Here’s the Wednesday open line and daily news video roundup. Also:
* SCHOOL CHOICE: A news conference is scheduled tomorrow by Reclaim Our Little Rock Public Schools, a coalition continuing to contest the state takeover of the Little Rock School District. It will talk about a national report on disenfranchisement of voters through election laws and takesovers of local school districts, all with disparate impact on minority and poor families.
* BOO, PIG: A Northwest Arkansas reader wonders about the lack of comment here on Razorback Athletic Director Jeff Long’s talk about the need for a $100 million expansion of Razorback Stadium, despite an inability to consistently sell out the stadium since the last expansion. Answer: Too weak to fight. I suspect Long would say he’s betting on the coming dominance of Bielema teams and the ticket demand those SEC championship seasons will bring. I was far more interested — though I know I’m alone — in the depiction of Long as the driving force on new leadership of the Razorback Foundation and his quotes in the Democrat-Gazette about his department’s “partnership” with the Foundation. Same song/millionth verse: The Razorback Foundation raises millions in tax-deductible contributions on the university’s public franchise, but is set up as a Foundation to hides its activities from public inspection.Long makes it clearer than ever that it is nothing but a tax-break and transparency-avoidance gimmicks. The public is owed more than it gets, but as long as there are football circuses and beer in the skyboxes (not in the coach’s office, Long was careful to say) all will be well with fandom.
* REDNECK REPORT: A proud son of Mena sends a list of the Top Ten most redneck towns in Arkansas, a putative scientific ranking based on tobacco and gun shops, bars, Walmart representation and the like. It puts Nate Bell’s hometown at No. 1, but it also puts legally dry Mena in a high ranking for bars per capita, so …. you might want to take the whole list with some salt in your Milwaukee’s Best. Clinton ranks only 10th despite being home to the redneck olympics.