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Arkansas Week July 18, 2014

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(Votes) We're watching the Arkansas Senate race, but our eyes are all on Washington. (Dollars) Does Money spell Winner? (Debates) More debates but do they matter? (Revenues) Wither the lottery.

TRANSCRIPT

HELLO. THANKS FOR JOINING FOR ANOTHER "ARKANSAS WEEK". STEVE BARNES IS ON VACATION. I'M ERNIE DUMAS. THIS IS A RECORD COOL JULY BUT CERTAINLY OUR POLITICS HAVE NOT BEEN TEMPERATE. YOU WOULD THINK IT WAS THE LAST WEEK OF OCTOBER NEAR THE ELECTION BUT THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FULL BLAST A YEAR AND WE HAVE STILL HAVE 110 DAYS TO GO SO HERE TO TALK ABOUT IT AND NONE OF THEM LONG ENOUGH IN THE TEETH TO REMEMBER WHEN ELECTION EERING STARTED AFTER LABOR DAY. MICHAEL HIBBLEN NEWS DIRECTOR FOR KUAR RADIO AND STEVE BRAWNER AN INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST AND -- EXCUSE ME AND DOUG THOMPSON POLITICAL WRITER FOR THE NORTHWEST ARKANSAS TIMES. PARDON ME FOR GETTING THE DESCRIPTIONS WRONG. WELL THE BRUTALADS IN THE SENATE RACE HAVE GONE NONE STOP BUT THE REAL ACTION WAS IN WASHINGTON AND TWO BILLS ONE IN THE HOUSE AND ONE IN THE SENATE AND [INAUDIBLE] FOR THE SENATE CANDIDATES, MARK PRYOR AND TOM COTTON. MICHAEL TELL US ABOUT THE HIGHWAY BILL, THE KIND OF EMERGENCY HIGHWAY BILL.

THIS WAS NEEDED BECAUSE MULTI-YEAR, A LONG-TERM HIGHWAY PLAN HAS NOT BEEN AGREED TO AT THIS POINT. IT'S SAID TO EXPIRE IN SEPTEMBER. THERE HAVE BEEN EFFORTS FOR A NEW SIX YEAR PLAN WORTH $100 BILLION BUT THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF DISAGREEMENT ABOUT THIS AND THIS WEEK THE HOUSE THEY AT LEAST AGREED TO PASS SORT OF A SHORT TERM FIX LOOKING AT ALMOST $11 MILLION -- I'M SORRY, BILLION DOLLARS, JUST TO KIND OF KEEP PROJECTS AFLOAT BUT IT'S ALREADY HAVING AN IMPACT. HERE IN ARKANSAS 15 PROJECTS ARE HAVING TO BE PUSHED OFF FOR NOW. THE HEAD OF THE STATE HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT SAID THAT THIS IS GOING DELAY A NUMBER OF THESE PROJECTS, REPLACING BRIDGES, FIXING HIGHWAYS, SCATTERED ALL AROUND THE STATE AND THE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT IS SAYING THIS IS GOING TO COST JOBS, AND THAT IT'S JUST GOING TO DELAY THIS. THE HIGHWAYS IN THE NATION, THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PUT OUT A REPORT THIS WEEK SAYING ARE IN REALLY BAD SHAPE. MUCH OF THE STATE NETWORK IS IN ROUGH SHAPE. BRIDGES NEED TO BE REPLACED. THERE ARE MORE THAN HALF CENTURY OLD, MANY WERE DESIGNED TO LAST ABOUT 30 YEARS, BUT THIS HAS BEEN CONTROVERSIAL BECAUSE YOU HAVE A LOT OF CONSERVATIVE GROUPS THAT ARE OPPOSED TO FUNDING FOR THIS. MUCH OF IT COMES FROM FUEL TAXES, BUT YOU ALSO HAVE SOME FUNDING COMING FROM CORPORATE ENTITIES AND THERE WERE SOME CORPORATE LOOPHOLES THAT WERE GOING TO BE ELIMINATED TO COVER THIS AND YOU ALSO HAVE OPPOSITION TO SOME PROJECTS. IT'S NOT ENTIRELY HIGHWAY PROJECTS AND SOME OTHER PROJECTS AND MR. COTTON OBJECTED TO SOME GOING TO NORTH CAROLINA FOR STREETCARS AND THE HOUSE PASSED THIS AND IT'S A SHORT TERM FIX FOR SOME PROJECTS TO KEEP GOING.

