It was a good week for ...
HILLARY CLINTON. She read Eric Carle's classic, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," at a ceremony dedicating the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library and Learning Center in her honor.
HOUSE SPEAKER DAVY CARTER. He was named regional bank president of Centennial Bank, a subsidiary of Home BancShares, which recently purchased Liberty Bankshares, creating the second largest bank holding company in Arkansas. Carter will oversee the acquisition of Liberty. Beats running for governor.
THE FIGHT FOR EQUALITY. Last week we reported on the submission of a proposed constitutional amendment to repeal Amendment 83, which denies marriage equality in Arkansas by preventing people of the same sex from marrying or enjoying any of the similar legal benefits through alternative means, such as a civil union. Now comes announcement of another marriage equality petition drive, called the Arkansas Initiative for Marriage Equality. It points toward a 2016 election. That will be a presidential election year. It does not propose repeal of Amendment 83, but would supersede it with an amendment proposing a straightforward prohibition of banning marriage on account of "sex or sexual orientation."
GRANT TENNILLE. At a news conference organized by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), Tennille, who leads the AEDC, said Arkansas should strike down laws prohibiting same-sex marriage, arguing that embracing equality would lead to more jobs for the state. Meanwhile, the HRC announced poll data that showed that 61 percent of Arkansans under 30 say "everyone should be free to marry who they love."
It was a bad week for ...
HEWLETT-PACKARD EMPLOYEES. The company announced it would lay off 500 people at its Conway call center.
GUN ZEALOTS. In an official opinion, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said the 2013 legislature did not legalize open carry of guns when it endeavored to clean up the definition of what constitutes a "journey" under existing gun law. (The law has always allowed gun owners to carry a weapon on a journey.) The theory had it that the cleanup inadvertently — or maybe by devious intent of sponsor Denny Altes — actually went much further.