Friday, December 11, 2015

Goodson shows off Mike Beebe backing; GOP senator gets a way to say thankyou

Posted By on Fri, Dec 11, 2015 at 11:10 AM

click to enlarge beebe.jpg

I had heard Courtney Goodson, a candidate for chief justice, had a fund-raiser last night in Searcy that included former Gov. Mike Beebe as a host. 

Sure enough, her Twitter feed today includes a photo with Beebe and his wife. He's a rare Democrat in her Facebook photo album. She's been busily building cred in Republican Arkansas (despite having been elected first on alliance with Democrats thanks to her relationship with a previous husband). In Searcy, photo-featured hosts include Republican Sen. Jonathan Dismang, president pro tem of the Senate. Beebe is more of a Beebecrat, with demonstrated voter appeal across party lines.

Goodson follows a pattern others have used — notably Justice Rhonda Wood — in ostentatiously displaying grip-and-grin photos with Republican politicians. Judges nominally run as non-partisan, but they've found it increasingly useful to be identified with the majority political party.

Goodson's opponent Judge Dan Kemp isn't likely to bring in Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson to counter. A son and nephew, Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, are on board with Goodson.

Kemp did get the chair of the Republican Party, Doyle Webb, out to one of his fund-raisers.

This criticism is not Goodson specific, though it perhaps applies more to her than anyone: In theory, judges aren't supposed to know who contribute to their campaigns. But more and more, they hobnob with them at fund-raisers and then use photos there as free advertising on social media — Facebook and Twitter. It is unseemly to be embracing special interest lobbyists — from the Chamber of Commerce, a utility company, or whoever. I happen to think it is more unseemly to pose with politicians who regularly do work on which the Supreme Court must pass judgment. It may be legal. But it doesn't make it right.

Just by way of example, Goodson was in the 4-3 majority in a decision this year that upheld the constitutionality of Dismang legislation that provided a huge tax break for a material used in fracking for natural gas. He got a tangible way to say thank you last night. Duly noted: Beebe, who's no longer in a position to do anything legislatively, vetoed the fracking tax — imposed by the Finance and Administration Department — with the certain knowledge the Republican legislature would override him.

TO CLARIFY: Sen. Dismang wonders if I"m really suggesting the party was a payoff for the vote on his bill. No. But I am saying the average person could be forgiven for seeing it that way. That's why judges raising money from people with interests in their court is a bad thing, particularly legislators. Just about everything the Supreme Court does turns on a statute passed by the legislature.

click to enlarge dismang.jpg

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Explosion in England; more Trump revelations

    Breaking news: a deadly explosion in Manchester, England. Also, more incendiary reporting from Washington on Donald Trump's poor political behavior.
    • May 22, 2017
  • Waiting to die. An account from Death Row

    Ibby Caputo, who contributed to our coverage of the legislature this year, has written an article for Slate about Morgan Holladay's experience as a spiritual helper to Jack Jones, one of four men executed in Arkansas last month.
    • May 22, 2017
  • Trump's budget could hit Arkansas hard

    If Donald Trump succeeds in cutting "entitlements" by $1.7 trillion, the impact will be felt particularly in poor states. In other words, Arkansas.
    • May 22, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • From Dallas, creative thinking about the Interstate 30 project

    An urban planner in Dallas says freeways are not always the answer. Incorporating some creativity already being used in Dallas and looking at the Interstate 30 project from a broader perspective, here are ideas that Arkansas highway planners have not considered. But should.
    • Nov 6, 2015
  • 'How to decimate a city' — a big freeway

    Reporting from around the U.S. continues to illustrate the folly of the Arkansas highway department and construction boosters like the chamber of commerce and Vice Mayor Lance Hines in advocating ever wider freeways through the heart of Little Rock. Syracuse, N.Y., is looking for a better way in a debate remarkably similar to the debate about widening Interstate 30 in Little Rock.
    • Nov 20, 2015
  • Jason Rapert vs. Wikipedia

    Sen. Jason Rapert against the world: Wikipedia edition.
    • Jan 23, 2016

Most Shared

  • Trump unfit

    Even as an oligarch, President Trump turns out to be breathtakingly incompetent. Is there any reason to suppose he's even loyal to the United States? Does he even understand the concept? Trump is loyal to Trump, and to his absurdly swollen ego. Nothing and nobody else.
  • You want tort reform? Try this.

    The nursing home industry and the chamber of commerce finally defeated the trial lawyers in the 2017 legislature. The Republican-dominated body approved a constitutional amendment for voters in 2018 that they'll depict as close to motherhood in goodness.
  • Goodbye, Mr. Trump

    It is hard to escape the feeling that the fortunes of President Trump and the country took a decisive, and for Trump a fatal, turn May 9-10, when the president fired the director of the FBI over its investigation of Russian efforts to swing the presidential election to him and the very next day shared top-secret intelligence with Russian officials in an Oval Office meeting closed except to a Kremlin press aide toting electronic gear to capture the intimate session for Russians but not Americans.
  • Raw feelings in the Arkansas Justice Building over workload, pay

    Strained relations between the Arkansas Supreme Court and the Arkansas Court of Appeals broke into public view this week. I expect more to come.

Visit Arkansas

New Entrance and North Forest to debut with Chihuly exhibit opening at Crystal Bridges

New Entrance and North Forest to debut with Chihuly exhibit opening at Crystal Bridges

Dual Chihuly exhibit opening also brings culmination of year-plus forest project

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

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