Thursday, January 05, 2006

Arkansas Speaker of the House Candidates: Uncut!

On January 9th the Arkansas House will elect a new speaker. The voting records of these two candidates are examined in order to help you decide who you want to have this powerful position...

By Debbie Pelley (click time below for top of post, click "comments" to post a comment)


Blogger Debbie Pelley said...

Will Bond or Benny Petrus for Speaker of the House?

Liberal vs Moderate

Benny Petrus and Will Bond are two of the representatives vying for the Speaker of the House in Arkansas, a position that has considerable power, to be voted on by secret ballot Jan 9, 06. There has been some speculation on the blogs and in newspaper articles as to which of these men is the most liberal or conservative. Bond was quoted in the newspaper as saying, "Some in Benny’s camp would like to make it a liberal versus conservative [race]. I don’t think my record is easily classified. I don’t consider myself to be liberal." If Bond is not a liberal, then we have no liberals in the Legislature – based on his voting record.

Bond voted with American Family Association of Arkansas' positions only 2 times out of 14 votes in the 2005 session. Only five 5 legislators cast more anti family votes than did Bond. In the Senate NO senator cast less than 3 votes in favor of family positions. Why would the House want to elect a speaker that is so out of touch with the members of the House and the citizens of Arkansas?

Petrus, on the other hand, voted with these family positions 12 times out of 14.

(The Speaker appoints chairmen and vice chairmen of committees and has authority over many other procedures that influence legislation. See footnote at bottom of email for a summary list of these powers.)

For information purposes American Family Association of Arkansas posted on the web several months ago each legislator’s voting record on 14 bills in the 2005 session. Lest one think this organization is too conservative for comparing legislators, note that 60% of the senators voted AFA’s pro-family postion more than 50% of the time. In the House 53% of the representatives voted with AFA more than 50% of the time.

Bond’s votes reflected agreement with AFA’s position only 2 times, but Petrus votes reflected agreement with AFA’s position 12 times. For detailed reports on these issues – list of the bills, votes by all legislators, and summary of votes see this link or go to and click the Legislative Issues tab at the top of the home page.

AFA did not score legislators in the 2003-2004 session. However, there were many controversial issues in those sessions that could be considered liberal vs. conservative. Bond voted for all the taxes and government control bills. He voted against the Unborn child pain awareness act, Textbook Definition of Marriage, In God We Trust License Plate, Student Led Prayer, Police Arrest of Illegal Aliens. He voted for Homosexual Adoption, Separation of Church and State Resolution, Public Drinking, Electronic Gambling, Closing Isolated Schools, and for Scholarships and In State Tuition for Illegal Aliens.

Bond supported all the taxes and all the government control education bills. Bond sponsored the bill for closing schools with enrollments of less than 350. Below are contrasting votes by Petrus and Bond on a number of controversial issues.: Bond supported all of them, Petrus supported none of them.

(1) Act 1467, 2003 took over the curriculum in Arkansas. Now we have teams of government bureaucrats from the Arkansas Department of Education who visit every school in the state and check the school’s plans and the teachers’ lesson plan books to make sure they are teaching what the state tells them to do and that the districts are implementing ALL aspects of the government controlled plan. Ask your teachers, if you have any doubts that this is happening. (The curriculum standards being imposed on the teachers by these bureaucrats have consistently earned mostly D’s and F’s by prestigious educational organizations like the Fordham Foundation. That’s a great way to improve education in Arkansas - forcing the teachers to give up their often superior curriculum developed within the district for the inferior state curriculum.)

Bond: For Petrus Against.

(2) Act 90 ( House bill 1009 in 2003) which took over all the school buildings in Arkansas and created a financial and bureaucratic nightmare. Quotes from a newspaper article indicate the extensive bureaucracy and financial involvement related to this bill: "The new Commission on Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation on Tuesday tentatively approved a 500-page manual that is expected to guide the planning, design and construction of Arkansas schools for years to come… On Nov. 30, 04, the Educational Facilities Committee released the long awaited figure of 2.3 billion for the cost of providing adequate and equal facilities for all schools in Arkansas according to outside experts. ADG article June 22, 05 by Cynthia Howell. Bond: For Petrus Against

(5) Act 60 consolidating those schools having an enrollment of less than 350. At least 26 campuses now been closed under that “so called” administrative consolidation bill, and approximately 10 entire campuses have been closed. Forced consolidation takes away the people’s freedom and family and local control; studies do not indicate larger schools are better academically, and numerous studies show consolidation doesn’t save ANY money . Arkansas already had some of longest, worst bus rides in the nation according to studies. More than 32 schools in Arkansas had bus rides of 3 to 3 ½ hours before this consolidation bill was passed.

