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The Week That Was, Dec. 15-21


It was a good week for ...

EQUALITY. With Sens. Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln at last in the affirmative, Congress completed action on repeal of the ban on military service by openly gay people.

ATTORNEY GENERAL DUSTIN MCDANIEL. He said it politely, but he still said no to Republican entreaties to join the politically motivated lawsuits aimed at killing health care reform legislation (and, in the process, taking health coverage from millions of Americans).

CLIFF LEE. The star baseball pitcher who has a residence in Little Rock spurned a much higher pay offer from the New York Yankees to sign a new contract with the Philadelphia Phillies and the better quality of life his family found there. He passed up tax-free Texas, too, unlike some wealthy people who made their millions in Arkansas then fled to tax havens to enjoy their riches.

It was a bad week for ...

LITTLE ROCK AIRPORT COMMISSION. All is forgiven. It sung the praises of Airport Director Ron Mathieu, despite multiple episodes of abuse of his spending discretion and lying to the commission about a gift to his son's private school. He'll probably get a raise once his personnel review is done. The Airport Commissioners patted themselves on the back for a job well done and yukked it up about their deluxe travels to Hawaii.

SAM BAGGETT. The North Little Rock alderman was convicted by a federal jury of helping a convicted felon and bookmaker get guns and ammo. He resigned shortly after the conviction.

REP. JOHN BOOZMAN. He voted against legislation unanimously endorsed in the Senate to discourage coercion of children into marriages. He joined a House Republican insurgency that killed the bill.

The PULASKI COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT. It got another rough legislative audit, this time including questioned expenses and high administrative costs for the new administration. And several board members seem desirous of firing the relatively new superintendent.

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