Thursday, April 24, 2008

Senator Pryor To Hold Fundraiser For Court Candidate Courtney Henry

Attorney From Prestigious Law Firm Campaigns For Henry - a law firm that will inevitably argue cases before her if she is elected. Sounds like she might be beholden to this firm.

The Democrat Gazette and John Brummet both had articles featuring former Senator Jim Holt's involvement in the Courtney Henry and Ron Williams race for a seat on the Arkansas Court of Appeals. Both articles cast Holt in a negative light, to say the least, and made it appear he was doing something unethical for rendering services to Ron Williams in his campaign and leaving the impression that Courtney Henry is, as a later email from one of her proponents says, "refreshingly bipartisan." 1

Even though Holt won the last statewide Republican primary with 56% (more than doubling the 2nd contestant in the three way race for Lt. Governor); won over Halter in half of the 7 counties which will vote in this race; and pulled 44% of the vote for Lt. Governor, it seems that the media believe that Senator Holt should crawl off in the corner somewhere and keep his mouth shut. Anytime he opens his mouth about anything, they find something to cry fowl about.

Note that on Henry's home page the first line says, "nonpartisan race" and the most prominent picture there is a picture of herself with Retired U.S. Republican Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt. Courtney repeatedly extols the support of this stalwart Republican (remember how she voted Democratic in several elections, voting a Democratic ticket in 2008 for either Hillary or Obama). 2

She has to deceive the Republicans in these 7 counties where she is running because over half of those counties voted for Republican Jim Holt and Asa Hutchinson in 2006, and all 7 counties voted for a Republican president in 2004. Now according to a recent email, [from an attorney from a prestigious law firm campaigning for Courtney Henry before whom they will surely argue cases if she wins] Hammerschmidt and Senator David Pryor, a stalwart Democrat, are hosting a fundraiser for Henry on May 12th in Fayetteville. 3

I am sure there is not a hint of any politics involved in any of this, just refreshingly bipartisan. (bipartisan, I thought we were supposed to have non partisan.) Yeah, I get it! It is no holds barred if you have political activists working for you from both parties but just not political activity from one side (like from 44% of the people in Arkansas, whose values Holt represents.) Yeah, that makes sense; then you can cut out any freedom of speech or activity from anyone to the right of the media. I am sure that is just what the Constitution meant when it guaranteed us freedom of speech.

This latest controversy came about when the media learned that Holt had sent out an email supporting Ron Williams and saying, "That’s why it is so imperative we elect judges that will align with our values. Ones who will do what is right and will not make laws from the bench." (Emphasis was in the original email.) God forbid that the values of the majority of the people in this area should be represented on the court.

Compare Holt's email to the one sent out by a Courtney Henry proponent, (see email below) the email that says . "Courtney's support in this election is refreshingly bipartisan." After disparaging Holt and referencing the two articles by the Democrat Gazette and Brumment, the proponent (attorney in large law firm) his email says, "Whatever your views of Jim Holt's tactics, respect is due Mr. Holt's ability to broadcast his message to a group of key voters. As written by one state-wide columnist this week:'"Now Courtney Henry, with all that relevant job experience and bipartisan support, finds herself running against a cabal of...Holtists.'" 3Note one meaning of the word cabal, and from the contest here probably is meant to mean, "sect" or "cult". Hummm 44% of Arkansans who voted for Holt for Lt. Governor involved in a Holtist cult? (Strange)

Of course this proponent of Courtney Henry is not participating in anything that could be called partisan. Referring to Holt and one major party in Arkansas as a "cabal of Holtists" in a email appeal for Courtney Henry's campaign could not possibly by the stretch of anyone's imagination be thought of as partisan.

Talk about swallowing a camel and straining at a gnat!

Senator Holt EARNED this influence by living on a subsistence level while he traveled the state for months on end, working 12 to 16 hour days. He has every right legally and ethically to market the skills he learned just like everyone else does. Thankfully, I know Senator Holt well enough to know that he will never market his influence for anyone whose values do not correspond with his, and so does the media.

