The midweek line | Arkansas Blog

The midweek line



I'm done. You're on. Finishing up:

* CARJACKING/SHOOTING: Police are investigating two potentially related violent crimes this afternoon. It began, Channel 4 reports, with the theft of a car in MacArthur Park about 1 p.m. Police believe the car was driven to Sweet Home, where a 34-year-old man was shot in the head while working on his car. He survived the shooting.

* TURDBLOSSOM ALERT: Spotted on an incoming flight from Atlanta to Little Rock today — Karl Rove. Coming to visit his fair-haired acolyte, Tim Griffin? Bearing bags of money for Arkansas legislative takeover purposes? That's him, checking his phone, at the baggage carousel in Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport. UPDATE: I understand he's in town for the big off-the-record Stephens Inc. CEO summit, which will fill the Capital Hotel with 1 percenters. The Capital Bar scene tonight watching the presidential debate might be interesting if the public has access.

* REPUBLICAN LEAVES FAULKNER QUORUM COURT: Well, I got my answer today more or less. I'd been writing Republican JP Mark Bailey of Faulkner County to ask about reports that he used a vacant mobile home lot as his address for qualification to serve on the Quorum Court and had been quoted as saying he had attorney general advice supporting him. I was curious about the legal opinion that said such a thing. He never responded, despite three attempts. But .... the Log Cabin Democrat reports that he's resigned from the QC and urged voters to vote for his Green Party opponent, though his name will remain on the ballot. It has come to his attention, Bailey wrote, that he does not meet residency requirements.

* TAX EVASION INDICTMENT: A 69-year-old Little Rock man has been indicted for underrporting income for three years, as little as zero in a year when he made $400,000, according to the news release.

* HOGS AND HUCKSTERING: The Arkansas Republican Party is throwing a "Red Zone" political rally at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. It's a tie-in with the Razorback football game. That could be a bummer. And speaking of bummers: The keynote speaker is a tax fugitive from Florida, fellow named Mike Huckabee. Maybe he could talk about how good things were back when he was raising taxes by record amounts as Arkansas governor.


* FACTS? WHO NEEDS FACTS? I Jason Rapert has pulled out every misdirection trick in the book to beat Rep. Linda Tyler in a Senate seat in Faulkner County, including accepting the secret financial advertising support of a group that won't disclose its sources of money or how it's spent. So it's not surprising that he touts inaccurately a record of fiscal responsibility blended with support for education institutions. His tout omits the inconvenient fact that he cast votes on two occasions against the Revenue Stabilization Act, which balances the state budget. Hardly matters if he was making a political point of one sort or another. What matters is that this bill is the organic budgeting law. Without it, the budget doesn't function at all, much less in a balanced checkbook kind of way. Said Tyler:

“I’m glad that my opponent voted, as I did, for the idea of increasing education funding in Arkansas, but I am terribly disheartened that Jason Rapert voted against actually funding public education, higher education, economic development efforts, and other priorities,” Tyler said. “That’s not the kind of Senator we need representing Faulkner and Perry counties.”

Tyler continued, “When it comes to legislating, I take my cues from the biblical verse James 2:18, ‘Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.’”

* FACTS? WHO NEEDS FACTS? II Another secretive interest group has gone into the field buying advertising to defeat Democratic candidates, such as Rep. Tiffany Rogers of Stuttgart. This is the Arkansas Faith and Freedom group, headed locally by Sen. Gilbert Baker, but nationally a tool to use fundamentalist voters wielded by slimeball lobbyist Ralph Reed. Among others, they love to whip up anti-abortion frenzy. It apparently works even in Arkansas, which has constitutional and statutory limitations on abortion stricter than many states. Rogers is running against one of the few politically sane Republicans, a likable guy named Jonathan Dismang. Dismang will slip up on occasion and reveal a note of responsibility on fiscal matters. But here's the ugly truth about Dismang and the handful of other sane Republicans:

The Faith and Freedom cabal and Koch and other shadowy interest groups wouldn't be backing these candidates if they didn't expect them to vote DOWN THE LINE on their extremist and corporatist agendas. Doesn't matter what Dismang thinks. He'll vote with the extremist lobby to make abortion de facto illegal in Arkansas (criminal, if possible, for doctor and patient). The group won't stop until it shuts down organizations that provide family planning, birth control pills and women's health services. Dismang must vote with them or they'll primary him and beat him with the same kind of crap they are throwing on the wall against Tiffany Rogers and other Democrats. Control by secretive extremist groups or not? You vote. You decide. Whatever you do, don't go to the polls thinking Republicans who claim to believe in accountability are talking about more reporting on the finances of the outside groups spending millions to elect them. When a Republican like Dismang disavows one of these groups and demands they leave his district, I'll see it differently.

* FACTS? WHO NEEDS FACTS? III More mailers out from 60 Plus, another shadowy conservative Republican interest group that is working in league with the Koch's Americans for Prosperity to elect a Republican majority in Arkansas. Who are they? How much are they spending? Where is it being spent? These lowlifes won't say. But if there's any doubt that their dishonest mailers (the legislators they attack did NOT vote to raise taxes) are cookie cutter stuff, note the screwup on one that came out today. J. Wells? J. Hoyt? Who cares?They're Democrats and must be beaten if the rich are to have their low taxes and low regulation. (Naturally, the Huckster is on the 60 Plus bus.)


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