The widespread rejection of the voters’ expressed desire for an end to lobbyist-paid wining and dining continues today, with one particularly sharp illustration of disdain for ethics reform.
Lunch will be served at noon at the AEA building by the Arkansas Youth Coalition for Social Change.
But, the nighttime is the right time for the illustration of how the legislative loophole for “scheduled events” is a mockery of the 2014 “ethics” amendment. The Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association and the Associated Builders and Contractors of Arkansas will use an events space across the street from the Capitol for a “watch party” for the Arkansas-Texas baseball game. Lobbyists, legislators, free eats and drinks. What’s not to like?
Since all (legislators) are invited, this is decreed not in violation of the ethics amendment thanks to past legislative finagling. The theory of allowing for these “scheduled events” was that voters had gone too far and prevented important business gatherings of the legislature or its committees.