The Faulkner County Quorum Court is having a special meeting tonight to take up a resolution on short notice to urge voters NOT to sign petitions calling for an election on whether Faulkner County should allow retail sale of alcohol.
Got that? A publicly elected body is being asked to discourage people from calling an election.
UPDATE AND CLARIFICATION: The resolution technically only opposed making Faulkner County wet. But it dovetails with a current effort to discourage people from signing the petitions to place the issue on the ballot. It is all about discouraging that process.
ALSO: Though the Democrat-Gazette article today emphasized a statement from a sponsor that the resolution was not about discouraging petition signers, another person at the meeting tells me that two JPs said publicly that was exactly their intention.
This is Faulkner County Taliban politics. You’ll recall that Sen./Preacher/Fiddler Jason Rapert, a financial beneficiary of the Conway County liquor industry, isn’t happy about this petition drive. You’ll recall Rapert got about 40 acres in the Sunday Democrat-Gazette to shed crocodile tears about those judges who’d override the vote of the people in popular elections.
But this is one election Rapert and his fellow crusaders don’t want held. Because they know a county that darn near approved marijuana in 2012 is a pretty good bet for approving beer sales. The Taliban only wants elections on issues they think they can win, like discriminating against gay people.
Wasn’t it Bro. Rapert who said in his magnum opus in the DOG?
“The majority of the population in any state has the freedom to vote for laws, support laws and live under laws that they themselves decide by majority vote are right for their states and that they wish to abide by.”
Let thy people vote, Br’er Rapert.
Oh, there’ll be a bogus “study” presented claiming the demonstrated benefits of additional retail sales in the county will be offset by extra costs. Extra costs? Sure. More police will be needed if people in Faulkner County start drinking. (PS — That was a joke.)
This issue got studied to death by university experts before the vote in Benton County. It’s a win for any jurisdiction. (Well, maybe not for Conway County.) But a Faulkner JP has done his own study apparently.
Here’s the good news. More voters could tell you the distance to the closest liquor store than the name of their Faulkner County JP.