AP Photo/Will Newton

Arkansas Gov. Responds to Podium Controversy With ‘Come and Take It’, J6 Lectern Guy Hilariously Responds

Republican Governor of Arkansas Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to a controversy over a podium in a video message posted to social media, shortly after the release of an audit report, on Monday. 

In the twenty-second video, music from rapper and music mogul Jay-Z plays in the background with the lyrics, “Allow me to re-introduce myself, my name is HOV” while the older, blocky, wooden podium with the seal of Arkansas appears in the frame. Next, a more modern and sleek, blue and wooden-paneled lectern with the state seal appears along with the words “My name is Podium.”

The video finishes with a graphic that uses the outline of the podium shape along with the words, “Come and take it.”

Gov. Sanders captioned the video by writing, “My thoughts on the podium…”

Gov. Sanders’ office is under scrutiny for potential violations of state laws following the purchase of a $19,000 lectern. An audit requested by lawmakers has flagged potential legal breaches, and the findings of the audit have been referred to local prosecutors and the attorney general. Pulaski County Prosecutor Will Jones’ office acknowledged receipt of the audit and stated it would be reviewed. 

The audit highlights concerns such as paying for the lectern before its delivery and adding a handwritten note to an invoice. The governor’s office has responded by dismissing the audit’s findings as “deeply flawed” and a “waste of taxpayer resources and time,” asserting that no laws were broken and no fraud was committed.

The audit suggested that Sanders’s office may have engaged in unlawful tampering with public records by inserting the phrase “to be reimbursed” into the initial invoice for the lectern after it was paid for by the state GOP in September. Her office contested this conclusion, referring to handwritten annotations on invoices as “a standard bookkeeping procedure.”

The lectern was bought in June with a state credit card for $19,029.25 from an events company in Virginia. While the Republican Party of Arkansas reimbursed the state for the purchase on September 14, discrepancies regarding the timing of payments and the handling of state property have been noted. Gov. Sanders called the use of the state credit card an accounting error. Her office said it received the purchased podium in August.

The audit alleges that the governor’s office failed to adhere to the procedures specified by state law for disposing of state property.

The audit said,

(Arkansas legislative audit) maintains that the podium and road case remain state property,

In response, Sanders’s office argued that the laws governing purchasing and property are applicable only to state agencies and not constitutional officers. This argument was supported by a nonbinding legal opinion from Republican Attorney General Tim Griffin, which echoed the same interpretation.

In a statement on Monday, Griffin wrote,

I am perplexed to see that a significant portion of Legislative Audit’s analysis rests on the mistaken conclusion that the governor’s office is a ‘state agency’ for the purposes of certain statutes.

In the report, auditors said that they could not determine if the cost of the controversial podium was reasonable. he report said the three out-of-state vendors involved in its purchase did not respond to numerous requests by auditors for information about the lectern, frustrating their efforts.

Breakdowns provided by Beckett Events LLC, the company it was purchased from, show that the overall cost comprised $11,575 for the lectern, a $2,500 consulting fee, and $2,200 for the road case. Additional expenses such as shipping, delivery, and a credit card processing fee were also factored into the total cost.

While Sanders mocked the controversy on social media, taunting her critics with “come and take it,” one social media user was eager to take the governor up on her offer. January 6 defendant Adam Johnson, infamously known as “Lectern Guy” due to the widely circulated video of him casually strolling around the Capitol with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s podium, replied to Sander’s post, writing, “Bet.”

In a separate reply, Johnson posted an edited photo of himself in the Capitol, swapping the controversial Arkansas podium in place of then-Speaker Pelosi’s. He wrote, “I have a particular set of skills.”

In February 2022, Johnson was sentenced to 75 days in prison and a $5,000 fine for his involvement in the January 6 riot. 

The shiny podium in Arkansas has not been seen in use at Sanders’ recent public events. 

 Read More:

‘Second Class Citizenship’: Jan. 6 Defendant ‘Lectern Guy’ on His Former Fed Prosecutor’s Road Rage Trial


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    • Amen, she is keeping Arkansawans safe and I like her ethics and her Laws. She’s a good person looking out for our best interests.

  1. She said she had paid for it herself out of her own pockets why is everyone so damn obsessed with her podium in the first place she bought it & not with the peoples money! if you don’t like her stop with the haunting her. Keep your nose to yourselves I’m sick of hearing about her Podium myself.

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