Thursday, August 31, 2006

KTHV Polling Methodology Invalidates Results

UPDATE: A representative of SURVEY USA has responded to our questions about their poll methodology. Please read the comments in the thread for their account.

KTHV has released another SURVEY USA poll for state races. For the Republicans, the bad news is they are all behind, and except for Lt. Governor the gap is growing. The good news is that flawed polling methodology invalidates the results of the poll. The poll says something, but as a prediction of the final outcome the results are meaningless.

Their major mistake was to view Arkansas as a pie with two equal halves, "Little Rock area" and "Rest of State". They never define what "Little Rock area" means. Is it just Pulaski County, or is it the entire 2nd congressional district? They don't say, but even if it is the entire 2nd district, that is only 1/4th of the real pie, yet they count it as 1/2.

Arkansas has four congressional districts and it is nuts to make one of them (the 2nd) equal to the other three. In fact, it is not even the largest district. The GOP-leaning 3rd district is the most vote-rich district, but it still is not HALF the state, more like a third. That is why Republicans should not be discouraged by these fraudulent polls. The Republican's strategy is to split rural conservatives from the Democratic fold, a strategy that will not show up much in a poll that overweights the Little Rock area.

Their poll is a good measure of feelings in the Little Rock area, but not the state as a whole. What would be the results of a poll that made the 3rd district (Northwest Arkansas) worth half of the state and the other three congressional districts the other half? Our guess is it would show the Republicans winning every race.

Look, I am willing to accept a poll result that is done with correct methodology, but these pollsters are making mistakes than a good 8th grade science fair project would avoid. I taught 8th grade and I can tell you that I had a lot of kids who would have known better than to oversample one region like that. Why are they doing it? Is it part of a deliberate strategy to undermine the GOP ticket? I dunno, but I know that the GOP should do its own poll, using correct methodology, and release the results.

Parsing Beebe on Rural Schools

According to this Doug Thompson article, Attorney General and Gubinatorial candidate Mike Beebe made some remarks recently concerning rural schools and school consolidation.

Since this is Both Ways Beebe, you will need a translator to get to the true essence of what Mr. Beebe really means. Just as his answers with abortion and homosexual foster parenting were hard to follow, so it is with rural schools. It is a difficult tongue to learn, but after much effort, I can translate catfish; the slippery, wriggling language of politicians who know that what they really want to do has little popular support.

When Beebe says,
"I do not want any more consolidation. That 350 number that we have now should remain and we should let the schools have school for a while,", it means that rather than using a number( like 350 enrollment) to close down rural schools, we should eliminate the smaller schools by adding so many new courses that are "essential" for a good education that no school smaller than 1500 can offer them under budget. The "for a while" part means "until after the election". The "I do not want any more consolidation" means, "Right before I put the padlock on their doors I will make a remark about how sad it is that these schools could not meet our new and improved standards to offer 168 classes."

Do we really need 38 courses actually taught every year? What if three of them were taught every other year? Is a school that offers 35 courses and does a good job on them all really a worse school than one that offers 38 courses and does a lousy job at it? Let's see a list of these courses. I'll bet we can find a few that are not really essential every year. Yet my best guess it that the General wants to add more after "a while".

Mike Beebe ran a million dollars worth of TV ads that brazenly tried to get him credit for the minimum wage increase that he really had nothing to do with, and portrayed him even more brazenly as a tax cutter, which is the exact opposite of his actual record. Please don't be fooled by any claims that he is a supporter of rural schools.

(continued- click THURSDAY below and scroll down for article, or if sent straight here just scroll down)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Huckabee's Minions Put His Name on State Facilities

From the Ernie Dumas article...

"Until now, it was considered poor form for governors, or presidents, or mayors to write their names across the horizons with the taxpayers’ money simply because they controlled the patronage for an extended period. Bill Clinton was in office 12 years and didn’t do it.

Dale Bumpers presided over a massive construction program at state institutions but he allowed none of the buildings, schools or parks to be named for him. "

Arkansas Minuteman Meeting Disrupted by LULAC Supporters?

We got this e-mail from Sharon Stark, who apparently attended the Minuteman Organizational Meeting near Hot Springs.....

Still trying to sort it all out to be objective. Very difficult to be objective about being American, one who believes in a Creator God, The U.S. Constitution, Rule of Law and just common sense.
When the three of us saw the cars parked on the side of the road, in the ditches and fields before we got to the Lake Hamilton Fire Station on Highway 290 outside Hot Springs, we knew there was trouble brewing. This would not be the organizational meeting that we had planned on.
People were milling in the parking lot, walking up the highway, looking for the meeting place. The meeting room was way over capacity. Bill Riggins called the meeting to order and immediately order was lost as people began shouting questions. Bill introduced Greg Thompson of the MinuteMan Civil Defense Corp who lives in Oklahoma City. The disorder continued and finally Greg said he would shut the meeting down- just let him finish what he was going to say and then all questions would be answered.
When Charles Cervantes, state director of the Arkansas LULAC chapter, came in the questions turned to shouted remarks such as racists, go home, etc the usual illegal chatter.

(continued- click Wednesday below and scroll down for rest of story, or if sent straight here just scroll down.)

Rural Trust Organization on Paron and the Press

By Marty Strange

It’s a diatribe far more embarrassing than they claim the state’s small schools are.

But maybe relief is in sight. In the most recent of his increasingly inane rants about the battle to keep Paron High School open, Paul Greenberg, the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, and the top bully on the beat, finally got one thing right.

But the thing he got right is buried under a Pinnacle-Mountain sized pile of nonsense, right along with all the common sense dumped there by the state and local education officials presiding over this melodrama. Sometimes Greenberg’s rush to taunt the afflicted gets him more than a little confused.

(continued- click WEDNESDAY below and scroll down for rest of article, or if sent straight here just scroll down)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Context of Senator Argue's Statement - Raising Minimum District Size to 800

And other interesting tidbits from the meeting the media did not cover

Tom Kimbrell, executive director of the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators (superintendents), gave testimony at the end of a long day at the Joint Adequacy Committee meeting on Aug 24, 06. The Adequacy experts gave their report on the amount of money needed for adequate education in Arkansas at this meeting – an increase of $335 million.

Basically, Kimbrell said (to the best of my understanding) that he could find no way to do a schedule for teaching the 38 required credits that have to be taught and the 4 AP classes that have been phased in since the last matrix was done for the smaller schools in Arkansas and pay all the cost of other factors in the matrix like the required teacher salary, etc. The matrix is based on a school of 500 students.

Argue and Mahony had made several arguments that all the items in the matrix had to be mandated this next time so the superintendents would have to spend the money specifically in each category on the matrix; thereby leaving the superintendents no wiggle room with the funds whatsoever. (Be sure to read about the instructional specialists below that they emphasized over and over and just what specialists qualifications entail!)

Kimbrell pointed out that Odden and Picus had developed models in other states where they had worked up a matrix model on high schools of no more than a 100 students. He told the committee he wanted Odden and Picus to show the superintendents in Arkansas how they did this on smaller schools than 500 in other states. The adequacy experts had left after giving their presentation which lasted from 9:00 to about 3:30 or 4:00 p.m. with Representative Mahony literally doing about half the talking all day.

Although he didn't mention it, I think Kimbrell was trying to obtain the matrix model for smaller schools inorder to draw attention to the fact that Odden and Picus had earlier told the committee back in May, 2006 "that many states have more flexibility with their mandated core curriculum….Arkansas is different because it wants all high schools to teach all 38 units every year,” Odden said. “We’re saying in other states they don’t have that mandate, so you can alternate. You can teach physics one year and chemistry one year and biology another year. But in Arkansas, there’s been a push to consolidate, so that strategy may not fit here.”

That is not what Argue and his consolidation allies wanted to hear or brought back to their attention.

Four of the legislators Elliott, Argue, Pickett, and Mahony immediately jumped in and kept interrupting Kimbrell and hammered him so hard that one legislator interrupted and told them this was testimony, and they weren't supposed to be doing this to Kimbrell during his testimony.

Among other comments, Argue said in a frustrated, angry tone to Kimbrell, "What you are really doing is giving me a bad case of déjà vu. That is exactly the argument that was made over and over again when we made the argument that we needed a minimum district size in the neighborhood of 800 students so we would generate a high school of 240 students which would give you your FTE. Then when we were trying to improve the efficiency of the system, then the response was Oh, give us a chance and we can make it." Now 2 years later, damm, if it is not my argument but it is being used in reverse for additional funding. Déjà vu." (See note below as to how Argue reveals his hand here.)

