House Speaker More Loyal to Obamacare than Political Party

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In the course of tweeting the finer points of the Miss America pageant Sunday night, Speaker of the House (and alleged Republican) Davy Carter apparently thought it would be a good time to endorse James McLean, a Democrat, in his race against Republican candidate, Linda Collins-Smith. I e-mailed Carter to see if this was an official endorsement, but I never heard back from him. Carter’s statement is one of many examples that show how private option architects are becoming increasingly … [Read more...]

Arkansas’ Republican Future

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Fred Barnes just published a fascinating article in the Weekly Standard about the collapse of the Democratic Party in Arkansas. He visited Arkansas last week and interviewed (and quoted) a lot of smart, perceptive people. He also talked to me. One interesting thing about Barnes’s piece is that it lets the facts speak for themselves. He draws attention to the timeline of the erosion and disappearance of our state legislature’s Democratic majority, which began two years after President Obama … [Read more...]

Arkansas Needs More Accountability for Executive Sessions

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We’ve previously written about ways Arkansas’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) could be improved. A story in today’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette shows the need for more accountability in government bodies’ executive sessions, which are currently exempt from public scrutiny under Arkansas’s FOIA. From the article: Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Hunter has issued a letter of admonishment and caution to Jefferson County Election Commission Chairman Ted Davis, ruling that Davis … [Read more...]

1.) Dump More People On Medicaid 2.) Brag About Cost Savings 3.) Repeat

Beebe Misleads

Governor Mike Beebe, and other private option advocates, would have you believe that everything is going swell for the program -- especially after the prices for the 2015 exchange policies showed a slight net decrease. One Republican backer of the private option recently told the Arkansas Times: This is good news. These are early indications of what our costs will be in 2015 for the private option and these are lower than what we anticipated, both in our planning and what was approved in the … [Read more...]

Misusers of Taxpayer Dollars Get Light Punishment

Tax Misusers

A new report by the Division of Legislative Audit was released today which shows a troubling trend of many elected officials and government employees misusing taxpayer dollars and receiving no greater punishment than a “warning letter” from prosecutors. From the report: Criminal charges were filed in 33 of 246 matters referred to the Prosecuting Attorney. Fourteen cases are pending in court, one case was acquitted or dismissed, and the remaining 18 cases...a conviction was obtained and … [Read more...]

Who Will Regulate the Regulators?

Phony Cops in Arkansas

We often write about Arkansas’s out-of-control desire to license and regulate more and more businesses. Just last week, we wrote about the ingenious folks at the state Board of Health, who have been trying to force hair braiders to take a thousand hours of useless classes before they’re permitted to braid the hair of a single customer. (Last week, the Board of Health -- in the face of a lawsuit by hair braiders -- folded.) However, we want to make one thing clear: we’re very much in favor of … [Read more...]

The Minimum Wage Hike: Hurting Those Who Need Help

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We’ve written here recently about the bad effects a minimum wage hike would have for Arkansas. Given the news today that the minimum-wage increase ballot initiative will be on the ballot in November, we thought it would be a good idea to revisit some of our previous arguments against raising the minimum wage. Perhaps the most detrimental effect of an increased minimum wage is that it excludes low-skilled workers, especially minority workers, from the workplace. Economist Thomas Sowell has … [Read more...]

REPORT: Arkansas A ‘Sinkhole’ State

State Debt 2200 Per Person

If your wallet feels a little lighter lately, that’s because the state of Arkansas has you on the hook for approximately $2,200. According to the 2013 Financial State of the States Report released recently by Truth In Accounting, Arkansas state government owes approximately $9.2 billion, which is more than its $7.5 billion in assets. Arkansas is one of many “sinkhole states” which owe more money than they currently have in assets, according to the report. From the report: The state of … [Read more...]