Taxpayer oversight is key to preventing abuse of spending; it’s no wonder Sanders hates the Freedom of Information Act.
- Governor Sanders has a big problem with spending taxpayer dollars in opulent ways, like expensive trips for family and staff.
- Consequently, the Governor has tried to gut our state’s Freedom of Information Act laws in the name of safety.
- Sanders’ behavior is antithetical to the conservative values of transparency, limited government, and fiscal responsibility.
- Arkansans must decide if they want a governor or someone who acts like a queen.
Our Governor has had a few problems crop up lately.
The Governor’s taxpayer spending problem includes $18,500 for a portable podium, $28,000 for lodging in Paris, France, family tickets to EuroDisney, $500 credit card fees, plane trips from Fayetteville to Bentonville, expensive staff meals, and more.
The Governor’s policy problem includes big time tax cuts for corporations, raises for only her staff, defunding public schools, merit pay systems for state employees, and vouchers so working people can pay the rich to send their kids to private school.
In case you missed it, Matt Campbell of Blue Hog Report released documents he obtained via the Freedom of Information Act showing lavish expenditures from the Governor’s recent trip to Europe. It’s pretty egregious.
Sanders’ excessive waste of taxpayer dollars stands in stark contrast to her regressive policies that punish hard working Arkansans. It’s enough to make one think the Governor and her legislative supermajority want a state where working class people exist solely to prop up the lifestyles of the wealthy and powerful. Her expenditures as Governor certainly communicate this to the public.
Speaking of communication, Sanders also has a public relations problem. This includes using taxpayer dollars to pay her staff to lie to Arkansans.
Before Matt Campbell shared the receipts from Sanders’ “trade mission” to EuroDisney, the governor’s communications team insisted the state’s Freedom of Information Act was being weaponized to attack Sanders and threaten her safety. This was untrue.
The administration then pivoted to messaging that they changed FOIA to protect the work of the State Police. This was also untrue.
Actually, it’s much simpler: Sanders wanted to kill FOIA to prevent the public from discovering that we picked up the tab for her family and staff’s deluxe European tour.
Wasting taxpayers’ money is not a partisan issue; sensible (and limited) government spending is a pillar of the Republican Party. So is transparency. So is personal responsibility.
As a result, it seems the Governor has a conservative values problem, too. Sanders’ secrecy, abuse of power, and lavish spending make her look more like a Russian oligarch than a champion of conservative principles.
As we approach the end of her first year in office, Arkansans across the political spectrum have some soul-searching to do.
Do we want our state’s top leader to behave like royalty? Or do we want someone accountable to the people — someone who will fight for opportunity and prosperity for all Arkansans, not just the powerful ones?