The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Michael Wickline reported this morning that, for the second time in four years, Republican Rep. Mark Lowery had been cited by the state Ethics Commission for failing to comply with campaign finance reporting law. The minor penalty won't discourage similar in the future.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday upheld a lower court ruling that a Ten Commandments monument built with private donations and erected outside the Bloomfield, N.M. City Hall was a constitutional violation.
Hendrix College professor and Times columnist Jay Barth has put together an analysis of the election Tuesday on the demographics that brought Donald Trump and medical marijuana victories in Arkansas.A familiar Republican coalition, plus the now famous less-educated white voter, gave Trump a big win. Marijuana is harder to pin down.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's disastrous appearance Monday night on CBS — which produced a record amount of comment and views on both our Facebook page, Twitter account and Arkansas Blog — apparently didn't harm her standing as a Trump surrogate. She's back on air today, this time blaming Hillary Clinton for Bill Clinton's indiscretions 20 years ago.
Democratic Party Chair Vince Insalaco is outraged at Cody Hiland, the Republican prosecutor in Faulkner County, for moving to clean up a hot check conviction by Jim Hall of Monticello, recently removed from the November election ballot on account of that conviction.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.