In the bag
Most daily newspapers in Arkansas did an ad sale to the National Rifle Association’s political arm to bag papers in a plastic sack bearing a Vote Bush message.
In Jonesboro, some readers were hot. They thought the bag was a newspaper endorsement and complained. In Little Rock, many carriers for the Democrat-Gazette weren’t happy, though bags bearing advertising are required from time to time. (And they complained even though ad bags are free. Carriers must buy their own yellow plastic rain bags.)
Anyway, some carriers rebelled. Many refused to use the NRA bags and managers didn’t press the issue, our sources tell us. There’s no way to know how many subscribers didn’t get the NRA bag and whether the gun lobby is due a small refund. D-G officials said they wouldn’t be monitoring carriers at 3 a.m. General manager Paul Smith added, too, that the newspaper would have happily sold the deal to John Kerry had he called first.
Little Rock native Clay Reed, who worked for the Clinton administration in several capacities and later was personal assistant to Rob Lowe, will be back in town this month to scout locations and find extras for a movie he will begin filming here in January.
Reed lives in Los Angeles, and he co-wrote and is co-producing the film, called "The Prince," with Annie Anderson. The story, set in LA and Arkansas, is about some college students who get kicked out of school for a business idea that subsequently makes them very rich.
Four characters will be played by Arkansans: Nicholas Doss, Richmond Ross, Reed and 12-year-old Grayson Cauley. On the production side, North Little Rock native Patrick Stegall will be the cinematographer, and sisters Ginny and Rebekah King, also from North Little Rock, will handle styling and wardrobe.
Not that it makes much difference now, but just to set the record straight, the Farm Bureau did not endorse Blanche Lincoln, though Lincoln’s web site claimed the group did, and, relying on the web site, both the Arkansas Times and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported a Farm Bureau endorsement of the senator. In a list of alleged endorsements of Lincoln, her web site included “the American Farm Bureau Federation.” But, as a spokesman for the Arkansas Farm Bureau, an affiliate of the national organization, has explained, the Farm Bureau does not endorse candidates, only issues. Lincoln is one of a number of members of Congress, including three others from Arkansas, who will receive commendations from the Bureau for their voting records. That apparently was the basis of the Lincoln organization’s mistake, if mistake it was.
The opening of the Clinton library occasions a return to Little Rock by a writer for the travel section of the New York Times. One of the section’s familiar “What’s doing in … ” articles will feature Little Rock, perhaps this Sunday.
Best we can tell, the city last was featured there Aug. 9, 1981, in an article free-lanced by David R. Palmer, then writing for the Arkansas Gazette. He detailed the glories of such places as Slick Willie’s entertainment emporium in the Train Station, $3 tickets to the Arkansas Symphony and the $5 lunches at Restaurant Jacques and Suzanne atop the First Commercial Bank building, among other defunct stuff.
Wrote Palmer, “ … new steel and glass buildings have blossomed in the downtown financial district near the banks of the Arkansas River, and the completion of a series of locks and dams on the river has opened up Little Rock to international trade . . . .”
IndieWire breaks news long whispered downtown — a more ambitious successor to the Little Rock Film Festival is in the works, with backing from writer/director Jeff Nichols, a Little Rock native. His "Loving" has won wide acclaim recently.
Old habits die hard. We may have a new Republican majority in the legislature, but like the old Democratic majority, it still doesn't hurt to have a lawmaker spouse to land a part-time job during the legislative session.
When we first asked Gov. Mike Beebe about the "circuit breaker" idea out of Arizona (automatically opting out of Medicaid expansion if the feds reduce the matching rates in the future), he said it was fine but noted that states can already opt out at any time, an assurance he got in writing from the feds.
An interesting controversy is brewing in Conway Public Schools, periodically a scene of discord as more liberal constituents object to the heavy dose of religion that powerful local churches have tried to inject into the schools, particularly in sex education short on science and long on abstinence.