Seawel Moves to Dismiss Ethics Complaint
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."