The Republican purchase of Arkansas | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Republican purchase of Arkansas

Posted By on Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 5:31 AM

MORE REPUBLICAN LIES: Mike Fletcher didnt vote to raise gas tax, despite what national Republican ad says.
  • MORE REPUBLICAN LIES: Mike Fletcher didn't vote to raise gas tax, despite what national Republican ad says.
Lord how the out-of-state corporate money rolls in.

If we had ethical disclosure laws worthy of the name, we'd at least be able to put a price tag on the cumulative sum being spent by Republican groups and their allies to buy control of the Arkansas legislature, the last Democratic majority in the deep South.

Just yesterday, GOPAC dropped $12,000 on a smattering of legislative races. That's nothing.

The Republican State Leadership Committee, a national organization, is spending untold sums to buy Republican seats in Arkansas. They are on the radio in the hills and hollows of Perry and Yell County, for example, (the land where Republican Senator Bruce Holland famously tried to outrun cops in a 100-mph Cannonballl Run). Their aim there is to beat a solid Democrat, incumbent Rep. John Catlett, with an extremist named Mary Bentley who spends most of her time spitting out the word Obama like a curse and vowing to end women's medical rights.

You can see the RSLCCis also going after Sen. Mike Fletcher, the retired state trooper seeking to hold a Senate seat from Hot Springs. It's a typically dishonest ad. It says Fletcher voted to increase the gas tax. He didn't. He voted to refer a ballot question on a gas tax for a highway plan to voters (as did then-House Republican Leader John Burris). This is the tax increase Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Darr supported afterpolitical contributions from fat cats, mostly related to the Murphy Oil fortune on which Highway Commissioner Madison Murphy depends. Darr is a Republican, along with Sen. John Boozman, who really DOES support a gas tax increase.

There's no telling how much other groups — the Kochs' American for Prosperity, Sixty Plus and other allied Republican groups are spending. The campaign of Rep. Tiffany Rogers, seeking a farmbelt Senate seat from Stuttgart, checked the books and found that the Kochs' AFP has bought $35,000 worth of TV time to beat her and elect Republican Jonathan Dismang. This is on top of thousands of dollars worth of direct mail and a bus tour that includes subsidized tanks of gas for all who come out to hear the AFP message for select Republican Senate candidates. Voters in Stuttgart should remember that AFP, though it does provide cut-rate gas as inducements for electoral support, has characterized rice belt farmers as welfare moochers.

We don't begin to have an idea of the millions being spent by Republican interests to wrest control of the Arkansas legislature. And we likely never will, given the porous nature of campaign finance laws and a wholly inadequate ethical regulation structure. The Republican candidates, we are learning, will put whatever TV buys are necessary on a consultant's credit card and hope for victory, with the guaranteed lobbyist repayment of debt it will bring for victory. It would be nice to see a few of these smart boys left holding a credit card bill with a punishing interest rate, like the rest of America left reeling by Republican tax-cut and spend on war policies.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel applauds Trump's EPA choice of climate change denier Scott Pruitt

    Dustin McDaniel gives the thumbs up to a man set to dismantle EPA regulations.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation