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Posts Tagged ‘politics’

  1. Three’s a Crowd: Third parties still vying for recognition in 2012 election cycle

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    March 26, 2012 by Jack Suntrup

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    If you’re not a Democrat or Republican, this election cycle is going to be hard to take — no matter who wins. To say third-party voters are “disenchanted”  is a misuse of the word. It gives the impression that the bloc was exiled from some Washington D.C.-Disney-fantasy land, when in reality the plane never left Arkansas. “Every election season the group of bottom feeders is scummier and dirtier than the last,” said John Gray, the 2010 Green Party senate candidate and former mayor of Greenland. State law dictates that in order to appear on the ballot as a recognized party, leaders must collect signatures from 3 percent of qualified electors, or 10,000 signatures. Predictably, with historically low approval of the congress, third parties want the chance to make their case. Their request: automatic ballot access. The ACLU filed suit after the Green Party won 20 percent of the vote in the 2008 senate election. Success did not transfer in 2010, however, and the 11th Circuit Court in St. Louis ruled the law was not unreasonable. Nevertheless, the Libertarians and the Green Party met the signature requirement this year. “We are an official political party in Arkansas,” said Casey Copeland, a …

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  2. Shift in Parties?

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    March 8, 2012 by Matthew Jones

    In Arkansas politics, one could just assume that the democrats would win out. That they would be the majority in power in both chambers in Little Rock. That could all change in 2012. Filing has closed and the list of official candidates are in. There are 7 districts for the House of Representatives in Washington County, 87-89, 92-94 and 97.  In districts 87, 92, 93, and 94, there are only Republicans either running unopposed or against other Republicans. In 88 and 89 there is one Democrat facing one Republican while in 97 there are two Republicans facing off against one Democrat. In 87, Rep. Jonathan Barnett, 57,  of Siloam Springs,  who is a  general contractor, runs unopposed. In 88, Randy Alexander (R),  of Springdale,  who is a businessman will run against Edwin Sugg (D), 52, also of Springdale, who is an engineer. In 89, Micah S. Neal (R) of Springdale will run against Inez Yesenia Hernandez (D), 35, also of Springdale, who is a safety manager. In 92, Jim Parsons (R) of Bella Vista will face Rep. Mary Lou Slinkard (R), 68, of Gravette, who is a retired Benton County Clerk. There is no Democratic challenger. In 93, Jim Dotson …

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  3. Spanish Speakers Still Without Voter Registration Forms

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    February 28, 2012 by Jack Suntrup

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    Partisan proxy wars concerning the 2012 election process are underway. Spanish-speaking citizens in Northwest Arkansas are still without up-to-date voter registration forms, said Maria Hicks, the Vice Chair of the Third District Democrat Hispanic Caucus. The oversight is causing confusion and could be in violation of the Federal Voting Rights Act and the Arkansas Constitution. “They’re not available … they have no forms in Spanish,” said Hicks, who is running for Washington County Justice of the Peace, District 7. “I was just there today and they said they were working on getting me the Spanish one. I told them it was a violation of the state constitution and they were surprised by that.” When Hicks had the same problem on Feb. 27, she said she called the Secretary of State’s office and was told that they were working on translating a new version. “They are going to be made available,” said Alex Reed, a spokesman for the Secretary of State. “What the issue was was they made some changes with the voter registration application, and so we’re working on getting them translated. But we are going to make them available and going to make them available shortly.” Though there are …

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  4. Democrats Preparing for Another Tea Party Uprising

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    February 28, 2012 by Jack Suntrup

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    While the Tea Party seemed like a surprise guest during the 2010 election, this time around, local Democrats are ready for a fight. “We had no clue the tidal wave of GOP and Tea Party that would take us out,” said Tyler Clark, Washington County Democratic Committee chairman. With help from local and national Tea Party groups, Republicans made historic gains from the County level to the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2010 election. But, as the 2012 election draws near, the question is whether or not the Tea Party can duplicate the successes it had two years ago. Issue after issue, the uncompromising Tea Party is what will drive the Democratic base in 2012, Clark said. Clark believes that a “number of people are pissed off, so we are coming back with a vengeance. We spent the last couple of years getting really organized.” Part of the county party’s strategy is preparing earlier this year. Typically, the election office headquarters does not open until July; this year it will open next month. Event fundraising, too, is starting earlier, he said. Clark also wants to be more efficient in explaining his party’s platform. Coordinating closer with the state party …

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  5. Madison seeks reelection

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    February 27, 2012 by Matthew Jones

    Justice of the Peace Eva Madison of the Washington County Quorum Court. She was first elected in November 2010 and took office in January 2011. Madison said “it has been a privilege to represent the people of my district.” Madison also remains concerned about animal concerns and budgets for the upcoming years if reelected. “The Quorum Court worked hard on the 2012 budget, but I think we can do better for the taxpayers of Washington County,” said Madison in a recent press announcement. Madison goes on to explain on future goals for the budget of 2013, of reelected. “I will push for a closer look at actual expenditures, as well as a budget that provides the citizens of Washington County with a more accurate depiction of how we are spending their tax dollars.” Justice Madison lives in Fayetteville. She is a graduate of Fayetteville High School, Vanderbilt University, and University of Arkansas School of Law. She practices law in Fayetteville and serves as a adjunct faculty member of the University of Arkansas School of Law. She has been married to David Pieper for 17 years. She has one son Sam, age 2. She also has several rescued cats and a …

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  6. A View from the Left: Who’s Winning the Republican Nomination Race?

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    February 24, 2012 by Richard Drake

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    Candidates in the Republican Primary are described at various times with such terms as surging, withdrawing, forging ahead or making a comeback, in a chaotic race to the convention. What’s going on? I used to joke that politics should be covered by sports writers, as that might bring some excitement to the manner of storytelling. But honestly? Many sports writers are as prone to use cliches — and drive them into the ground — as other journalists. Over the past few years, we have seen the gradual militarization of the English language, especially where it pertains to political reporting. There is a small part of me, the man who is nourished on clichés and rarely comes out to play with others, who wrings his hands when he hears news anchors speaking this way and worries about the militarization of the English language. And in truth, I am getting combat fatigue from all the increased martial terms in our political discourse. There may be those who suspect that all of the above was just an excuse to use that line. Well, partly true. Our use of military metaphors began long ago with our War on Poverty, followed by our War on …

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  7. Can the Tea Party repeat its 2010 gain as Democrats prepare for a comeback?

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    February 24, 2012 by Jack Suntrup

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    WASHINGTON COUNTY – With help from local and national Tea Party groups, Republicans made historic gains from the county level to the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2010 election. But, as the 2012 election draws near, the question is whether or not the Tea Party can duplicate the successes it had two years ago. “I’ve seen articles saying the Tea Party is fizzling out,” said Jeff Oland, Chairman of the Washington County Tea Party. “It may be that it’s fizzling out, that the numbers at a Tea Party meeting are reducing, but that’s because many of these people are involved in other groups … What they’ve done is they zeroed in on specific local challenges.” A main part of the Tea Party’s strategy is to consolidate the resources of other groups around the area. Some, Oland said, branched out from the Tea Party. Other groups, like Northwest Arkansas Citizens For a Better Government (NWACFBG), popped up without Tea Party affiliation. The NWACFBG organized in response to Fayetteville’s Streamside Ordinance and has focused on other issues like the U.N.’s Agenda 21. “We do share some common interests,” NWAFBG chairwoman Debbie Beckerdite said. “We believe in smaller government, don’t like taxation. …

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