Blue Hog Report has been reviewing Sen. Bob Ballinger’s campaign finance reports and found issues that apparently soon will be headed to Ethics Commission review (a rare happenstance in this lightly regulated state.)
Ethics regulation, by the way, is going to get even looser. Among other misdeeds of the recent Arkansas legislature was the approval of a bill (supported by Ballinger) that exempts legislators from making online campaign finance reports. They can file on paper and if you can hie yourself down to the Capitol, you might be able to dig up a copy. The secretary of state’s online filing system isn’t great, but it’s better and more accessible than paper.
Blue Hog says many of Ballinger’s reports seem to have been filed late. They include reimbursements to Ballinger’s wife for mileage expenses. And many payments where specific reasons for expenses weren’t identified as required. Blue Hog is skeptical about several of the payments, for reasons he details in depth, including the timing of expenses coincidental with trips Ballinger took with his wife.
Blue Hog (Matt Campbell) said he’ll be filing a complaint with the Ethics Commission today. That’s the only way to get that agency engaged. It does no self-directed review of ethics filings, not even for obvious flaws such as late reports. And don’t bother to email them your complaints. You must submit a signed and notarized complaint on paper. Just like a state legislator’s campaign finance report under the new law.