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Little Rock Municipal Ordinance Sec.2-389 requires candidates for any municipal office to divest themselves of any funds collected during a campaign within 30 days after a general election.

Mayor Mark Stodola has kept funds, in an interest bearing account, carried over from his last campaign for office.  Those funds total somewhere around $78,000.

At a recent board meeting where the matter of exploratory committees formed by two possible mayoral candidates was discussed, at large Director Joan Adcock complained about individuals allegedly breaking the law by campaigning and raising funds a year before the election. 


Ms. Adcock needs to tone down her rhetoric as the city code does not prohibit campaigning, simply the raising of funds.

Adcock was re-elected  in 2016 to her sixth term. Guess she  is concerned about that 2020 election and individuals that might try and unseat her.

"It would not be fair to you [directors whose term ends in 2018] if in the next week or two people start campaigning and raising funds to run against you and you can't do it until next June because that what our rules say", harped Adcock.

As she is on so many thing, Adcock is wrong with this. As previously stated, fund raising for a municipal office is time limited, but there is no prohibition against campaigning prior to an election.

Adcock mentioned that she followed the city code and gave away any left over or surplus funds she had after each campaign.

Several other directors echoed Adcock's fear of competitors. 

At large Director Gene Fortson who was re-elected to a third term in 2016 (set to expire in 2020), has an active website soliciting contributions.  You can visit Fortson's site by clicking here.

Fortson stated that the process that begins in June of an election year "...allows a lot of adequate time to raise funds and get out and get the message across."

So why does he still have a active web page soliciting contributions? Early preparation for the 2020 election? Google the word hypocrisy Gene and take down that website that violates the city code.

Director Doris Wright chimed in and stated that she "was in favor of campaigning for positions to start in June because she did not want to have to focus on that [campaigning] for a whole year."

Director Capi Peck stated that she agreed with everybody.

Director Lane Hines remarked that he had followed the law and donated his left over funds to charity. Way to go Lance.
But you can bet he won't be doing that next go round.

As usual, Director Erma Hendricks had the best and most on-point comment, she said "we are running like we are scared... if you are thinking about running, just get busy."

All of this leads to this purpose of this post, on Tuesday the publisher of this blog hand delivered a complaint about Mayor Stodola's flagrant violation of a city code in regard to his keeping carry over funds from a previous campaign to the office of the city attorney.  

Click here to view the full complaint.

The publisher met with someone in the city attorney's office that offered this chair to sit in.

The chair looked like someone had crapped their pants while sitting in it.  Our publisher decided to stand.

We can't be sure but it is possible that the employee might be sleeping in her messy office as well.

City Attorney Tom Carpenter was unavailable and the complaint was taken to pass on to him.

Carpenter sent a response to the publisher of this blog and you can read the whole thing by clicking here.

Carpenter agreed that such a carry over is a violation of the city code but said that state law does not allow the city to enforce it because it does not provide the city power to impose such limits on campaign money.  He pointed out that he said as much back in 2010.

Then why is the law still on the books? Why are city directors still complying with the law?
This is not the first time Mayor Stodola has violated the law and failed to give away such funds.

As the Arkansas Times pointed out:
A request to the city clerk for records regarding the contributions Stodola made with those funds turned up records that indicated that the amount given away was only $3,700.

Maybe Mayor Stodola should give some of his campaign booty to From His Throne Ministry and some of the other organizations that have come before the city board to request funds from the city.

That would be the righteous and honorable thing to do so it probably won't happen.

It is time for drastic changes in Little Rock city government. Make you vote count next year.


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