Rapert Blasts Attorney General Over $5.3 Million Spent on ‘Self-Promotion’

$2.19 Million Spent After ‘Flip-Flop’

CONWAY, Ark. – Arkansas Lieutenant Governor candidate and State Senator Jason Rapert today released the following statement critical of the Arkansas Attorney General’s use of over $5.3 million in state money to promote her political campaigns through December 31:
 
“The Attorney General needs to remember that this money is not hers, it belongs to the state and ultimately the hardworking Arkansans who pay taxes.  It is unconscionable that she has wasted over $5.3 million of the state’s money to promote herself in her failed campaign for Governor where she spent over a year publicly criticizing our next Governor, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.  What is even worse is that she spent $2.19 million since July 1, after her flip-flop on her promise to the legislature to stop promoting herself.”


In Fiscal Year 2020, the Attorney General Spent $2.2 Million On ‘The Rutledge Report’
“In fiscal 2020, the office spent $2.2 million on radio and television ads. … Before fiscal 2020, the largest amount that office spent on such ads since at least fiscal 2008 was $459,200 in fiscal 2014 when Democrat Dustin McDaniel was attorney general.” (“In reversal, Arkansas attorney general in office’s ad,” Michael R. Wickline, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 9/27/21)
 
Before Spending $2.2 Million On ‘The Rutledge Report,’ the AG Spent ZERO DOLLARS On TV
“Rutledge’s office didn’t spend any money on TV advertising in any previous fiscal year since she began serving as attorney general in January 2015, according to the office’s records.” (“Attorney general’s 2020 ad spending dwarfs previous 4 years,” Michael R. Wickline, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 4/14/20)
 
In 2020, the Attorney General Changed Her TV Ad Policy After Legislators Had Questions…
“Starting in July 2020, Rutledge changed her office’s ads to remove her name, image and voice to ensure that “the unfounded concerns of her political opponents” wouldn’t stop her from carrying out the office’s duties, Rutledge spokeswoman Amanda Priest said a year ago. At that time, Priest declined to specify to whom she was referring as Rutledge’s political opponents.” (“Attorney general’s office trims spending on ads by 57% for year,” Michael R. Wickline, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 7/2/21)
 
But In A Last-Minute Effort To Save Her Governor’s Campaign, Leslie Rutledge FLIP-FLOPPED!
“Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has abandoned changes she implemented in July 2020 to remove her name, image and voice from her office’s television ads, by airing a commercial that started in mid-August…” (“In reversal, Arkansas attorney general in office’s ad,” Michael R. Wickline, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 9/27/21)
 
After Her FLIP-FLOP On Advertising, the AG Has Spent $2.19 Million The Last Six Months of 2021
 
$1,308,182 Spent July Through September 2021
“Red Wolves Sports Properties $ (14,000.00); Rural Arkansas Radio Network $ (6,370.00); The Communications Group, Inc. $ (1,287,812.25)” (“Attorney General Quarterly Report Pursuant to Act 763 of 2013, Period 7/1/2021 to 9/30/2021,” accessed 1/24/22)
 
$891,036 Spent October Through December 2021
“Hooten Publishing, Inc. $ (5,595.00); Rural Arkansas Radio Network $ (57,330.00); The Communications Group, Inc. $ (828,111.00)” (“Attorney General Quarterly Report Pursuant to Act 763 of 2013, Period 10/1/2021 to 12/31/2021,” accessed 1/24/22)

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