It was a good week for …
EL DORADO and MURPHY OIL. The hometown oil company committed $50 million over 10 years to pay for college scholarships for every El Dorado High School graduate for the next 20 years. Good for El Dorado, good for kids, something to envy in the white flight districts neighboring majority-black El Dorado.
GOV. MIKE BEEBE. He had a “conflict,” and didn’t join the anti-abortion March for Life, an event that Bill Clinton managed to avoid and still succeed politically. Better for Beebe to focus on turning back the anti-contraception view of birth control fostered during 10 years of an anti-abortion governor. If women don’t get pregnant, they won’t consider abortions.
WILDLIFE. The city of Little Rock is hoping to raise money to convert a nine-acre slough near the Clinton Library into a wildlife sanctuary.
The NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton announced for president. Inevitably, the old Arkansas turf — Whitewater, Rose Law Firm, etc. — will get one more workout.
PRISON INMATES. The Board of Corrections bowed to increasing pressure and cut the cost of collect telephone calls made by inmates. The rates are still confiscatory — $4.80 for 15 minutes — but $2 lower than old rates.
It was a bad week for …
Former Gov. MIKE HUCKABEE. The Democrat-Gazette laid bare his unattractive Final Days. He smashed computer hard drives, took lights and sound equipment from the conference room, gutted his emergency fund on non-emergency needs and, best of all, sent snippy e-mails to underlings when his cell phone and Blackberry got turned off a few days early. The Royal Huckabee actually had to call the cell phone company himself about the problem. Welcome to the world in which the rest of us live, Mr. Huckster.
LT. GOV. BILL HALTER. The unfriendly Senate Brotherhood doesn’t seem inclined to give the new kid on the block much help with his legislative package. Not that any lite guv has ever had much luck in that regard.