AND SEEMS TO SAIL THROUGH THE SENATE. THEY'RE NOT GOING TO TAKE UP THE DEMOCRATIC BILL THE PRESIDENT WAS BEHIND AND HAS SOME TAXES AND I THINK BOTH PARTIES WOULD LIKE TO AVOID TAXES RIGHT BEFORE THE ELECTION BUT THE IMPORTANT THING THE VOTE WAS 365 TO SEVEN AND ONLY THAT NUMBER VOTED AGAINST IT BUT THE REMARKABLE THING WAS REPRESENTATIVE COTTON WAS ON THE PREVAILING SIDE AND VOTED FOR THE A BILL AND A DISAPPOINTMENT TO SENATOR PRYOR HE VOTED FOR IT.

IT WAS A CASE OF HAVE TO. HE VOTED AGAINST THE DISASTER AID, THE FARM BILL. THERE ARE JUST SO MANY STRIKES CAN YOU HAVE AGAINST YOU WHEN YOU'RE IN A U.S. SENATE RACE.

[INAUDIBLE] ALL OF THE DISASTER RELIEF BILLS.

YES HE CAN BE TAUGHT. IT WAS A PRAGMATIC DECISION AND INFRASTRUCTURE IS POPULAR EVERYWHERE AND IF YOU WANT TO GET A CONVERSATION GOING IN ARKANSAS IN THE CONSERVATIVE PORTION OF THE STATE TALK ABOUT HIGHWAYS. IF THERE IS A RACE AND MAYBE HELD IN FAYETTEVILLE WHICH MAYBE THE CASE ROAD MONEY WILL COME UP. THIS CONTINUES TO BE A SORE SPOT EVEN AMONG -- THE REASON THEY HAD TO COBBLE TOGETHER THE -- PUT TOGETHER A DEAL THAT MICHAEL WAS TALKING ABOUT IS BECAUSE THEY BASICALLY ALLOWED THE HIGHWAY TRUST FUND TO GO BROKE AND WHAT THE BILL THEY HAVE PASSED AND COBBLED TOGETHER IS ONLY GOING TO KEEP THINGS RUNNING UNTIL MAY 31. YOU'RE RIGHT. IT'S GET THROUGH THE ELECTION BILL AND MANY OF THE GROUPS -- THOSE CONSERVATIVE GROUPS WERE COMPLAINING IT'S ONLY A GET THROUGH THE ELECTION BILL AND NOT A PERMANENT FIX TO THE PROBLEM AND MANY OF THE CONSERVATIVE GROUPS ARE SUPPORTERS OF MR. COTTON. HE BROKE RANKS FOR THEM.

THE KOCH BROTHERS, AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY AND THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION ALL WERE OPPOSED TO THAT PIECE OF LEGISLATION BUT REPRESENTATIVE COTTON MAYBE FOR THE FIRST TIME BUT A RARE OCCASION HE WENT AGAINST THE PEOPLE -- SUPPORTERS THAT HELPED HIM GET ELECTED AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN HIS FIRST ELECTION AND [INAUDIBLE] AND BANK ROLLING HIS SENATE RACE.

ONLY A FEW STUCK TO IT. IT WAS A CASE OF HAVE TO.

NOT JUST POLITICALLY --

YEAH.

