The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Linda Satter reports today on a hearing in federal court Wednesday on a Little Rock woman’s lawsuit to abolish the state law preventing campaign fund-raising more than two years before an election. Development: She might have to identify who she’s eager to help.
We’ll stick, as we’ve indicated before, with Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, who’s itching to start amassing cash for his 2022 run for governor. As we reported before, he was overheard at his gym talking on his cellphone with someone named “Doyle” (Republican Party Chair Doyle Webb is a good bet) about just such a lawsuit. And as the Facebook photo shows, he’s friendly with the plaintiff in this lawsuit, Republican activist Peggy Jones.
Judge James Moody has questions about the plaintiff’s standing. The law limits candidates in accepting money, not potential donors in giving it. Jones’ lawyer, Republican activist Chad Pekron, said he wasn’t sure whom Jones wanted to support. She wasn’t at the hearing.
But after Moody said he needs “something more concrete than that” to decide the standing issue, Pekron said, “We’re happy to submit a supplemental affidavit with names of people she wants to give to.”
Pekron said he doesn’t think Jones should have to reveal which candidates she wants to support — in other words, to reveal “her private political decisions,” in order to challenge the law, but that he will provide the information.
The attorney general’s office is defending the law, by the way. Coincidentally, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is considered a potential 2022 candidate for governor herself. The Republican attorneys general association can be counted on to pour zillions in dark money into her campaign for past good deeds. And her service to Donald Trump won’t go unrewarded either.
Of course it’s true that Republicans generally oppose any limits on campaign spending — and often, reporting of how the money is spent. Corporate cash is particularly welcome.