That is really what this is all about – Holt's values. The liberal media don't like his values and are so fearful of his success, that they constantly try to beat him down to stamp out men like him who can't be bought or influenced by money, influence, or power. Folks like former Senator Holt really scare them; they can't find a way to control him.

Links used as background material for this article:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard Hammerschmidt is hosting it as well, along with about 50 other Republicans! What has this world come to!

Do you mean bipartisan or nonpartisan?

3:53 PM, April 24, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holt has now been paid $10,000 by Williams.

3:56 PM, April 24, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought you said Holt couldn't be bought.

3:57 PM, April 24, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Holt share Hammerschmidts' values? he endorsed Henry. Or is Holt better than Hammerschmidt/

5:34 PM, April 24, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The BIG DIFFERENCE is that Holt's email, which you chose to site quite sparingly, made statements that Williams is prohibited from saying himself. Trouble is, those pesky ETHICS RULES clearly state that a PAID employee of the candidate is not supposed say things on behalf of the candidate that the candidate is prohibited from saying.

9:36 PM, April 24, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

I remember Hammerschmidt as a man who worked long hours on constituent service and was an expert on transportation infrastructure and veteran's affairs. I don't remember him as much of an idealogical conservative, so I can't answer your question as to whether he shares Holt's values on issues like right-to-life, illegal immigration, size and scope of government, and judicial tyranny. Hammerschmidt left congress just before the 94 revolution. Prior to that he was known as being on of Richard Nixon's (liberal Republican) last defenders.

There is more than one way to be a good representative, and I thought Hammerschmidt was a good representative. So was Holt, for some different reasons. Hammerschmidt has said why he endorsed Henry- he has known her since she was a small girl. It just sounds personal to me, not idealogical.

There is nothing wrong with making an endorsement for personal relationship reasons, but it is inaccurate to read more into it than what it is- that is to say the endorsement does not mean that Courtney Henry is any less liberal than the rest of her liberal Democratic family. Hammerschmidt is probably just not as idealogical as today's conservative republican voter.

4:16 AM, April 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hammerschmidt is probably just not as idealogical as today's conservative republican voter"

Wow. Now that's a bold statement for someone who doesn't remember him.

5:00 AM, April 25, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

What is wrong with you? I did NOT say that I did not remember him, just that I did not remember him as an idealogical conservative. I also stated what I did remember him for.

If you are an example of the logic, comprehension, and fairness of a Henry supporter then I need to write a check to the Williams campaign.

I also dismiss all the hysterical ranting about the "ethics violations". For one thing, the so-called Arkansas Code of Judicial Ethics is itself unethical and unconstitutional. Even liberal judge Wendall Griffin has had issues with it and he was right.

It is part of the problem that the judiciary has so isolated itself from the "consent of the governed" that when you combine it with judicial over-reach you risk the judicial branch losing legitimacy in the eyes of much of the governed. There is no way even the legislature can alter that judicial code to conform with the Constitution of the United States. Instead all they can do is appoint some members to a panel over a course of years, but judges can appoint enough to make sure that there is little chance of real accountability to We the People. We vote, but we vote ignorant, and the code helps keep it that way.

Secondly, I don't see that what was in the email violated the code. It depends on how much one is willing to read into it, not what the text actually said. If one is willing to read things into statements, then I would say Henry herself is guilty of violating the same provisions. She implies on her website that she will take input from the people as to what type of court they want this to be.

I read into this that she will let public pressure influence the way she makes her decisions rather than the facts of the individual case and the original intent of the law.

See how it works? If one is willing to read enough into a statement, they are both "guilty" of "ethics" violations. I don't think either of the are, because I am less willing to read into their statements things that are not actually there but also because I challenge the legitimacy of the code itself.

11:50 AM, April 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen the Holt email. Perhaps you could provide a link to it instead of just proclaiming that it has been taken out of context? Please post it for everybody to read. Williams should want that, as it openly asks for money and lists Holt's mailing address as where to send the money.