POLICY WISE THIS WAS A TRAIN WRECK TO HAPPEN. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE HIGHWAY PROJECTS COMING TO A HALT. THE BILL IS PRETTY GIMMICKY. IT'S GOING TO PAY FOR THINGS TO REPLENISH THE TRUST FUND THROUGH PENSION SMOOTHING WHICH ALLOWS CORPORATIONS TO PUT OFF THEIR PENSION PAYMENTS OR INVESTMENTS IN ORDER TO SHOW A HIGHER TAXABLE INCOME NOW SO WE CAN COLLECT MORE TAXES FROM THEM NOW BUT IN THE FUTURE THEY HAVE TO REPLENISH THAT MONEY, SO AT THAT TIME THEY WILL HAVE A LOWER TAXABLE INCOME, SO A FUTURE CONGRESS WILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH LESS REVENUES COMING IN BUT THAT IS A PROBLEM FOR A FUTURE CONGRESS AND NOT THIS CONGRESS WHO HAS AN ELECTION COMING UP. THERE IS A MOVEMENT AMONG SOME IN CONGRESS THAT MORE AND MORE HIGHWAY FUNDING NEEDS TO BE DONE AT THE STATE LEVEL. IN FACT SCOTT BENNETT THE HEAD OF THE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT SAID THAT SAME THING THIS WEEK THAT WE CAN'T RELY ON WASHINGTON DOLLARS ANYMORE. 70% OF THE CONSTRUCTION DOLLARS COMES FROM WASHINGTON AND OTHER STATES HAVE LESS THAN THAT AND ARKANSANS HAVE VOTED TWICE TO FUND HIGHWAYS -- IN FACT PASSED THE SALES TAX TO FUND DOLLARS AND THAT MAY HAPPEN AND MORE COMING FROM THE STATE LEVEL THAN THE FEDERAL LEVEL.

BUT IF YOU'RE GOING TO CONTINUE THAT LEVEL OF CONSTRUCTION WORK THE ARKANSAS LEGISLATURE WILL HAVE TO RAISE TAXES RATHER THAN CONGRESS WHICH MEANS ANOTHER FUEL INCREASE AND I DON'T THINK THE PRESENT LEGISLATURE OR THE MEMBERS ARE LIKELY TO BE THERE NEXT YEAR ARE GOING TO VOTE FOR HIGHWAY TAXES, ANY KIND OF HIGHWAY TAXES. ANYWAY WE WILL WAIT AND SEE, BUT ANYWAY THE POINT WAS THIS WAS A KIND OF DISAPPOINTMENT FOR SENATOR PRYOR ORAND CO -- COTTON WOULD BE CONSISTENT WITH THAT.

I DON'T THINK HE'S EXTREMELY SURPRISED.

NO, NO.

LET'S GIVE THE SENATOR SOME CREDIT. I DON'T THINK HE WOULD WANT MR. PRYOR TO BE EMBARRASSED HIMSELF WITH CONSISTENCY TO THE POINT IT WOULD HANG UP SERIOUS ROAD PROBLEMS IN HIS OWN STATE IN ARKANSAS. I MEAN THERE IS AN EXPANSION OF I-49, THE FREEWAY IN NORTHWEST ARKANSAS THAT HAS BEEN PUT ON HOLD BECAUSE OF THE UNCERTAINTY OF FEDERAL FUNDING AND THERE'S SOME REAL IMPORTANT ON THE GROUND THINGS THAT NEED TO BE BUILT HERE, SO AS YOU SAID THERE ARE OTHER THINGS HERE BESIDES ELECTION. APPLICATION NEED TO BE CONSIDERED. BASIC GOVERNMENT FUNCTION BEING ONE OF THEM.

LET'S MOVE ON TO THE SENATE SIDE WHERE THE SENATE VOTED -- I GUESS CHOOSE NOT TO VOTE ON ANOTHER IMPORTANT BILL THAT IS IMPORTANT TO THE NARRATIVE OF THESE CANDIDATES AND WHAT WE CALL THE CONTRACEPTIVE BILL, THE HOBBY LOBBY BILL. STEVE, WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT?

ITS WAS BASED ON A LAW, NOT CONSTITUTIONAL GROUNDS, BUT A LAW TO PROTECT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.

AND HAPPENED WHEN BILL CLINTON WAS PRESIDENT.

SURE.

