Monday, September 25, 2006

Better Get it in Writing!

Mike Beebe has been as slippery as a catfish in a jar of vaseline when it comes to laying out his positions. When he runs out of evasions, he adopts conservative positions that clash sharply with his record in the Senate. Check that, Beebe doesn't adopt conservative positions, he doesn't even foster-parent them. But he will pose with conservative positions in a photo op.

Weary of the evasions of his opponent, and frustrated by a media that shurgs off such behavior when done by a liberal, Asa Hutchinson issued a unique challenge to Beebe: let's do the surveys from organizations that outline our positions and release them at the same time.....

Click "Monday" below to read Hutchinson's Challenge to Beebe.


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

GOP Nominee Calls On Attorney General to Join Him in Releasing Promises, Positions to Public

Little Rock -- Asa Hutchinson, the 2006 Republican nominee for Governor, called on Attorney General Mike Beebe today to join him in a coordinated release of their responses to special interest group questionnaires as a commitment to openness in government and fair dealing with Arkansas voters.

At a Little Rock news conference conference, Hutchinson challenged Beebe to release his responses and to post them on his campaign website for review and inspection by voters.

“Over the course of the campaign, both candidates have submitted responses to a number of questionnaires and surveys, laying out our plans, positions and promises to a wide range of organizations,” Hutchinson said. “I’ve made openness in government one of the key issues of my campaign, and I believe that those surveys should see the light of day so that voters in know what promises candidates are making to certain groups in private.”

Hutchinson said that all voters should be made fully aware of both candidates statements and promises to special interest groups now, during the course of the campaign, so that they can make fully informed decisions on Nov. 7th.

“I’m sure that the Attorney General, if he shares my commitment to open government, will welcome this opportunity to lay his responses bare for voters and the media to inspect,” Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson noted that Beebe has, on at least one documented occasion, been caught telling supporters one thing behind closed doors and then telling the public something quite different.

In July, the Arkansas Times, a weekly newspaper in Little Rock, reported that Beebe had met behind closed doors with gay activists and reportedly pledged to support gay foster care and to fight proposed bans on homosexual couples serving as foster parents. (“Reality Bites,” Warwick Sabin, Arkansas Times, 7/13/06).

However, when this meeting was reported in the media, the Attorney General denied having made such promises – prompting the group he had met with to claim the Attorney General had not been honest with them. (“Gay Rights Group Says Beebe Misled Them, Withdraws Endorsement,” Andrew Demillo, Associated Press, 7/19/06).

Hutchinson said the episode underscored Beebe’s credibility problem – not just on the particular issue of homosexual foster care but on a variety of issues in which he has portrayed himself in a way that is inconsistent with his record during twenty years in the state Senate.

“The issue in this case is less about Mike Beebe’s support for homosexual foster care – or his lack of support, or whatever his position happens to be today. It’s about credibility, about being open and consistent in your positions and not telling one group one thing and then telling another group something else,” Hutchinson said. “If a candidate is willing to backtrack so quickly on promises made to supporters, what does that say about his commitment to other promises he is making on the campaign trail to the general public? Can we take his tax-cutting claims seriously – especially considering his 20 years of voting to raise taxes in the Arkansas Senate.

As an example, pointed to Mike Beebe’s claim – in his paid television ads and statements to certain groups – that he wants to eliminate the grocery tax. However, in recent news stories this week, Beebe is already backtracking from his commitment – noting various spending programs that he would address before “phasing out” the grocery tax.

“In his ads, Mike Beebe says simply that he’ll eliminate the grocery tax. Now, though, he’s already backtracking and saying that he’ll try to phase it out, but only if other spending priorities are met first,” Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson also noted that Beebe has refused to answer questionnaires from conservative organizations, such as the Arkansas Family Council and Arkansas Right to Life. He said he found it odd that Beebe had time to fill out surveys for union groups and plenty of other advocacy organizations but claims to not have had the time to give the same attention to some of ’ leading pro-family and conservative organizations.

“Mike Beebe has spent the last several months tying himself into pretzels trying to convince Arkansans that he shares their values on key issues like the sanctity of life or the definition of marriage,” Hutchinson said. “And yet, it’s now clear that Mike Beebe is pro-choice, that he is all over the map on the issue of gay foster care, and that he allowed his party to strip the traditional definition of marriage from its official policy position. He certainly has a right to his views, but he should be straightforward with the voters. His refusal to respond to ’ leading organizations championing pro-family causes speaks volumes.”

Hutchinson offered a list of many of the questionnaires that he had completed and submitted to various organizations over the course of the campaign:

National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund

Arkansas Business and Professional Women Political Action Committee

Arkansas Family Council

National Federation of Independent Business

Arkansas Right to Life Political Action Committee

University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

Arkansas AFL-CIO

Arkansas Education Association

Arkansas Farm Bureau

Arkansas AARP

Arkansas Forestry Association

“I hope that the Attorney General will join me in releasing this information to the public so that the voters of can have as much information as possible on the candidates’ positions when they head to the polls in November,” Hutchinson said.

3:31 PM, September 25, 2006  

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