The line is open. Mopping up:
* BLOWBACK: More here from Roby Brock on the Democratic campaign I mentioned earlier today to brand extremist Republican legislative candidates as enemies of Gov. Mike Beebe’s commonsense governance.
* OPPOSITION RESEARCH: With two months left before election day, the time has arrived for revelations about the unseemly pasts of political candidates, dredged up by opposition researchers (no, not by their friends). Take Republican Rep. Jon Hubbard, please, maybe the angriest and nuttiest of an extreme Republican delegation, someone who makes unconreconstructed Confederate Lincoln hater Rep. Loy Mauch look reasonable. Blue Arkansas reports from public court records on Hubbard’s unsuccessful lawsuit to regain a school district job in which he allegedly “abused sick leave, inflated mileage claims, failed to properly care for the sports equipment, mismanaged funds for referees, and had left school early without arranging adequate student supervision.” An admired businessman, Harold Copenhaver, may retire this Jonesboro embarrassment unless voters are similarly deranged. Jon Hubbard: Personal responsibility and conservative wisdom at its finest. I hope to have soon an excerpt from a Hubbard book that also has people talking.
* CASINO BRIEF: Nancy Todd says her amendment to obtain casino permits in four counties shouldn’t be stricken from the ballot because of the possibility that it could infringe on existing casinos at Oaklawn and Southland Parks. Amen. The tracks have said all along that they don’t operate casinos and that they don’t operate games of chance, merely “electronic games of skills.” How could games of skill possibly be in conflict with Todd’s casinos, should voters approve them? (Note: snark intended.)
* CALLING A LIE A LIE: LA Times is praised for reporting a Republican Convention lie by Rick Santorum a lie in the course of reporting on his speech, rather than turning to an after-the-fact fact-checking function. Unbelievably, some so-called journalists think it’s not quite cricket to inject facts into a report on political rhetoric. Seriously.
* SPEAKING OF NEWSPAPERS: Commentary continues in favor of newspapers making more money from circulation, given the drop in advertising. This article suggests newspapers won’t suffer much of a decline in readership from big subscription price increases because print readers are dedicated. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, pressed enough to be continuing layoffs in its Northwest Arkansas operation, including publisher’s pet Mike Masterson from his job as opinion page editor, is betting on it. It has followed single-copy prices increases earlier this year with big subscription increases, as the publisher had hinted would likely follow. We heard from one reader who said she was going to cancel over an increase in her quarterly rate from $49 to $76, a whopping 55 percent rise. Hard to say exactly what overall subscriptions costs are at D-G, given a variety of discount offers and subscription options, plus the ability reported by many to keep receiving it free even if you cancel. But this website page puts 7-day delivery at $28 a month in Pulaski County (also for Internet only), almost $1 per day, or $336 per year. On the other hand, there’s this page, which says full service home delivery is $180 a year. Arkansas Times is still available on-line and at boxes throughout Central Arkansas for the non-confusing price of free.
UPDATE: Bob Caudle, a columnist for the Hussman-Stephens Northwest Arkansas newspapers combine, wrote on his Facebook page that he was fired today after 20 years. He wrote: “Well, after 20 years at the newspaper, I got laid off today. You know, I’m much too young to feel this damned old …..” Anybody else?
* RED WOLVES PLAN NEW CAGE: Arkansas State University has unveiled plans for a $25 million investment in football facilities, part of the Malzahn-era exuberance, the season opening loss notwithstanding. The money is said to be expected to come entirely from private contributions.
* 21st TECH PARK SITE PROPOSAL: Flake and Kelley realtors have proposed as an alternative to neighborhood sites for the location of a future tech park a building on what was once the Alltel campus: Building 5, at 1 Allied Drive, a 12-story, 224,467-square-foot building. No purchase price was disclosed. The building is the second of the former Alltel buildings to be proposed: Building 2, a 7-story, 90,247-square-foot building, was proposed by Colliers International. The Little Rock Technology Park Authority’s building plan calls for a 100,000-square-foot building in the park’s start-up. The Flake of Flake and Kelley is John Flake, brother of Dickson Flake, who is a realtor with Colliers and sits on the Authority board of directors. FYI: City Directors Joan Adcock and Gene Fortson both have taken pains to issue statements that they won’t support putting the tech park in a neighborhood. Both are on the ballot this year and elections will sometimes make even poor city leaders utter rare sensible words. But will they still love that neighborhood AFTER the election?
* OPPOSITION TO LR TAX: My statement of support yesterday for the Little Rock property tax millage, on which early voting has begun, drew a response in opposition from Joe Busby, a leader of the Fair Park neighborhood. Since his letter can’t make publication before next week’s election, I share it below. He makes excellent points. But I remain convinced that the city needs this continuing tax support — and then some — to even make a stab at greatness. That doesn’t mean we should surrender in the battle for smarter, fairer leadership by city officials. His letter: