Evening mailbag: Huckabee, drunken escapades, Mayor Dabbs' boondoggle, record-setting Arkie heritage | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Evening mailbag: Huckabee, drunken escapades, Mayor Dabbs' boondoggle, record-setting Arkie heritage

Posted By on Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Lots of odds and ends have floated in, so let me round them up here.


click to enlarge 32.jpg
* HEY, REX, I DIDN'T MISS MIKE HUCKABEE THAT MUCH: Rex Nelson — voice of OBU, major domo of the Political Animals Club and former mouthpiece for a Florida resident who once was governor of Arkansas — noted my headlined column last week, "Missing Mike Huckabee." So he knew I"d want to get word out loud and proud that the tax fugitive sugar-sand beachcomber is going to be back in town next week.

Yes, Michael Dale Huckabee will speak to the Political Animals at 7 a.m. Friday, Oct. 25 at the Little Rock Club. It costs $20 and that covers breakfast, not a speaker's fee for the Huckster, who's hinted lately he might have another presidential run in him.

* DRUNKEN ESCAPADES FASCINATE CANADIANS: Canada had to get through their Thanksgiving holidays first, but national newspapers have lately been having a field day with stories from Little Rock about the Capital Hotel capers of a wealthy stockbroker from Toronto who's been sued for injuring a hotel valet in alcohol-fueled hijinks. Dropped trousers, encounters with women, stood-up investment colleagues and more were part of the account in the lawsuit and accompanying hotel security account of Michael Wekerle's very bad night. Several newspapers picked up the video we put together from an exterior security camera.

The Toronto Star dug up a comment:

In a statement emailed to the Star by his lawyer, Wekerle said the incident occurred during a difficult period of his life.

“I had just lost my wife and I still have difficult moments. ‎While I dispute certain parts of the allegations, I acknowledge that on that night three years ago I behaved in a way that I'm not particularly proud of. For that, I apologize. There is a legal process currently unfolding and I am going to let it run its course,” he wrote.

At the time of the incident, Wekerle had just become a single dad with four children younger than 11, said his lawyer, Jeff Kehoe.

“Mr. Wekerle is aware of this historic incident and he plans to defend this vigorously,” Kehoe said.

Sure. If my wife had died when my children were young, I might have flown to Toronto, gotten knee walking drunk and dropped my pants in the bar of the fanciest hotel in town. Wouldn't you?

* I'VE GOT NINE GENERATIONS. DO I HEAR TEN? Several Republican candidates have made a point of emphasizing — in every news release — their family roots in Arkansas. At least a couple have claimed six generations of Arkansas ancestry. Comes today Little Rock banker French Hill, whose truly glittering resume mentions that he's a "ninth generation" Arkansan. (He's a Republican and running for a Heights-area state House of Representatives seat.) So his 7-great-grandpap was hanging in the 'hood with maybe, who?, DeSoto? Can anybody top that? And, French, could you send me the genealogy? It has to be fascinating.

A stray thought on all those deep-rooted Arkies from a first-generation variety (does it count if my wife goes four deep, or so?) Doesn't it follow that — the longer your family claims roots in Arkansas — the greater responsibility you bear for our low estate all these years?

* BBQ FAN NOTE: Joe McClard, 70, who succeeded his grandfather and father as operator of McClard's Bar-B-Q in Hot Springs, died Oct. 9. He was no longer active in the business. Subsequent generations of the family are now in charge. He went straight to work in the business after high school. Funeral is Saturday.

click to enlarge FIRST CLASS FLYER: Bryant Mayor Jill Dabbs said it was a bargain for her to fly in the front of the plane to Boston on the taxpayers' tab.
  • FIRST CLASS FLYER: Bryant Mayor Jill Dabbs said it was a bargain for her to fly in the front of the plane to Boston on the taxpayers' tab.
* HERE'S A JOB FOR LEGISLATIVE AUDIT: It involves a Republican-controlled city and, specifically, Bryant Mayor Jill "Republican" Dabbs, so the Republican-friendly Legislative Audit Division probably isn't interested. But I am not buying the story that Mayor Dabbs peddled to the City Council and Democrat-Gazette in explanation of how she and three city cohorts struck a good deal by upgrading to first-class plane tickets to a convention in Boston, a jaunt that cost the city a cool $11,000.

Mayor Jill Dabbs, City Attorney Chris Madison, Human Resource Director Shari Knight and a planning and development employee all flew first class to Boston because they said it was cheaper than paying the luggage fees associated with coach tickets.

“It cut luggage expenses in half and saved the city money,” Dabbs told the council at a Finance and Personnel Committee meeting Monday night. She noted that the tickets were purchased as coach and upgraded at the airport when they realized it would save money.

I simply don't buy this. I've done a lot of flying. If you could get a first-class upgrade for the cost of a bag or two  (how many bags did Republican Dabbs take on this trip, anyway? It was just a League of Cities convention, not a big game safari) everybody would be flying in the front of the plane. Has anybody requested receipts? Found the cost of the coach tickets? Found the cost of the upgrade? Checked the airline's policy on baggage charges generally and charges for additional bags. Investigative reporting needed. Mr. Arey? Mr. Norman? I've flown American Airlines to Boston and you can check one bag for $25, and check a second for $35. Plus you can carry stuff on.

When the immaculate upgrade deal is thoroughly examined, then see if the credit card companies can supply the specifics missing on the charge card reimbursements the foursome turned in. Best part of the Beantown Boondoggle was Dabbs' wish the alderman with questions about her travel expenses would have called her personally rather than bringing the matter up in a public meeting. No doubt.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (13)

Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Sunday and another open line

    Got anything for the open line?
    • Jul 23, 2017
  • But what about the Clintons? Last refuge of Trump, New York Times

    Trying to compare Donald Trump's reaction to the Russia investigation with Bill Clinton's dealings with Kenneth Starr should be a non-starter if the facts mattered. But these days — and to the New York Times — it ain't necessarily so.
    • Jul 23, 2017
  • Football is king, Bentonville edition

    Good analysis in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette of an unannounced Bentonville School Board vote last week to put $2 million into a football stadium for West High School despite board assurances in last May's tax election that no money would go to a football stadium.
    • Jul 23, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Federal judge wants John Goodson to explain class action maneuvering

    A show-cause order filed Monday by federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith indicates class action attorney John Goodson has some explaining to do about the move of a class action complaint against an insurance company from federal to state court with an instant pre-packaged settlement that has been criticized as a windfall for Goodson.
    • Dec 22, 2015
  • Deputy killed, police chief wounded in Sebastian County. Suspect in custody

    40/29 TV reports that two law officers were shot about 7 a.m. today near Hackett in Sebastian County and at mid-afternoon came word that one of them had died. Later in the day a suspect was taken into custody in the shooting.
    • Aug 10, 2016
  • Al Gore remembers Dale Bumpers

    Former Vice President Al Gore, a former U.S. Senate colleague of Dale Bumpers, sent a statement on Bumpers' death Friday:
    • Jan 3, 2016

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Sunday and another open line

    • Gftra - I have a 98% Golden/2% Chow that goes practically everywhere I do. He…

    • on July 23, 2017
  • Re: Sunday and another open line

    • A new word for today--"Whatabouism" Yes, there is even a Wikipedia entry that describes it…

    • on July 23, 2017
  • Re: Sunday and another open line

    • Biggins : I'm sure your golden retriever was at the hospital to do the lab…

    • on July 23, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation