One name that is notably absent from the list of White County JP candidates: Bud(weiser) Osborn of District 12.
I broke the story that Osborn had been arrested on Thanksgiving Day of last year. He was cited for driving left of center, driving off a marked road, and driving while intoxicated. The story quickly became statewide news.
Then Osborn told the paper he wasn’t that drunk.
Then he plead ‘not guilty’ at a hearing in January. (He is scheduled to appear in court in May)
Not only is Osborn not seeking re-election, but the Democrats have failed to field a candidate in his stead. Former Republican JP Joel Pritchett of Searcy will retake the seat unopposed. Mr. Pritchett currently serves as the chairman of the White County Republican committee.
Retiring isn’t quite the same as resigning, but it’s close. Osborn’s retirement is a testament to the ability of average citizens, through social media & hard work, to expose inappropriate behavior by elected officials–and hold them accountable. Had I not received an anonymous tip & done my due diligence, Mr. Osborn would likely still be on the court.
We can make a difference. We are making a difference. And I like to think that the champion of transparent government, Andrew Breitbart would be proud.
Governor Beebe has submitted his latest budget, totaling approximately $4.7 billion in spending. But Republican legislators are saying ‘not so fast.’
As reported by Today’s THV & The Associated Press, Republican lawmakers have put the brakes on the Governor’s proposal until their request for $21 million in cuts can be discussed. Talk Business is reporting that the 11 agencies that would receive cuts are as follows:
- Department of Education
- Department of Human Services – Aging and Adult Services & Grants
- Heritage Department
- Agriculture Department
- Labor Department
- Higher Education
- Economic Development
- Parks and Tourism
- Department of Environmental Quality
- Miscellaneous Agencies
$21 million is really a just a fraction of the cuts that we need. Our state government has been growing at an enormous rate for the past ten years (more on this in a few weeks). So while $21 million is better than nothing, and these Republicans deserve praise for their courage, we can’t stop here.
This is the type of work conservatives across the state have been looking for. If Republicans want to truly make this a two-party state, these are the types of battles they need to be fighting–and they must hold the line. To propose these cuts & then cave would be an even worse political disaster than not proposing any cuts at all. If Republicans want to have a strong voice in Little Rock–and perhaps even be the majority party this time next year–they had better make some stands during this fiscal session. Leadership is even more difficult than dissension. If they can’t stand their ground now, in this political & economic climate, we shouldn’t expect them to stand on principle when they’re in power.
Now, I know many of these legislators, and I have faith in most of them, but they have much to prove to the people of Arkansas and this is their chance. Even in this election year, with this economy, it will not be easy for this state to retreat from 100+ years of Democrat leadership. People, for the most part, are comfortable with the familiar. That’s not to say they’re comfortable with all of the failed Democrat policies we’ve been enduring for over a century–such as our state’s abysmal record on education and taxes–but they are going to have to be convinced to change. They need to see clear, strong contrasts.
If Republicans want to lead this state, they’ve got to show their mettle now. Let the games begin.
A large group of Republican Arkansas legislators–58 to be exact–are among the 333 legislators from across the country that have joined Cato Institute’s latest amicus brief against Obamacare’s mandate requiring all U.S. citizens to purchase health insurance. Among the Arkansas legislators on the list are my state representative Mark Biviano, my state senator Jonathan Dismang, and Rep. Jeremy Gillam who represents rural White County.
The brief, which has been filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, outlines 3 key arguments against the Obama mandate:
- The Individual Mandate Exceeds the Scope of the Necessary and Proper Clause as Used to Execute the Power to Regulate Interstate Commerce Under the “Substantial Effects” Doctrine.
- The Individual Mandate Cannot be Justified as an “Essential Part of a Broader Regulatory Scheme” Because Congress Cannot Regulate Inactivity.
- The Individual Mandate is Not “Proper” Under the Necessary and Proper Clause Because It Constitutes an Unconstitutional Commandeer-ing of the People.
You can read the full brief here. It is quite exquisite.
This development comes on the heels of the announcement last week that a group of GOP leaders in the state House & Senate are throwing their support behind the National Debt Relief Amendment, a bill that would require a vote of a majority of state legislatures before the national debt ceiling could be raised. These are the types of reforms that Arkansans are looking for, and if the GOP takes the majority in both chambers next year–for the first time in the state’s history–these are the types of reforms that will be expected.
As Advance Arkansas Institute President Dan Greenberg has said, the battle to defeat Obamacare will be waged in the state legislatures. That battle is part of a much larger power struggle between states & the federal government. As a nation of states, we have a much better chance at fending off the ever-growing federal bureaucracy if we elect state legislators that are committed to restoring state sovereignty. We must have legislators that recognize the battle we are in, and what the stakes really are.
Right now, thanks to the leadership of the Republican caucus, the people of Arkansas are on the offensive.
Multiple news sources now reporting that at 11:00 EST, Texas Governor Rick Perry will drop out of the GOP presidential race and endorse former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
This is really an incredible development, especially considering that we all went to bed last night thinking that the story of the next three days would be Gingrich’s ex-wife’s primetime interview. Now, going into tonight’s debate, the entire national story line is Perry-Gingrich.
Now that Romney is clearly, clearly threatened (their campaign has been showing signs of this in the last few days), it will be interesting to see what demeanor he takes on in tonight’s debate. I suspect he will come out swinging.
State Representative Justin Harris (R-West Fork) has officially retracted his endorsement of Texas Governor Rick Perry for the Republican nomination for president.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Harris cited Perry’s comments about those who oppose in-state tuition for illegal immigrants as “heartless” as a key factor in his decision:
I was asked by Perry’s Campaign in Austin, Texas, if I planned on endorsing him. This came right after Perry made the statement that you are heartless if you do not believe illegal immigrants should receive in-state tuition. I let them know that I fully disagreed and took a lot of heat for the AR HB 2008 from Democrats, and did not appreciate being called heartless by the Texas Governor. I told them that at this point, “I am out, but I will think about it”. I then received two phone calls, one was to hear an apology from the Gov., and the other an apology from his campaign people. I then watched, Governor Perry take back his statement. With a promise of an apology and a word from campaign staff that he was truly sorry, I gave my OK. I have done research and found thousands of illegal residents received in-state tuition in Texas. Which, no surprise to anybody, I am against.
Harris also says he is more interested in doing the right thing than the politically expedient thing:
I have been told, by particular persons on the list, that I will appear wishy washy. I think I have shown conservatives and the people of Arkansas, that I am an independent thinker. Remember, I was the only vote not to seat then State Representative-Elect Fred Smith, who later had to resign due to a felony. It was my first vote in the House, before the regular session, and it was lonely. I would rather be lonely, and do the right thing, than to have people around me that only have their interests at heart.
I do not intend to cast judgment on whether or not the initial endorsement was right or wrong, or whether this retraction is right or wrong, but in more general terms, I will say that doing the right thing is very lonely and Rep. Harris has shown the courage to follow his convictions–only countless issues–regardless of the political consequences. We need more like him in Little Rock.