets on the November general election ballot.

Better Ethics Now, which includes former Democratic U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers, former state senator and GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Keet and former GOP Congressman John Hammerschmidt, announced its support today for Regnat Populus 2012 in a bid to certify for the ballot a proposed initiated act to ban gifts to legislators and further restrict ex-lawmakers from becoming lobbyists.

Read the rest of the story at the Arkansas News Bureau.


Every year Paul Spencer teaches the U.S. Constitution to the students in his government and politics class at Catholic High School For Boys in Little Rock, Arkansas. Over the last few years, Spencer found himself increasingly upset as he recited the words and recounted the intent of America’s founders.

“I noticed myself getting a little more angry every consecutive year about how things are in government, as opposed to how they are in the textbook,” Spencer said.

Now, Spencer and a group of motivated Arkansas citizens are doing what they can to change the way government operates in their state. Spencer is the leader of Regnat Populus 2012, the organization behind a grassroots movement to pass new ethics laws in Arkansas through a citizen-led ballot initiative. If Spencer’s group obtains the required number of signatures, the people of Arkansas will have the chance to push back against big money in government, double the time a lawmaker has to wait before becoming a lobbyist, and prohibit gift-giving from lobbyists to lawmakers.

Regnat Populus 2012 takes its name from the Latin for phrase “The people rule,” an expression that serves as Arkansas’ state motto, and which Paul Spencer and his partners hope to prove is still true.


State integrity in the news for Arkansas, from the Arkansas News Bureau:

A hearing is set for next month to discuss a proposed legal settlement that would require legislators to strictly document claims for mileage and expense reimbursements.

The lawsuit named two legislators, Rep. Ann Clemmer, R-Benton, and Sen. Jerry Taylor, D-Pine Bluff, as defendants, along with the state auditor, state treasurer and officials of the House and Senate, who disburse expense payments for legislators. The suit alleged both Clemmer and Taylor claimed expenses without submitting proper documentation. Between January 2009 and August of 2011, Clemmer collected $70,500 and between January 2007 and August 2011 Taylor collected $129,633.

Read the rest of the story at the Arkansas News Bureau.


Corruption news for Arkansas, from Arkansas News:

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (pictured, right) today announced a $350,000 public awareness campaign entitled “Got Your Back, Arkansas to promote his office’s Consumer Protection Division. The announcement drew criticism from Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, a Republican and potential 2014 gubernatorial opponent McDaniel who accused the Democratic attorney general of running what amount to political campaign ads at public expense.

Funding for the campaign comes from an $18.5 million settlement the attorney general’s office reached with Eli Lilly in 2010 over what the state alleged was marketing of the drug Zyprexa for uses not approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. Darr said today on his personal Twitter account, “I wish my office had millions at its disposal to run my campaign ads.”

Read the rest of the story at Arkansas News.


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