Have you ever tried to find a parking space around the state capitol? Generally speaking, it is next to impossible. One of the great perks of being an elected official is you get your own reserved parking spot. In the case of Mark Martin, he has one of the two parking spaces closest to a door:
Mark Martin’s use of vehicles has been discussed before, and just yesterday, Susan Inman had a few things to say about a post he made on his campaign Facebook page about official cars.
To the average passer-by at the capitol, Martin looks like he is working hard. There’s a car in that prime parking spot every morning as people get to the capitol, and it is there as they leave for the day. He must be a first-in, last-out kind of guy who is always there, since there’s a car always in that reserved space.
In fact, that car is a lot like the monoliths at Stonehenge – it never moves.
Here it is on October 22 and October 28:
If you notice, the rims of the wheels are in precisely the same position, meaning the car hadn’t moved an inch:
If you notice on the day of the 28, it was raining. If I had to be a the capitol to work, I would especially want to park in a spot that is just a few feet from the covered entrance under the capitol steps, especially if it was raining hard like it was on October 13:
Now, we know from a comment by his wife on his campaign page that he doesn’t use a state vehicle to go to and from the office:
So why is there a car more or less abandoned in his parking place? Many would argue it is there to make people think he is at the capitol instead of sitting at home playing on Facebook while the rest of us are at work. Nonetheless, it’s comforting to know he doesn’t seek reimbursement for fuel or any other costs since, you know, he’s not allowed to.
But…what about all those charges for gas in Prairie Grove back in 2011? I mean, maybe it’s not a true “reimbursement,” but there was a pretty clear pattern then that Martin was using the state gas card on the rare occasion that he decided to come to Little Rock for work.
Do you really think the most highly reimbursed legislator in 2008-2009 has changed his ways?
So, we’ve got a pattern of Martin almost never coming to work. We’ve got a past history of abusing state gas cards to run back and forth to Prairie Grove, despite a legal requirement that he reside in Little Rock. And now we’ve got proof of a subterfuge designed to make it look like he’s at work all the time, just in case someone might wonder.
Tell me again why anyone would vote for him a second time around?
UPDATE (10/30/14 9:00 a.m.): Mark Martin moves for no one. Maybe he is the only one with the keys?
“Hey, guys, just consider that SUV like a really large cone. Serves the same purpose. And if you drop something on it, no big deal, it’s not like we use that one for anything.”