A tout today for some items in this week’s issue of the Arkansas Times.
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- Brian Chilson
- ERNIE P.’S GHOST: It lives in a sweet deal for a lottery vendor.
* LOTTERY AND ERNIE P.’S LEGACY: Lindsey Millar’s cover story explains in detail how the Arkansas Lottery got put into a very bad deal with major lottery vendors by former director Ernie Passailaigue. This is the deal the Lottery Commission just tried to clean up after the fact. Questions linger. One of them is: If unauthorized state payments were made for two years (the lottery vendor, naturally, argues this is not the case) can they really legalize them after the fact? Legal minds are inquiring. But here’s the real takeaway: The lottery vendor got a much richer deal than approved by Lottery Commission and legislative oversight committee and Arkansas can’t point to any meaningful benefit. Given the chance to explain, Ernie P. wouldn’t.
* REPUBLICANS AND WR’S LEGACY: As I’ve mentioned before, Ernest Dumas provides some needed facts this week to evaluate recent debate on what sort of Republican Winthrop Rockefeller was. Particularly useful is his reminder that Ed Bethune — lately the voice of Republican indignation over Democrats’ factual observation that WR’s politics were a good deal different than those of the modern GOP — was a fierce critic of one of Rockefeller’s most famous decisions of principle, freeing Death Row inmates.
* RAZORBACKS AND THE PETRINO LEGACY: My column this week admits my error in predicting the University of Arkansas wouldn’t fire Bobby Petrino. I provide some reasons not to nominate Athletic Director Jeff Long for sainthood just yet, as commendable as his decison on Petrino was. Beau Wilcox’s Pearls About Swine column considers the Razorback’s coaching and future and calms fans about the state of things.
* THE BLUES AND BIG BILL BROONZY’S LEGACY: Check out entertainment for Jeremy Glover’s piece on influential bluesman Big Bill Broonzy.
* PAT ROBERTSON AND THE DEVIL’S LEGACY: Bob Lancaster riffs this week on Bro. Pat Robertson’s statement that homosexuality is a sign of demonic possession. Bob has his own list of examples of demonic possession. Dick Cheney, for example. Maybe even those falling blackbirds in Beebe.
And there’s the proverbial lots more. Cruise around the site if you can’t pick a paper up. It’s all on-line.
UPDATE: Gov. Mike Beebe is back in town and David Goins of Fox 16 quotes him thusly on that lottery deal:
Beebe says his atty reviewed lottery vendor contract, “it’s legal, but it’s not right”
SPEAKING OF BAD LOTTERY DEALS: An exhaustive and definitive piece of reporting in Texas Monthly validates Dan Rather’s reporting on George W. Bush’s military record and, in the process, makes the case that an old-fashioned political deal — silence about Bush’s string-pulling in return for Bush’s acquiescence to smelly Texas lottery dealing with a big vendor — was central to the story.