Friday, July 6, 2012

Ethics initiative appears to be falling short of signatures

Posted By on Fri, Jul 6, 2012 at 8:54 AM

PESSIMISTIC OUTLOOK: Word is circulating that the petition drive will fall short.
  • PESSIMISTIC OUTLOOK: Word is circulating that the petition drive will fall short.

The morning news on the drive for the ethics initiative isn't good (except for clean government foe Lt. Gov. Mark Darrand other Republicans and Kochites who've done the most complaining about clean government). It's not over until it's over this afternoon, but Sen. Gilbert Baker's coming lobbyist job (he was grandfathered in the so-called ethics reform of last legislature) appears safe. This went out last night from Marie O'Connell, who's been one of the leaders in the volunteer Regnat Populus 2012 drive:

Dear Canvassing Friends,

I’m afraid the news is troubling this evening. Despite promises, it looks like our paid canvassing team from Terra Strategies is struggling to reach their goal of 49,000 signatures in order to submit our initiative to the Secretary of State on Friday. I’d encourage those who have cleared their schedules for Friday afternoon to keep them clear, as we’ll plan to convene at Vino’s in Little Rock for afternoon commiseration regardless of the outcome. You'll receive another email at noon. I’d also like to encourage all who pray to do so, and anyone with caches of signatures to bring them forward now. The silver lining on this storm cloud is obvious though; we have built a powerful coalition of passionate, interested people who all believe in this needed reform.

Peace, and you'll hear from us soon,

Marie Mainard O'Connell

Still have petitions? Bring them in. But realistically, if the paid group fell short, the drive will fall short and others in the drive now tell me they expect it to happen because of misleading estimates from the company being paid to help gather signatures. I'd been getting cautious optimism each day the last week, but volunteers say they learned yesterday from Terra Strategies, the paid canvasser, that its representations were short of what the volunteers had been led to expect.

Let's find a silver lining.

A cadre of idealistic, dedicated people — at a minimum — learned a lot and achieved a lot in a very short period of time. (First that gathering 70,000 signatures needs more than a few months.) They could be mobilized again and be better informed. We know from Lt. Gov. Mark Darr's alarum and the grumbling corporate community that corporate Arkansas fears the people and loves how cheap it is to buy the Arkansas legislature.

Dare I say it? If the drive falls short — as I now expect based on comments from others in the drive — might there be elected representatives who'll put their names on the line in the legislature for ethics reform? Let's call the roll in the General Assembly on giving government back to the people.

Said David Couch, a Little Rock lawyer who's been working in the campaign:

Our volunteers did a fantastic job and given another chance to do this and with more time we can get this or any other semi-popular measure on the ballot. The good thing about this effort is that we have established a solid grass roots organization that can be used to hold the General Gssembly accountable to the people. We are not going to let it fade away.

I expect a formal news release shortly. Go to Vino's this evening to commiserate with these idealists. They battled a two-month work period, heat, the Little Rock police at Riverfest and on July 4, reps of the state's largest newspaper to try to petition government to better itself.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • It's official: Mike Huckabee has lost his mind

    Mike Huckabee's plan for winning the Republican presidential nomination is to convince primary voters there's a holy war underway against Christians.
    • Apr 24, 2015
  • More on how highways were used to wipe out "blight" of non-white neighborhoods

    Vox, a news website that concerns itself with energy and other issues, has a fine piece, including before and after images, on the history of the U.S. interstate system and why roads were built through the middle of cities (unless people of influence stopped them — see Manhattan, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.)
    • Mar 22, 2016
  • Mike Huckabee, meet James Madison

    Not that it will do much good, but Times columnist Ernest Dumas this week provides some useful Founding Father history, plus a little bit of Bible, for how wrong-headed Mike Huckabee, Asa Hutchinson, the Republican legislature and others are in using government to enforce their religious views.
    • May 26, 2015

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Lessons from Standing Rock

    A Fayetteville resident joins the 'water protectors' allied against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
  • Child welfare too often about 'punishing parents,' DCFS consultant tells legislators

    Reforms promised by the Division of Children and Family Services are "absolutely necessary," the president of DCFS's independent consultant told a legislative committee this morning. But they still may not be enough to control the state's alarming growth in foster care cases.
  • Donald Trump taps Tom Price for HHS Secretary; Medicaid and Medicare cuts could be next

    The selection of Tom Price as HHS secretary could signal that the Trump administration will dismantle the current healthcare safety net, both Medicaid and Medicare.
  • Fake economics

    Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.

Visit Arkansas

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Most Viewed

  • Little Rock City Board to consider resolution asking legislature to repeal R.E. Lee, MLK Jr. holidays

    Also before the board: A rezoning request to build a Popeye's along Markham and a resolution to rescind a Planning Commission denial of a private wastewater treatment plant outside of city limits.
  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation