Former Democratic state chairman Ron Oliver has sent a fund-raising letter to Arkansas Democrats urging them to gird for attacks from Lt. Gov. Win Rockefeller, who is expected to seek the Republican gubernatorial nomination next year.
“With the New Year already underway, the countdown to Election Day 2006 has already begun — we are going to take back the Governor’s Mansion,” the letter says. “The next election will mark the first time in 28 years there is an open seat for governor. Already, names are being mentioned as potential candidates for the Republican nomination, but one name is consistently mentioned: Winthrop Rockefeller.
“Last year at a Republican rally, Rockefeller said he believed that Democrats were motivated by hate. If he becomes the Republican nominee, this is the type of campaign we expect him to run — a campaign based on fear and divisive tactics. … Rockefeller will undoubtedly dump millions of dollars of his own money into his campaign. Our nominee for governor must have an organized and well-funded Party to help overcome this billionaire’s resources.”
He’s rich, all right, but it’s hard to imagine the bland Rockefeller waging a really mean campaign. (His father didn’t, though vicious campaigns were run against him.) Oliver didn’t mention him, but there is another possible Republican contender and he’s got a proven track record of nastiness, in the Clinton impeachment and other affairs: Asa Hutchinson. Now there’s a foe whose style should worry the Dems.
Get your government scorecard here
When you contemplate some of the worthy politicians listed in the publication we’re talking about, you may want a cold beer, too. Or three.
Students of the political process can once again look to the League of Women Voters of Arkansas to better understand state and local government. The League has released a new printing of “Government in Arkansas,” which has information on the state Constitution, the legislative and judicial branches, education, elections, political parties and interest groups.
There are web links in the book, too, plus a new comparative section, “Arkansas in Context.” The book costs $15. Call 501-376-7760 or fax 501-975-4670 to get a copy.
Too many well-paid chiefs?
We posted this information on the Arkansas Blog last week, but it bears repeating. The Faculty Senate at the University of Arkansas did a study of changes in staffing and pay between the 2000-01 academic year and the current year at UA. The findings:
Average faculty salary +14.6 percent
Average administrator salary +21 percent
Type 2000-01 2004-05 Change
Faculty 813 797 -1.97 percent
Administration 585 754 +28.9 percent
Student enrollment 15,346 17,269 +12.5 percent
Sen. Jonathan Dismang ran into opposition but still passed his bill to add UAMS, the State Hospital and college athletic events and venues as exceptions to legislation signed yesterday to expand where qualified concealed carry permit holders may take weapons. The NRA will fight the changes in the House.
Hog fans just can't quit blaming the refs for the NCAA men's basketball tournament loss to North Carolina. Now the Arkansas Senate has gotten in on the act, with this resolution introduced by Democratic Sen. Keith Ingram and getting bipartisan co-sponsorship from that brutish and short sandlot roundball player, Republican Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson.
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.