Columns » Max Brantley

The final hours

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Republican congressional candidate Tim Griffin got some help from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in the closing hours of campaign 2010. The state's largest newspaper declined an ad from the campaign of Democrat Joyce Elliott.

The newspaper apparently found Elliott's footnotes for her cartoon insufficient, though there's ample evidence. Griffin misstated the number of prosecutions he handled as an Army reserve lawyer by a factor of 12. He rumor-mongered about U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins. Griffin said he'd heard Cummins was lazy while Griffin was angling to get Cummins' job. Griffin served as both prosecutor and campaign worker for Pine Bluff Prosecutor Betty Dickey when she ran for attorney general. The office was criticized professionally for failure to bring cases to trial in time and ethically for using public facilities to campaign. Griffin no longer includes the experience on his resume. Griffin himself reported hundreds of thousands in political consulting work from undisclosed sources.

A somewhat jumbled message, though it adds up to a portrait of a long-time political insider with much to hide. Fair comment? Judge for yourself.

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