Home-grown media blitz
Brent Bumpers, son of former U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers, convened a “Who’s Who” list of Democratic politicos at Doe’s Eat Place on Oct. 1 to raise money for an independent media campaign supporting John Kerry’s presidential bid.
According to an e-mail Bumpers sent to friends after the meeting, he was motivated to launch the effort because the Kerry campaign indicated it wouldn’t spend a meaningful amount of money on Arkansas media this year.
“We Arkansans, however, are not willing to ‘roll over’ and concede the state — nor is the Kerry campaign — and our mission and intent is to do everything within our power to carry Arkansas for John Kerry,” Bumpers wrote. “Consequently, we have organized a committee to raise as much money as we can, over a short period of time, for Arkansas media.”
Bumpers added that a “very impressive” amount of money was collected at the lunch meeting.
The radio spots will feature Sen. Bumpers, Gen. Wesley Clark and former U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, Brent Bumpers says. In 60-second spots, they’ll urge Arkansans to vote for John Kerry, and explain “why it is so important to do so.”
Bumpers said the group will also try to run ads in weeklies throughout the state, if enough money is raised.
Others at the Doe’s gathering were Brent Baber, Bill Bowen, Bill Brady, Richard and Sheila Bronfman, Dale Bumpers, Rose Crane, Jason Files, Jimmie Lou Fisher, Ann Gilbert, Cal and Brownie Ledbetter, Sam Ledbetter, Walter May, Bruce McMath, state Democratic Party Chairman Ron Oliver, former U.S. Sen. David and Barbara Pryor, Lindsey Pryor, Rosi Smith and Bill Trice.
Other supporters include Graham Catlett, Beadle Moore, Gail Goodrum, Doug Buford, Johnny Goodson, Jim Penick, Ark Monroe, Ken McRae and Cathi Compton.
Speech loses round 1
Two Greenwood High School honor students have lost the first skirmish in their court battle over whether their school has the right to punish them for content they posted on websites created outside school.
A federal magistrate in Fort Smith recommended Sept. 28 that the presiding district judge deny a preliminary injunction to allow students Justin Neal and Ryan Kuhl to make up work they missed while on suspension and to resume posting to their websites.
The district judge will most likely follow the magistrate’s recommendation, but the boys’ lawyer, Chip Sexton, said he’ll file a motion soon for a summary judgment in their favor — meaning the judge would issue a permanent injunction against the district without holding a trial.
While some John Kerry supporters say they can’t get Kerry yard signs, others say they can’t keep the ones they had. Al Janssen of the Pleasant Heights subdivision called to say that late last Saturday night or early Sunday morning, someone stole every Democratic yard sign in the Pleasant Heights, Hillsborough and Belle Pointe subdivisions in west Little Rock — Kerry signs, Snyder signs, Lincoln signs, etc. Janssen has his suspicions about who’s responsible. “It looks like the young Republicans made a clean sweep,” he said. He said the thefts had been reported to the police.