Attorney General Leslie Rutledge continues to add chapters to the book of her public record, generally lamentable particularly in her devotion to Donald Trump.
The latest chapter, as I mentioned earlier, is an outlay of what likely will exceed a quarter of a million dollars in public money on partisan assistance in redistricting that could have been done at no additional cost by her existing staff.
The event prompts me to share something I”d been holding in reserve.
For your Sunday reading, a summary of the span of Rutledge’s Arkansas political career. It includes the unconstitutional public spending, for which repayments are now being sought court, to prevent the defeat of Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
Perhaps Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, her announced opponent in the 2022 race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, might find the research useful. As a veteran Bush campaign dirty trickster, Griffin probably has already compiled it. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is also expected to run for the GOP nomination but the Trump connections outlined here likely won’t appeal to someone who once labored as Trump’s chief mouthpiece in the most dishonest administration in U.S. history.
TIMELINE OF DONALD J. TRUMP AND LESLIE RUTLEDGE
June 10, 2014: Leslie Rutledge defeats David Sterling for the Republican nomination for attorney general of Arkansas despite heavy campaign advertising against her by the Judicial Crisis Network, which linked her to President Barack Obama and Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
September 30, 2014: The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Rutledge is not registered to vote in Arkansas but in Washington, D.C. She registers to vote in Arkansas.
November 4, 2014: Rutledge defeats Democrat Nate Steel and Libertarian Aaron Cash for attorney general of Arkansas.
January 13, 2015: Rutledge sworn in as the attorney general of Arkansas.
February 1, 2016: Senator Ted Cruz wins the Iowa Republican caucuses, the first presidential contest of the year, with 27.6 percent of the votes, and Donald J. Trump finishes second with 24.3 percent. Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic caucuses.
February 3, 2016: Trump tweets: “Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!”He also tweets on the same day: “Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified.”He never explained how Cruz and his Republican supporters stole the caucus votes. The claim of vote fraud would become a regular refrain of Trump whenever he loses for the rest of his political career.
March 1, 2016: Donald J. Trump, who is supported by Attorney General Rutledge, finishes first in the Arkansas Republican presidential primary with 32.8 percent of the votes. Rutledge becomes one of the sixteen delegates from Arkansas committed to vote for Trump at the Republican National Convention; the other twenty-four Arkansas delegates are committed to vote for either Senators Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio.
July 18, 2016: Leslie Rutledge is named one of seventy-six speakers at the Republican National Convention, who are selected by Donald J. Trump to address the nominating convention.
July 19, 2016: Rutledge, along with Governor Asa Hutchinson and Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, make speeches at the Republican National Convention attacking the honesty and morals of Bill and Hillary Clinton. In a four-minute speech, Rutledge praises Trump and says the Clintons had led scandalous lives in and out of office.
August 26, 2016: The state Board of Election Commissioners hires Keith Rutledge, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s father, as its executive director at a salary of $70,304. Six of the seven state commissioners are Republicans. The office supervises and monitors elections in Arkansas.
September 26, 2016: Rutledge, who is representing Trump, appears on a network CBS News show for the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in which she denounces Clinton and defends Trump’s refusal to divulge his federal tax returns. As in all her TV appearances, she is identified as “Attorney General of Arkansas.” Her exchange on the show with veteran CBS reporter Bob Schieffer receives wide national attention. She says the only people who are interested in Trump’s tax returns are news people and Democrats. Schieffer demands what evidence she has that voters do not want to know about Trump’s taxes. She says she has traveled the country for Trump and never encounters anyone who wants to know about his taxes. She says people are only interested in what he’s going to do about creating jobs.
September 30, 2016: Rutledge appears on national CNN and MSNBC shows representing Trump to answer questions about Trump’s attacks on Alicia Machado, a singer and actress who was the 1996 Miss Universe from Venezuela when Trump owned and ran the beauty pageant. Trump had publicly humiliated Machado over her weight, calling her “Miss Piggy,” after she had complained about his treatment of her during the pageant and afterward. Hillary Clinton had criticized Trump’s attacks on the woman and other women in the first debate. Attorney General Rutledge says Bill Clinton has treated women worse than Trump has and that Hillary has been her husband’s enabler.
