Political decline 

Northwest Arkansas used to send pretty fair legislators to the Capitol: Now they send Justin Harrises and Charles Collinses.

Northwest Arkansas used to send pretty fair legislators to the Capitol. Serious slippage has set in; now they send Justin Harrises and Charles Collinses.

Representative Harris, R-West Fork, is sponsoring a bill to discourage any legislator from exposing the misconduct of a colleague. Harris has been so exposed, of course, and may well be exposed again, depending on how long he serves. Sen. Sue Madison, D-Fayetteville, a throwback to the old days, asked the Department of Human Services about children attending Harris's pre-school operation. DHS replied that about a dozen children who lacked documentation of American citizenship were attending Harris's pre-school, which receives both state and federal grants. When the DHS info appeared in blogs and the news media, Harris was embarrassed. While accepting both public money and undocumented students at his own school, he's also sponsoring a bill that would prohibit state colleges and universities from allowing illegal aliens to pay in-state tuition, considerably cheaper than out-of-state tuition.

So Harris introduced HB 1602. It would require that any custodian of public records notify a legislator whenever another legislator asks for records pertaining to the first one, giving the offender time to threaten the whistle-blower, and destroy evidence. Getting the goods on errant legislators deserves encouragement, not interference. People need to know what Justin Harris is up to. House and Senate leaders might even want to consider the establishment of cash rewards for members who uncover bad apples in their midst. Certainly they should stop HB 1602.

Representative Collins, R-Fayetteville, is the sponsor of HB 1479, which would allow faculty and staff to carry concealed handguns on state college and university campuses. Collins purports to believe that more guns will result in less shooting. Hardly. The more people who are carrying guns at a particular location, the more likely it is that a gun will be fired there. Police officers and representatives of colleges and universities opposed HB 1479 before the House Education Committee. The bill failed to get a favorable recommendation, which is good, but it failed by only three votes, which is scary. And it can be brought up again.


Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Of Freud and foolishness

    • How nice... the lawyerly Democritus offers a personal criticism, without benefit of the reason for…

    • on January 18, 2019

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation