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Arkansas Democrats may have found a way to put Tea party Congressman Tom Cotton (R. AR) in some hot water:

The Arkansas Democratic Party is asking the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton illegally solicited contributions for his U.S. Senate bid during a radio interview in the U.S. Capitol.

The state party on Tuesday said it has sent a complaint to the office about a Sept. 30 interview Cotton gave to talk radio host Hugh Hewitt. During the interview, Cotton said supporters could visit his website to contribute to his campaign to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor.

Hewitt said during the interview that Cotton was speaking from inside the Capitol, but Cotton's office has said he was not in the building when he mentioned the website.

A spokeswoman for the Office of Congressional Ethics declined to comment. Anyone can ask the office to review allegations, but submitting a letter does not automatically result in an investigation. - THV 11, 10/29/13

Here's the argument The Arkansas Democratic Party is trying to make:

Benton Smith, an attorney for the party, said in the letter that there was substantial reason to believe that Cotton made the fundraising solicitation from inside the building. Smith also writes that even if Cotton was outside the Capitol when he mentioned the campaign site, "he was obliged nonetheless to avoid the impression that he allowed Mr. Hewitt to create."

Cotton's campaign on Tuesday dismissed the complaint as a politically driven, personal attack. Cotton and Pryor have been engaged in a heated fight for the Senate race, with both campaigns and outside groups spending heavily on television advertising more than a year before the election.

"The facts have already proven this to be a false accusation, and we're confident this partisan publicity stunt complaint will be dismissed," campaign manager Justin Brasell. - Arkansas Business, 10/29/13

Here's Cotton's argument:

"I walked off the house floor. I dialed into the radio show early, as I always do, and then I continued to walk out of the cloakroom and outside the Capitol building," said Cotton.

Radio host Hugh Hewitt says its his mistake, "I was watching the House on CSPAN at the time and just misspoke."

Hewitt also said the democrats never even asked him to about his statement. Democrats say even if that's true, the Congressman should have corrected Hewitt.

"He has an obligation based on house ethics rules to address that. He failed to do it at that time," said Smith.

Congressman Cotton calls that claim nonsense.

"I have no obligation to correct his mis-speaking, and it just goes to show how desperate Mark Pryor is to change the topic away from Obamacare," said Cotton. - KATV 4, 10/29/13

So what happens next?

The office can begin a preliminary review if two of its board members find there’s a reasonable basis to believe a violation occurred, and the investigation can continue on to a second phase if three members say there is probable cause to believe a violation occurred, according to the office’s website.

At the end of an investigation’s second phase, the office must recommend that the House Ethics Committee either review the case further or dismiss the case. - Baxter Bulletin, 10/29/13

Unfortunately I can't find the video of Cotton's September 30th interview with Hewett which is weird because Cotton likes to post his interviews on the show to his YouTube page.  We'll see how this plays out.  Regardless, Cotton needs to be defeated next year for several reasons.  Now I know you all may not like Senator Mark Pryor (D. AR), I understand.  But there are a few reasons he needs to stay in the Senate.  This would be one of them:

Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor on Tuesday said he would vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), putting the legislation just two votes shy from passage in the Senate.

According to the Arkansas Times, Michael Teague, a member of Pryor's staff, responded to an inquiry on the legislation: “He'll vote yes on ENDA.” - On Top Magazine, 10/30/13

If you feel like donating or getting involved with his campaign, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 08:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party and Milk Men And Women.

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