by Max Brantley
Here's an open line. I'll undoubtedly come back for some election night posts as events and spirits move. Final words for now:
* NOT SO BON VOYAGE: You might have heard about a US Airways plane en route from France to Charlotte that was diverted to a landing in Maine with militry escort because a woman claimed to have some sort of surgically device implanted in her. Nothing untoward happened except the hassle and the woman was arrested. Some Lyon College students apparently were among those heading home from a two-week European trip. Zut alors!
* COOKING WITH GAS: Yes, Sheffield Nelson tells me, the proponents of the gas severance tax increase (to 7 percent from the current 5 percent) were gathering signatures on their petitions at 125 to 130 polling places, with a mixture of volunteer and paid workers. He said the group had intentionally chosen some polling places that might get less attention from petition gatherers, which explains their absence from some well-known high-turnout Little Rock polls, such as my poll at Pulaski Heights Presbyterian. Nelson said the Arkansas Municipal League remains on board with the effort, which adds heft to their effort. Opponents of the tax have spent more than $1 million so far and had a heavy run of media efforts to discourage signatures. Nelson said he couldn't estimate signatures gathered so far.