by Max Brantley
My favorite line, after the usual tax cut mantra that he used in three previous losing races for statewide office:
“We need a Republican governor who will lead our Republican majority legislature to pass reasonable tort reform legislation in order to compete in this coming jobs war,” said Hutchinson.
How quickly we forget:
1) A Republican majority existed in the 2013 legislature.
2) A Republican, Sen. Bryan King, was the pivotal vote in committee to defeat the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce "tort reform" amendment.
3) The most important factor in defeat of tort reform was the dog-in-the-manger tort reform amendment offered by the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association through the good office of Senator Jeremy HUTCHINSON. He's a Republican. He's Asa Hutchinson's nephew. The Hutchinson Trial Lawyer Option sufficiently muddied the waters to delay and ultimately defeat tort reform. (OK by me. I still think injured people should have an avenue for redress of injury in the courts. Asa would prefer that the option be so limited as to be meaningless.) Sounds like some family values instruction are in order at the next Hutchinson family reunion. Then again, a family values talk in that bunch could open up a whole box full of Pandoras.
It is another occasion to note that when Republicans talk about how they've reversed the bad old days of liberal Democratic legislatures that they remember a world much different than I remember. Democratic legislatures gutted workers comp, passed the last tort reform outrage, fought civil rights legislation for decades, legislated religion and otherwise did the generally nonpartisan bidding of the same corporate overlords the Republicans serve.