Twitter reports indicate Republican Tim Griffin's character (or lack of) has come up in the debate being taped for broadcast on AETN. Joyce Elliott, the Democratic candidate for 2nd District Congress, has noted Griffin's listing as a crooked politician on an independent group's bipartisan list of sleazy candidates. His supporters are howling. The Arkansas Republican house organ — the Democrat-Gazette — has decreed that Joyce Elliott should not do this.
Griffin says he should be judged by his campaign this year. I think his past is also relevant. But it's a good time also to mention his promise to me, after a Republican primary debate, that voters would be seeing signs in the general election that he was a candidate with crossover appeal on issues, even in Pulaski County, which gave Rep. Vic Snyder huge margins. No evidence of that yet. He's been religiously disciplined on a simple, hard-right message, with the occasional whine about Joyce Elliott's meanness for bringing up his sordid history. This from the king of slash-and-burn political hatchet men.
He'll really be sobbing to Paul Greenberg now that Elliott has mentioned his role in subverting the Justice Department for Bush administration ends. It's another subject she is forbidden to mention by the DOG rule of speak-no-ill-about-our-friends. (Did I mention that Griffin, as campaign manager for Betty Dickey while on the Arkansas public payroll, shared a past with Greenberg's son, Dan, as a Dickey campaigner? Young Dan Greenberg saw no foul then in reported campaign use of public means for campaign work.)
Griffin, who also worked for Bush during his failed effort to privatize Social Security (just following orders, Griffin says now), now promises to fight to save the Social Security system that Bush wanted to destroy.
Griffin also complains that unions are too much of the focus of education. For demagogues like him, yes. Earth to Timmy: Your congressional district has precisely two — of dozens — school districts in which teachers have union contracts.
Elliott apparently finally heeded the words of a number of Democrats that going out meekly was no way to go out, much less win. Watch it yourself at 7:30 p.m. on AETN.
Griffin's close: If you like what you're getting from Obama-Pelosi don't vote for me. I'd like it a lot better if the Republican filibuster wasn't hampering so many good things. But back to the days of Griffin's boss Bush and his stooges in Congress? Easy call.
NOTE: The North Little Rock chamber will bring the 2nd District candidates — they include a Green Party and independent candidate — together for a forum at noon Oct. 21 at the Bank of the Ozarks conference center, 100 Main Street, North Little Rock.