A few comments about the Arkansas elections

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    • #365291
      ArtfromArk
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      Looking at an Arkansas ballot, I see that there are 13 pairs candidates on the ballot for President. In addition to the two pairs that everyone knows, Kanye West (with Michelle Tidball) made it as an independent, Gammons-Collins are also Independents, as are Pierce and Ballard, Rocky de la Fuente and Darcy Richardson, and Phil Collins and Billy Joe Parker. The Hawkins-Walker ticket is running as Greens, the team of Carroll and Patel are representing the American Solidarity Party. John Richard Myers and Tiara Suzanne Lusk are the candidates for the Life and Liberty Party, Blankenship and Mohr are representing the Constitution Party, Jo Jorgensen and “Spike” Cohen are the Libertarians, and rounding out the list of candidates are Gloria La Riva and Sunil Freeman of the Socialism and Liberation Party. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many pairs of candidates for President on an Arkansas ballot before.

       

      On another note, it looks like ol’ Tom Cotton will be in the Senate for another 6 years, as his only opponent is a Libertarian. This is the first time that a Democrat has not been in a US Senate election in Arkansas since Reconstruction! What a sad reflection on the state’s Democratic Party that they couldn’t field a candidate for the second-highest office on the ballot!

      “There’s a new spirit abroad in the land. The old days of ‘grab and greed’ are on their way out. We’re beginning to think of what we owe the other fellow, not just what we’re compelled to give him. The time’s coming… when we shan’t be able to fill our bellies in comfort while others go hungry, sleep in warm beds while others shiver in the cold.... And God willing, we’ll live to see that day…” Basil Rathbone,"Sherlock Holmes Faces Death" (Universal 1943)

    • #365296
      Ohio Barbarian
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      • Total Posts: 21,914

      Or the leadership of the Arkansas Democratic Party doesn’t really have any problems with them, or are hopelessly incompetent.

      At least you can find someone to vote for on the ballot for President. In Ohio, the Greens are on only as write-ins; the only candidates named are Biden, Trump, and Jorgensen. I have to admit Billy Joe Parker has a ring to his name. I have no idea who he is, but I bet he gets a few hundred votes just ’cause.

      I have to admit Bill

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #365299
      ArtfromArk
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      If the DSSC  didn’t like like Tom Cotton, they could have easily fielded a Democratic candidate to oppose him. I’m sure that Bill Halter, former lieutenant governor and former candidate for Senate, would have been more than happy to run against Cotton, if he had been given a chance.

      I think the Democratic Party in Arkansas started going downhill after the 2008 assassination of Bill Gwatney, the late head of the state party. That year, someone came into his office and shot him dead. The shooter was chased around central Arkansas until he, too, was shot dead. The media buzz at the time claimed that Gwatney’s murder had something to do with some conflict about a car deal (the Gwatney family had a car dealership in the Little Rock area), but the way it was handled, including the killing of the suspect, makes me think that there was much more to the story.

      At any rate, after Gwatney’s death, the state’s Democratic Party has been in a tailspin.

      “There’s a new spirit abroad in the land. The old days of ‘grab and greed’ are on their way out. We’re beginning to think of what we owe the other fellow, not just what we’re compelled to give him. The time’s coming… when we shan’t be able to fill our bellies in comfort while others go hungry, sleep in warm beds while others shiver in the cold.... And God willing, we’ll live to see that day…” Basil Rathbone,"Sherlock Holmes Faces Death" (Universal 1943)

    • #365355
      Jim Lane
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      • Total Posts: 889

      @artfromark @ohiobarbarian

      Josh Mahony, a nonprofit executive who’d previously run an unsuccessful campaign for Congress, filed to run against Cotton as a Democrat. Then he dropped out of the race – two hours after the deadline for anyone else to file had passed. (Link) Maybe he was a plant. Maybe, as soon as it was too late for the Democrats to find a replacement, the Cotton campaign let Mahony know what dirt they had dug up that they were prepared to dump on him.

      Whatever the explanation, it remains clear that DSCC approval is not necessary for someone to seek the Democratic nomination. Rather than some sinister conspiracy, a far more likely scenario is that people like Bill Halter looked at Cotton’s popularity and his war chest and decided that the race was hopeless.

      The DSCC’s role would have been that, if asked about the prospects of tossing a couple million dollars into the Arkansas race, it would politely explain that it was instead targeting the several close races in other states. The DSCC has to do triage. Cotton won his last election by a margin of 17 points; Trump won the state by 27 points.  I’m sure the DSCC would have loved to oust Cotton, but he just did not present a promising target.

    • #365605
      ArtfromArk
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      Yeah, Mark Pryor lost to Tom Cotton by 17 points. However, by that time, Pryor had lost the political goodwill that his dad, a former governor and US Senator, had cultivated over several decades in the state. And his campaign ads on TV weren’t so much different from those of Cotton. You could have put a blindfold on me and cut out their names during their respective ads, and I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference. Halter, on the other hand, has been shafted by the Democratic Party on at least two different occasions.

      The first time was in his US Senate run-off with Blanche Lincoln, when there were only two polling places allotted in his home county, Garland (one of which was in a gated community), and the party did what it could to make sure that Lincoln won (Obama even put out a radio ad for her during the run-off), even though polls showed she was going to get clobbered by her Republican opponent (which she eventually was). The second time was when he announced his intent to run for governor against Asa Hutchinson (Halter had served as lieutenant governor before) but he was forced out of the race early to make sure that Mike Ross, a former driver for the Clintons, got the nomination (and he too, ended up getting clobbered by his Republican opponent).

      So you can rationalize it any way you want to, but I doubt that Halter willingly stayed out of this current race. At the same time, the state Democratic Party has become just a shell of its former self in just the past decade.

      “There’s a new spirit abroad in the land. The old days of ‘grab and greed’ are on their way out. We’re beginning to think of what we owe the other fellow, not just what we’re compelled to give him. The time’s coming… when we shan’t be able to fill our bellies in comfort while others go hungry, sleep in warm beds while others shiver in the cold.... And God willing, we’ll live to see that day…” Basil Rathbone,"Sherlock Holmes Faces Death" (Universal 1943)

    • #365624
      Jim Lane
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      • Total Posts: 889

      @artfromark

      As you note, Halter ran for the Senate nomination against Lincoln, the DSCC’s choice.

      IOW, he was able to enter the primary without being “fielded” by the DSCC, and in fact against its wishes.  This year, if he had in fact “been more than happy to run against Cotton,” as you speculate, he could have done so.  I don’t know why it’s so hard to believe the simple and obvious explanation — he took a look at the race, decided he had no chance, and saw no reason to disrupt his life (whatever he’s doing now) in a hopeless cause.

      On the other hand, I’m quite prepared to believe what you write about the ineffectiveness of the Democratic Party in red Arkansas.  I live in blue New Jersey, and the Republican Party here is also in pretty bad shape.

    • #365631
      ArtfromArk
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      • Total Posts: 1,622

      I listed ways in which Bill Halter was SHAFTED by the Democratic Party, including the fact that the former lieutenant governor had announced his intent to run for governor of Arkansas, but was FORCED OUT of the campaign before it began in earnest to make sure that the FORMER DRIVER of the CLINTONS got the nomination. When I was still posting on DU, I discussed this with a local activist who had attended a meetup with Halter in Fayetteville, and who had become disillusioned with the state party after Halter was FORCED OUT of the race.

      “There’s a new spirit abroad in the land. The old days of ‘grab and greed’ are on their way out. We’re beginning to think of what we owe the other fellow, not just what we’re compelled to give him. The time’s coming… when we shan’t be able to fill our bellies in comfort while others go hungry, sleep in warm beds while others shiver in the cold.... And God willing, we’ll live to see that day…” Basil Rathbone,"Sherlock Holmes Faces Death" (Universal 1943)

    • #365647
      ArtfromArk
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      • Total Posts: 1,622

      I have been a member of the Arkansas Democratic Party since the 1970s, when my former history teacher took me to a Jefferson-Jackson Day picnic and introduced me to one of Arkansas’ then-US Senators, the late Dale Bumpers (who, incidentally, had challenged the incumbent US senator and national figure, J. William Fulbright, for the Democratic nomination and won, just 4 years earlier). At the presidential level, the state was pretty conservative, even back then, but in the post-Faubus era (1967-) , the Democratic Party, which until then had been just another redneck Southern Democratic party, started to change for the better (thanks to Mr. Bumpers and others). When  I came of voting age that decade, I really started to appreciate that and decided to become a Democrat.  When Bill Clinton became President and came back to my hometown area for a visit in 1993, I was so excited, I went to the local airport to wish him the best (along with about 75  other locals). We were all so excited that “one of our own” had become President! But I think that Clinton ended up living under the sword of Damocles, as the Republican Party was constantly threatening him for his sexual peccadillos, and their hatchet man, Kenneth Starr, ended up ousting the then-Democratic governor of Arkansas, Jim Guy Tucker, on trumped-up charges, and replacing him with the then-lieutenant governor, Mike Huckabee (the only time I can remember when the governor and lieutenant governor were of different parties). Since that time, things in the state have been in a state of flux, but the end result has been, since the murder of Bill Gwatney in 2008, that the state’s Democratic Party has fallen into decline and is now just a shell of its former self.

      “There’s a new spirit abroad in the land. The old days of ‘grab and greed’ are on their way out. We’re beginning to think of what we owe the other fellow, not just what we’re compelled to give him. The time’s coming… when we shan’t be able to fill our bellies in comfort while others go hungry, sleep in warm beds while others shiver in the cold.... And God willing, we’ll live to see that day…” Basil Rathbone,"Sherlock Holmes Faces Death" (Universal 1943)

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