I noted recently objections to the effort by Arkansas’s duopoly casinos at Southland and Oaklawn, in league with their friend Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, to make the referendum process prohibitively difficult in Arkansas so as to discourage future casino amendments, along with other potential laws unpleasant to the business lobby.
The item, quoting Paul Jacob, a term limits and referendum crusader, drew a rejoinder from the Friday Law Firm, which challenged Jacob’s representation of case law in favor of a vigorous referendum process. (Free speech restrictions are not the only potential problems with the casino/McDaniel effort to limit the process, by the way. The Arkansas Constitution also suggests problems with the proposed legislation.) The Friday firm cited some law favorable to a more restrictive approach. Their law would make it impossible to hire canvassers on a per-signature basis on state campaigns, the most efficient means of gathering signatures.
Jacob has responded with a lengthy note. In the hopes that an open-minded legislator might take a look (and might I say that, to date, Rep. Nate Bell of Mena has been a noteworthy advocate of preserving the referendum process), I reprint Jacob’s note below. Following Jacob’s note is a note, too, from David Couch, a Little Rock lawyer following the debate, who debunks an inadequate fiscal impact statement on this punitive measure: