Remarkable event yesterday: A sterling Twitter thread by Senate President Pro Tem Jim Hendren, a Republican and nephew of Republican Governor Hutchinson, in defense of his Democratic colleague, Sen. Bruce Maloch of Emerson.

Hendren, was offended by the blistering and dishonest mailers being circulated against Maloch by his opponent, Charles Beckham and by the state Republican Party, under the name of party chair Doyle Webb.

Remarkable because politics has become zero sum, particularly for the controlling Arkansas Republicans.

Remarkable because Beckham — and the Arkansas Republican Party which is independently trashing Maloch in mailers — is responsible, as Hendren notes, through the governor and the legislative majority for every piece of legislation Beckham is trying to hang on Maloch.

I thought I saw the fine hand of Asa Inc., the Gilmore Strategy Group consisting of former hands of the governor in this, though Maloch says not. They are using similar mailers against other Democrats, particularly hammering on the cell phone fee. But they are bathing in Republican money on issues on which they worked.

Who is handling Beckham’s work. Good question. His campaign finance reports through August show only an expenditure on a filing fee, nothing on advertising or his website or anything else.

Maloch is a conservative Democrat in a blood-red district. He’s supported the governor’s tax cuts, heavy on help for the better situated, and his voting record on abortion could hardly be better for so-called “pro-life” supporters. The only mark on his abortion record are votes to uphold Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto of two anti-abortion bills that Maloch voted for — a 12-week and 20-week abortion ban. Beebe said the bills were unconstitutional. The 12-week ban has been struck down. The 20-week ban has not been challenged in Arkansas courts for reasons pro-choice advocates could explain, but similar legislation been struck down in other states for banning abortion pre-viability.

Maloch is being dishonestly smeared by the chairman of Hendren’s party and Hendren was willing to say so. Maloch is an aisle-crosser, too. They are in very short supply. Good for both of them.

SAY WHAT: Bruce Maloch’s Republican opponent is beating him up on legislation passed by a Republican legislature and signed by a Republican governor. One Republican is willing to say it’s nuts.


‘POLITICS AT ITS WORST’: So says Republican Sen. Jim Hendren about Republican Party efforts to trash Democratic Sen. Bruce Maloch, who has a solid anti-abortion voting record.