Wednesday night line | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday night line



The midweek line is open. Closing out:

BIVIANO BITCHING: The Republican legislator, shown at Bourbon and Bacon dinner night of his wreck, is unhappy with Searcy alderwoman.
  • BIVIANO BELLYACHING: The Republican legislator, shown at Bourbon and Bacon dinner night of his wreck, is unhappy with Searcy alderman.
* BOURBON, BACON AND BIVIANO BITCHING: I got word today that bumptious Republican Rep. Mark Biviano of Searcy is leaning on a Searcy City Council member because she's told friends she's backing Police Chief Kyle Osborne in his race to unseat Biviano. Alderman Mary Holder-Arnett apparently set Biviano off by remarking in an e-mail that she didn't think Kyle Osborne would leave the scene of an accident. Biviano, you may recall, was accused by witnesses of doing just that after smacking another car as he pulled away from the Bourbon and Bacon Dinner at the Capital Hotel back in April. Biviano wants to chastise Holder-Arnett in public. She says he wants to get on the Council agenda Thursday for the purpose, though he denied that in a terse e-mail to me. Roll videos, somebody, please, should this happen, because Biviano has been famously reticent in answering questions about the affair. And speaking of video: Somebody might want to ask Biviano if he'd prevail on the Capital Hotel to release its security video of the night in question. It should have a direct view of his car hitting the other car and his departure. The person whose car was hit said at the time Biviano left without leaving insurance information, though he took steps to clean things up several days later after the matter hit the newspaper. Biviano's e-mail to the alderman gives you a flavor of the well-smoked lawmaker:

Mrs. Arnett,

It has come to my attention that you are sending emails that include derogatory comments about me. I would ask who you spoke to that provided verification of the allegations you make in the email. Which if you bothered to be responsible you would have found to be false.

As a city council member it is irresponsible of you to make such claims and be ignorant of the facts. I plan on requesting a public meeting where you can explain how you came to your information.

If you are interested in the real facts call me at 230-5751.

Mark Biviano

When she responded she owed him no favors and said if he wanted a public meeting he should invite me and John Brummett, given the thorough news coverage the Biviano car bash engendered, Biviano responded:

Didn't ask for any favors. Just thought you may have a little class. I guess too much to expect.

Biviano, until now, has declined to discuss the "real facts" with many reporters, except to blame the bad publicity on his opposition to health care reform. In other words, the universal Republican excuse: President Obama made me hit that car!


* MORE JINGOISM NEEDED: Fox News. Jeez. Winning an Olympic medal is not enough, competitors must also wear a flag-themed uniform and proclaim American exceptionalism. And vote Republican, presumably. Calling John Prine.

* INSURANCE MAN INDICTED: Steven Alan Standridge, 55, of Mount Ida, formerly head of an independent insurance business, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 12 counts of bank fraud and money laundering. A couple of customers who allegedly participated in his schemes to use loan proceeds from premium policies had waived indictment and entered pleas earlier. Here's the release.

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