Thursday night line | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thursday night line

Posted By on Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 4:00 PM

The comment line is open. Final words:

* NORTH LITTLE ROCK MAYOR: state Rep. Tracy Steele made his candidacy for North Little Rock mayor official today, following an earlier announcement by retiring Mayor Pat Hays' right-hand man, Joe Smith. A teabagger is also running. Among others, he promised transparency. In that vein, I sent the candidate a question asking whether he'd continue to hold a paid job as head of the Stand Foundation, a nonprofit that devotes a majority of the money it raises to overhead, primarily Steele's pay. I asked him if he'd solicit contributions to the foundation from people and organizations who do business with city government and whether, in the interest of openness, he'd reveal past sources of money for the group. I'll let you know if I hear back.

UPDATE: An e-mail from Steele says:

“If elected Mayor, I will not hold a paid position with the STAND Foundation and not one cent of city funds will be used for any purpose for the STAND Foundation."

I still have a question pending about whether the foundation would solicit money from people doing business with the city and whether he'd disclose major donors during the time he was a legislator and paid head of the organization.

UPDATE II: Further:

As to your first question: "I will not use the Mayor’s office to the benefit of the STAND Foundation, but will personally support STAND in any way that I can. I believe in the STAND Foundation’s mission to help and develop the people they serve." Representative Tracy Steele

On the second question, please direct any questions about disclosing past donors to the STAND Foundation.

* LITTLE ROCK ELECTIONS: An awful lot of positioning, talking, thinking about challenges for the three at-large city directors — Joan Adcock, Gene Fortson and Dean Kumpuris — to be on the ballot in November. Who'll pull the trigger? Not clear yet except, apparently, at least one committed Occupy Little Rock member. It sounds like term-limited state Rep. Kathy Webb won't be making a run, though a number of her admirers haven't given up hope she can be persuaded. Fortson, who took his current office on the soon-broken promise that he wouldn't run for the seat, starts with that baggage. Adcock, for all her machinations over the years, also has built a healthy list of political foes. Filing doesn't close until Aug. 17. I am happy to say at least two potential candidates are talking about running for an at-large seat on the promise of doing away with at-large seats and going to a more democratic all-ward election process. That's good news.

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