THAT'S WHAT THE COURT BASED IT ON SO THE DEMOCRATS IN THE SENATE SAID IF IT'S BASED ON A LAW, NOT A CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION WE CAN JUST CHANGE THE LAW, SO THAT WAS THE EFFORT MADE AND IT GOT 56 VOTES IN AN EFFORT TO TRY TO MAKE IT WHERE A CORPORATION LIKE HOBBY LOBBY COULD NOT FAIL TO PROVIDE INSURANCE FOR THAT KIND OF BIRTH CONTROL. IT ONLY GOT THOSE VOTES. IT NEEDED 60. SENATOR PRYOROR IS ONE THAT VOTED FOR IT WHICH IS A SURPRISE IN SOME WAYS BECAUSE HE TAKEN GREAT PAINS TO SHORE UP HIS RIGHT FLANK ON ISSUES AND CAME OUT WITH COMMERCIALS TOUTING HIS RELIGIOUS FAITH AND ACTIVE THAT WAY, AND THIS ISSUE COMES DOWN TO TWO SIDES. DO YOU THINK THAT CLOSELY HELD CORPORATION LIKE HOBBY LOBBY SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO AVOID PAYING FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF CONTRACEPTION THAT IS ABORTION CAUSING OR DO YOU THINK IT'S SOMETHING THAT A CORPORATION SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY? AND REALLY FOR THE DEMOCRATS THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE BECAUSE ONE FOURTH OF THE ELECTORATE IS SINGLE WOMEN AND 67% OF THEM VOTED FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA IN THE LAST ELECTION SO THEY SEE IT AS A LOW HANGING FRUIT IF WE CAN GET THAT GROUP TO VOTE IN THIS MIDTERM ELECTION WE CAN MAKE SOME NOISE. ON THE OTHER HAND MANY RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVES FEEL THIS IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TRYING TO LIMIT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND THIS GOES DOWN PARTY LINES. YOU WILL SEE REPRESENTATIVE COTTON STAND ON THE SIDE OF HOBBY LOBBY AND SENATOR PRYOR IS SUPPORTING THE SINGLE WOMEN IN THIS CASE.

AND WE HAVE SENATOR PRYOR ATTACKING THE REPUBLICANS AND COTTON BEING ALIGNED WITH THEM ON THAT ISSUE AND COTTON ISSUING A BLAST AGAINST SENATOR PRYOR, --

[INAUDIBLE]

OKAY.

I WANT TO POINT SOMETHING OUT DIRECTLY ON THAT. THERE ARE MANY PRACTICING FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS IN ARKANSAS TODAY WHO IS MARRIED, AVAILS THEMSELVES OF BIRTH CONTROL AND BENEFITS FROM THEIR EMPLOYER PAYING FOR THAT. I DON'T THINK THAT THE RELIGIOUS DIVIDE ON THIS IS QUITE AS CLEAN CUT. I THINK THAT IF SOMEBODY IS STRONGLY BELIEVES THAT HOBBY LOBBY, THE SUPREME COURT CASE, AND THE RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION WAS RIGHT THEY'RE PRETTY MUCH INCLINED -- PRETTY SAFE BET THEY'RE GOING TO BE A COTTON VOTER ANYWAY. OKAY. AND I DON'T THINK THAT -- YOU KNOW, TELLING -- BRINGING UP THIS ISSUE WITHOUT IMPLYING OR AT LEAST HINTING -- WELL, YOU KNOW YOU'RE NOT QUITE AS FAITHFUL AS I AM BECAUSE YOU ACTUALLY PRACTICE THIS OR AVAIL YOURSELF OF THIS BENEFIT, REQUIRES A LOT OF POLITICAL FINESSE THAN I'M NOT SURE EITHER CANDIDATE IN THIS PARTICULAR RACE HAS. YEAH, I THINK IT'S A DANGEROUS ARGUMENT TO TRY TO MAKE. I THINK THAT FRANKLY REPRESENTATIVE COTTON HAS GOTON ALL THE VOTES HE'S GOING TO GAIN FROM THIS AND IF IT KEEPS COMING UP HE RUNS THE RISK OF LOSING SOME BECAUSE AS I SAY THIS IS 31ST CENTURY -- 21ST CENTURY AMERICA AND THERE ARE SOME PITFALLS TO BE AWARE OF.

ALSO THIS WEEK WE HAD THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS DUE AND REPORTING ON EACH OF WHAT THE FEDERAL CANDIDATES RAISED IN THE LAST QUARTER, APRIL THROUGH JUNE, AND I GUESS TOM COTTON CLAIMS THE BRAGGING RIGHTS FOR THIS QUARTER. HE RAISED MORE MONEY THAN SENATOR PRYOR.

QUITE A BIT MORE, $400,000 AS I RECALL MIC.

