Some odds and ends that floated in while I spent the morning with the Legislative Council:
* LIFELINE PHONE SERVICE DEFENDED
: A group that supports the federal Lifeline telephone service
planned a demonstration at U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin's
office today to urge him to reconsider his opposition to the use of cell phones in the program. He's joined others in a disingenuous attack on the low-cost phone service as the "Obamaphone," because some cellular companies have provided free cell phones as a means of delivering the service. Arkansans for Lifeline has a Facebook page
touting the benefits of the service to poor people. An Air Force veteran was part of the demonstration. He said it had been invaluable in his search for work and staying in touch. Griffin has proposed legislation to end cell phone availability under the service. This at a time when more and more people have no landlines. It's a mean idea to deprive poor people of the portability of communications. The cheap phones provided for the service are not luxury items. They are necessities.
* COUNTY JUDGE ANNOUNCEMENT
: JP Wilma Walker,
a former state representative, will announce for Pulaski County judge Wednesday at Philander Smith College. Former legislator Barry Hyde
has already announced.
* YUM. IT'S COON TIME: GILLETT
: It's never too early to be sure you're set for the Gillett Coon Supper,
set Jan. 11 in Gillett. Mitch Berry, son of former Congressman Marion Berry, also has announced the second Pre-Coon Supper Reception before the event to raise money for the Marion and Carolyn Berry Scholarship at Arkansas State University. A pre-supper reception was a tradition begun by the former congressman when he ran for state Senate in 1982. It became a more formal fund-raiser in its own right last year. The reception will start at 3:30 p.m. at the Berry farm shop. Tickets are $40. The supper itself begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Gillett Auditorium, Tickets may be purchased at the door for both events. Sponsorship designations are possible for $500 and $1,000 contributions. Call Ben Noble at 501-772-9473 or Gabe Holmstrom at 479-409-3329.
* YEAH, SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT
: The American Conservative Union has issued its ratings
of the Arkansas legislature. This is valuable. Sort of like an endorsement from the Family Council. 'Nuff said.The Crackpot Union gave perfect scores to: Reps. Nate Bell, Jim Dotson, Justin T. Harris, Debra M. Hobbs, David Meeks, Stephen Meeks, Josh Miller, Richard Womack, Charlotte Vining Douglas, Kim Hammer, Lane Jean, and Bruce Westerman and Sens. Cecile Bledsoe, Jim Hendren, Bart Hester, and Bryan King. Given zeroes are, of course, some of the very best in the legislature.
* DENNIS MILLIGAN: THE MOVIE
: I forgot to claim dibs for the movie rights to the Dennis Milligan
story. I'm referring to this
. Milligan, a Republican candidate for state treasurer, is making a federal case out of a late-night visit to the Capitol by opponent Duncan Baird
and several other leading Republican lights. Somebody beat me to it.