If you are a regular visitor to MySaline.com and you read the political commentary here, you have seen one vicious smear campaign after another, as the frenzied opponents of Circuit Clerk Dennis Milligan engage in one political assassination after another.
If you listen to them, he's a bully who pushes his employees around, harasses women, runs a horse race bookie operation out of the Circuit Clerk's office, where he freely uses county equipment and supplies with wild abandon, spending taxpayer's dollars for opulent, expensive, unnecessary improvements to the offices. He is arrogant, they will tell you, and takes credit for improvements made by his predecessor. They will describe him as incompetent, slow, and unable to operate the office in an efficient and professional way. They denigrate his staff as people who have no idea how the office is operated. They tear him up for the previous employees that he released from duty, even though he has every lawful right to determine his own staff.
As some line up with the support primarily of a single, dogged attorney, he is accused of costing the county taxpayers for unnecessary and groundless lawsuits. They have openly accused him of being corrupt, or just plain stupid.
They will insist that his opponent is the right choice -- someone who is running a make-believe primary challenge, posing as a Republican when she is actually a longtime, long voting Democrat, attempting to accomplish a general election outcome in a GOP primary stacked with Democratic voters, after which the Dems simply won't run a challenger because they will have who they want.
Did I miss anything? Oh yeah. I missed the truth, none of it appearing above.
Milligan has always been a model citizen who cares deeply about the people of Saline County, and has proven it again and again. Those who know him best and have known him longest will tell you that they are enraged over the lies and smears that his opponents have engaged in. They know a very different Dennis Milligan, a man of exceptional, even brutal honesty and integrity. He's been described to me by close personal friends as a man who always brings his "A" game to the table, puts his family above all else, and puts his God above everything.
The details of who Dennis Milligan really is, and the political life he's leading are a study in contradictions as his opponents desperately try to find a way to trounce him out of office on May 22. But before you flip the lever or mark the ballot for his opponent and reverse two years of progress, you might want to look twice at the REAL Dennis Milligan.
A MAN OF THE PEOPLE
Dennis Milligan is all about Saline County and things that will help people. He doesn't just stand on the sidelines. He gets into things up to his elbows, not content to let others take the lead. Milligan owns a very successfull business, Water Treatment Services (WTS) that employs a staff of 10 Saline County workers. His thoroughbred horse business supports feed stores, land owners, horse shoe services, veterinarians and a host of other businesses.
Generosity has always been a trademark of Dennis' life, not for the attention it would bring him, but for the good it would do. He came to the Circuit Clerk's office ready to donate a portion of his salary back to the community he serves, and he has been true to his word.
Dennis has created eight scholarships, all of which were donated to our four area high schools for the betterment of our young people. He is a strong supporter (as a horse owner might be expected to be) of the Humane Society. He is actively supporting the Benton Boys & Girls Club, as well as the Benton Senior Center.
He contributes both time and money to a single parent scholarship fund, and as a homebuilder and developer himself, strongly supports Habitat For Humanity. He has built 60 new homes in Saline County, generating 34 additional jobs.
He continues to serve as a reserve deputy under Sheriff Bruce Pennington, and has been cited for past service, most notably his apprehension of a robbery suspect. He is close to law enforcement officers and is a tireless supporter of Sheriff Bruce Pennington, one of Saline County's finest sheriffs.
A MODEL POLITICAL LIFE OF DUTY
Dennis Milligan embraces the conservative values that made this nation great, and is a proud member of the Republican Party of Arkansas. He has served as a past Chairman of both the Saline County GOP Committee and the Republican Party of Arkansas, where he served without salary. Twice he offered himself to Saline County voters in elections for state representative, but it was when he stepped up to end the practices by his predecessor of hiring a convicted felon to work in the Circuit Clerk's office that voters said "Enough!" and swept him into office.
His entry into office as Circuit Clerk was marred by controversy not of his own making, when a defiant local circuit judge declined to swear him into office, citing political opposition at an inappropriate time and in a categorically inappropriate way. All the same, Milligan grasped the ropes early and produced remarkable results that benefits all of Saline County:
What you, the voters of Saline County, need to be asking yourselves is this: Who wants to get rid of a decent, effective, competent man like this so badly that they are willing to write and publish horrific lies and exaggerations, viciously attacking him? Who are these people and what do they want?
Now, we have a disgruntled former employee falsely claiming that Milligan (a horse owner) is running a betting operation in the Circuit Clerk's office while keeping Milligan's property under false pretenses, retaining an attorney whose style is to threaten everyone around him -- even a prominent local TV news reporter -- with lawsuits if they say things he doesn't like?
More importantly what do YOU want on May 22? Who can serve you best? A majority of you decided once to embrace Dennis Milligan in 2010. And now, he needs you again, not just to continue to serve you but to repudiate the critics and attackers who want to control YOUR county.
Dennis Milligan -- a man that ALL of Saline County can be proud of.