Airport renews Witt lobbying deal | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Airport renews Witt lobbying deal

Posted By on Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 11:15 AM

I mentioned the other day that Little Rock Airport Commissioner Tom Schueck had held up routine extension of the Little Rock National Airport's $100,000-a-year lobbying contract with Witt Associates, James Lee Witt's government consulting firm. He was unhappy that the airport had been unable to defeat state legislation that blocked an airport fee increase for the private Security Parking concession. The law will produce a cut in fees collected from the parking deck.

Witt Associates added Ron Fuller, a former Republican legislator, to their team for airport work because of the heavy Republican forces assembled by Security Parking, whose bill was sponsored by Republican Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson.

Only Schueck dissented on the renewal of the contract at the regular Commission meeting today. Other commissioners defended Witt's work and said all at the airport shared in factors that contributed to passage of the legislation. It was hardly a Republican-only victory. The bill was opposed by only one senator and a handful of representatives in a legislature that remains majority Democratic. Some commissioners acknowledged that the airport had a larger public relations problem — presumably on account of reporting about some questionable airport expenditures in the last year.

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