Tuesday, June 20, 2006

One Year of "Content Free" Campaigning

Attorney General Mike Bebee is attempting a "content free" campaign for Governor. The Hutchinson's campaign has noted this is the first anniversary of the Bebee campaign, (one year since the under-reported plane rides) and little has been forthcoming from Bebee in the way of policy.

The Bebee campaign is "content free". If Bebee's campaign were a box of cereal, the label would say it contained no Fats, no Protiens, and no Carbohydrates. It might have a few sugars from sugar-coating to hide liberal views on abortion and education, along with some otherwise unpalatable ethical challenges, but that is all. If Bebee's campaign were a ceral box you might open it up to find that it contained no cereal! Nothing of any substance whatsoever can be found in the box! That's if you could even open it. A better analogy might be that they expect you to buy it for the next four years without ever getting a peek at what is inside the box!

Campainging that way is an insult to the independent-minded part of the electorate that is actually interested in what a person is going to DO when we elect them. The "content free" empty-box strategy is an affront to issues-oriented voters of all stripes. Except for my several litmus-test issues, I'd rather vote for a person that says some things I don't agree with all the time - and Asa Hutchinson would fit in that group- than a person who will not respect me enough to describe what they intend to do with the office.

Not only is Bebee's strategy insulting, but it is also unsustainable. He is facing a train wreck in that his opponent is issues-oriented, and so is the rest of both tickets. Issues WILL be in the air, and papers, for the next seven months. He will look like a moron if he makes no contribution to the discussion. People will open the box to see there is no cereal, only a free toy inside that when you pull the drawstring says over and over "I believe in Arkansas".

For the text of the Hutchinson Campaign release, click TUESDAY below.


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

One-Year Anniversary of Beebe Campaign Announcement Passes With Few Proposals
Hutchinson Urges More Vigorous Exchange of Ideas

Little Rock – The one-year anniversary of Attorney General Mike Beebe's announcement of his gubernatorial campaign came and went last week, highlighting the dearth of concrete policies or ideas offered up by the Democratic candidate as to how he would govern Arkansas.

Asa Hutchinson, the 2006 Republican candidate for Arkansas Governor, today noted the anniversary and the lack of any clear vision in the Beebe campaign. He said it emphasized the marked differences between the two candidates, and was indicative of the very different kinds of leadership each would provide.

"Other than a $50 million dollar slush fund he wants to put under his control, Mr. Beebe has offered few specific policies for how he would govern Arkansas," said Hutchinson. "As part of a larger body, a legislator can get by with generalities, but a chief executive must make decisions and lead. At some point, you have to ask: Why are you running for this office? Do you have a vision for moving Arkansas forward?"

Hutchinson observed that while he continues to lay out a broad, varied and specific platform of policies and to inform the public as to where and how he will lead Arkansas, his opponent has either relied on vague generalities or has offered up a few specifics with escape clauses and loopholes that would allow him to wriggle out of his commitments once in office.

An example of Beebe's lack of commitment to the few policies he has proposed is his suggestion that he would eliminate the utility tax on manufacturers – but only if and when "resources allow." Hutchinson, on the other hand, has said that bringing better jobs to Arkansas is his top priority, and he will eliminate the tax outright, without qualifications.

"If a projected $600 million surplus doesn't 'allow' for tax relief, what does?" he asked. "Mr. Beebe spent 20 years in the state senate in Little Rock and never seemed to find a time that would allow for substantive tax reform."

Hutchinson pointed to education reform as another clear contrast between the candidates. While Hutchinson has laid out a detailed package of reforms to strengthen schools across Arkansas, his opponent has not offered a single concrete proposal other than to indicate vague support for teacher salaries and pre-K programs, which Hutchinson also supports.

"My opponent says he believes in good education, but who doesn't? He has offered no plan, no specific ideas, on how he would improve education. I have laid out a very detailed package," said Hutchinson. "Arkansas voters will be deciding the direction of this state for up to a decade when they cast their votes in November. This is a truly watershed election. Our voters deserve a clear understanding of the choices being presented to them. Good government depends upon good choices by voters, which is based on well-informed decisions. Our job as candidates is to tell voters how we will govern – not hide our positions from them."

Hutchinson concluded that the only time Beebe takes a position on anything is when he is forced to react to ideas laid out by Hutchinson.

"The few positions we know for sure are those where he has reacted to me," said Hutchinson. "We know he is opposed to my call for a supermajority before you can raise the sales tax again. We know he is opposed to my call for strengthening private property rights. We know he is opposed to my call for requiring busing standards to protect children in rural communities. We know what he is against, but what is he for?"

1:14 PM, June 20, 2006  

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