Politicos are buzzing about an invitation that went out this week for a legislative tailgate event before the Arkansas game against New Mexico in Little Rock this Saturday. The invitation reads "You’re cordially invited to join State Rep. Darrin Williams and Co-Hosts help kick off the first U of A football game in Little Rock with style." It lists 57 co-hosts – 50 Democrats and 7 Republicans.
After the high profile fundraiser for Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Designate Larry Teague which included most Senate Republicans, some wondered if something similar was occurring on the House side. Rep. Williams has said he plans to run for House Speaker next year.
Minority Leader John Burris who was one of the seven names on the tailgate invitation attempts to clear up the confusion.
"Darrin asked me last week to co-host," said Burris. Williams told him that "he wanted some Republicans, so everyone knew they were welcome. This is the legislative tailgate we do every year for Little Rock games. This year, he is doing the planning and hosting (probably no coincidence). However, co-hosting isn’t indication of anything other than courtesy to a colleague and support of the Razorback tailgating."
Burris said this is absolutely no indication of his support for Williams campaign to be Speaker of the House.
Talk Business’ Roby Brock has also spoken to some of the lobbyists on the invitation. He has been told that the event and invitation has nothing to do with the Speaker’s race as several indicated that they didn’t want to get involved in the "internal politics" of the House.