November 8, 2016: Trump loses the popular vote in the presidential election to Clinton, 65,853,514 to 62,984,828, but wins the electoral college vote, 304 to 227. He loses New Hampshire to Clinton by less than 3,000 votes and claims that he would have won New Hampshire easily but Democrats bused thousands of people from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to vote for Clinton and other Democrats.
Trump would later maintain: “If you look at what happened in New Hampshire, where thousands of people came up and voted from a very liberal part of Massachusetts and they came up in buses and they voted. I said, ‘What’s going on over here?’ My people said, ‘You won New Hampshire easily except they have tremendous numbers of buses coming up. They’re pouring up by the hundreds, buses of people getting out, voting.’ So what should you do? Recall the election. Recall the election. I mean, there, you should be able to recall the election.”
The idea that Massachusetts people could be or were being bused to New Hampshire to vote started with Chris Sununu, the Republican candidate for governor. Talking about New Hampshire’s loose election laws a few days before the election, Sununu speculated about people traveling from Massachusetts to vote. He later said he never intended to imply that it actually happened but that it was feasible. In fact, he concluded that it didn’t happen. Sununu was elected governor by 16,000 votes by the same voters in the same election.
January 20, 2017: Donald J. Trump is sworn in as president of the United States. Hillary and Bill Clinton, Barack and Michelle Obama, and Joe and Jill Biden are on the inaugural platform with Trump. The Attorney General’s Office in Little Rock issues a news release that day that begins:
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement congratulating President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on their inaugurations. Rutledge was in attendance at the inauguration.
“This is a proud day for the United States of America,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Once again, Americans have witnessed the peaceful transfer of power and are filled with optimism for the future as Donald Trump and Mike Pence took their respective oaths of office.”
February 14, 2017: Stephen Miller, adviser to President Trump, charges again that Trump had carried New Hampshire easily in the November election but that “thousands” came by buses from Massachusetts to vote illegally for Clinton. Trump tweets praise for Miller’s comments.
However, Fergus Cullen, chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, tweets: “Delusional. There are no bused-in voters. I will pay $1000 to 1st person proving even 1 out-of-state person took bus from MA 2 any NH polling place last Election Day.”
Subsequently, investigators for the New Hampshire attorney general and the secretary of state conducted 817 work hours of analysis of all the votes cast in the New Hampshire election and reported to the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission that they had found five questionable ballots in the state, including a student who voted in the wrong precinct on the directions of an election official, a woman who cast an absentee ballot for her recently deceased husband, and a person who tried to vote twice and was fined $2,500. It was not reported which candidate for president they voted for.
February 27, 2017: Attorney General Rutledge is elected vice-chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association. She would also serve on the association’s executive committee.
From the beginning of the Trump presidency in 2017, through amicus curiae and other forms of litigation, Attorney General Rutledge formally enters the State of Arkansas in regulatory proceedings or litigation by several other Republican attorneys general to roll back government rules and regulations protecting the consumers and citizens of Arkansas from health and safety, financial, air, water and other environmental hazards arising from industrial and corporate activity. Although the Arkansas attorney general’s office does little or none of the legal research and writing involved in the proceedings but merely signs on to the complaints and briefs prepared by other state attorneys general, the citizens of Arkansas are officially recorded as supporting the rollback of the protections. The interventions are routinely announced on the attorney general’s media platforms and eventually are accompanied by solicitations to her campaign for governor of Arkansas in 2022.
June 29, 2017: Attorney General Rutledge and several other Republican attorneys general, apparently at President Trump’s solicitation, urge him to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protected some 800,000 Latin Americans—the so-called “Dreamers”—from deportation if they were brought to the United States as children. The attorneys general promised to sue to deport them if he did not. President Trump complied, but courts said his actions were illegal.
