by Max Brantley
West Memphis bossman Keith Ingram's effort to slash Lt. Gov. Bill Halter's budget and force a reduction of his four-person staff to one failed in the legislature's Joint Personnel Committee this morning. He'd achieved his purpose -- damaged Halter, a potential opponent to Delta queen Blanche Lincoln, with a tarring as a big spender.
PS -- By "damage," I refer to what I presume to be Ingram's aim in this petty exercise, but not necessarily the result. Few but insiders follow the intricacies of schoolyard antics such as these. Most remember Halter for single-handedly inventing the popular state lottery. Halter would say:
Investment in Office of Lieutenant Governor’s Office staff and operations is projected to yield $100 million annually in college scholarships for more than 20,000 Arkansans in the first year alone. I’d call that a solid investment for our state.