Issue 3: #ARLeg Gift that Keeps on Giving
We all know how the Arkansas Legislature “gifted” Arkansans with Issue #3 — the so-called “ethics amendment” that slipped in an extension of term limits. We find it’s a gift that keeps on giving, even more than the Arkansas Legislature had probably planned.
When Joe Maynard and Brenda Vassaur-Taylor from Conduit in Action spoke to the Faulkner County Tea Party recently, surprised attendees learned that Issue #3 also prevents small businesses from donating directly to candidates in Arkansas. Small businesspeople can now only contribute to a candidate via PACs, a strategy Joe explained this way:
The authors of this understand that, if we can get these pesky individual, free-thinking small businesses off the table — because they don’t like PACs, they don’t know how to deal with them — they’ll just go away. And then the Walmarts and all these other companies — they already know about PACs, they’ve always given through PACs, they’ve never given directly to the candidates — they’ll still be there for us.
Facebook shows that Conduit’s work is giving Arkansas Republican lawmakers great heartburn; several have posted their outrage over Conduit’s entirely legal “dark money” and blatant support of conservative legislative candidates. Apparently Arkansas Republicans believe monetary support for candidates should flow only through PACs they support. In fact, the same day Conduit was set to speak at FCTP Representative David Meeks posted:
Joe and Brenda were very open in their public response to his questions that evening during their presentation at FCTP:
While it’s true that Issue #3 has “gifted” Arkansans with more than they bargained for, Conduit is pledging to fully utilize the Legislature’s carefully crafted measure to give self-described conservatives lawmakers more than they bargained for, as well.
It’s the gift that keeps on giving!