A staffer at Sen. Tom Cotton's Little Rock office told a small group of constituents yesterday that Cotton offices are not allowing any constituents in "because of recent threats we have had." The staffer, from behind a closed door, said that the order came from Cotton's D.C. office. The staffer said she would pass on information to the senator if they would like to tell her through the door, but that no one from the senator's staff would meet with constituents at this time.
The video above shows Sarah Scanlon and four other citizens attempting to arrange a meeting with a Cotton staffer (Scanlon was previously the national LGBTQ Outreach Director for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign). Scanlon said that she and others have been trying to call Cotton's offices, both in D.C. and in Arkansas, but no one is answering. "They've turned off their telephones," she said. "They've locked their doors, they're not letting you in."
The signs below were on the door. Multiple tipsters tell us that a version of the sign on top has been posted at Cotton's Little Rock office for more than a year, so the not-so-welcome mat policy may predate "recent threats." Scanlon, however, said that she and a group of small constituents had no problem showing up to the office and meeting with staffers last week (and she said these signs were not on the door then). She wondered whether they were a response to her group's visit last week. Scanlon posted videos of that meeting on her Facebook page.
Appearing with Clinton School for Public Service Dean Skip Rutherford, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton spoke today at a Clinton School event focused on Cotton's assessment of Donald Trump's First 100 days in office. While there were some moments of applause and isolated jeering, the event was much less raucous than the town hall meetings Cotton has been attending of late, though Rutherford's questions pulled no punches in questioning Trump's temperament and agenda. /more/
If you have 60 minutes free mid-afternoon Monday, Republican Congressman French Hill is willing to take your questions if you'll drive out to west Little Rock for an event shared with Sen. Tom Cotton. /more/
Vice President Mike Pence will visit Little Rock tomorrow afternoon (Friday, March 24) the Republican Party of Arkansas announced today. He'll speak about health care. The visit will happen the day after the U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Trump Administration's preferred vehicle for Obamcare repeal. /more/
Judge P.K. Holmes is rethinking whether lawyers deserve punishment in a class action lawsuit against an insurance company abruptly pulled from his court after pending more than a year and then quickly settled in a state court.
Ernest Dumas reaches into history, some personal, for moments in Arkansas's view of refugees. It was brought to mind by the current crisis in Europe and the political divisions over whether the U.S. should respond to the needs of the displaced.
Ledbetter, the former state Board of Education chair who cast the decisive vote in 2015 to take over the LRSD, writes that Education Commissioner Johnny Key "has shown time and again that he is out of touch with our community and the needs of the district." However, Ledbetter supports the May 9 vote as a positive for the district's students and staff.
Kenneth Williams, 38, is scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m. tonight at the Cummins Unit near Grady. If a court does not stop the execution, he will be the fourth death row prisoner to die over the last eight days in Arkansas.
What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas. He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
The state will move one step closer to a lawsuit on May 11, when the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission will hear the American History and Heritage Foundation's plans for a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state Capitol.
The execution of Kenneth Williams for his 1999 slaying of Cecil Boren during a prison escape remains scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight, though actions in state and federal courts are anticipated in the final hours.
At a press conference today at the Doubletree Hotel just across from the Pulaski County Courthouse, Pulaski County Fifth Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen and his attorneys announced that he has asked the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission to investigate the conduct of the entire Arkansas Supreme Court, and asked the director of the Arkansas Committee on Professional Conduct to investigate the conduct of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and several others in the AG's office, related to what Griffen and his attorneys claim were forbidden ex parte conversations between the Supreme Court and the AG's office.
Photos taken Thursday night by Brian Chilson and David Koon, at Cummins Prison in Grady, the State Police barricade away from the prison and in front of the Governor's Mansion, before and after the execution of Ledell Lee.