YEAH, HE OUT RAISED HIM AND TWO .3 MILLION AND COTTON HALF A MILLION AND COTTON HAS MONEY IN THE BANK AND PRYOR HAS A LITTLE MORE THAN 4 MILLION AND COULD BENEFIT PRYOR BUT BOTH ARE SAYING THIS IS THE MOMENTUM TO WIN. BOTH PUT OUT PRESS RELEASE THIS IS WEEK SHOWS THEM GETTING THE SUPPORT.

IN THE OLD DAYS AND WHAT I BEGAN TO REPORT ON POLITICS YEARS AGO CANDIDATES WERE RELUCTANT TO KNOWN OR SENSED THEY WERE BACKED BY THE MONEY PEOPLE. THAT WAS THE OTHER GUY BACKED BY THE MONEY PEOPLE BUT THINGS ARE KIND OF REVERSE NOW. EVERYBODY IS OUT TO SAY "NO, I HAVE THE BIG MONEY. I RAISED THE MONEY. THE BIG MONEY IS BEHIND ME" AND WHAT IS BEHIND THAT?

[INAUDIBLE]

IS IT A MATTER OF MOMENTUM TO SHOW THIS GUY IS GOING TO WIN?

IT IS A CASE OF THESE CAMPAIGNS HAVE GOTTEN RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE. IT WAS ALSO A CASE WHERE OUT OF STATE MONEY AND CONTRIBUTIONS WON SOME IMPORTANT SENATE RACES. I AM THINKING IN PARTICULAR THERE IS ONE IN NEW JERSEY A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO BUT THERE ARE CASES A LOT OF MONEY IS A ADVANTAGE. IN THE TIMES YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT WHEN THE MONEY WAS A DISADVANTAGE ARKANSAS WAS A STATE WITH A POPULATION OF HALF OF WHAT IT IS NOW. IT IS STILL A SMALL STATE. IT STILL DOESN'T HAVE AS MANY PEOPLE AS THE METROPOLITAN AREA OF DALLAS BUT IT'S NO LONGER A STATE WHERE YOU CAN MEET ENOUGH PEOPLE TO GET YOURSELF ELECTED ANYMORE. IT IS A STATE WHERE ENOUGH MONEY WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. WE HAVE PASSED THAT THRESHOLD. WE'RE NOT AS FAR PASSED AS SOME OTHER STATES. I DO WANT TO POINT OUT THAT REPRESENTATIVE COTTON HAS OUT RAISED AN INCUMBENT STATE SENATOR. THAT IS AN IMPRESSIVE ACHIEVEMENT BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION --

NOT OVERALL --

NOT OVERALL.

[INAUDIBLE]

BUT THIS QUARTER HE HAS.

[INAUDIBLE]

AND THE PREVIOUS QUARTER AS WELL, BUT HE HAS ALSO SPENT MORE. HE SPENT ABOUT EVERYTHING HE DREW IN BUT ANYWAY I DON'T MEAN TO DIVERT FROM THE QUESTION. THE QUESTION IS THAT NOW THAT FUNDRAISING IS PERCEIVED AS A STRENGTH. I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU THAT IS THE CASE. I'M NOT EXACTLY SURE WHY THAT CHANGE TOOK PLACE BUT I STRONGLY SUSPECT THAT FOR ONE THING THE POLLING AND THE CAMPAIGN STAFF EXPERTISE IT CAN BUY YOU MAKES A WHOLE LOT MORE DIFFERENCE NOW THAN IT USED TO TO.

BOTH OF THESE GENTLEMEN WILL HAVE MORE THAN THEY NEED.

ENOUGH.

AND IN THEIR TREASURERS AND INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES. IT WILL BE THE MOST EXPENSIVE RACE IN ARKANSAS HISTORY -- AT LEAST NOT INVOLVING ROCKEFELLER.

