by Max Brantley
In short: Death Star Bob Johnson is BAAAAAACK. And you might as well get used to him. The Bully of Bigelow, though no longer in the legislature, is not only the invisible wizard in current lottery machinations. He also lurks as one of the chamber of commerce insiders' club pre-selected to oversee the office park planned as part of Little Rock's economic slush fund spending from the new half-billion-dollar tax increase.
Come to think of it, former House Speaker Bill Stovall, a contender for lottery director who had the famous Lake Maumelle joust with Johnson and defeated Death Star's effort to degrade water quality, would be an ideal member of the city committees spending and overseeing city tax money. But he's too smart and independent for Mayor Stodola to consider such a thing. To continue this digression from the lottery: It's too late for meaningful diversity on the Little Rock socialized office park committee because it's already been hand-picked without public notice or participation and there's not a grassroots voice to be found on it. It's not too late for that promised spending oversight committee to be more representative of the city it serves, however. I nominate Jim Lynch.