Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Republican purchase of Arkansas

Posted By on Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 5:31 AM

MORE REPUBLICAN LIES: Mike Fletcher didnt vote to raise gas tax, despite what national Republican ad says.
  • MORE REPUBLICAN LIES: Mike Fletcher didn't vote to raise gas tax, despite what national Republican ad says.
Lord how the out-of-state corporate money rolls in.

If we had ethical disclosure laws worthy of the name, we'd at least be able to put a price tag on the cumulative sum being spent by Republican groups and their allies to buy control of the Arkansas legislature, the last Democratic majority in the deep South.

Just yesterday, GOPAC dropped $12,000 on a smattering of legislative races. That's nothing.

The Republican State Leadership Committee, a national organization, is spending untold sums to buy Republican seats in Arkansas. They are on the radio in the hills and hollows of Perry and Yell County, for example, (the land where Republican Senator Bruce Holland famously tried to outrun cops in a 100-mph Cannonballl Run). Their aim there is to beat a solid Democrat, incumbent Rep. John Catlett, with an extremist named Mary Bentley who spends most of her time spitting out the word Obama like a curse and vowing to end women's medical rights.

You can see the RSLCCis also going after Sen. Mike Fletcher, the retired state trooper seeking to hold a Senate seat from Hot Springs. It's a typically dishonest ad. It says Fletcher voted to increase the gas tax. He didn't. He voted to refer a ballot question on a gas tax for a highway plan to voters (as did then-House Republican Leader John Burris). This is the tax increase Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Darr supported afterpolitical contributions from fat cats, mostly related to the Murphy Oil fortune on which Highway Commissioner Madison Murphy depends. Darr is a Republican, along with Sen. John Boozman, who really DOES support a gas tax increase.

There's no telling how much other groups — the Kochs' American for Prosperity, Sixty Plus and other allied Republican groups are spending. The campaign of Rep. Tiffany Rogers, seeking a farmbelt Senate seat from Stuttgart, checked the books and found that the Kochs' AFP has bought $35,000 worth of TV time to beat her and elect Republican Jonathan Dismang. This is on top of thousands of dollars worth of direct mail and a bus tour that includes subsidized tanks of gas for all who come out to hear the AFP message for select Republican Senate candidates. Voters in Stuttgart should remember that AFP, though it does provide cut-rate gas as inducements for electoral support, has characterized rice belt farmers as welfare moochers.

We don't begin to have an idea of the millions being spent by Republican interests to wrest control of the Arkansas legislature. And we likely never will, given the porous nature of campaign finance laws and a wholly inadequate ethical regulation structure. The Republican candidates, we are learning, will put whatever TV buys are necessary on a consultant's credit card and hope for victory, with the guaranteed lobbyist repayment of debt it will bring for victory. It would be nice to see a few of these smart boys left holding a credit card bill with a punishing interest rate, like the rest of America left reeling by Republican tax-cut and spend on war policies.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

  • Rapert claims victory over Facebook; either way, he still doesn't get 1st Amendment

    September 20, 2016
    Sen. Jason Rapert sent me a Tweet early this morning claiming that Facebook had relented and reinstated some anti-Muslim Facebook posts that had been removed for violation of the private social media company's "community standards." True or not, he still doesn't get the U.S. Constitution. /more/
  • Casino v. Casino: The fight on Issue 5

    September 14, 2016
    The latest debate on more casino gambling in Arkansas is more likely to be decided by public attitudes about gambling in general rather than some of the legal questions raised by opponents, casino operators themselves. /more/
  • Leslie Rutledge: Throw out the Clintons

    September 9, 2016
    Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is listed as author of this polemic on Independent Journal Review, a Republican-backed website, urging a vote for Donald Trump for president. /more/
  • Medical marijuana: a partisan divide over a simple choice

    September 4, 2016
    John Lyon of the Arkansas News Bureau highlights the emerging difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party on marijuana. This issue is simpler than it looks from where I sit. /more/
  • Democrats sue to remove convicted Republican from House ballot

