An article in today’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is another example of how Lt. Governor Mark Darr has become an embarrassing problem for Arkansas Republicans.
On the front page, above the fold, of Arkansas’s only statewide paper is this opening paragraph – a political bombshell for Mark Darr:
Arkansas State Police officers drive Lt. Gov. Mark Darr between his Springdale home and sites around the state so he can talk on his cellphone without endangering himself or others, Darr said this week.
After reading that paragraph, you just know this is going to be very bad for the embattled Republican Lt. Governor.
It gets worse in the third paragraph:
In one instance, a state police officer drove Darr and Darr’s son roughly 240 miles from Springdale to Jefferson County so Darr could do the coin toss before a high school football game.
And here’s another kick in the head, Darr then used a state-owned airplane to get back home after flipping the coin at the football game.
Essentially, Darr uses the Arkansas State Police as chauffeurs so he can gab on the phone, but his office can’t say what he talked about on these calls. These calls could be personal in nature, and since the Lt. Governor has very few official functions, I’d hazard a guess that most of the calls were not government-related.
Does Lt. Governor know of the new-fangled invention called Bluetooth?
This handy device would allow him to drive, by himself, and still keep both hands on the wheel. But apparently, the Lt. Governor can’t be bothered to learn about this concept which means Darr wastes our state troopers’ time and costs the taxpayers money.
Martha Shoffner was an embarrassment for Arkansas Democrats when she was arrested for accepting bribes and resigned in shame. But she’s out of the spotlight, at least until her trial next spring, which means folks forget and focus on other matters.
The problem for Arkansas Republicans is Darr’s public problems and ethical lapses continue to mount, giving them political headaches and taking them off message. Let’s not forget, Darr is the Republic Party’s highest constitutional officer.
As I wrote back in September, Mark Darr’s ethical problems prevent Arkansas Republicans from tying Democrats to Martha Shoffner’s horrendous actions due to the basic concept of “glass houses.”
Now it seems the longer Mark Darr stays in office, the better it is Arkansas Democrats.
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