McLean Cuts Class

McLean Plays Hooky

Rep. James McLean, chair of the House Education Committee, has been skipping class. You’ll remember McLean from our reporting last month. He’s in a state Senate race against former House member Linda Collins-Smith, a conservative Republican. McLean is the inaugural member of the ever-growing Davy Carter wing of the Arkansas Democratic Party. In his endorsement, Carter said: At a minimum, to be a “great public servant” and someone “who works across party isles,” you have to show up … [Read more...]

Pearson Gets HB 1042 Exactly Wrong


It is election season, and therefore the season of curious political ads -- as well as patently false advertising. Today’s special comes from a recent postcard from Arkansas Democrats’ boy wonder, Tyler Pearson, who is fresh out of graduate school and running against incumbent state Sen. Jason Rapert. The Pearson campaign recently sent out a postcard criticizing Rapert’s vote supporting eminent domain by greedy oil companies, citing HB 1042. The postcard breathlessly explains: "Rapert's … [Read more...]

The Bowen Gym: Not Just Indefensible, But Also Illegal!

Bowen Gym - Legal Training

You might recall our earlier coverage when Attorney General Dustin McDaniel "donated" $100,000 of your money to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law – to subsidize what appears likely to be a sickness-causing fitness center. (The gym, containing seven fitness machines, lacks any shower facilities or any other way for patrons to clean themselves; because of limited shower facilities in the basement, it is only usable by about two law students at any given time, assuming … [Read more...]

My Favorite Proposal to Amend the Constitution


Earlier this week, we had guest commentary from Michael Farris and Nick Dranias on Article V reform. We hear lots and lots of talk about how we need to amend the federal Constitution. I have lots of friends tell me how important it is to have a Balanced Budget Amendment and a congressional term limits amendment. I agree. But I think it’s probably just as important – and maybe more so – to limit the immense power of federal regulators by constitutional amendment. One reason for that is that at … [Read more...]

Introducing “Article V 2.0”: The Compact for a Balanced Budget


After we ran our piece yesterday about Mike Farris’s appearances in Arkansas next week, it occurred to me that we ought to make it clear that Farris’s approach to Article V activism isn’t the only path to federal constitutional reform. The following is a guest editorial from Nick Dranias of the Goldwater Institute, who presents his own take on Article V strategies below.   Introduction What if the states could advance and ratify a powerful federal balanced budget amendment in just … [Read more...]

Is It Time to Trip the Article V Fire Alarm?


Article V of the Constitution provides that, “The Congress...on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments...”  Has the time come for the states to exercise this option?  Michael Farris, the National Director of the Convention of States Project (, will be in Arkansas during the week beginning September 29 for a number of speaking engagements where he will address this issue and present the … [Read more...]

Why Arkansas Voters Don’t Like Higher Internet Sales Taxes


The following is a guest editorial from Andrew Moylan (executive director, R Street Institute) and Doug Kellogg (communications manager, National Taxpayers Union) about the Marketplace Fairness Act, which is proposed federal legislation that would allow state governments to tax out-of-state businesses. It sounds counter-intuitive, but the Internet sales tax enforcement scheme outlined in the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) is not actually a new tax; in fact, both opposing sides of the debate … [Read more...]

Last Week’s Desperate Political Attacks: A Brief Review


Now that election season has arrived, the scent of desperation in the latest attacks on Republican candidates is becoming increasingly apparent. If you want to see this desperation catalogued, you can take a look at Max Brantley’s regular contributions to the Arkansas Times’ blog, which have recently functioned as a kind of flea market for bottom-tier campaign attacks. In the past few days, I knew that Brantley’s peculiar aggregation of attacks reminded me of something, but I couldn’t figure out … [Read more...]