A defender of Republican Secretary of State Mark Martin objected the other day to the use of the word “lie” relative to one of the series of misleading, bumfuzzling, inept acts by Martin.
Is breaking a campaign pledge a lie?
The question arises from this report by Blue Arkansas, which remembers Martin’s public promise to remove the office from partisan activities, in part by prohibiting politcal activities by office employees. From the Martin pledge:
PROHIBITED POLITICAL ACTIVITIES:
Publicly endorse or oppose, or actively work for or against a candidate for an elected public office, a statewide ballot initiative, amendment, or referendum.
Contribute to a candidate for an elected public office, or an organization that is working for or against a statewide ballot initiative or a referendum.
Be a candidate for, or hold an elected public office.
The punch line:
Well, if that’s the case, why is it that a member of the Saline County Quorum Court, JP Larry Gann, is employed by the Secretary of State’s office? And it’s not like Martin can feign ignorance of this, at least not convincingly. He’s facebook friends with Mr. Gann, who advertises his JP position on his profile.
I’m pretty sure it’s legal for a JP to work for a state office. (Let’s do be careful about doing that work on state time, however; I also wonder if state time is adjusted to allow for that service.) It is also legal to lie during political campaigns. But it’s worth remembering.
I guess when your name is the same as that of a famous Arkie race car driver it means never having to say you’re sorry. Particularly when there’s a widely reviled black man at the head of the opposing party’s state ticket. Slap an R after your name and anything goes. See Saline County for lots more examples.
Martin’s staff includes several other former political candidates. Wonder if any of them will be on the ballot again in 2012 and, if so, if that will meet Martin’s pledge?
PS — Blue Arkansas is not to be confused with Blue Hog Report, which I have done on occasion. But look out BA, RPA will be coming at you and yours.