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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.”

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Baker honors crisis center workers

State Sen. Gilbert Baker today thanked crisis pregnancy care center workers for their service to Arkansas families.

“You serve families typically that are in crisis situations, and you serve those families from a strong pro-life (position), meeting the needs of children and moms, dads, boyfriends, whatever,” Baker, R-Conway, said during a ceremony in the Senate chamber.

Baker, a former member of the board of directors of a crisis pregnancy care center, said elected officials pass laws and set public policies, but “at the end of the day you folks are right there on the front line.”

Forty-two centers across the state provide services to women facing unplanned pregnancies, including counseling, pregnancy tests and referrals to other support services.

Baker read a citation honoring the workers and presented it to Kathie Archer, who runs a crisis pregnancy care center in North Little Rock. Also taking part in the ceremony were Sen. Sharon Trusty, R-Russellville, Rep. Davy Carter, R-Cabot, Rep. Robert Dale, R-Dover, and Rose Mimms, executive director of Arkansas Right to Life.

Baker, often mentioned as a possible GOP challenger to U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln in 2010, told the Arkansas News Bureau he remains undecided on whether he’ll run.

“I’ve got young boys at home. Of course I love my legislative service and all that, but the main thing is just family considerations,” he said.

State Sen. Kim Hendren of Gravette is the only Republican who has announced as a candidate for the Senate seat, and Little Rock businessman Curtis Coleman has formed an exploratory committee to test the waters. Baker said he will not base his decision on the landscape of the race.

“I think a primary is going to be healthy for whoever runs, and my decision is not based on who’s in and who’s out. It’s just strictly, could I run a race and could I serve with my family constraints?” he said.

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Minority report on climate change UPDATE

The House and Senate chairmen of the Joint Committee on Energy clashed today over a proposed meeting to hear an alternative view on global warming.

The chairmen later said the disagreement was only a misunderstanding, and they were working things out.

The clash concerned a meeting, originally scheduled for tomorrow, at which the committee was to hear a minority report from the Governor’s Commission on Global Warming. Scheduled to speak were commission member Richard Ford and other critics of the panel. Ford is an economics professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

An announcement in the House chamber today declared the meeting cancelled, but the committee’s Senate chairman, Kim Hendren, R-Gravette, later said he was not consulted beforehand and he wondered aloud whether the House leadership was attempting to stifle debate on the issue.

“I’m having (the meeting) if I’m the only one there,” a defiant Hendren told the Arkansas News Bureau.

Hendren and the committee’s House chairman, Lance Reynolds, D-Quitman, later told reporters the meeting had been scheduled improperly, before Reynolds was appointed. They said they would arrange to hear the presentations.

Sen. Percy Malone, D-Arkadelphia, says the members may gather unofficially tomorrow to hear the presentations because some of the speakers are already in town.

Malone, the committee’s outgoing Senate chairman, says he requested the meeting after being contacted by one of the speakers.

“I’ve always said, we’ll let anybody who has relevant information about a subject matter tell it,” he said.

UPDATE: The speakers will be allowed to make their presentations in Room 171 tomorrow upon adjournment of both houses, Malone said. All interested persons are invited to attend.

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