The Arkansas Democratic Party says Republican Sen. Jake Files of Fort Smith should resign over news about handling of state General Improvement Fund money that wound up with him, not the project for which it was intended.

It is time for the Republican Party of Arkansas to stop playing this disingenuous game with the voters of Arkansas. Behind the scenes, they have intentionally tried to sweep this scandal under the rug by seeking promises from Senator Files that he won’t seek re-election and have been scrambling to find a candidate to replace him in 2018. That dog won’t hunt.

Any elected official willing to engage in this level of corruption and fraud should not be allowed to remain in office one day longer. It is not enough to simply say you may or may not seek re-election. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, this elected official committed wire fraud. His malfeasance cost the taxpayers of Fort Smith over a million dollars and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported today that he pocketed over $25,000 in taxpayer General Improvement Funds. The Republican Party of Arkansas may be willing to accept this behavior but the people of Arkansas should not and will not accept it.

Files has said he won’t run again in 2018. But, as it stands, he’ll be in his seat for the fiscal session of the legislature next year as well as a participant in ongoing committee meetings that often have an impact on ongoing decisions.


I’ve asked the Arkansas Republican Party for comment. But I won’t hold my breath. To date, two former Republican legislators have been indicted (one has pleaded guilty) over kickback schemes involving GIF money. Both managed to complete terms while prosecutorial hammers hung over their heads, but didn’t seek re-election.

Great minds. I called for Files’ resignation over his smelly use of GIF money back in February. It’s overdue. Surely to goodness, even Republican leadership won’t want him voting on state spending come January.


To date, no Democrats named in GIF scandal. To date.