As promised, Ernest Dumas, who was an eyewitness, has joined the discussion on the Arkansas Republican Party’s recent efforts to cloak itself in the good done by Winthrop Rockefeller when his wealth enabled him to upend the Arkansas political system and get elected governor.
Commentary by the likes of former Congressman Ed Bethune have been along the lines of: “WR was good; WR was a Republican; Republicans today are better than crooked Democrats.” Lacking has been much examination of the fine and progressive things Rockefeller stood for against some diametrically opposite leanings in the modern day Republican Party.
Read on for details — a tax increase proposal worth $3 billion today to dramatically increase government spending, particularly on social programs. Help for organized labor. Stern opposition to the death penalty as evidenced by his Death Row commutations, about which a pertinent note on Ed Bethune, who’s been moaning about Democrats’ commentary:
The harshest attack on him came from Ed Bethune, whom Rockefeller had appointed as a prosecuting attorney. Bethune asked the attorney general, Democrat Joe Purcell, to declare Rockefeller’s commutations illegal, but Purcell said the governor had that constitutional power.
If a Republican officeholder in Arkansas, or anywhere, supports even one of all those initiatives, let him or her speak up.