The National Federation of Independent Business
is essentially a Republican front group that masquerades as a champion of small business while pushing the anti-tax, anti-regulation interests of its huge corporate sponsors. I mostly ignore their endorsements because they amount to the Republican Party endorsing a Republican.
But I can't resist noting Republican Rep. Andy Davis'
proud Tweet of his endorsement by NFIB for his "100% percent small business voting record."
Depends on where you sit. I'm a small businessman, investor in a publishing company. I believe in environmental protection. I also believe in legislative ethics. I'm not enamored of politicians who use their public positions to feather their own nests.
Andy Davis, on these important points, has a 0 percent voting record, never mind his support for unequal tax policies and a raft of other votes contrary to many of my other business interests.
Davis has been cited 21 times in three years by the Department of Environmental Quality
for releasing contaminated water at sewage treatment facilities operated by his New Water Systems. He acknowledges it in the letter below.
His legislative work has mostly been about laws affecting his own business.
He sponsored, among others, HB 1795 to amend the sewage disposal act; HB 1688 to assist in collection of delinquent sewer utility bills; HB 1796 to amend the waste disposal system act, and HB 2231 to require a "certificate of merit" as a condition of filing a damage suit against a registered engineer. Davis is an engineer. This bill, which fortunately got killed, was an engineer protection act. I I have my doubts about the constitutionality of legislation attempting to set rules for civil courts in Arkansas, generally the exclusive province of the Supreme Court.
It gets worse. Davis was responsible for the Act 954 that wrecked
Arkansas water quality permitting. Everybody warned Davis that it would lose control of permitting to the EPA if he persisted, but he pushed the bill through anyway. Don't forget to credit David Sanders on this, too. When the inevitable happened, it. had to be redone a few months later.
Davis is, effectively, paid by taxpayers to be an in-chamber lobbyist for his private business interests. Knowing the NFIB as I do, I can understand why they admire Davis. But they DO NOT speak for all businesses, particularly those who'd prefer not to draw drinking water from supplies polluted by ineffective waste treatment systems or would like to have a course of retribution when engineers screw up.
I should mention that there's a good Democratic candidate in this race — Clea Hupp
. But the race is in the Republican precincts of western Little Rock and beyond, so it's an uphill fight.