Editorial

The long since forgotten BQC: "Citizens for a United Mississippi County"

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Written by J Stark (editor)

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It has come to my attention that a document has been released bearing my name. It is in fact a PUBLIC DOCUMENT that is open and freely available. Yet the naysaying-nit-picking-career-politicians want to hold it up as politicly driven and selfishly motivated... TWO YEARS and THREE MONTHS after the fact.

I’ll dispense with the all too familiar disclaimers as to the legitimacy of this hybrid publication and go straight to the facts.

On July 27th, 2016 a Ballot Question Committee (BQC) know as "Citizens for a United Mississippi County" was legally formed. The primay mission statement was clear and put into writing for the Arkansas Ethics Commission and promptly filed by the Chairperson, Catherine P. Dean.

It states:

The Committee will advocate for the defeat of any ballot that could result in the closing of the County Courthouse in Osceola and/or result in the removing of Osceola as Mississippi County seat. The Committee will advocate for the defeat of any ballot that extends or redirects the five-year 1 /2 cent sales Tax that was approved by the voters to fund the county's hospitals in Blytheville and in Osceola.

You may ask yourself… Why go through such a convoluted legal mess? Well, that's simple. It’s the law and required by the ARKANSAS ETHICS COMMISSION.

§ 614 PROHIBITION AGAINST USE OF PUBLIC OFFICE/ROOM OR PERSONAL PROPERTY PROVIDED WITH PUBLIC FUNDS

It shall be unlawful for any public servant, as defined in§ 600(s), to use any office or room furnished at public expense to distribute any letters, circulars, or other campaign materials unless such office or room is regularly used by members of the public for such purposes without regard to political affiliation. It shall further be unlawful for any public servant to use for campaign purposes any item of personal property provided with public funds. As used herein, "campaign materials" and "campaign purposes" refer to (i) the campaign of a candidate for public office, and (ii) efforts to support or oppose a ballot measure, except as provided in Ark. Code Ann. § 7-1-111. 8

So, there you have it in black-n-white with a touch of red. Save the Historic Osceola Courthouse AND shield our well-intentioned friends… (elected public officials/servants and our beloved 501(c)3 non-profits) from directly influencing a ballot measure.

The documents are available to the public. I'm providing a few below. I've redacted a few names of committee members and phone numbers. The officers names are not afforded the same considerations... sorry! But, we knew what we were getting into when we put our names on the line. 

Jason Stark
Partner/Art Director
Delta Creative, Inc. (LOCAL OWNER of SouthMissCo.com)

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