Politics: Guns, ‘golden’ names and gubernatorial money

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 100 views 

Politico Senior Reporter Jonathan Martin says he doesn’t believe U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., will have to take another vote on the controversial Manchin-Toomey gun control legislation.

Martin, appearing on the latest edition of Channel 4′s Capitol View, said that he does not believe some of the amendments being discussed will move the additional votes needed to clear a 60-vote U.S. Senate threshold.

“If you water down the bill, you run the risk of turning off some of the folks on the left,” said Martin.

“I don’t think it’s likely that you’re going to see another gun control vote on the Senate floor this year and probably next year for that matter. Harry Reid was embarrassed by losing that vote,” Martin said. “And the prospect of him bringing up another vote. It would probably only come if he knows that he’s got 60 votes and it’s unlikely that he’s going to get to 60.”

Martin also speculated on the 2014 U.S. Senate race in Arkansas, which will pit incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor versus an unannounced candidate, presumably first-term U.S. Rep Tom Cotton, R-Dardanelle, who is representing Arkansas’ 4th Congressional District.

“The Democrats here know that Mark Pryor has a golden family name, has a pretty impressive retail touch back there, and if any Democrat can still win statewide in Arkansas for the U.S. Senate, it’s Mark Pryor. And if he can’t win then perhaps no Democrat can still win there for a Senate race statewide,” Martin said.

Martin’s sources say that Republicans are confident of a pick-up no matter who is on the ballot. However, he said Cotton is the presumed favorite as the GOP contender.

“He is by far the preferred candidate against Pryor among not just the establishment here in Washington, but among conservatives here in Washington,” said Martin. “There’s sort of this ongoing tension between the conservative Tea Party wing of the party and the establishment wing of the party. He (Cotton) is one of those rare candidates or would-be candidates who unites both factions.”

Link here for the video interview with Martin.

GOP candidate for Arkansas Governor, Asa Hutchinson, said he is focusing on fundraising, but is also content with few fireworks in his current campaign bid.

Hutchinson said the election is still more than a year-and-a-half away and voters are concentrating on other events. That said, he is enthused about his current fundraising efforts.

“Fundraising is going very, very well for me. I’ve really been thrilled with the response, and not just with my traditional supporters but with new supporters holding fundraisers – longtime Democrats or Beebe supporters have been able to join with me,” he said.

“I’m not worried about the fundraising side at all. We’re meeting all of our target goals. We’ll have what we need and I will make a million dollars in the near future,” said Hutchinson, who also sought to downplay too much focus on raising money this early in the game. “It’s like a public company in which you have quarterly earnings reports and your stock value goes up or down depending on whether or not you meet expectations. So it’s important to keep those expectations low.”

Hutchinson also discussed the potential additions of more GOP candidates in the Governor’s race. Former Safe Foods CEO Curtis Coleman has officially announced for the post, and State Rep. Debra Hobbs, R-Rogers, said Friday she planned to enter the Governor’s race. Also, Speaker of the House Davy Carter, R-Cabot, is contemplating a run.

Hutchinson said that term limits and an open seat are contributing to the interest.

“I don’t know of any candidate who would like to have more candidates in opposition,” said Hutchinson. “It’s wide open, so naturally, naturally there’s going to be many that look at this.”

Link here for the video interview with Hutchinson.