(continued- click Tuesday below and scroll down for rest of article, or if sent straight here just scroll down)

Monday, August 28, 2006

Senator Argue Wraps Adequacy Information in Secrecy

Senator Argue Proposes Bill To Raise Minimum District Size to 800

Last week Senator Jim Argue and Representative Joyce Elliott did something I have never known legislators to do. Argue and Elliott asked the recipients of a memo in bold underlined print "not to reproduce or distribute this document" Other legislators have said they have never seen a note like this on legislative documents before either.

This "not to reproduce or distribute" statement was on a memorandum called a legislative alert. It was sent out to the Joint Adequacy Study Oversight announcing their meeting to be held August 24th (last Thursday) to discuss the report by the Adequacy Experts Odden and Picus. The document not to be reproduced or distributed was the 91 page report by Odden and Picus

Who gave these legislators the right to wrap in secrecy legislative information produced with taxpayers' money? What information do they not want the people to see and why?

My greater concern is the power and influence Argue and Elliott may have had on the media. This concern originates with the fact that to my knowledge no one in the media reported on this important all day meeting (from 9:00 to about 5:00) that involves $335 million more dollars the Adequacy experts are recommending. I searched the major papers, AP, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Stephens media and Google and found no report whatsoever on this meeting.

I attended the meeting and heard several interesting things that would have made a great story. For one thing Senator Argue had this to say: "Mr. Hudson, I am going to ask the staff to go ahead and draw up a bill in my name to raise the minimum district size to 800." During an intense court battle with the Paron school closing being reported in papers across the state along with other rural school battles, just why would that statement by Argue not be significant enough to be included in a newspaper story? And why isn't that statement a significant story when Argue is opposing his party leaders. Beebe and Halter have both recently said they don't think we need any more consolidation.

Stay tuned and I will give the details in my next email surrounding Senator Argue's statement along with a few other details that would have made a very interesting news story.

By the way, I would welcome the media's explanation if I am jumping to some wrong conclusions as to why they didn't cover the story. If I find I have misunderstood something, I will gladly send out another email correcting this one.

Following is the way this memorandum read. This is not an official copy, but I will fax the authentic copy to anyone that wants it with the official seal on it.

The meeting is on video and above quote was transcribed from the video.

(continued- click Monday below and scroll down for rest of article, or if sent straight here just scroll down)

Will the "Coalition For Arkansas Future" Apply Same Standards to Republicans Who Erred on Scholarships for Illegals?

A new well-funded 527 group, the "Coalition for Arkansas' Future" have sent some mailouts to voters in two key legislative districts. The mailouts give an "F-" to Democratic Representatives Monty Davenport and Ray Kidd for supporting House Bill 1525 which would have provided taxpayer funded college scholarships to persons who are in this country illegally. The bill passed the House, but was stopped in the Senate by two votes.

Critics of the "Coalition For Arkansas' Future" claim it is simply a front group for the Republican Party rather than an independent action group that advances certain issues rather than a particular party. The critics may be right. After all, there are also three Republican state representatives who voted for the same bill who have opponents in 06. Has the "Coalition For Arkansas' Future" sent any mailers to the voters in Mark Martin's district? What about Bill Sample's district? How about Representative Roy Ragland? All of those Republican men voted for making taxpayer dollars available for college scholarships to persons who are in this country illegally. They made the same vote that Davenport and Kidd made. Mark Martin in particular has been strident in his support for the bill, and his opponent (Independent Jimmy Johnson Junior) is very much against it.

So in that race, (distirct 88) Republican Martin should also get an "F-" for that vote and vocal support, while Johnson should get an "A+" from them for his staunch opposition to that vote. Will the "Coalition for Arkansas' Future" send a mailer to that district? If they are truly a non-partisan group focused on issues they should. If they are simply a front for the Republican Party, they won't.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

That High Pitched Whine is the Media Spinning Their Poll Results

That high-pitched whine you hear is the establishment media covering their six on that Stephens-Media FOX 16 Oakleaf poll which claimed that Asa Hutchinson is hopelessly behind in the Governors race and the down ticket races are down hopelessly +. Brummett did a bit on it. The Arktimes burbled about it some. A normally clear Rob Moritz wrote (under pressure maybe?) a long muddled story that threw enough unrelated stats out to give the general impression that the numbers could be OK.

What is the reason they are circling the wagons like this? Simple. The numbers are not OK. The numbers are trash. The poll is flawed. This is not to make a disparaging personal attack on the Oakleafs. For all I know they are fine people. But anyone can mess up. They messed up and we explained how last week. It seems the Establishment media folks are getting some heat on this one, and that is why so much ink went out defending their poll. They are going to try to bluff their way through this, but they are still wrong.

This is the old establishment media trick where the candidate they disfavor is way down in a poll they commission in August. That crushes their momentum, confidence and fundraising. It makes them seem like "losers" in the eyes of the general public. Then, as it gets closer to election day, they issue polls that shows that the race is "narrowing", but alas, too late to help the disfavored candidate whose campaign had the wind knocked out of it's sails in the Summer.

They wind up losing in a fairly close race. A race they could have won if the public had known that the race was close all along. Do you realize that in 04 these same people had Jim Holt at around 30% right up until a week before the election? On election day he garnered more than 44% of the vote against Senator Blanche Lincoln. Now the same folks are trying to tell us that Holt has only 27% against some guy (Halter) who has lived out of state for the last 25 years, has never won an election in his life, and has managed to make some serious enemies in his own party during the short time he has been here.

Hey, we may be just a blog and they are the Establishment Media, but have we ever told you something that wrong before? Didn't think so. So believe us now when we assure you that they are wrong here. I am going to focus on the Moritz article, purely because it gave the most "facts" - as irrelevent and disassociated as they were- to support the Oakleaf poll.

(continued- click SUNDAY below and scroll down for the deconstruction of the Moritz article, or if sent straight here, just scroll down)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Notes: No Appeal Greens On Ballot, Brummett on Holt

Secretary of State Charlie Daniels has decided his office will not appeal Judge Howard's decision that Arkansas' ballot access laws are unconstitutional. I guess he has enough to do with election problems to spend anymore time trying to keep people off the ballot. His official reason for the about face was that "he would like to see more voter turnout", an excuse that is DOA. This means that the Green Party of Arkansas will be on the ballot this November. This includes their candidate for Governor, former state Representative Jim Lendall of Mabelvale.

The Greens have their slate of candidates set, EXCEPT for Lt. Governor. They say they plan to meet today to pick a Lt. Governor candidate, which I find very curios. Are they going to try to spring a surprise candidate on us? Stay tuned.

Speaking of Lt. Governor......

Brummett gave us a paraphrased conversation he had with Lt. Governor candidate Senator Jim Holt today. He is more entertaining as a writer when he just tells the story rather than when he clouds it by pouring on the invective (he still got some good shots in, but it flowed more this way).

Friday, August 25, 2006

Voting Machine Problems... Again...

From the Lagrone campaign:

A letter sent this week, via email, to Republican Secretary of State candidate Jim Lagrone from Dixie Carlson, an election commissioner for Crittenden county, outlined in detail how problems with the Ivotronic voting machines and lack of attention by ES&S personnel once again caused major problems with a special election held in that county August 8. For that election there were nine precincts voting with just one item on the ballot.
According to Carlson, when it came time for early voting... [More]

Indelligent Design vs. Naturalistic Evolution Debate!

Our Topics Tonight:

“"Why Intelligent Design is a scientific theory.” and "Known evolutionary mechanisms are sufficient to explain the diversity of Earth's biota".

Mr. Bodine, please present your first point for the first proposition and against the latter.

Mr. Star, please do the reverse.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Our Doormat Legislature

In a well-run Republic, the legislature is the strongest of the three branches of government. They are the ones who make the laws, the executive branch in theory merely carries out their intent and the judicial branch interprets the law based on their intent, so long as they don't infringe on the Creator-Endowed rights granted the individual that are recognized in our Constitution.

But we don't have a well-run Republic in Arkansas yet. It is closer to a bananna republic. Our legislature does not use their authority. Instead, they act more like a doormat. They let everyone walk all over them.

It has been well-documented on this blog how the legislature let the state Supreme Court push them around in the Lakeview case. But at least that was the top tier in another branch of government. In the lastest Mike Masterson column it is detailed how even bureaucrats in the Arkansas Department of education pushed them around. Not the Governor mind you, just some unelected folks you probably never heard of.

Basically the ADE ordered Paron High shut down because all 38 courses deemed "required" were not being taught, even though they were offered- (nobody in the school wanted to take one of them).

So they forcebly closed the school down and barred the door to entry. It had to be because that was what the law said to do, right? The ADE would not take such strong action without a law to back them up, right? Wrong. Senator Jim Holt, who has been one of the few vertebrates in the ledge and has taken flak for it as a lesson to the others- makes a rock-solid case that it was the ADE, not the legislature, that on its own authority decided that a school must teach all required courses (whether a student wants to take them or not) not just offer all required courses.

(continued- to read about the rock-solid case that our legislature surrenders faster than a Frenchman facing a Panzer Division, click THURSDAY below and scroll down, or if sent straight here just scroll down)

Masterson Masterful

But just to show they are not all bad, columnist Mike Masterson has a great piece on both Jim Holt and his slam-dunk case that the state department of education acted improperly in closing Paron High.

Not Waiting Around

It seems some folks in the establishment media are concerned that the new 527 group, Coalition for Arkansas' future, are pointing out the inconsistencies between Democrat Mike Beebe's television spots versus his actual record. Conservatives were supposed to wait for the media to report that for us. They rarely do, thus the need for the 527.

We can't wait for the Establishment media to do their jobs and tell people that Beebe's record is the opposite of his stands in his TV commercials, or that Halter is an empty suit whose attack-faxes from Virginia on Senator Jim Holt range from distortion to dishonest to downright fantasy. We can't wait around for them to carry on with flaring nostrils about the kind of job Charlie Daniels did with the election- or with what he is doing now in that his office may be willing to disenfranchise our overseas military personnel in order to keep the Green's off the ballot. We can't wait for them to become indignant with Attorney General candidate Dustion McDaniel for his loudly proclaiming that he was not a player in the Remington lawsuit that his name is all over.

The days of the liberal monopoly are over. There is a giant asteroid streaking down from overhead, and the dinosaurs don't like it.

PS- Attorney General Candidate Gunner DeLay has a pretty good new radio spot here.

Hutchinson on Paron: "Children Victims of Excessive Bureaucracy

From the Asa Camp:

"Judge Moody's decision today is disappointing for the children and parents of Paron, as well as for the rest of us who have been fighting to protect local schools. The families in Paron have been steadfast in standing up for their school and their community, but they have met resistance every step of the way. I am most concerned for the children of Paron, who I believe are victims of excessive bureaucracy.

"Earlier this year the Legislature had a chance to reign in inflexible bureaucracy and restore some common sense in our school system by passing the Rural Schools Support Act. That bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the House but was killed in the Senate. As Governor, I'll make it a priority to craft a bipartisan solution that will apply common standards with common sense."

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Survival of the Fittest! Evolution Debate On AW August 25th

Rob Star ...............................Deathrow Bodine

Arkansas Watch is going to host a debate on Creation-Evolution issues from 6 pm to 7:30 on August 25th. The specific propositions put for for debate are 1)“"Why Intelligent Design is (or is not) a scientific theory.” and "Known evolutionary mechanisms are sufficient (or not sufficient) to explain the diversity of Earth's biota".

This originally came from when the liberal Arktimes blog condescendingly dismissed Intelligent Design and creationism as "non science" and assumed evolution. I challenged Warwick Sabin and Max Brantley to a debate on the specified topics. They did not meet the challenge. Rob Star, the one liberal with the guts to come on AW and cross intellectual swords with us, will represent the Naturalist position. Blogger Deathrow Bodine will make the case for Intelligent Design.

I will be your humble moderator. I am not going to "award points" unless one side gives a repeated non-answer to a point that his opponent has appealed to me for a ruling on. I will let the folks at home determine the winner, unless I can find two young people who have not made up their minds on these issues to score it. If I find them, I will call for "rounds" once in a while and at that point they will award each contestent 0-5 points based on how well they thought they did. Otherwise you at home are the judges.

Fans can "throw chairs in the ring" by making comments or giving facts, but this is a conservative blog, and if all the chairs come in from one side it will stack the deck. As a thumb rule, when 2 posts come in for one side, I will delete any more posts for that side until the other side gets some help from "outside the ring".

It should be fun. You don't want to miss it at 6PM on August 25th.

As Predicted, Greens Win Ballot Access Case

As we predicted from the day the suit was filed, the Green Party of Arkansas has won its ballot access case against the State of Arkansas.

The question at issue was the Constitutionality of forcing people who want statewide ballot access for a new party to obtain a much higher number of voter petition signatures than statewide ballot access for someone running as an independent.

Judge Howard, as he had more than once since 1996, ruled that this was a violation of the first and 14th amendment rights of the plantiffs, and ordered the state to pay all court costs. We will have to wait for the exact wording of the judge's ruling, but my guess is he will not have kind words for state leaders who have been dragging their heels on complying with prior federal court rulings for over a decade.

With the exception of Senator Jim Holt, who saw this coming and tried to pass a bill that would have equalized ballot access as the federal judge is now ordering us to do, our legislators have done us a disservice. Apparently, our legislators think that when a state court tells them they have to raise our taxes and throw a lot more money at the schools (in some cases to shut them down!) then they have "no choice" but to comply with the courts. Yet somehow when a Federal Court tells them they have to give new political parties equal access to the ballot, they find a way to get stubborn and resist for a decade. The one thing they are willing to defy the courts about is keeping competition for their jobs off the ballot!

The ball is now in the court of the losers in this case, Secretary of State Charlie Daniels and Attorney General Mike Beebe. Beebe especially wants to keep the Green candidate for Governor, former state Rep. Jim Lendall, off the ballot. The SOS's attorney, Brian Brooks, told the judge they were likely to appeal if he ruled against them. He also said that if the ballot was not finalized in 25 days then it would be too late for overseas military personnel to get their ballots processed.

An appeal would likely mean the disenfranchisment of Arkansan's who are serving overseas in the military. We must raise every kind of protest we can to prevent the state from appealing that decision. The votes of our overseas military members must not be held hostage to the political needs of Mike Beebe and Charlie Daniels. Jim LaGrone, this is why you got in the Secretary of State's race- let's hear from you.

Walmart Partners With Gay-Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

The Morning News ^ | August 22, 2006 | Anita French

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is joining with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to help advance diversity within the Bentonville-based retailer’s operations, the company confirmed Tuesday.

Dee Breazeale, a Wal-Mart vice president, will serve on the chamber’s corporate advisory council, which works to educate corporate America on the benefits of workplace diversity.

“We are honored to have Wal-Mart's support of the NGLCC. Our partnership will not only provide more opportunities for the NGLCC, but the business community as a whole,” Justin Nelson, chamber co-founder and president, said in a news release. “We are pleased with this addition to our organization and to our council.”

Wal-Mart has also agreed to sponsor some of the chamber’s programs, including two of its conferences.

Wal-Mart didn’t issue a news release about its partnership with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, leaving it to the chamber to publish the news at its Web site Monday.

Wal-Mart spokesman Bob McAdam in a telephone interview with The Morning News downplayed any controversy over the issue.

“We participate in all kinds of organizations, hundreds of them, (and) this is just one. It’s not really any different than any outreach we do that represents a segment of our customers,” he said.

Reaction from one quarter was critical, however. American Family Association spokesman Randy Sharp said his organization wasn’t surprised by the news because it was the latest in a “long list” of Wal-Mart actions to “recognize and endorse a personal sexual behavior.”

“It’s disappointing. I personally chose two months ago to stop shopping at Wal-Mart ... and I think others will follow suit,” Sharp said. “Up until a year and a half ago, the AFA applauded Wal-Mart for their pro-family policies, but now it seems Wal-Mart has decided to push aside that legacy left by (founder) Sam Walton and joined those who look at the bottom line and stock prices.”

(continued- click WEDNESDAY below for article)

Big Bad Brummet Calls Senator Holt An Anarchist, BUT...

Come Let Us Reason Together

Who Fits The Definition of an Anarchist, Holt or Brummett
Brummett Is Nuttier Than Holt's Primary Opponent Who Called Holt a Tax and Spend Liberal

Brummett is using scare tactics and nutty ideas in an effort  to prevent Senator Holt, whose views and proposed bills reflect the electorate in Arkansas, from winning the Lt. Governor race.  He has accused Senator Holt of being an anarchist and of anarchy in more than one column now, the latest one being August 21, 06.
Come let us reason together, Brummett, and other readers.  Just what is the definition of anarchist and anarchy and what images come to mind when the word is used ?  Violence, lawlessness, political disorder, mayhem, rebellion,  insurrection, nihilist, revolutionists.  Other terms like barbarians are also associated with anarchy.  No one who knows Senator Holt associates these images with him.  People who know him see him as a very kind, compassionate, rational person.
Brummet's accusations against Senator Holt would make one think that that those men who fought the American REVOLUTION were also anarchists.  Does Brummet also think that the electorate of today believes our founding fathers were anarchists?  They fought a bloody war for our freedom which has blessed millions for over two hundred years, and  most Americans still see them in a favorable light (perhaps Brummett and his followers don't) . Senator Holt has never hinted at any type of  revolution. He is only taking the legitimate routes provided through our Constitution to fight for the things in which he believes, things in which generations of  American have believed.  He could be called a traditionalist but not an anarchist.
It is interesting that the immigration issue was mentioned in Brummett's article calling Holt an anarchist, and  just who is on the side of the law on this issue?  Brummet is not calling the illegal immigrants anarchists even though the term applies to some of them in some ways, especially the gangs that come here from other countries. 

