A House divided | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A House divided

Posted By on Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 6:31 AM

House Speaker Robbie Wills rammed through a deal to enhance public relations operations for the House. He fired the current press officer, plans to hire a replacement and, on top of that $80,000, will spend thousands more (where'd this money come from?) for a private consulting contract with PR man Craig Douglass. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and more shouldn't be far behind to advance the House agenda, as defined by Speaker Wills.

But what is the agenda of a body of 100 disparate members, some Republican, but most Democratic?

Good question. I see, despite Wills' claim of consensus, that the House minority leader is already raising questions. I've already heard from others rankled at the power grab, though fearful of payback if they step forward.

This will take the Arkansas House down the road toward partisanship in staffing. That's commonplace in most other states, so it's probably inevitable here. Just don't mistake this move by Wills as anything other than an increased expenditure of tens of thousands of tax money to enhance the political stature of those lucky enough to be among the speaker's coterie.

When the new House PR apparatus fires off a press release touting the latest fine piece of legislation adopted by Wills' forces, what will it say about those who voted against it?

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