August 2018: Rutledge’s employment history becomes an issue in her race for re-election against Democrat Mike Lee when a judge says the Department of Human Services had been wrong to deny access to her history of employment with the agency under Governor Mike Huckabee. The department’s file on Rutledge indicated that she had resigned when her supervisor demanded a meeting to discuss her bungling of foster-children and juvenile-court cases. Her file at the state agency had a notation on the outside DO NOT REHIRE. She later applied for unemployment benefits, in 2009, when she left a job at the Republican National Committee in Washington.
On August 20 she tweets: “Democrats and my opponent can’t run against my strong record as AG so they are dragging up old fake news in an attempt to deceive the people of Arkansas.” “Fake news” is a term popularized by Donald Trump.
November 26, 2018: Rutledge is re-elected to the office of Attorney General of Arkansas.
February 19, 2019: President Trump declares a “national emergency” to build a metal fence along parts of the border with Mexico so that he can use Defense Department funds not appropriated for that purpose to build it. The office of Arkansas Attorney General Rutledge issues a press release placing the State of Arkansas in support of the emergency declaration and using funds for the fence rather than the military.
The press release says: “Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today issued the following statement in support of President Donald J. Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the southern border. ‘From day one, President Trump has been committed to securing America’s southern border and today he honored that promise,’ said Attorney General Rutledge. ‘Following decades of failed policies, I support these efforts to restore security and integrity to our immigration system.’”
November 8, 2019: Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, President Trump’s former press secretary, get their pictures taken jointly submitting the paperwork and filing fee at the state Republican headquarters at Little Rock to qualify Donald Trump for the Republican primary ballot in Arkansas in 2020.
April 14, 2020: The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette publishes an article about Attorney General Rutledge’s spending from public funds on advertising promoting her work as attorney general under the byline of Michael R. Wickline. The headline says: “Attorney general’s 2020 ad spending dwarfs previous 4 years”. The article says, in part:
“Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has spent $1.7 million in state funds on television and radio advertising in the fiscal year ending June 30, after spending about $917,000 together in the previous four fiscal years, according to her office’s records.
“These ads in fiscal 2020 have covered subjects such as robocalls, cybercrimes, vaping, opioids, Medicaid fraud, child abuse and price gouging, said Amanda Priest, a spokeswoman for the Republican attorney general.
The attorney general office’s records show the previous highest amount that the office spent on TV and radio ads in a fiscal year since at least fiscal 2008 was the $459,200 spent in fiscal 2014 when Democrat Dustin McDaniel was the attorney general.
“That fiscal year started in July 2013; McDaniel withdrew from the 2014 governor’s race in January 2013.
Rutledge’s office spent $1.1 million on three contracts with The Communications Group on March 31 for TV ads for the rest of the fiscal year, Priest said.
“‘Additional funding was added in March-April due to the unexpected coronavirus pandemic and to bring awareness to the very important issue of price gouging that inevitably occurs with any disaster or crisis,’ Priest said in a written statement to this newspaper.
“‘Due to the PSA [public service announcement] on price gouging, our office has received over 10,000 calls on covid price gouging and scams in the four weeks since the emergency declaration and we have nearly three dozen ongoing investigations,’ Priest said.
“In addition, Rutledge chose to air the public service announcement on child abuse because ‘it is an ongoing concern and, with children not in school with teachers [who are mandatory reporters], law enforcement officials believe there may be an increase in abuse that is not being reported under these trying circumstances of isolation and unemployment,’ she said.
“The ‘Rutledge Report’ featured in the TV and radio ads started in 2015 as a way to reach Arkansans to explain all the office has to offer and to protect consumers, Priest said. There always has been an intention to include TV, radio, digital and traditional print advertising, she said.
The advertising expenses are paid out of the attorney general’s consumer education and enforcement fund, ‘which is money obtained from lawsuits and not from tax dollars,’ she said. The fund has been used to fund a variety of projects, from small business quick action loans through the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, to personal protective equipment, to the veterans home in North Little Rock, to veterans services offices across the state.”
