by Max Brantley
Baltimore Sun features a Naval Academy midshipman from Little Rock, Joel Larson, who apparently is the first from the school to swim the English Channel. Your good news of the day.
It's downhill from here. Gunner DeLay plans a news conference to prove Dustin McDaniel hates veterans. The Family Council is putting its fun-filled voter guide at the fingertips of web users. Find out in a nanosecond who's soft on gay marriage. (Is there anyone?)
Note: You have to register to access Family Council information. You can get an idea of where they're coming from from their survey. All questions are on the jump.Noted: the questions provide room for elaboration, not merely a simple yes or not, up to 150 words per question. The printed voter guide still will be issued.
Survey asks where candidates stand on:
A state law banning homosexuals from adopting children.
Eliminating the state sales tax on groceries.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision.
Allowing the children of illegal immigrants to be eligible to receive state-funded college scholarships.
A state-wide lottery.
Allowing student-led, voluntary prayer in public schools.
Enhanced penalties for sex offenses committed against children.
Requiring a supermajority (a two-thirds vote of the Arkansas Legislature) in order to increase the state sales tax.
Requiring at least 65% of all public education dollars to be spent in the classroom rather than on other school services and programs not directly related to classroom instruction.
Requiring all sex education programs offered in public schools to teach only abstinence until marriage.
Abolishing the death penalty.
"Hate-crimes" legislation that provides for enhanced penalties for crimes committed because of a person’s sexual orientation.
State ratification of the proposed federal equal rights amendment to the United States Constitution.
Collecting state sales tax on all purchases made by Arkansans over the Internet.
Merit pay for public school teachers.
Indexing the $20 state income tax credit for dependents to the previous year's rate of inflation.
Removing the state testing requirements for students enrolled in a home school.
Legislation to prevent the Arkansas Activities Association from establishing policies that force private schools to compete in higher athletic divisions than public schools with similar size enrollments.
Strong penalties against pay-day-lender establishments that charge more than the 17% maximum interest rate allowed by the Arkansas Constitution.
Allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
Legislation requiring dry counties to be represented on the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.
Allowing casino gambling in Arkansas.
Increasing state funding for pre-kindergarten programs.
Requiring all health facilities in Arkansas to dispense drugs such as the "morning-after-pill," which are designed to prevent or terminate a pregnancy.
Preventing the advertising of sexually oriented businesses on billboards.
Essay 1. If the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court and states are once again allowed to make their own abortion laws, what type of abortion laws should be passed in Arkansas?
Essay 2. If elected, what type of legislation will you work to enact?
Essay 3. If elected, what will you do to improve public education?
Essay 4. What is your position on the use of publicly-funded vouchers to pay for students to attend private schools?
Essay 5. What should the state government do to lower the crime rate in urban areas?
Essay 6. What should the state government do to reduce the number of divorces in Arkansas?