Frank Scott, a candidate for Little Rock mayor, late yesterday filed his response to the city of Little Rock suit aimed at preventing him and Warwick Sabin, another opponent of Mayor Mark Stodola, from using exploratory committees to raise money to prepare to run for mayor. It includes a challenge of the constitutionality of the city ordinance.
As Sabin argued yesterday, Scott noted that the Arkansas Ethics Commission had cleared the use of exploratory committees under state law. The city is arguing that a city ordinance that limits fund-raising to five months before an election should govern, though it argues that the same ordinance is void as to its prohibition of keeping carryover money, as Stodola has done.
Scott also argues that the state Ethics Commission can’t be sued under a recent precedent issued by the Arkansas Supreme Court on sovereign immunity.
Scott has also filed a
This angle could create an important precedent, perhaps even a bad one. It specifically challenges the six-month window for campaign contributions (five months before and one after an election) under city law. That might be too short. But, if so, what’s too long? Mark Stodola’s effort to preserve a legal edge on opponents may create a fine mess.