FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: July 19th, 2018
Contact: Lucci Chambless, Communications Director
Comstock Campaign Doubles Down on Push to Get Legislators to Publish GIF Information
Today marks three weeks since Jon Comstock, the Democratic candidate for Arkansas State Senate District 3, sent his first request that each member of the Arkansas Legislature self publish a listing of all recipients of General Improvement Funds (GIF) coordinated by each of them and send to Senator Jim Hendren, and Representative Matthew Shepherd, the leaders of their respective chambers. After receiving no responses to his recommendations, Comstock sent another letter to the newly formed Select Committee on Senate Ethics with additional suggestions that they acknowledge that the Legislature improvidently included the transfer of court-rule-making authority from the Supreme Court to the Legislature in Issue 1. He further requested they hold public hearings with the intent of listening to the concerns of the general public about recent ethics violations, and subsequent guilty pleas of multiple members of the legislature, to combat the open invitation to corruption that the GIF disbursements have shed light on. While a few members of the Committee have acknowledged receiving the letter, one Committee member responded, “It is not the charge or function of the Ethics Committee to recommend any statutory changes or opinions. It is to review Rule 24, make changes if necessary, and determine implementation and training.” It is unknown whether or not these suggestions submitted to the Select Committee were shared with the members of the legislature at-large.
It was Comstock’s hope that leaders in Little Rock would be willing to go beyond acknowledging the culture of corruption that has pervaded the Arkansas State Legislature and begin to clean it up by becoming completely transparent with the public.
Because of the lack of action by the Arkansas Legislature, the Comstock for Senate campaign has created a petition for the citizens of Arkansas to demand that the legislature come clean with the details of the GIF disbursements. The petition can be accessed here: https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/demand-the-arkansas-legislature-publish-a-list-of-gif-recipients.html
The Comstock for Senate campaign has added a counter to track the number of legislators who do publish the details regarding recipients of General Improvement Funds on his website, www.joncomstockforsenate.com with a page dedicated to posting these publications, should they ever be shared..
Comstock stated, “The public deserves to know where and how their representatives are spending and appropriating money. It shouldn’t be any harder than maintaining a checkbook.”
Comstock is a former circuit judge and litigator for Walmart, Inc. He resides in Rogers, AR where he runs Comstock Conflict Resolutions Services in which he brings parties together and find common solutions.