by Max Brantley
The line is open. Final words:gave another tough speech today, urging legislators to make decisions on Medicaid expansion based on facts, not politics. Fat chance, as even he seems to recognize in this comment.
“We’re not going to do this … if Republicans and Democrats don’t agree,” the governor said. In that case, he said, “the other states will do what they want to do … money will be expended and we will be left out, and our hospitals will be left out, and our people will be left out and our tax papers will be left out.”
Beebe then appeared to take a swipe at vocal Republican opponents of Medicaid expansion.
“We’ve got a bunch of people running around here now beating their chests, political, that need to keep their mouth shut, get the facts and then vote their conscience on what is in the best interest of their constituents and their people,” he said.
The governor added that some opponents “are painting themselves into one heck of a corner right now because they’re either going to be put in a posture where they’re going to leave Arkansas out next January, or they are going to have to go backwards from what they’re telling the voters
Republicans naturally claim they are all about facts, irrespective of their four-year JUST SAY NO battle against universal health care.
* THEY'LL SAY ANYTHING: How you like this? Republican Rep. Allen Kerr's latest mailer (at least he paid for it himself) leads off with the claim of how much he's worked with Gov. Mike Beebe. Would that like be when he raised hell about Shane Broadway leading the Higher Education Department, to name another Democrat popular in Pulaski County? Or when he opposed a federal grant to implement the federal health care law. Or when he and his party ripped Beebe personally on account of administration who'd availed themselves of the (legal) ability to retire and then reclaim regular state jobs? Democrat Barbara Graves is apparently getting to Kerr. As she should.
* YET ANOTHER SHADOW REPUBLICAN GROUP: I wrote the other day about yet another Republican-leaning interest group, A+ Arkansas, led by noted Fayetteville book banner Laurie Lee (nee Masterson). Her group is funded by the Walton/Stephens/Murphy/Hussman charter school junta and I figured her current bus tour was just setting the table for the Walton run on public school takeover at the January legislature. Now I learn, coincidentally, that the inimitable Ms. Lee happens to be taking her tour, as Kochhead Teresa Oelke's AFP bus tour did, to districts where Republicans hope to unseat Democratic legislators. Coincidence? Maybe. Is it coincidence that a Republican candidate was invited to this event in one hot district, but not the Democrat? Shame on you Luke Gordy if this little thing is just another Walton-financed political trick.
* NO EXIT POLLING: AP and the networks won't do exit polling in all 50 states election night. Save money. And, for some states, like Arkansas, why bother? Our electoral votes aren't likely to hang in the balance.
* ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has rejected expansion of Medicaid spending in his state and his budget slashing is having the expected dire consequences. Here, it's still deeper cuts in the Louisiana hospital system that serves the poor and uninsured. Welcome to the brave new Red Tide. What would the Kingfish say? Coming soon to an Arkansas hospital near you if the Kochs win control of the legislature with their stooges.
* KARL ROVE, GO HOME: He may not have much money, but 2nd District Democratic candidate Herb Rule is doing some good news release punching of opponent Republican Rep. Tim Griffin. Witness a news release today:
Democratic Congressional candidate Herb Rule said Tim Griffin’s old D.C. political mentor, Karl Rove, should mind his own business. But, Rove is always ready to sell his ‘slash and burn’ politics, as his closed door speech to Stephens’ CEO summit at the Capital Hotel, Thursday night shows.
“Let Arkansas be,” Rule said. “Hasn’t Rove done enough already to Arkansas by advancing the career of his sidekick Griffin?” The Bush administration questioned whether U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins was partisan enough. Rove is the one who got Cummins kicked out as our U.S. Attorney to hand Griffin the job.
It didn’t work. When Sen. Pryor raised red flags and the House began to investigate the nationwide purge of U.S. Attorneys during the Bush administration, Griffin resigned in tears, saying “public service isn’t worth it.”
It didn’t take Griffin long to change his mind. Only two years later, Griffin used his 5 months as “Acting” U.S. Attorney as a stepping stone to run for Congress.
Rule said, “Arkansas has had enough of the blinders-on, take-no-prisoners partisanship of Griffin and Rove. The Bush years were bad for America; Rove should stay out of Arkansas’ affairs; and Griffin should just go. They are outsiders in our state; don’t care about it; and aren’t here to do Arkansans any good.“
Rule added, “I want to work with all sides, for all Arkansans, not just the 47% that Griffin ignores.”