Favorite

Public be damned 

Public be damned

Abraham Lincoln may have been the last as well as the first member of his party to believe in government of, by and for the people. When they aren't cutting taxes for the rich, today's Republicans are denying ordinary people a voice in the process of governing. Although — to be fair — the Republicans succeed only because timid Democrats won't stand up to them. Democrats are to Andrew Jackson much as Republicans are to Lincoln — they invoke the name at fund-raising dinners, and ignore the principles.

It appears that a bill to let the American people elect their own president will not pass at this session of the Arkansas legislature, surprising as that sounds. The House of Representatives gamely approved HB 1339 five weeks ago, but the bill has been stuck in the Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee since, and its sponsor, Rep. Eddie Cooper (D-Melbourne), says he lacks the votes to get it out. HB 1339 is the local version of a device to assure that the presidential candidate who gets the most votes is the one who takes office. An Arkansan's presidential vote would weigh the same as any other American's — no more and no less. Under the curious Electoral College system now in use, half a dozen Republican regulars cast all of Arkansas's presidential votes last year. The Electoral College allowed George W. Bush to become president in 2000, a political Hurricane Katrina.

The Senate State Agencies Committee is one where alleged Democrats vote just like real Republicans. It's an undistinguished and undistinguishable group — Faris, Baker, Wilkinson, Bryles, Hendren, Laverty, Glover, Pritchard. Before term limits, there would have been at least one member of the committee with some ability, and some commitment to the common good. Term limits and the Electoral College reward mediocrity.

 

Sen. Gilbert Baker pops up again in the Arkansas opposition to federal legislation that would let workers use either a secret ballot or an open signing of petitions in choosing whether or not to join a union. Present law allows employers to order that workers hold a secret-ballot election. The bill is eminently fair, but no idea is so good that Gilbert Baker and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette can't oppose it. Big corporations, and big advertisers, claim the bill would deny the right to a secret ballot; Baker and the D-G profess to believe. Above an article on the activities of Baker and  associates, a D-G headline says “Move on to retain secret vote on unions.” Such a move is on all right, and it's the unions who are supporting it.      

 

Favorite

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    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.
  • Labor department director inappropriately expensed out-of-state trips, audit finds

    Jones was "Minority Outreach Coordinator" for Hutchinson's 2014 gubernatorial campaign. The governor first named him as policy director before placing him over the labor department instead in Jan. 2015, soon after taking office.
  • Lawsuit filed against ADC officials, prison chaplain convicted of sexual assault at McPherson

    A former inmate who claims she was sexually assaulted over 70 times by former McPherson Womens' Unit chaplain Kenneth Dewitt has filed a federal lawsuit against Dewitt, several staff members at the prison, and officials with the Arkansas Department of Corrections, including former director Ray Hobbs.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.

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

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 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 Recent Comments

  • Re: Worth it

    • Alas, Gene's memory ain't what it used to be. He wrote a column some time…

    • on December 5, 2016
  • Re: Forget identity politics

    • Hillarys 'Stronger Together' nonsense failed because she failed to make it a reality. As Gene…

    • on December 5, 2016
  • Re: Fake economics

    • Trump economic proposals: Rates for Married-Joint filers: Less than $75,000: 12% More than $75,000 but…

    • on December 5, 2016
 

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