July 1, 2020: Attorney General Rutledge announces that she will be a candidate for governor of Arkansas in 2022 and invokes President Trump. “While this announcement is much earlier than I had originally planned, we must prepare for the future of our great State. I remain committed to continue working closely with my friend Governor Asa Hutchinson over the next two and a half years to keep our citizens safe and get our economy working at full capacity while at the same time helping to elect Republicans in 2020 including our President Donald J. Trump.”
July 10, 2020: The Arkansas Times updates its reporting on the attorney general’s ad spending and that of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. She actually spent $2.2 million of state funds on advertising during the fiscal year ending June 30, the Times says. It included $511,856 paid to a Little Rock advertising agency during the old fiscal year for ads that were to run through December 2020. The Times suggests that all the spending during the 2020 fiscal year was a prelude to her announcement that she was running for governor in 2020. A spokesman for Rutledge said the extra ad spending was necessary to “ensure Arkansans are aware of these critical issues and services of the Attorney General’s Office.”
August 24–27, 2020: Owing to the pandemic, the Republican National Convention at Charlotte, North Carolina, limits participation at the convention. Only five delegates from Arkansas, including Attorney General Rutledge, attend. Other state officials do not attend. Rutledge posts on her Facebook page numerous photographs of herself with Republican stars at the convention.
September 13, 2020: The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette publishes an article by its national correspondent, Frank Lockwood, about the expenditure of state funds for her political travels in support of President Donald J. Trump.
(For some years, before Leslie Rutledge, the Arkansas attorney general has funneled Arkansas’s distribution from class-action lawsuits by many and sometimes all the states into a special fund controlled by the attorney general rather into regular state treasury funds appropriated by the legislature and the governor. An exception was the 25-year annual payment to Arkansas from the states’ settlement with the tobacco industry. The expenditures from the special AG fund are not subject to the usual fiscal constraints on state funds.)
The Democrat-Gazette article said, in part:
“Members of the security detail that accompanied Attorney General Leslie Rutledge to Republican gatherings last month spent $7,800 on their travel, state expense records show.
“Most of that was related to lodging, including:
- $3,571 at the Westin Charlotte, across the street from the site of the Republican National Convention.
- $1,554 at the J.W. Marriott Washington, D.C. Rutledge went to the nation’s capital to watch President Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the White House.
- $1,194 at the five-star Sea Island Resort in Georgia, where the Republican Attorneys General Association had gathered.
- Two members of Rutledge’s security detail traveled from Arkansas to North Carolina last month, arriving three days ahead of Rutledge, and stayed five nights. Two others went to Georgia. Three of them continued on to Washington.
“The $7,800 figure includes the cost of hotels, meals, gas, parking, one car wash and other incidentals; it doesn’t calculate the value of the vehicle usage.
“‘Taxpayer funds were not used to pay for air fare, food or lodging of the Attorney General,’ Rutledge’s spokesman wrote.
“Amanda Priest, the spokesman, declined to say who had paid for Rutledge’s trip; nor would she say whether Rutledge had flown on private planes. Priest would not say how many other employees of the attorney general’s office had accompanied Rutledge or who had paid for their travel.
“A picture posted Aug. 26 on Rutledge’s Twitter page showed the attorney general, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski standing on an airfield, with a small jet right behind them.
“This isn’t the first time Arkansas taxpayers have footed the bill for some of Rutledge’s travels. In 2016, members of Rutledge’s security team traveled with her to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and then to Philadelphia, site of the Democratic National Convention. Along the way, the three agents incurred at least $8,120 in expenses, excluding mileage, the Democrat-Gazette reported in 2018.”
September 27, 2020: Attorney General Rutledge travels to Washington with other Republican attorneys general for a roundtable discussion with President Trump and Attorney General William Barr about Facebook, Twitter, and other social-media platforms flagging a few of the president’s comments as possibly not true or inflammatory. Trump seeks to repeal Section 230 of the National Communications Decency Act, which shields companies from liability when they restrict access to material that is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable.” (In December, Trump vetoes the military appropriations bill for 2021 because it does not repeal that provision. Republicans and Democrats in both houses override his veto.)
