Friday, September 30, 2016

Rutledge busy everywhere but Arkansas

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2016 at 7:59 AM

click to enlarge ANOTHER OUT OF STATE EFFORT: Now Leslie Rutledge is meddling with the civil rights law in Washington state.
  • ANOTHER OUT OF STATE EFFORT: Now Leslie Rutledge is meddling with the civil rights law in Washington state.
A lack of interest by the attorney general's office potential political manipulation of nursing nome patients reminds me that Attorney General Leslie Rutledge stays busy in other states chasing straw men.

She proudly announced yesterday that she "leads" a coalition of Republicans that want to intervene in a Washington state case on the side of a florist who's run afoul of the state's anti-discrimination law by refusing to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding. It's a religious freedom thing, see.

I should remind everyone that the people who didn't want to sell hamburgers to black people back in the 1950s and 1960s  also said it was a religious thing.

Either you are in the business of public accommodations or you are not.

The attorney general (and I doubt she wrote this) quotes the intervenors' brief:

“Our history encourages a public square with many voices, all trying to persuade others of their views. But Respondents want all the voices either to agree on one view or to be silent. Because that runs counter to America’s history of free speech and religious exemptions — which are embedded in Washington’s Constitution — Amici respectfully urge this Court to rule in Appellants’ favor.”
Nobody is saying the florist or Rutledge should shut up — just provide services on an equal basis as Washington civil rights and consumer protection laws require, according to a lower court ruling. If the florist is to sell flowers for weddings, she must sell them to all comers. This florist has decided as a result not to sell for weddings rather than serve the gays.

You need not fear Attorney General Rutledge will intervene on the side of any people denied services in Arkansas on account of their sexual orientation. The legislature and governor took care of that with a law that explicitly allows people to offer religion as a pretext to deny equal treatment in employment, housing or public accommodations.

We could ask her to go after that illegal payday lender in North Little Rock, but apparently that's not a consumer protection issue worthy of her attention. A flower shop in Washington state? There's political hay to be made there.

Rutledge has also been making time to appear on national TV in behalf of Donald Trump (again this morning with Chris Cuomo of CNN and also on MSNBC). Former Democratic official Jimmie Lou Fisher has written an unhappy letter about it, which the Democratic Party is sending around with clips of Rutledge's appearances this week on CBS and MSNBC, neither of which portrayed her in a good light, to put it mildly.

Fisher wrote in a fund-raising appeal:

I had the privilege of serving as Arkansas’s state auditor and state treasurer for more than 20 years. I was the first Arkansas woman nominated by a major party to run for governor. I always tried to serve the people with honor and dignity. My number one rule was 'Never embarrass Arkansas.'

After Monday’s debate, I couldn’t keep silent. Among the endless chatter of faulty microphones and dissection of unintelligible “word salad,” one talking head in particular caught my attention. Serving spin on behalf of the interrupter-in-chief was none other than Arkansas's own Republican Attorney General, Leslie Rutledge.

General Rutledge used her time on a national television network, preceded by the most watched presidential debate in history, to make the outrageous claim that the media was conspiring against her boss by talking about his refusal to release his tax returns. She refuted statistics from a scientifically conducted poll with opinion and anecdote.

As a Democrat, I was glad that veteran journalist Bob Schieffer didn’t let her off the hook.

As an Arkansan, I was horrified. When the Arkansas Attorney General is on national television, she is representing all of us.

As a woman, I was furious. General Rutledge was on television defending a man who calls women “Miss Piggy,” “bimbo” and “dog.”

Can you donate $20 to help us defeat Republicans like Leslie Rutledge on Election Day?

No, she’s not on the ballot, but candidates who defend a bully and try to divide us are. Help us stop them at the ballot box. Donate $20 today.

The next 40 days will determine the future of our state and nation for the next 40 years. Don’t sit on the sidelines. Donate; volunteer; and vote! 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (16)

Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Arkansas conservatives react to same-sex marriage decision

    Jason Rapert, Mike Huckabee, the Meeks bros, Jerry Cox — beyond these extremists, it's hard to find statements from other Arkansas conservatives. That tell you something?
    • Jun 26, 2015
  • Monticello preparing for KKK rally

    Drew County authorities are taking precautions, but also watching their words, about apparent plans for a Ku Klux Klan meeting Saturday.
    • Jul 22, 2015
  • State Police issues statement on Jason Rapert 'threats'

    The State Police have issued a minor clarification in what appears to be an effort to soothe an enraged Sen. Jason Rapert, exposed here as overly excited about both a Conway parking lot question from a constituent as well as some inflammatory Internet rhetoric that he's interpreted as a dire threat on his life. State cops took his reports seriously, they say. But in the end, they found nothing actionable.
    • Sep 15, 2015

Most Shared

  • UPDATE: Retired Arkansas Arts Center director Townsend Wolfe dies at 81

    Townsend Durant Wolfe, III, retired director and chief curator of the Arkansas Arts Center, has died at 81.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation