It was a good week for...
DAWNE VANDIVER. Gov. Mike Beebe named Vandiver, executive director of the Democratic Party, to a seat on the Arkansas Parole Board, a position that pays $84,000 a year. She replaces Carolyn Robinson of Brinkley, who succeeded her husband, former Pulaski County Sheriff Tommy Robinson, in a term that runs through 2020.
ROBERT MOORE. The former Alcohol Beverage Control director and former House speaker was named to the powerful Arkansas Highway Commission.
CHARTER SCHOOLS. Federal Judge D. Price Marshall held that the state's approval of open enrollment charter schools in Pulaski County didn't constitute a breach of its 1989 promise to not contribute to segregation in the county. Marshall also denied the state's motion to be dismissed from all obligations under the 1989 settlement of the Pulaski County school desegregation case. Meanwhile, Rep. Mark Biviano (R-Searcy), with a gangload of co-sponsors, introduced a bill that would strip oversight of charter schools from the state Board of Education in favor of a newly created charter school commission.
ETHICS. Sen. Bruce Maloch (D-Magnolia) and Rep. Warwick Sabin (D-Little Rock) have co-sponsored an amendment that would end the spending of campaign money on other political campaigns, by terming expenditures on tickets to campaign fund-raisers a prohibited personal expenditure.
U.S. REP. STEVE WOMACK. He was appointed to the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees defense spending, a coveted position for which he had openly jockeyed for months. The appointment means he's not likely to seek the Republican nomination for Arkansas governor in 2014.
It was a bad week for...
EQUITY IN PUBLIC EDUCATION. Unsurprisingly, the Arkansas Supreme Court denied a rehearing in the split-decision, hotly debated school funding case that allows some lucky school districts to keep funds in excess of the 25-mill property tax rate the state requires school districts to levy in order to adequately fund public education. The legislature could rebalance the funding inequity, but isn't likely to.
MIKE HESTERLY. The Ouachita County judge was charged with one count of bribery and one count of conspiracy to defraud an agency of the United States — federal charges — in a tornado cleanup scheme. Hesterly has entered a not guilty plea.