Mayor Mark Stodola has responded to my e-mail last night about threats to arrest petitioners on city streets outside the Riverfest grounds.
The confusion over location was supposed to be handled at 4:30 p.m. yesterday when I heard from the medical marijuana people. At 6:30pm I heard from Baker Kurrus [working on ethics petition drive] who said there was still a problem and I gave a 2nd directive that the petitioners had a right to stand at the gate entrances and solicit signatures.
At 10 pm I also heard from Nate [Coulter, another ethics petition supporter] who also told me of the situation. I again contacted both [City Manager] Bruce [Moore] and the [police] Chief and reiterated the directive.
The Chief contacted me and advised that the scene commander had advised the troops and the issue had been corrected. He advised that there was a dispute with the RF staff over the “leased premises.” I just read your post about Kum and Go. I am very angry about this and about this and intend express my extreme displeasure. Ridiculous!
This is simple, direct and correct. Now the question is whether Riverfest controls Little Rock police or the mayor does. David Couch, the lawyer who worked with ethics petitioners last night, thinks the issue has been resolved. We’ll know soon.
UPDATE: A Riverfest spokesman insists this morning that this was all a case of miscommunication and that Riverfest never wanted to suppress canvassers outside the festival grounds. In any case, canvassers were lawfully petitioning without problems by 11 a.m. The photo shows them gathering for instructions before hitting the streets this morning.