by Max Brantley
I wrote earlier about the Koch brothers' high-dollar campaign to buy the Arkansas legislature with a clandestine organization's misleading mass mail attacks. Here's a response piece going out in behalf of state Rep. Jim Nickels.
Senate candidate Eddie Cheatham has also fired back. (Looks like the Koch machine won't be responding to my inquiries for information about the sources of their campaign — reported so far in cookie-cutter mailings in 12 districts — and how it's being spent, a requirement for others in the political arena.)
Last week political mail was delivered into homes from the Americans for Prosperity, a non profit organization operated by Teresa Oelke. The mailer accuses Rep. Eddie Cheatham of raising the cost of living due to having voted for a $1.1 billion fuel tax. In actuality Rep. Cheatham voted to allow the people of Arkansas to decide in the November General Election whether to increase the price of fuel to provide additional funding for state highways, county roads, city streets, bridges and other surface transportation.
“It is a very dangerous situation, especially in an election, where ultra conservatives like Teresa Oelke are spending so much money to ensure that their extreme right wing agenda becomes a reality in Arkansas.” Rep. Cheatham stated.
Rep. Cheatham wasn’t the only Legislative candidate to be targeted. At least 12 other Democratic candidates had the same mailing delivered in their districts. The only change in the mailer was their names, phone numbers and contact information. “It is a shame when people distort the truth in order to impact an election. I hate to see this type
of misleading information being distributed to the voters. Washington DC politics has no place in Arkansas”.
According to Teresa Oelke, head of the Americans for Prosperity organization in Arkansas, the plan is to make independent expenditures in a minimum of 25 Arkansas Legislative races.