Benji Hardy explained clearly what was missing in the 20/20 report on Rep. Justin Harris and the rehoming scandal, including total silence by Republican Party about Harris’ undue influence on a state agency and Republican Party silence about every element of the issue.
The Arkansas Democratic Party takes note, too, with a call for Harris’ resignation from Chair Vince Insalaco in a release titled “Rehome Justin Harris.” Harris isn’t running again, but he has another year to serve, another year of pressing state officials in the Department of Human Services. He writes:
Like many Arkansans, as a parent and grandparent, I am shocked to learn of Rep. Justin Harris’s egregious action of placing two girls he adopted through DHS directly into harms way. By sending them to stay with another family (without approval from DHS) Rep. Harris’s actions led directly to the rape of the six-year-old girl.
The public’s outrage over Rep. Harris’ actions prompted the Arkansas legislature to pass a law making it a crime to rehome children as Rep. Harris did. And despite Rep. Harris’ poor judgment with children, he runs a taxpayer-funded pre-K center that cares for 150 children and has received over $4 million in tax dollars.
Reports of an exorcism to cast out demons were pushed out of the headlines when a child in the care of Harris’ pre-k was left in a van in the summer heat for hours. Last Thursday night on national TV, Arkansans had to relive these horrible events. And yet, the leadership of the Republican Party of Arkansas has not called for his resignation even though he continues to collect a state paycheck.
It is insulting and unacceptable that Governor Asa Hutchison (who served as a former federal prosecutor and former Home Land Security Undersecretary) allows this to continue.
Sign the petition now so we can send a message to Governor Hutchinson, Senator Boozman, Senator Cotton, and Attorney General Rutledge that Justin Harris must resign and stop receiving a taxpayer funded salary. Rep. Harris’ behavior is unacceptable, and he must be held accountable.
We are calling on you to help protect children all over Arkansas. We must speak out and be heard. Your signature will send a message that our kids deserve better and that Arkansas deserves better.
Vincent Insalaco, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Arkansas
Earlier this year, Democratic Rep. Eddie Armstrong urged a discussion of Harris’ resignation. It was ignored by Republicans, including Harris.
NOTE CORRECTION: The original news release, as a reader and editor’s note said in an earlier version of this post, included the erroneous information that the child left in the van at the Harris pre-school had died. The Party has issued a correction and apologized for the mistake. The child was not harmed. The driver has been charged.