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The Insider Aug. 4

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Whose gold? The state Democratic Party is raising questions about a concert Friday featuring country singer Larry Gatlin that will benefit the campaign of Republican Andy Mayberry, who’s challenging U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder in 2006. Democrats question whether Mayberry is following the letter of the law when it comes to letting people know that the concert is a campaign event, and collecting information about the ticket buyers. “The way these things work is that you have a pretty good number of notice requirements you are required to provide and a certain amount of separation you are supposed to have specifically in regard to the funds that come in,” said state party counsel Michael Langley. “Segregated funds are not supposed to co-mingle, no matter who is handling the money, whether it’s a ticket broker or the campaign.” He said that ticket sales over $50 also require the collection of the buyers’ names and addresses for campaign reports. Ticketmaster, which is handling sales, says on its website that the concert is a Mayberry campaign benefit, but a phone clerk didn’t mention that fact when we went through the ordering process. “We are doing everything we possibly can to make sure it is exactly the way it is supposed to be done,” Mayberry said. “To me this is the Democratic Party trying to fish for something, make something out of something that isn’t an issue. That says to me that somebody is nervous.” Mayberry added that ticket sales are going “slower than what I would like for them to be,” possibly because people were waiting until the last minute. Eye on Hillcrest Rumors flew in Hillcrest this week about the filing of a demolition permit for the Pulaski Heights Masonic Lodge on Kavanaugh near Beechwood. Tony Bozynski, city planning director, said a staff member had received a phone call inquiring about a demolition permit, but he didn’t know the identity of the caller. George Coffman, secretary of the lodge, said the building is listed for sale with the Mike Rushin Co., but the lodge has no demolition plans. Twin City Bank almost purchased it in June for a branch, but dropped the idea because of traffic and parking concerns. Moving on Robert Moore, head of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Division for nearly two decades, is planning to retire, perhaps by early 2006. He’s expected to make a race for House of Representatives from his home in Arkansas City. Speaking of booze The semi-legendary Bobbisox, a ’50s-theme club in the Airport Holiday Inn, closed for good last weekend. The hotel is going through a remodeling and waitresses in cheerleader outfits won’t be returning. In the race Kathy Webb, the owner of Lilly’s Dim Sum Then Some, told the Pulaski County Democratic Committee Sunday that she’ll seek the Democratic nomination for House District 37, a district along I-630 including Hillcrest that is now represented by term-limited Sam Ledbetter. Webb is head of the Arkansas chapter of the Stonewall Democratic Club, formed to fight for rights of gay and lesbian Arkansans.

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