(continued- click WEDNESDAY below and scroll down for rest of article, or if sent straight here just scroll down)

Polling from the Twilight Zone

"Asked if he had any polls of his own, Halter replied, "We don't have any publicly released polls."

Ugh! Do the people of Arkansas really want to listen to Halter's dodge and weave parsing for the next four years? They do if you listen to the Oakleaf poll. That poll showed Halter ahead of Holt 52-27. This is the same poll that showed Beebe up 52-31 over Asa, and whose flawed methodology I deconstructed two posts down.

The same poll showed only 43% of the sample group even knew who Halter was! Holt had 51% name recognition, and 33% of it was positive (15% negative). Halter had 29% positive and 9% negative. 52% total minus 43% name recognition means Halter had 9% more votes than he had name recognition of any kind, positive or negative! Holt had 5% fewer votes than he had positive name recognition. Halter had almost half his votes from people who did NOT have positive name recognition for him, while Holt could not even get all the votes of people who had a positive impression of him.

There is an explanation for these chaotic numbers. The poll has grossly oversampled die-hard democrats who are going to vote for the yellow-dog whether they know the dog's name or not, even if they agree with the Republican on most of the issues.

And they do agree with the Republican on most of the issues. The vast majority of the respondents of this poll agreed with Holt on the biggest controversy of the campaign- they were against giving illegal aliens eligible welfare benefits. Still, they said they prefered Halter. Go figure.

(continued- click WEDNESDAY below and scroll down for rest of article, or if sent straight here just scroll down)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Senator Holt Press Release - Halter's Attack on Holt's support of rural schools

Released Today, August 22, 06

Lt. Governor Candidate Bill Halter sent out a press release accusing Senator Holt of flip- flopping on his stands on consolidation, saying he used to support consolidation and now opposes it. Senator Holt's response, "This accusation reminds me of the ad by my former primary opponent in which he accused me of being a tax and spend liberal. He pulled the ad because of public opinion and newspaper articles criticizing him for the outrageous statement. Had Halter been residing in Arkansas rather than California the last 20 years or so, he would have known how ridiculous his accusation is," Holt contended.

Senator Holt voted against every bill that is now or will be closing schools: Act 60 closing schools with enrollment of under 350, Act 1467, the Omnibus bill that mentions consolidation 36 times, and against HB1289 to close isolated districts. These laws have led to the closing of about 50 school campuses. He actively supported HB1014, which failed to pass, this last special session to give small schools more flexibility to meet curriculum standards. That bill was designed to save good, small schools like Paron.

Several rural school supporters came to Senator Holt's defense after Halter's attack on Senator Holt's support of rural schools.

Jimmy Cunningham, the superintendent of the Danville district and the past president of the Arkansas Rural Education Association, said, "Senator Jim Holt was one of our strongest supporters of our rural schools and one of the strongest opponents of consolidation. From the time the battle for consolidation started and he took his stand for us, he never wavered and we never had to lobby him because we knew where he stood. Everyone who didn't know already, learned that if Senator Holt tells you something, you can count on him to keep his word.

(For rest of press release click TUESDAY below and scroll down, or if sent straight here, just scroll down)

Sure the Poll is Bogus, But Why Exactly?

As a former science teacher, I think a lot of the scientific method for finding answers to most questions. I believe in polls, when done correctly. But I also know there are many details that you have to get right for a poll to be accurate.

The KTHV poll for example, got a lot of things right, but they got one big thing wrong. I suspect (they are hazy on their methodooy) they got 473 out of 509 voter opinions from the just 2nd Congressional district. Naturally that is going to produce a flawed result. Hutchinson is stronger in the third distirct, and Beebe in the 2nd. Their poll showed Asa Hutchinson down 48-38 to AG Mike Beebe. Other polls that used better geographical methodology showed the race within the margin of error.

The new FOX 16 Oakleaf poll did not make the same mistake, they sampled from all four districts equally (which still somewhat under-represents Hutchinson's 3rd district). Sure enough, in Oakleaf's poll Hutchinson had a big lead in the 3rd district, 51-33%. But there is more than one way to mess up a poll. Hutchinson was so far down in the other disticts that overall Beebe was up by 21 points. This is way out of line with the other polls, even the flawed KTHV poll. Again, the other polls show that the race is close. Something stinks here, what is it?

(to find out what stinks, click TUESDAY below and scroll down, or if sent straight here, just scroll down)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Test Scores Decreased 14% Since Schools Became Accountable to the Gov't

Below are excerpts from article by Mike Masterson, journalist for the Arkansas Democrat Gazette at this link. It is rare that a journalist will have the courage to print such truthful information.

"Meanwhile, student performance measurably declined and the plan to hold teachers accountable for classroom performance became a convenient excuse to siphon billions more from the public’s wallet.

Pelley said this didn’t occur by accident.

“Some years ago, an Arkansas Department of Education executive, Gayle Teale Potter, told me a Gallup Poll indicated [that ] the Arkansas public would be more willing to pay more taxes for education if the standards were raised and an effective accountability system was in place,” Pelley wrote in a wide-ranging e-mail and in response to questions about her latest research.

“It is obvious that accountability is not working when the newspapers across the state report that the Arkansas Department of Education director is jubilant over nationally normed scores that are 7 percentile points lower than they were 20 years and billions of dollars ago when accountability standards were something new. This proves my theory that when educators are accountable to the government rather than the people, there is no authentic accountability.

“ The composite score for seventhgraders on the nationally normed test just released for this year is 50 percent, or 11 percent lower than the score in 1990 (a 22 percent scoring decrease ) and 7 percent below 1984 ’s score (a 14 percent decrease ) when the accountability system was initiated in Arkansas billions of dollars ago,” Pelley said. “And the paper reports that ADE director Ken James is jubilant and calls the latest news fantastic.” "

The New World Disorder: $491 million NAFTA rail deal

WorldNetDaily ^ | August 21, 2006 | Jerome Corsi, Ph.D.

Posted on 08/21/2006 8:56:28 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

A $491 million public-financing deal promoted by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as a boon to commuters actually paves the way for shipping more cheap goods from China to the North American marketplace, charges a whistleblower.

Ex-CSX Transportation employee Dave Nelson told WND the deal in Florida amounts to providing CSXT with a public subsidy. Money from the public purse will position the railroad company as a major freight carrier throughout Florida, transporting cargo containers filled with cheap goods coming into the NAFTA marketplace from China.

CSXT is positioned to receive millions in the deal. Under the terms of the agreement, the state of Florida will invest $318 "in partnership with CSXT" to improve the infrastructure and expand capacity on existing train tracks. According to CSXT, the breakdown of how the Florida subsidy will be spent is specified as follows:

  • $198 million for projects on the CSXT rail line between Baldwin to Plant City, referred to as the "S" line;
  • $ 59 million to build five road overpasses in Alachua, Sumter and Marion counties on this line;
  • $ 52 million on other CSXT rail lines around the state; and
  • $ 9 million to build access roads to the new Integrated Logistics Center in Winter Haven – the mother of all rail yards – which will be built by CSXT

Commuter lines, when opened, will only operate five trips at peak morning and afternoon rush hours, with the commuter trains running again only at two-hour frequency in non-peak hours. At other times, CSXT will use the commuter rail lines for transporting freight.

(continued- click MONDAY below and scroll down for rest of article, or if sent straight here just scroll down)

President Bush Approves Over the Counter Early Abortion Pill, Pro-Life Base Decries Move

LifeSite ^ | 8/21/2006 | John-Henry Westen

Posted on 08/21/2006 1:50:58 PM PDT by Pyro7480

President Bush Approves Over the Counter Early Abortion Pill, Pro-Life Base Decries Move

By John-Henry Westen

WASHINGTON, August 21, 2006 ( - For his pro-life supporter base, President George W. Bush stepped into one of the biggest political landmines of his Presidential career today with his approval of over the counter status for the abortion-causing morning after pill Plan B.

A press release by Human Life International underscored the seriousness of the move as it was titled, "President Bush Files for Divorce with Catholic Base." Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, president of Human Life International commented, "President Bush's implied support for the abortion-causing drug Plan B is completely inconsistent with his recent veto of the embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) funding bill. What the president apparently fails to realize is that Plan B kills the same innocent unborn children that the ESCR process does."

At a White House press conference this morning, the President was asked by Bill Sammon a reporter from the Washington Examiner about Plan B and his new FDA commissioner who supports its over the counter status. "Mr. President, some pro-life groups are worried that your choice of FDA Commissioner will approve over the counter sales of Plan B, a pill that, they say, essentially can cause early-term abortions," said the reporter. "Do you stand by this choice, and how do you feel about Plan B in general?"

The President replied, "I believe that Plan B ought to be -- ought to require a prescription for minors, is what I believe. And I support Andy's decision."

(continued- click MONDAY below and scroll down for rest of story, or if sent straight here just scroll down)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Congratulations Asa But.......(NRA Arkansas Stinks)

Asa Hutchinson has gotten the endorsement of the National Rifle Association of Arkansas this past week, along with Democratic Congressment Marion Berry and Mike Ross.

The NRA did not make any endorsements in the down ticket races. In a couple of races, this is a travesty. For example, for Attorney General Gunner DeLay was not deemed worthy of the endorsement even though his opponent, Representative Dustin McDaniel, was a vital part of a lawsuit against Remington Arms. He was trying to wring money out of Remington for not forcing you to buy a trigger lock every time you buy a gun. McDaniel had a good record on the few gun votes he had during his one term in the legislature, but that was not much. DeLay had a much longer run in the legislature and a more sustained pro-gun voting record.

The clearest example that NRA Arkansas has problems is in the Lt. Governor's race. They have been in a feud with Republican Jim Holt ever since they refused to endorse him against Blanche Lincoln. Holt had been a member with straight A's and Lincoln had a poor gun record. Holt critisized that decision as cowardly, claiming they were backing candidates based not on their gun record, but on their ability to win.

Then, in the Republican Primary, NRA Arkanasas stunned many obeservors by endorsing Rep. Doug Matayo in the Lt. Governor's primary even though he and Holt had virtually identical legislative records on gun issues. Matayo still finished last in that race, but it raised some eyebrows that the NRA was not willing to endorse the "A" rated Holt over the "C-" Lincoln, but took sides in a Republican primary where both candidates had "A" ratings.

Now we have a general election where Halter has no gun record whatsoever, but is so liberal on other issues that he is suspect on guns as well. He has spent the last 25 years in California and Washington, where gun laws are much more restrictive than Arkansas. NRA Arkansas has opted not to endorse the man with a lifetime straight A rating (Holt) over a liberal with no record at all on gun issues. Why on earth not? Petty payback? That is not what the members pay dues for. They count on the NRA for an objective look at candidates on gun issues. They are not getting their money's worth.

I suggest taking a look at the Gun Owners of America. They are a smaller, leaner, and straighter shooting organization that does many of the things the NRA does. People who are more interested in defending gun rights than delivering personal payback might want to consider switching their membership.

Crunching the Numbers, Being the Grownup

Facing reality is not fun, at least in the short term. Being the Grownup, that is, the one who has to tell the kids that what they want to do is going to get them into trouble, is also no fun. At times, the Grownup or the Reality Facer comes off as “mean” or ungenerous, sometimes even immoral. Yet reality must be faced, and the warnings of grownups must be heeded, or the trouble that will come of it will outweigh the joy of any pleasant fantasy or youthful indiscretion.

That is the case with the dispute over whether or not the state should provide the funds for prenatal care for illegal aliens. I was visiting with some young friends of mine, great folks, none finer. We agree on most issues politically, but on this one they were of the strong opinion that the government should provide even non-emergency prenatal care for all persons, legal or not. When I pointed out that only nine states had such a program even for their own citizens, they answered that all should. When I asked what exactly should be provided they had a specific answer- maybe not vitamins, but monthly checkups including blood tests and weekly checkups in the last month or so. The cost per checkup, a friend who was a nurse noted, is about $125-$150 a checkup.

I felt like a coldhearted skinflint for disagreeing. I mean these are children we are talking about here. Why not just say, “The government should provide free health care for all?” It makes one sound so charitable, so generous. Since they felt everyone should have access to taxpayer funds for prenatal care, I asked them if that meant that America should pay for prenatal care for the entire world. They immediately said “yes” and that they would be willing to pay more taxes for that. Once again, I was the cold-hearted skinflint, the immoral person even, who would force people to find their own best solutions- even if their best is not good- rather than have the government provide a good solution for everyone. I would risk some pregnant mother having untreated diabetes during pregnancy rather than with a wave of the hand proclaim that “government should provide free high-quality pre-natal care for all.”

What was wrong with me? Why did I insist on missing out on all of the fun of considering myself a generous person by simply agreeing that the government of the United States should provide free prenatal care for all, legal or illegal? They had insisted that they would be willing to pay more taxes for such a program- up to and including for the whole world.

I decided to do what Realists and Grownups do before making such decisions, and that is count the costs before I signed up. The cost of the program in Arkansas has already escalated far beyond what was originally anticipated. What would be the cost, I wondered, if America did indeed insure that every pregnant woman had quality prenatal care? Just the checkups mind you.

(continued- click SUNDAY below and scroll down for rest of column, or if sent straight here just scroll down)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Daniels and Beebe Willing to Risk Disenfranchising Overseas Military Personnel In Order to Keep Greens Off Ballot!!

Since 1996 a federal judge has ruled that the double-standard for state-wide ballot access is unconstitutional. You can't have a different number of signatures required for statewide ballot access for a new party than you have for an independent. Despite these rulings the state has been dragging it's heels on complying with the court rulings for a decade. The Green Party submitted 18,000 signatures in an effort to get it's slate of candidates, led by former state rep. Jim Lendall, on the ballot for Governor. This was far more signatures than independent candidate Rod Bryan collected. Bryan made the ballot, Lendall and the Greens were denied.

The Green's sued. The hearing was yesterday, and a ruling is expected next week. Beebe has stood steadfast behind blocking new parties from gaining ballot access; his people told a legislative committee last year that a bill by Senator Jim Holt to equalize ballot access was not needed, even though the state still kept a much higher standard for new parties. Secretary of State Charlie Daniels has stood steadfast behind blocking the Green's as well. Both men stand to lose votes if the far left Green Party makes it to the ballot.

What is shocking is the lengths to which these men have indicated they intend to go in their efforts to block the Green's access to the ballot. Rob Moritz is all over this one. In his report, the attorney representing Secretary of State Charlie Daniels " told the judge that the Daniels' office must have the ballots printed within 25 days in order for military personnel overseas to vote. He also said if the judge allows the Green Party on the ballot, the state likely would appeal the ruling to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis."

We have a hostage crisis. The votes of military overseas personnel are being held hostage by Democratic politicians that are willing to tie up the case if they lose, even if that means disenfranchising our military!

A sceptic might well suspect that this is their preference: block the Green's from getting on the ballot by stalling, that keeps them from losing votes. They would also disenfranchise our service members risking their lives overseas, who tend to vote Republican. That keeps their opponents from gaining votes, so they help themselves politically on both ends.

Senator Holt Press Release - Consolidation Takes Away our Freedom

Senator Jim Holt Press Release

For Immediate Release August 18, 06

School Consolidation… What it really costs – our Freedom.

Forced bussing is returning to Arkansas, but this time for a less noble reason. The issue of school consolidation has gained political acceptance because those who support it think they are saving money, and not realizing the true cost. The cost is sacrificing good schools that are near by and which have strong parental involvement.

Senator Jim Holt does not agree with the Arkansas Supreme Court’s decision to halt the injunction that would allow Paron School District to operate another school year until the merits of their case could be heard. As of now, Paron Schools will be forced to shut their doors. Paron High School boasts a zero college remediation rate while the neighboring district has a 65.7 percent remediation rate. Paron’s students have, on average, higher ACT scores, higher graduation rates, and lower dropout rates.

“Paron, like many small schools, could survive indefinitely, while providing a quality education to its students if the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) had not bypassed the legislature and imposed restrictions not mandated by any law,” Holt said.

The ADE requires a minimum of 38 courses be ‘taught,’ not just ‘offered,’ even when students do not enroll in some of the courses. The change from “offered to taught” occurred prior to the 2003-04 school year, Annette Barnes of ADE confirmed by email.
“It is not in the law; it came from the Standards of Accreditation and is based on Revisions to Standards. There is no legislation that says this,” Barnes said.

"This is not what the legislature intended," Senator Holt contends, "How could education be equal and adequate when some students have to ride the bus 4 hours, yet others only a few minutes? The study time for homework is not equal and the question that troubles me is: which school, which family, which child will be the next victim of the government?"

Senator Holt has a consistent record of support for local control of schools and has shown that there are no savings from consolidation. However, the immediate cost separates families from good established schools and turns students into commuters (at high gas prices), stealing their homework and extracurricular time. This is a total losing proposition. It costs the people their freedom. Holt will ensure and tirelessly pursue legislation that will allow school districts more flexibility to meet the curriculum standards.