Bond: For Petrus: Against

(6) HB 1289, now Act 1397, gave the schools the right to close isolated school districts. When the consolidation law was passed, legislators assured the opposition over and over that these isolated campuses would not be closed. They even wrote that provision into the law. However, almost before the ink was dry, these same legislators came back and voted to allow isolated campuses to be closed. If and when these isolated campuses are closed, students in many of these schools will have to ride the bus 31/2 to 4 1/2 hours a day. Representative Ragland told the House that the closure of one financially troubled school in his district would require students to be bused 62 miles to another school. Bond: For Petrus: Against

(7) HB1525 of 2005. Did not pass the Senate but did pass the House. It would have given scholarships and in-state tuition to illegal aliens. This bill violated federal law according to many lawyers’ interpretation. HB1525 would have given illegal aliens unfair advantages over our legal citizens because legal citizens would have had, in many cases, to pay more for their college tuition than illegal aliens, and scholarships that could have been given to legal citizens would have been given to illegal aliens if this law had passed. Three dozen students have filed a class action suit in California against an almost identical bill that passed there. Arkansas could be paying to defend such a suit as well if this bill had passed. Bond: For Petrus: Against

(8) SB 55 by Broadway provivding $40 million for prekindergarten program.

Bond: For Petrus: Against

(9) Act 107, HB 1030 sales tax increase from 5.125 percent to 6 percent, a $ 360 million-a-year increase. Bond: For Petrus: Against

(10) SB42 (Act 59) The Public School Funding Act of 2003 for $439. This bill included about $22 million for INCREASSED teacher staff development which 85% of teachers in an Arkansas survey said is of little value in improving student achievement and is an ineffective use of teachers' time. Bond: For; Petrus: Against

Footnote: Powers of the Speaker of the House:

“He runs the House. He’s its top administrator.”

“He presides over the chamber, deciding whether House members will have permission to speak for or against bills or to make motions to affect the outcome of bills or the course of debate aimed at swaying House members.”

“This speaker decides how the House will treat legislation. He does so by deciding who’ll get the next-most-powerful jobs, the positions of chairman and vice chairman of the committees. A committee can be crucial. If a committee nixes a bill, it dies without a House vote. If a committee chairman is strongly for a bill, well, then, it has a good chance. If the chairman is against it, that message gets out, too.”

“The speaker also is the leading representative of the House in those behind-the-scenes confabs with the governor and the leaders of the Senate in crafting compromises, mollifying people caught up in disputes, making key decisions about what will be considered, when it will be considered, how much will be spent and what it’ll be spent on.”

These quotes on the Powers of the Speaker of the House were taken from newspaper article by Wickline, May 31, 05, in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

Debbie Pelley

9:52 AM, January 05, 2006  
Anonymous Harvey Edwards said...

Debbie As usual you have layed out a fine argument of the lesser of two evils. I concede that in light of this that Petrus would be the better choice at this point. That is,until someone comes along with a host of constitutionally principled ideas , And also someone who will stand behind those principles.
I would like to add that if Petrus does get it and is voted out in November that hopefully we will get yet another speaker with true family values.

12:52 PM, January 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mrs. Pelley,

Excellent, fair, and balanced post. Good research.


I really hate to dish on you like this, but you are almost as much a moron as you are clueless. You would be better off, and look alot smarter, if you just kept your trap shut.

4:20 PM, January 05, 2006  
Anonymous Harvey said...

Mr anonymous.
I have twice today stepped on your button. here and on the Arkansas times. Neither time will you leave your name. I do know who you are though.
I dont want Debbies article derailed by you and your petty hates so I will quit posting so that you will quit following me around like a puppy.

5:46 PM, January 05, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Debbie it really is a great article.

And whoever "anon" is on this thread, personal insult is not a substitute for rational argument and is not what we are about here on AW. If you have a point of dispute with anyone about their facts or logic then by all means "dish" them on that. Simply calling them juvenile names contributes nothing of value to AW. We want an "intellectual watering hole" for rational debate about politics and public policy- not a hatefest.

7:13 PM, January 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does a person's voting record make that person a poor leader? Rather, does a person who uses profanity openly, talks down to women, thinks that every decision is a deal, consumes copious amount of alcohol, provides "special escorts" for fellow legislators,is heavily indebted to lobbysists, uses veiled threats to coerce votes, and on and on, make a good leader?

Ms. Pelley you don't have a clue about what the two candidates are about. You have to dig below below a vote that is, by the way, a freedom given to a person by the constituents that elect him to represent.

You haven't done your homework, you've just accessed a website and then started tooting your horn.

6:49 PM, January 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Debbie Pelley gave specifics, not vague accusations. If Petrus provided "special escorts" for legislators- I suppose you are using a euphemism for prostitute- if he is doing that, why don't you provide some details.

All we have to go on is voting record. If you have something substantial, then tell us. We don't count vauge accusations as much around here- we have heard too many leveled at the good guys by anonymous mudslingers.

