Planned Attack to Pre-Silence Key Voice in Redistricting?
There are several moving parts in this one, so close attention is required. One: The Democrats are shockingly partisan in their redistricting plans. The Fayetteville Finger is evidence enough of that. Two: The Democrats and their accomplices in the establishment media have been launching an unrelenting series of attacks against Secretary of State Mark Martin. Three: Secretary of State is one of the three positions on the board for redistricting within the state. The other two players are Governor Mike Beebe and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.
I have wondered about the intensity, frequency, and timing of the attacks on Martin. Finally, with the revelation of the Fayetteville Finger plan it is all starting to come together for me. The Democrats intended a highly partisan redistricting process. The natural voice in the state to oppose such a move is Martin. He's one of two Republican state-wide office holders in our state government. He's also the only Republican among the three at the top of the redistricting process.
The solution was to throw a ton of mud at him right as the redistricting process begins. It does not have to be true, and it doesn't have to stick long. They just need to keep him on the defensive and undermine his moral credibility long enough to ram through a one-sided redistricting plan.
I spoke with Martin and learned some very interesting facts about the things they are pinging him on. For example, they attacked him for buying a new vehicle at a time when state government has taken fire for owning too many. But Martin says that his predecessor got rid of four or five vehicles just as he was walking out the door, leaving Martin in a position where he needed a good one for things like redistricting. To this day Martin has less vehicles than his predecessor (23 vs. 28). All four of Charlie Daniel's deputies had vehicles from the state. None of Martins' do. Yet Martin gets pounded the instant he buys a vehicle and the media ignores these critical details. That whole attack seems like a set up, what with the exiting Democrat putting him in a position where he needed a vehicle and then jumping him the instant he got one.
The same could be said of his hiring a redistricting coordinator. His predecessor left him a budget for it. Last time, it was the Secretary of State's call. So he did it. Then Gov. Beebe and Attorney General McDaniel attack him for acting without their permission. Then they decided to hire their own man. The papers make out like Martin acted out of turn. Apparently, when there is a Republican Governor and a Democrat Secretary of State, the Sec. of State is supposed to hire the redistricting coordinator. When there is a Democrat Governor and a Republican Secretary of State, the Gov. and the Attorney General are supposed to do it. For that matter, all of his expenditures have to be cleared through DF&A, so if they were restricted items, why did DF&A approve them?
Fact is, the people of this state could use a voice who will stand up to the outrageous gerrymandering going on in this redistricting fiasco. The Democrats appear to have thought this out, set some traps, and launched some pre-emptive attacks in an attempt to take Martin off the board as a force that can stop them. So far it is working out their way. Let's hope Martin can bounce back, or we risk getting the Fayetteville Finger in every state House and Senate district.