by A.F. "Tony Branco:
Tags: dogs life, Americans, on a leash, liberal government, Barack Obama, A.F. Branco, political cartoon
“While there is bi-partisan opposition to setting up a health insurance exchange, we thank the Governor for giving Republicans credit for delaying the early implementation of Obamacare in Arkansas. It’s unfortunate Governor Beebe is playing partisan games and using scare tactics to give himself political cover. Only the Governor has the authority to authorize grants to fund an exchange, and he chose to not act. While we agree and applaud his decision, the decision was entirely up to him. Until the Supreme Court rules this summer on the constitutionality of the law, we should not spend tax dollars to fund planning for an Obamacare exchange in Arkansas.”
|Politically Generated Layoffs?|
Arkansas Forestry Officer Says Boss Knew of ShortfallSo who is telling the truth? Governor Beebe's spokesperson or the Forestry Commissioner Robert Araiza?
Arkansas Business.Com - By The Associated Press, 12/21/11
LITTLE ROCK - The former chief fiscal officer of the Arkansas Forestry Commission told legislators Tuesday that the agency's chief knew for years about financial problems that led the planned layoff of 36 workers.
The agency announced this month that the workers will be laid off Jan. 13. About 300 people work for the Forestry Commission.
Robert Araiza told a Legislative Council subcommittee Tuesday that state Forester John Shannon told him in 2010 that Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe didn't want any public discussion of a shortfall until after last year's general election and had canceled a meeting commission officials planned to have with forestry professionals.
The Forestry Commission this year has a $4 million shortfall that is being blamed on a drop in timber sales. The shortfall prompted the layoffs.
"It was like they were listening but they weren't hearing me," Araiza said.
Beebe's spokesman Matt DeCample said the governor didn't know how bad the agency's financial problems were and canceled the meeting because it pertained to raising the severance tax on timber. DeCample said Beebe didn't believe the discussion would be productive in the middle of an anti-tax environment.
"It wasn't until this fall that we learned that they were no longer able to operate within their budget," DeCample said. "If we had known (in 2010), we would have addressed it during the session and the budget hearings before the session."
Former Marine sergeant Robert Araiza, often referred to as “sarge” by Forestry Commissioners, had served as the Commission’s chief financial officer until October when he left to work for the Arkansas Department of Career Education’s Rehabilitation Services. Araiza said that he warned the commission for three years of waning revenue that’s leading to the loss of 36 jobs next month.A CW Arkansas article and and Fox 16 video related that Former State Forestry Chief Financial Officer Robert Araiza "said he told his superiors -- particularly State Forester John Shannon -- the agency would run out of money from its trust fund if they continued to dip into it. Perhaps if they acknowledged his warnings, dating back to four years ago, he said those 36 laid off workers would have their jobs. 'I did everything I could do. I sounded all of the alarms and pushed all of the buttons,' said Araiza. . . . But Araiza says Shannon ordered no one speak to lawmakers about anything going in the agency."
There are reports that minutes of the Commission’s meetings may contradict Shannon’s testimony to the Committee and confirm Araiza’s report. Documents expected to be made public in tomorrow’s meeting of the ALC Personnel Sub-Committee may show that Shannon knew about the trust funds being used as early as 2008, contradicting his testimony to the Legislature.
The Forestry Commission’s Trust Fund is held in reserve for emergencies, especially to fund outside help and volunteer fire departments in situations where the Commission’s primary resources are inadequate to fight fires. Documents to be released tomorrow may reveal that Shannon told Commissioners on one occasion that contracted air tankers had to be used to fight fires in 2010, saving the lives of volunteer fire fighters, but because trust funds were depleted, GIF funds from the Governor’s office had to be used to pay for the tankers.
AR-01: Clark Hall “Not Running Against People”…Except Democrats ApparentlyDecember 15th, 2011
A friend of mine sent me some clippings from today’s Jonesboro Sun, and it’s got my blood running hot. I can’t find a link on the Sun’s website so these excerpts from the article “Demo Group Backing Hall In 1st District” will have to suffice for now:
When asked how he specifically disagreed with Crawford’s public and policy stances, Hall was vague, saying he won’t get into policy matters until next year.Hall has been running now for almost two full months now and he still can’t explain to first district voters where he stands on the issues. That’s just plain insulting. What’s more, he won’t even try to make a case against Crawford, the Republican incumbent he’s trying to retire, but will rush to bash another Democrat. And remember, this is the man that the Democratic establishment has all but crowned as the nominee. I’d elaborate more on how I feel about this, but I think this is about to give me a stroke, so I’m going to make this one point and then go to the E.R. Running as a fake Republican while trying to say as little substantive stuff as possible did not help Chad Causey one bet last year. Nor did it help Blanche Lincoln. If Arkansas Democrats think Clark Hall can pull it off doing the exact same thing, then as much as I hate to say it maybe we deserve to lose next year, assuming he’s the nominee. . . .
“I’m not running against people, I’m running for the people of Arkansas,” Hall said, later adding, “Right now I’m focusing on me, not on him (Crawford).”
Pelosi, a liberal former speaker of the House, has been a lightning rod for Democrats from the South. Hall said he couldn’t support her.
“No, sir,” Hall said when asked if he’d vote her into a prominent position within the party. He later added, “It’s time for new leadership and a new direction in Washington, D.C.”
One Response to “AR-01: Clark Hall “Not Running Against People”…Except Democrats Apparently”
December 16, 2011 at 10:24 am
Let’s wait until the filing fees are paid first. I don’t blame him for keeping his cards close to his vest. The 1st still leans Democratic, and he’s probably the “frontrunner” right now, if you had to name one. The blue dog endorsements…I know, they don’t really impress you, but they are mostly beneficial for fundraising & structural issues, not policy (IMHO).
I’d ask him, who would he support for a leadership position? Steney Hoyer? If you don’t want to support Pelosi, that’s fine, but who would you replace her with and why would that individual be better than her?
He’s got a lot of questions to answer, but again, let’s wait until after new year’s to crown him the second coming of Chad Causey.
“It’s disappointing Senator Mark Pryor voted against a measure to responsibly balance our nation’s budget and protect the American economy. Rather than aiding in the re-election of a president who has increased out debt by $4.4 trillion since taking office, Senator Pryor needs to join with Arkansas Republicans and commit to spending less and reducing our budget deficit. In Arkansas, we are legally required to balance the budget. It shouldn’t be asking too much for Senator Pryor and Washington to do the same. Arkansans deserve better from their senior senator.”
|Rep. Tim Griffin|
House District 9
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