Smart Talk, July 30 

Huck PAC pinched


Mike Huckabee set up the Huck PAC ostensibly to support other worthy politicians. He's doled out little money to others and the money hasn't exactly rolled in. Arkansas Business reported last week that the PAC's debt was increasing, it had laid off one worker and the PAC had folded a related think tank, the Vertical Politics Institute. Huckabee's daughter-in-law, Lauren Huckabee, departed Vertical Politics to work in a political campaign.

Paradoxically, Huckabee's campaigning for others has been enriching to him, if not the other candidates or his PAC.

The Hill reported last week that Len Phillip, a Republican congressional candidate in Alabama, brought Huckabee in for a fund-raiser that that ended up with a net loss of $43,000. Why? Heavy expenses included a $33,990 speaking fee for the Huckster, plus additional costs related to his appearance, including lunch and a photography session. Thanks, Mike.



Bang for the college buck


A website, payscale,com, uses its data annually to compile a list comparing the average starting pay and mid-career pay of U.S. colleges and universities. Best average starting pay in the 2009 list was at the private Loma Linda University in California, just ahead of MIT, at $71,400. Dartmouth College led the mid-career median at $129,000.

And what about Arkansas? Four state schools were rated and they finished back in the pack. The numbers for starting pay medians, with mid-career medians in parenthesis: Arkansas State University, $37,100 ($64,500); University of Central Arkansas, $37,000 ($62,600) ; UALR, $35,800 ($57,100), and the UA at Fayetteville, $43,300 ($81,100) .


Paper? Who needs it?


If you read this newspaper, or any newspaper, as the primary source of your news, you are in the minority. Or so says a recent poll conducted for Talk Business Quarterly.

The poll asked 600 Arkansans about their regular source of business, political and other important news.

The breakdown: Cable TV news channels, 31 percent; TV news, 22 percent; Internet websites, 11 percent; local newspapers, 10 percent; radio news, 3 percent; talk radio, 3 percent; magazines, 1 percent. About 12 percent cited a combination of these or all.

The question didn't specify sources for local news.





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