IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR …
The STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION. It consolidated the Eudora School District, clearly unable to make it on its own. It granted a reprieve to financially struggling Midland, where residents came up with money to cover deficits. The Midland decision wasn’t all emotionalism. The administrator put in charge by the Education Department seems to have put the district on the road to solvency. If that’s not the case 12 months from now, it should go, too.
The LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL BOARD. It may have been just lip service, but board members began questioning whether they should become a guinea pig for a Walton-financed and poorly designed merit pay experiment that would be judged by Walton-financed merit pay advocates at the University of Arkansas. The district would have little control and expose itself to enormous future liability for an unproven scheme.
GUS WINGFIELD. The 79-year-old state treasurer announced that he wouldn’t seek re-election. His practice of hiring relatives made him a liability on the Democratic ticket.
IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR …
GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette dug into his lavish use of State Police aircraft for political and personal travel. He’s airborne more than once a week on average and it costs taxpayers hundreds of thousands. Peeved at the questioning, the Huckster wouldn’t talk to the daily newspaper about it.
ASA HUTCHINSON. The Republican candidate for governor got a dose of the medicine he’s been dishing out to Democratic candidate Mike Beebe. The Democratic Party questioned whether he’d violated federal rules in negotiating a job as a lobbyist before leaving a high-level post in the Homeland Security Department. Rules or no rules. It stinks.
SEN. TIM WOOLDRIDGE. The lieutenant governor candidate, seeking to defuse criticism of his sponsorship 11 years ago of a bill to bring back public hangings, said he regretted it. Then he proceeded to justify it at some length.