Monday, October 04, 2010

EDITORIAL >> Webb files stupid suit

Here is some surprising but wholesome news. Republicans are upset with the head of their party, Doyle Webb, for filing a lawsuit last week against the statewide officers — all Democrats — to make them repay the state for the expense of using a state car going back and forth to work and for personal uses. The suit does not name Mike Huckabee, a Republican, only Democrats, so he would not have to repay the state for his use of state conveyance for 10 years.

The suit was stupid, frivolous, transparently political and an embarrassment to good Republicans, these Republicans said. All of that is true and it is healthy that they said it. But they said it privately, to Internet bloggers, including The Tolbert Report, a conspicuously reliable Republican blog. It looks like they’re having it both ways.

Eugene Sayre, the tax scourge, had filed a lawsuit last month against state fiscal officials seeking an end to the practice of providing cars for many state employees and officers, alleging that it violates the state Constitution. Sayre will probably win that case, and he should. The state has been loose with its automobile policies for 50 years.

But Sayre’s suit went after all state employees who benefit from official cars. It didn’t single out Democrats or Republicans, just a bad and probably unconstitutional government policy. The state Republican chairman, however, wanted to turn it in favor of a few Republican candidates, so he filed a separate suit. The Tolbert Report suggests that it was done for Jim Keet, the limping Republican candidate for governor who has been hurt by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette’s revelations of his tax delinquencies.  

 While Sayre will probably be successful with his suit, Webb won’t be. And he may get another judicial rebuke for filing a frivolous lawsuit. The suit is full of errors and untruths. Webb is not a stranger to the ethical tribunals. He received an official sanction from the bar several years ago after having an associate in his law office get a sick widow who had been Webb’s client to change her will to leave her estate to Webb instead of her family.

There’s also this. Webb found a businessman and preacher at Clinton named Johnny Rhoda to be the plaintiff for his suit. Rhoda had surfaced recently as the campaign chairman for Tim Griffin in the northern part of the congressional district. Griffin boasted that Rhoda, a highly successful businessman, had a PhD in business administration from Belford University. Belford University is a fake college. You buy your Ph.D. over the Internet with a click. Rhoda’s property at Clinton was sold at a courthouse auction during the summer because he had defaulted on the mortgage. They also foreclosed on Doyle Webb but he settled his suit recently. He refused to talk about it.
Great businessmen, fine ethicists, men you can put your trust in.