Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Does Plane-Gate Go Both Ways?

By Mark Moore (click "comments" below for article).

10 Comments:

Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

ArkFam.com has done a great job of reporting on Plane-Gate; Mike Bebee's use of Central Flying Services aircraft for what appears to be bargin-basement prices. At first, the issue was simply that this was an in-kind contribution that was never reported as such. Now ArkFam is speculating on a possible quid-pro-quo from Bebee.

It seems that the Stephens group wants permission from the Airport Commision to challege Central Flying Services de-facto monopoly on chartered flying in central Arknasas. The republican-appointed chairman is for allowing the competition. The Democrats on the board seem less sure.

Arkfam alleges that Bebee was using his influence on the Democratic members of the commission to help preserve Central's monopoly as payback for the cut-rates he has received.

I don't know if the allegations are true or not, but the circumstances surrounding the case do appear unsavory. The trouble is, this is not by any means the first case of powerful people or businesses using their political muscle to further their own ends at the expense of others.

Because it was so unbelievable, few seemed to respond to our August 7th story that Centerton Mayor Kenneth Williams claimed that a powerful individual living in his area got the White House and the Governor to intervene against the city of Centerton building a much needed waste-water treatment plant. The proposed plant was to be built on a piece of land that was presumably too close to that prominent individual. That article is still available for review, look for August 7th stories on this blog.

Another example is the by-now-famous case of Sam's club getting a liquor license, even though a straightforward reading of state law indicates they are not entitled to hold one. The last thread on that story is in the files under the date of July 28th. SAM's flew the Governor around for free, then his finance chairman and PAC chairman on the ABC board vote to give SAM's the license.

It seems to me that allegations of influence peddling can be supported whether one is speaking of Democrats or Republicans.

Even well-regarded Congressman John Boozeman is not above spending a few tens of millions of your taxpayer dollars at Wal-Mart's behest. It seems that the Congressman was behind diverting over $35 million of federal highway money to widen and lengthen a city street- in this case Bentonville's 8th street which serves as a driveway for Wal-Mart HQ. This was reported by Racheal Lianna Davie in the Benton County Daily Record on Sunday, August 21st.

I understand that Wal-Mart pays a lot of taxes, and I don't have a problem with them speaking out about where the money should be spent, but using federal highway money on a city street- even to connect it to a highway- is highly unusual and smacks of favoritism.

Wal-Mart already gets a lot of benefits from the tax money they pay. They get a lot of property protected, and if some accounts are to be believed, you and I pay for their lower-level worker's health care. It is widely reported that the company coaches them on how to get government health-care handouts.

We live in a hyper-partisian environment, where each side is quick to assume the worst about the other side's actions and just as quick to excuse members of their own side for the same or similar actions. This is terrible for the country. It is terrible for the government. It is also terrible for the souls of those who practice it.

The moral and ethical thing to do is for members of each party to be just as hard on their own members as they are on the other side, because really, when it comes to truth and justice, we should all be on the same side.

10:08 PM, August 23, 2005  
Anonymous Hatchet said...

Mark,

You wrote:
"..if some accounts are to be believed, you and I pay for their lower-level worker's health care. It is widely reported that the company coaches them on how to get government health-care handouts."

Widely reported? Sounds like your reading out of a union handbook. Unless you have some solid facts, why don't you leave the Wal-Mart basing to the pinkos.

Hatchet

12:10 AM, August 25, 2005  
Anonymous Hanal said...

You article is a great example of why we don't need Conservative Party candidate Jim Holt representing us in the State Senate, US Senate, or as Lt Governor. What would we get out of it?

5:11 PM, August 25, 2005  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

hachet,

That dog won't hunt. This is Benton County. I know some Wal-Mart people who will privately admit it. As for the story about the taxpayers picking up the tab for their new driveway, YOUR OWN PARENT PAPER reported that.

7:08 PM, August 25, 2005  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

hanal,

and you post is an excellent example of why America cannot long survive individuals of your mind-set casting a majority of the votes. You espouse a view that government is basically organized plunder. If a candidate won't use the coercive power of the state to take money from other people and give it to you, then what good is he, right?

What the rest of us would get out of it is good government. We could trust that the government would diligently and fairly protect our rights rather than constantly fearful of another government shake-down in order to pay off some group who temporarily has more influence than our group.

7:13 PM, August 25, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Holt and Van Gate?

12:55 PM, August 26, 2005  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

It has already been examined ad nauseum. There is nothing to it. He got old vans from old friends and fixed them up himself. Ethincs laws don't keep you from getting gifts from friends (Huck's suits from Osbourne), just from people trying to influence your vote. There was no quid pro quo.

9:27 PM, August 26, 2005  
Anonymous Harvey Edwards said...

Down here in the Delta, District 14 Bennys place we dont worry about problems this high fallutin. With the Representation we have here we are in a good position. That is the Illegal immigrants here are risking lower assistance checks by escaping across the border to Mississipi.

1:39 PM, August 27, 2005  
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