Senator Holt wants to know what Halter thinks about control of schools being wrested from the local school boards and decided by bureaucrats with no stake or interest in the school district. Mike Beebe opposes state education standards being met through distance learning, which means more school closings and longer bus rides. How does Halter feel about this issue? Is Halter opposed to distance learning options that will allow smaller schools to continue to operate and save children from riding a bus for four hours daily? Having lived outside of Arkansas for much of the last 25 years, perhaps Halter can explain to people in the Paron School District how California’s educational system works.

State School Board Meeting - A surreal Experience

Reflections on State School Board Meeting – A Surreal Experience

As I sat through the State School Board Meeting this week, August 14, 06, the word surreal kept popping into my mind.  

All the sophisticated main players, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) executives who gave varied presentations and the State Board members all looked sane enough. They are all highly successful and are certainly the cream of the crop in talent, intelligence, ability, and prestige; but the words and ideas coming out of their mouths just didn't match what one would expect from people with these characteristics.

Ten schools were on the State Board of Education agenda appealing the  probationary status they had been given by the ADE.  Even though I came to the meeting fully aware that the State Board would follow its usual pattern and deny every one of them, I still found myself in dismay as the state board consistently turned down every appeal.

I heard one case after another where there had been a minor infraction so insignificant that any sane, reasonable person would have understood it had nothing to do with the education of the children: a report filed a few hours late because of computer problems, a background check that had been delayed twice through no fault of the teacher  who had a master's degree and a 10 year certificate, and a school that substituted a more rigorous AP calculus class  than the calculus class required by the ADE because none of the students wanted the regular calculus class.   

As the ADE executives explained how these were odious crimes because the courts require an equal education for all, some of the State Board members were nodding approvingly and voted unanimously in most cases to uphold the probationary status for these insignificant infractions that could lead to closing, consolidating, or reconstituting an entire school district and putting students on the buses for 4 hours.  But they looked and acted so rational, and they are intelligent and talented leaders in our society; and they hold such lofty positions!

continued, click Friday below and scroll down for rest of article or if sent straight here just scroll down)

Green Case Has Been Heard- Ruling Due within a Week

Many of you have asked about the Green Party ballot access case. The case has been heard and the judge has agreed to expedite his ruling and give it within one week.

Rob Moritz reports on the hearing.

Entergy- Problems and Ways Out

Arkansans are getting ripped off by Entergy. Not only are the present and coming rate increases going to pinch family budgets, they also throw away one of our biggest potential draws for new industry (and the growth of the ones we have). That big draw is that our cost to produce electricity in Arkansas is about 30% cheaper than in neighboring states like Louisiana. But thanks to a multi-state rate plan that Entergy Arkansas entered into, Arkansas rate payers are subsidizing the higher energy costs in the other states.

Most of our energy is generated by coal fired plants which are cheaper to operate than the natural gas plants more prevelent in other states. We also have ample sources of low-cost hydroelectric power.

Entergy Arkansas says it has given notice that it wants out of the agreement, but that agreement contains a clause that says it takes eight years to leave. PSC Chief of Staff Dave Slaton is quoted as saying, " "We're being hit on both ends. We're being penalized on the bottom side for having operated efficiently in Arkansas. This remedy... was creating a set of perverse economic incentives that is going to significantly destroy production costs."

Nevertheless, energy is so vital to our growth and progress that it would be a travesty if our leaders failed to take action to get us off the barrell they have put us over. This is a rare event. Normally, government can't do anything about energy costs because they are determined by free-market forces. In this case though, Entergy Arkansas has entered a perverse pact that blocks free-market action to reduce prices. This is one of those exceptions to the rule. In this case, government intervention can really help consumers rather than simply shift costs among them. Here are some ideas on the forms that intervention might take.....

(continued- click FRIDAY below for rest of article and scroll down, or if sent straight here just scroll down)

I Would Tell You that Bill Walker Is a Nutter....

....but he'd probably sue me if I did. So I won't say that Bill Walker, sue happy attorney, dipper into the public trough, and candidate for Mayor of Little Rock, is a nutter for suing the Little Rock School District for kicking his daughter off the cheerleader squad over behavior issues.

Walker says that his daughter is ADHD, so the school district should make modifications to the standards for the other cheerleaders.

Now if a child really needs some special adjustments in the way they are taught in order to have a reasonable chance to learn the mandated curriculum, then I am all for it. Cheerleading is not a part of that package though, and even in the classroom different standards for discipline are the road to chaos, not education. Changes in the way they are taught or tested are one thing. Lower standards for behavior are another. If they can't (or won't in most cases) behave according to the same standards the other students must adhere to then they need to be removed from that setting.

I'd sure want to try good old fashioned discipline before I moved them out of the classroom or put them on Ritalin though. Some parents might disagree and their will should be honored, but not at the cost of good order and discipline for the others.

This case is a good example of what is wrong with education. Fear of lawsuits drives the entire process. No politician is willing to address the real problem, which is that teachers have responsibility in the classroom without being granted the authority to fufill that responsibility. This flaw often goes mostly unexposed for years, because parents with the strong sense of entitlement and hudspah of Walker were once rare. As they become more common, teachers will find it impossible to teach and find that they will be forced to placate, not educate.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mother-Daughter Team on Wrong End of Illegal Alien Business

By now most have heard about the arrest and prosecution of a Benton County Revenue Office Clerk who made fake ID's for illegal aliens in exchange for cash. She is now facing a seven year prison term, along with her mother who supplied a steady stream of illegal aliens for customers.

The poor clerk was simply on the wrong end of the "government services to illegal aliens" business. If she had been working at any one of dozens of state government welfare and benefit programs, she could have signed up all the illegal aliens she wanted to get buckets of cash from your pockets without fear of any prosecution whatsoever.

That's right. Currently there is no state law that would allow for prosecution of government workers who knowingly sign up illegal aliens for state welfare benefits and services, even in cases where the law says illegal aliens are not eligible. And if those illegals want to give a gift to their new friend for doing something for which the worker faces no possiblity of legal sanction, who could object? It is the perfect government crime machine just waiting to be turned on in every county welfare office. I suspect the hum of its motors can already be heard if one listens carefully around the state. Unlike the revenue clerk who took money from illegals, there will be no prosecution for the clerks who knowingly defraud the taxpayers by giving your money to them.

So what kind of perverse system sentences a mother-daughter team to prison for taking money from illegals for fake ID's, but does not punish government workers for knowingly giving your money to those same illegal aliens?

This absurdity highlights the need for a bill like Sen. Jim Holt's SB 206. Critics kept screaming that it was already illegal to give most state public assistence benefits to illegals. But even in such cases, those laws have no teeth. There is no penalty for a corrupt government worker to knowingly sign illegals up to receive your tax dollars. SB 206 would have made that a crime, and the ferocity with which it was opposed by some of those same workers can only make you wonder if the revenue clerk in Bentonville was not alone in her activities, just on the wrong side of the business.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fundraising: Insider Money Comes Early, but...

The lastest campaign finance report numbers are out. For the first time, Republican Asa Hutchinson has outraised Attorney General Mike Beebe in a monthly report. Hutchinson raised $262,000 last month, compared to $225,000 for Beebe. Though Beebe has outraised Hutchinson overall $4.32 million to $2.33 million the two are almost dead even in cash on hand, with $1.16 million for Hutchinson and $1.29 million for Beebe. The X-factor in the cash on hand is how much went to Beebe's big media buy that has not yet been aired. That would be almost the same as extra dollars in Beebe's cash on hand, since those dollars are out there, but have not yet impacted the race. Nevertheless, the numbers clearly indicate that the fundraising momentum is shifting as we move into the middle rounds.

This phenomenom is explained by the three phases of political fundraising and the relative strengths of each candidate in each of the three phases, and was predicted on this site over two months ago.

(continued- to read about the phases and reports on the other state wide offices click WEDNESDAY below and scroll down, or if sent straight here just scroll down.)

63 Schools Put On Probation for Minor Infractions

63 Schools Put on Probation
For Minor Infractions That In No Way Negatively Affect Students

ADE Reigns Supreme as State Board Denies All School Appeals!

The State Board of Education (ADE) put 63 schools on probation August 14, at the request of the Arkansas Department of Education. Probationary status is indeed a grave matter. From the day a school or school district is placed on probation, the State Board has the authority to annex, consolidate, or reconstitute the school district. They can also require superintendents to relinquish authority or suspend or remove some or all of the current board of directors. [Omnibus Bill - Act 1467 Section 5, 6-15-207, and transcription of Ray Simon's presentation to the State Board in 2003.]

