Turncoats | Arkansas Blog

Monday, June 25, 2007

Turncoats

Posted By on Mon, Jun 25, 2007 at 9:10 AM

How low is The Brotherhood? Here's an idea.

There's a fund-raiser set Wednesday at the Chicken House for Sen. Gilbert Baker, the former Republican chairman, who anticipates a tough re-election battle against Democrat Joe White of Conway next year. It's no surprise that the Arkansas Poultry Federation would loan its handy HQ to aid Baker. Former Republican Rep. Marvin Childers is now head chickenkeeper.

But get a load of the hosts of this fund-raiser: Two nominal Democrats -- Senate President Pro-Tem Jack Critcher and next session's pro-tem, Bob Johnson.

We hear Beebe will be campaigning vigorously for White. It would have a salubrious effect on Senate math in 2009 should that seat switch.

No ticket price set for the event. Invitations say that contributors may donate up to $2,000 and attendance is not required to present Baker with a check.

UPDATE: A Republican who knows Baker well says the senator has already piled up more than $100,000 for an election more than a year away.

PS: Joe White may not be a certainty as the Democratic nominee, though he's already had a fund-raiser attended by other major officeholders. Rep. Betty Pickett of Conway is considering a run for the Democratic nomination, too. CORRECTION: One of White's workers said the fund-raiser mentioned was actually for the Faulkner County Democratic Party. But he said there will be many fund-raisers for White and Mike Beebe has promised to be at every one. White, who knows plenty of people after years of work at UCA and general manager of a car dealership, promises stout competition for Baker.

Our morning item has stirred the Capitol press corps. The D-G is on the case along with Stephens Media. So we'll hear more on this. And I'm guessing Johnson might hear from the governor, too.

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