Sunday, November 03, 2019

Crazy Early Filing Period Clamps Down on Voter Choice

The filing period for party candidates to run for public office begins tomorrow, November 4th 2019 and ends about a week later. Traditionally, the filing period isn't normally until March of the election year. Why is the filing period so early?

The state legislature says they want to align with "Super Tuesday" in the Republican Presidential Primary. This professed goal is ridiculous on its face, since Arkansas is still too late to be a momentum-builder state like Iowa and New Hampshire, and will always have a small part of the total delegate pie. We won't ever have a major role in picking the Republican nominee, especially this time. Unless of course the GOP establishment has some secret plan to flip on Trump and remove him from office after impeachment.

I think the larger reason for the early filings is referenced in the article. The incumbents in the dominant party in the state want less competition! From the link: “Early filing period always makes it harder for candidate recruitment,” said Democratic Party of Arkansas Chairman Michael John Gray. “People feel like they just came out of an election.”

It isn't like there is a surplus of choice for the voters. The piece also notes" " In last year’s midterms, 47 out of 118 state legislative races (exactly 40%) fielded candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties, the most since 2012." So the most competition in years features only 47 out of 118 races where the two major parties face off. And it is liable to be worse than that in 2020 because the early filing period is reducing the number of candidates.

I realize there are a lot of people in this state who are happy to have a one party system. Some of them may even deserve to be well governed, but others don't. A lack of competition, especially when competition is reduced by law as is the effect here, is unhealthy for a free society.

You may think it is OK because the utterly corrupt and dysfunctional Democrat Party is getting the worst of it here, but that's not true. Outsider groups who want to mount primary challenges to establishment Republicans are hurt by this rule. Libertarians are hurt by it. Independents are in particular hurt by it. There is no good reason why an Independent should be required to file for office a year before the election just because the leading party in the state decided that was the best time for them to file!

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Why the Razorbacks, and the State, Continue to Underperform

Arkansas Razorback Football is in terrible shape, and with a few exceptional years it has been for a very long time. Even our good years were purchased at a deferred cost- Bobby Petrino was an Offensive Genius, in more than one sense of the word. I think I know why we have under-performed for so long. It's the same reason our state has under-performed even though we have abundant natural resources, a hard-working population and a central location. It's the leadership. When a unit, any unit, consistently under-performs for a long period of time even though those running the unit have ample authority, then it is almost always because of some deficiency in the leadership.

In the case of the University of Arkansas Football program, I think the big boosters care more about having a coach that hob-knobs with them than finding a strong leader. Ken Hatfield was the biggest winner in Razorback Football History. He was also an Arkansas boy who was not interested in leaving for a higher-paying program. He was a man of impeccable integrity. It was hard to know where to fault him. But he would not go drinking with the big boosters.

Hatfield says he was not offered an extended contract for the position of Head Football Coach. They could have made him the field house janitor under the contract they offered him. I believe him. We have a media in this state which protects people in "the club" so there was no real coverage of this issue. So Hatfield left and most of us never quite understood why. If we are serious about changing course, it starts with doing the right thing, which would mean the university apologizing to Ken Hatfield, but I don't think they want to fix things that badly. Not badly enough to take a hard look in the mirror.

If they want a coach that will suck up to the big boosters, then they can't have the kind of alpha dog who doesn't need to suck up to the boosters to get a job because he can get hired on his ability alone. If they want suck-up yes-men then they are going to get the product on the field that we have had- but at least coach shows up at our events! This is a recipe to only attract coaches who are weak in ability, or character, or both. We've had more than our share of those types over the years. If you do get one who is good at the job, he will come with other baggage like Petrino. Petrino still had to suck up even though he knew how to coach winning football because of the character issues.

It is no co-incidence that we excel in the sports that the big boosters and the ruling class of our state don't care much about. Without their meddling, we do great. There is an inverse relationship to the success of a University of Arkansas Athletic Sport's program and the degree of involvement our ruling class has in that sports program!

