Candidates Dispute Use Of Official Material On Secretary Of State Website

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – The campaign website for Susan Inman, the Democratic secretary of state candidate, used  material taken without attribution from the official Arkansas secretary of state website possibly in violation of state and federal law, according to a cease-and-desist letter from Secretary of State Mark Martin’s office.

The letter, dated Thursday (Oct. 16), is addressed to Inman and is signed by General Counsel Martha M. Adcock.

On her campaign website, Inman responded on Monday (Oct. 20), saying Martin used taxpayer money in trying to intimidate her.

“I am extremely disappointed that Mark Martin would use his state staff to engage in an obvious attempt to bully me,” Inman said.

According to the from the Secretary of State’s office, Inman’s campaign website contained a voter look-up system and voter registration applications that were not attributed to the secretary of state’s official website.

“You should not be utilizing programs or material paid for with state dollars in support of your campaign without attribution,” the letter states. “Your campaign’s use of any information captured from the data entry screen, without notice to the voter, may be a violation of state and federal law.”

The letter from Martin’s office contains screen shots of Inman’s campaign website with the disputed material. Inman told 5NEWS on Monday (Oct. 20) she now is linking to the material from the mobile version of the secretary of state’s site, not the desktop version.

Martin, a Republican, is seeking re-election. In addition to Inman,  Jacob Holloway, a Libertarian, is vying to unseat Martin in the Nov. 4 election.

 

 

8 comments

  • Eric Parkinson

    I’m sorry, but Mark Martin just lost my vote for his reelection bid as SOS. This sort of childish, political pettiness is embarrassing – and implies that he owns the State’s data? Shameful.

  • Sean

    So neither the Secretary of State not their general counsel can say whether or no this was a violation of the law?

    Let me take a guess and say it’s not, but they didn’t like it so they say it’s possibly a crime.

    I’ll vote for her based solely on the deceptive nature of the sitting Secretary’s actions.

  • Judy Garner

    She forwarded people to Secretary of State’s Office so that they could see if and where they are registered to vote. Big deal. It is supposed to be a public service.

    • Eric Parkinson

      Mark Martin is abusing his position as Secretary of State to pursue a political gain. He does not have exclusive domain over State-owned data and voter assistance materials. To make a claim against a political adversary that implies that some malfeasance or criminal acts occurred – is in itself an act malfeasance and abuse of power by Mark Martin. This feels like a prosecutable abuse of power or impeachable offense. Using state assets, state attorneys and street level bullying for personal political gain? Somebody please contact a special prosecutor.

  • Tom

    So…the attorney said it was done without attribution, but then points out and includes copies of the copyright information on the page? look at the last page of the letter linked above. There are links to the SoS office.

    What am I missing here?

    • Eric Parkinson

      It’s transparently baseless. I was planning to vote for Martin until he revealed his character (or lack thereof) with this political attack on an opponent who was clearly just trying to help voters access state owned information .

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