Former State Rep. Fred Smith’s record has been cleared, according the AP. You might recall that Smith previously resigned from office after it was uncovered that he had a felony conviction. Under Arkansas law, he was not allowed to hold any state office.
Smith resurfaced in the news a few weeks ago after he filed to seek his old seat once again, calling himself “Tim Tebow.” The Democrat Party of Arkansas was very upset, saying they warned Smith he wouldn’t be able to get his filing fee back after he was ruled ineligible. Then they changed course & offered him his filing fee–$3,000–in exchange for his surrender in the race.
Well, it appears the former Globetrotters’ hail mary pass has been caught. A judge has expunged his record, effectively ruling him eligible as a candidate.
This most recent development is leaving egg all over faces in central Arkansas. First of all, the Democrat Party, who announced Tuesday they were suing to remove Smith from contention. They have been just downright angry about Smith’s reemergence.
Secondly, our dear friend Maxwell Brantley, who has been very upset about Smith being allowed on the ballot. And unfortunately for him, he was all too quick to blame Smith’s filing on Secretary of State Mark Martin, saying Martin shouldn’t have accepted Smith’s filing, yet placing no blame at the feet of the Democrats who simply could’ve refused Smith’s filing fee themselves.
Now if Max were a Republican, of course his criticism of Smith would be racially motivated. But since he’s a Dem–and we know they are unequivocally incapable of racism–I see no way to categorize his comments as anything other than desperate, petty, and detached. (And as he agreed in a Twitter conversation a few weeks ago, I am free to ‘make what I will’ of his comments & apply them to the Democrat Party as a whole, as he has tried to do with Rush Limbaugh’s comments over the past few weeks.)
No matter what Martin had done regarding Smith’s filing, Brantley & the Dems would’ve cried foul. If Martin had refused it, there would have been waves of charges 0f racism & ‘partisan politics’ coming forth from the local Left. And we have seen the result & petty finger pointing that has resulted due to the actions that Martin’s office took.
From my perspective, Martin’s office was right to be cautious about rejecting Smith’s filing and letting a court determine his eligibility. A lawsuit was inevitable, regardless of what they did, and now a ruling has been made regarding his felony conviction. We will wait and see what the Democrat Party does with its lawsuit regarding his eligibility for office, but it certainly appears that their legal leg has been broken.