The Monday line | Arkansas Blog

The Monday line

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Your comments here. Final notes:

* GOOD INTENTIONS, ROCKY ROAD: Interesting report in The Nation on the unhappy outcome of an effort by the Clinton Foundation to hurry up some classrooms for children in hurricane-devastate Haiti.

* DOGGING AT DILLARD'S: In Indiana, a former Dillard's worker gets a little help in court after being fired for eating a couple of leftover hot dogs from a company picnic. The company is contesting his unemployment payments.

* WALTON MONEY: Another episode, featuring candid bragging about it, of Walton money financing anti-teacher efforts — in Illinois and Colorado, particularly. Walton money is used the same way in Arkansas. They can just buy a whole lot more legislators for a lot less money here.

* NO MORE SLAVERY: The right-wing religionists who cooked up an anti-gay marriage vow for Iowa Republican candidates has scrapped the part that said black families were better off during slavery because they supposedly could stick together as a family.

* TAX VOTE COMING: I'll try to update later on the Little Rock Board's consideration of the tax issue. Maybe the mayor will expain how that $22 million for a "research park" will be spent and produce some documented assurances of transparency in the operation of that research park. Perhaps he'll tell us how the port plans to spend $10 million — for example for whose land at what price under whose appraisal. Or not. He's set his shills to work already with the chamber of commerce line, that spending $32 million now has to be a good thing because we finally got some business at the port 30 years or so after taxpayers built a slackwater harbor that sat idle for decades. I'd rather bond these things independently and with full disclosure, as was done on the slackwater harbor vote, not turn over a $38 million sack of cash to the mayor and the gang of five that runs the city through our undemocratic ward representation process.

* UPDATE: The State Republican Party announced it had filed an ethics complaint against Hudson Hallum, the Democratic candidate for House District 54 in a special election tomorrow, because a faxed copy of his pre-election campaign finance report only included the first page and didn't disclose campaign contributors, expenses or the source of an additional $52,000 loan to his campaign. The complaint is meaningless in the short run, of course, except to get some publicity on behalf of the Republican candidate before tomorrow's election. A spokesman for Hallum says his full campaign report is in the mail to the secretary of state and the faxed sheet was sent just to show the campaign report was en route. Pretty slippery, I have to admit. And I don't think the mailed report will show it was mailed by the July 5 deadline. The Republicans are making a fuss about the use of get-out-the-vote money by old school Delta street operators. It's an odorous practice, if not necessarily illegal. There's nothing to prevent someone from encouraging someone to cast a ballot for a candidate, absentee or otherwise. Filling ballots out for others without their consent is another matter. To date, only suspicions, not evidence, have been voiced about that.

The Democratic Party responded:

“It’s clear the Republican Party of Arkansas has so little confidence in their uninspiring candidate that they are turning to every trick in the book to distract voters from their Party’s platform to benefit the rich and powerful and hurt working Arkansans in East Arkansas. Since the Republican candidate has failed in selling his extremist agenda to the people of East Arkansas, the Republican Party has turned to negative attacks on the voting process in a desperate attempt to divert attention from a lackluster candidate and dangerous ideas.”

* LETTERS FROM PULASKI JAIL: Abdulhakim Muhanmad, whose murder trial for shooting servicemen outside a Little Rock military station begins next week, continues to write letters to journalists. Today, it's a letter to Fox 16's David Goins renouncing his U.S. citizenship. Or trying to. He'll go to trial as scheduled.

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