David Ramsey has inspected this situation thoroughly already, but Blue Hog Report has done further analysis of Republican Stacy Hurst’s bungled attempt to use the nursery school assignment of her Democratic opponent’s 4-year-old in her race for state House of Representatives. Blue Hog’s take on Hurst; “If at first you don’t succeed, lie, lie again.”
I’ll leave the detailed retelling, based on a dig through FOI documents produced by the Little Rock School District, to Blue Hog Report’s Matt Campbell.
But his theory is pretty simple and there’s lots to support it. Some suspect school district actions — shared with current School Board member Leslie Fisken and former School Board member Melanie Fox (both financial supporters of Hurst) — seem aimed at setting up Democratic opponent Clarke Tucker for a fall on supposedly seeking special privilege for his 4-year-old son in a pre-K assignment. But … young Ellis Tucker got no special treatment. He didn’t make it into a coveted seat in Forest Park Elementary as the family had hoped and they turned down — providently — a second offer a school district official wasn’t empowered to make. Tucker decided to take his child to pre-K at Episcopal Collegiate. He later circulated a campaign mailer noting — correctly — that LRSD is far short of seats in all of its schools for the children seeking pre-K slots. He promises to work on that.
Side note from Blue Hog: Somebody DID get unusual treatment on an assignment to a slot in Forest Park (attending from outside the attendance zone by virtue of a relative’s address in the zone). Happens to have been an employee of the political consulting firm handling Hurst’s campaign. The particular employee is not working on the Hurst campaign. To date, the Arkansas Republican Party — interested enough in pre-K assignments to file multiple FOI requests about a 4-year-old — has NOT demanded the facts on this situation.
Bottom line remains the same as we left it some weeks ago: Stacy Hurst will stop at nothing to get elected to the legislature, even make political hay out of an innocent 4-year old. She even made bumbling attempts to keep after the kid when the “cocktail party” chatter that she says prompted her inquiries didn’t fit her hoped-for scenario.
Evaluate Hurst’s claim to be a different kind of Republican in the mad-dog GOP majority against this backdrop. In “vetting” Clarke Tucker, she unintentionally vetted herself.
I disclose again my long friendship with Clarke Tucker. My wife is a financial supporter and campaign volunteer for Clarke Tucker. He has a sparkling academic and professional resume, a winning personality and a precocious 4-year-old son who never should have been made a campaign issue. When he says he’ll be a moderately progressive voice in the legislature in the vein of term-limited John Edwards, I believe him.