Debate Snoozefest & Tom Cotton’s Tall Tale

by Michael Cook ([email protected]) 82 views 

Last night, I watched online the snoozefest known as the 4th District Republican Congressional Debate.  Talk Business and Lobby Up partnered to provide live-streaming of the debate featuring Republican candidates Beth Anne Rankin, Tom Cotton and Marcus Richmond.

The debate was full of boiler-plate Republican talking points, with no interesting insights and no candidate directly going after one of their opponents. Although, I did get the impression Marcus Richmond took a few subtle swipes at Tom Cotton when he talked about taking money from special interests and only returning to Arkansas to run for political office.

A question on government regulation was asked of all the candidates, and all cited some regulations they believed were unwarranted, but it was Tom Cotton’s response that caught my attention.

As you may recall, Tom Cotton made national news recently when he was profiled on The Huffington Post for opposing new child labor law regulations.  I wrote a story about Cotton’s opposition to protecting kids working on farms, and how Cotton was spreading falsehoods on how the proposed Department of Labor rule would affect kids working on their own family farms.

Cotton repeated his falsehood again when he said this in last night’s debate: “The Department of Labor has issued a farm labor rule that would drastically reduce what teenagers can do on their family farms.” Cotton then told a brief story about working with his dad when his 15 on the family farm using a hip-lifter to help a lame cow and how he believed under the new regulation his father would’ve been in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Once again, Tom Cotton is not telling the truth.  Did he even bother to read the proposed regulation himself, or does he just eat the spoon-fed false Republican talking points that are handed to him?

The Department of Labor new child labor laws exempt minors who work on their family farms, so Tom Cotton’s father would not have been in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Tom Cotton, like many Republicans, never lets the facts get in the way of a good story.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a line from the Department of Labor on the proposed child labor laws regulation that would protect minors who work on farms:

“The proposed rule in no way compromises the statutory child labor parental exemptions involving children working on farms owned or operated by their parents.”  You could read the full details on the Department of Labor new minors on farms regulations here.

As I said before, the more I learn about Tom Cotton, the more he sounds just like Congressional Republicans: problems with telling the truth, out-of-touch and not fighting for our nation’s children.