Arkansas Democrats gathered Saturday night for their annual Jefferson-Jackson Day event. They raised $600,000 and heard former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm expand on the jobs theme candidates Mike Ross and John Burkhalter pushed earlier in the day. Gov. Mike Beebe and other speakers also worked on the theme.
Jobs. Will that message trump another cycle in which rising Republicans remain focused on the foreign black man in the White House, the evils of universal health care and taxes and government and the usual array of social issues?
What do you think?
Democratic Party news release follows. Also a release from Will Bond who injected a note of Democratic style inclusiveness in the course of listing big financial contributors. In the new dissent-intolerant world of the Republican legislative majority, you can bet they WILL be noted. And punished. Or shaken down for greater tribute.
Arkansas Democrats gathered tonight for the annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner held at the State House Convention Center. Special guest speaker and former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm joined Governor Mike Beebe, U.S. Senator Mark Pryor, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, and Democratic Party of Arkansas Chair Will Bond in kicking off the 2014 election cycle with a commitment to re-elect Senator Pryor, hold the governor’s office, take back Congressional seats, and win a majority in the state legislature.
“We are at a pivotal crossroads in our state’s history,” Governor Beebe said. “We can either continue to move Arkansas forward or allow all we’ve worked for to be dismantled.”
Governor Beebe and U.S. Senator Mark Pryor emphasized the need to focus on issues that speak to all Arkansans like creating good-paying jobs and strengthening education.
“We're fighting for Arkansas everyday," said U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor. “Arkansans deserve responsible policies that fix issues rather than push agendas. But some people in Washington believe the way forward is to cut the nation’s bottom line at the expense of her citizens by slashing Social Security, Medicare and Veterans benefits. Join me as I stand up against Washington and special interests in my fight to keep Arkansas strong and secure.”
Former Governor Jennifer Granholm echoed Governor Beebe’s and Senator Pryor’s remarks by congratulating them on creating Arkansas jobs even during difficult economic times. Granholm’s speech focused on growing the American economy in a global world.
Arkansas Democrats congratulated seven award recipients recognized at the ceremony:
Harold Jinks Democratic Man of the Year: Tyler Clark of Fayetteville
Gressie Carnes Democratic Woman of the Year: Jean Wallace of Little Rock
Jeffrey Ledbetter Young Democrat of the Year: Jessica DeLoach Sabin of Little Rock
Ed Fry Democrat of the Year — Vince Insalaco of North Little Rock
Chairman's Heritage Awards: Richard Simmons of Rector, Dawne Benafield Vandiver of Little Rock, and Lamar Davis of Little Rock.
The Jefferson Jackson Dinner is the annual celebration of the Democratic Party of Arkansas’s accomplishments as well as the party’s largest fundraiser. This year’s event was attended by over 1,300 Arkansas Democrats and nearly $600,000 — more than any previous year in the history of the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.
Will Bond release:
Dear fellow Democrat,,
Wow! What a night. Moments ago, the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner came to a close. I walked out of the Statehouse Convention Center beyond ready to rally behind our great candidates. Thank you, Arkansas Democrats and Governor Granholm.
In my remarks to the sold out crowd of Arkansas Democrats, I stressed our need to fight for those who are committed to making sure our future is better than our past. We need to fight for “get it done” Democrats like Senator Mark Pryor who understand that partisan bickering is no foundation on which to build a brighter future.
I am an Arkansas Democrat because I believe in the Golden Rule and that I am my brother’s keeper. I believe we all have an obligation to make sure every child has an opportunity to fulfill their dreams, every family has an opportunity for a brighter future, and that Arkansas is left to the next generation better than we found it.
The 2013 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner was a huge success thanks to our wonderful line up of sponsors, and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank those who have supported us and kept us in the fight.
We at the Democratic Party of Arkansas offer our gratitude to the following:
Governor Mike Beebe
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel
US Senator Mark Pryor
Arkansas Health Care Association
Southland Park Gaming & Racing
Arkansas Hospital Association, Mike Ross for Governor, Arkansas BlueCross BlueShield, EZ Mart, The McLarty Companies, Keil and Goodson Law Firm, and AT&T
Acxiom, Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association, Arkansas Trucking Association, Tyson, Murphy Oil Company, Glazer's, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Hewlett Packard, Oaklawn Racing & Gaming, Windstream, National Air Traffic Controllers Association, Southern States Millwright Regional Council, Rick Fleetwood, Trinity Lighting, and Penny and Commissioner John Burkhalter
Click here for a complete list of our 2013 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner sponsors.
Again, thank you to all of our sponsors, volunteers, and supporters for making this year’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner the best yet. Now let’s turn our enthusiasm into action. On to 2014!
With warmest regards,