Columns » Max Brantley

More endorsements

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With a lot of territory to cover, I'm going to devote my column space this week to the Times' opinion on a few more of the races and issues on the Nov. 4 ballot.

REFERRED QUESTION 1: It would provide state backing for $300 million in bonds for water and other projects. The state Natural Re-sources Commission, which is sponsoring the measure, has been a poor steward of state resources and that record has prompted opposition from the wildlife and environmental community. Us, too. A new state bond obligation in difficult times seems risky. Vote NO.

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 1: It's a noncontroversial measure to strip archaic language from the Constitution and provide more flexibility in the appointment of members to county election commissions. Vote YES.

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 2: It provides for annual sessions of the legislature, including a financial session in even-numbered years. We favor a full-time, professional legislature. This half-measure, an invitation to partisan mischief in election years, isn't the way to do it. Vote NO.

You'll note the main editorial discusses our opposition to religious conservatives' effort to make adoption and foster parenting more diffi-cult. But again: Vote NO on INITIATED ACT 1.

We'll discuss the lottery amendment next week, but here's a preview: You pays your money, you takes your chances.

After the statewide ballot issues, and a walkover for U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor (a protest vote for Green Party candidate Rebekah Kennedy is un-derstandable given Pryor's embrace of Joe Lieberman), our interest is divided among a scattering of other races in Pulaski County.

COUNTY JUDGE: Democratic incumbent Buddy Villines' heart is in the right place on most issues. But his energy, attention to detail and forcefulness have been lacking as the county stumbled through a financial crisis, an inadequate jail and scandal in the comptroller's office. Republican Phil Wyrick has been saying the right thing on Lake Maumelle protection, but his record (a party switch and an ugly campaign for Congress against U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder) doesn't inspire confidence. No recommendation.

COUNTY SHERIFF: Incumbent Sheriff Doc Holladay, who faces token Republican opposition, has been calm and diligent in coping with an underfunded jail. Vote DOC HOLLADAY.

JP, DISTRICT 3. Democrat Kathy Lewison, seeking to return to her old seat, does not lack for energy. Her opponent is term-limited Re-publican legislative furniture Sid Rosenbaum, looking for another public check. Vote KATHY LEWISON.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 38. Democrat John Edwards is a war veteran, rich in political and public service experience, a lawyer and a nice guy. His opponent is Republican Kelly Eichler. As a Huckabee administration staff member, she was an accomplice in his efforts to thwart accountability and the Freedom of Information Act. Vote JOHN EDWARDS.

JUDGESHIPS: The Times endorses CATHI COMPTON for circuit judge on account of her broad experience in civil, criminal and pro bono legal work; and GARY SULLIVAN for judge of the environmental division of Little Rock District Court, a venue in which he has experience. Sullivan's opponent, Mark Leverett, is tainted by involvement in Circuit Judge Willard Proctor's improperly operated Cycle Breakers probation pro-gram. Voters can be comfortable with either HUGH FINKELSTEIN, an experienced prosecutor, or ALICE LIGHTLE, now sitting by appointment in another court, in the race for the criminal division of Little Rock district court.

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