Moore: Beebe’s Improper Use of Slander Weakens Public Trust

by Mark Moore

This article is in response to the John Lyon Piece entitled “Beebe: Martin’s Improper Use of Lawyers Weakens Public Trust.”    The Governor attempts to equate Republican Secretary of State Mark Martin’s use of outside counsel to defend his office from lawsuits as being a crime similar in nature to that of the former Treasurer of the state, Democrat Martha Shoffner.  Shoffner infamously took bribes, some delivered in pie boxes, from a bond dealer.

This is an outrageous slander.    The Democrats are desperately trying to paint Martin’s actions as in the same category as the taking of bribes.   They had a criminal as a state-wide constitutional officer, so they want to make a Republican out to be one too.   Regular readers will know that I have no sympathy with the Republican party, but I do have sympathy with individual persons in public life who are honest, like Mark Martin.    I am no Republican, but I will not stand idly by and watch an innocent family man be politically hung by a pack of cretins.

The fact is, not only did the Democrats have a criminal as a state-wide constitutional officer in Shoffner, they also have a slanderer who is deliberately lying to you as a state-wide constitutional office holder.  That would be Governor Mike Beebe.     Read the next five or six paragraphs and I will prove it to you.

The law Beebe accuses Martin of breaking is 25-16-702 of the Arkansas Code which reads “The Attorney General shall be the attorney for all state officials, departments, institutions, and agencies.”

But there is an exception to this law written into the Arkansas Code for Constitutional Officers such as the Secretary of State.  It is an important exception necessary to preserve the autonomy of the separately-elected Constitutional officers as intended by our state constitution. TO whit…..

25-16-711. Disputes between Attorney General and a constitutional officer.
In the event that the Attorney General and a constitutional officer disagree on the interpretation of any constitutional provision, act, rule, or regulation which affects the duties of that constitutional officer, the constitutional officer is authorized to employ special counsel to resolve the disagreement by litigation. This special counsel shall receive a reasonable compensation for his or her services.


Republican office holders have made use of this exception for years, decades even.   Mike Huckabee used this exception frequently during his tenure.  Mike Beebe knows all of this.  The Attorney General’s Office knows it too.  Here is what the Spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office Aaron Sadler said when the same issue of hiring outside counsel came up two years ago…

“…approval by the Attorney General’s Office to hire outside counsel is only necessary if there is special language in an agency appropriation bill that states that such approval is specifically required. So, agencies occasionally obtain outside counsel through the normal professional-service contract process. ”  – McDaniel Spokesman Aaron Sadler (and former Demozette Reporter) in 2011.

This is an orchestrated effort to level false charges against Mark Martin.  A dishonest system is making a supreme effort to purge itself of the most honest man in it who is anywhere close to the top.   They got caught on this one, but instead of backing down, they have doubled-down, bringing in Mike Beebe and his synthetic credibility to try and win by argument-from-authority rather than the facts and the law.  These are the people which have held our state back from its rightful place as one of the most prosperous in the nation.

And I think the rot runs deep on both sides.  Where for example, is the Republican Party of Arkansas while their most prominent state official is being blatantly rail-roaded?  The Democrat Party of Arkansas is at the forefront of the lynch mob to get Martin.  Where is the Republican Party?  If the papers won’t quote them, then it would be understandable, but the fact is there is nothing to quote.   They could at least write a press release and put it on their own website, but this story has been roiling for two days and they won’t even bother doing that!