The Democratic Party of Arkansas met this morning in Little Rock to hear from elected officials and candidates and also vote on their 2012 platform. I was not able to attend (Daddy duty while my wife finishes last minute touches on her school classroom) but from Twitter it seem the speakers this morning turned up the rhetoric.
First District Candidate Scott Ellington affirmed his support for President Obama and questioned Mitt Romney’s “fitness as a man.” He also had some comments about “working with little green men from Mars” which I hope was a joke. The lunchtime speaker compared the Republican policies to Sherman’s march to the sea during the Civil War in Georgia. Gov. Beebe stayed more on script sticking to his standard attack on Republicans wanting to turn Arkansas into Washington.
Democrats also voted on their state platform this afternoon. Unlike the morning speeches, the platform is relatively tame sticking mainly to general concepts. Here are some highlights…
- Commitment to establishing universally available pre-kindergarten programs for all three and four year olds in our state;
- Belief that public funds should be used only for public schools – Opposition to school vouchers;
- Commitment to policies that promote and reward responsible business growth and which also benefit workers;
- Support for equal pay for equal work and the right of workers to organize and bargain collectively without fear of intimidation;
- Encouragement of transportation systems that do not rely solely on the fossil fuels and traditional passenger automobiles;
- Development of a green economy;
- Belief that that all Arkansans should have the security of accessible and affordable health care, including mental and dental health care;
- Opposition to cuts in state and federal programs for public health and well being, especially to provide tax cuts to America’s wealthiest citizens;
- Support for tax relief through a fiscally responsible phase-out of the tax on groceries;
- Support for a measured, expedient and responsible military withdrawal from our current level of presence in Afghanistan;
- Advocate justice programs dedicated to rehabilitation, alternative sentencing and effective re-entry policies;
- Against discrimination or deprivation of rights on the basis of race, gender, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, disability or any other characteristic unrelated to ability;
- Reaffirm the constitutionally established rights of privacy and choice;
- Opposition to voter ID laws;
- Advocates comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level;
- Supports the right to bear arms as set forth in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution;
- Supports the fundamental principles of the Equal Rights Amendment and supports the ratification of the federal Equal Rights Amendment by the Arkansas Legislature.