9:37 PM, January 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon wrote:

"Does a person who uses profanity openly, talks down to women, thinks that every decision is a deal, consumes copious amount of alcohol, provides "special escorts" for fellow legislators,is heavily indebted to lobbysists, uses veiled threats to coerce votes, and on and on."

How do I know that you aren't describing Will Bond? Typically, you can judge a person's character by his voting record. And the character you describe more likely aligns Mr. Bond's voting record.

Don't get me wrong. I don't figure Mr. Petrus is as pure as the wind driven snow. All politician have stink all over them. Probably the only politicians that ain't whores are the ones that never run for office. Hmmmm... Rick Calhoun, where'd you go? Boy, I really would like to read some straight shooting commentary from that guy.

9:55 PM, January 07, 2006  
Anonymous harvey edwards' daddy said...

Harvey, man, you are getting raped in every blog you post on today, man. So what's the deal with you and Josh? You guys still at it? Is this what all the flames are all about?

11:45 PM, January 07, 2006  
Anonymous harvey edwards said...

So why are we the poorest Region in the whole United States? This is my primary Issue. I will not only explain why but will fight to tear down the harsh realities that we are just NOT being represented to the extent we deserve.

* Why don’t we hold our representatives responsible for the Schools mess? All our tax dollars will not fix the Waste fraud and abuse of Government Policies. I have many views and they all require less money with greater outcome. None of them are to Save Superintendent jobs while Bussing the Children away. The bottom line is that we give our Children a real education.

* I would fight to get control of the waste of our tax dollars that we give to people who do not qualify.

* I stand by the Constitution and I Stand behind the Law when it says something is Illegal to mean just that. I don’t believe in Leniency. I do not coddle to criminals. Politics doesn’t have to be warm and fuzzy, only compassionate to those who deserve it.

* I do NOT support the ACLU in any form or fashion.

* I Do Support God, Country, and the rights of the people.

* I will never take special interest contributions. I require only enough income to support a family and I will fight for others rights to have that same opportunity. I feel that greed and unearned wealth by people in power leads to corruption.

* I am ashamed when I see A US Congressman proudly proclaim on the front page of his website that very little has changed in the Delta and that we are undereducated and underemployed.

* I will only vote in the interest of our District. Not what a special interest group wants unless they are one and the same. I will use good judgement and the desire for our Districts wellbeing to propose changes and force issues.

* I stand behind my conviction that the Vote from the most meak of us is more valuable than all the dollars the lobbyists can try to handout.

* I believe that Congress shall make no laws restricting our religious rights. WE THE PEOPLE are the Government ,not judges .

* I do Not believe that ILLEGAL aliens should be treated any better than any other criminal...

* I do not believe in compromising Standards to get votes. I am not a Bridge builder, this would mean you flow any direction the wind blows. I am not out to win buddies.

* Right now in Arkansas about half of our Citizens are on some form of State assistance. This is good ONLY when used correctly but we all know that Waste fraud and porkbarrel spending is running rampant. Vigilance in detecting and stopping waste fraud and abuse is essential.

* So many are on assistance because of the way we have done business in the past. We have shunned economic growth so that we could maintain a regulated and underpaid workforce . Some towns even today will not allow businesses to come in. We have had to send our children away after high school graduation for their own good. The end result is we have cut off our noses to spite our face. Now we are becoming a welfare State . Even the folks who make a steady living and are just getting by are becoming increasingly weary of the drain of their tax dollars to support a corrupt beauracracy. By the way many of our Children dont have anything to return home to other than family.

* I intend to be ever diligent in looking for every opportunity to improve our district which in turn will stimulate growth. Most social problems go away when there is economic growth.

* With your Vote allowing me to represent you I will have the chance to make all our voices heard.

Platform of the Constitution Party

This website will take you to the Conservative Journal of Harvey Edwards, It is full of writings that reflect the mindset of Harvey. It includes a Chronological resume . And many references to the Constitution and Religion which are a part of each other, not separate .

WE THE PEOPLE , One Nation under God, Freedom OF Religion,We the people are the Government, what we decide cannot be decided by a NON representative Supreme Court unless we allow it..Choose your representatives wisely. But by all means VOTE. Our Country depends on it.

12:21 AM, January 08, 2006  
Anonymous Harvey Edwards said...

I didnt post the above, but Ok there it is., It is my issues. Whose my daddy and whos Josh?

4:56 PM, January 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Rep. Benny Petrus, new Speaker by a 58-42 vote.

3:47 PM, January 10, 2006  
Anonymous Scott Arthur Edwards said...

The fact is that the INTERNET is making people WEALTHY! Shouldn't YOU be one of them? Dear friend, I don't know about you, but I like to be free from a job and able to travel anywhere around the globe. Here is the key to doing just that...Click here on my rotation link and join me so you can be free as a bird and clear of financial worries: FIND OUT NOW!

5:22 AM, July 12, 2006  
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