The open line: Hope for Mark Pryor; more guns on the street; putting lottery tickets on plastic | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The open line: Hope for Mark Pryor; more guns on the street; putting lottery tickets on plastic

Posted By on Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 4:48 PM

The midweek line is open. Final thoughts:

* A BIT OF HOPE FOR MARK PRYOR: The Pryor campaign sent around this link to an article by John Zogby on Forbes because it makes the point that elections aren't until November and Democrats can see some signs of hope in polling numbers for the U.S. Senate. Zogby credits recent polling that shows Pryor about even, but below 50 percent, with Republican challenger Tom Cotton. Zogby lumps Cotton with some other Republican challengers who haven't "caught on" yet. The sum of all the polling in that race is about that, I think. Cotton's extremism is Pryor's chief hope — along with a dream of energized Democratic voters, who, alas, are not yet in evidence.

click to enlarge FOR SALE: In Pine Bluff.
  • FOR SALE: In Pine Bluff.
This contains the details of a gun auction Saturday in Pine Bluff by a gun club, the Jefferson County sheriff and a tri-county drug task force. More than 700 weapons, from rifles and shotguns to pistols, revolvers and muzzle loaders will be sold. Many are presumably the results of law enforcement investigations. Is it expecting too much to think a law officer might not want to put some of these arms back out of the streets. There are plenty of legit hunting and other serious weapons. Saturday night specials and lesser stuff, too. (See photo.) Some police agencies do gun buybacks and destroy them. News reports indicate there's no shortage of weapons in Pine Bluff currently. 700 more heading that direction.

P.S. — Background checks will be performed.

PPS — Pulaski Prosecutor Larry Jegley informs me that his office policy is simple: If firearms are an instrument of a crime they are destroyed. Period. To hell with the money.

* LOTTERY COMMISSION OKAYS DEBIT CARD IDEA: The Arkansas Lottery Commission, hearing still more news today of declining lottery sales, authorized Director Bishop Woosley to seek a change in state law that would allow purchase of lottery tickets with credit cards, though retailers said the charge on debit cards could be damaging to retailers. The idea is being pushed to rev up lottery sales, which continue to fall. A report for February showed gross revenue of $38.9 million against $41.8 million the same month in 2013, or a 6.9 percent drop. The lottery net, which goes to scholarships, dropped 8.3 percent from $6.4 million to $5.9 million.

* ARKANSAS NATIVE RISES IN LOBBYING RANKS: Russellville native Mary Streett, a lawyer who's been a top lobbyist for Exelon, has joined BP as vice president and head of U.S. government affairs. She worked in the Clinton White House and on Clinton, Gore and Kerry presidential campaigns.

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