Senator David Sanders (R) – Little Rock just got a new job with Winrock International as director of Innovate Arkansas. Innovate Arkansas’ encourages technology- based startup companies. (see announcement here)
A state legislator going to work for a program administered by a private sector nonprofit corporation shouldn’t be newsworthy. But there is a catch…..
Innovate Arkansas is a program “administered” by Winrock International but it is FUNDED BY THE STATE OF ARKANSAS. Funding comes from from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission![i] It is essentially a state job other than in name.
Senator Sanders has been one of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s loyal legislators otherwise he would not have gotten the job. Now with his job being dependent on his benefactor, Asa, do you think he will ever vote against Asa’s wishes on any important bill.
Governor Asa Hutchinson has found yet another way to financially benefit one of his cronies in the legislature. Asa couldn’t even act like he had nothing to do with it, instead he felt compelled to make a statement and brag on Senator David Sanders’ new state funded job.[ii]
Here is an idea Governor….. if you are going to be so bold in taking care of Senator Sanders – why not go big and buy the rest of the legislators by expanding the program to include a position for all of them.
The whole deal stinks like money laundering. One minute it is state money then “SHAZAM!” it’s money administered by a private non-profit for hiring a State Senator. Want to reward a crony and let him keep his legislative seat? Easy! Just launder the money through a non-profit.
Governor Asa Hutchinson = #GovernorWithoutShame
[ii] “Ten years ago, the team at Winrock launched Innovate Arkansas to build the start-up ecosystem that is now thriving in our state. Under David’s leadership, Innovate Arkansas will continue to provide access to experienced growth advisers and expand the resources available to our state’s tech-based entrepreneurs,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “David has proven his leadership abilities in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. I am looking forward to the added value he will bring to Innovate Arkansas.”