The City Attorney for Magnolia says that recent advertisements in the State Senate District 3 race must be addressed.
“The Magnolia City Attorney’s office does not typically comment on any political race, but misrepresentations concerning the City and one of its officials demand that someone set the record straight,” said Michael Boyd, City Attorney for Magnolia. “The facts are that the city’s Advertising and Promotions Commission voted to enter into an agreement with Steve Crowell to supply various forms of Christmas lighting for the City. Mr. Crowell not only provided the lights and materials, he charged nothing for his time involved in the project. All taxpayer funds were accounted for and spent in accordance with the agreement. The City Council was later fully informed, and it voted to ratify the agreement to comply with the audit request.”
“Contrary to the misrepresentations in these attack ads, Council Member Steve Crowell was neither accused of wrongdoing, nor was there any evidence supporting such an accusation. The advertisements appear to be a deliberate attempt to smear Mr. Crowell and the City of Magnolia,” said Boyd.
Similarly, a second advertisement by the same group used the word “unethical” and claimed Crowell played a key role in a real estate transaction between his wife and the city. “This claim is also untrue. The sale of the city property was discussed in more than one public City Council meeting, and Mr. Crowell did not vote on the matter or even comment. The suggestion in the advertisements is blatantly false. These attacks on Mr. Crowell are also attacks on the integrity of the City of Magnolia,” said Boyd. “While I understand that politics and campaigns are sometimes hard-nosed, there is simply no place for outright deceit. When this happens, we have two choices: let it pass or do something about it. Our legislative body is too important for winners to be chosen by dark money’s power to deceive.”
The publicly available information is that the advertisements were paid for a by an entity called “Truth in Politics 2 IEC,” which is organized as an IEC or “Independent Expenditure Committee” according to the Arkansas Secretary of State. The Secretary of State’s records indicate the only donor is a company named “Conduit in Action.” Both the IEC and the company appear to involve the same two people, Joe Maynard and Brenda Vassaur-Taylor, who show to be residents of Northwest Arkansas, and who also are linked to multiple Political Action Committees. The sources of funds to “Conduit in Action” are unknown.
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