It wouldn’t be a legislative session without a lobbyist whipping out a credit card. This may be a short special session but at least one credit card is at the ready.

Roberts GR Strategies (a consulting firm that just happened to have hired Asa Hutchinson III around the time his daddy took office as governor and also added a Searcy lawyer named Mike Beebe to its roster of associates) will be buying dinner at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Arthur’s Wine Cellar, the ritzy steakhouse in Chenal Valleyfor the Criminal Justice Reform Task Force.

Question: Is this a governmental body? Because the so-called government ethics amendment that nominally prohibited lobbyist meal purchases for legislators exempted “food and drink available at a planned activity to which a specific governmental body is invited.”

The task force is an appointed body created by law to monitor changes in criminal justice laws. It has no power. Its members include Judiciary Committee chairs Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson and Rep. Matthew Shepherd and a variety of others.


Whatever. Throw some steaks on the grill.

What’s Roberts up to? Maybe the interest of their client, Corrections Corporation of America, operator of private prisons.