Asa Hutchinson (pictured), thrashed in the race for governor in 2006, is baaack. He's formed a committee to point to elections in -- 2010. Yes, sports fans, you remember correctly. There's an election this year, 2008.
But Asa apparently proposes to undertake oppo research now against Gov. Mike Beebe and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, who'll likely seek re-election then. Many FOI requests are planned.
Well. Some party insiders aren't exactly thrilled about this, or the implicit suggestion in his e-mail (on the jump) that his effort should share credit for a big Republican vote in the recent presidential primary.
"It's three yards and a cloud of dust," said one party insider. "It's a long-term project for small gains."
The point: Beebe and McDaniel rose from the legislature. Doesn't it make sense to focus now on making gains there with strong candidates? It would also be nice for the Republicans to run SOMEBODY for U.S. Senate this year and somebody other than sadsacks like Mayberry and Stumbaugh for congressional seats. Some Republicans see this as a self-interested effort by Hutchinson to re-establish himself as a controller of the party, now that Mike Huckabee has gone off to pursue cable TV stardom.
No harm in preparing for 2010, particularly if you were a party with many robust leaders and lots of money. But there's no time like the present to get politically active and strengthen grassroots.
I am happy to hear that Asa plans to make FOI requests to the governor's office. He may have forgotten that his party's governor took the position that there wasn't a shred of information in that office open to public inspection. Hutchinson is a lawyer. Maybe he'll file the long-needed groundbreaking suit to pour a little sunshine into that office. Then Jim Parsons will have a leg to stand on when he delivers a subpoena to Brenda Turner for The Huckster's records.
PS -- Does this means Asa is running? He says no.
ASA HUTCHINSON E-MAIL FOR THE ASA/2010 COMMITTEE
(Recipients included John Byrd, Amy Gunnett, Andrea Allen, Cory Cox, Jeremy Hutchinson, Jill Cox, John Eddy, Michael Lamourexu, Ted Thomas and Chris Stewart)
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Congratulations to all for a very successful primary! The GOP had a record turnout with over 200,000 voters participating in our primary. Remember the bleak discussions around the table about an expected low turnout with most estimates of about 50,000? The success mostly came as a result of a competitive primary but I think our team should take a little credit for drawing attention to the opportunity and helping to promote its importance. Thanks to all who helped make this effort a win for the Party. By the way, I think Dennis and Karen did a nice job with follow-up media opportunities.
In terms of our next area of work:
1. Next meeting: Let me suggest February 28 at 5 pm at State Party Headquarters. Please advise Amy if this date works and you can make it.
2. In the meantime, Ted has the lead on research on the reports of Dustin McDaniel and I think Jeremy was going to get some other reports. I have a source to pay for copies so if these can be obtained and you can get a group together to review then we can discuss at next meeting.
3. Also, think about FOI requests that should be made on each office. If everyone would give that some thought then we will have that on the agenda.
4. Please think about how we as a group can aid the party and help prepare for 2010!!!!
Thanks for your work and efforts.