The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports
here that devoted civic gadfly Jim Parsons’ latest public-spirited endeavor is a self-filed lawsuit to make those responsible for the dump fire near Bella Vista rather than taxpayers pay for the environmental disaster, a cleanup that could cost tens of millions. Imagine, putting responsibility for problems on those who created them  rather than asking Uncle Sam and Arkansas taxpayers for a handout as the Tea Partyers in Bella Vista  and their enabler in the governor’s office would prefer.

Parsons is one of those rabble-rousers who can wear you out. Doesn’t mean he’s always wrong. He’s currently also trying to get back state money looted by felonious legislators and friends to finance real estate speculation by the sketchy Ecclesia College, a favorite of the Northwest Arkansas legislative delegation. No flies on Parsons on this one. He’s a former Ecclesia board member who didn’t like what he learned in the federal probe of kickbacks and general skulduggery.

I don’t have room to list all of Parsons’ windmill-tilting. He memorably went after Mike Huckabee’s destruction of state-purchased hard drives to keep snoops from looking at them. He wrote at length about the black marks on the resume of then-Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, long before he, too, faced federal felony charges. Parsons is actually more of a Republican in political outlook, it just so happens people on the GOP side present a lot of opportunities up in his part of the state.

He’s raised sand about the Northwest Arkansas community college on whose board he once served and about questioned boiler operation practices  in the Bentonville School District, to name a couple of other battles. He’s lost many a lawsuit. He may lose this one, whose defendants include the Bella Vista Property Owners Association (with which Parsons has often feuded) and Cooper Communities. But, on principle, he’s right. Taxpayers of Arkansas and the U.S. should not be wholly bailing out the wealthy of Bella Vista (whose money is easy to find on the governor’s campaign and inaugural ball funding lists.)

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