by Max Brantley
We put out a paper, or whatever Gov. Huckabee wants to call it, on Tuesdays, so blogging has to take backseat at times. A roundup of info from phone, fax and e-mail in the last few hours of the day:
1) APPEALS COURT JUDGE WENDELL GRIFFEN: The state Judicial Disicipline and Disability Commission has postponed a Nov. 17 probable cause hearing against Griffen to add some more specifics to the case that Griffen has compromised judicial ethics by speaking out on public policy issues. Specifically, it wants to consider if he violated ethical canons by speaking out against the war in Iraq and against discrimination against immigrants and homosexuals. You wouldn't want gay haters to think they couldn't get a fair hearing from Judge Griffen, the commission says. It also wants to investigate him for a guest column published here Oct. 26 about the dangers of a unilateral presidency. Bush might be in his court someday? We could wish.
Griffen complains that he didn't get a chance to object to the postponement before it was decided. Due process went out the window in this case a long time ago. If it hops, it's a kangaroo. A solid number on this commission wants to punish the judge for exercising his right to free speech. The U.S. Supreme Court won't uphold such action, but the commission seems determined to do it anyway. Quite apart from all this is the wisdom of Griffen's penchant for unbridled speech -- though it must be said that it's never been alleged that his utterances have even a remote connection to a case before him. He should be more circumspect. But it is up to voters to punish him if he is not.
2) VOTING SNAFUS: A reader notes that Crawford County is also having vote tabulation problems.
3) SEN. BLANCHE LINCOLN: She announces that she's moved up in seniority on finance and agri committees and regained a seat on the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, a place to work on alternative fuels.
4) DUSTIN MCDANIEL. The rising attorney general announced a transition team chaired by Melissa Moody, his campaign manager. Uncertain which among the other members will wind up with spots on the state payroll and which are just advisers. They include Bob Russell and Randy Massanelli of Sen. Mark Pryor's staff; Sen. Tracy Steele, recently decamped from the M.L. King Commission; outgoing House Speaker Bill Stovall; former Sen. Allen Gordon; lawyers Rick Ramsey and Justin Allen, and Sen. Hank Wilkins.
UPDATE 5) JUNCTION BRIDGE: Bids were due today on the project to turn the old Junction railroad bridge at the foot of Rock Street into a pedestrian link. Bid opening was postponed until Jan. 28. We don't know enough to tell the reader who asked why.
6) POLITICAL JUNKIES. The Clinton School of Public Service will host a rehash of elections 2006 Friday and Saturday morning featuring a host of big names -- Chris Cilizza of the Washington Post's Fix blog; Jeff Greenfield; Charlie Cook; politicians of all sorts; Gov. Mike Huckabee, etc. Media must have credentials. I don't know at this point about public access. Sounds interesting, though. Tell the guv I said hello.