Sen. Eddie Cheatham responds on Facebook to the same baseless smear Republican French Hill is using against Sen. Joyce Elliott — that they are somehow tax-and-spenders for supporting legislation to change cell and mobile device charges to pay for upgrades to the 911 system in Arkansas.

Advertisement

A mailer against Cheatham is just a cookie-cutter version of the French Hill attack on Elliott. It overlooks that the bill enjoyed almost unanimous support, including from most legislative Republicans and Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson.

But it gets even more egregiously hypocritical in Cheatham’s race.

Advertisement

Cheatham’s challenger is Republican Ben Gilmore, an aide to Republican Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin and brother of Jon Gilmore. Jon Gilmore is now a lobbyist/PR/political consultant and chief of Gilmore Strategies but he once was Hutchinson’s deputy chief of staff and also his campaign fund-raiser. Joining Gilmore in the lobbying business, made lucrative by the Asa connection, (and scoring lots of clients friendly to Hutchinson) are former Hutchinson staffers J.R. Davis and Rett Hatcher.  Davis was on board, and Gilmore pals were lurking nearby when the Hutchinson team was PASSING this now-turrible cell phone tax.

Who is handling Ben Gilmore’s campaign? You know it. Gilmore Strategies. And so people who helped Asa Hutchinson pass a telephone tax now want to help Bro. Ben beat a Democrat by beating him up on the governor’s cell phone tax.

Advertisement

This slimy bunch is, of course, working for French Hill, too. And just about anybody else who aspires to do business with the state of Arkansas. I’ve taken to calling the enterprise Asa Inc.

UPDATE: One last delightful touch of this towering mound of hypocrisy. The state will open bids in May on the improved 911 system. One of the bidders’ proposals says a contractor will be Guidehouse of McLean, Va. And who might Guidehouse’s lobbyist in Arkansas be? GILMORE STRATEGIES!

And speaking of cookie-cutter advertising, slime and Gilmore Strategies, I give you three guesses on who’s providing consulting for the Republican candidates featured in the ads shown below — Mark Berry of Ozark and Howard Beaty of Crossett. The first two guesses don’t count. (The Berry and Beaty campaigns are larded with special interest PAC money and GOP committee money.)

Advertisement

Republicans propose to win with the China virus. Really? Cookie-cutter ads portraying Donald Trump as having protected the U.S. from the pandemic are this year’s ticket? Are Arkansas voters that gullible? We’ll find out Nov. 3.

How to fight back? Vote if you can.

Berry, running for an open seat, has a first-rate Democratic opponent, beloved Ozark school teacher Gwen Ford Faulkenberry.

Veteran Democratic incumbent Rep. LeAnne Burch of Monticello is Beaty’s opponent.

I guess I should be happy Asa Inc. hasn’t recycled photos of Barack Obama and that black doctor who wants to take away your health care. Sad to say, it still might be effective in Arkansas.