Obama all the time
During his prepared remarks in a press conference in Little Rock on Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton managed to say President Obama's name 14 times in four minutes. That's his campaign in a nutshell: Obama and Obamacare are destroying America. Asked in the press conference about a proposed increase of the state's minimum wage, Cotton declined to answer, instead pivoting to Obamacare bashing. Asked whether he supported Arkansas's private option, which has been billed as a conservative response to Obamacare by many state Republicans, Cotton declined to take a position, instead using his response to — you guessed it — bash Obamacare.
The Arkansas General Assembly appeared poised, at our print deadline, to pass legislation in a special session that will prohibit the Arkansas lottery from offering video-monitor games until at least March 2015, a sunset provision that will allow the legislature to consider the issue more fully during the next regular session. Many opponents of the lottery expansion cited morals. But the true force behind this legislation is Oaklawn, the Hot Springs racino that doesn't want any competition. As the vote tallies come in, we'll be on hypocrite watch, ready with a list of all of those legislators who voted to dramatically expand Oaklawn's gambling options in 2013. Follow along at arktimes.com/hypocrite.
Cheers for Hillary, jeers for Rhoda
Future president Hillary Clinton visited Little Rock last week to sign copies of her new book at Walmart. She was greeted by hundreds of admirers who waited in line for hours.
A few days earlier, Johnny Rhoda, the 2nd District Republican chairman, resigned his party position after his widely quoted remark that Hillary Clinton would "probably get shot at the state line" if she ran for president.
Rhoda, a church pastor and insurance agent, said later that he didn't mean the remark in a threatening way and that it had been quoted "out of context" and "blown out of proportion." David Catanese, the reporter who took down the quote, scoffed at Rhoda's characterization that the remark was out of context.
The official response from state Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb? "[A]lthough [Rhoda] feels he was taken out of context, he knows that his statements have created an unnecessary distraction from the important issues before the State today." Talk of shooting a presidential candidate equals "unnecessary distraction"? They really do have that commandment never to speak ill of a fellow Republican, don't they?