Oct 15, 2015
GOP in Arkansas: Fly in the Ointment
The following remarks were submitted in response to our post Are We Surprised at Asa?” Conservative voters were ecstatic and Arkansas made history in 2014. For the first time in 150 years, Arkansans handed the GOP a massive landslide victory: ♦ All US Congress members from Arkansas are Republican. ♦ All constitutional offices in Arkansas...
The following remarks were submitted in response to our post Are We Surprised at Asa?”
Conservative voters were ecstatic and Arkansas made history in 2014. For the first time in 150 years, Arkansans handed the GOP a massive landslide victory:
♦ All US Congress members from Arkansas are Republican.
♦ All constitutional offices in Arkansas are Republican.
♦ Republicans gained 13 more seats in the State House and
♦ 3 more seats in the State Senate. (Republicans have a clear majority in both chambers of the Arkansas General Assembly.)
♦ A Democratic House member has switched to the Republican Party, which now has 65 seats in the House.
But today voters are wondering, after handing the GOP such massive majorities, why more conservative principles haven’t taken root in Arkansas’s General Assembly.
There’s a fly in the ointment.
Being presented with no clear difference between a Democrat or Republican party insider for governor (both D.C. connected), Arkansans held their noses and voted for the Republican, all the while hoping the General Assembly would be able to push through a more conservative government with a Republican governor.
Unfortunately, more Republicans in the Arkansas Legislature didn’t create the change Arkansas voters clearly desired. And the problem is actually rooted in the Governor’s office.
For example: In her first term, GOP Rep. Mary Bentley sponsored a bill to do away with Arkansas’s state healthcare exchange and begin the process of shrinking state government (increased by almost 20% under Democrat Governor Beebe). Well, it seems that one of the Governor’s nephews, GOP Senator Jim Hendren, had a bill of his own that paused development of the state exchange until after the King vs. Burwell case was adjudicated by the US Supreme Court. So the GOP Chair of the House Insurance & Commerce Committee, Charlie Collins, squashed Bentley’s bill even though she was able to garner 30 House co-sponsors for it.
This isn’t the only example of the Governor’s willingness to use family members to influence legislation against the will of the voters. And these tactics are exactly what you get when you elect a DC insider as Governor.
After all that hard work, why shouldn’t voters be disappointed and upset to learn Republican Establishment politicians (like Arkansas’s Governor) are using the same tactics the Democrats did to grow government and just keep spending? This is not what Arkansas grassroots voters wanted when they gave the GOP all that power!