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports Rutledge as supporting the president: “Arkansans have been misled to believe that social media platforms are neutral sites,” she says. “But it has become clear that these sites have actually been censoring speech based on political ideology.”
September–October 2020: As he did in 2016, President Trump repeatedly says Democrats plan to steal the election from him. He strenuously opposes states allowing voters to cast ballots by mail in order to avoid the dangers of long voting lines and being exposed to Covid-19 on election day. He says mail ballots will make it easier for Democrats to steal the election from him. He opposes additional federal funding from the US Postal Service to see that the expected heavy mail and absentee balloting can be expedited to assure the ballots arriving on time to be counted. Trump explains to Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on her business show why he opposes postoffice funding: “They need that money in order to have the postoffice work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots. If they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting because they’re not equipped to have it.”
Louis DeJoy, the new postmaster general and a Trump donor, makes cuts at the postal service during the summer to slow down delivery. Sixty-five thousand mail-in ballots are not counted in the presidential primaries because they arrive too late to be counted. DeJoy finally promises that the postal service will be able to handle all the mail in time for the ballots to be counted in November.
November 3, 2020: Joe Biden wins the presidential election, collecting 81,268,757 actual votes and 306 electoral votes to Donald J. Trump’s 74,216,722 actual votes and 232 electoral votes. Other presidential candidates against Trump who were on the ballot in a number of states received 2,898,321 votes. Biden won the largest share of the popular vote against a sitting president since 1932.
November 2020: President Trump maintains repeatedly that he won the presidential vote in the biggest landslide in American history but that Democrats stole the election. Aided by many supporters in his party, including Leslie Rutledge and several other Republican attorneys general, he begins efforts to overturn the votes in states that flipped from him in 2016 to Biden in 2020—Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Arizona. They also charge that there was election fraud in Nevada, where Biden’s margin was not large. This time, Trump does not contest the vote results in New Hampshire, where Biden’s margin was 6.3 percent, having climbed from fewer than 3,000 votes in 2016 to almost 60,000 votes in 2020. The Arkansas attorney general and several Republican counterparts in other states—notably Texas—use their offices to support his efforts to throw out the votes in key states and award the election to him.
November 9, 2020: Attorney General Rutledge and the Republican attorneys general of Texas, Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and South Dakota file an amicus curiae brief with the United States Supreme Court in the case Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar asking the Supreme Court to overturn the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and allow the Republican-majority legislature of Pennsylvania to substitute 20 Republican electors to the Electoral College rather than the Democratic electors produced by the actual election. The dispute was over whether late-arriving mail ballots in Pennsylvania should be counted. Rutledge explains that she is trying to protect the votes cast in Arkansas. She seems to suggest that allowing the late Pennsylvania votes, if it could be determined that most were for Biden, would nullify Arkansas’s votes for Trump. The U. S. Supreme Court has never rendered a final ruling in the suit. All the mail-in votes that were challenged, had they been thrown out, were not enough to change the outcome of the Pennsylvania election or to affect the Electoral College result.
December 10, 2020: Attorney General Rutledge, representing the state of Arkansas, joins a brief with the Republican attorneys general of Missouri, Louisiana, South Carolina and Utah, in alliance with intervenor Donald J. Trump, supporting a suit by the State of Texas, represented by its attorney general, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block the states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin—all of which had voted for Joe Biden—from casting their electoral votes for Biden. The day after Rutledge and the other Republican attorneys general lodged their complaint at the U.S. Supreme Court, the court ruled that the Texas, Arkansas and other attorneys general had not shown “a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections” and dismissed their case. Justice Clarence Thomas said he would accept the filing as a matter of course but not grant them the relief they sought.
Simultaneous with the filing with the U. S. Supreme Court in support of Trump, Attorney General Rutledge posted notice of her joining the suit supporting Trump on her political Facebook page and asked Trump supporters to contribute money to her campaign for governor. She wrote: “Arkansas is in the Fight. Now, will you help me win? Donate here: http://ow.ly/wohd30rnWDV”.
