Mike Beebe Picks on Girls
Gov. Mike Beebe picks on girls. Especially if the are in his party and dare to vote their conscience instead of the party line. Consider the case of pro-life Rep. Linda Collins-Smith, who made our "ten best legislators list." Here is a report from a member of her district. It shows how far beyond the bounds of sound redistricting principles, and even common decency to both the legislators and the people of the districts involved, Mike Beebe is willing to go to enforce vindictive retaliation on a woman who would not follow his orders....
District 80, represented by State Rep. Linda Collins-Smith, has been drastically changed with her home county of Randolph being split into THREE pieces. That alone is an obvious attempt to get rid of her, but he apparently hopes to kill two birds with one stone by pitting her against another conservative, Lori Benedict, who lives in Fulton County.
Randolph and Fulton counties are not contiguous. Sharp County lies between them, so to connect the two he had to create a bridge across the very narrow north end of Sharp County.
Further aggravating the issue is that District 80 (now consisting of all of Randolph County and two-thirds of Sharp) had only a slight population increase that could have been addressed simply by moving a small portion of the balance of Sharp County into the District.
Whatever the eventual outcome, it is apparent that the legislature must modify the Board of Apportionment to make it non-partisan.