As part of our Vet The Judge series, I shared some photos earlier in the week of Judge Lincoln using the White County Cleanup as a campaign event. It’s been a big hit.
Then I remembered: I have some other photos of the judge from back during last year’s fair parade. What was he doing, you ask? Oh, you know, using taxpayer-funded vehicles to campaign.
One thing to note in this first pic: there is duct tape over the ‘re-elect’ portion of the judge’s sign, along the left side. In my opinion, this is at the very least a tacit admission that Lincoln knew he was coming dangerously close to an ethics violation–why else take the effort to cover up the “re-elect?”
And before someone cries foul here, let’s look at the law. From the Arkansas Ethics Commission:
(g) No person shall place any campaign banners, campaign signs, or other campaign literature on any cars, trucks, tractors or other vehicles belonging to the State of Arkansas or any municipality, county, or school district in the state.
How do we know the vehicle belongs to the county, you ask? Well, I’m glad you did.
See that sticker in the rear window? That’s a sticker that is placed on White County vehicles. This vehicle’s license plate also said “public property.”
What’s that, Judge Lincoln? This is a publicly-funded vehicle but it doesn’t matter because its supplied to you for personal use? Wrong:
(e) No public servant shall use for campaign purposes any item of personal property provided with public funds. “Campaign purposes” refers to the campaign of a candidate for public office and not efforts to support or oppose a ballot measure.