It was a good week for ...
JEFF LONG. The University of Arkansas Athletic Director was apparently a candidate for an opening at the University of Texas. In response, the UA moved his $900,000 salary to $1.1 million (plus $250,000 in potential incentives) and to gave him a $100,000 bonus, to boot.
A TAX CUT PROPOSAL THE STATE CAN'T AFFORD. Asa Hutchinson, Republican candidate for governor, unveiled a state income tax cut proposal that would cut the top tax rate from 7 percent to 6 percent for those making between $34,000 and $75,000 and cut from 6 percent to 5 percent the top rate for those making $20,400 to $33,999. The average tax cut for someone with $50,000 taxable income would be $300, he said. The state does not have the surplus and sufficient current growth to pay for the proposal.
TOMMY MOLL. The Republican candidate for 4th District Congress got an endorsement from Erick Erickson of the popular conservative website Red State. It probably won't move the needle much in the rural 4th, but it's funny. The endorsement isn't so much a plug for Moll as it is a jab at Moll's primary opponent, Rep. Bruce Westerman. Red State says that Westerman led the fight for adoption of the expansion of Medicaid in Arkansas. That'll come as news to the Republicans who did lead the fight and who were famously accused by Westerman of taking "30 pieces of silver" to do so. But Erickson has it all figured out, quoting none other than Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, currently under double investigation for spending improprieties. Darr, who was going to run for this seat until he got caught with his hand in the state cookie jar, says that the Obamacare expansion wouldn't have happened without Westerman's early support, no matter what happened later.
It was a bad week for...
EXXON. The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration notified the ExxonMobil Pipeline Company that it had found nine probable violations of pipeline safety regulations and proposed $2.6 million in civil penalties.
THE NORTHWOODS SUBDIVISION. Speaking of Exxon, the company demolished a house it recently purchased in the neighborhood where its Pegasus pipeline ruptured March 29. The home was one of three in the subdivision that Exxon and government officials never cleared for re-entry following the spill because of oil under their foundations.