Former President Bill Clinton is in town today, as you know, for a string of money-raising events for Democratic candidates — Joyce Elliott (2nd District Congress), Carolyn Y. Staley (state rep.), Chad Causey (1st Dist. Congress) and Sen. Blanche Lincoln.
Elliott's campaign, which has been virtually invisible, is closing every bit of the Clinton event to the media. The wisdom of this secrecy escapes me. We can argue about Bill Clinton's continuing voter pull in Arkansas, but I don't think it's arguable that it's better to be photographed with the Big Dog than to let your opponent define you by hanging Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi around your neck at every opportunity.
(Lincoln's event is open, by contrast.)
UPDATE: Clinton stopped to chat with a few reporters gathered outside Elliott's event at the Copper Grill. Jason Tolbert grabbed a good film clip. Clinton's remarks would do well to be passed around to other Democrats — emphasizing positive impacts of stimulus; better financial oversight; better student loan procedures; more control of health insurance companies. He emphasized Sen. Lincoln's importance as Ag chairman and gave her and Elliott ringing endorsements. Elliott has a record of doing things; Tim Griffin has a record of "ethical problems" and wants to go back and "do things that got us in trouble in the first place." Voter "anger, apathy and amnesia" require Dems to "get out and tell our side of the story."
Democratic Party ads a throw-down on Griffin and others in the following news release:
Don’t Let the Republicans Hide the Truth About Their Candidates
This election cycle is turning out to be like many others here in Arkansas. The Republicans are running out their tired old diversionary tactics in a desperate attempt to hide the radical agenda and poor qualifications of their candidates.
The Democratic Party of Arkansas has released a short video illustrating a few of the shortcomings of the candidates that the Republican Party of Arkansas is so proud of.
Two prime examples of the radical right wing agenda of the Republican candidates this fall can be found in the proposals of Republican Congressman John Boozman.
John Boozman supports raising taxes on the vast majority of Arkansans. Radical Republican John Boozman wishes to implement a 23% national sales tax on everything you buy. His claim is that by eliminating income taxes and implementing a 23% national sales tax that people would pay less taxes. The non-partisan and reputable organization FactCheck.org has debunked this claim as false. In fact, the law Boozman co-sponsored would raise taxes on the vast majority of Arkansans while drastically cutting taxes for the wealthy.
John Boozman supports privatizing Social Security. Republican John Boozman wants to run from his record of supporting violent changes to our Social Security system. Boozman supports seriously jeopardizing the security and stability of our Seniors Social Security by throwing money intended for the Social Security retirement fund upon the mercy of a dangerously volatile stock market. Boozman said, “The future of Social Security is dependent on creating a vehicle for private investment…. I believe we must implement President Bush’s proposal to provide younger workers with the opportunity to invest part of their Social Security taxes in personal retirement accounts.” [Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 9/2/01]
Republican nominee Rick Crawford in the First Congressional District would like to have government run like a business. Despite basing his entire campaign around the tenets of fiscal responsibility, Rick Crawford has led a life of financial recklessness and walked away from thousands of dollars of debt. The Arkansas Democrat Gazette has compared Rick Crawford’s relationship to the truth to that of Richard Nixon and encouraged him to, “level with his constituents about his finances-in full and from the start.” It is clear from Rick Crawford’s failure to be forthcoming about his financial history that Arkansans just cannot trust Rick Crawford.
The Arkansas Republican Party has the dubious distinction to have nominated the notorious Karl Rove flunky, Tim Griffin, in the Second Congressional district. Tim Griffin, a noted dirty trickster, has recently been named as one of the Most Crooked Politicians in the nation, by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. That’s right, according to CREW, Republican nominee Tim Griffin, is one of our nations Most Crooked Politicians.
Arkansas voters deserve to know the truth about the bad ideas and bad records of the Republican candidates this fall. The Democratic Party of Arkansas will continue to demand the truth from these candidates and hold them accountable to their records and to their statements.