The Board is required to take action if the school or district remains on probation for a period of two years. If the school meets one requirement and fails in another the next year, that is considered two years of probation which requires the Board to act. Therefore if a school or district overlooks a minor detail one year and accidentally messes up on another minor detail the next, the school can be consolidated. [Ray Simon spelled this out in his presentation to the State Board in 2003]

The dreadful actions that led to many probations and appeals to the State Board included such things as the following: (Even the Board members admitted that the schools did not seem to purposely violate a rule)

(a) One teacher had a ten year certificate (a master's degree), but it was issued before background checks were required. She took the necessary actions to obtain the background check, but there were two delays with the FBI getting the information back on the fingerprints which resulted in a short period of time in which her license was not valid.
(b) One school was a few hours late on a required report because of problems in trying to send in the report the night before the report was due. The school presented computer log information, etc. to verify this to be the truth.

continued, click Wednesday below and scroll down for rest of article or if sent straight here just scroll down)

Specific Instances of Pure Demagoguery

Ronald Reagan once said, “Demagoguery: The journalist Burnham wrote that, when operating on a Democrat Politician, not even the most skilled surgeon can separate living from demagogic tissue, without causing the death of the patient.”

In ancient times the word Demagogue simply meant someone who was a champion of the people or popular causes. In our world today, it has come to mean one who seeks to gain power by appealing to irrational fears or prejudices, and/or making false claims and promises.

In the last week, Mike Beebe and Bill Halter have shown that the journalist Burnham had them pegged. Their strategy seems to be to throw as many false claims as possible about their opponents out there. It does not matter if the accusations are accurate, or if it is even an issue that falls under the purview of the office which they seek. The only thing that matters is that they hit people’s fear buttons, rational or not. They know people tend to vote defensively. They want to arouse irrational fears in people to scare them into voting against their opponent, just in case some of the charges might be true. In short, they are demagogues in the modern sense of the word.

Unfortunately, there are not a lot of Burnhams left in the mainstream media. Most of us are on the net, and our audience is limited. Demagogues can pull off their strategy if the “watchdogs” of the press shrug off outrageous claims from one side while meticulously scrutinizing every move of the other.

Let me give you specific instances of pure demagoguery from Beebe and Halter.

(continued, click Wednesday below and scroll down for rest of article or if sent straight here just scroll down)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Halter says Social Ssecurity has lifted Arkansans out of poverty

Halter says, "Social Security has lifted Arkansans out of poverty" in a press release yesterday to which the media asked Senator Holt to respond. Has Halter been in California so long that he has forgotten that Arkansas is still 49th in per capita income? Somehow I just believe economic growth is more than Social Security and minimum wage increases that Halter has used for his last two press releases and that it takes more than Social Security to lift a state out of poverty. Halter's response is typical of the Democrats though. They seem to believe the government can take care of everything.

Here are a couple of paragraphs from Halter's press release. Below that are some excerpts from Holt's response, some of which were used in a newspaper article today.

"Social Security has lifted Arkansans out of poverty and has been a safety-net for millions of Americans,” said Bill Halter. “On the anniversary of its creation, it is important for voters to note that I, unlike my opponent, am opposed to the privatization of Social Security. Social Security is not a typical issue in a race for Lt. Governor, but this major difference in opinion is one that voters should understand when casting their ballots.”

"Further, Jim Holt was the 2003 keynote speaker at the Arkansas Constitution Party convention and Holt’s former campaign manager, Mark Moore, and his 2004 campaign manager, Jason Sheppard, have both served as chair of the Arkansas Constitution Party, [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 6/22/03, 10/26/04; Springdale Morning News, 10/28/05]

Senator Jim Holt's Resposne:

It's unfortunate that my opponent has been obviously misinformed.

We are applying for Lt. Governor which doesn't ordinarily deal with Social Security. He should be focused on real state solutions that will put more money back in the hands of Arkansans. Arkansas has the 4th highest tax burden in the Nation. We must reduce the tax burden in this state so the elderly can have more buying power and we each can save for our own retirement - in addition to Social Security, not feed an ever growing, bloated bureaucracy. Unfortunately for our people that is all my opponent has advocated - more spending and more taxes.

Now, in relation to Social Security: this has been my position on this issue all along and the people of Arkansas know this, for I have lived here my whole life (other than my nine years in the military intelligence field).

1. Social Security MUST remain rock solid. If the Government makes a promise they should keep it. I wonder what my opponent did in his short time as acting interim? Because Social Security has been suffering more and more after each decade.

2. To do this, I have advocated STRONGLY from the beginning that we must put ALL government elected officials and bureaucrats on ONLY Social Security Retirement - no more of their excessive, cushy retirement plans. That way we will know they will finally start doing what's right by we the people - the servant should never be better than those he/she serves. By the way, I wonder if my opponent's millionaire retirement plan is ONLY from Social security like mine and so many millions of other Arkansans?

3. We must not allow the politicians: Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike, to dip into the budget for Social Security any longer. This puts a huge strain on the system year after year. If business owners raided their employees' retirement accounts, they would be thrown into jail for stealing. This practice must stop.

4. I am for making sure that we will protect social security since we have made that promise to our people. 79% of the people of this nation, do not believe Social Security will be around when they retire. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. It is WE the people's money in the first place and if we can get a better return on our money with greater security for our Social Security supplemental retirement plan being rock solid, then I'm all for it.

As far as the Constitution Party, I did speak with them in 2003 and would do so again - they are mainly disenfranchised Democrats and Republicans. I also speak with Democrats, Independents, Liberals, Libertarians, Union members and others as well. I want to represent ALL Arkansans (where does he get most of his money from?) I receive help from all and am not ashamed of my friends. We have people who are members of the Democrat party that are involved at extremely high levels of our campaign. We are trying to bring all the people of Arkansas together and the diversity of our campaign is proof of that. Of course my opponents will try to say ridiculous statements when they are trying to win an election. When I disagree with my own party and side with the Democrats on an issue does that mean I'm an extremist as well?

Elliot Ness vs. Nick Wilson (Attorney General Race)

"The fact is that my attacks on Dustin for filing a lawsuit against gun manufacturers is resonating across the state, and he and the Democrats are responding by saying we shouldn't fight public corruption."- Gunner DeLay

Pretty hard hitting statement, but he was too kind to point out that McDaniel also went around the state telling people that he wasn't a player in that lawsuit - until DeLay posted court documents from the case with McDaniel's name all over them on the internet.

The backgound on this is that DeLay has called for a Public Corruption Unit to be added to the Attorney General's office. It's purpose would be restricted to investigating allegations of corruption in elected officials. The Democrats, who have most of the elected officials, think this is a terrible idea. They claim such a unit would be a violation of the state constitution, which gives the power of prosecution to district attorneys. However, the Constitution also says that the Legislature can determine the powers of the AG's office, so if they want to add enabling legislation for such a role, I can't see how an overlap of powers between DA's and the AG's office is a violation. The Dems are suddenly taking a very narrow view, more narrow than the authors intended IMHO, in order to claim that ONLY District Attorney's can prosecute public corruption.

Well, the DA's are Democrats, and they have been doing a lousy job of prosecuting the public corruption of other Democrats. A check and a balance IS needed.....

(continued- click TUESDAY below and scroll down for rest of article, or if sent straight here just scroll down)

Green Ballot Access Case Due Up Thursday

I have been predicting for some time that Attorney General Mike Beebe and Secretary of State Charlie Daniels are going to lose their court case Thursday to deny the Green Party ballot access.

This Rob Moritz article does a good job of laying out the reasons why I have that opinion in very little space. They are going before the same federal judge who has ruled at least twice since 1996 that they need to make the signature requirements the same for new parties and independents. The Greens will even have an attorney from that orginal case present to remind Judge Howard why he made that ruling. I don't think he will need much reminding. Federal Judges don't like it when states drag their feet for over a decade to deny people equal access to the ballot. The judge's opinion in this one should make great reading. Stay tuned!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Unanswered Challenge on Evolution-Creation

The liberal Arktimes posted a thread called "How Low Can He Go" in which they reported that Democratic Governor Candidate Mike Beebe said that he would be in favor of allowing schools to teach Intelligent Design. ID is the hypothesis that the complexity and order that we see in the universe, especially in living systems, is best explained by life and the universe being the result of an Intelligent Designer rather than chance alone.

The readers at the Arktimes blog went into their usual hysterics that Beebe was selling them out, and that this could not be science, and that the bible-thumpers were going to wipe out 100 years of progress and all the rest. They need not have worried. It was just Beebe being Beebe. He is already pointing out the loopholes and escape clauses he left himself- as in ID does not necessarily contradict evolution, and that the Supreme Court has banned ID being taught. The man tries to please everybody but winds up making both sides uneasy. At the end of the day, like on so many other issues, we still don't know exactly what to make of Mike Beebe's position, except that we can't trust it.

Nevertheless, I got tired of listening to the bigotry over there, so I issued the guys who run the place a little challenge. A challenge that they have yet to answer, and I don't expect them to.

