Gov. Mike Huckabee continues to rake in cash for his Healthy America PAC, set up in faraway Virginia.
This PAC, ostensibly to help The Huckster promote healthier living, but actually to help raise his national profile to run for president, reported last October that it had raised more than $40,000. He rounded up most of his initial money from black business, professional and government people.
His latest report, filed in January, showed he raised another $72,500 in the last quarter of 2005, a large chunk of it on Oct. 1. Much of that money came from people who live in the Washington area and have work ties to United Healthcare and Americhoice insurance businesses.
Top giver: Sara Bronfman of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., an heir to the Seagram’s fortune, who gave $20,000. She lists her occupation as an educational coordinator for Executive Success Programs, a controversial training program that some critics have likened to a cult. Beverly Enterprises, the Arkansas nursing home group, has pitched in $10,000 as has MSRM, a management firm at 415 Main, Little Rock (which happens to be the address of, among others, lawyer Richard Mays). Speaking of healthy: Pepsi-Cola was among several $1,000 contributors. JRL Enterprises of New Orleans, which sells education software, kicked in $1,000.
At the end of the year, after paying some travel expenses in Des Moines and Washington and political advisers, the Huckster’s PAC still had $89,000 on hand.
Staff changes at Dem Party
State Democratic Party Executive Director Gabe Holmstrom will leave his position on March 3 to manage U.S. Rep. Marion Berry’s re-election campaign.
Jason Willett, the party chairman, said he plans to find a new e.d. within 60 days, and he expects that person will be an “experienced professional” who currently works out of state. Also, starting March 1, Cydney Pearce will be the director of the Arkansas Democratic Coordinated Campaign. Pearce has been a longtime senior staffer in U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s Little Rock office.
Monday, Times photographer Brian Chilson was on the scene for a goose-bump raising protest by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals at a KFC franchise on Colonel Glenn Rd. As seen above, bikini-clad protestor Nicole Matthews of Rochester, N.Y. stood in the snow and waved an anti-KFC sign at traffic. She was soon joined by a gaggle of Little Rock cops. They told her she didn’t have the proper permit to protest, and suggested she move along.
Police Sgt. Terry Hastings said that in addition to not having the correct permit, witnesses had also reported that Matthews and other PETA protesters were stepping in front of traffic on the icy street. Hastings added that while PETA obtained the needed permits the last two times they came to town, this time they didn’t.
So, how do you go about getting a permit to legally protest in Little Rock? Go to the city Traffic Engineering department. Fill out a five-page form, and you’ll be ready to slap on a bikini, chicken suit or pirate costume and rabble rouse for the cause of your choice.