Favorite

The rest of the news 

New briefs worth further comment:

• Item: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette publisher Walter Hussman told a national meeting of editorial writers in Little Rock last week that newspapers were being ruined by providing news free on the Internet. It's a failed business model to give your product away, he said.

Really? Hussman established a monopoly in Little Rock's daily newspaper market by, among other strategies, 1) littering the city with millions of free newspapers once a week for years; 2) “gracing,” or continuing to deliver without payment, thousands of other newspapers on a daily basis, and 3) giving away millions of dollars in free classified advertising under the smart belief that it builds readership and brings other advertisers. He also 1) has started a free weekly newspaper, Sync; 2) has started a free monthly magazine, Arkansas Living, and 3) provides all the news and features in his Northwest Arkansas newspapers for free on the web at nwanews.com.

Think about it. Hussman perfected a print version of Craigslist (free want-ads) years before free on-line ads started playing hell with newspapers. New media models have curbed Hussman's plans to cash in on his print monopoly. He's just tasting a bit of his own bitter medicine.

• Item: The Conway Log Cabin Democrat reported last week that Republican Sen. Gilbert Baker's use of a University of Central Arkansas tent for a campaign fund-raiser at the home of UCA trustee Michael Stanton did not “throw up any red flags” in an Arkansas Ethics Commission advisory opinion. Baker was quoted as being “thrilled” with the opinion.

Further comment: The opinion did not investigate Baker's use of the tent. It only offered general advice, including strong urging that  public officials be cautious about campaign use of public property. If public property is available to all on an equal basis, then it might be legal.

Baker, who didn't pay for the UCA tent until after the Arkansas Times began making inquiries, neglected to mention that there's no record of anybody but Baker's campaign ever renting the tent. Sound equal to you?

The Log Cabin didn't trouble to ask Baker why he couldn't rent a tent elsewhere. It also could have asked about that special UCA housing for Baker's son. It also could have asked about how UCA contributed money to Baker when he was a paid fund-raiser for a foundation headed by a woman Baker was grooming to run for political office.

Red flags? I see them all over.

• Item: Rep. Clark Hall of Marvell led the charge at a legislative committee last week for a back-to-school sales tax holiday. He contends Arkansas retailers are being harmed by similar holidays in surrounding states. National chain retailers — Dillard's, Wal-Mart — have no objections because they get the business wherever the shopper goes.

The they-all-do-it argument seems popular with legislators. But if Arkansans are now flocking out of state for sales tax holiday sales, they need to go back to school.

Take Hall. He'd have to drive about 150 miles for a round-trip to Memphis. The cost of that drive is about $75, including depreciation. You'd have to spend $1,000 or more before your tax savings would recoup the cost. Gas alone for a Ford F-150 would require about $500 in purchases to break even. Competing holidays, if a problem, are primarily an issue in a handful of border cities.

 

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Bank of Ozarks announces new LR headquarters building

    Bank of the Ozarks announced today that would build a 247,000-square-foot corporate headquarters on a 44-acre site at The Ranch on Highway 10, a project reported in the works by Arkansas Business last year.
    • Sep 19, 2017
  • Rapert challenger faults his reference to her

    Sen. Jason Rapert, the Faulkner County Republican, spoke to an NAACP session in Conway yesterday and encountered a question from his announced Democratic opponent, Maureen Skinner.Her campaign took offense
    • Sep 19, 2017
  • Larry Crane announces retirement as clerk

    Pulaski County Clerk Larry Crane sent a message to staff saying he doesn't intend to seek re-election next year.
    • Sep 19, 2017
  • More »

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

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Aid politics

    The still-unfolding catastrophe in Houston is, first, a human tragedy. But when politicians try to tell you that a time of enormous human tragedy is not a time to talk about politics, it likely means the politics are embarrassing to them.
    • Aug 31, 2017
  • Save the statues!

    The Democratic Party of Arkansas has called for relocation of Confederate monuments from public places, such as courthouse squares and the Capitol lawn, to history museums or private grounds.
    • Aug 24, 2017
  • Charter secret

    These are hard times for those who believe in traditional public schools, run by democratically elected representatives, open to all on equal terms.
    • Aug 17, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

September

S M T W T F S
  1 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

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Time for a coalition

    • I am very glad to see a lot of women running for government positions in…

    • on September 19, 2017
  • Re: Time for a coalition

    • Since Hillary's book has come out, the Hillary Bashers have starting ranting again. My thoughts:…

    • on September 19, 2017
 

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