Look closely at ballot 

With early voting set to begin Oct. 22, it's not too soon to be thinking about the lengthy ballot. Some issues that might be overlooked.

• CORPORATE WELFARE: Issue No. 2 is a proposed legislative constitutional amendment. It includes a sop for police and fire pensions, but that's a Trojan horse.

The heart of the proposal would allow creation of economic development districts of unlimited size. Within that district, all city and county sales taxes could be diverted to any economic development project. There are window dressing words about "blight," but the language, unless modified by the legislature, allows the subsidy for "any" project anywhere.

A vote would be necessary on bonds to be supported by these local taxes. The gimmick has been used in other states to build outdoor stores like Bass Pro Shops or Cabela's. It's a zero sum game. Retailers helped one place are hurt another. One city benefits, a next-door neighbor is harmed. If a project flops, taxpayers pick up the tab. Vote NO on Issue 2.

TWO-FACED CANDIDATE: There's a fascinating race for state House of Representatives between incumbent Republican Rep. Allen Kerr and Democrat Barbara Graves for House District 32, a big slice of western Little Rock, including Pleasant Valley.

Kerr is a cookie-cutter Republican — anti-tax, anti-regulation, anti-government. He opposed a tobacco tax for the state trauma system. He opposed the expansion of ARKids, the health insurance program for children. He opposes implementation of federal health care legislation, which would help hundreds of thousands of Arkansans.

Despite his opposition to all these things supported by Gov. Mike Beebe, Kerr had the nerve to send a flyer to voters the other day claiming he'd worked with Beebe and Democrats. Kerr has also told supporters he fears coming attacks by "out-of-state groups." The only out-of-state spending in this race is the money spent by GOP billionaires to elect Kerr.

Barbara Graves is a successful Arkansas businesswoman and chamber of commerce leader who, as a member of the Little Rock Board of Directors, was known for attention to homework and constituents and sound judgment. A vote FOR GRAVES is a vote for progress for Little Rock.

• THE QUORUM COURT MATTERS: The county governing body runs the jail and courthouse and serves unincorporated areas, with scant public attention.

The last thing we need is a social issues extremist using the office for grandstanding, such as Chris Stewart, a Republican lawyer running for District 3.

Educated at Jerry Falwell's college and Pat Robertson's law school, Stewart was an architect of the amendment to make gay marriage illegal and proponent of the law to prevent gay people from adopting children. Voters in Pulaski County rejected these viewpoints solidly.

Stewart also touts his anti-abortion fervor (Pulaski has voted pro-choice multiple times) and his love of guns. He's a foot soldier for causes of the poisonous Family Council, which touts its religiosity while effectively promoting discrimination against gay workers and bullying of gay children.

It gets worse. Stewart has been a paid lobbyist for Deltic Timber in a firm that still represents the giant land development company. Deltic, in league with out-of-state Koch billionaires, is fighting pending county land use rules to protect Lake Maumelle from pollution. Republicans on the Quorum Court have been too ready to defend Deltic over clean water. Giving a former Deltic lobbyist a vote would give a whole new definition to direct democracy.

Happily, you can vote comfortably FOR KATHY LEWISON. She is a veteran of the court and knows county government. She's friendly and compassionate, a fixture as officiant at civil marriage ceremonies. She brings common sense, rather than a pinched religious agenda flavored with corporate favoritism, to her work.


From the ArkTimes store

Speaking of...

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Bootstraps for me, not thee

    Mean spirit, hypocrisy and misinformation abound among the rump minority threatening to wreck state government rather than allow passage of the state Medicaid appropriation if it continues to include the Obamacare-funded expansion of health insurance coverage for working poor.
    • Apr 14, 2016
  • Trump: The Obama of 2016?

    Conner Eldridge, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, launched an assault on Boozman Monday morning rich with irony and opportunity.
    • May 5, 2016
  • Double-talk

    A couple of instances of doublespeak cropped up in Little Rock over the weekend.
    • Jun 29, 2017

Most Shared

  • 'Cemetery angel' Ruth Coker Burks featured in new short film

    Ruth Coker Burks, the AIDS caregiver and activist memorably profiled by David Koon as the cemetery angel in Arkansas Times in 2015, is now the subject of a short film made by actress Rose McGowan.
  • Buyer remorse

    Out here in flyover country, you can't hardly go by the feed store without running into a reporter doing one of those Wisdom of the Heartland stories.
  • Not Whitewater

    Just think: If Democrats had turned out 78,000 more votes in three states in November, people could be reveling today in the prospect of impeaching and convicting President Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, as some Republican lawmakers had promised to try to do if she won.
  • Head-shaking

    Another edition of so-much-bad-news-so-little space.

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Head-shaking

    Another edition of so-much-bad-news-so-little space.
    • Jul 27, 2017
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • We're No. 1! in vote suppression

    It's not often that Arkansas can claim national leadership, so give Secretary of State Mark Martin credit for something.

    • Jul 13, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


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

  • Narrow opening for Arkansas Democrats

    "Somebody in this room — it's time to go big or go home." At the Democratic Party of Arkansas's Clinton Dinner last weekend, Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana used his platform as keynote speaker to embolden a candidate to step up to run for governor against incumbent Republican Governor Hutchinson.
  • Buyer remorse

    Out here in flyover country, you can't hardly go by the feed store without running into a reporter doing one of those Wisdom of the Heartland stories.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Buyer remorse

    • When we had not one but TWO shit candidates running for president, is it really…

    • on July 27, 2017
  • Re: Buyer remorse

    • So Gene Lyons says all people who voted for Trump fall into just two categories…

    • on July 27, 2017
  • Re: Narrow opening for Arkansas Democrats

    • FORE!!!!

    • on July 27, 2017

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