Favorite

The rest of the news 

New briefs worth further comment:

• Item: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette publisher Walter Hussman told a national meeting of editorial writers in Little Rock last week that newspapers were being ruined by providing news free on the Internet. It's a failed business model to give your product away, he said.

Really? Hussman established a monopoly in Little Rock's daily newspaper market by, among other strategies, 1) littering the city with millions of free newspapers once a week for years; 2) “gracing,” or continuing to deliver without payment, thousands of other newspapers on a daily basis, and 3) giving away millions of dollars in free classified advertising under the smart belief that it builds readership and brings other advertisers. He also 1) has started a free weekly newspaper, Sync; 2) has started a free monthly magazine, Arkansas Living, and 3) provides all the news and features in his Northwest Arkansas newspapers for free on the web at nwanews.com.

Think about it. Hussman perfected a print version of Craigslist (free want-ads) years before free on-line ads started playing hell with newspapers. New media models have curbed Hussman's plans to cash in on his print monopoly. He's just tasting a bit of his own bitter medicine.

• Item: The Conway Log Cabin Democrat reported last week that Republican Sen. Gilbert Baker's use of a University of Central Arkansas tent for a campaign fund-raiser at the home of UCA trustee Michael Stanton did not “throw up any red flags” in an Arkansas Ethics Commission advisory opinion. Baker was quoted as being “thrilled” with the opinion.

Further comment: The opinion did not investigate Baker's use of the tent. It only offered general advice, including strong urging that  public officials be cautious about campaign use of public property. If public property is available to all on an equal basis, then it might be legal.

Baker, who didn't pay for the UCA tent until after the Arkansas Times began making inquiries, neglected to mention that there's no record of anybody but Baker's campaign ever renting the tent. Sound equal to you?

The Log Cabin didn't trouble to ask Baker why he couldn't rent a tent elsewhere. It also could have asked about that special UCA housing for Baker's son. It also could have asked about how UCA contributed money to Baker when he was a paid fund-raiser for a foundation headed by a woman Baker was grooming to run for political office.

Red flags? I see them all over.

• Item: Rep. Clark Hall of Marvell led the charge at a legislative committee last week for a back-to-school sales tax holiday. He contends Arkansas retailers are being harmed by similar holidays in surrounding states. National chain retailers — Dillard's, Wal-Mart — have no objections because they get the business wherever the shopper goes.

The they-all-do-it argument seems popular with legislators. But if Arkansans are now flocking out of state for sales tax holiday sales, they need to go back to school.

Take Hall. He'd have to drive about 150 miles for a round-trip to Memphis. The cost of that drive is about $75, including depreciation. You'd have to spend $1,000 or more before your tax savings would recoup the cost. Gas alone for a Ford F-150 would require about $500 in purchases to break even. Competing holidays, if a problem, are primarily an issue in a handful of border cities.

 

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Supremely discredited

    Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Rhonda Wood and her allies continue to discredit the state's highest court.
    • Jul 30, 2015
  • Hutchinson pulls Faubus move

    I don't know what if anything might arise or be planned in the future relative to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's order to end Medicaid reimbursement for medical services (not abortion) provided by Planned Parenthood in Arkansas.
    • Aug 20, 2015
  • Neighborliness, in Little Rock and beyond

    I had a parochial topic in mind this week — a surprise plan by Mayor Mark Stodola to address the Arkansas Arts Center's many needs.
    • Nov 19, 2015

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
    • Jan 19, 2017
  • Praising Asa

    Let us now praise the governor for a starkly moderate record, at least in comparison with other red-state executives.
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More on LRSD tax

    When the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and a Walton Foundation-paid lobbyist, long devoted critics of the Little Rock School District, lead the messaging for a quarter-billion dollars in new tax debt for the district, it is cause for caution.
    • Jan 5, 2017
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Event Calendar

« »

January

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 Viewed

  • A heart in this house

    Since Election Day, I have been at a loss as to how to direct my energy. I am spinning in circles.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: A heart in this house

    • The elections woke people up, a good thing and caused some people to feel insecure…

    • on January 20, 2017
  • Re: A heart in this house

    • Arkansas needs You.

    • on January 19, 2017
  • Re: A heart in this house

    • Autumn Tolbert, thank You. I met Rev. Barbour in Selma two years ago. A new…

    • on January 19, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation