Notes from the Campaign Trail: Courtney Goodson for Chief Justice TV ad to launch

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 228 views 

Editor’s note: Notes from the Campaign Trail is a compilation of various political insider tidbits and is sponsored by Little Rock-based Capitol Advisors Group.

COURTNEY GOODSON FOR CHIEF JUSTICE TV AD TO LAUNCH: Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson, who is running for Chief Justice against Circuit Judge Dan Kemp, is set to air her first TV ad beginning next Tuesday. A 41-second digital ad is ready to go and is being revised for a 30-second spot. The campaign says the week-long advertising is part of a six-figure buy in the Little Rock, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, and Springfield markets.

The ad focuses on Goodson’s biography, which includes her first trip to a courtroom at the age of 6 to be adopted.

“I knew at that young age that the court system could liberate good people from bad situations and grant new beginnings,” the ad says.

Goodson tells Talk Business & Politics, “I just simply wanted to remind people who I am. That ad tells my story and it’s my life story.”

At the end of December (the last reporting period on file), Goodson had a balance of $31,095 in her campaign account. If a six-figure buy is on the way, the month of January has either been very lucrative from a fundraising perspective or a big personal check has been dropped in the campaign coffers. Her opponent Kemp had $159,237 cash-on-hand at the end of December.

TRUMP TO RALLY AT BARTON COLISEUM: GOP Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is returning to Arkansas next Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 5 p.m. for a rally at Little Rock’s Barton Coliseum. Trump was the keynote speaker at last July’s Reagan-Rockefeller Dinner dinner in Hot Springs – right before he caught fire and started rising in the polls. The day after his last Arkansas visit, Trump made his infamous “John McCain is no war hero” comment that many pundits thought would sink his candidacy. Instead, it buoyed it.

HUCKABEE’S IOWA SURPRISE: With the Iowa Caucuses happening Monday, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is making his strongest push to barnstorm the Hawkeye State. The Huckabee campaign has said that a poor performance in Iowa would be difficult to rebound from.

Huckabee is playing to his evangelical and populist roots. In a TV ad airing in Iowa from a pro-Huckabee PAC, two women question Ted Cruz’s Christian faith commenting on how little they hear he tithes (one percent), his support for gay marriage, and calling him a “phony” – either a phony Christian or a phony politician, it’s unclear. Huckabee, who has been attacking Cruz on the stump, has also been sending populist signals about the working poor and his poor roots in south Arkansas.

In the wake of Thursday’s undercard GOP Presidential debate, Huckabee’s media machine kicked out quotes playing up his Iowa Caucus victory in 2008. Said Huckabee, “You gave me the largest number of votes in the history of the Iowa caucuses eight years ago. I think you did it because you trusted me. You believed that I had your best interest at heart. When I was governor, I had a plaque in my office. And it said this, ‘Come. Let us reason together.’ I believe the next president needs to put that plaque in the Oval Office. And needs to lead this country by saying, ‘Come. Let us reason together.'”

Huckabee’s media handlers also distributed a quote from a recent interview with Iowa’s Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, who said, “I think Huckabee may do a lot better than people think.”

U.S. ATTORNEYS STICK TOGETHER: GOP contender Chris Christie, a former U.S. Attorney, received the endorsement of 27 former U.S. attorneys. Notably, Bud Cummins was on the list despite having served as legal counsel to Gov. Mike Huckabee. Cummins served as U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Arkansas from December 2001 to December 2006.

ELDRIDGE PROPOSES LIFE SENTENCES FOR CHILD PREDATORS: Another former U.S. Attorney – Democrat Conner Eldridge, who represented the Western District until recently – is challenging the winner of the Sen. John Boozman-Curtis Coleman GOP primary. Eldridge rolled out a policy position on Thursday saying he would introduce legislation that would increase the maximum sentence for child predators, including first-time offenders, to life in prison.

“Harming a child is among the worst of the worst crimes, which is why, as senator, I would fight to increase the maximum sentence to life in prison for those who sexually abuse children and produce images of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct – including for first-time offenders. Those who prey on children, like in Wade Knox’s case, should be sent to prison for life.”

Wade Knox was a boy who grew up in Lonoke and was sexually abused for most of his childhood by his uncle and scoutmaster, Charles “Jack” Walls III. Knox ultimately committed suicide.