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The week that was Sept 12-18 

It was a good week for …

HEARTBREAK. The Hogs overcame 21-point deficits twice, but fell in the last second to Alabama, 41-38.

A SCHOOL ELECTION. A four-way race for Zone 2 on the Little Rock School Board — to be decided after our deadline this week — produced an uncommon amount of grassroots campaigning and voter interest, never a bad thing. The fight is over a seat held by Micheal Daugherty, a member of the four-member black majority that has been controlling district decisions for the last year.

CONGRESS. President Bush signed a bill banning lobbyists, gifts and trips to lawmakers and staff. If only the Arkansas legislature would take the hint and do likewise.

JEFF LONG. He'll get a five-year contract at $450,000 per and the potential for bonuses as new athletic director at the University of Arkansas. He makes about double what the chancellor of the campus makes.

The NATIONAL PARK SERVICE. It's ready to open an impressive new visitors center at the Central High School National Historic Site. It's full of striking depictions of the civil rights movement, including oral histories from many participants in Central's desegregation.

It was a bad week for …

MIKE HUCKABEE. We've raised the issue previously, but the Democrat-Gazette further examined the activities of Huckabee's Hope for America PAC and found precious little spending on other candidates, but a lot of spending on activities that looked suspiciously like presidential exploratory expenses. He's not alone in this flim-flammery, but it adds to his Huckster image.

CLAIRE BAILEY. The state information services official, who helps devise specs for telecommunications contracts, was reported by the Democrat-Gazette to have received World Series, football, concert and other tickets and perks from AT&T, a major state contractor. The company argued that the gifts were permissible under her pre-existing relationship with AT&T officials. Permissible, maybe. Sleazy, definitely.

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