- Tim McKuin
- SPILL DAMAGE SLIGHT: Tim McKuin caught this photo of a giant wind turbine blade on the UP rail line running past the Train Station in Little Rock. Better wind generation equipment than cars full of coal or tar sands crude, right?
Thursday’s done for me. Your turn. Final words:
* MARYLAND BECOMES 18TH STATE TO REPEAL DEATH PENALTY: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a potential Democratic presidential candidate, has signed legisltion to end the death penalty in that state. He earlier signed off on same-sex marriage. His justification is applicable anywhere, including in Arkansas, currently enmeshed in the gruesome search for a legal way for the state to kill people.
“Maryland has effectively eliminated a policy that is proven not to work. Evidence shows that the death penalty is not a deterrent, it cannot be administered without racial bias, and it costs three times as much as life in prison without parole,” the office said in a statement.
“Furthermore, there is no way to reverse a mistake if an innocent person is put to death. Working together with law enforcement partners, Maryland has driven down violent crime and homicides to three decade lows.”
* SENATOR BOOKOUT WON’T COME CLEAN ON CAMPAIGN SPENDING: The Jonesboro Sun reports that Democratic state Sen. Paul Bookout has refused to produce records to show how he spent $50,000 in unitemized campaign expenses in his unopposed race for re-election. The expenditures included $30,000 in “entertainment.” The Ethics Commission is reviewing Bookout’s failure to fully report expenditures. Ifhe agrees to a wristslap, will he be able to keep the full record away from prying eyes? I hope the Ethics Commission doesn’t settle for a deal in which he admits wrongdoing to avoid public disclosure.
* MCDANIEL’S NEW CHIEF OF STAFF: Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has named assistant attorney general Erika Gee to be his chief of staff, succeeding Blake Rutherford, who’s moving into private business. She’s worked in the office for six years, most recently in the state agencies division.