Beebe v. A$a | Arkansas Blog

Friday, June 23, 2006

Beebe v. A$a

Posted By on Fri, Jun 23, 2006 at 2:54 PM

The candidates for governor faced off before a luncheon crowd at the Arkansas Press Association convention in Hot Springs today. Each candidate got a 15-minute opener and then they took questions, which a chance for rebuttal.

Some strong counter-punching, we hear from someone who was there. Hutchinson closed by criticizing Beebe for saying immigration control was a federal issue. (A$a conceded that when he left Homeland Security, the responsible agency, it still had some work to do in this area.) Hutchinson also took after Beebe for his proposed $50 million gubernatorial economic development fund. He said such work is the province of existing agencies, not the governor's office, and says such a fund could become a political reward chest.=.

After hearing this, I thought about it for a second. I'm not too hot about gubernatorial slush funds in principle, either. But, as a strictly political matter, I'm not sure I'd want to be the candidate arguing that it is a terrible idea. Even though the criticism might be correct as a matter of policy and process,  it sounds like you're arguing against an aggressive jobs policy. Believe me, I know. I've lost this perception battle time and again while arguing against various corporate welfare sops.

It sounds like Beebe stuck with the "Believe in Arkanas" shtick -- jobs, health care education. Hutchinson sounds like the aggressor, at least from our observer. That translates into front-runner vs. underdog. Perhaps someone else who was there has another view. You know where to write.

Notable by its absence our observer said: Much reference by Hutchinson to rural schools, his supposed nuclear weapon. (In another call, we're told Hutchinson made a brief reference to it.) Maybe it doesn't pack the megatonnage some Repubs presume. Interestingly, UA prof Hoyt Purvis said as much during taping of "Arkansas Week" this morning. See it at 8 p.m. tonight on AETN. But this was before the Paron decision was disclosed.

The Democratic Party's hit machine parses A$a on the jump.


From the Dems' Victory 2006 apparatus:

Hutchinson Says We Don’t Need Mike Beebe’s Aggressive Proposals For Economic Development, What We Have Now Is Good Enough.

Criticizing Beebe’s proposal for the Governor’s Quick Close Action fund to recruit new employers and maintain the ones we have,
Hutchinson said:
“Well, I believe we need to have that money to bring in economic development, but it can be done most effectively through the agencies that are set up for that purpose.”


In Response, Beebe Said His Aggressive Economic Policy Is What’s Called for in Arkansas .

“That’s the way we do it in Arkansas .  I don’t know how they do it in Washington,” Beebe said to
Hutchinson .


Hutchinson Follows Beebe’s Lead On Grocery Tax?

It’s hard to make sense of Hutchinson ’s varied positions on the grocery tax.

“And let me go back to the sales tax on groceries.  I have supported that.  Now in January, when the Attorney General is referring to it, I was asked a question about it; I had not made any announcements about that yet.  But I clearly indicated repeatedly my support for that,”  Hutchinson said.

But that wasn’t the case in January.

In an interview afterward [the Delta Caucus Candidate Forum in Little Rock], Hutchinson said eliminating the food tax is not part of his tax proposals.”  -- AP, Andrew DeMillo, 1-27-06

So Hutchinson said it wasn’t part of what he wanted to do at the time Beebe proposed it.  But, what he said then isn’t true anymore, according to
Hutchinson , because he’s said the opposite so many times. 
Hutchinson ’s argument doesn’t pass the smell test.


Hutchinson Admits He Left “A Little Bit” of Work To Do About His Washington Failures

“My opponent has simply said that is a federal responsibility and blamed it on me when I was Undersecretary at Homeland Security.  Well, I believe that these are problems that are historically difficult; we have to continue to work towards solutions. And, just as I didn’t solve every illegal drug problem in the country when I was head of the DEA, I left a little bit of work to be done at Homeland Security,”  Hutchinson said.

Beebe never blamed Hutchinson for illegal immigration.  He blamed Hutchinson for not doing anything about it when it was his responsibility.  In fact,
Hutchinson decreased the fight against illegal immigration when he was in charge.  See the facts in the table at:



Can We Believe Anything
Hutchinson Said On Stage?  Trapped In His Own Words

“…the opinion the Attorney General issued on private property rights.  I disagree with it, I think it’s wrong,”  Hutchinson said.

Was Hutchinson not telling the t ruth today, or back in August, 2005, when he said the opposite?

“Hutchinson, a former U.S. attorney and member of Congress from the state’s 3 rd District, said he doesn’t have a problem with the opinion itself [on private property rights], which he said is “a good legal analysis.” – Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 8/31/05 



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