Ethics panel may ask lawmakers to close political reporting loophole

LITTLE ROCK (Arkansas News Bureau) - The state Ethics Commission said Friday it may ask legislators to close a loophole in state political reporting laws that allowed a ballot question committee to hire a firm last year to promote a tax increase without disclosing the firm's expenditures.

The commission also dismissed a complaint that the vice mayor of Fort Smith bullied a former member of that city's Animal Services Advisory Board.

The Committee for Little Rock's Future, which was formed to promote increasing the city's sales tax from one-half percent to 1.5 percent, reported to the state Ethics Commission that it spent $196,253 to hire the Markham Group to run its successful 2011 campaign for the tax. No report was filed detailing how the Markham Group spent the money.

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