Disinformation | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Posted By on Sat, Sep 16, 2006 at 6:29 AM

The 527 group financed by Republicans to attack Democratic candidates is putting out erroneous information, says the House Democratic Caucus. Imagine that. News release on jump.

Little Rock, September 15, 2006 – The Coalition for Arkansas’ Future, a section 527 organization that assists Republican candidates in Arkansas, has attacked Rep. Ray Kidd of Jonesboro for voting twice to limit college tuition for our National Guardsmen.

The problem is that the legislation they cite – House Bill 1141 of 2005 – did not limit college tuition and did not cost a single soldier a single penny of tuition money. To the contrary, HB 1141 created an opportunity for Arkansas Guardsmen to attend college in Arkansas free of tuition. HB 1141 was sponsored by State Representative Jeff Wood (D-Sherwood) and revised a 2003 Act that allowed state funded colleges and universities to waive up to 25% of tuition costs for members of the Arkansas Army and Air National Guard receiving federal tuition assistance. However, HB 2480 of 2003 referenced a state tuition assistance program that did not exist. “The first 75% of the cost of tuition is covered by a federal tuition assistance program and other federal programs, not any state program,” Rep. Wood said. “HB 1141 simply cleared up any confusion regarding the funding source of the first 75% of tuition.”

Arkansas State University, located in Rep. Kidd's hometown of Jonesboro, has recently signed on to the 25% tuition wavier program. “This organization has severely misinterpreted the simple cleanup legislation I presented, and in doing so has misrepresented Rep. Ray Kidd's legislative record.” Wood said. “Not one legislator, Democrat or Republican, voted against this cleanup bill. “I would hope that this group would take the time to research and get their facts straight before sending out any future mailers” Wood said.

 Wood’s legislation was signed into law by Governor Mike Huckabee on February 8, 2005. House Majority Leader Steve Harrelson (D-Texarkana) stated that the organization should send a retraction to all recipients of the mailer. “Rep. Kidd’s constituents should know that he has been a strong supporter of Arkansas’s soldiers and airmen,” Harrelson said. “In addition to this legislation, Rep. Kidd also supported Senate Bill 466 of 2005, which granted state scholarships to children of 100% disable veterans.”

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