I keep hearing that it ain’t over until it’s over on Senate President Michael Lamoureux’s breath-taking power grab in which he annexed the lieutenant governor’s $265,000 staff and called it his own, with power to hire, fire and otherwise control.
About pay: A question for the state auditor, Lamoureux and the do-nothing Darr Gang of Four. Who signs off on bi-monthly pay checks? Wouldn’t the only legal authority be the lieutenant governor? We have no lieutenant governor. On what authority do these people continue to get checks? If Lamoureux can pay them, can he pay me?
UPDATE: The attorney general’s office says this question is under review.
Meanwhile: legislation is being considered to cut off funding for the office after March 31 unless there is a lieutenant governor in office. Sounds reasonable. That gives a couple of months severance pay to the Featherbedding Four, which is far more than they’ve earned.
Worth considering are the many entangled political strains in this affair, particularly among what I’d call the cockroaches of state government — the indestructible who survive no matter the changing political winds.
Lamoureux continues to be tight for example, with Death Star Bob Johnson, a nominal Democrat who rose to power on a bipartisan combine in a pro tem election. His designated camp follower/enforcer was Steve Faris who continues in that role for Lamoureux. Bruce Campbell, a Huckabee appointee to a pork barrel conduit in state government for a number of years, also served time as a Senate staff camp follower. Now he’s among the protected by Lamoureux. He’s a stalwart in the Asa Hutchinson campaign. If Asa wins, he’ll likely have work without having to rely on direct aid from his son-in-law, powerful Republican Rep. Duncan Baird, co-chair of Joint Budget. There’s a rural telephone string in this, too. Faris used to work for small phone companies. Lamoureux pushed legislation in 2013 that produced a windfall for rural phone companies, including one that had hired Lamoureux on occasion.
The piglets change from year to year, but the teat remains the same.
What’s that Springsteen song? “We Take Care of Our Own?”