Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. has more than city budget deficits to contend with, he also still faces one in his campaign account.
In a report filed April 19 reflecting activity in the first three months of the year, Scott reported raising about $55,000 and retiring $35,000 in debt from his campaign for mayor last year, leaving him with $39,562 in debt. This report doesn’t identify to whom the debts are owed.
In a report in January, Scott reported $74,000 in debts, consisting of $10,000 to Pine Street Consulting of Washington, $62,562 to McLarty Consulting of Little Rock and $2,000 to the Frost accounting firm.
The recent report showed only $2,600 in other expenditures in the period, including $2,000 for a fund-raising event at Copper Grill. The report doesn’t indicate a campaign fund balance if one exists. With contributions of $55,000, it would seem some excess would have been available if he paid $35,000 toward debt out of $55,000 in contributions.
To put it more simply, this latest report seems to account for all income but not all outgo.
The report makes no mention of inaugural expenses. The Scott campaign threw a party to celebrate his inauguration and he has said the city paid none of those expenses. He’s been quoted as saying his campaign would pay those costs. I have asked him since January for an accounting of contributors and expenditures but he has not supplied them.
His office also has failed for more than a week to provide an account of city expenses since he took office.
The contributions reported in April all were made in 2019, after his election. That’s always a good time to get on board a winning political campaign.
The list of contributors is full of familiar names in big business (bankers, real estate, highway contractors), as well as people with ties to city government such as executives of the sewer, water and library agencies. Scott enjoyed noticeable support from the Republican end of the political spectrum. For example, his multiple contributions from Stephens Inc. executives included CEO Warren Stephens. He also had contributions from the Republican-led lobbying group Impact Management (which has at least one client with interest in city business). The Rockefeller family had been a major supporter of him during the campaign in both the first and runoff elections.
Here’s the full report.