Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Arkansas values at work: Three 'dry' counties vote for alcohol sales

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 11:09 AM

CHEERS: Keep Dollars in Benton County, a committee funded by Sam Waltons grandsons, led passage of a measure for retail alcohol sales in Benton County, where currently only private club permits are allowed at restaurants such as this on the Bentonville square.
  • CHEERS: Keep Dollars in Benton County, a committee funded by Sam Walton's grandsons, led passage of a measure for retail alcohol sales in Benton County, where currently only private club permits are allowed at restaurants such as this on the Bentonville square.

I criticized Jason "Elmer Gantry" Rapert, who won a Senate seat in Faulkner County, for saying opponent Linda Tyler's reluctant but reasoned decision to support medical marijuana was contrary to "Conway values." Evangelicals are powerful in Conway, no doubt. But I bet a lot of those church goers like to use the birth control pills that Rapert would love to make it harder to obtain, including the morning after for rape victims. I know one Rapert supporter called me to say he was voting for medical marijuana. He has more compassion for sick people than Rapert.

Making presumptions about values for all is dangerous business.

Take medical marijuana. It was a narrow loss statewide. I think if the measure had left out the grow-your-own option, a weak but effective talking point against the initiative, it might have passed.

Take booze. When determined people can get past the crazy petition requirements, Arkansas voters tend to indicate they'd like to take a drink now and again. See Conway, where "private clubs" have proliferated over the objections of the evangelical churches that form Rapert's base there.

More of the same last night. Arkansas Business ran the traps and found that "wet" election propositions passed in Benton, Sharp and Madison counties. Springdale also voted to approve Sunday alcohol sales.

Could somebody get the Little Rock Board of Directors to put Sunday retail alcohol sales — or at least grocery store beer — on an election ballot. The law allows it.

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