AND A SENSE OF INEVITABILITY. ONE THING I NOTICED IS TOM COTTON RAISED 2.28 MILLION. ASA HUTCHINSON RAISED $242,000 SO THE SENATE RACE IS COMPLETELY TAKING THE AIR OUT OF ARKANSAS POLITICS RIGHT NOW. AND THE SAME WAY IS TRUE WITH THE DEMOCRATS TOO. I MEAN THIS ELECTION IS ABOUT THE SENATE RACE AND THE GOVERNOR'S CANDIDATES ARE STRUGGLING TO GET ANY KIND OF ATTENTION RIGHT NOW.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE GOVERNOR'S RACE. THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS CAME OUT ON THAT RACE AS WELL AND MIKE ROSS I THINK HAD A SLIGHT EDGE OVER ASA HUTCHINSON AGAIN IN THE GOVERNOR'S RACE IN ARKANSAS BUT NOT A DRAMATIC MARGIN AND I THINK HE'S GOT AN OVERALL MARGIN OF -- I'M NOT CERTAIN ABOUT THAT, BUT A OVERALL MARGIN ABOVE ASA HUTCHINSON BUT AGAIN BOTH OF THOSE WILL HAVE AMPLE MONEY FOR A ARKANSAS GOVERNOR'S RACE, SO WE HAD A DEBATE LAST WEEK --

ARKANSAS PRESS ASSOCIATION. I WAS THERE.

WERE YOU THERE?

YEAH, I WAS THERE.

TELL US ABOUT THAT DEBATE. NOBODY SAW IT I THINK, DID THEY, OTHER THAN THE PEOPLE THAT WERE THERE.

THE PEOPLE THAT WERE THERE. KIND OF LIKE A NEWSPAPER ARTICLE. THE PEOPLE THAT READ IT ARE MENTIONED IN IT.

IT WAS STREAMED ONLINE.

IT WAS. I DON'T KNOW IF IT'S AVAILABLE.

IT IS. I WATCHED IT LAST NIGHT.

IT WAS LIVELY. MIKE ROSS THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE CAME OUT SWINGING AND ON THE ATTACK. HE WAS DEFINITELY TRYING TO MAKE A DISTINCTION BETWEEN HIMSELF AND ASA HUTCHINSON, BUT I DO WANT TO POINT OUT HERE THAT THAT ALTHOUGH IT SEEMS LIKE THIS CAMPAIGN HAS BEEN GOING ON FOREVER THE PRIMARIES REALLY JUST GOT OVER WITH. WE ARE IN EARNEST ON THIS RACE FOR THE FIRST TIME. I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT MIKE ROSS HAS BEEN SWINGING AT ASA HUTCHINSON FOR A WHILE. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THEY'RE IN THE SAME ROOM AT THE SAME TIME. IT'S A LITTLE DIFFERENT. IT'S MORE DRAMATIC WHEN PEOPLE START SWINGING AND MIGHT ACTUALLY LAND ON THE OPPONENT THEY'RE ATTACKING BUT HE DEFINITELY CAME OUT AGGRESSIVELY BUT I FOR ONE WASN'T SURPRISED. IT'S A GOVERNOR'S RACE. IT'S A HIGH STAKES GOVERNOR'S RACE AND IF ANYTHING THE POLLS I HAVE SEEN SHOW ASA IS AHEAD IN THIS GOVERNOR'S RACE, SO ON THE BASIS LARGELY OF NAME RECOGNITION AND JUST THE GENERAL REPUBLICAN SLANT OUR ELECTIONS HAVE THESE DAYS SO I'M NOT NOT SURPRISED. FRANKLY I WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE SURPRISED IF MR. ROSS HASN'T COME OUT SWINGING.

WELL LATER IN THE WEEK HE CAME OUT WITH HIS OWN CRIME PROGRAM. I THINK IT FOLLOWED ASA HUTCHINSON CAME OUT WITH A CRIME PROGRAM ABOUT MAYBE A MONTH AND A HALF AGO AND CLAIMS THAT THE MIKE ROSS CAMPAIGN -- [INAUDIBLE] PROGRAM IS -- HIS OWN CRIME PROGRAM ME TOO.

MORE MONEY IN IT, YEAH.

AND AGAIN HE'S GOING TO SPEND --

$10 MILLION.

$10 MILLION OVERALL.