So they should start by apologizing to Ken Hatfield. Will that "lift the curse"? I don't know if it is mystical like that. I am not saying it will change God's mind about Razorback football. But it will change the minds of the people running the place. Repentance can do that. It can change us. And it would send the right message. Right now, I think a lot of the top names would avoid us because at those levels word gets around. The new coach needs to know, in a very public way, that they can focus their efforts on improving the product on the field. We have to put the coaches we hire in a position to win. That's the only way a winning coach will accept the position.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

8th Circuit Let's Decision on Independent Ballot Access Stand

This week the 8th Circuit Court issued a ruling on the Ballot Access Case we have been working on for over five years. The District Court ruled in our favor on re-hearing, but the state appealed even though the legislature caved and changed the law back. They will fight to the last taxpayer dollar to keep competition off the ballot, and then look you in the eye and tell you they believe in free market competition!

Of course, the judge's order was written so that Mark Moore, as an independent candidate, could file not only petitions but also filing paperwork as late as May 1 of last year - instead of forcing Mark Moore (your reporter) to file with the party candidate's much earlier. Heck they will be filing in November of the year before the election next cycle. Since party candidates have a primary but independents collect signatures for ballot access in lieu of a primary, there is no good reason to make them file with party candidates. So I wish they had considered that part of the ruling.

We asked that question at the appeal, but the judges ruled that since the state had changed the law, the state's appeal was moot and dismissed the whole thing. The only question addressed was whether or not our victory in district court would stand or be vacated, since the state did not get an appeal. The majority ruled that due to the state's history of making laws about independent ballot access that subsequently were thrown out, that the precedent should be left.

The rookie judge, Stras, said our victory should be vacated because the Secretary of State did not get the appeal due to "happenstance". I think the court needs to take a closer look at things in Arkansas. It is not "happenstance" because both the Legislative and Executive Branches are controlled by the same party. They did it to themselves. To say it is "happenstance" for the Executive Branch when the Legislative Branch changes the law back to make a case moot is to pretend that the system of checks and balances that the Founders set in place has not been short-circuited. It has been- by the dominance of political parties whose candidates dominate both branches.

Although I like the ruling I also want to point out that it didn't quite get things right in its summary of the legal proceedings. They wrote:
Moore failed to file those documents by the March 1 deadline, and the Secretary thereafter moved to vacate the injunction as moot, claiming that Moore was ineligible for the 2018 ballot because he had missed the statutory filing deadline. The court then extended the filing deadline for the notice, affidavit, and pledge at Moore’s request.

Well, what actually happened is that the state filed a notice of appeal of the decision on the 2nd day of the Candidate Filing Period. They did not have to disclose what the appeal was about until after the filing period was over. So I would have had to file for office with an unknown cloud hanging over my head. That had a chilling effect and I did not file during the party filing period. The state's actions helped precipitate my failure to file those documents. But it turned out their aggressive tactics backfire on them as you will see if you read on.....

When I complained to my main counsel, Jim Linger of Tulsa, about it, he noted that Judge Moody's ruling seemed to permit me to file everything, not just the petitions, as late as May 1st. So I decided to run for state senate and set about getting the necessary signatures. Unfortunately, my calculations of the number of signatures needed to get on the ballot did not consider voters who voted in the previous election but subsequent to my getting the voter data left the district. Thus I under-estimated the number needed.

I turned in what I thought was about 125% of the signatures needed to get on the ballot. I figured that this was just enough to get me on. It turned out, because the number needed to get on the ballot was higher than I thought, I only turned in 102% of the signatures needed. Many of those signatures were thrown out, as they always are. So I failed to make the ballot, and that's OK. Failing to get enough signatures is like failing to get enough votes in a primary. You should still have the right to try.

The state went into a mode of primate-defecation over our pointing out that the judge's order permitted me to file ALL my paperwork, not just my signatures, as late as May 1st. I think the circuit court spoke loosely when they claimed that Judge Moody extended my filing deadline for the other candidate filing paperwork. All he did was clarify his original order. And there is absolutely no good reason for an independent candidate to have to file when party candidates do. We don't have a primary election in the Spring. Why should we have to file at the same time as people who do?

