Arkansas Politics

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 15:23:00

Legislation to further restrict abortion is coming in Arkansas

A bill that would likely make it all but impossible to obtain an abortion after 14 weeks will be filed next week, Rep.-elect Andy Mayberry (R-East End) tells the AP.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 07:26:00

Arkansas's toothless ethics law: Example, Mark Lowery

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.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - 12:26:00

Tom Cotton for the Cabinet; at least he'd leave Arkansas

Tom Cotton for a Trump cabinet job? Why not? What does Arkansas have to lose but a senator.

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016 - 07:49:00

Why does Tim Griffin rage? Self-aggrandizement potentially thwarted.

Why is Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin so unhappy about the Democrats' packing of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee. A self-aggrandizing special interest tax break is why.

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Friday, November 11, 2016 - 06:56:00

Court rules against a Ten Commandments monument

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.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 14:48:00

Arkansas by the numbers: The victories for Trump and marijuana

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.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 11:14:00

A message from North Carolina for Arkansas on LGBT discrimination

A North Carolina vote should send a message to Arkansas about discriminating against gay people.

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thursday, October 13, 2016 - 11:02:00

Governor outlines China trip, continues to defend Donald Trump

Gov. Asa Hutchinson talked about a trade trip to China today, but reporters' questions were about other things, particularly Donald Trump. He's still the governor's pick.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 09:50:00

There Leslie Rutledge goes again; now she faults Hillary for Bill's infidelity 20 years ago

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.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 16:10:00

Ousted Republican candidate tries to revive ballot status

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.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 07:23:00

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

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.

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 11:36:00

Another ethics complaint, this one against Rep. Mark Lowery

Another complaint about lax campaign finance reporting has been filed against a Republican state representative, Mark Lowery of Maumelle.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - 07:43:00

Casino v. Casino: The fight on Issue 5

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.

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Friday, September 9, 2016 - 09:04:00

Leslie Rutledge: Throw out the Clintons

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.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday, August 26, 2016 - 12:55:00

A plan for Arkansas to get more out of the money it spends on corrections

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.

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016 - 11:26:00

Arkansas criminal justice reform proposal due today

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.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 09:50:00

That time Asa Hutchinson sort of endorsed medical marijuana

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.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 09:18:00

Eldridge raps Boozman for Florida trip while ducking debates

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.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 07:19:00

Group forms to fight medical marijuana

A coalition of powerful lobbying groups filed papers with the Arkansas Ethics Commission Tuesday to fight medical marijuana issues headed for the November ballot.

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday, August 22, 2016 - 07:31:00

Surgeon general ready to fight medical marijuana

Arkansas Surgeon General Gregory Bledsoe has taken to social media to seek speaking engagements to oppose medical marijuana.

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    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.
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    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.

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