Baker bangs Bisbee | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Baker bangs Bisbee

Posted By on Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 11:05 AM

When a political candidate's campaign leaks a campaign document you can count on a few things: 1) it will put the candidate in the best possible light and 2) it will reveal some information the candidate is anxious to distribute.

So it goes with the leakage of a Gilbert Baker campaign document. It generally positions Baker, the Republican state senator, as the certain opponent of Democratic incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln and makes the case for Baker's likely strength as a general election opponent.

It's all here. Read and report, pro and con. But the point, as Jason Tolbert has already noted, is Baker's response to continued badmouthing from Benton County Judge Dave Bisbee, who split with Baker in the Senate over leadership. Bisbee was in line on basis of seniority to rise to president pro tem. Baker sided with conservative Democrats to install a Democrat in the job. Says the memo about Baker's talking point on the issue, which could be important in Republican-rich Benton County:

There is still “nagging doubt” about Gilbert’s support for a Democrat over a Republican in the election for Senate Pro-Tempore in 2005.  This election was for the 2007 Senate Pro-Tempore.  Moving forward, we must be very clear about this issue: 
Plain and simple, Gilbert Baker chose the interests of conservative policies in this process.

Those pushing this story are conveniently trying to re-write history.  Then Senator Dave Bisbee (Republican) joined with Percy Malone (Democrat) to offer a change to the Arkansas Senate rules that would have mandated that only the members of the majority party would be allowed to vote in the selection of the Senate Pro Tempore.   Gilbert Baker, along with other Republicans, disagreed with this proposal.  This attempt by Bisbee and Malone helped solidify the growing divide that led to Senator Bisbee’s defeat.  This “conservative” group joined with other conservative members of the Senate to elect a Senate Pro-Tempore giving Republicans a more prominent voice. 
How is that not putting the interest of the Republican Party first?
No, Gilbert Baker did not put Dave Bisbee’s interest first-- he put the interest of conservatism first.  Our campaign has been reluctant to address this issue publicly, but moving forward we must be pro-active and aggressive to ensure that the accurate story is being portrayed.

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