I mentioned yesterday that Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office had spent roughly $6,000 on a brief video by which he announced at a State Police awards ceremony his decision to take $700,000 won in a lawsuit against drug companies to give to the State Police Foundationi to pay for a classroom building at the State Police shooting range. McDaniel was in Hawaii at the time of the awards lunch. The announcement was important enough, his office said, that a video seemed justified, as opposed to, say, a letter. So I asked for a copy to share it with the world.
You’ll hear McDaniel rely on the court order to justify his action to spend money witihout legislative appropriation. He, of course, writes the orders for the courts that pass out settlements and a judge has no reason to insert himself in the public policy question of McDaniel deciding who gets money he wins. He rips the legislature for wanting to fill “budget holes” rather than holding the people first, as McDaniel himself does. Well, General, those budget holes are holes in programs that serve PEOPLE — that reduced foster parent program, for example. Medicaid. Public schools. Holes like that. What people were served by that $6,000?
UPDATE: Uh oh. More problems for McDaniel. I find on the Arkansas Project a link to the lawsuit settlement. This is how it says the money is to be used:
The state of Arkansas’s portion of this settlement shall be deposited into the attorney general’s consumer education and enforcement fund and be held in trust there to be used by the attorney general in his discretion to further efforts to investigate and prosecute consumer protection, environmental, public utilities and antitrust matters, and to educate consumers regarding such matters.
I don’t see a mention of State Police mission in there. McDaniel COULD use the money to protect consumers and the environment from a public utility’s law-disregarding effort to build a poison-spewing power plant in Hempstead County, but McDaniel hasn’t shown much interest in that sort of work.
Want to see how McDaniel spends his “cash funds”? Here’s a report.