I caught up with Lt. Gov. Mark Darr just now, and he told me that he had not embarrassed himself “at all” by signing a bill while the governor was out of town, an action that drew the ire of Gov. Mike Beebe. He said that if he could do it all over again, he would do it again.
“I’m not a long-term elected official, I haven’t been here forever,” he said. “I think there’s something that happens — not just him — but all elected officials when you’re in this building too long. The state doesn’t belong to him, it doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to the people of Arkansas. That’s who I work for. If he’s offended by that, than so be it.”
I asked about concerns about precedent.
I have a precedent of upholding our Constitution. To me, it’s a Second Amendment right, it’s a privacy issue of that right. He had plenty of opportunities to either sign the bill or veto the bill. When he didn’t do that, that exercised his Constitutional right. So when he left, I exercised my Constitutional right.
I didn’t do it in a disrespectful way, I did it in my office, no pomp, no circumstance, no t.v. crew. I came down in jeans and a sweater and did it.
When I’m in charge, when I’m officially governor of Arkansas, and I was on Friday — I look at it as my job and my duty to work for those citizens. He’s not my boss. He’s not my employer, the people of Arkansas are.
Will this come up again?
The session ain’t gonna last forever, so all bills will be put away and signed, vetoed, laid on desk, whatever. After the session…I’m not here to make him look bad. If he wants to make issue of something, that’s really up to him. To be honest — I don’t have any disrespect for him or anything — I think some of it is maybe he’s not used to being in full control. Being in the minority party may not be as fun as being in the majority party. I’m not against him…but I think on that certain issue the people’s voices were heard…if he wants to give me statewide coverage for speaking up for Second Amendment rights…hey, let’s keep it going!