The Arkansas Economic Development Commission has a nice-sounding name and a mission-statement that seems reasonable to most people. Unfortunately, in practice these sorts of things quickly devolve into cronyism. It is worse than a waste of taxpayer money, it is taxing the poor to give money to the rich so that they can give it to their buddies. According to this article it seems that the commission has been giving $1.4 million of our tax money to something called “Innovate Arkansas” every year since 2008. So they are not even giving this money directly to businesses as is their mission, they are giving it to this group to do their job for them, letting “Innovate Arkansas” decide who gets the taxpayer money.
The sole administrator of “Innovate Arkansas” is Winrock International. It’s a foundation based on Rockefeller money. But it seems they have used that money to leverage even more money out of the pockets of Arkansas taxpayers. Even if they do good work with it I object to the idea of the “Economic Development Commission” picking winners and losers with taxpayer dollars. I object to the commission turning that money over to a program directed by a multi-billion dollar international non-profit to do the same. I suspect their good work has a high overhead in this particular case.
Why should you be taxed so the government can give the money to the cousin of an insider to open a business which will compete with yours?
The Michael Wickline article did not even address any of those issues. He is about the closest thing the Arkansas establishment print media has to a real journalist but I guess working for them you can only go so far. The article pointed out how Innovate Arkansas has hired a sitting legislator to work for them- Republican David Sanders of Little Rock. In other words, one of the legislators voting on appropriations to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission is working for an outfit funded by grants from that commission. The article did not quote anyone opposed to the move. It did quote someone from the foundation claiming the decision had been vetted by the Ethics Commission and state agencies. The Governor is OK with it so it must be ethical, right?
Remember when we used to complain about government officials being in a “revolving door” between regulating an industry and players in the industry? Well that wasn’t seedy enough for today’s political establishment. There is not even a need for a revolving door now.
Like Schrodinger’s Cat, they can be on both sides of the door at once! In ordinary space-time this would be impossible but this is a new phase of corruption which we can call “quantum impropriety.” In this bizarro quantum world Sanders can be both the legislator voting on a grant and the man directing the program which receives the grant at the exact same instant. If you have any question about the propriety of that, you must be a very unreasonable person because this move has been “vetted” and OK’ed by the Governor.
Patriots I ask you to not just complain about stuff like this but to actually do something about it. Let the establishment parties know that they do not own your vote and you will act to get others on the ballot who are honest. Print off and sign the petition to give Neighbors Ballot Access… https://www.arneighbors.org/ballot-petition-for-2017/