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Crunching numbers

Just in time for the primary election, Secretary of State Charlie Daniels has issued a nifty pamphlet on Arkansas voting trends.

• Women make up 54.4 percent of registered voters.

• According to Census data, 14.4 percent of Arkansas’s registered voters are black and .77 percent are Hispanic.

• A third of the votes in the 2004 general election were cast in Pulaski, Benton, Washington and Sebastian counties. The turnout, by percentage, was highest in the last three, Republican-voting counties in the Third Congressional District. The turnout percentage was highest of all in Benton and Washington counties. This is why the three-way race for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor is being fought hardest in the northwest corner of the state, home to two of the three candidates, Sen. Jim Holt and Rep. Doug Matayo. Chuck Banks is from Pulaski County, which went Democratic in the last presidential election. One more fact: Holt got 58 percent of the vote in Benton County in a 2004 race for U.S. Senate against Blanche Lincoln.


How you gonna keep ’em down in Dallas …
… after they’ve seen Mount Ida.


Thanks to the Montgomery County News, we’ve learned that D magazine in Dallas has listed the Mountain Harbor Restaurant and Turtle Cove Spa as one of the 20 best places in the entire world to visit.

Mountain Harbor finished ninth on the list, between Seville, Spain, and Loro Ciuffenna, Italy. Others that edged out Mount Ida included Wellington, New Zealand; New York; Fiji; Turkey; LaJolla, Calif., and Graham, Texas.

Graham, Texas?

We’ll take Mount Ida. (We checked the D website, by the way. The article detailed 20 “fabulous vacation destinations for every palate and pocketbook.”)




While New Orleans was sinking
It was the afternoon of Aug. 29. Katrina-struck New Orleans was sinking beneath floodwaters. The Federal Emergency Management Administration was already mismanaging the disaster, though director Michael “Heckuva Job” Brown had already told the president that a huge disaster was unfolding.

But Brown had other distractions besides Katrina. Thanks to the muckracking Center for Public Integrity, which examined his e-mails, we know that Brown also was having to deal with the likes of Washington lobbyists angling for meetings on matters unrelated to the hurricane. One of them was former Arkansas Sen. Tim Hutchinson, a lobbyist trying to arrange a meeting on a contract dispute for a client. With the water rising and Brown otherwise busy, Hutchinson stayed focused on matters of primary importance — his client. His e-mail (typos uncorrected):

“Mr. Secretary:

“I am certain your are overwhelmed by the situation regarding Hurricane Katrina. I apologize for bothering you at this critical time and for going directly to you about this but I understand Patrick Rhode has been out. I am forwarding the e-mail that I sent to him. I alao contacted Brooks Altshuler last week but haven’t heard from him yet. I would yery much appreciate being able to bring the President of Blu-Med Response Systems, Gerritt Boyle, in to meet with you as soon as your schedule permits.

“Asa always spoke Very highly of your leadership at FEMA. and I appreciate your service.

“Best Regards

“Tim Hutchinson”

Let the record show that brother Asa Hutchinson, the Republican candidate for Arkansas governor and a former top official at FEMA’s parent, the Homeland Security Department, went on the nationally televised “Hardball” program two days later, Aug. 31, and said he thought his former agency “has done an extraordinary job of coordinating the response capability.”






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