The Tuesday night line | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Tuesday night line

Posted By on Tue, May 14, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Finishing up early again today. Some closeout specials:

TAX PREPARER: Doyle Webb turns up.
  • TAX PREPARER: Doyle Webb business turns up on delinquent list.
* TAX DELINQUENT LIST TURNS UP FAMILIAR NAME:The recently published list of tax delinquent properties in the Saline Courier listed 10 properties in the original city of Benton owned by Gann House Renovations LLC, with some $8,500 in annual tax bills and penalties owed for 2010. If the money isn't paid by June 6, the properties will be forfeited to the state. As of 10:45 a.m. today, the taxes hadn't been paid, the collector's office said.
So what? Gann House Renovations LLC lists its address as the same address as that of its registered agent, Arkansas Republican Party Chair Doyle Webb. The state record also lists him as manager and tax preparer for the LLC. He has a pock-marked public record apart from politics: A legal ethical lapse, then there's a complaint by his sister about handling of their mother's estate and then there's past real estate financial troubles. Irony: His official resume boasts of his reduction of property taxes in Saline County while he was a JP. They weren't reduced to zero, of course.

I asked Webb about the listing and ownership of the properties by e-mail and received this response (he didn't respond to a followup):

Thanks for contacting me for comment. These properties are on the National Register of Historic Places, representing a working class neighborhood from 1880-1925. The LLC is in the process of obtaining refinancing at which time the property taxes will be paid current.

* FROM AURORA COLORADO OF ALL PLACES — HOW MORE GUNS MAKE US SAFER: The relevant passage follows:

About an hour after school let out for the day, the student was getting a ride home from a school employee who also works a second job as an armed security officer, according to police. The employee was trying to put his gun into the glove box of the car when the weapon fired, hitting the student in the leg.

* DON'T BE MISLED ABOUT THE IRS PROBES: Another voice — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), says, as I have, that a big story on 501c4s continues to be the widespread abuse of the tax filing status for overtly political purposes. There's more to the story, in other words, than improper focus of the IRS on teabaggers.

In response to the news that the IRS improperly targeted 501(c)(4) groups in the lead-up to the 2012 election — and in light of forthcoming congressional investigations into this matter — CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan issued the following statement:

“What happened at the IRS was wrong, but let’s not be sidetracked. The real problem is that phony 501(c)(4) groups are exploiting the tax laws to protect donors who don’t want to be held accountable for vicious, deceitful political ads. Hopefully this scandal will put these obscure but politically significant groups on the public’s radar.

“During the congressional hearings this week, members should question all aspects of 501(c)(4) enforcement, including why an IRS regulation allows these groups to work ‘primarily’ for the social welfare when the statute requires them to engage in such activities ‘exclusively,’ as well as why the IRS has allowed some groups to violate even the lax primary purpose standard without consequences.”

Yep. And here's an important explanation from Ezra Klein about the murky law pertaining to the very political 501c4s and how some experts think it is proper to even inquire about sources of financial support.

BTW: U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor has entered the IRS fray, belatedly, with this statement:

The federal government is not a political pawn. Yet, the IRS allowed their employees to target groups based on political affiliations. Like all Arkansans, I’m appalled by these outrageous—and clearly political—actions. I’ll be working to get to the bottom of this so we can fire those responsible and ensure this never happens again.

enduringlegacy.jpg
* THE LOST CAUSE: The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History this Saturday will host a visit by Dr. Stuart Towns, who's promoting a new book, "Enduring Legacy: Rhetoric and Ritual of the Lost Cause." It analyzes how rituals and monuments helped create and sustain a "Lost Cause paradigm for southern identity."

Towns will speak at the museum at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Interesting topic, with plenty of touchstones in Arkansas. Think Confederate Memorial Day. Think wreath-laying at the Confederate monument at the State Capitol. Think the annual observance of the hanging of David O. Dodd, "boy martyr of the Confederacy." Think the annual tributes to Robert E. Lee, some complete with recitation of his farewell address to the Army of Northern Virginia.

Museum news release follows.

MUSEUM NEWS RELEASE

May 14, 2013, Little Rock, AR — On Saturday, May 18, the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History will host author and professor, Dr. Stuart Towns, as he tours to promote his new book Enduring Legacy: Rhetoric and Ritual of the Lost Cause (University of Alabama Press, 2012).

Enduring Legacy explores the vital place of ceremonial oratory in the oral tradition in the South. It analyzes how rituals such as Confederate Memorial Day, Confederate veteran reunions, and dedication of Confederate monuments have contributed to creating and sustaining a Lost Cause paradigm for southern identity. Towns studies in detail post—Civil War southern speeches and how they laid the groundwork for future generations, from southern responses to the civil rights movement and beyond. The Lost Cause orators that came after the Civil War, Towns argues, helped to shape a lasting mythology of the brave Confederate martyrs and of the southern positions for why the Confederacy lost and who was to blame.

W. Stuart Towns is recently retired from Professor and Chairman of the Department of Communication Studies at Southeast Missouri State University. Before that he was Professor and Chair of Department of Communication at Appalachian State University and the University of West Florida. After spending over 30 years in the Active Army Reserves, Stuart retired as a Colonel. While in the Reserves, he served with the 361st Civil Affairs Brigade, and was a member of the Consulting Faculty Program at the U. S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History relates the military heritage of Arkansas and its citizens to a diverse and widespread audience. Located in the historic Arsenal Building in MacArthur Park—one of Central Arkansas's oldest surviving structures and the birthplace of one of this country's foremost military heroes—the museum collects, preserves, and interprets our state's rich military past from its territorial period to the present.

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