Little Rock mayor's Republican outreach includes police chief search connection | Arkansas Blog

Friday, February 8, 2019

Little Rock mayor's Republican outreach includes police chief search connection

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2019 at 1:17 PM

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Blogger Russ Racop offers a photo of Lisenne Rockefeller with Arkansas State Trooper Keith Eremea to support his theory that Eremea has the inside track to be chosen by Mayor Frank Scott Jr. from 10 finalists for the next Little Rock police chief. I have no idea if there's anything to that, but there is a connection worth noting and it's also a good occasion to mention Scott's recent Republican outreach.

As I mentioned yesterday, the Rockefeller family was a major contributor to Scott's campaign, including $62,500 in family contributions during his runoff campaign with Baker Kurrus, a former employee of Republican Lt. Gov. Winthrop Paul Rockefeller. Lisenne Rockefeller, the lieutenant governor's widow, threw a fund-raiser for Scott at her Hillcrest mansion before the first round of voting.

Eremea's place on the police chief finalist list named by Scott is interesting because of long Rockefeller associations. Eremea's father once flew jets for Winthrop Rockefeller, the former Republican governor. The younger Eremea long had a friendly association with Win Paul Rockefeller, a staunch friend of police generally and a former State Police commissioner. Eremea's record on the State Police, which includes some blemishes, will be among the items of interest as the winnowing process continues.

I'm also interested in Scott's recent outreach to Republicans, given Little Rock vote preferences and the fact that city government is non-partisan. He's been posting photos and scheduling events lately with, among others, the state Republican Party; Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson (who got 46 percent of the Pulaski vote and much less in Little Rock proper); Sen. John Boozman, and U.S. Rep. French Hill (38 percent in Pulaski and less in Little Rock) not to mention joining conservative Democrat-Gazette publisher Walter Hussman at a charter school. That last appearance was in contrast with Scott's avoidance of participation in a presentation to the state Board of Education on regaining Little Rock voter control of the public school district.

Republicans vote, too, and have control of the legislature. A pragmatic politician makes all the friends he can. Democrats DO have the majority in the U.S. House, however, and most Little Rock legislators are Democrats as well as the majority of the Pulaski Quorum Court. And the city of Little Rock has voted heavily Democratic, particularly in the neighborhoods that gave Scott Soviet-style margins in his victory over Kurrus.

For the record: Some shots from the accumulating photo file, including a coming Baptist revival meeting at which Scott will share the stage with Hutchinson and an anti-gay, anti-abortion, woman-in-the-home preacher. (Good Facebook comment on that here.)
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MORE CROSSOVER: Frank Scott with Stacy Hurst, the Republican Clarke Tucker beat for a state House seat, and the governor.
  • MORE CROSSOVER: Frank Scott with Stacy Hurst, the Republican Clarke Tucker beat for a state House seat, and the governor.
click to enlarge CHARTER BACKERS: Scott, publisher Hussman and Phillis Nichols-Anderson of the Scholar Made charter school. Hussman's newspaper endorsed Scott because of his charter school support.
  • CHARTER BACKERS: Scott, publisher Hussman and Phillis Nichols-Anderson of the Scholar Made charter school. Hussman's newspaper endorsed Scott because of his charter school support.
UPDATE: Democrats got attention Saturday night at the Black Caucus’ awards dinner. 

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