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News Blog for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. Content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this "Blog" - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use Doctrine is posted & used.
Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Traditions and Practices Costing Arkansas Taxpayers

Bill Smith, Editor: The issue of ethics in government is often obscured. A majority of people are busy going about their everyday lives trying to provide for their families, pay the bills, enjoy life and even pay their taxes. Few of us reflect on the ethics or behavior our local or state officials unless there is some public gross action or discovery. We expect our elected officials to be doing their job protecting and representing our interests. Unfortunately, we are now awakening to the abuse and waste  of government in Arkansas and must reflect on whether our elected officials were "crossing their fingers" when they took their oaths.

Each day it becomes more difficult for people to bear the cost of expanding government on all levels and to bear the cost of the growing social programs in our country. But even more disturbing is when people have to carrying the cost of elected officials who say one thing and then do something else to advance their personal careers, wealth or agenda which does not represent their constituents. Unfortunately, subtle aspects of "cheating" the system now permeates everywhere in our society. But, today we are focusing on the deception of "tradition and practice" to hide fraud, waste and abuse in Arkansas.

This week, the Republican Party of Arkansas held a Press conference with Arkansas GOP Chairman Doyle Webb and Gubernatorial Candidate Jim Keet to discuss ethics in state government. While some comments by Chairman Webb were by the nature of his position political, one comment rang very true: “The people of Arkansas want and deserve good, clean government.” Webb rightly questioned the personal use of taxpayer funded cars by Governor Mike Beebe, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and the other Constitutional office holders. Webb said that this use was a clear violation of Arkansas Constitution Amendment 70 which limits the benefits that public officials can receive.

Webb again addressed the stranglehold of one party rule. As reported previously, Arkansas has experienced 136 Years of Plantation Politics Controlling Arkansans. But, it is also true that Arkansans do not want to exchange one set of masters for another set of masters who go about doing the same things: expanding government and controlling our lives.

The issues of ethics is very important. I applaud Republican Candidate Jim Keet for addressing ethics and presenting a six-point ethics reform package designed to restore public confidence in our State government. Just by running, Jim Keet has already forced the present Arkansas Governor and other elected officials to move slightly in the correct direction. Although I do not hold out much hope for the present democratic administration to remain committed to said direction based on past actions and "practices."

Digressing for a moment, there other issues beside ethics that are also very important to good government. For example, we need honesty and integrity, keeping one's Oath of office, and keeping one's word once given barring it was not based on correct facts. Also, all elected and new Republicans candidates need to read the Republican Party Principles and the Platform which together sets forth a clear conservative path supporting limited government and individual freedom.

As evidenced by TEA Parties and other organizations, Arkansans want limited and responsible government. They reject the progressive elitist agenda of present and past leaders. They want better not bigger government. They are tired of plantation politics. They want candidates with a zeal for liberty and respect for the US Constitution. They want elected officials with integrity who would rather go without another nickel of pay or benefits than to cross the gray line of "tradition and practice."

Crossing the gray line was recently highlighted when Governor Beebe was asked about his personal use of a state vehicle while attorney general. He responded, “Is that right or not, I don’t know, but that’s been tradition and practice.” While trying to sidestep the situation, Gov. Beebe revealed a process of hiding actions and more behind "tradition and practice."

I agree with Mr. Keet: "[Beebe's] reaction shows disrespect for Arkansas taxpayers." When did "tradition and practice" become a basis not to do right? We are not unforgiving of honest mistakes, but we are worn out by the continued practices of deception and waste based on so called "tradition and practice." In a prior article, I addressed the "practice" of dividing up surplus collected revenue between the Governor and members of the legislature verses returning the money to the taxpayers or placing it in reserve. This "practice" as well as others will continue to be addressed in future articles.

After 136 years of single party rule, I would fathom to guess that there has been a lot of "tradition and practice" masking of situations, processes and procedures that fleece money from people, that make more people dependence on government, and that corrupt people we have elected. Words like "this is how we have always done it" and relying on unwritten "tradition and practice" is not a suitable response or a justification for continuing to expand government growth, government spending, or fraud, waste and abuse by government.

While we definitely need reduced government growth and spending, we immediately need a "window" of transparency conserving government expenditures. Such a proposal for "good government" is being advanced by Mark Darr who is running for Lt. Governor who advocated an Online Government Checkbook. We need transparency to garner the facts to prevent Government from using "tradition and practice" in the waste our money. After 136 years, it is obvious that the "lame street" press has been been co-opted or blinded by the "tradition and practice" of government and personal relationships. Therefore, it is important for non-partisan organizations and the new media to gather data and to report on the abuses and corrupting "traditions and practices" of State and local government. Be forewarned, from hence forth, there will be no free passes for "traditions and practices" costing Arkansas taxpayers.

Tags: tradition, traditions, practice, practices, bad government, good government, Arkansas, fraud, waste abuse, taxpayers, Republicans, Democrats, taxpayers, transparency, ethics, Doyle Webb, RPA, Jim Keet, Mark Darr To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 1:47 PM - Post Link


Anonymous Barbara Linde said...

Your perception of Traditions and Practices is right on.........If you don't mind, (is this appropriate or o.k. with you?) I'm going to copy this and take it to our next Patriot's meeting.....and discuss it.

Blogger Bill Smith said...


Thank you & no problem - share with everyone in any form. Would you please share that people can subscribe free to receive the ARRA News Service (and there is no advertising).


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