The push to name Ted Thomas head of Arkansas Finance and Administration | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The push to name Ted Thomas head of Arkansas Finance and Administration

Posted By on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 7:16 AM

RICHARD WEISS: Will his successor have an equally open door.
  • RICHARD WEISS: Will his successor have an equally open door.
Reports have been circulating for several days about a legislative lobbying push to have Gov-elect Asa Hutchinson choose former legislator and one-time Huckabee budget director Ted Thomas to succeed the retiring Richard Weiss as director of the state Finance and Administration Department.

Some quick thoughts on that:

* COMPANY YOU KEEP: Thomas' supporters include Sen. Jason Rapert, not known for cool-headed judgment. Also Sen. Bart Hester, who believes, as Rapert does, in political blackmail.  You punish enemies. Rapert vows to get judges whose rulings he doesn't like, for example. Hester has vowed to vote against University of Arkansas budgets because of statements Chancellor David Gearhart has made supportive of Fayetteville's civil rights ordinance. Hester and Rapert, big Second Amendment men, don't think much of the 1st Amendment. Do they think Thomas is cut from the same cloth?

* PARTISANSHIP: A Republican administration is going to be Republican. But the state has been spoiled by Weiss, who's negotiated administrations from Clinton to Tucker to Huckabee to Beebe. Thomas is an intensely partisan political consultant. Many in the legislature hired him to run slash-and-burn campaigns against political opponents, in primaries and against Democrats. That's the nature of political campaigns these days.  But it's a fair question to ask whether the state's top fiscal officer can set aside that history in overseeing a vast financial department that must work with people of all political coloration. Thomas will be no match for Weiss in the personality department, even admirers of his abilities agree. An ability to work with others (though no doubt having a velvet fist), has served Weiss well.

* ACCESS: if this is shaping up as a done deal (which it seems to be since, Thomas was a top campaign consultant to Hutchinson), the new governor should require from Thomas a promise to operate as Weiss has operated. He's accessible to a fault. When mistakes are made he admits them. I'll have a quick  way to assess things. In the Weiss administration, a call to his office is promptly put through to him unless he's on the phone or in a meeting. If he is engaged, he calls back. Or one of his assistants does. Let's get strictly personal about it: Will Ted Thomas take my phone calls? That has not been his practice in the past.

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

  • Trump-Putin: As bad as expected. At least.

    The reviews of Trump's meeting with Putin are not kind to the American.  Those who think the United States has been demeaned and diminished by a lying thug, it might be time to take a knee.
    • Jul 16, 2018
  • One dead, another wounded in NLR skate park shooting

    North Little Rock police say one man was fatally shot and another wounded  in an apparent robbery about 3:45 a.m. today at the Riverview Skatepark along the Arkansas River at 2800 River Road, North Little Rock.
    • Jul 16, 2018
  • The Malvern connection: Millions flow through it

    How a couple of former senators from Malvern find themselves in a legal controversy over a $4 million finder's fee paid to a Texas lawyer.
    • Jul 16, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • 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
  • From Russia with love: A manipulated Arkansas photograph becomes election fake news

    The Wall Street Journal reports here on how Russian troll farms have exploited cracks in social media for propaganda purposes, appropriating images for re-use in their disinformation campaigns. Arkansas angle:
    • Feb 23, 2018
  • Free Zinn book for Arkansas teachers

    Arkansas teachers! Get your free Howard Zinn book here! Whether Kim Hendren likes it or not.
    • Mar 3, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

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