Quote of the week
"I'm more worried about what people pay for electricity in Paris, Arkansas, than I am the Paris climate accord, which would make them pay a lot more. The United States will continue to lead the world in environmental protection and economic might without this lopsided deal."
— U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton's reaction to President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, as reported by the Arkansas News Bureau. Cotton's statement was typical of Arkansas Republicans. The U.S. joins Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries not to participate in the agreement.
Paul Spencer, a longtime teacher at Catholic High School and pecan farmer in Scott, has announced interest in running as a Democrat for the 2nd District Congress seat now held by Republican French Hill. Spencer, 50, was a founder of Regnat Populus, a group that led a campaign for ethics reform to limit the influence of special interest money in elections. The reform passed, but was broadly circumvented by legislative workarounds.
Spencer has had little association with partisan politics over the years. Years ago, he once told the Arkansas Times, he often voted Republican. But he's left-leaning on most issues (a notable exception is his pro-life position as a practicing Catholic). He also once described himself as a "Berniecrat." In the health context, this would translate to Medicare for all to achieve universal and portable coverage. Natashia Burch Hulsey, a retired Air Force photographer and co-owner of a vegan catering service, also said recently that she was considering an independent candidacy.
Little Rock City Manager Bruce Moore has made it harder for citizens to do business at City Hall.
You now have to present a photo ID to visit City Hall, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette first reported. That means it is harder to drop off a petition to run for city office than it is to vote for that office. (You may not be required to display a photo ID to vote.) If you do choose to display an ID to vote, it isn't scanned for unspecified record retention, as the new City Hall system does.
If you don't have a photo ID, the city manager will send an employee down to vet you. We do wonder what entrance test will be required for those without photos. Better behave. They use machines to screen for guns at the Capitol and Courthouse, but no photo ID is required. Yet.
Disgraced reality star Josh Duggar wants in on a lawsuit filed by three of his sisters over release of information about his molestation case.
Police investigated whether Duggar had molested his sisters. No charges were filed. But documents on the case were released to a celebrity publication, In Touch. That drove Josh Duggar out of his position as a political operator for a religious organization.
The suit seeks cash damages. Duggar's intervention motion was filed by Travis Story, the Fayetteville lawyer who's become something of the go-to representative for conservative religious figures and organizations, such as Eccelsia College, which is enmeshed in the legislative bribery case.