Read more about it on Ballot Access News

Read more about it on Ballot Access News

Friday, March 29, 2019

Ledges' Brazen Attempt to Pull Ladder Up Draws Libertarian Lawsuit

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release:  3-29-2019


The Libertarian Party of Arkansas filed a complaint in federal court yesterday seeking to overturn the provisions of a new law that makes it more difficult for third-parties to get on the ballot in Arkansas.  Act 164, which was passed by the state legislature and signed into law by the governor last month, increased the number of petition signatures required for the formation of “New Political Parties” from 10,000 to 26,746 (3% of votes cast in the most recent gubernatorial election). 

The Libertarians’ lawsuit calls the new requirement “an unconstitutional, unnecessary, and excessive petition signature requirement” that “serve[s] no compelling state interest.”  It calls upon the court to declare the requirement as an unconstitutional infringement on the plaintiff’s First and Fourteenth Amendment rights “to actively engage in the exercise of their free speech, right to political association, right to petition, right to form a political party, seek redress of grievances, cast an effective vote and equal protection and due process of the laws of the United States of America.”

The chair of the Libertarian Party, Michael Pakko, expressed confidence about the party’s prospects in court. “We told our legislators that they were re-establishing a standard that had been overturned in federal court back in 2006, but they passed it anyway.  We have clear precedent on our side.”  Pakko was referring to the case of Green Party of Arkansas v. Daniels, where the court overturned a 3% requirement that was subsequently replaced by the 10,000-signature standard.

When asked for comment, Richard Winger, a noted expert on ballot-access laws across the nation, pointed out that there have been not just one, but two cases where Arkansas’ petition requirements have been invalidated by federal courts.  In 1996, Citizens to Establish a Reform Party In Arkansas v. Priest also struck down a requirement for signatures totally 3% of the vote.  “It is truly outrageous that TWICE a federal court has struck down the 3%, and yet the state has done it a third time.  That makes this case unique in the whole country's history of ballot access litigation.”

Libertarians are also challenging aspects of the more recently enacted law that shifts primary elections from May to March in presidential election years.  In the process of moving primary election deadlines forward, Act 545, signed by the governor earlier this week, also affects third-parties and independent candidates.  “As if to add insult to injury, they made it even more difficult by moving the deadlines,” said Pakko.  “Prospective challengers to the established incumbents shouldn’t have to form parties and select candidates over a year before the general election.”

The complaint filed yesterday, Libertarian Party of Arkansas et al. v. Thurston, asks the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas to declare several provisions of recently-enacted laws as unconstitutional and to issue an injunction to permit the Libertarian Party of Arkansas to submit 10,000 valid signatures to demonstrate sufficient support for the formation of a new political party.  The action would enjoin the Arkansas Secretary of State, John Thurston, from enforcing the contested provisions of the new laws. 

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Childhood Vaccine Rates Around the World

The Dutch found no correlation between MMR and Autism. But they, along with the rest of the world, have a much lower total vaccination load for children under five. If the MMR is the "final straw" for the immune system it would not show as a trigger in nations with only 1/3 the vaccine load of the US https://www.fourteenstudies.org/nowwhat.html

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Hutchinson Tax-Shuffle Targets Middle-Class, Big Media Gives Cover

No matter what they say when campaigning, big government types, whether left-collectivist (socialism) or right-collectivist (that breed of socialism known as "fascism") invariably target the middle class to pay for their grandiose visions. Think about it, the poor have nothing to take. The very rich have the means to defend themselves from state-sponsored looting. They can even leave the country and set up shop elsewhere if their taxes get too high.
The only group which in aggregate has significant assets to loot while individually lacking the power to defend those assets is the middle-class, the upper-middle class, and what I call "the barely rich". Thus no matter what the lying politicians tell you, or the lying establishment media tells you, these are the people who will be paying for excessive government spending. That includes debt when it comes time to decide who will be stuck with the tab for it, but let me get off that rabbit trail for now.

