Report: Only “Robust Growth” in Little Rock Is from Government

Arkansas capitol

Another new study adds to the evidence we’ve written recently about: namely, there's lots of room for improvement with respect to economic growth in central Arkansas. According to the Manhattan Institute’s America’s Top Metros report, the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway area ranks 90 out of 100 metros in economic recovery from the recession since 2009. (To be clear: #1 is the top; #100 is the bottom.) From the report: Unlike most of the bottom 20 on our list, the Little Rock MSA is … [Read more...]

Pryor Attacks Religious Liberty

Hobby Lobby

Last week I wrote about Mark Pryor’s MIA stance on Senator Harry Reid's (and his fellow Senate Democrats’) bill -- the bill that would have essentially overridden the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision,which protectedreligious liberty rights for business owners. I asked his press secretary for a statement regarding his stance on the bill, but she never got back to me. To no one’s surprise, yesterday we found out that Pryor found another area of agreement with Reid on this issue. Pryor … [Read more...]

New DPA Motto: “Equal Pay For Thee, But Not For Me”?

DPA Equal Pay

Taking a page from President Obama’s playbook, the Democratic Party of Arkansas has made it clear that they’re interested in causing a stink about “equal pay” this election cycle. In January, DPA executive director Candace Martin wrote a letter blasting Congressman Tom Cotton and Senator Rand Paul just before Paul visited Arkansas. According to Martin, “Arkansans are fair minded people. When a woman is paid less than a man for doing the exact same job, it’s just not right.” An authorless post … [Read more...]

Pryor Dodges Taking Stance on Dems’ Hobby Lobby Bill

Hobby Lobby

The bad week for Mark Pryor continues. Senator Harry Reid and his fellow Democrats in the Senate on Wednesday introduced a bill that would essentially override the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, which protected religious liberty rights for business owners. From the Washington Post: The Hobby Lobby v. Burwell decision, a 5-4 ruling by the high court last week, said that business owners with religious objections could exercise their right to not cover some kinds of contraception in … [Read more...]

Mark Pryor’s No Good, Very Bad Day

Tornado - Pryor Camp Attack Ad

It seems like just yesterday Mark Pryor staffers and supporters were all excited about a new campaign video regarding Tom Cotton and disaster relief. To me, it seemed a tad cynical to use storm victims as props for a political ad, but I figured maybe I was just being overly sensitive. However, it never occurred to me that at least one of the owners of the damaged property featured in the video was not okay with his property being featured in the ad. But today we found out that’s exactly … [Read more...]

Free Campaign Advice for John Burkhalter

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Something caught my eye last week: namely, an unintentionally hilarious moral lecture from the John Burkhalter for Lieutenant Governor campaign. Burkhalter’s campaign teed off on an idiotic comment made by a GOP activist, Johnny Rhoda, claiming that Hillary Clinton would “probably get shot” if she campaigned in Arkansas. Here’s Burkhalter’s statement: John Burkhalter knows Arkansans - regardless of political party- abhor violence in our politics and our communities. Those are the Arkansas … [Read more...]

The Greatest Political Contest in 2014: Who Can Be Most Offended?

Offensive Kitten

In 2014, the most powerful thing you can do in politics is be “offended” or “outraged.” It’s a tool that campaigns and politicians -- on both sides of the aisle -- often use to generate press coverage, volunteers, and even fundraising. It’s a fun game: if someone attacks you, respond that you’re outraged. If a new poll shows you down by 10 points, get offended and change the conversation. If your opponent says they like kittens, release a statement declaring outrage at such anti-dog values. But … [Read more...]

Teen Unemployment Rising Higher and Higher in Arkansas

Teen Unemployement Rising

Teen unemployment is dramatically on the rise in Arkansas; a proposed minimum wage increase is likely to make it worse. According to the Employment Policies Institute (EPI), Arkansas currently has a teen (16 to 19) unemployment rate of 32 percent, which is up from 21 percent in 2011. Indeed, jobs for teenagers are beginning to become so scarce that they were referred to as “luxury goods” in a recent article. Michael Pakko, chief economist at the Arkansas Institute for Economic Advancement, said … [Read more...]