Sunday, July 03, 2011

The Ten Best Legislators in the State of Arkansas

Sometimes we can get stuck in a pattern where we over-dwell on the negative in our state government. It is too easy to forget that there are still a lot of true public servants in elected office. Our duty is to pray for all of them, our privilege is to honor those who serve well. Therefore it is with great pleasure that I present to you our list of the "ten Best" legislators in the state of Arkansas, as determined by a confidential panel of activists by these criteria. The "Bottom Ten", or "Ten Worst" list of Arkansas Legislators, click here.

1. Rep. David Meeks (R) Conway

When you have a situation where a number of legislators had very good records, (though none of them perfect), how do you decide who is number one on the list? What sets David Meeks apart is an attitude of service. He is the best listener in the ledge. A major difference between a demogouge and someone who simply listens to his constituents is why they are doing it. His style does not display the smallest trace of self-promotion. He does the right thing, for the right reason. He communicates with the grassroots better than probably any other legislator. When some people get power, they get haughty and view other power holders as the group they want to please. Meeks is true to his name, he has not a trace of haughtiness as he keeps the common people informed. He even deals with criticism with grace and discretion. That means he has the tools needed to get even better. Meeks listens to us, and there are some other legislators who ought to listen to him.

2. Rep. Bryan King (R) Green Forrest

Our panel thinks a lot of Bryan King, and apparently so does his caucus. The Republican House members voted him Minority Leader. With him serving as leader, they had the gumption to stand up to some less principled Republican senators on the issue of tax cuts. He was very active legislatively. He sponsored a lot of bills, and they were good bills. Did he get a lot of them passed? No, but some of those bills are going to be picked up next time and they will have more support as a result of his work this session. His voting record was as good as it got in the state house.

3. Duncan Baird (R) Lowell

Simply an outstanding legislator. He is the "gold standard" when it comes to legislative ethics. He has declared a "not one cup of coffee rule" from lobbyists. A sound social and fiscal conservative who understands where the system needs to be reformed. For example, his proposal to amend the constitution to create a "rainy day fund" would have addressed weaknesses in Arkansas' "Revenue Stabilization" laws that most don't even know exist.

4. Rep. Linda Collins-Smith (D) Pochahontas

Are you surprised to see a Democrat woman with a hyphenated last name from Nick Wilson's hometown on our top ten list? Don't be. Collins-Smith bucked her own party- at great personal and political cost, to do the right thing on a number of issues. That includes a bill that would defund abortion from any Arkansas version of Obamacare that is imposed on the state. Defending innocent human life is the first duty of a just government. Even many Republicans seemed to have forgotten that. Collins-Smith has not, and she took the heat for showing up the democrats posing as "conservative" for what they really are. Her own party may not appreciate her stand, but We the People take notice, and salute her for it.

5. Rep. Nate Bell (R) Mena

One of the few willing to stand up to the Governor and say "no" on the increased budget. Staunch opponent of Obeebecare. A strong proponent of individual property rights. He makes the list for how hard he fights the bad ideas, and how often he supports the good ones- not how many bills he can get passed. That's because most of our trouble is not that we have too few laws, but too many. If there was a place he could improve, it would be responding to criticism with grace equal to the panache he displays when going after the bad bills.

6. Rep Jon Hubbard (R) Jonesboro

What a welcome relief for the people of Jonesboro to have replaced the ultra-liberal Joan Cash with Jon Hubbard. He will not flinch at taking on the "hard issues." What often makes them "hard" is that they promote truth in an age of dishonesty in government. Health issues slowed him, but he would not let them stop him. Jon Hubbard is the Rooster Cogburn of the Arkansas legislature. He goes after the bad guys with "true grit."

7. Rep. Justin Harris (R) Prairie Grove

The liberals hate it that a guy who is conservative as Harris gets state money to operate his "God's Kingdom" daycare. I guess they expect his business to compete with people who take the money while he refuses? And of course the PC crowd tries to claim a monopoly on caring about children. Harris blows up the left's phony paradigm just by doing what he does and doing it well. He has an excellent voting record and a mild demeanor while dealing with activists and constituents. That meekness does not at all hinder him from being steadfast in pursuit of limited government.

8. Rep. Debbie Hobbs (R) Rogers

Most of her bills were too conservative to get passed, but she is game to try and keep pushing the bar forward. She is a friend of disabled children and transparency in how state government distributes money. A pro-liberty legislator who is strong on individual and state rights. Hobbs has a strong overall conservative vision. She has a keen grasp of the nuances of how the legislative process works. Give her a legislature a little less controlled by leftists (in both parties) and she could do some real good.

9. Rep. Andrea Lea (R) Russellville

Sometimes we get so excited over the bold bills that don't really have a chance of passing in this current environment, that we forget to appreciate some very smart legislators who support most of those bold bills, but who are also good at sponsoring more modest efforts which have a greater chance of success. Andrea Lea is an example of this type of legislator. Smart, conservative, ethical, and effective. That's a pretty good set of traits, and it puts Lea on the "Ten Best" list.

10. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R) Hot Springs

Take everything we just wrote about Andrea Lea and apply it to Bruce Westerman as well.


Honorable Mention

There were far more than ten legislators whose conduct merits praise. Even the "Honorable Mention" list is not all-inclusive of the good ones. It is a blessing for our state that this is so. Still, here are the ones who earned more than five points in the balloting, but did not get enough to make the "Ten Best" list. Congratulations to these honorables as well....

Rep. Allen Kerr (R) Little Rock
Senator Johnathan Dismang (R) Beebe
Rep. Jane English (R) Little Rock
Rep. Andy Mayberry (R) Little Rock
Rep. John Charles Edwards (D)Little Rock
Rep. Loy Mauch (R) Bismarck


Anonymous Anonymous said...

While Representative Collins-Smith may have voted the right way on the majority of the bills, she is far from the top 10 legislators. Ask anyone in her district and I am willing to bet they will say she isn't worthy to be a State Representative. She hasn't really done anything to better the district which she is from, but anything to get her more power. That's what she is about, getting more power for herself. Then there's the part of lying about her party, she is NOT a Democrat, but a Republican who ran as a Democrat in order to win. I am willing to bet that she loses in the primary or if by some miracle she doesn't, she will definately lose in the general election.

10:20 AM, July 04, 2011  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

"She hasn't really done anything to better the district which she is from"

Sounds like you want someone to 'bring home the bacon.' I'll bet you voted for Nick Wilson, didn't you?

10:36 AM, July 04, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No actually I didn't vote for Nick Wilson and no I don't want her to bring home to bacon, and I would appreciate if you didn't put words in my mouth. But I do want her to support bills that will help this district and not just her wallet. She is a big supporter of tourism thats ALL she is about. And that's fine, nothing wrong with tourism, but that won't bring the jobs we need to this area, it will not grow business here..but wait it will help her because she owns a hotel. I'm not kidding ask people from the district what they think about her and I'm willing to bet that the majority of people will not speak highly of her. I mean she won the election by only 300 votes against a 20 year old kid and only after spending a lot more money than him. And I will make another bet that come next election she will lose in the Primary or the General.

10:42 AM, July 04, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see our Rep. Loy Mauch make the honorable mention list but he really should be in the Top Ten....the enemy knows about him. I've already found out that he's being talked about on a national level - even in letters to the editor in Calif.! He's solidly pro-Constitution and now they know it. He's the first Republican to ever be elected for our district and he did it with a solid win. There is already a move from the other side to be sure that he does not win again. We're going to counter that move. Loy is a long time student of the Constitution and he voted in this past session like he should have. Every time. If you live in his district, support him with everything you have. We NEED Loy for as long as we can have him. He's a long time neighbor of our's and a friend - and a former bull rider. He knows how to "hang tough"...He's not a die hard Republican and neither are we (even though we are lifelong Republicans) - we just care about our Republic and the Constitution being preserved, protected and upheld. Period.

2:12 PM, July 04, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who actually voted on these legislators? Who makes up your panel? That would be important for readers to know.

2:20 PM, July 04, 2011  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

We would be better off with more Loy Mauch's in the legislature, especially if they replace some of those guys down south on our "Worst Ten" list.

As for the make-up of the panel, I promised them confidentiality because they are activists who work with the legislature and it would hurt their work to offend people. Heck, when someone make "Honorable Mention" and folks complain because he is not listed in the "Top Ten" you know that it is easy to offend even the folks you think highly of. Me, I had to put my name on it because it is my blog. I would have just as well not put my name on it either, but someone has to step forward for the info to get out there.

2:38 PM, July 04, 2011  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...


She co-sponsored the capital gains tax cut bill, and the bill to reduce taxes on energy used for manufacturing. There are others I could name. She also DID in fact bring home her share of the bacon for various community needs, not just tourism. What I see when I look at her record simply does not match what you, an anonymous poster, claims. Ergo, I believe the record. If you don't want me to put words in your mouth, be more clear about what you are trying to say.

Now you may be right about her chances as a Democrat. She ought to leave that corrupt organization and run for re-election as an Independent IMHO.

2:48 PM, July 04, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To get interesting insight into who is really making a difference and getting things done, you should ask the legislators to rate their colleagues. That would be interesting for everyone to see.

3:54 PM, July 04, 2011  
Blogger Linton said...

Not sure I buy Mauch's Confederate flag being a symbol of Christ mumbo jumbo, I don't know much about him besides that.

What's the word on Representative Edwards? I've met him a time or two and know others who speak highly of him.

10:38 AM, July 05, 2011  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Asking the legislators to vote would be like asking pagaentry contestants to vote for "Miss Congeniality" at the pageant. They would vote for someone who was no threat!

4:58 PM, July 05, 2011  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Edwards comments: Writes a lot of sensible bills that get passed into law. None of them are sweeping, but they are all sound. Friend of veterans, and taxpayers. Moved for accountability in state use of government vehicles.

4:59 PM, July 05, 2011  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

IOW he appears to be an actual, living, conservative democrat. A lot of posers out there, and a few real ones.

5:00 PM, July 05, 2011  
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