Smoking Section: All the World’s Watching Cigarette Tax Vote

If you’ve been following this whole smoking tax business, you know that there are a few hold-outs in the Arkansas House who’ve not yet signaled their intention for how they will vote — which in some cases, as the Under the Dome blog notes, is a strategic pose employed by some canny legislating types to get leverage for their own bills.

Columnist David Sanders takes a look at the landscape:

Do the math. There are now 28 Republicans serving in the House and state constitution requires 75 affirmative votes to pass any tax other than a sales tax, which only requires a simple majority. If the governor and speaker had all the Democrats on board — which is in doubt — then they would only need three Republicans to break ranks and vote with them. According to the latest estimates, 70 Democrats are on board with the tax.

Likewise, the Tolbert Report is in full vote counting mode, with a (shrinking) list of Republicans to watch as the vote comes down to the wire.

Roby Brock has it at 74 votes for.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Robert “Robbie” Wills, a smugly censorious anti-smoking scold if there ever was one, lines up a few GOP ‘yea’ votes for the increase.

ALSO: Does Sanders break a little news in his column? He says GOP Rep. Roy Ragland is planning a run for lieutenant governor next year. This is something that’s been floating around for some months now, but as far as I know it’s the first place I’ve seen it published. (That’s right! I actually heard a rumor that I didn’t rush to publish on The Arkansas Project. I know, I don’t know what got into me either.)

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23 thoughts on “Smoking Section: All the World’s Watching Cigarette Tax Vote

  • February 4, 2009 at 9:21 am
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    If Ragland runs for LG, which I suspect now he will not, then he’ll get his butt creamed. What is it with GOP ministers who run for office get elected and support taxes? First Huckabee and now Ragland.

    Reply
  • February 4, 2009 at 9:51 am
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    I’m very disappointed by Roy. He should be with the Republicans. This is a shallow move on his part.

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  • February 4, 2009 at 10:07 am
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    Another interesting part of Sanders column:

    “A spokesman for the Springdale-based Victims Voice, the group that ran television ads against Mike Huckabee in South Carolina during last year’s GOP presidential contest, said the group would run ads against Summers if he votes for the tax. Several Republicans in the area claim that it wouldn’t be hard to find a quality Republican to challenge him in a GOP primary.”

    Reply
  • February 4, 2009 at 10:53 am
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    I cant beleive Roy. I must say I am disapointed as well. I have spent some time around him and this seems out of character for him.

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  • February 4, 2009 at 1:10 pm
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    Wow! Bill and I agree!

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  • February 4, 2009 at 2:20 pm
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    I wish I lived in NWA so I could help that outfit take down Tim Summers. I got on the Google just now and found these quotes from Tim Summers on taxes.

    1) April 19, 2008, Benton County Daily Record, “House Candidates Face Off at Chamber Forum in Rogers”; the quote is, “All four candidates said they oppose new taxes; and all called for the elimination of the rest of the state sales tax on groceries. . .” 
     
    2) April 26, 2008, Benton County Daily Record, “GOP House Candidates Discuss Issues at Forum (They addressed the Republican Men of Benton County on Friday); the quote is, “Expanding the tax base, not raising taxes, has been a winning formula for northwest Arkansas and Benton County, and Summers would like to see that formula continue to be used, he said.” 
     
    3) May 3, 2008, Benton County Daily Record, “Boozman, Summers Seeking District 99 State House Seat”; the quote is, “Both candidates said they would strongly oppose any new taxes.”
     
    4) May 16, 2008, The Morning News, “Familiar Names Seek House Position”; the quote is, ” ‘I’m for growing the tax base, not raising the tax rate,’ Summers said.  He also favors reducing the grocery tax as much as the state’s budget situation will allow, he said.”

    I think it is pretty clear Tim Summers wasn’t honest with the voters of his district.

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  • February 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm
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    Repubs will kill the cigarette tax, but they will offer other “solutions”. Like fining more $ from DUI offenders, good luck- we can’t collect as it is.

    So where do we get the loot for a trauma system? You don’t.

    Screw ’em. I hate sick folks anyway.

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  • February 4, 2009 at 5:57 pm
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    You mean that we can’t find 28 million out of a billion dollar budget to fund something as important as a trauma system? We are running a surplus.

    The bulk of the money is going to the general fund, not to the trauma system or health care. Read the bill.

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  • February 4, 2009 at 6:30 pm
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    The general fund and its surplus are beginning to run slim, and will get even slimmer now that these yahoos get to meet every year.

    Nonetheless, I feel you have missed my point. I’m not from here, at least not originally. I don’t like you people, your big four door trucks, your ignorance actively pursued, your rebel flags, and your big fat asses throwing cigarette butts out the window. I hope you all have heart attacks at the feeding swill buffets after baptist church on Sunday, crash said truck, with no trauma center to go to. Seriously.