December 14, 2022: All the lawsuits having failed, the electors meet in each of the states and cast their votes according to the certified results of the elections—306 for Biden and 232 for Trump. Each state’s certification of its electors is sent to the president of the U.S. Senate.
December 22, 2020: Attorney General Rutledge and the 15 other Republican attorneys general filed an amicus curiae brief in federal district court in New York supporting the National Rifle Association, which has filed for bankruptcy protection. The New York attorney general filed a civil suit in the federal court on August 6 seeking to dissolve the NRA because its staff and leaders had violated numerous state and federal laws by diverting millions of dollars away from its charitable mission for personal use of senior leaders of the organization, awarding contracts to the financial gain of close associates and family and appearing to dole out lucrative no-show contracts to former employees to buy their silence. On her political Facebook page she said she led the effort by Republican attorneys general to thwart the lawsuit in protect the Constitution and “Arkansans’ right to bear arms!”
December 31, 2020: Attorney General Rutledge and Jeff Landry, the Republican attorney general of Louisiana, appear on the Fox News website in an opinion piece to announce their offices’ condemnation of the Democratic candidates in the January 5 runoff for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats. Rutledge and Landry say they are acting in their official capacities in Arkansas and Louisiana. The article begins: As the chief law enforcement officers in our home states of Louisiana and Arkansas, we know firsthand the importance of well-funded and well-trained law enforcement agencies that receive respect and cooperation from the communities they serve.” They accuse the two Democrats of wanting to defund police departments across the country, contrary to the positions of both candidates. Both Democratic candidates won their elections against sitting Georgia senators.
January 6, 2021: Congress meets in joint session for the vice president to formally read the certification of electors from each of the states and announce the winner. Vice President Mike Pence announces that he has refused President Trump’s insistence that he void the official electoral results and recognize substitute electors that will give the election to him. Before Congress assembles, a massive mob of Trump supporters gather for a rally at the Capitol and in front of the White House, arranged by Trump and groups supporting him. Trump, his son Don Jr. and his attorney Rudy Giuliani exhort the crowd to march on Congress and demand that the election results be nullified because votes were stolen from him. As the ceremony in the House begins, Trump supporters in each house question the electoral votes from states, which required a two-hour debate in each house. As those debates were beginning, the mob from the Trump rally overpowers the police, breaks into the Capitol. Members of both houses were herded out of the Capitol or into hiding while the mob raged through the building looking for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Pence and others who had thwarted Trump. A political affiliate of the Republican Attorneys General Association and funded by the Association—the Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF)—was a sponsor of the rally and sent appeals across the country for people to come to Washington to support the president’s efforts to set aside the election and return him to office. The president of the Association insisted that he knew nothing about the subordinate organization’s sponsorship of the Trump rally and that the staff did it all without checking with the officers. Rutledge, a member of the Association’s Executive Committee, was asked about her role in the RLDF’s efforts.
January 7, 2021: Rutledge’s office puts out this statement: “I had no knowledge or role regarding any efforts made by RAGA or RLDF as to this issue. Contact RAGA or RLDF for any further questions.”
January 15, 2021: Tom Hamburger, investigative reporter for the Washington Post, reports that the National Rifle Association is dissolving its original 1871 charter in New York state, reincorporating in Texas and moving its headquarters to to escape the New York lawsuit that seeks to dissolve the organization for its violation of federal and state laws.)
January 15, 2021: A lawsuit is filed by eight taxpayers in Pulaski Circuit Court alleging that Rutledge had illegally spent public money to help Donald Trump and her own political interests, outside the statutory limits of the attorney generals’ responsibilities.
January 19, 2021: Rutledge announces that he put former Arkansas Republican Party Chair Doyle Webb on the public payroll at $150,000 a year to lead her work on redrawing state legislative district lines. She also contracts with two former Republican legislators, Andy David and Doug House, to work on the project for $6,666 a month. The attorney general during the last redistricting in 2011, Democrat Dustin McDaniel, used existing staff for the work.
— This record compiled primarily by Ernest Dumas.