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Blackmail Backlash: Controversy at the Capitol over Surveillance Video, Recorded Conversations

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- The only two men to announce intentions to run for the Arkansas State Treasurer position have found themselves in a deeper battle. The controversy revolves around a late-night trip to the Capitol and a conversation that followed. Representative Duncan Baird and Saline County Circuit Clerk Dennis Milligan are both Republicans running for treasurer.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- The only two men to announce intentions to run for the Arkansas State Treasurer position have found themselves in a deeper battle. The controversy revolves around a late-night trip to the Capitol and a conversation that followed.

Representative Duncan Baird and Saline County Circuit Clerk Dennis Milligan are both Republicans running for treasurer.

In the early morning hours of Oct. 18, Baird, three other Republican politicians and two women were caught on camera at the Arkansas State Capitol.

"There was nothing inappropriate that happened, it was simply six people walking around looking at the capital," Baird said.

Milligan disagreed.

"There wouldn't be an issue if these individuals wouldn't have created an issue," he said.

Milligan supplied a copy of an email from the Capitol Police that says on the night in question, "some of the individuals had possible issues of steadiness." Milligan called Baird and asked to meet him.

"I was simply trying to let him be aware of a situation that this information was going to be released, and I was asked to let him be aware of the potential of some bad news breaking," Milligan said.

Baird added, "It was a meeting that was really unlike any I've ever had as a political candidate, or as a member of the state legislature."

That meeting was recorded, and has caused quite a stir. Milligan asked that everyone listen to the entire conversation, but Baird feels certain tactics were used to get him out of the race.

"I did feel like I was being bullied, and there are other words that come to mind for when someone tells you they are going to release information unless you take a certain action, or do a certain thing," Baird said.

Milligan added, "I still do not back away from my contention that it was in the right frame of mind and it was also to protect families, and our party."

It is a story that will continue as each man has no plans to take his name out of the race.

For the email supplied by Baird, click here.


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