Lt Gov Mark Darr rains on Democrats parade of doing business as usual

I know that the liberals in Arkansas like John Brummett, Gene Lyons, Ernie Dumas and Max Brantley love to ridicule the Republicans, but when the Republicans are right then you need to be big enough to just say so.

Mark Darr has gone out and worked hard to raise money and I am sure he would like to have someone give him 18 million without him having to raise it. However, the way his potential 2014 Democratic opponent is going to use the tax payer’s money is just shameful.

Maybe the Democrats have forgotten that they no longer have 90% of the power like they did for 150 years.

Take a look at this article from Jason Tolbert:

You may have seen the latest commercial from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel on his new “Got Your Back, Arkansas” campaign. This is a new consumer education and awareness initiative “to equip Arkansans with the information they need to navigate the consumer marketplace and avoid scams and fraud” according to their press release.

The campaign features a website – gotyourbackarkansas.org – that has consumer tips such as how to find the television service or how to book the best airfare.

But the $350,000 advertising campaign for the initiative – much of it to Stone Ward Advertising – has drawn criticism from some Republicans, including Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr.

“I wish my office had millions at its disposal to run my campaign ads,” tweeted Darr after the announcement. “It’s nice to know that Government official ‘got your back’ but unfortunately they really ‘got your back pocket.’”

Darr’s criticism reflects an ongoing criticism – particularly from those in the state legislature – of McDaniel using settlement funds, not necessarily improperly, but in a way he chooses with little legislative oversight.  He has also been criticized for promoting projects that also promote him personally.

McDaniel’s office tells me the $350,000 initiative has $250,040 budgeted for “paid media, production and focus groups” and $99,960 for “personnel.”

The vendor for the project is Stone Ward Advertising, where chief of staff Blake Rutherford worked prior to being hired by McDaniel.  A division of Stone Ward Advertising was also the vendor that produced a $6,000 video for McDaniel to announce settlement funds for an Arkansas State Police training facilities while he was out of town in Hawaii.

“Last fall, our office issued a request for proposals. A five-member team (including three employees from our Consumer Protection Division and two from the Communications Division) evaluated the proposals that were submitted and selected that agency,” said AG spokesman Aaron Sadler.

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