by Max Brantley
The early results in Arkansas were unsettling and don't seem to be improving.
The trend seems strong toward approval of ALL FIVE ballot measures -- a change in constitutional wording, annual sessions of the legislature, a state lottery, a prohibition on adoption by unmarried couples and authorization of $300 million in water bonds.
Think about what I just said: ANNUAL SESSIONS OF THE LEGISLATURE.
The state went early for McCain in network projections, as expected. U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor and the congressmen opposed by Green Party candidates will win. It appears a protest vote around 17 percent is the norm for the Green Party, but they do seem to be cruising to their first legislative seat, Richard Carroll for a NLR House district.
I'm disappointed by approval of annual legislative sesssions, with an utter absence of a campaign in support. The wording of the ballot title was designed to attract support, however, and apparently it did.
I'll be deeply disappointed by the passage of Act 1. As a practical matter, it won't prohibit adoptions by gay people, as the sponsors hoped. As a practical matter, it will limit homes in which needy children can be placed. It will produce a likely successful lawsuit. Gov. Mike Beebe did all he could do. So did many others. The 60-40 margin was nearly uniform across the state. Only Pulaski County, again, stood against an anti-gay measure. Sigh.
UPDATE: But we did have a heckuva good party at Rumba. Huge, happy crowd for a historic, impossible-not-to-cheer moment. And then, maybe I'll hit the Power Ball. Lt. Gov. Bill Halter was kind enough to drop by the blogging table to greet me and Uncle Al Leveritt.