Wills' 'good deed' 

House Speaker Robbie Wills, who lost a primary race for Congress in the spring, mailed letters to all state political candidates following the general election. He congratulated winners and offered praise to losers for trying.

When we say "all" candidates we mean "all." Wills sent letters to write-in candidate, too. One them, white supremacist Billy Roper, a write-in candidate for governor, posted Wills' letter on his White Revolution website. That drew the notice of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups. It commented on its website: "Wills may have been blithely unaware of Roper's malodorous reputation, but state and national media, as well as Roper's opponents, were well informed of it."

Roper is proud of his views and Wills' letter, which said in part, "It takes a special person to put their name on the ballot, and it says a lot about you that you had so many willing to help you with your campaign." Roper got 49 votes.

After the Arkansas Blog noticed the attention given Wills, he responded:

"Oh, for crying out loud. Yes, I sent a letter to every person who ran for office. But to suggest that that means anything other than that I appreciate the democratic process is just silly. After all, the ACLU has repeatedly fought to protect the first amendment rights of the KKK. That doesn't mean they — or you — endorse the substance of what they are saying. I don't endorse anything Mr. Roper stands for and have asked that he stop using the form letter to imply such on his website. Honestly, until the Southern Poverty Law Center contacted me, I didn't know that much about him or his extreme views."

Griffin's stunt backfires

Tim Griffin, heading to Congress in January to succeed U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder, managed to get himself featured prominently in a Wall Street Journal feature on freshmen Republicans who'll bed down in their offices to save rent and demonstrate they are not professional politicians intent on embedding themselves permanently in the Washington culture. Griffin said he'd shower in the House gym and spend every weekend in Arkansas.

Ben Smith of Politico wasn't unduly impressed. He noted Griffin's career, composed almost entirely of political work for the Republican Party and the White House and his controversial effort to wangle a U.S. attorney slot by deposing Bud Cummins. After reciting Griffin's resume, Smith wrote: "Which is to say — and this is perhaps more praise than criticism — that the sleepovers might better be described as 'the ultimate I-am-a-professional-politician stunt.' "



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Most Shared

Latest in The Insider

  • All in the family

    Old habits die hard. We may have a new Republican majority in the legislature, but like the old Democratic majority, it still doesn't hurt to have a lawmaker spouse to land a part-time job during the legislative session.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • 'Circuit breaker' legal

    When we first asked Gov. Mike Beebe about the "circuit breaker" idea out of Arizona (automatically opting out of Medicaid expansion if the feds reduce the matching rates in the future), he said it was fine but noted that states can already opt out at any time, an assurance he got in writing from the feds.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • Church goes to school in Conway

    An interesting controversy is brewing in Conway Public Schools, periodically a scene of discord as more liberal constituents object to the heavy dose of religion that powerful local churches have tried to inject into the schools, particularly in sex education short on science and long on abstinence.
    • Jan 23, 2013
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


  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 31

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The post-prison license hurdle

    • It's almost like we don't want these folks to be successful in their attempts to…

    • on March 20, 2018
  • Re: The Arkansas Traveler

    • Wonderful story! I think it's great that you wore your Hillary T-shirts and spread the…

    • on March 20, 2018
  • Re: The job

    • Wonderful observations as usual, but special this week. I echo Suzanne - thank you, thank…

    • on March 20, 2018

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation