Seawel Moves to Dismiss Ethics Complaint

Published: Oct. 16, 2002 at 10:29 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 22, 2002 at 10:20 PM CDT
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October 16, 2002
Posted at: 6:20 p.m. CDT

POCAHONTAS, Ark. -- Democratic state Representative Harmon Seawel says he's not intimidated by a complaint filed against him by a member of Governor Mike Huckabee's campaign staff.

The complaint, filed by campaign manager Jason Brady, is being reviewed by the Arkansas Ethics Commission. It alleges Seawel (D-Pocahontas) and other legislators held a press conference on September 30 to express concerns about the embattled Arkansas Administrative Statewide Information System, or AASIS.

Huckabee has been a major backer of the system. Campaign spokesperson Joe Quinn said that, "(the complaint) was filed on a specific issue, which was the use of senate staff to set up a blatantly political event."

In response to the complaint, Seawel, a staunch supporter of Huckabee's gubernatorial challenger, Jimmie Lou Fisher, said he was just exercising his First Amendment rights at the press conference.

"I don't think the governor seriously believes I was in violation of any ethics statute," Seawel said. "I think it was an obvious effort at intimidation."