Benton County Tea Party Endorses Maddox for Mayor
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE
The Benton County Tea Party has said that this letter was sent out before it had been properly vetted. Chairman Kirk Hartness said they endorse Maddox, but not necessarily the "tone" of the letter. I spoke with Rob Arnold, whose signature appears on the letter. He requested that a letter be written for him on this topic, and this letter was written per that request. He was in the process of running it by other members of the Exec Committee to get their input, but through some mis-communication the letter was sent out before final vetting. When asked for specific things he would change about the letter, Arnold declined to get into specifics.
Greg Hines has described the letter as full of "lies, half-truths, and distortions." He also did not mention any specifics. If there are any lies in that letter, I can't see what they are. The same with "half-truths", though "distortion" is often in the eye of the beholder. So what in this letter doesn't check out? Strongly worded? Yep. False? You tell me where.
Dear fellow Citizens, and members of the Rogers Tea Party,
I cannot help but to open with a positive note. The Tea Party is grateful for the overall results of the recent elections. Thanks in part to your efforts the cause of freedom has been advanced. There is a long fight ahead, it’s surely not time to rest on our laurels, but we do have something to celebrate in this country.
In the city of Rogers itself, there is one last important item of business to attend to though. There is a run-off election for Mayor on November 23rd. I ask you as a fellow-patriot to circle that date on your calendar. Only a very small proportion of the population votes in run-off elections. That means that your vote is even more important now than it was on the 2nd. And in this race, the contrast between the candidates who are vying to lead your city could hardly be more stark. As Chairman of the Rogers Chapter of the Benton County Tea Party, it is my duty to report to you on the candidates, and our endorsement.
Our endorsement in the race proudly goes to the one who is by far the most capable man for the office: Kurt Maddox. Please make it a point to drive to the polls and vote for Kurt, and urge your friends and family to do the same.
In making this endorsement, we are obligated to lay out the reasons behind our choice. There are two main factors, one is how poor a fit we feel Councilman Hines would be for Mayor and the other is how good a choice Kurt Maddox would be. Here then is my report……
Mayor is an Executive position. It’s a full time job, and it’s a lot of work. In looking over the life experience of Mr. Hines, there is a startling lack of private-sector work experience for someone who is expected to run Arkansas’ 9th largest city. As near as we can tell, his experience in the private sector ended when he was about 23 or 24 years old, when his attempt to launch a career in real-estate fizzled out. In our view, that’s not enough to gain the perspective needed to serve the business sector of our community. The amount of time he spent as a person who gets income from taxpayers instead of being like most of us who simply have to pay taxes is also a red flag.
In contrast, Kurt Maddox had a business with over a dozen employees by the time he was twenty. It’s true that this business went under, but he paid all of his creditors back and started over. A few years later, about the time Hines left the private sector, Maddox started another business. Now at forty, he has built a million dollar business in Rogers that adds jobs to the community and has increased our tax base.
Maddox has spent twenty years finding ways to run a business that serves people well at the lowest possible cost. People like that will not get loose with our money because of ingrained habits. People who have the ingrained habit of spending other people’s money are the ones that most often become loose with the public purse.
While some may say that Hines’ current position with the county is also an executive position, he has not served long, and by credible reports, not served well either. Incoming County Judge Bob Clinard has complained that Hines has been drawing a salary from the county while running for Mayor instead of performing his duties. He complains that employees that should be under the direct supervision of Mr. Hines don’t even know who he is or what he looks like. Clinard has also endorsed Maddox for Mayor. We find these reports very troubling, and I don’t like having to report some of this information to you, but that’s one reason we have grassroots organizations. I think all of us have had enough of politicians who campaign very energetically but are not so concerned about performing the daily grind of their public duties once in office.
Many of us rate life experience above educational attainment in evaluating who we hire. In this case though, we don’t need to make the choice. Just as Kurt Maddox is the clear choice when one looks at the life-experiences of the two men, he is also the clear choice when one looks at educational self-betterment. Kurt Maddox has two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree in Leadership and Ethics. Kurt Hines has a high school diploma. While too much can be made of diplomas, my own take is that it puts the city at a competitive disadvantage in attracting business and people to our city. Can you think of another of the ten largest cities in Arkansas whose Mayor lacks a college degree?
The subject of whose political values fit in best with the people of Rogers is to me, at least as important if not more important than those other criteria. Several red flags have gone up over the actions of Mr. Hines, but every indication is that Kurt Maddox is an excellent fit with the spirit of this community.
I owe you an explanation when I mention the “red flags.” It’s come to our attention that Greg Hines made a donation to the Democratic Party of Arkansas as recently as 2007. If that sounds like your values, then be pleased to vote for Greg Hines. If it’s not, then I urge you to join me in voting for Kurt Maddox.
Another red flag is who Hines has hired to run his campaign. It’s the far left Markham Group. Please feel free to visit this bunch for yourself. They don’t reflect Rogers’ values. I have learned over the years that “personnel is policy.” Even if a candidate talks down-home and espouses conservative values, if he hires left, then he governs left. Let’s not take that chance with Rogers.
The question of who reflects Roger’s values is a good place to deal with the issue of residency. Mr. Hines calls Kurt Maddox “the guy from Gravette” because he lived in Gravette so recently. I believe that Hine’s focus on who is where geographically is a distraction from the true question, and that is who is closest to Rogers philosophically.
Kurt Maddox has lived in Rogers for a total of seven years and has had a business on Walnut Street for twenty years. I can only hope that my fellow citizens will not vote based on who has spent the most years inside some invisible political boundary, but rather on who is closest to you on policy, has the best character, and is the most capable person.
The sad fact is, many of the leading citizens of this community drafted Kurt Maddox for this race specifically because they feared what Hines as Mayor might mean for this city. Some of it is unverified, so I cannot put it into this report, but they were concerned. Some of them were even courageous enough to put their names on it. That’s why you see Maddox signs around the town that say things like “Meza Harris supports Kurt Maddox.” These leading citizens, as a public service, sought out a man to run for Mayor who would keep this city out from under Mr. Hines. As an activist myself, I respect there willingness to get involved, and concur in their choice of candidate. These people know something, and I’m going to listen to them.
I urge you in joining me in voting for Kurt Maddox for Mayor of Rogers on Nov. 23rd and go ahead right now and forward this message to several of your friends and family members in Rogers.
With Utmost Respect