by Max Brantley
Something called the Arkansas Tea Party (do they represent 10, 100, 1,000 people?) claims to have endorsed Beth Anne Rankin, the deer-in-the-headlights Republican candidate for 4th District Congress. Mike Ross, schooled as Bill Clinton's driver, has responded with disproportionate force (on the jump) to this minor irritant.
But I'm with Mike on this one. As he more or less indicates, no need to worry whether he's a Democrat, in the classical sense. He or Beth Anne, it's all about the same. I bet he's a better skeet shooter. But if you want a Bible-thumping, rich folk-loving, gay hating, gun waving, regressive-tax-worshipping candidate, either one will do. Rankin might even be young enough to be educable.
MIKE ROSS NEWS RELEASE
HOT SPRINGS, ARK. — The Mike Ross for Congress campaign issued the following statement in response to Arkansas TEA Party’s endorsement of Beth Anne Rankin.
Statement by Brad Howard, Mike Ross for Congress Committee Spokesman:
“When folks say Mike Ross voted with his party 90+ percent of the time, they’re using an inflated number that includes procedural votes, such as quorum calls and motions to adjourn, recess or to approve the congressional record. The reality is Mike Ross continues to be ranked as one of the most centrist or independent members of Congress. He voted against health care reform, voted against cap-and-trade and voted against the financial reform overhaul. Mike Ross is proud to be in the middle, which demonstrates he doesn’t vote with the extremes of either party. Instead, he carefully considers each issue and votes for the people of Arkansas.
“The health care bill that went through Mike Ross’ committee never became law and it passed by three votes — 31 to 28 — so there was no ‘deciding vote.’ Mike was successful in slowing the process down, delaying the initial House vote by four months, a final vote by eight months and successfully led the fight to eliminate the government-run public option based on Medicare rates. What matters is that Mike Ross voted no on the House health care bill, voted no on the Senate health care bill and voted no on the health care reconciliation package because they were too big, too costly and weren’t right for Arkansas.
“Miss Rankin talks a good game about wanting to cut spending, but Mike Ross is the only candidate in this race who has introduced a detailed plan to cut spending and reduce our deficits, including a balanced budget constitutional amendment he has already sponsored. He’s also the only candidate to lay out his vision on how to create more jobs in Arkansas, which includes lower taxes and more support for small businesses. Our state and nation are facing serious challenges and we need serious leaders to find solutions and fight for Arkansas families — that’s why Mike Ross is running.