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  • February 4, 2009 at 7:41 pm
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    Authentic,

    The feeling is mutual. And you can move back to what ever ivory tower you have condescended from. I know a Leonatus like yourself is certainly missed by some Imogene back home, so if you can get your big fat head through the door, run back to her. Flee! Flee these slope-headed rednecks. After all, you are obviously more intellegent, better looking and better informed than they.

    Reply
  • February 4, 2009 at 7:59 pm
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    Ha! Like I said, ignorance actively pursued.

    I don’t want to leave. I love this state. It’s beautiful. It’s the natural state. The thing is, you rednecks don’t deserve it. I want you all to choke on your deep fried country steaks and Marlboro reds with no trauma center to go to. I want you all to perish in your stupidity so that reasonable, intelligent people that recognize a trauma center is necessary can take over. You know, liberals.

    Reply
  • February 4, 2009 at 8:14 pm
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    Thank you for giving us a good look at the heart of your ilk. You sick desire to watch people choke on various substances brings to mind that it is also possible to choke on one’s own bile.

    Re: your desire to see the state expunged of the natives and replaced by liberals.

    The Duggars and those who see the world at least a little like them will inheirit the Earth. While liberals are aborting their offspring and putting vile diseases on one another that destroy fertility, the people of the soil love families and nurture children. It is to these that the future belongs.

    Reply
  • February 4, 2009 at 8:21 pm
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    Argumentum ad ignorantiam and argumentum ad hominem. I am astounded by your mental acuity. Reasonable, intelligent and let us not forget to add your compassion, your enlightened view of your fellows, how much you feel the pain of the common man. The things that make you, you know, a liberal.
    I guess some animals are more equal than others.

    Reply
  • February 4, 2009 at 8:27 pm
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    ooh- I have ilk now! I’m moving up in the world.

    I have no sick desires. At least none that I’ll disclose here. All you have Mr. Moore, is a serious lack of recognition of sarcasm. Do us all a favor and read, this time slowly, what I have posted.

    OK- that probably won’t work- so I’ll be blunt. WE NEED A FREAKING TRAUMA SYSTEM YOU REDNECK MORON! You know, like all the other states.

    As far as the Duggars, I’m betting that Michelle must be a hellcat in the sack. That would explain a lot.

    Reply
  • February 4, 2009 at 8:31 pm
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    Fourche,

    I’m just getting warmed up. And I suspect I’m a person of much more common means than yourself. And don’t beat me up, since I’m now an “animal”, as you say, and thats now a felony.

    Reply
  • February 4, 2009 at 9:23 pm
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    I think I like this Authentic Frontier Gibberish character. He has a knack for keeping things lively.
    D.

    Reply
  • February 4, 2009 at 9:37 pm
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    …and not reading Orwell.

    Reply
  • February 4, 2009 at 10:24 pm
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    AFG (as opposed to APG)

    All conservative women are hellcats in the sack. Didnchaknow? Nah, I guess you wouldn’t.

    Reply
  • February 5, 2009 at 8:35 am
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    Where to begin…

    Buster- I dont buy your blanket statement on conservative women. Some are, others are quite frigid. But,…Attaboy…..

    AFG-You aint from ’round here? wow…

    Moore- Who wants to take my bet that one of the Duggar kids will turn out a) gay b)a pedaphile c)on meth and/or d)preggers before marriage? If not all of the above.

    Then what will you have to say for them and their ilk?

    Keep breathing thru the mouth, ya’ll…..

    Reply
  • February 5, 2009 at 12:24 pm
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    A gay pregnant meth-head pedophile? I think I’ve found the girl of my dreams!
    D.

    Reply
  • February 5, 2009 at 1:04 pm
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    BR549,

    I haven’t thought about Attaboy in ages. What good memories you bring flooding back to me.

    Reply
  • February 5, 2009 at 8:03 pm
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    a Ga-Pregger-Meth-Pedo-Head? Possibly in some parts of Clay county. But that’s just because that whole place still doesn’t have any power, thus none internets and no knowledge of what we say of them.

    This could be fun.

    Nah… well, Rector should be nuked from orbit, but the rest is ok.

    Reply
  • February 8, 2009 at 10:28 pm
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    Ragland, Sample & Green are cttee. chairman, and Pyle is a vice-chair, all appointed by the Speaker, so their votes are understandable, not that I agree, but understandable nonetheless.
    Summers won’t be called “No Tax Tim” anytime soon. Pushing the green button on this tax may make him a one-termer. Justice indeed, if so.

    Reply

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