J. R. Howard, long-time state trooper and now director of the state Crime Lab, is among those being mentioned for the post of U.S. marshal for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

That’s the job Ray Carnahan resigned in late April after a run-in with a state Game and Fish Commission officer. That run-in has been the subject of a federal investigation in the Western District of Arkansas.

And what of the federal investigation? Thursday, June 8, is arraignment day in federal court in Fort Smith. If Carnahan doesn’t work out a deal, specifics will be disclosed then.

We can tell you this about that: Carnahan exchanged words with a wildlife officer in rural Scott County while out on a drive with several family members, including his 85-year-old mother, who was on an outing from a nursing home. The wildlife officer, on the lookout for bear poachers, stopped Carnahan after Carnahan tried to speed away. As Carnahan has told it, the wildlife officer was not in uniform and was driving an all-terrain vehicle erratically. The game officer says Carnahan refused his order to stop. That’s a minor violation, if true. But Carnahan told federal investigators later that he had not been ordered to stop. There’s apparently some evidence to contradict him and, as Martha Stewart learned, it’s not wise to mislead federal investigators. Carnahan and his son, Chris, former director of the Arkansas Republican Party, didn’t help matters, apparently, by trying to pressure the Game and Fish Commission to punish their officer.

Pants on fire

Gov. Mike Huckabee did some political campaigning in North Carolina last weekend. His stops included an interview with the News and Observer newspaper in Raleigh. We noted his reference to how he follows Biblical teachings in office.

“… I am unapologetically a conservative Republican. But I’m not mad at anybody. And I don’t have a stinger out for someone. …

“Two things govern my political philosophy. One is the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto to you.’ And the other is Scripture from Matthew chapter 25, verse 40: ‘Inasmuch as you have done to the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.’ I feel like that gives you real good ditches to drive between.”

You’ll forgive us — “stung” by Huckabee retaliation recently in the form of a discriminatory press policy — for guffawing.

D.C. moves

Two Arkansas congressmen are changing the leadership in their Washington, D.C. offices.

Thad Huguley, chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Marion Berry, is stepping down next month and will be replaced by Chad Causey, currently Berry’s legislative director. U.S. Rep. Mike Ross’ chief of staff, Cory Smith, recently joined the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Her replacement will be Drew Goesl, who is moving over from the office of U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, where he is communications director.

Ross also will be naming a new legislative director and press secretary in the coming weeks.


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