    August 29, 2016
    State Rep. Johnnie Bolin, represented by the Democratic Party counsel Chris Burks, sued today in Drew County to have Republican James Hall removed from the November general election ballot as the Republican candidate for the currently vacant House District 9 seat. /more/
  • A plan for Arkansas to get more out of the money it spends on corrections

    August 26, 2016
    Arkansas's prison population is among the fastest growing in the country. The state now spends more than half of a billion dollars on corrections, a 68 percent increase since 2004, and our prison population, which increased by 21 percent between 2012 and 2016, is expected to rise by another 19 percent between 2016 and 2023 to 21,345. Those were the facts and projections Justice Center, a project of the national nonprofit Council of State Governments, reminded people of yesterday before presenting criminal justice reform proposals. /more/
  • Republican House candidate facing jail time

    August 25, 2016
    Jacob Kauffman at NPR takes note that the state Court of Appeals this week upheld a harassment conviction of Republican James Hall of Monticello, the candidate for a House seat held by the late Democratic Rep. Sheila Lampkin /more/
  • Arkansas criminal justice reform proposal due today

    August 25, 2016
    We'll get a good sense of what criminal justice reform legislation might look like in the 2017 General Assembly later today — as well as some potential stumbling blocks to its passage. Justice Center, an offshoot of the national nonprofit Council of State Governments, will offer policy recommendations to the Legislative Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force this afternoon at the Arkansas Association of Counties conference. /more/
  • That time Asa Hutchinson sort of endorsed medical marijuana

    August 24, 2016
    Advocates of medical marijuana are circulating a YouTube video of a 2011 debate at the University of Arkansas between Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, and Asa Hutchinson, not then governor but speaking as a former DEA Administrator and congressman. Hutchinson seemed open to medical use of marijuana. /more/
  • Eldridge raps Boozman for Florida trip while ducking debates

    August 24, 2016
    Conner Eldridge, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, is knocking Republican opponent, incumbent Sen. John Boozman, for traveling to Florida this week while refusing to meet Eldridge for debate in Arkansas. /more/
  • More »

Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Foster family disputes key statements from Justin Harris

    Craig and Cheryl Hart were the foster parents of the two sisters who were adopted by Rep. Justin Harris and his wife Marsha and later "rehomed." The Harts say that the adoption was allowed to proceed over the objections of the foster parents and local DHS staff due to pressure exerted by Cecile Blucker, head of the Division of Children and Family Services, on behalf of Justin Harris.
    • Mar 7, 2015
  • Tom Cotton's 'bizarre speech' on Guantanamo

    Lots of attention on the web today about remarks by n by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton. Vox called his remarks on preserving a detention center in Guantanamo Bay " bizarre."
    • Feb 5, 2015
  • Eureka Springs City Council passes civil rights ordinance, sets stage for potential lawsuit

    The Eureka Springs City Council last night suspended the rules and hurriedly passed a civil rights ordinance that extends anti-discrimination protection to gay people in employment, housing and public accommodations. It sets up a potential legal challenge if the legislature completes passage of a law aimed at preserving legal discrimination against gay people.
    • Feb 10, 2015

Most Shared

  • George H.W. Bush will vote for Hillary. Or will he?

    Politico reports that Kathleen Harrington Kennedy Townsend says former Republican President George H.W. Bush is voting for Hillary Clinton for president. The article quotes a Bush spokesman as declining to confirm or deny.
  • Who's harming women?

    Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is an Arkansas Republican. Thus, like the governor and the Republican-majority legislature, she intends to do everything she can to deny women comprehensive medical care, particularly abortion.
  • New normal

    No two presidential candidates since polling began have run up negatives as massive as those of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who yet won their parties' nominations easily. "What gives?" may be the biggest political mystery in history.
  • Additional rape charges filed against Conway doctor

    Special Prosecutor Jason Barrett has added 11 more victims to two others alleging rape by Dr. Robert Rook of Conway.
  • Big Dam Bridge 100 brings big damn complaint about celebrity rider Hincapie

    The Big Dam Bridge 100 is this weekend and one dedicated biker isn't happy about a celebrity rider, admitted doper George Hincapie.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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