Democratic Party of Arkansas Chair Vincent Insalaco released a statement today on Secretary of State Mark Martin, who appears to have improperly taken two homestead tax exemptions (only one is allowed) since at least 2008 and perhaps as far back as 2003. Martin blamed his trouble on opponents’ “politics of personal destruction.” Here’s Insalaco:
It’s despicable that Mark Martin thinks that getting caught cheating on his taxes is ‘gotcha’ politics. Does that mean he thinks it’s OK to cheat on his taxes, even when he got caught? Arkansans take personal responsibility seriously and Mark Martin is not only avoiding responsibility for his own actions, but he’s blaming others for bringing those mistakes to light. He should take responsibility for cheating on his taxes, pay back the state, and apologize to Arkansas taxpayers.
Mark Martin has a history of mismanagement of the Secretary of State’s office and misuse of state funds. It’s unsurprising that he has also cheated Arkansas taxpayers to the tune of thousands of dollars. Mark Martin has failed at being an honest and trustworthy steward of our state’s elections and it is time for a change in our Secretary of State’s office.
Rather than blame political opponents, the wise move here is probably to apologize and pay the money back, as gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson eventually did when caught in a similar situation. We’ll see what Martin does.