Halter to Holt: Is Asa! a socialist? | Arkansas Blog

Halter to Holt: Is Asa! a socialist?

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On Tuesday, Republican lieutenant governor candidate Jim Holt put his Democratic opponent, Bill Halter, on the spot to clarify his position on gay foster parenting.

Halter today returns the favor by asking Holt if he thinks Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson is a socialist.

Today the Bill Halter for Lt. Governor Campaign asked two very simple questions of Jim Holt:  Is Asa Hutchinson a Socialist for supporting the basic concept of a minimum wage?  Is Asa Hutchinson a Socialist for his recent support of increasing the state’s minimum wage?

"Jim Holt’s belief that even having a minimum wage is like Soviet-style Socialism raises a very basic question.  Since Asa Hutchinson now supports the state’s increase in the minimum wage, does Jim Holt believe that Asa is a Socialist," asked Bud Jackson, campaign spokesperson. "Now it’s time for Holt to give us his true opinion of Asa Hutchinson and his recent support for increasing the minimum wage."

Read the whole press release after the jump.

Jim Holt to Asa Hutchinson: You Might Be a Socialist If…

(Little Rock) – Today the Bill Halter for Lt. Governor Campaign asked two very simple questions of Jim Holt:  Is Asa Hutchinson a Socialist for supporting the basic concept of a minimum wage?  Is Asa Hutchinson a Socialist for his recent support of increasing the state’s minimum wage?

“Jim Holt’s belief that even having a minimum wage is like Soviet-style Socialism raises a very basic question.  Since Asa Hutchinson now supports the state’s increase in the minimum wage, does Jim Holt believe that Asa is a Socialist,” asked Bud Jackson, campaign spokesperson. “Now it’s time for Holt to give us his true opinion of Asa Hutchinson and his recent support for increasing the minimum wage.”

During a special session earlier this year, Jim Holt was the only State Senator to vote against increasing the state’s minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.25 an hour.  [SB 11, 1st Special Session of the 85th General Assembly]  Holt’s disregard for Arkansas’s working families was even more evident when he was asked about the minimum wage in June:

“I was an analyst of the Soviet Union [at the National Security Agency] and I know socialism when I see it. Our children are not wards of the state. Taking children from their parents and setting a minimum wage is what the Soviets did,” said Jim Holt. [Springdale Morning News, 6/9/05]

Jim Holt recently said he wants a debate about the minimum wage:  Holt said if he gets into a debate over the minimum wage with Bill Halter of North Little Rock, “I’ll whip him every time.”” [Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 7/2/06]

“The only thing Jim Holt seems to be whipping is Arkansas’s working families. He talks about helping Arkansas’s families, but his record doesn’t match his rhetoric.  Holt is all talk and no action when it comes to being on the side of working families.  Maybe that is why the Arkansas Democrat Gazette named him to their “Top Ten Worst Legislators” list every time he was eligible,” said Bud Jackson.  [AR Democrat-Gazette, 5/6/01 5/25/03, 5/15/05]

Raising the minimum wage will improve the lives of roughly 127,000 Arkansas workers and their families.  Of those 127,000 workers, that represent 12% of Arkansas’s workforce, over 80% are over the age of 20, dispelling the myth that increasing the minimum wage only benefits teenage workers. [Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, “Paychecks and Politics”, December 2005]

Holt has previously and incorrectly argued that increasing the minimum wage harms businesses.  According to Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, a non-profit, non-partisan child advocacy organization this is an inaccurate belief:  “Recent data and research all indicate that increasing the minimum wage will harm neither small businesses nor their workers. In fact, research shows employers are able to absorb some of the cost of the minimum wage increase through higher productivity, lower recruiting and training costs, decreased absenteeism, and increased worker morale.”  [Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, “Paychecks and Politics”, December 2005]

Increasing the minimum wage has received support from leaders of some of America’s largest companies.  For example, the CEO of the Wal-Mart Corporation, H. Lee Scott, supports an increase in the minimum wage: “The U.S. minimum wage of $5.15 an hour has not been raised in nearly a decade and we believe it is out of date with the times…we simply believe it is time for Congress to take a responsible look at the minimum wage.” [Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, “Paychecks and Politics”, December 2005]

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