It was a good week for...
VACATIONS IN THE BIG APPLE. The Clinton National Airport announced that starting in April, there will be a direct American Airlines flight from Little Rock to New York's LaGuardia Airport.
PERSONAL PORK BARRELING. Republican state Rep. Mark Biviano of Searcy was one of only two applicants — and the only one from Arkansas — for a job worth as much as $119,000 a year to head an agency planning for a possible state health insurance exchange. Biviano sponsored the legislation that created the Health Insurance Marketplace Board. His seeking a job he created is a fitting act for a fellow we affectionately know as Bourbon and Bacon Biviano. That's after the name of the Capital Hotel fete Biviano attended shortly before an alleged hit-and-run incident.
It was a bad week for...
TOM COTTON. Another week, more wacko extremism from the Club for Growth's Manchurian candidate. Despite overwhelming bipartisan approval, Cotton pulled the NO lever on a federal spending bill this week, voting against millions of dollars for Arkansas Children's Hospital and tens of millions more for a long list of people and programs in Arkansas, from needy families (we know how Cotton feels about them) to ostensible pet interests (military spending, farm aid).
ANDI DAVIS. The Hot Springs lawyer — who figured in the governor's race when Attorney General Dustin McDaniel dropped out early last year after admitting to an inappropriate relationship with her — was arrested by the Garland County Sheriff's Office on a felony theft of property charge. The charge concerns a $1,500 trailer reportedly found at her house. The sale of items missing along with the trailer on Craigslist led police to the residence.
ARKANSAS DEMOCRATS. Republican extremist John Cooper trounced Democrat Steve Rockwell by more than 1,000 votes in District 21 in Northeast Arkansas in a special election to replace Sen. Paul Bookout, who resigned in the wake of an ethics scandal. The big win in a once-blue district (despite big spending and ads featuring the ever-popular Gov. Mike Beebe) is the latest sign that Arkansas is heading dead red. Special-election results should always be taken with a grain of salt, but it's a bad omen for state Democrats heading into the 2014 election cycle.
THE PRIVATE OPTION. With the election of tea partier Cooper to the Senate last week, taking the place of private-option supporter Bookout, the margin for error in the Senate was reduced to zero. Then this week, Sen. Missy Irvin released a statement that she planned to flip her vote from YES to NO, putting funding for the policy in limbo with the fiscal session approaching.