Friday, March 16, 2012

Little Rock Airport to be renamed for Bill and Hillary Clinton

Posted By on Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 4:49 PM

DIRECTORS FAVORITE: Ron Mathieu indicated he favored this proposal for treatment of an entrance sign for the renamed Little Rock National Airport.
  • DIRECTOR'S FAVORITE: Ron Mathieu indicated he favored this proposal for treatment of an entrance sign for the renamed Little Rock National Airport.

The Little Rock Airport Commission has scheduled a discussion at its meeting Tuesday to rename the airport the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.

The idea has kicked around for years, with varying amounts of cheering and jeering. Hillary Clinton served for a time as legal counsel to the airport.

I'm guessing the votes are in hand now to honor Arkansas's native son president and his wife, the secretary of state.

It's better than a guess. Our FOI request early today produced 1) renderings of various proposed sign treatments including the one above; 2) the resolution the commission has up for a vote, and 3) e-mail about planned publicity from the Markham Group, which handles PR for the airport, including a memo on talking points on the name change. Interesting to see the spin machine at work, including a lineup of notables to speak in favor of the name change. Public notice was not part of the fait accompli PR plan, though notice of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, naturally, was. The Markham Group, you'll remember, did the unaccounted-for work on the Chamber's shadow campaign to get a $500 million city sales tax adopted. I should say the PR plan did call for leaks to "key media." That didn't include us, except by happenstance.

Note that all this is just a proposal at this point, particularly design elements. Airport Director Ron Mathieu said in an e-mail to commissioners earlier this month:

Attached please find the proposed designs for the new entrance icon. I think the one that has the blue "potential water feature or light feature" is the best, but that is just my opinion.

I would suggest that we all keep these concepts under wraps until both the Clinton Foundation and the President has had an opportunity to look at these and advise of their preference.

Please feel free to call if you have any questions or comments regarding the attached proposed designs.

Thanks!!

NOTED: Notes on the Arkansas Times Facebook page and my own Facebook page drew in rapid fire 40 comments or so, strongly positive.

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