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Best worst

Jason Rapert's crusades are AT readers' pick for best misuse of taxpayer funds.

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DEEP THOUGHTS: State Sen. Jason Rapert ponders the next unconstitutional piece of legislation he will introduce.
  • DEEP THOUGHTS: State Sen. Jason Rapert ponders the next unconstitutional piece of legislation he will introduce.

You know, if you tied us to a chair and beat us with a rubber hose, we'd have to admit eventually that we kind of admire Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway). Not for his troglodyte views, or his constant status as Team Baptistaliban MVP. Not for his persistent martyr complex or talent for fire-and-brimstone hyperbole. No, it's really more the way a researcher in some triple-hermetically-sealed lab at the Centers for Disease Control might admire the Ebola virus: as a life form that seemingly exists solely to extend the depth of human confusion and misery, and is pretty damn good at it. When readers voted Rapert their pick for Best Misuse of Taxpayer Funds, they weren't just being facetious. He really is costing all of us money. Take the Rapert-championed ban that forbids abortion after 12 weeks of gestation. With the recent award of court costs to plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging the ban — $27,060 in attorney fees and $1,375 in costs — and federal Judge Susan Webber Wright's earlier order that the state pay $69,000 in fees and costs for predictably losing the case in district court, Rapert is getting close to costing the taxpayers of Arkansas $100,000 on that boondoggle alone. That's enough to hire a couple of teachers, which appear to be sorely needed in Rapert's district. Will Rapert (abetted by Attorney General Leslie Rutledge) insist the fight for the 12-week ban go on, along with his unwavering support for the Ten Commandments "monument" on the state Capitol lawn, and his bugling for the state's county clerks to resist LGBT marriage to the bitter end? Does a bear shit in the woods? When God is purportedly telling a guy like Rapert that he's right, winning is worth any amount of worldly treasure — especially if it comes from somebody else's pocket.

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