The Arkansas Times has endorsed Barbara Graves, the dependable Democratic businesswoman running for state House against Republican Allen Kerr. Kerr is the one who tells Democrats he’s a bipartisan pal of Mike Beebe and tells Republicans he’ll fight Democrats and Beebe to the death (including slaying universal health care). So, naturally, we were drawn to a Kerr endorsement this morning.
Kerr received the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette endorsement, in part for his protests of the (legal) practice by which state employees have been able to retire, draw a state pension and be rehired in state jobs. Fair enough. The system had some basis in a theory of encouraging valuable employees to work longer, but it has been abused. The editorialist, in praising Kerr, scorned other legislators, the “live-for-per-diem types grabbing all the tax money they can get.”
Allen Kerr was a “live-for-per-diem” guy himself, in violation of the Arkansas Constitution. Yes, Allen Kerr for almost four years drew undocumented office expenses and an $850 monthly per diem waiver, worth about $2,200 a month altogether in the most recent year, merely for filing a bogus form for that monthly paycheck. That’s more than $26,000 a year (on top of legislative salary), which sounds a lot like “grabbing all they can get.” Over his four years in the House, Kerr piled up more than $80,000 in unconstitutional expense reimbursements, until a taxpayer lawsuit put a stop to the odious practice. Kerr was nowhere to be found cleaning up his own smelly stable, but state employees with real jobs? He was happy to kick THEM around.
The DOG editorial commented:
“Somebody needs to keep a sharp eye on the books.”
Based on his sticky fingers, I’m not sure Allen Kerr is the guy to entrust with the green eyeshade.