The missing man in the debate over new congressional district lines is Gov. Mike Beebe. Influential in just about everything else, he’s kept his hands off this. Will that end? I hear House Speaker Robert Moore may talk with the governor today about enlisting his help for the House-passed plan or an agreeable alternative. The question is what Beebe could offer at this point to drag along recalcitrant South Arkansas Democrats, who are the roadblocks to passage of the House bill. Help on legislative redistricting maybe? That WILL be Beebe’s call.

So Fayetteville to the Fourth is not dead yet. Whatever else anyone may think of this plan, it’s worth remembering the well-intentioned rationale for it. It puts a growth area in the 4th District, which needs one, and it gives the one enclave of progressive voters outside Pulaski County a say in putting a Democratic voice in Congress. Those who prefer the representation of Hutchinsons, Boozmans and Womacks may commence firing.

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