Coincident to the pending legislation by which Gov. Asa Hutchinson will take control of the Governor’s Mansion from the Governor’s Mansion Commission comes advertisements for a couple of fund-raising events at the Mansion to raise money for the Governor’s Mansion Association, which pays for improvements. Those improvements once were solely guided by the Commission, with some deference to the occupants. The new legislation puts any real power firmly in the hands of occupants.
At 6:30 p.m. June 3, there’s an “old fashioned gospel sing” with The Martins, for $50 a head.
$35-a-head luncheons with a garden tour will be held June 14, 15 and 16.
I note the Electric Co-op is sponsoring the gospel sing.
This reminds me of something. KATV has been reporting this week on some heavy spending on furniture, Christmas decorations and snacks by Treasurer Dennis Milligan, a seemingly unending supply of laff-riot news stories were it not for the fact that he is a state elected official.
In an initial report, KATV noted that Gov. Asa Hutchinson, too, had spent money on redecorating and furnishings. But he was quoted as saying that his expenditures came from his inaugural committee, not taxpayers. Does that make it OK? I’m not so sure.
Inaugural funds may not be taxpayer money, but at least taxpayer money is accountable. Milligan spends it. He discloses it. He may choose to justify it or not (he sent out a spokesman rather than talk to Elicia Dover).
Inaugural fund money is opaque. The money is assembled from contributions from moneyed interests hoping to win favor with the governor. (Remember when Janet Huckabee purchased a wardrobe, including jewelry, with the Huckster’s inaugural fund?)
I’d suggest an equally close look should be given at private payments for state official furnishings along with the deserved review of public expenditures.