Tom Schueck, see "Ethics Watch" post below, announced at the Pollution Control and Ecology Commission meeting this morning that he would not seek re-appointment to the commission. Good news for people who actually care about pollution and the environment. Schueck’s term was set to end on March 29. The commission’s hearing officer, Michael O’Malley, said until he hears something official from the governor’s office, Schueck will still be considered a member of the commission.
I guess this is a first, of sorts, at least for us. It’s the first news story broken on Tumblr (Check out my blog at By the By). A blog I follow, AnthroTV, phoned the news into their blog shortly after the meeting took place. Tumblr allows you to phone-in blog posts. What a wonderful, weird new world.
Schueck was a major campaign contributor to Gov. Mike Beebe and so some feared he might have the ability to win reappointment to the Commission. He and his family gave tens of thousands of dollars to Beebe and the Arkansas Democratic Party. He's been a strong advocate for permitting a coal-burning power plant in Hempstead County though opponents have objected to his participation on account of his business dealings with contractors for the plant. He's also been seen as an obstacle to state regulation of the Lake Maumelle watershed. There, too, he has a business interrest as partner in purchase of a sod farm that owners are now trying to sell to Central Arkanas Water for a significant premium over its purchase price.