The Ongoing, Steadily Rising Cost Of Electing Utter Incompetence

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waste-moneyAlt-title: “What Is Mark Martin Spending Money On THIS Time?”

Earlier today, Arkansas Blog quoted a reader, who noted the double-barreled ridiculousness of Secretary of State Mark Martin asking the Attorney General’s office for an Official Opinion on the effective date of an act that did not have an emergency clause.  For one thing, the answer is readily apparent to anyone who can count to 90.  (Which, I grant you, is not a given in that office.)

For another, as the reader explained:

A lawyer, Deputy Secretary of State A.J. Kelly ($98.081); General Counsel Martha Adcock ($84,399); Government Affairs Assistant Adrienne Lee; Legal staffer Tiffany Minyard; Director of Government Affairs Kelly Boyd ($77,500), and a new attorney in the Elections Division. With that kind of high priced legal and other staff, why did Martin have to ask the AG for his opinon? Seems to an interested observer he pays people good money to know that answer.

That’s a good point. But would you be surprised if I told you that the lunacy goes even deeper than that?

Of course you wouldn’t, because you’ve been paying attention, and you know that Mark Martin and his office have no qualms about wasting taxpayer money on all manner of needless, asinine things.

In this case, it appears that Mark Martin has quite a need for legal assistance. In addition to the hundreds of thousands in attorneys employed by the SoS in various capacities, a quick look at the online checkbook also shows expenditures from the SoS to:

  • Chisenhall, Nestrud & Julian, P.A., for $68,364.30;
  • Patricia J. Hays, LLC, for $13,290.93;
  • The Asa Hutchison Law Group, PLC, for $12,747.40;
  • John Willems for $3,300.00;
  • Richard L. Hughes for $1,822.50;
  • Debbye L. Petre for $1,477.14;
  • Dover Dixon Horne, PLLC, for $1,245.00;
  • L. Jones Law Firm, PLC, for $750.00; and
  • Allison R. Gladden for $750.00.

Now, unless my math is all messed up, that’s another $103,747.27 in legal fees and “Professional & Administrative Fees” on top of the salaries already paid to in-house legal staff.  I’m not sure what is says about Martha Adcock that, under her watch as General Counsel, over one hundred grand has been spent on outside legal help, but it can’t be good.  But, then, “it can’t be good” could be the tagline for the entire Mark Martin reign to this point, so maybe this makes sense on that level.  (Spoiler: It doesn’t.)

I do, however, note the irony in the fact that Martin is spending all of this money on legal work, yet he and his staff can’t even manage not to violate very basic, unambiguous laws.