Arkansas’s new state legislative lines, which favor Republicans incumbents and penalize Democrats, are officially adopted. Arkansas taxpayers paid The Board of Apportionment to appear even-handed and open to public input, but the lines were likely unethically drawn. The price tag? Nearly $500,000 in extra taxpayer funds.
Moreover it’s worth mentioning that in 2011, only one of the three board offices hired outside personnel to aide with redistricting. Ten years ago, Governor Beebe’s office and the AG’s office—both democrats—passed on hiring redistricting consultants; consequently, no additional taxpayer funds were spent. However, the Secretary of State’s office, then led by Republican Mark Martin, hired a consultant group for $63,000. Fast forward to 2021: all three Republican-controlled offices were in charge of redistricting, and Arkansas taxpayers footed the GOP’s half a million dollar redistricting bill. Aren’t republicans supposed to be the fiscally responsible ones?
Taxpayer-Funded Redistricting Price Tag:
- Betty Dickey: $10,000/month
- Richard Bearden: $5,000/month
- Doyle Webb: $150,000/year
- Andy Davis: $6,666/month
- Doug House: $6,666/month
Despite public outcries over results from a potentially unethical process, the new House and Senate maps are locked in for the next ten years. Arkansas taxpayers are left wondering what else they could have bought with half a million dollars.