by Max Brantley
The line is open:
Early voting continues. And, while I don't want to make too much of it, Republican political consultant Clint Reed's analysis of the numbers shows the Democratic turnout in Arkansas not looking so unenthusiastic. Big numbers in Pulaski, for one thing. Where voters have been identified as to party preference and have turned out to vote, they lean slightly Democratic. These voters constitute a small portion of the early vote, but it's a glimmer of hope for Dems.
This fits with one other piece of potential good news from Democrats on what will still be a very painful season overall. Chad Causey is gaining ground in the 1st District, even ahead in some polls, and questions about Republican Rick Crawford's truthfulness and management skills (incredibly messy campaign finance reports and still-unanswered bankruptcy questions are among the latest) plague him. The Republican surge may hit a firewall in the Delta.
ALSO: Tell me what you think of this. The Log Cabin Democrat reports that a once venerated Vilonia family that handled the gate at high school sporting events got out of jail time for stealing those gate receipts by paying back, so far, $119,000 of the $125,000 they stole. Pretty sweet deal. Get caught in grand theft. Pay the money back and all is forgiven. Oh, there's probation, sure, and some community service. Quoting School Superintendent Frank Mitchell:
“If they had been sent to prison, they probably wouldn’t have spent much time there and we might not have seen much of the money back."