Greg Bledsoe, trying to break through into the conversation over the big field for the Republican gubernatorial nomination for lieutenant governor, lashed out today at the presumptive leaders — Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Sen. Jason Rapert.
A news release ripped Rutledge for doubling her office budget over the last eight years and for spending (“wasted” was his word) $5 million on advertisements to promote herself politically. A lawsuit is pending over that spending. Rutledge says the money has all been spent in the name of consumer education.
Bledsoe blasts Rapert for votes in favor of tax increases and failure to restrain government spending. He doesn’t specify Rapert’s sins, though he promises a detailed website soon. Rapert did carry the bill that increased the tax on cell phones to pay for enhancements in the 911 system and also backed the highway fuel tax increase. But he has voted to cut rich folks’ income tax.
“Republican voters should know Rutledge and Rapert are both runaway spenders of taxpayer dollars,” said the release from Bledsoe, an emergency room physician who’s also served the Hutchinson administration as surgeon general.
Maybe Rapert or Rutledge will call down Bledsoe for the up to half-million or so in Arkansas taxpayer spending that has gone annually to comfort the Bledsoe family during the last eight years — to him as surgeon general ($99,000 to almost $200,000); his father, a retired doctor who landed a $200,000-plus Health Department job, and his mother, a state senator for approximately forever ($56,000 roughly in salary and expense payments).
Interesting that Bledsoe gave no attention to other candidates in the GOP primary: former state party chair Doyle Webb; former Mark Martin acolyte Joseph Wood, the Washington County judge, and Chris Bequette, hors categorie in this year’s political wackjob lineup.