About those ads | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, October 28, 2006

About those ads

Posted By on Sat, Oct 28, 2006 at 5:38 AM

Coverage here of remarks by prosecutors and Sen. Jay Bradford yesterday in defense of Mike Beebe relative to his role in the Senate while the Nick Wilson scam was in progress. The defense was occasioned by ads run by the Coalition for Arkansas' Future, a Republican front group attacking Beebe.

About all that: Nothing happened in the Senate in those days without at least the tacit approval or understanding of Beebe and his closest ally Morril Harriman. The Wilson legal fee scam was specifically enabled by work in the arcane and important little world run by Harriman known as the special languages subcommittee. The federal grand jury that indicted Wilson even heard evidence that Harriman's lobbyist/lawyer wife had expressed interest at one point in sharing in the legal work created by the ad litem program to represent kids in divorce cases. The ad litem deal was part of  broader wheeling and dealing that produced, among others, a new building for the state Supreme Court. But you can be part of legislative wheeling and dealing and not necessarily a player in, or even knowledgeable about, felonious intentions. At the outset, the ad litem program looked mostly like a sweetheart deal -- smelly, maybe, on account of how some insiders seemed set to reap most of the benefits, but not illegal. It's not illegal, after all, to pay lawyers under a special program aimed at insuring decent representation for kids in tough circumstances. As former U.S. Attorney Paula Casey pointed out, it took the grand jury many months to knit together all the various parts and find the criminal activity, which Wilson eventually admitted. His name wasn't even on the legislation. Casey's office went aggressively after every angle. Beebe emerged untouched. Many other Democrats did not. Does that mean he wholly escapes any taint from his years at the epicenter of an institution too often controlled by special interests and special pleaders? Not at all. It's a fair subject for discussion in the election. Just as A$a's lobbying and penny stock opportunism reflect on his public service.

As I remarked to a Republican yesterday, however, neither of these stories -- Nickgate or lobbygate -- seem to have legs, much as he or I might wish otherwise. The Wilson matter is doubly difficult to sell on account of its age and complexity and the utter absence of a smoking gun to put in Beebe's hand.

But where the A$a camp disclaims any knowledge or involvement in the 527 group's ad re Beebe and Wilson, please. It's a piece of a coordinated Republican campaign for governor. The Republican Party is sending out fact sheets on the Wilson case. The A$a media machine is pumping out the details, too. Which is fine. Just don't insult our intelligence by treating the Republican-financed Beebe smear ad as an independent effort in any but the strictest technical sense.

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Tuesday's open line

    The open line and video report.
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • Unemployment insurance pays off

    Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families has published a new report on the benefits of unemployment insurance — how every dollar paid on benefits puts two dollars into the economy.
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • Lawsuit filed against 'election integrity' commission

    A voting rights group has filed a lawsuit against the so-called election integrity commission that's likely nothing a Trump vehicle for voter roll purges. Talking Points Memo reports.
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • City Board votes to table homeless feeding ordinance for 8 weeks, study with commission

    The Little Rock Board of Directors voted tonight to table for eight weeks an ordinance that homeless advocates say would severely limit the ability of charities to feed homeless people in city parks. Before the ordinance was punted, Vice Mayor Kathy Webb proposed a nine-member commission to study the issue and make recommendations to the board.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

  • Troubles mount for Sen. Jake Files. Maybe others, too

    Sen. Jakes Files has serious problems, based on an FBI affidavit filed Monday in Fort Smith. One new question is how many other legislators have problems based on spending of state surplus money?
  • There is life other than football, UAMS indicates

    UAMS has announced that it will be open for business as usual on Aug. 31, even though a football game will be taking place that night at War Memorial Stadium.
  • Another bank acquisition for Arvest

    Arvest Bank, the Walton banking enterprise, is acquiring Bear State Financial, led by Richard Massey, for $391 million, all cash. Bear State, based in Arkansas, has 42 branches and other operations in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
  • LR discussion set on cuts in state aid for disabled

    The Center for Arkansas Legal Services and  Legal Aid of Arkansas will have a public meet from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday at the downtown library at 100 S. Rock on cuts in the state-run Medicaid program for home-care for people with disabilities.
  • Legislators set 'town hall' on Little Rock School District

    A group of Little Rock legislators (not all of them, only Democrats so far) has organized a town hall meeting on the Little Rock School District from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday in the Old Supreme Court chamber at the state Capitol. We propose a few questions.

Most Recent Comments



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