(continued- click MONDAY below and scroll down for rest of article, or if sent straight here just scroll down).


Stop the pressess! Rumours are floating around Little Rock that the Democrat's nominee for Lt. Governor, Bill Halter, is already setting his sights on his next target- and it is the United States Senate Seat held by fellow Democrat Mark Pryor!

A typical example of the rumors is this post from the Ark Times blog........

"Oh my God, Johnny Mac just spoke of the 800 lb gorilla in the room!! The town is all a buzz about Halter's rumored run against Pryor in 2008.

He reportedly sent a guy to ask about researching Pryor's voting record. Surely word of that made it back to Pryor.

Last Wednesday, Halter's folks, Cook especially, were heard to draw correlations between Pryor and Leiberman and how Mark could be taken out in 2008.

Long and the short of it, most Dem's I know loath the thought of Lt. Gov. Holt but don't trust Halter any farther than he could be thrown. He threatens everyone with his bottomless pit of money and willingness to assassinate fellow dems.

That race is lose lose for anyone who is a Mark Pryor fan or an aspiring gubernatorial candidate like Mike Ross.

Posted by: what to do? "

If there is anything to it, the Hubris of Halter is breathtaking. It is nervy enough to be gone from the state for 25 years, and announce you are ready to be in charge as soon as you hit the tarmac. He has not even won that election yet but is already setting his sights on another office- one that will allow him to hop on that jet and get out of Arkansas again.

He was critisized for using an abortive run at Governor to generate name recognition that allowed him to win the Lt. Governor's primary. Could he be doing it again with the office of Lt. Governor? Could he just be using the office as a springboard to unseat Pryor in the Democratic primary in 08?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Little Something for the Attack Dogs at the Demo-Zette

In a sure sign they realize he has a real shot to win, the Editors at the Democrat-Gazette have launched yet another nameless attack at the Republican nominee for Lt. Governor, State Senator Jim Holt of Springdale. Holt is a problem to them for the following reasons:

1) They don't like his conservative positions.
2) They occasionally try to pass themselves off as conseravtives, and when the genuine article comes along it makes the counterfeit all the more apparent. They want to try to "move conservatism left". Holt won't move.
3) They have invested a lot of ink and prestige trying to destroy him. So much that they cannot afford to fail. If he wins, other politicians might catch on that you can buck the Demo-zette and still win. They can't afford to have politicians around that are not afraid of them, and Holt is not afraid.

This attack simply repeats the misinformation of earlier anonymous missives. They have been called on this stuff before, but they don't care. Like proud graduates of the Joseph Gobbel's school of journalism, they are determined to tell big enough lies often enough until the people believe it. So am I attacking too? Well, I am going to tell the truth with my name on it, so I consider that two marks ahead of them right off the bat.

(click SATURDAY below for article and scroll down, or if sent straight here just scroll down)

Einstein's Advice for Doug Thompson

"Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, But Not Moreso"- Albert Einstein

Morning News reporter Doug Thompson is a smart and likeable guy, but I wish he had heeded the advice of someone even smarter before he wrote his column entitled "Choose life for gay foster parents in Paron".

The premise of the superficially whimsical (but the barbs still have no trouble poking through) article is that he is going to "sort out inconsistencies" from both candidates for governor on "gay foster parenting, abortion, isolated schools". Well, he gets in trouble right there with his premise, because only one of the candidates has been inconsistent on any of those issues. That would be Mike Beebe, who has been as slippery as a catfish in a jar of vaseline on two of the three- abortion and homosexual foster parenting. Beebe has been quite consistent on rural schools- he wants to close them, or at the least he wants to just stand by and watch while others do it for him.

Asa Hutchinson on the other hand, has been clear on all three issues. As a conservative, I'd like his position on all three issues to be stronger to the right than they are, but that is not the point, the point is they are clear.

So like I used to tell my class, "you can't stay on the right track if you don't start on the right track." That being the case, I'd like to help Doug and his readers out by taking a turn at clarifying his clarifications....

(continued- click SATURDAY below for rest of article and scroll down, or if sent straight here just scroll down.)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Pryor, Lincoln and Lieberman are not Yellowdogs, so why should you be?

This story has a highly personal component for me. I still remember a grand lady I used to work with who was a "Yellow Dog" Democrat. Nothing could change her mind. I finally asked her, "if Jesus Christ ran as a Republican and the Devil ran as a Democrat, who would you vote for?"

She hesitated for what seemed like a long while. Then she said, "I probably just wouldn't vote." I don't scare easy, as some of you have probably guessed, but that scared me. To all appearences, she was a very normal human being.

I hope she took the time to reconsider her priorities in the days that followed. Less than three weeks later she was killed in a tragic automobile accident.

I have a message for all those who consider themselves yellowdogs: you don't have to be. Not even your own party's leaders give blind alliegence to the party. This week Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman, the Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee in 04, lost the Democratic primary to the more liberal Joe Lamont. Lieberman has said he will still run for Senate as an Independent. He noted that he was a loyal Democrat, but he was loyal to his country first.

Our own Senator, Mark Pryor, is not a yellowdog Democrat either. He will support someone against a Democrat if he feels it is the right thing to do. He has endorsed Lieberman over the Demoractic nominee Joe Lamont. "I am for Joe Lieberman whether he's a Democrat or an independent," Pryor said. "I think he's a great senator. I think he's done a very good job for the state of Connecticut." Pryor also vowed to help Lieberman with some of his own campaign cash, so if you gave money to Democrat Mark Pryor know that he wants to give some of it to help defeat Democrat Joe Lamont. Senator Blanche Lincoln has refused to say who she is supporting in that race.

(continued- click THURSDAY below and scroll down for rest of article, or if sent straight here just scroll down.)

Paybacks: Two Presidents to Visit Because of Hutchinson

Yesterday saw the announcement that Bill Clinton would come to Arkansas and visit a Mike Beebe fundraiser on September 7th. Previous to this, the Asa Hutchinson camp announced that President Bush was coming to our state for one of Asa's fundraisers.

Make no mistake, both men are coming to town because of Asa Hutchinson. First Bush and his motivations: It could be argued that Hutchinson served Bush better than almost anyone in his cabinent. There was not one mass terrorist attack on American soil for the four years Hutchinson was in charge of stopping them. If only Rumsfeld, Rice and those other names you hear about more often had served Bush as well as Hutchinson did. Maybe then the administration would not be having the poll troubles that it has. Bush is helping Hutchinson because he owes him, and it is a good idea to publically help those who served you well.

Clinton also "owes" Hutchinson, but in this case it is about payback. It's about revenge. Clinton has no special love of Mike Beebe. Certainly less than for old friend Jimmie Lou Fisher, who he also came to Arkansas for. Maybe about as much love for Beebe as he did for Bill Bristow, who he let twist in the wind in his race against Huckabee in 98. But this one is not about alliance or afftection. It is about payback for Asa's role in the impeachment proceedings.

It is also about flexing his political muscles in one of the few places Clinton may still be able to do so. He endorsed Joe Lieberman in the Democratic Senate primary, but the incumbent senator still lost in the liberal northeast. He was also against Howard Dean getting the Chairman's job. Is he losing relevancy? We will see.

Something else to look for: will Clinton stick up for Bill Halter like Bush is doing for Hutchinson? Rumour has it that there is some friction between the two. I look for Clinton to curse him with faint praise. There will be no special trips to Arkansas for the Halter campaign.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Lite Governor: Halter and Holt Slug it Out

Senator Jim Holt wanted to know if rival Bill Halter is in favor of giving homosexuals state-empowered access to little children through foster parenting and adoption. Holt had sponsored a bill denying them such state-empowered access to children in 05. It was stuck in committee, but he has vowed to try it again as Lt. Governor. Other politicians chimed in on the subject. Bill Halter had been the only one who had failed to answer the question of whether or not he would approve such legislation- if you count Mike Beebe's four or five paradoxical responses as a definitive answer.

Here is Halter's answer, "I would support this type of legislation if, after thorough research and deliberation, it is found to be constitutional and in the best interests of Arkansas' foster children," Halter said." Which is so full of loop-holes and escape hatches that he might as well not give one.

Holt did not let Halter's non-answer pass unnoticed, "'if' is a big word and he has placed so many conditions on his decision that everyone in Arkansas can see he is just pandering," Holt said, "There is not one bit of conviction in his answer.

Halter's spokesman "Bud" Jackson (the guy sends his stuff out from the Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C.. Apparently Halter can't even get a spokesman from Arkansas to represent him) responded by making a long series of attacks on Jim Holt unrelated to the original issue. However, for no extra charge, Holt has responded to each attack.

(continued- to see the charges and responses, click WEDNESDAY below and scroll down, or if sent straight here just scroll down)