Holt begins by saying "I know you will find this hard to believe, but currently in good-old Arkansas homosexuals are allowed to adopt children!"

(thereby confirming he understands the current status of Arkansas' adoption law -- as it is written by our Arkansas duly-elected legislators)

Holt then states "I know Ron Williams and I know he holds our values as his own."

(values that obviously dislike the current state of the law allowing homosexuals to adopt children)

Holt then states "I will ONLY support someone who I believe has true character and who is not afraid to do what is right no matter what the cost."

(Williams will rule according to his internal value system, i.e., true character)

OK-- so why did Holt not stop right there?? But Holt doesn't stop - he has to bring it full circle and make his point with the following:

"please join me in supporting Ron Williams for Arkansas Court of Appeals by giving what you can to protect the most needy and vulnerable children of Arkansas."

Why must Holt connect the dots between donating money to Williams and protecting vulnerable children, if Holt's comment were not intended to make perfectly clear that Williams will refuse to uphold the current state of the adoption law?

Such approach is exactly the opposite of conservative judicial philosophy. It is known precisely as judicial activism.

I hate judicial activism. You should too.

2:26 PM, April 25, 2008  
Anonymous Mark Moore said...

If you hate judicial activism, then you should hate the ruling where the courts over-ruled DHS and told them they had to use the power of the state to enable homosexual couples access to young children.

The LEGISLATURE did not say homosexuals could do that, they left it to DHS and DHS said, in the interests of the children, they can't. The COURTS then bench-legislated in favor of homosexual activists who favor using the power of the state to give them access to young children. The legislature is as spineless toward the courts as they are towards Beebe, so they did not dare step in after the judges bench-legislated.

As for the email: You are connecting the dots, but a plain reading of the full email does not connect them. Williams is not, through Holt or otherwise, committing himself to any ruling on any particular case before he hears the evidence. As I read it, it is carefully worded to avoid doing that, and says only that Williams will do what he knows is right.

Again, if I wanted to play the dot-connect game with Henry's website I can make the case that she is saying that she will let public pressure change her decisions.

2:44 PM, April 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark, thank you for schooling this stooge, whoever it is.

5:54 PM, April 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you saying that no attorney in the state of Arkansas should ever contribute to the campaign fund of ANY non-partisan judicial candidate? I, for one, am absolutely shocked that any law firm or lawyer would support a judicial candidate. Surely judges should expect to be elected without having the support (financial and otherwise) of those in the profession. I'm sure glad to know Mr. Williams hasn't accepted money from attorneys and firms who might one day appear before him...

2:32 PM, April 30, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm...a quick look at the financial disclosure reports that have been filed shows contributions from:

Keith, Miller, Butler & Webb - $500
The Bassett Firm, PC - $100
Jim Roe (Tyson attorney) - $150
Robert Rhoads (attorney) - $100
Peter Kumpe (Williams & Anderson) - $250
David Nixon (Nixon Law Firm) - $250
Blythe Whithead (atty) - $100

Oh my God, we can't have that...these attorneys and firms might have cases that one day make it to the Court of Appeals. Clearly this is unacceptable. Since Courtney Henry can't do it, neither can Ron Williams. Don't be hypocritical.

2:39 PM, April 30, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe this whole issue started when the media jumped on Holt for his actions in the matter. I was only trying to point out that there is as much or more partisan politics on the part of Courtney Henry, and Holt was being treated unfairly. Why didn't you report the donations to Courtney Henry by attorneys and not just Williams? There is no way to keep an election nonpartisan as this race exhibits. The best thing to do is to allow citizen free speech even as our founding fathers wrote in the Constitution. Debbie

11:41 AM, May 07, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You missed the point of my post, Debbie. The author was making a claim that because Courtney received support from a certain law firm that she would be beholden to that firm in the future. I just wanted to show that Ron had received similar support and the same question could be asked of him. The author of this blog can't make the claim against Courtney and totally ignore the fact that Ron could be susceptible to the same influences.

7:54 PM, May 12, 2008  
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