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In the money 

Sen. Hillary Clinton's trip to Fayetteville and Little Rock Monday was a financial as well as political success. In addition to a public endorsement from a popular governor, Mike Beebe, Clinton had a fund-raiser in Fayetteville and two in Little Rock. Bottom line: 200 to 300 people turned out at each of the three fund-raisers and produced, together, $650,000. Between 90 and 100 at the Edgehill party gave the maximum $2,300.

The horse race

Comparisons are inevitable between Hillary Clinton's fund-raising and that of former Gov. Mike Huckabee, who's seeking the Republican presidential nomination. Clinton raised more Monday than Huckabee raised in Arkansas in the first six months of 2007 — $545,000, according to opensecrets.org. It added to almost $140,000 she'd raised in the state previously.

Deadeye Hillary

Shades of elections past, when politicians took turns appearing in camo with a gun in one hand and a dead creature in the other. At a private session with legislators Monday, Sen. Clinton was asked if it was true she had once bagged a banded duck.

Reports Rep. Steve Harrelson: “She confirmed that it happened and said that after wading out in the water with decoys and hip boots and upon the first sign of daylight, the hunters with her sat back and told her the first flight of ducks in would be hers. When they came in, she was the only one that shot and the duck that fell had a band on it.”

Rumors flying

Rumors cropped up this week that solid progress had been made on establishing an Aeromexico flight between Little Rock and Mexico City in 2008. Little Rock National spokesman Philip Launius said that the airport is “not close” to an announcement. However, he said, the rising Latino population here, a new Mexican consul, cooperation from the Mexican tourism agency and support from airport owners in Mexico are among the positive factors in the process.

New judge

Additional information on a Smart Talk item in this week's edition about the apparent selection of Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Brian Miller as President George W. Bush's pick for nomination to succeed the late George Howard as a federal district judge. Five other lawyers recommended for the post have been informed they were not selected. Why no announcement? The usual background check. If something were to crop up, the process could be reopened.

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