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Boozman’s civics lesson

It’s getting hard to tell that the majority rules in America these days, U.S. Rep. John Boozman, R-Rogers, said on the floor of the U.S. House today in denouncing the new health care reform bill.

Boozman, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, said this in his speech:

“Madam Speaker, America is a democracy, not a monarchy, but you wouldn’t know it by the way the American people have been ignored by President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid.”

Video of Boozman’s speech is available here.


Lincoln to hold town hall meeting

U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln says she’ll hold a town hall meeting in Forrest City on Friday on the topic of child nutrition.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. at the Forrest City Civic Center. Lincoln says she plans to discuss the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which she says will be the largest-ever investment in child nutrition programs.

Lincoln is chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.


Pro-life group thanks Snyder

right to life

Retiring U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder got a thank-you letter today from a pro-life group.

Arkansas Right to Life members, pictured here outside Snyder’s Little Rock office, delivered a letter thanking Snyder for the vote in November in favor of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to the House health care bill, which would prohibit federal dollars from being used on insurance plans that cover abortion.

The group also asked Snyder to vote against the Senate health care bill, which would prohibit the use of federal dollars on abortion coverage but would allow federal money to be spent on other types of coverage under plans that also cover abortion.
Customers who want abortion coverage would have to use only private money for that part of their policy.

The Senate bill is “the most pro-abortion single piece of legislation since Roe v. Wade,” the group said in the letter.


GOP Senate candidates to debate UPDATE

Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate have been invited to a debate Tuesday night at UALR’s William H. Bowen School of Law, and most have said they will attend, according to the state Republican Party.

The debate starts at 6:30 p.m. and is sponsored by the Arkansas Federation of Young Republicans. KATV anchor Scott Inman is scheduled to moderate, and KATV plans live streaming of the debate on its Web site.

Questions for the candidates can be posted on the Young Republicans’ Facebook page, sent to their Twitter account or e-mailed to:

UPDATE: KATV reports today that it will not stream the debate live, though it plans to have a video of the debate on its Web site sometime tonight or early tomorrow. Also, the station says U.S. Rep. John Boozman will not be participating, but Sarah Huckabee, his campaign manager, will stand in for him. The other seven GOP candidates have said they will take part.


Hendren’s cash cows

The state Democratic Party is trying to make political hay out of a tweet today by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kim Hendren.

Hendren posted on Twitter, “Had to sell 5 black angus cows to stay in the game! But we’re in to win and still have a few more cows!!!”

In a follow-up tweet, Hendren said he needed cash to pay the $12,500 filing fee.

In a release headed “Kim Hendren Bets the Farm,” state Democratic Party spokesman Gabe Holmstrom says, “Sen. Hendren may have more cows to sell left in his barn, but lots of Arkansans can’t even afford meat for the dinner table. With a voting history like his, Arkansas might be better served if Kim Hendren stayed on the farm and tended his cattle.”


Don’t ask the governor

Gov. Mike Beebe’s office says his statewide call-in shows on the Arkansas Radio Network and the Arkansas Education Television Network are going on hiatus until after the November election.

Both shows have halted production during past election seasons to avoid giving any perceived advantage to the sitting governor.


David Boren visits Arkansas


University of Oklahoma President David Boren, former governor and U.S. senator for the Sooner State, signs a copy of his book “A Letter to America” for state Sen. Sue Madison, D-Fayetteville, at the Arkansas Capitol today. Boren’s visit was arranged by state Sen. Randy Laverty, D-Jasper, and included a talk by Boren and introductions by Gov. Mike Beebe and former Gov. David Pryor. (Photo by John Lyon/Arkansas News Bureau)


Laying low and considering options

Two potential Democratic challengers to U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s re-election bid are playing it close to the vest as the March political filing period approaches.

A campaign spokesman for Lt. Gov. Bill Halter says today nothing has changed as Halter eyes a political shift.

“The lieutenant governor continues to focus on his re-election while also considering the available options to best serve Arkansans,” says Halter campaign pitchman Bud Jackson.

Meanwhile, state Senate President Pro Tem Bob Johnson, who previously made noises about a possible U.S. Senate run, says today he is focusing on the current legislative fiscal session and intends to “lay low” for now.

“We’re talking about two subject matters: budget and lottery,” Johnson says.

The one-week filing period for political office starts March 1. The fiscal session is scheduled to recess March 2 and adjourn March 9.


Arkansas’ C-SPAN?

Amanda Manatt, director of the state House Communications Office, advises that House proceedings during the upcoming legislative session will be broadcast live on the following channels:

• Little Rock, North Little Rock, Jacksonville, Sherwood and Bryant: Comcast Channel 18, and KETS, Channel 202
• Conway: Conway Corp., Channel 115
• Berryville, Eureka Springs, Green Forest, Fort Smith, Cedarville, Greenwood, Mountainburg, Van Buren, Harrison, Valley Springs, Bella Vista, Bentonville, Farmington, Fayetteville, Rogers, Springdale, Colcord, Decatur, Gentry, Siloam Springs: Cox Communications, KAFT, Channel 702
• Brinkley: East Arkansas Video, KETS, Channel 152
• Camden: Cam-Tel Cable, KETG, Channel 251
• Forrest City, Marianna, Wynne, Haynes, Vanndale: East Arkansas Video, KETJ, Channel 251
• Pine Bluff: Pine Bluff Cable, KETS, Channel 252
• Hot Springs: Resort TV Cable, KETG, Channel 252
• Bald Knob, Judsonia, Kensett, Searcy: White County Video, KETS, 251
• Hope, Prescott: Hope Community TV, KETG, Channel 252

AETN will provide the gavel-to-gavel coverage through its new AETN-2 channel. AETN has been providing live broadcasts from the House floor to Comcast Cable in Pulaski County on Channel 18 for more than a decade.

Live streaming video will be available on the House’s Web site starting with the opening of the session at noon Monday, Manattt says. Archived sessions also will be available on the site.


UPDATE Snyder’s chief of staff quits

U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder’s chief of staff, David Boling, has resigned effective immediately, Snyder’s office reports.

Boling’s resignation comes two weeks after Snyder announced he would not run for re-election this year.

UPDATE: Roby Brock reports that Boling will run for Synder’s seat.


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