Confirmation reached me in, appropriately enough, South America of the passing of Darrell Glascock, 72, a political consultant and former political candidate in Arkansas, who died Dec. 26 while he was in Bogota, Colombia. A memorial service is scheduled Feb. 2 in Bentley, La., at the United Pentecostal Church.
He burned bright for a time in Arkansas.
On-line biographies provide the outline, if not all the headlines. He worked in the George Wallace campaign for president in 1976 and came to Arkansas soon after to work in a voter identification program for the Republican Party. He then moved into real estate and public relations. He rose to prominence as a PR man in then-Sheriff Tommy Robinson's run for Congress in 1984. He was Robinson's chief of staff during his first term. In 1986, he represented two candidates, both losers, Democrat Jim Wood running for Congress against Rep. Bill Alexander and Frank White, a Republican, making a comeback bid for governor. It was during that race that Glascock challenged Bill Clinton to take a drug test.
He challenged Alexander himself as a Democrat in 1988 and lost. The same for lieutenant governor in 1990. In 1994, he jumped to the Republican side and won nomination for state auditor, but lost to Gus Wingfield. Glascock also turned up in the shady dealings of then-Secretary of State Bill McCuen, who went to prison for taking kickbacks from two people to whom he'd given state jobs. McCuen also admitted at the time to a scheme with Glascock to split profits from a deal to buy American flags for the state. A $53,000 check went to Glascock's account, but was never cashed and the state got its money back. Glascock wasn't charged.
He moved on to Louisiana and was a political consultant, there and in South America.
Glascock tales are many. He sent a sunglasses-wearing impostor to court-ordered traffic safety classes following a DWI arrest Then there was his plot with a state employee to sell videos to raise money for the insurgent Contras in Nicaragua. This, in turn, led to the firing of the state employee by Bill Clinton. That created a longtime foe and a story line in the Clinton chronicles by which dirty tricksters of Glascock's stripe tried to block Clinton's path to the presidency.
Writing a newspaper story on the likes of these invariably led to one of the late-night calls for which Glascock was well-known. But he never seemed to hold a grudge. He viewed, and played, politics as a contact sport.
Back to Ecuador for me.