Beebe backs open records
At press time this week, the Senate was preparing to take up the bill to close the record of holders of concealed weapons permits. The legislation was prompted by the Arkansas Times' publication of the list on-line.
The press, lobbying uphill on closure, got an ally in closing days from Gov. Mike Beebe. He said in response to a question on his AETN show and again at the Capitol later that he favored keeping the record open. The State Police has also not joined the push to close the record. Public inspection of such records here and in other states has turned up numbers of people who should not hold the permits.
Though the governor favored openness, he did not say he'd veto the legislation if it passes. At press time, proponents of open government were hoping to encourage an amendment to keep the record open, but close specific addresses of permittees.
Marcus Monk's ‘Donk'
Former Razorback football player Marcus Monk of Lepanto (he also served briefly this year as a basketball player) is apparently raising cash by parting with a cherished auto.
Monk has gone on e-Bay to sell his 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis GS, which his ad describes as “Razorback Ed. Donk!!! Candy red. 26” rims. Lift kit. “Donk,” by the way is a slang term for an aging American sedan — Chevys are popular — with vivid paint jobs and the elevated “lift” Monk has given his car. The car has under 74,000 miles and a powerful audio system. Monk posted a “sell it now” price of $30,000, but bidding was running about half that last we checked. Custom touches include a snorting Razorback on the front fender.
Lincoln's numbers ‘tepid'
Arkansas Republicans took heart last week at the release of polling numbers by a Democratic Party-inclined polling firm, Public Policy Polling, on U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincon's 2010 re-election campaign. Her numbers were “tepid,” the group said.
Lincoln was matched against two potential Republican candidates, Sen. Gilbert Baker of Conway and Little Rock lawyer Tim Griffin, a former employee of the Bush White House. She beat them both, 48-37 and 46-38, but both aren't widely known and she didn't top 50 percent against either. Worse was her 45 percent favorable rating on her work. About 40 percent disapproved.
“These numbers don't exactly indicate that Lincoln is in big trouble, but they are somewhat weak for an incumbent,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, which called 600 voters March 20-22.