by Max Brantley
Jim Lagrone, the latest Republibaptist preacher who wants to be governor and who hopes to begin his path to the office this year as secretary of state, has had a growing credibiity gap on voting issues and it widened to a chasm today.
The Democrat-Gazette reported in detail on a misrepresentation we alluded to earlier in the week. He's been saying that Democratic incumbent Secretary of State Charlie Daniels was to blame for the failure of his son to get his vote counted while serving in Iraq. His son was duly sent his ballot. We'll never know if he properly posted it, though he says he did. Its failure to be counted, in any case, was no fault of Daniels.
But it gets better. The D-G reports today that Lagrone's son wasn't in Iraq at all at the time. He was in Mississippi. First Lagrone said he didn't remember claiming otherwise. Then he blamed the dishonest news release on a "miscommunication." His son volunteered, unhelpfully, that, well, it was a heckuva sound bite. And it was uncorrected as newspapers all over the state repeated the lie.
It is a time for use of the harsh word. This was a lie by the campaign. And unless Lagrone doesn't read his own news releases, he knew it was a lie. And unless he doesn't read newspapers, he knew it was a lie. He's managed to make Charlie Daniels look good. Not an easy task.
Following is the link to the D-G story to copy and paste into your browser. I can't put in a hyperlinkbecause the newspaper re-directs our links to their subscriber-only webpage. For whatever reason, it gives free access to its www.nwanews.com, which serves Northwest Arkansas. The link to the Lagrone story:
UPDATE: Lagrone called. He said: "I have no defense. I messed up. I made a mistake." He insists he did not intentionally mislead.