It’s Monday. If we’re lucky, we have only 36 more hours of extremist Republican lawmaking (Obamacare approval excepted) at the Arkansas Capitol. And speaking of extremists:
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* BENTON COUNTY BLOWHARD: It’s the traffic wreck that won’t quit. Benton County Republican Committee member Chris Nogy, you’ll recall, seemed to suggest a 2nd Amendment remedy for Republican lawmakers who voted for implementation of Obamacare. When controversy broke out, he issued a non-apology apology. He said, among other things, he “most likely” wouldn’t shoot anyone, just trying to make a point. Early this morning came still more backing and filling from Nogy and his wife Leigh, the secretary of the Benton County GOP, who posted his first letter on the county committee’s newsletter. The Nogys still come up a bit short. (UPDATE: Looks like the thread is gone from the Benton County Republican Committee Facebook page, though at least one of Nogy’s remarks remains posted.)
Excerpt from Nogy comment, said to be posted by Leigh Nogy:
When you read the entire letter, you will see that I am a very frustrated Benton County member of the Committee, voter, and politically active husband and father of three who has seen what I believe to be a critical breakdown in the proper process of representative government in our county, and felt the need to speak out not only with a complaint but with a solution. The section of my editorial explaining the 2nd amendment and how it works was added as punctuation, defining the tool as functional only if the threat of it’s use is credible, and then going on to say that the tool we must develop, applying political, social and civil pressures, must also be credible or it will be worthless.
Uh, OK. Whatever that means.
His wife commented:
I made a bad decision in publishing this letter. I was stressed beyond my norm and was on a deadline. My heart told me this letter sounded scarey… I admit that, but because I had read the whole content of the letter, I got what he was saying. Unfortunately, in my rush I didn’t even begin to think about the possibility of the media taking it out of context.
Out of context?
The most telling thing about the episode is the mealymouthed response from many Republican elected and party leaders. … We’re looking into it … I defend his right to unpopular speech … Not my view …. It’s a local matter. …. Yadda yadda
PS — State Police are investigating. Not only Nogy, but also the case following.
UPDATE: Benton County Republican Chair Tim Summers finally clears his throat and issues a statement. 27 lines into it, he gets around to saying he “personally rejects” the suggestion of violence as a response to legislative vote. Well …. with this kind of pussyfooting, it’s no surprise the right-wingers trounced Summers in 2012. And that could explain his timidity now.
* AGAIN WITH THE 2ND AMENDMENT REMEDY: More fun with guns was reported by House Speaker Davy Carter on his Twitter account overnight. He posted this:
seanonymous @seanonymous 11h
@davycarter is a very persuasive gun advocate. I’d like to buy a gun and shoot him with it.
After another reader said the State Police should be called, Carter commented:
I’d rather him come here for an ass kicking
* AGAIN WITH THE PARTISAN POLITICS: I’m no fan of Democratic Rep. Nate Steel’s bill that made prosecuting attorney elections non-partisan. It was a solution for a non-existent problem and, at its core, was a smear of prosecutors. He did it again last night, by trying to score political points over the potentially terroristic threats in the talk of people using guns to settle scores with elected public officials. Steel commented on Twitter:
Awfully close to terroristic threatening. Puts a same-party prosecutor is in an awkward position.
It would be awkward to prosecute someone who threatens to kill a public official because you might share a political party? Really? It’s silly to think partisan labels in elections mean much anyway except as a handy guide to voters. A prosecutor who runs without party label still retains his party proclivities. You could argue it’s easier to judge a prosecutorial decision in the extremely rare cases where party is a factor when such connections are on the table for all to see.
* LIGHTS ON THE ARKANSAS RIVER: Unrelated to guns, nuts and Republicans, I have a small update on the Entergy news conference this morning. It will be to announce plans to have three bridge crossings over the Arkansas River lit by the end of this year and, we expect, a plan to continue the lighting whenever the Broadway Bridge replacement is built (sometime after I expire from two years of traffic aggravation).
UPDATE: The announcement is a $2 million Entergy gift to celebrate its 100th anniversary and will put LED lights on the Main Street bridge and the Junction and Clinton Library pedestrian bridges. No info about the future for the Broadway Bridge, however. Long time off, that one. Entergy Arkansas, the Clinton Foundation, the Pulaski County Bridge Authority, Philips Lighting Company, Koontz Electric, and the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock are all investing in the $2.4 million project. These agencies will split $400,000 of the cost, Mayor Mark Stodola said: LR, NLR, LRCVB, NLRCVB, Pulaski County Bridge Authority and Clinton Foundation. Exact amounts have yet to be decided. Phillips Lighting, which has decorated famous structures worldwide, will lead the installation.