Our Arkansas Blog reported last week a story developed further Tuesday by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

It was that Gov. Mike Huckabee is using his Hope for America PAC — registered in Virginia, which has no limits on contributions to such committees — to raise money to explore a race for president.

We have his letter trying to solicit contributors of up to $100,000 for prime tables at his Christmas gala Dec. 16 at the Statehouse Convention Center. The PAC is nominally established to promote a healthy living message and, by law, may engage only in state and local politics. Huckabee, however, said he wants to use contributions as “seed money I will use to continue traveling to places like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to see if my vision for our nation resonates with our fellow Americans for 2008.” Those happen to be important early caucus/primary states. If Huckabee operated a straight presidential exploratory PAC, he couldn’t seek corporate money or individual contributions of more than $2,100. His letter noted that his PAC “can take unlimited contributions.”

Gimmegate II

With Huckabee, it’s always better to receive. His final Christmas card as governor, in addition to a family portrait, included a solicitation for money, sort of like the Christmas card you get from your newspaper carrier. Except that Huckabee wanted a minimum $500 for a ticket to his gala (though much more is required for a good table, a copy of his new book and a place in line at his photo session).

Multiple Republican informants tell us that Huckabee used gubernatorial staffers to solicit contributions and said they weren’t bashful in citing past favors done by the governor. Contributors will be disclosed next month.

We hope to find out if anybody took Huckabee up on a proposal to sell “naming rights” for $15,000 to sponsor the after-party at the gala, hosted by Huckabee’s children and featuring the governor’s cover band, Capitol Offense.

Trash talking

Did you hear about First Lady Janet Huckabee at the weigh-in preceding Jermain Taylor’s successful middleweight boxing defense against Kassim Ouma?

A New York Daily News writer was there. Said the article:

“Janet Huckabee, wife of Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, came out to whip up support for the fight even though she was hobbled and walking on a cane because of knee replacement surgery on both legs. Huckabee even engaged in some trash-talking with Ouma.

“ ‘Kassim, you’re a dead duck,’ the First Lady of Arkansas said. ‘Jermain, you promised me a knockout. So you better do just that, son. I’m forewarning you, Kassim.’

"Ouma, who was kidnapped from school and forced to be a child soldier for the Ugandan Army from age 6-19, simply smiled at the First Lady’s attempt to scare him. Ouma said he considered it an honor that Taylor offered to fight him in Taylor’s hometown. "

Taking it to the river

Real estate developers Flake-Kelley have filed plans with the city to build a multi-level townhouse development into the bluff above the Arkansas River just west of the Broadway Bridge. The development would be northeast of the intersection of LaHarpe and Gaines, a location Hank Kelley said would offer residents quick access to grocery and other stores to the west as well as downtown.

The development, whose name will likely make reference to the river views afforded and its position near the bridge, is planned to include in phases 41 townhomes 1,800 square feet in size and priced at $200 to $225 a square foot. That’s a price less expensive than River Market condo projects such as 300 Third but more upscale than downtown conversions. “It will fill a middle niche in the world of townhomes,” Kelley said.

The third tier of the townhomes will be at street level. The first tier, which will include parking underneath, will front the River Trail hiking-biking path. Kelley said he hopes the city will allow him to close Garland Street so that the development could be gated, but that access to the River Trail would be maintained.

Eventually, the development would be six stories, with stories above street level providing city views as well.

‘Modified’ sushi

A new Japanese-American fusion restaurant is set to open in February at 101 Main St., the now-vacant former home of the San Francisco Bread Co. Owners of the Wasabi Bar and Grill are husband and wife Michael Choi and Chong Mingus; Choi said he’s worked in Little Rock’s Japanese restaurants as a chef and manager for 29 years.

He admits he’ll have to work to distinguish his operation from the dozen or so other Japanese restaurants in the area.

“I’m going to mix it with a fusion type,” he said. “It will offer some tasty American food along with the sushi. And the sushi is very much modified, like the West Coast or the East Coast, with a lot of decoration. I hope it’s a brand-new concept of sushi in this town.”

Telecommuting at ASP

The Arkansas State Police have an employee who’s doing her job from Rapid City, S.D. Long arm of the law, indeed. An item in the alumni magazine of the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law created interest: “Alice Eastwood, ’04, has moved with her family to Rapid City, S.D., and is telecommuting to her job with the Arkansas State Police.” Some wondered why the lawyers living in Arkansas were insufficient to do the ASP’s legal work. Bill Sadler, a State Police spokesman, said that, first off, Eastwood is not working as a lawyer, although she has a law license. Instead, her title is “agency program coordinator” and her work includes revision of various State Police policy manuals and development of a new record-retention policy. She was a State Police employee working on these projects when she and her husband moved to Rapid City because his employer transferred him. The projects were “pretty much dead in the water” until Eastwood raised the possibility of telecommuting, Sadler said. State personnel officials authorized the arrangement as long as records were kept on hours of work and job performance. Eastwood makes $46,000 a year.

Higher profile

The Charles A. Frueauff Foundation, one of the top five private foundations in Arkansas, soon will move its offices from West Little Rock to a more visible location in the River Market District.

The organization will lease ground-floor retail space in the Capital Commerce Center, at the corner of Third and Commerce streets. (The spot is next to the Vermillion Water Grille restaurant and was recently occupied by an Arvest Bank branch.)

In addition to its use as an office for the foundation, Frueauff plans to devote some of the square footage to a non-profit incubator offering space and support to new charitable efforts.


From the ArkTimes store


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Does assault make a Republican congressional candidate a loser?

    The Republican candidate for Congress in a special election in Montana today was charged last night with assault for attacking a reporter who persisted in asking his opinion on the Congressional Budget Office scoring of the Obamacare repeal bill passed by the House.
    • May 25, 2017
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
    • May 25, 2017
  • Feds announce 61 named in 18-month Little Rock drug investigation

    The U.S. attorney's office announced today that a joint operation with local law enforcement had led this morning to arrests in the indictment of dozens of drug and gun dealers in the Little Rock area, the culmination of an 18-month investigation.
    • May 24, 2017
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • 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.
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.
  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.
  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.

Latest in The Insider

  • All in the family

    Old habits die hard. We may have a new Republican majority in the legislature, but like the old Democratic majority, it still doesn't hurt to have a lawmaker spouse to land a part-time job during the legislative session.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • 'Circuit breaker' legal

    When we first asked Gov. Mike Beebe about the "circuit breaker" idea out of Arizona (automatically opting out of Medicaid expansion if the feds reduce the matching rates in the future), he said it was fine but noted that states can already opt out at any time, an assurance he got in writing from the feds.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • Church goes to school in Conway

    An interesting controversy is brewing in Conway Public Schools, periodically a scene of discord as more liberal constituents object to the heavy dose of religion that powerful local churches have tried to inject into the schools, particularly in sex education short on science and long on abstinence.
    • Jan 23, 2013
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31  

Most Viewed

  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.
  • Health care policy FAQ

    What proposed state and federal changes mean for the future of health care policy in Arkansas.
  • High school MVP

    An Academic All-Star who approaches perfection.
  • Summer resolutions

    The Observer likes making resolutions at New Year's. We don't manage to keep any of them other than the one we always start with — "Stay Above Ground" — but we do like making them.
  • On the transgender crisis

    I find it ironic that the UAMS offers this but University of Arkansas insurance does not cover any form of gender dysphoria.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Profile of a plant

    • NOTE: My treatment/solution to every problem don't have any negative side effects... you will be…

    • on May 25, 2017
  • Re: A long way to fall

    • Is all of this true?

    • on May 24, 2017
  • Re: Profile of a plant

    • The last thing I will ever do is to believe on MEDICAL drugs intense of…

    • on May 23, 2017

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