Governor Asa Hutchinson has shown himself to be a right-collectivist. Heck, he started a "Department of Homeland Security" for Arkansas. He has increased state government spending greatly. And he has turned state health care from something that used to be reserved for the most unfortunate among us into a subsidy for giant corporations. State health care is now more about "the workforce" than it is about helping people with disabilities for example. The term "workforce" sounds slightly militant, but I suppose that saying state taxpayers should provide health care for "the workforce" is still better PR than saying the state's taxpayers should provide healthcare "for Wal-Mart employees."
The Governor's tax plan is a perfect example of what I am talking about. A few weeks ago, to the acclaim of the media, he trotted out his plan for an "income tax cut." The establishment media dutifully and uncritically reported that Asa Hutchinson was a mighty tax-cutter! Only the lefty Arkansas-times pointed out that the structure of the cut was heavily towards the top 1% of taxpayers. They would receive $73 million worth of tax cuts of the total $97 million reduced after the first two years.

That seems disproportionate. Of course a person in the top 1% of taxpayers pays more than someone who had a household income of around $73K like me, but do the top 1% of taxpayers really pay 75% of the income taxes in this state? Not even close, but they are getting about that share of the tax cut.
Now in the past the line has been "but the middle class shares in the tax cut too, just not as much." And if you are only looking at the tax cut being rolled out with a flourish over here, that makes sense. But to make a full accounting of Gov. Hutchinson's tax policy (which the establishment media seems loathe to do) you must combine it with the effect of his proposals for highways. He plans to increase various taxes for highways to the tune of $300 million dollars. So he plans to cut income taxes $150 million a year (when fully implemented) and raise fuel and associated taxes $300 million per year. He's a big spender. Period. Just one that can cover it up and come off as a tax-cutter because the establishment media seems determined to provide him cover.

Worse, look at who benefits from his tax cut- the top 1%. Look who pays for his tax increases- everyone with a car equally. In other words the benefits of the tax cuts are for his corporate buddies, the costs of building the roads is spread out for everyone with a car, which is mostly the middle class. No matter what the tool-media in the state try to tell you, Hutchinson's tax plan is to greatly increase the tax burden for the middle class but let the top 1% off the hook. It is both a re-shuffling of tax burden so that the middle class pays more and a net large increase in taxes. That's his plan. Since the big media in this state refuse to tell you the truth about it, you have to hear it from bloggers like me.

And I even think the road money will be spent where the big money tells them to spend it. Do you think I'm wrong about that?

Our household income is pretty decent but I figure his tax cut is worth about $30 a year for us. But his highway plan to raise $300 million means the average person like me pays $100 more in taxes a year. Give a little with one hand, take a lot with the other, collect credit from the media for step one. That's the hustle.

America is sick. Arkansas is sick, and the disease is tribalism. That's when the virtue of "loyalty" mutates into a vice because it is taken beyond the bounds of honesty and truth. That is, people support their political "team", whether Republicans or Democrats, long after it is clear to the honest observer that both have gone off the rails and decent people should seek to create other political solutions.
I don't say that you should complain to "your" representative about this, because I know that you don't have a "representative". The Republican or Democratic party has a representative who represents the interests of the global corporations who fund both of their DC parties. These have recruited some suits to pretend that they represent you while in truth they go along with schemes like this to loot the middle class for the benefits of global corporations. Until either you repent or they do, its going to keep getting worse for you and your children, not better. Hey middle class, that's a high price to pay for loyalty to a political label who is in reality targeting your wealth.
PS: You don't have to be a "liberal" to share this post liberally, and I ask that you do so.





Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Libertarians Assert SB 163 is a Direct Attack

A statement from the Libertarian Party of Arkansas suggests that Libertarians are taking the introduction and Senate passage of SB 163 personally.   The statement, published on the party’s website this past weekend, asserted that SB 163 ”appears to be targeted directly against the Libertarian Party.”

