Was Asa’s handpicked redistricting aide, Rett Hatcher, using maps to lobby members of Arleg?

Rett Hatcher is the lone aide Governor Asa Hutchinson handpicked and paid to help redraw new legislative and congressional lines. The problem? Hatcher has a well-discussed reputation for slippery behavior.

We want to know: did Hatcher use his position to lobby members on legislative issues and influence how the districts were drawn to help his campaign clients and hurt his foes?

Whispers around the Capitol—during regular and special sessions—were that Arleg leadership knew of Hatcher’s unethical behavior. And they weren’t happy about it. Our sources say leadership called Hatcher in and scolded him for his disreputable actions. We cannot confirm if it was senate or house leadership (or both?) but we’ve heard from several sources about the reprimand.

Potential ethical issues with Hatcher’s conduct:

  • Discussing possible district lines with legislators while also lobbying legislators on current Arleg issues before the General Assembly
  • Assisting in drawing lines that aided his campaign clients and hurt his political foes

If Hatcher’s actions warranted a rebuke from leadership, where was Governor Hutchinson? Did the Governor turn a blind eye to Hatcher’s behavior or was he unaware? Inquiring minds want to know.

Arkansans deserve transparency and accountability from its leaders. If you or anyone you know has knowledge of Hatcher’s disreputable actions and want to share them with us—off record—please reach out. We want to hear from you.

What can the public do? Share your frustrations with the Arkansas Board of Apportionment. You have 30 days to submit feedback on the proposed map. Submit a comment and let leaders know we deserve an ethical, transparent map process.