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Smart Talk, May 13


REKERS AND RENTBOYS: The latest hypocrisy.
  • REKERS AND RENTBOYS: The latest hypocrisy.

Heal thyself, brother
In 2004, a board packed with conservative Christians appointed by Gov. Mike Huckabee adopted a rule that prevented a household that even included a gay person from adopting or being a foster parent. A lawsuit against the rule was eventually successful. During it, the Huckabee administration called on George Rekers, a Baptist preacher, founder of the Family Research Council conservative lobby and putative expert on “curing” homosexuality as an expert witness on the ills of homosexual child rearing. He was paid $60,000, after first asking for $200,000.

Hmm. Last week, the New Times newspaper of Miami reported that it had ambushed Rekers on return from a European vacation in the company of a handsome young traveling companion he'd apparently located on a website,, which advertises male prostitutes. Rekers first told the newspaper he hadn't known about the prostitution angle, then said he'd merely hired a companion to handle his luggage because he had a bad back. He later told a blogger he had ministered to the young man by telling him about the dangers of homosexual sex and the Bible's invocations against it. He said they had no sex. The Family Research Council issued a statement that said it hadn't had contact with Rekers in years. It observed that, while it didn't know the facts of the case, that it wasn't surprising that someone might engage in activities he had preached against. “The Scriptures clearly teach the fallen nature of all people.”

New leader of GOP
Belatedly, an update on our item April 29 about a contest between Rep. John Burris of Harrison and Rep. Les Carnine of Rogers to be leader of the House Republican caucus. Balloting was completed May 1 and the results announced last week. It was a victory for youth. Burris is 24; Carnine a retired school administrator. The House GOP caucus currently numbers 28, but the party hopes for more after 2010 elections.

Proctor fights on
Though the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled April 30 that Willard Proctor was permanently removed from the Arkansas bench by its earlier decision that he should be ousted as Pulaski circuit judge for ethical misconduct, he has not given up his legal fight. Four days before the ruling, Proctor filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court for review of the decision removing him from the bench. He has contended his constitutional rights were violated. The Supreme Court takes up only a tiny percentage of the hundreds of petitions it receives for review.

Distress sale
Hog fans got nervous last week when news leaked that the UA's head football coach, Bobby Petrino, had put his house for sale. He explained later that he isn't going anywhere. But he said he hadn't been able to unload his house in Atlanta and needed to sell one or the other, particularly since he had less space needs in Fayetteville since his kids are in college or living on their own.

He could endure a downsize. Lindsey and Associates, which took down a photo spread on the house after publicity erupted, said the house has 8,620 square feet. Petrino paid $2.25 million for it and the almost three-acre spread with pool and stable privileges in the swank East Fayetteville subdivision. Other features: custom plaster and marble work with hand-made staircases and balconies, wine cellar, extra deep tubs, media room, eight flat-screen TVs connected to a video system with a storage capacity for 400 DVDs. Imagine the upkeep on that baby.


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