On a jaunt through northeast Arkansas on Wednesday, it’s clear that the cotton needs pickin’.
The white tops in the Delta fields along Highway 18 look like surf on a beach. If you squint your eyes, you’d mistake the modules of cotton stacked on the dirt roads connecting different patches of the land for miniature mobile homes.
A small dust tornado on a harvested field makes its way towards a dilapidated red barn. Some parked equipment is taking a well-deserved rest before a farmer re-enlists it for active duty.
In Manila, there could be a "thrilla" in the mayor’s race. It would appear that half the folks in the Mississippi County town of 3,055 want the post. Former State Rep. Wayne Wagner wins the yard sign vote.
The fellow pumping his gas into a pick-up truck at Gary’s Food Mart agrees. As for Congress, he "ain’t paid much attention."
A little further down the road, a sign is spotted that reads, "New Low Whiskey Prices." The loser of the Causey-Crawford race, or the mayor’s race, may want directions to that liquor store on November 3rd.
Republican Rick Crawford, Democrat Chad Causey and Green Party candidate Ken Adler meet on the Arkansas State University campus tonight for a final debate. It is sponsored by ASU and The Jonesboro Sun newspaper.
Thursday night’s program will be broadcast live at 6:30 pm on ASU-TV, Channel 18 on the Jonesboro Suddenlink cable network, and on KASU, 91.9 FM. You can also follow the debate on the Internet through a live-stream at KASU.org.
It’ll be the last chance for real fireworks directly between the candidates before Election Day. After tonight, paid media and paid political staff will do most of the carving.
Expect a new controversy to brew in District One for the day. Jason Tolbert with our content partner, The Tolbert Report, has a new post that shows how the Causey campaign was allowed access to Independence Hall on the campus of the University of Arkansas Community College in Batesville, but the Crawford campaign was denied use of the space a year ago.
The two men sought the space for different purposes. Causey used the hall for his recent rally with former President Bill Clinton. Crawford had sought to use the space for a political fundraiser. As one Democratic strategist noted: "Crawford wanted to use public property to raise money, which is against college policy. Causey used the place to excerise his right to free speech, which is allowed – regardless of Clinton’s appearance. Crawford was never denied that on this ground."
Follow the brouhaha here.
Sometimes political candidates evolve into cartoonish characters.
Second District Democrat Joyce Elliott is hoping to help Republican Tim Griffin with that transformation by running a cartoon ad in the style of the Sunday funnies. You can view the cartoon here.
A note from Elliott’s self-described Cartoonist-in-Chief, David Kolovson, says the campaign is trying to raise $2,500 to run the cartoon in the Sunday edition of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette and possibly other newspapers in the district.
Says one Republican political observer: "After the Mustache Bash and now this, what’s next? Karaoke night?"
It is pretty common for firefighters’ unions to support Democratic candidates in elections. It is also not uncommon to see firefighters’ unions disagree with mayors. Mayors like to toe the line on spending; firefighters make frequent efforts for pay increases.
So it should come as no surprise that Third District Democrat David Whitaker was endorsed over Republican Steve Womack yesterday by the Arkansas Professional Fire Fighters.
As you know, Womack is the exiting mayor of Rogers.
Whitaker has picked up endorsements from 7 local firefighters’ unions in some of the major cities in the Third Congressional District, including Fayetteville, Springdale and Fort Smith. Notably absent on Whitaker’s endorsement list: the Rogers Firefighters Association.
We told you yesterday about the blistering comments from Dick Morris, the Fox News contributor who was the guest at a recent Beth Anne Rankin rally in Magnolia over the weekend.
Morris effectively called Fourth District Democrat Cong. Mike Ross a "political transvestite" and said there was a "special circle in Hell" waiting for him.
Rankin, the GOP Congressional nominee, didn’t respond to our requests for comments on the incendiary comments, but the Ross campaign pointed us to the Congressman’s comeback.
“I’m not going to respond to someone I don’t have any respect for. Dick Morris has quite a controversial past and I’m not going to respond to a political attack by someone from out of state that’s coming in here and lying about me and my record,” Ross told a Hot Springs crowd. He also told the group that Morris’ appearance on Rankin’s behalf “speaks volumes about who she is and her values in a very negative way.”
A new Stephens Media poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research shows Cong. John Boozman with a 21-point lead in his contest to oust Sen. Blanche Lincoln.
The GOP nominee pulled 55% of the vote to the incumbent Democrat’s 34%.
“I think you can kind of put that one in the bag” for Boozman, said Mason-Dixon managing partner J. Brad Coker. He called Boozman’s lead “insurmountable.”
Our Talk Business Poll, which we released on Tuesday, shows Boozman with a 49-36% lead, a tighter race of 13 points.