Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bisbee Hurls Accusations at Veteran's Group

Ugly accusations and an unflattering photograph. Morning News photographer William Moore (as far as I know, no relation) captures the spirit of the press conference. From left, Harrison, Hines, Bisbee.
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State Senator Dave Bisbee is in a June 10th run-off against former JP Bill Adams in the race for Benton County Judge. Bisbee sent the mud flying yesterday by claiming in a press conference that the sole purpose of the Northwest Arkansas Veterans Association was to support a particular candidate, Adams, and then sell endorsements to support itself. This is according to a well-worth reading article by Morning News reporter Scarlet Sims.

I have asked around about the group and there is simply no way Bisbee's accusation could be true. Those guys have been around awhile, marching in Memorial Day events, showing elementary school children the proper way to fold flags, and even raising money to help veterans in need. Their forays into political endorsements seem to be recent and very "unslick". They sent the Moore household a very simple black and white card with their endorsements on it. Bill Adams for County Judge was one of them.

When Adams got the endorsement, he was delighted, but an endorsement is no good if people don't know about it. He offered to partially finance mailing cards to people. The money Adams raised went to mail the cards, not line the pockets of Veteran's group members. There is nothing against the law or the ethics commission rules in doing that.

Further, reporter Sims actually went to the trouble of calling several other candidates that were endorsed by the group to see if the group's endorsement was "bought". Two endorsed candidates said that neither Adams nor the group asked them for money in exchange for an endorsement. A third said that Adams asked him to chip in to help mail the endorsements to voters, but he declined. The group endorsed him anyway.

Dave Bisbee has a reputation as a slick operator. This has to be the most ham-fisted political move he has ever made. The other defeated candidates, Kevin Harrison, David Glass, and Greg Hines, stood with Bisbee yesterday. Why would the other three defeated candidates risk their reputations to stand by Bisbee and with him make such wild accusations at a veteran's group? Well, I have heard some rumors as to why they would, and those answers are not pretty. Developing......

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