Referring to the fact that the Libertarian Party is the only third-party to have its candidates on the ballot in the last two elections, and that it is the only party to be attempting to do so again in 2020, Libertarians said it is “evident that this bill is intended to stifle potential competition, specifically Libertarians, in the 2020 election. “

SB 163 was introduced by Senator Trent Garner (R) of El Dorado on January 24th, passed by the Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs on January 29th and passed by the full Senate the next day.  It would raise the petition-signature requirement for “new political parties” from 10,000 to 3% of votes in the most recent gubernatorial election—presently about 26,750.

The Libertarian Party statement described the bill as “unwarranted, unnecessary, and destructive to healthy democracy in Arkansas.” 

The Libertarians also assert that SB 163 directly violates the U.S. Constitution.  A federal court decision in 2006, Green Party of Arkansas v. Daniels, found that a similar 3% standard for new political parties that existed at the time was unconstitutional and invalid.  The following year, the legislature adopted the current 10,000 signature requirement.

“This bill is clearly anti-democratic and blatantly unconstitutional,” said Michael Pakko, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Arkansas.  “The real travesty here is that more than 250,000 Arkansans voted for at least one Libertarian candidate in 2018, but somehow that’s not good enough for the Libertarian Party to be considered a true political party under Arkansas law.  Now they want to make it even harder, if not impossible, for us to continue to offer the voters a Libertarian alternative.”

The bill is on the House Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs agenda for tomorrow, February 6, 2019.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Mysteries Remain from Griffin's 2004 Voter Caging Emails

Voter caging, when it disproportionately affects minority voters, is a federal crime. In 2004 Tim Griffin was an opposition researcher for Karl Rove. Emails from his account with the subject line "caging" and with attached lists consisting disproportionately of minority voters in Florida was mistakenly emailed to the wrong address and fell into the hands of journalist Greg Palast.

Palast published some articles on the incident, but among the many indisputable facts in his article were a couple of inaccurate statements. Rove and company were able to seize on the inaccuracies to poo-poo the whole report. And it seems like the establishment media in America, as much as it likes to stir up controversy and divide us on unprovable questions, is very very very reluctant to report on stories when major establishment players get caught red-handed committing crimes. KARK did some real digging. The American legacy media was mostly silent on the story.

Because defenders of team Rove/Griffin were able to use the inaccuracies in secondary details of Palast's original report to discredit the whole thing, I refer you to this report from KOS on the incident which points out what he got right and what he got wrong on the story- and it still looks terrible for Griffin. I mean, an email was sent with the title "caging" and it had lists of disproportionately minority Florida voters attached to it. Griffin resigned as Federal Prosecutor rather than face committee questions over the incident, after telling Senator Mark Pryor that he looked forward to answering those questions. Pryor felt he was lied to.

Voter caging is the practice of sending mail to registered voters with a "do not forward" tag in order to test if voters still live at the address on their voter registration card. Some of them that don't may be homeless. Some of them may be students off for the Summer who let their leases lapse but plan to return to the same district in the Fall. Some are U.S. military on 15 month deployments in some foreign mud hole and so they let their lease lapse for that reason. All of these examples could have their right to vote challenged by this tactic. And when the groups targeted for such ploys are disproportionately minorities, as as the case here, it's a federal crime, in addition to being a really rotten thing to do.

Now Tim Griffin indignantly claims that he didn't engage in voter caging. And of course he didn't follow through and do it because once Palast blew the cover of their operation they ix-nayed what they were up to. The right question should be "were they preparing to engage in voter caging?" and the obvious answer is "yes, just like it says in the subject line of the e-mail from Griffin's account."

Now Palast floated a "conspiracy theory" on Griffin's denial which explains a lot that has happened since he put it out there. He said that insiders know that Rove didn't have a White House computer because that way there would be nothing to subpoena in case of trouble. He wonders if Griffin was just a bag-holder or front man and that Karl Rove himself was using Griffin or Griffin's account to send emails and perhaps Griffin didn't have a solid grasp of what the emails were about. If so, Griffin is being a good soldier and saying he sent the emails and claming up on specifics. And the evidence suggests that he is being rewarded to do so.