YEAH, TO ADD MORE PAROLE OFFICERS TO LOOK FOR MORE DIVERSION PROGRAMS, DRUG OPTIONS FOR PEOPLE CONVICTED OF NON VIOLENT OFFENSES BUT YES $10 MILLION COMPARED TO ASA HUTCHINSON'S PLAN OF ABOUT $1 MILLION, BUT HUTCHINSON RESPONDED SAYING "WELL, I TAKE THIS AS A COMPLEMENT. MIKE ROSS LIKES MY IDEA" AND ROSS TRIED TO PAINT THIS THOUGH AS HUTCHINSON'S PLAN WAS SLAPPED TOGETHER. I THINK IS THE PHRASE HE USED, WHEREAS HE SAYS HIS PLAN IS REALLY MORE THOUGHT OUT AND ADDRESS THE PROBLEM AND A LOT OF THIS GOES TO THE PRISON OVER CROWDING ISSUE THAT HAS BEEN SUCH A PROBLEM.

AND BY THE WAY I THINK MAYBE YESTERDAY THE BOARD OF CORRECTION COMES OUT AND SAYS IN ADDITION TO NEEDING MILLIONS MORE TO OPERATE THE PRISONS WE NEED 100 MILLION MORE TO BUILD MORE PRISONS AND FEED INTO THAT ISSUE. I DON'T THINK THEY'RE GOING TO COME OUT AND EMBRACE THE ADDITIONAL SPENDING IN THE ELECTION. WE WANT TO GO TO ONE MORE THING AND THE LOTTERY. WE HAD A REPORT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED AND SHOWED THE LOTTERY REVENUES DOWN. NO BIG SURPRISE. DOWN BY MILLIONS.

SECOND YEAR IN A ROW AND THE IMPACT ON SCHOLARSHIPS I THINK ABOUT 9,000 LESS --

9 MILLION.

9 MILLION. THANK YOU. IT SEEMS TO SUGGEST THAT ARKANSANS REALLY AREN'T CATCHING ON TO THE LOTTERY. IT'S JUST THIS STEADY TREND AND MORE AND MORE YOU'VE GOT THE FOLKS THAT THE LOTTERY SAYING WE NEED TO MOVE ON TO EXPAND TO MONITOR GAMES WHERE YOU HAVE DRAWINGS EVERY FEW MINUTES AND THE LEGISLATURE THIS PASS SESSION PUT A MORATORIUM ON UNTIL MARCH BUT IT SHOWS A REAL PROBLEM WITH THE LOTTERY.

WELL, THAT HAS BEEN THE HISTORY WITH LOTTERIES AND WARNING ALL ALONG THEY'RE POPULAR FOR A YEAR OR TWO AND THEN THEY GO DOWNHILL AND THE STATE HAS TO FIND WAYS OF PUMP THINGS UP AND GET PEOPLE HOOKED INTO REGULAR GAMBLING AND THAT'S THE ELECTRONIC GAMES.

I'M GOING TO POINT OUT THAT ALL OF THIS WAS FORESEEN. I MEAN YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. THE NOVELTY IS WARN OFF AND WE HAD IT FOR YEARS AND I WILL POINT OUT GOVERNOR BEEBE WARNED THE LEGISLATORS NOT TO BE OVER GENEROUS WITH THE SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS THAT THEY NEEDED TO BE CONSERVATIVE. THEY NEEDED TO GET A BASELINE OF HOW MUCH MONEY YOU COULD CONSISTENTLY BRING IN EVERY YEAR AND THAT WISE SAGE ADVICE WAS IGNORED. GIVING AWAY MONEY IS POLITICAL EXTREMELY POPULAR AND THEY GAVE AWAY EVERY DIME THEY GOT AND NOW THEY DON'T HAVE AS MANY DIMES AND THEY HAVE TO RECONCILE THE FACT THEY HAVE LESS MONEY TO WORK WITH AND THE ONLY WAY TO GET MORE MONEY IS ADOPT MORE GIMMICKS AND IF ADOPTED WILL BE POPULAR FOR A WHILE AND HAVE THE SAME TRAIL OFF WITH THE LOTTERY.

OR ELSE FIND GENERAL REVENUES.

OR GENERAL REVENUES.

COULD BE NEW TAXES.

THEY COULD FOLLOW THE MIKE HUCKABEE PLAN AND BREAK UP THE CAPITOL AND SELL THE PIECES. I'M GETTING A BIT HISTORICAL HERE. BASICALLY THEY OVER PROMISED AND UNDER DELIVERED.

WELL, WE HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE. THANK YOU GENTLEMEN FOR PARTICIPATING THIS WEEK AND THANK YOU FOR WATCHING.

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