Rapert Blasts Rutledge For Continued Self-Promotion Spending

Over $5.79 million of state’s money spent on promoting Rutledge name/vaccines

CONWAY, Ark. – Arkansas Lieutenant Governor candidate and State Senator Jason Rapert (R-Conway) today issued the following statement condemning Attorney General Leslie Rutledge for her continued use of state money to promote her name and likeness after it was revealed to the Arkansas Legislative Council that she has spent an additional $435,105 during the first quarter of 2022:

“This is just the latest poke in the eye to the hardworking people of Arkansas by Leslie Rutledge who thinks the Attorney General’s Office budget is a personal piggybank to do with what she wants no matter what the General Assembly says.  Since the Rutledge Report promotion campaign has started, over $5.79 million of the people’s money has been wasted literally in her name.  We could have purchased brand-new bullet proof vests for each law enforcement officer in the state for the money Leslie Rutledge has spent.

“After learning last week that Leslie Rutledge is ignoring the legislature and violating the State Constitution to overpay her staff beyond the legal limit, this new report of wasteful spending is yet another example of why Leslie Rutledge is unfit to be Lieutenant Governor.”

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’ in FY2020 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 Leslie Rutledge FLIP-FLOPPED To Promote COVID Vaccine Before Quitting Governor’s Race!
“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 $2.63 Million Since July 1, 2021:

Rutledge Caught By Legislative Audit Exceeding Legal Limits On Staff Pay
“35 employees received a full 2% of their current salary, totaling $57,127, as a lump-sum payment, and they will exceed their line-item salary appropriation by $37,546 as of June 30 in conflict with Arkansas Constitution Article 16, Section 4…” (“Auditor questions Arkansas governor, attorney general about implementation of 2% raises for employees,” Michael R. Wickline, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 5/14/22)