Sunday, September 18, 2016

How low can they go in Bentonville? Hate at the school board level

Posted By on Sun, Sep 18, 2016 at 9:17 AM


What's President Obama got to do with a race for Bentonville School Board?

Anyone around Arkansas Republican politics knows the answer to that question. There's no better signifier to the perceived base majority in Arkansas (and I do mean base) than a mailer with a prominent photo of the black Muslim Kenyan.

And if you can throw in a man in the girls bathroom, you've got electoral gold!

What's really going on here? Grant Lightle has been a dignified, diligent and well-informed member of a School Board that has generally done a good job of managing explosive growth. But Grant Lightle committed a cardinal sin in the eyes of the hard-core Religious Right that has been so successful in electing double-issue (anti-abortion, anti-gay) candidates in Northwest Arkansas. He supported a non-discrimination policy for employees in the Bentonville School District. (In other words: You can't fire someone just because they are gay.) He's in a three-way race for re-election. Opponents are Beth Haney, a former board member, and Eric White, who's made it clear that the anti-discrimination policy is a burr in his saddle.

How do you get from a non-discrimination policy to bathrooms? It's easy for the haters.

Who's paying for the mailer? Good question. So-called Christians (think Duggars, for example) have been waving the gay hysteria flag in Washington and Benton Counties for some time now and spending money to do so. You can bet their ilk is at the bottom of this.

This is the kind of direct electioneering that should be covered thoroughly by campaign finance disclosure laws. I don't need to remind you that Republican opposition in the legislature has stymied just such accountability legislation by Rep. Clarke Tucker of Little Rock.

These Christians like to fire from cover. And false witness is just one of their tools. 

You can scrub up Bentonville all you want with Walton museums, Walton-financed restaurants, a Walton-passed liquor law and Walton-financed trails. But you just might find that all those amenities and all that money aren't enough to persuade some people to move into a pit of religious vipers.

UPDATE: More hate mail from the cowards. Suspicion points to a conservative political group that has received funding from the Duggars in the past because that group includes a key supporter of White in its number.


Tags: , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (19)

Showing 1-19 of 19

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-19 of 19

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Polling reported in Democratic Senate primary; includes Bill Halter

    A friend reports an interesting automated poll Thursday night, relating to one announced and perhaps another potential Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.
    • Nov 7, 2015
  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016
  • Trump bombs on Saturday Night Live

    Correct me if you think otherwise, but commentary across the web seems unanimous that Donald Trump's turn on "Saturday Night Live" wasn't funny.
    • Nov 8, 2015

Most Shared

  • Hutchinson lobbyist moves to Teacher Retirement System

    Rett Hatcher, director of legislative affairs for Gov. Asa Hutchinson, has left the governor's staff to go to work Wednesday as deputy director of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.
  • Obamascare

    Republicans at long last may be about to see their most fervent wishes and wildest predictions materialize — millions of people losing their medical and hospital coverage, unaffordable insurance, lost jobs, a Medicare financial crisis, mushrooming federal budget deficits and fiscal crises across state governments.
  • Megyn vs. Alex

    As vigorously hyped broadcast events go, Megyn Kelly's televised confrontation with internet conspiracy cultist Alex Jones proved something of a dud.
  • Monkey wrenches

    Junior is 17 now, and shows no interest in driving, or even taking the driving test. It's got his Old Man a little concerned, and not just because we're running a car service for one these days.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments




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