A new ad attacking Bill Halter about investing Social Security revenues on Wall Street has surfaced on the state’s airwaves paid for by Arkansans for Common Sense.
Who exactly is Arkansans for Common Sense? Filings with the Arkansas Secretary of State office show Mitchell L. Berry as the incorporator and organizer. It was created on March 9, 2010 – one week after Halter filed for office.
Berry is the son of Cong. Marion Berry, a Blanche Lincoln supporter. Mitchell Berry was not available for comment on Monday. Berry is an attorney for Eichenbaum, Liles & Heister, a Little Rock law firm. He once served as a law clerk to the former Justice Annabelle Clinton Imber, Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court, from 1999-2001.
Last week, Marion Berry attacked Halter in Brinkley when he endorsed Lincoln. He said at that event, “I never did like him [Halter] from the very beginning. I can find a thousand people and not one of them likes him.”
"The implication that Bill Halter is a threat to Social Security is outrageous,” Carol Butler, Halter’s campaign manager, said. “Bill Halter has a long and well-documented record as a leader for Social Security who opposed privatization.”
The Common Sense group’s ad cites a Philadelphia Daily News article from January 2000 that claims Halter advocated for "investing a small share of Social Security revenues" in the stock market.
Halter has cited several instances of his public stance against privatizing Social Security during and after his service as Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration.
In turn, the Halter campaign announced a new website, www.bailoutblanche.com. It claims her votes have been detrimental to Arkansans and outlines how much money she has accepted from Wall Street interests during her tenure in Congress.
Lincoln’s campaign countered with a release that said Lincoln began refusing contributions from "executives, employees or Political Action Committees associated with TARP-assisted financial institutions headquartered outside the state of Arkansas" effective January 1, 2009.
The first TARP measure was passed in October 2008.
"The same day Bill attacks Sen. Lincoln’s vote on TARP, a new article appears in Arkansas where he refuses to say how he would have voted on the same legislation," Lincoln campaign manager Steve Patterson said today. "Even a good Monday Morning Quarterback will say what call he would have made if put in the same position. Arkansas voters will always know where Senator Lincoln stands."
The Lincoln campaign also directed reporters to a fact-check site.
This article was written by Suzi Parker. She is a Talk Business contributor who freelances for The Economist, U.S. News & World Report’s Washington Whispers column, The Christian Science Monitor and Politics Daily. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/suziparker.