Think about how much trouble the Republican machine has gone to in order to prop up Tim Griffin. If he sent those emails, with the subject line of "caging" and the lists full of minority voters to an investigative reporter then it was an incredibly bone-headed mistake. Why push so hard for a guy like that to get a Federal Prosecutor's job? Why continue to push him for Congress, urging others like David Meeks who wound up being a pretty good state legislator instead, to step aside? Why does he get such favorable coverage from our state's establishment media? I mean they rush to ask his opinion about stuff he has no more to do with than 100 other folks but rarely do they stick a microphone in his face and hector him with tough questions. I don't know that I've ever seen it. Why the kid-gloves and golden boy treatment when there is nothing in his visible record to justify such favoritism? It all makes perfect sense if it was Rove who made the bone-headed move exposing their efforts to commit a federal crime and Griffin is covering for his old boss. He is "taking one for the team" and the big boys on the team are rewarding him for his participation.

Do I know anything in that above paragraph is a fact? Nope. I just know it explains a whole lot that is otherwise really hard to explain. Now I predict the GOP apologists will try to waive this off as "old news" in a very Clintonesque fashion. That is, deny, dissemble, and discredit all you can without ever really facing up to the issue and questions in detail and then come back and say "that's old news, we've already talked about it." Nope. Mostly friendly media threw you a few slow pitches with no followup and no indignation with nostrils flaring as they would if they were interviewing someone that they wanted to pin down. That was Fake News coverage just so they could say it had been covered. It shouldn't count. Only when it has really been addressed is it not news anymore.


Rapert Refuses Debate

Senator Snowflake, or justifiable safety concerns? You decide....

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Lt. Governor's Debate Has Some Great Moments and a Clear Surprise Winner

Click on link to video here.


First of all, I have to acknowledge that Tim Griffin did the right thing by showing up for a debate he might have been tempted to duck. He didn't. Secondly, the Democrat Dr. Anthony Bland comes off as a very nice man who doesn't know a lot about the intricacies of public and fiscal policy. On likeability it was mostly a contest between Bland and Gilbert. On policy it was a contest between Griffin and Gilbert, even though they agreed on some issues for different reasons. I support Gilbert BTW.
My general take on the debate is that LTG Griffin won the opening statement and the first question which was basically tailor-made for someone with a career in politics and government. After that it was ALL. FRANK. GILBERT. Heck by the end (46:17) Dr. Bland is nodding again in agreement with Frank and Tim Griffin starts off around 47:08 agreeing that Frank Gilbert made a good point.
Some highlights:
10:00- Griffin starts off on what qualifies him for Governor is that he has worked closely with Asa Hutchinson.
13:30- Gilbert gives an example from his time as Mayor of Tull to show he is ready.
14:50- Griffin on ethics reform. Defines the problem without mentioning its his party and his area that went bad. Complains existing rules are too persnickity.
18:55- Strong answer. Points out that the Rep. establishment actually banded together to run off the two Senators who tried the hardest to fight the corruption. (Bryan King and Linda Collins-Smith). Voting again for the ones who did that is not a vote to fix it no matter what is said.
24:15- Frank Gilbert with frank talk about the Work Requirement for Obamacare. Griffin answers at 25:55
29:00 Gilbert with a great story on why we need voter ID. Griffin follows.
34:20- Gilbert talks about Griffin's past involvement with voter caging when he was an operative for Karl Rove.
35:30- Casino Gambling Amendment. Griffin leans against it but hedges and changes the subject. Gilbert plainly comes out against it and explains why.
45:10 General Revenues to Highways? Gilbert says no more money to this highway system and calls for an end to the Highway Commission and a return of the authority back to the people's representatives in the legislature. Griffin (47:08) agrees Gilbert makes a good point but favors doing so anyway.
50:45 - Strong close by Gilbert. Griffin follows at 52:51 again citing his ties to Asa Hutchinson as a plus.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Global Trade's Hidden Costs

I noticed an article today which had a bombshell about the Chinese government sneaking a stealth microchip into the servers and other hardware it was selling around the world. Organizations infiltrated include Amazon, Apple, and even the CIA. The chip would give them the power to remotely hack the operating system of a myriad of devices.

