Asa Hutchinson was out rabble-rousing on the immigration question last week. Who says he and Jim Holt aren’t a match?

Not helping matters, Asa’s opponent, Mike Beebe, responded to Asa’s inflammatory remarks by essentially saying “Me too.” Obviously, the governor’s race will bring little in the way of enlightenment or compassion to this issue. Both candidates seem to believe that scourging Latino immigrants will gain votes. They may be right, but that’s an insufficient excuse. Arkansas needs leadership, not demagoguery.

Hutchinson put forth a plan that includes more cooperation between local police and federal immigration authorities, ending “catch and release” of illegal immigrants, and a crackdown on hiring illegal immigrants. He announced his plan in Northwest Arkansas, home of the state’s largest Latino population as well as the strongest anti-Latino sentiment. It’s Holt’s home turf.

If implemented, the Hutchinson plan would be expensive and divisive. The state’s jails are already overflowing. Only the most bigoted and/or short-sighted would want to free violent criminals so that illegal immigrants could be incarcerated longer. Setting local police to enforce immigration laws will drive a wedge between the police and the Latino community, discouraging Latinos from contacting the police when they’ve been wronged, while encouraging racial profiling.

Instead of criticizing the substance and the spirit of Hutchinson’s proposals, Beebe said that Hutchinson wasn’t tough enough on illegal immigrants while he was a federal official. Like Hutchinson, Beebe says that he’ll go after the corporations that hire illegal immigrants. Whether either man would actually carry through on this pledge is uncertain.

 Whenever the head of a government agency says he wants to run the agency like a business, we know the public interest is about to take a beating. What would Ken Lay do with a pot of taxpayers’ money? What does Halliburton?

Little Rock City Attorney Tom Carpenter has said that the city Convention and Visitors Bureau violated state law by spending more than half a million dollars on marketing projects without taking competitive bids. While promising to obey the law in the future, the bureau’s executive director, Dan O’Byrne, said that operating without bids or contracts gave the Bureau more flexibility and sometimes even saved money. Fresh from what is called “the private sector,” O’Byrne says he wants to run the Bureau more like a business. But government is not a business. For one thing, it’s not run for a profit, which is why government programs like Medicare operate so much more cheaply and efficiently than private health insurers. It’s when government imitates business — rewarding friends through private deals — that its worst scandals occur.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • Hutchinson administration resists accountability in child rape case

    After a nightmarish revelation about serial rapes by a state-approved foster parent, the Hutchinson administration, from the governor on down, resist talking about how it happened.
  • Little Rock police kill man downtown

    Little Rock police responding to a disturbance call near Eighth and Sherman Streets about 12:40 a.m. killed a man with a long gun, Police Chief Kenton Buckner said in an early morning meeting with reporters.
  • From the mind of Sol LeWitt: Crystal Bridges 'Loopy Doopy': A correction

    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is installing Sol Lewitt's 70-foot eye-crosser "Wall Drawing 880: Loopy Doopy," waves of complementary orange and green, on the outside of the Twentieth Century Gallery bridge. You can glimpse painters working on it from Eleven, the museum's restaurant, museum spokeswoman Beth Bobbitt said
  • Ted Suhl loses another bid for new trial; faces stiff sentencing recommendation

    Ted Suhl, the former operator of residential and out-patient mental health services, has lost a second bid to get a new trial on his conviction for paying bribes to influence state Human Services Department policies. Set for sentencing Thursday, Suhl faces a government request for a sentence up to almost 20 years. He argues for no more than 33 months.
  • Football and foster kids

    It took a football stadium to lay bare Republican budget hypocrisy in Arkansas.

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Jodi Morris's lifelong ties to the National Park Service

Jodi Morris's lifelong ties to the National Park Service

"History is always happening" at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • The end is near

    Practically speaking, it doesn't really matter if Donald Trump accepts the results of the November election.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The end is near

    • Dear Clinton shill, your words aren't convincing anyone but the ideologues of a global rule…

    • on October 28, 2016
  • Re: Confrontation vs. innovation

    • Do you need Personal Loan? Business Cash Loan? Unsecured Loan Fast and Simple Loan? Quick…

    • on October 28, 2016
  • Re: Football and foster kids

    • I think Bart Hester just hates tax dollars being spent anywhere for anything.

    • on October 27, 2016

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation