by Max Brantley
The line is open. Final words:
* LAW AND ORDER: James Ward of Alexander is running for Saline County sheriff as a Republican. His Facebook tells his Tea Party style story. Secure Arkansas. Conservative Republican. Bible believer. Fan of Class 3 weapons. But what about state tax law? Well. In 2011, according to Saline circuit court records, the state of Arkansas has filed nine tax liens against Cop Security Systems of Alexander, for unpaid sales and use tax or withholding (roughly $200 to almost $1,500 each.) Ward's Facebook page identifies himself as owner/operator of Cop Security Systems. I sent him a note and left a phone message asking if he could explain, but have received no response.
The current Saline sheriff, Bruce Pennington, is now a Republican, having switched parties earlier in the year. UPDATE: on the jump, an e-mailed response from James Ward.
* MISSING LINKS: Interesting report on study of a field of dinosaur tracks found in Southwest Arkansas. No reports yet of any tracks found of the dinosaurs' herders. But what kind of scientists are these anyway? They claim these tracks are 120 million years old, which is about 119,994,000 more years than possible.
* WAS WAR WORTH IT? Good question for the four or so congressional candidates who've seen duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. Was it worth it? This poll finds only a third of those who joined after 9/11 think the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were worth fighting. About half think the war in Afghanistan alone was worth it.
* CONDI BACK TO BLYTHEVILLE: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will make a return trip to Blytheville Nov. 4 as part of a book promotion tour. She'll speak at 6 p.m. at the Ritz Civic Center as part of the "Stardust on Blytheville" series.
* SAYONARA SARAH: Sarah Palin apparently has released a statement to a third-string right-wing pundit that she won't be running for president. Sarah who?
* STEVE JOBS IS DEAD: What else is there to say?
EMAIL FROM JAMES WARD
First and foremost the issue was brought to my attention last week via letter from the state. Our office had attempted to pay taxes due on time but kept getting an error message from our computer software that read "Your existing credit with the Little Rock Division of taxation is sufficient to pay your sales tax due. A check will not be written to this vendor(s)." (I included a snapshot of the screen so you can see the message in question...see attachment).
We have been in contact with the state and hand wrote a check to satisfy the amount due for the tax period in question until we have had time to examine and make sure we have not overpaid the taxes in question as the screen
message indicates. We have had two instances in 14 years where we have had to talk with a tax agency regarding a tax payment.
I asked why the problem dated back more than a year. He responded:
To my knowledge the problem with our software began in or around January and we had to issue other hand written checks this year. We have been back and forth with the software vendor (India I think) who tells us that we have an overpayment issue but we can't seem to make it go away to free our system up again. We think it occurred sometime when our software went to the vendors server for online access because they had to compact our data files. We also get jumbled numbers to the tune of 20 or so pages on every report we print. None of our customers info or billing has been affected by all of this thankfully but it is very aggravating to say the least.