State of mind 

State of mind

We noticed this “tweet” recently on the Twitter account of Sarah Huckabee, daughter of former Gov. Mike Huckabee and an employee of his Huck PAC until she became campaign manager of U.S. Rep. John Boozman's race for U.S. Senate.

“Going for a stroll with my old man in his neighborhood in N. Little Rock. Nice nite in Arkansas.”

As all know by now, Mike and Janet Huckabee say they have become legal residents of Florida, for unexplained “business” reasons. We know that such a move, if properly carried off, would exempt Huckabee's new Fox-ABC Radio income from the Arkansas state income tax. So the question of whether North Little Rock is “his” 'hood has more than passing interest.

Fun with numbers
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette headlined the semi-annual report on national newspaper circulation this week by saying it had gained subscribers while papers nationwide had lost readers.

Several paragraphs later came the rest of the story. The core D-G actually lost subscribers, but made up for most of that loss by adding 15,000 subscribers through a merger with former Stephens Media newspapers in Northwest Arkansas. It reported a 2.7 percent rise in weekday circulation with the addition, but still had a .8 percent drop in Sunday circulation.

Closer to home, things resembled the decline nationwide, though the newspaper didn't report it that way. In the “city zone,” mostly Pulaski County, the Democrat-Gazette reported that its penetration remained second-best in the U.S., with 58.2 percent of households as subscribers. The newspaper didn't mention the Audit Bureau of Circulation report for March 31, 2009, which showed the Sunday newspaper then covered 63 percent of the city zone's estimated 134,000 households.

GOP contest

The state House's 28 Republicans are voting through May 1 on a new minority leader and the contest reflects a bit of the national GOP division between old- and new-style Republicans. Rep. Les “Skip” Carnine of Rogers, a retired school administrator, opposes Rep. John Burris of Harrison, who's 24.

There's no real split among Republicans of any age on familiar social issues – anti-abortion and anti-gay rights, for example – there's a new urgency about fiscal issues such as taxes, spending, debt.

“If we want to grow our party and our caucus we're going to have to talk about issues that matter to people and we're going to have to show that we can be effective,” Burris says. “We don't need to grandstand and poke at all the old buttons that may have worked in 2004 or 2006 or whatever.”

Carnine didn't return our calls.

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