Did You Know? Speaker Controls All
Okay, we love DYK — “Did You Know” — pieces. The folks over at Conduit for Commerce are good at them, too. Their new series about the inner workings of the Arkansas House and what freshmen legislators need to know takes “Did You Know” to a new level.
Did you know that at least one-third of the House (freshmen legislators) have no say-so over who’s selected for Arkansas’ Speaker of the House — even though this individual has total control with all-encompassing appointment powers and will preside over the House and assign bills? (Read more here.)
The series’ second piece, “Freshmen Legislators Left Out of Leadership Decisions,” discusses the processes the Arkansas House uses to name its leadership and why freshmen legislators typically are bypassed by most of those processes.
While you’re reading, keep in mind this Legislature wants to extend term limits because “it takes quite a long time for newly elected legislators to learn the inner workings of state government!” We can certainly see why!
Voters should understand this information when they mull over Republican Speaker Davy Carter’s recent endorsement of Democrat James McLean over Republican Linda Collins-Smith in the Senate District 19 race.
Of course, even though Carter is the Republican Speaker who paved the way for Obamacare (“private option”), his time as head of the House is over. It’s Republican Jeremy Gillam who holds the GOP reigns as Speaker-Designate.
Kudos to Conduit for Commerce for continuing to shed light on the “cross-the-aisles” good old boy network that continues to operate Arkansas politics — despite the fact voters put Republicans in the majority for the first time in 138 years. No wonder Arkansas Republican voters are so disappointed and apathetic!