Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Holt Drawing Bebee into School Book Controversy

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


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

History seems to be repeating itself. In the last legislative session, State Senator Jim Holt was working to stop HB 1525, which would have provided taxpayer-subsidized college benefits to illegal aliens. The bill was sponsored by Little Rock Democrat House member Joyce Elliot, and supported by Gov. Huckabee.

Holt questioned the legality of the bill, and asked for an Attorney General's opinion on the matter. This drew an unwilling Democrat Attorney General (and Gubinatorial candidate) Mike Bebee into the controversy. At first, Bebee issued an opinion that he tried to keep secret. He only released them after widespread objections to his office's attempts to keep his findings secret from the taxpayers. His findings largely supported Holt's contentions, the bill was stopped in the Senate, and Bebee came out the worse for it.

Now the same scenario is being played out in the Fayetteville book controversy. Fifty-four books in the public school library are being challenged by a parents group. The administration's opinion seems to be that the librarians should be backed at all costs, lest they have to answer to other parent groups.

Holt and the parents claim the materials are obscene, and as such providing them to minors is a violation of Arkansas law. Some summaries of the books can be found here.... you can judge for yourself until the coarseness of it wears you out.

At any rate Holt put Bebee on the spot again, asking him to issue an opinion on whether providing the books to school children violated Arkansas law. Bebee gave a definite maybe as his answer. It was almost painful to watch him squirm as he tried to take both sides of the issue and dance around without stepping on any toes- especially the toes of the Arkansas teachers' unions to which members of his party are so beholden.

One wonders how often this will happen. We have a State Senator who is not a politician. He does not hesitate to jump into controversial issues- always on the side of traditional morality. We have a Democrat AG who, like most all politicians these days, would prefer to avoid controversy and only "provide leadership" one issues where there is a near consensus (and thus no leadership is really needed). Since he is AG, when called on he has a duty to issue an opinion. If his opinion does not reflect the law, he will get called on it. If it does reflect the law, his liberal supporters are not going to like it.

Jim Holt is not doing this to make Mike Bebee look bad, that much I am sure of. He wants to confront the social decay he sees around him. Still, along the way the effect of smoking out a long-time fence sitter is getting fun to watch.

9:04 PM, September 14, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe that Beebe said that he did not necessarily think that these books were offensive.

6:46 AM, September 15, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this! These kinds of things show BB for what he really is!! Good work Senator Holt!

7:27 AM, September 15, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must commend Holt he has done very well here. With a little more of these, Holt will have my vote. If he does not go off the deep end.

8:34 AM, September 15, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Asa's supporters will quit telling lies about Jim, he will be our next Lt. Governor. Asa must know that Jim will be great for the ticket and will bring out many enthusiastic voters for a straight GOP ticket. Asa needs to tell his organization to back off before it is too late.

1:40 PM, September 25, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sincerely doubt that Asa's organization is doing anything of the kind. Are you really a Holt supporter or just trying to stir up trouble?

9:08 PM, September 28, 2005  
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