by Max Brantley
Arkansas Republicans scored a political victory today. A victory's a victory, even if the issue hadn't stirred up much popular alarum. Shane Broadway, a well-liked and capable politico, folded on Gov. Mike Beebe's effort to make him director of Higher Education because they finally couldn't get around Republicans' invocation of the law, which requires the director to have an advanced degree and experience on a college campus. Broadway has neither.
The Arkansas Republican Party (Doyle "Where there's a will there's a" Webb, chairman) couldn't leave it alone. To their credit, Republican Reps. Jane English and Allen Kerr issued calm statements thanking Attorney General Dustin McDaniel for his opinion effectively ratifying Broadway's ineligibility. But, no, calm isn't in the RPA playbook, as evidenced by this nanny-nanny-boo-boo statement from their propaganda minister, Katherine Vasilos:
“The Governor’s failed attempt to circumvent the law with a ‘friends of Beebe’ exception is inexcusable and should serve as a reminder that good old boy politics has no room in state government.”
No room for good old boy politics? How quickly we forget The Hucskter and the OBU Mafia. But let's talk about today. How about good-old-girl Bryant government, where Mayor Jill "Republican" Dabbs ordered a pay increase for herself and City Clerk Heather "Republican" Kizer not allowed by law? Where Republican Dabbs hired Republican Kizer's husband as police chief? Where Republican Dabbs' husband serves on the Saline Quorum Court? Where Republican Dabbs ordered special treatment for her daughter's swim team? Where Republican Dabbs illegally used campaign money for lawsuits? Where Republican Dabbs and Kizer raised money after their election and didn't properly report it? Doyle Webb, the Don of Saline, can't claim he doesn't know about the smell in his own backyard.
Clean thine own house, GOP.
And don't even get me started on the secretary of state's office.