Notes From The Campaign Trail 9.12.13

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 10 views 

A compilation of inbox media advisories, press releases, tips, news clips, and notes from the campaign trail:

Jennifer Duffy with the D.C.-based Cook Political Report analyzes the U.S. Senate race between Sen. Mark Pryor (D) and Cong. Tom Cotton (R ). Some outtakes:

– Given that Congress has passed very little legislation in the past few years, accomplishments are hard to come by for a vast majority of members. Pryor has been more successful than many members in part because his legislative efforts have grown out of constituent case work. Pryor’s most far-reaching legislative accomplishment may be the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. The law aims to keep unsafe products, particularly imports, off retail shelves by increasing inspection agents at U.S. ports of entry, updating testing standards and equipment, banning lead in toys, and overhauling the product recall process.

– Considered a rising star among House Republicans, Cotton made his mark early as a hard-core conservative. In his first months in the House, he has voted against disaster relief legislation, reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, and the Farm Bill. This last vote is particularly interesting given the major role agriculture plays in the state’s economy and that he grew up on a ranch. Cotton says, though, he voted against the bill because it didn’t cut agriculture subsidies enough. Not surprisingly, he is against most government spending and supports defunding health care reform.

– What may be Cotton’s greatest asset in the race – and Pryor’s biggest liability – is how much the state has changed politically. While the rest of the South was turning solidly red over the last two decades, Arkansas remained something of a stronghold for Democrats. That has changed in recent years.

So where does the race stand at this time in Duffy’s eyes: “The race is in the Toss Up column.”

The Cotton for Senate campaign made sure to circulate an op-ed in the conservative-leaning Daily Caller. The guest commentary was written by Little Rock’s Skot Covert, Co-Chairman of the College Republican National Committee.

Covert says Pryor’s votes have hurt business owners and young Arkansans.

“At a time when Arkansas’ youth unemployment rate remains above 17 percent, more than twice the state average, steps must be taken to free entrepreneurs and job creators. Instead, Pryor’s voting history, from his support of cap-and-trade, which would have taken millions of dollars out of the economy, to his political posturing on the recent student loan relief bill, have shown that he is no friend of the state’s young people.

“Arkansas youths deserve better than the tried-and-failed, tax-and-spend policies of Sen. Mark Pryor. One by one his votes have pushed our age group further away from the American Dream and back into our parents’ basement.”

On Friday at 10 am, the Democratic Party of Arkansas is holding a press call to discuss Cong. Tom Cotton’s “reckless” votes against the Violence Against Women Act. Former Democratic State Rep. Janet Johnson and DPA Executive Director Candace Martin will host the call.

The Democratic Party of Arkansas will host a state committee meeting in Springdale this Saturday, September 14th at the Holiday Inn Convention Center at 9 am. On the agenda, installing a new chairman: Vincent Insalaco, who will replace outgoing chair Will Bond.

Poultry Federation President Marvin Childers says he won’t run for Arkansas Attorney General. Childers had been considering a bid, but released a statement today saying he’ll stay put at the top lobbying job that covers Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

“I love the political arena, and I will continue to look for opportunities to make Arkansas a place where people want to live and work,” he said in announcing his decision to remain in his current position.

We noted earlier today that the Northeast Arkansas Political Animals Club is off to a hot start with its first two meetings. The original PAC, of central Arkansas, is holding its 30th anniversary meeting later this month.

On Wednesday, Sept. 18 at lunch at the Governor’s mansion will feature Gov. Mike Beebe (D) with central Arkansas PAC founder Skip Rutherford. $20 at the door. RSVP here.