I do not call trade with China "Free" trade because it is not possible to have free trade with unfree people. China is the world's largest labor camp and most of its inmates are not free to leave and seek opportunity elsewhere (only those connected to the elite are). Thus it has a captive labor force. It also lacks a free media by which workers could learn about dangerous working conditions and make informed choices about where to work. So its global trade, not free trade. And global trade has hidden costs. The above link is an example of a huge one, but there are many others. The importation of dangerous pests for example.

Globalism is pushed by our media, which is itself owned by global corporate entities, and except for the anomaly of Donald Trump, both establishment political parties which are also owned by global corporate entities. But global trade has hidden costs, in particular when dealing with unfree societies. Barriers to trade with such nations are like a "firewall" in ones computer system. They may slow things down a bit but it is a form of insurance. We can't have enough redundancy in a global supply chain where each critical part is made by a single entity. Such a supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link. China will suffer great turmoil someday, because its system is corrupt and unjust. If we are inextricably linked to them, we will suffer with them.

Global trade has hidden costs and those costs must be born by someone. The global corporations who have pushed to lower all protections and redundancies in favor of a global trade model have harvested the profits from their scheme. But when its time to pay the costs, you can be sure they will try to socialize those onto the general public.

The precepts of Localism provide the most sensible protections for our country, or any country, against the abuse of corporate power, including the abuse described here.



 


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Which Legislators Visited Cranford and Noble's Luxury Accommodations?

By now it is well known that multiple state legislators received bribes and gifts for voting to give certain people access to Medicaid Expansion Money. Some of them have been indicted. Some convicted. But how could a handful of legislators pull of the theft of funds meant for poor sick people on the scale that went on in Arkansas? It seems like a lot more would have to be involved, at least on the fringes. Maybe a few sponsored the bills, and altered the appropriations, but many more had to be induced to vote right and not ask any pesky questions.

It turns out that the plea bargain of Kieth Noble states that the scam "charity" gave things of value to
"numerous" public officials in exchange for their official actions benefiting the "charity". And one of those things was "use of Charity's luxury/recreational real estate." Below is a pic from Noble's plea agreement....



I think the media covered the near-million dollar house Rusty Cranford had in Florida but did you know that the management firm which controlled this "non-profit" also had luxury real estate right here in Arkansas? Carroll County to be exact. Here is one of their places, now for sale...


Pretty fancy diggs. The price has been reduced to $950,000 so it won't last long! But the question I'd like answered, and I do hope that some real media in this state steps up and asks each legislator, is "what legislators have had use of this real estate for them or members of their family?" Might as well ask about the Florida place too, but my guess is that a lot of state legislators and/or their relatives have visited this Carroll County Address. I think we have a right to know who, and a real media would be anxious to go ask.

I can cross one name off the list for them right now. I asked State Senator Bryan King of Green Forest if he had ever been there. He said absolutely not and no one even told him about the place even though it was in the same county he lived in. He added this dynamite quote: "Medicaid entities have been backing up the brinks truck to DHS and have hauled off hundreds of millions of dollars . Legislators were on the take and others help protect their payoffs and bribes."

King was one of the honest ones so his fellow legislators must have not bothered to tell him about all the parties their were having there. Of course King won't be in the State Senate much longer because the Governor and the Republican establishment rallied round Bob Ballinger and ran King off- I think for asking too many probing questions about where state money was going. Which of you professional reporters want to ask Bob Ballinger if he has ever been there? What about the rest of them?

I think people have a right to know, before the election in less than two months, just how deep the rot runs.