Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders was holding a press conference this week when she was asked about a recent $19,000 lectern that her office purchased. She didn’t seem to be a big fan of the question and chastised a reporter for asking it before abruptly moving on.
Is Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders Already Involved in a Scandal?
Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who has been in office for less than a year, is facing questions regarding a recent expenditure by her office.
Sanders Reportedly Paid $19,000 for a Lectern
According to a recent report, an attorney/blogger named Matt Campbell from Little Rock, Arkansas, was combing through some invoices and receipts he acquired after putting in a Freedom of Information Act request earlier this year.
He happened to stumble upon an invoice for a lectern that Gov. Sanders’ office ‘apparently’ ordered, and he found that more than $19,000 had been spent on it.
Campbell posted the invoice on his blog, and it immediately started to get its fair share of attention.
People couldn’t believe Gov. Sanders’ office had spent that much money on a lectern.
Sanders Invited Reporters to Come See the $19,000 Lectern
In an attempt to silence her critics, Gov. Sanders invited the press to come and see the $19,000 lectern in person. She thought that might help them realize why the lectern cost so much money in the first place.
The Purchase Faced Backlash
Sanders’ plan to let the press see the $19,000 lectern backfired in a big way.
After looking at the lectern, some media members suggested the lectern Sanders showed them wasn’t the same lectern listed on the invoice Campbell found.
They also discovered that the lectern they were shown would typically only cost about $7,500, not $19,000.
More Tidbits About Sanders’ $19,000 Lectern Came Out
At this point, Gov. Sanders was already in enough hot water over the $19,000 lectern. However, a couple of other tidbits about it would come out that would make it even more controversial.
For starters, reporters found that Sanders’ office had purchased it from one of her former colleagues she met while serving as the White House Press Secretary for Donald Trump.
They also found that Gov. Sanders had called for a special session of the state legislature to be held in early September to try to restrict the media’s access to public records involving her expenses.
Questions Were Asked
Some people started to question whether there might be more to the $19,000 lectern than Gov. Sanders was letting on. Her office initially trice tried to chalk it all up to an accounting error in the meantime.
However, Campbell tracked down emails between her office and different state agencies discussing the lectern and how it would be paid for with taxpayers’ money.
An Audit of the Lectern Purchase Is Underway
There has been so much speculation surrounding Gov. Sanders’ $19,000 lectern that the Legislative Audit Office in Arkansas has already investigated it.
A committee will look into it between now and the end of the year and report back so that Campbell and others in the state of Arkansas can get some clarity on what went on when Gov. Sanders’ office bought the $19,000 lectern.
The Audit Process
Gov. Sanders has said she doesn’t mind an audit taking place. She has also downplayed the potential for a scandal on her watch.
In response to the controversy, Governor Sanders stated her view that the issue is being exaggerated by some groups saying “People want to manufacture a controversy where there isn’t one.”
She blamed left-wing activists for what’s been going on in Arkansas.
Sanders Has Tried to Move On to Other Things
Gov. Sanders is also doing her best to get people to pay attention to other things happening within the state.
This week, she called a press conference to reveal that Arkansas is preparing to take action against a seed company in the state found to have alleged ties to the Chinese government.
She didn’t use the $19,000 lectern during this press conference.
Sanders Fielded Questions From Reporters This Week
Towards the end of the press conference, Gov. Sanders opened the floor to reporters’ questions. Most of their initial questions focused on the seed company she had spoken about during the press conference.
But two questions were also asked at the very end about her $19,000 lectern.
Sanders Was Asked About the $19,000 Lectern’s Features
The first question was from a reporter who asked Gov. Sanders about the $19,000 lectern’s features.
She alluded that it “incorporates sound components that make it easier to plug in for multiple media outlets at one time to get the best sound quality.”
Sanders Was Also Asked Why She Wasn’t Using the Lectern
The second question was from a reporter who asked Gov. Sanders why she had decided not to use the pricey lectern during the press conference.
This seemed to get under her skin as she talked about not wanting the lectern to steal the show during the press conference.
“You Would Talk About Nothing Else”
“Yeah, because I figure if you do, you would talk about nothing else than the important actions that we’re actually taking today,” Gov. Sanders said.
“Which, unfortunately, is not surprising, that while we are focused on things that actually impact our state and impact Arkansans, the media wants to spend all of their time on things that frankly don’t.”
Sanders Ended Her Press Conference Abruptly
Following that question, it became clear that Gov. Sanders was no longer in the mood to speak with the media. “Any other questions?” she asked. No other questions came from reporters, and she walked off the stage.
The post Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders Faces Scrutiny Over $19,000 Lectern Purchase first appeared on Back Edge News.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Michael Candelori. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.