The Arkansas Supreme Court race between Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Karen Baker and Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox is one that captured my attention early due to the importance of the position. I would contend that this is one of the most crucial races in our state for the simple fact that one of these two people will be the one that decides how the law is applied to Arkansas citizens. Those chosen to sit on the Arkansas Supreme Court should be sound constitutionalist that will protect the citizens of Arkansas, comply with and fairly enforce the law.
On May 13th I entered two post: Supreme Court Justice Race and Questions For Tim Fox which laid out my findings on each candidate after meeting them both in person, making myriad phone calls and researching each of their judicial records.
Needless to say after all the time I invested in this research I had made up my mind who to vote for, but then the commercials started. Driving around one day I heard this ad paid for by Tim Fox~ http://ow.ly/2XZyH. Basically the ad accuses Judge Baker and her staff of taking 2 years of paid vacation time, wasting over a quarter of a million dollars in tax payer money and only working 2 days a week over the last 10 years.
Umm talk about a lump in the throat. Since I am constantly encouraging others to get the facts, I hopped on the phone. I wanted to know the source of Judge Fox’s accusations, as of today Sunday Oct. 24th, 9:a.m. (several days later) I have received no return phone call from Judge Fox or anyone from his campaign. I am still waiting.
Being that we are just a little over a week outside the election and I feel like I need an answer sooner rather than later, I called the offices of: the Arkansas Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and the State Auditor’s office. People in each office told me they knew the allegations to be false but that they were prohibited to comment on “elections”, so no one would go on the record.
One person I talked to said she nearly wrecked her car when she heard the ad because she could not believe a judge would tell such an outright lie. Another said “it is disgusting a Judge could blatantly lie like that.”
I am still searching for the “court records that show” Judge Baker took “2 years paid vacation”. According to the 3 offices I spoke with no such records exist.
I did reach Judge Baker whom explained to me that the allegations in that ad were unfounded and completely false. Now Judge Baker has produced this ad http://ow.ly/2XZFl
As a matter of fact in my conversation with Judge Baker she told me these facts about her work record.
· After the delivery (c-sections I should add) of her son she did not take maternity leave and still kept up with regular case load.
· She has only taken two weeks’ vacation each year split into one week periods.
· The only holidays she has taken are Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.
· She has written over 70-80 publications annually.
· She takes 2-3 trips to Little Rock per week for meetings and the rest of the time works from her home office which is within her district as is the case with other Court of Appeals Judges.
· She has 6-9 cases per week except on non-submission weeks which average about 8 a year which include her 2 weeks of vacation and the holiday season of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.
We discussed her working from home, which in fact saves the tax payers of her district thousands of dollars a year not having to keep office space, utilities, insurance etc. And if any of you, like me, work from home you know that you continually work.
It is particularly disturbing to me that a candidate for the highest court in Arkansas would not only participate in but pay for the spreading of “blatant lies” and intentionally be deceptive for political gain.
I believe it to be incumbent on the Arkansas Bar Association and his colleagues to hold Judge Fox accountable for such egregious abuse of peoples trust.