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It was a good week for forgetting about a pay raise 

It was a good week for...

FORGETTING ABOUT A PAY RAISE. After several weeks of discussion by the Little Rock City Board about whether to give Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola a pay raise, the mayor asked Director Brad Cazort to withdraw the ordinance that would've boosted his pay. Cazort proposed the ordinance after City Attorney Tom Carpenter said the city might be viewed as noncompliant with state law by paying Stodola a salary not comparable to other city officials. City Manager Bruce Moore makes $179,000. Stodola currently takes home $160,000.

FAMILY TIES. At a meeting of the Political Animals Club in Little Rock, gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson said he'd push for tort reform as governor to "compete in this coming jobs war." A tort reform amendment put forward last session by Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, Asa's nephew, was the most important factor in the ultimate defeat of tort reform. Hutchinson submitted his amendment, a less aggressive measure than the amendment that ultimately failed, on behalf of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association. It sufficiently muddied the waters to delay and ultimately defeat the more draconian tort reform amendment.

It was a bad week for...

SECRETARY OF STATE MARK MARTIN. He's been sued for unlawfully withholding documents requested by the Blue Hog Report blog's Matt Campbell in a Freedom of Information request. Campbell was seeking info on Martin's frequent and unprecedented use of outside counsel. Martin's response to the lawsuit? Hire outside counsel.

REP. TIM GRIFFIN. After staking his 2012 election almost entirely on the Keystone pipeline, Arkansas's 2nd District congressman got caught in a pickle when an ExxonMobil pipeline ruptured in his district, spilling all sorts of nasty tar sands crude in a residential neighborhood in Mayflower. So Griffin pivoted. He's been meeting with residents. He's joined other local leaders in requesting that Exxon move the pipeline outside of the Lake Maumelle watershed. He's recently filed a largely meaningless bill to give the handful of people to whom ExxonMobil eventually deigns, maybe, to pay any money, a little tax exemption on the payment. And! He and other House Republicans have proposed to slash the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency by one third. Because who needs environmental regulation? Certainly, no one in the 2nd District.

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