IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Outside Interest Group Distorts Truth, Misleads Public
An outside interest group was found to be in error on recent mailings it sent out falsely attacking candidates for state office.
News coverage follows.
Wilkins: Mailer distorts truth, misleads public
By Waylon Harris, Sun Staff Writer, email@example.com
JONESBORO — State Rep. Butch Wilkins said Friday that a mailer from a conservative political action committee “is an attempt to mislead the public.”
The mailer suggests Wilkins voted to advance a $1.1 billion fuel tax that “would make diesel fuel in Arkansas the most expensive in the entire region.”
It refers to House Joint Resolution 1001, which advanced a proposal to the November general election ballot asking voters to approve a temporary half-cent sales tax on diesel fuel to fund maintenance and construction for state highways, bridges and county and city roads.
The resolution was sponsored by Republicans and Democrats.
Americans for Prosperity is a political advocacy group founded in 2004 with support from David and Charles Koch of Koch Industries.
“[Americans for Prosperity] are doing that about everybody; it’s just a distortion of the truth,” Wilkins said. “I’d be leery of anything from them.” (Emphasis added).
Craighead County Democratic Central Committee Chairman Benton Smith said the national advocacy group’s campaign practices are “disgusting.”
“My parents taught me at an early age that not telling the whole truth is the same as lying, and given the tough times we all face, we deserve to know the whole truth,” Smith said. “… It is critical we stand up against the immoral campaign rhetoric used by special interest groups like Americans for Prosperity.” (Emphasis added)
AFP-Arkansas State Director Teresa Crossland-Oelke didn’t return calls and messages Friday seeking comment.
“If you have to lie to win a political seat, then I don’t trust that person, whoever it is,” Wilkins charged Friday. “… We need to be straight up about who we are. I’m not going to let a special interest group control me, and I wouldn’t let one lie about my opponent. … I’d like to think we have more integrity than that, but I have my doubts. Apparently, people seem to think it’s OK to lie in politics anymore.” (Emphasis added).
Political mailer in error on tax vote
story by Roby Brock, a TCW content partner and owner of Talk Business
Similar to efforts seen in the primary campaigns, Americans for Prosperity has entered the general election campaigns with a mailer this week hitting two Democrats seeking seats in North Little Rock. Talk Business sources confirm other legislative races around the state were also targeted.
Rep. Jim Nickels, D-Sherwood, and Rep. Barry Hyde, D-North Little Rock, were both criticized in similar direct mail pieces that highlight their legislative votes last year to refer a proposed diesel fuel tax increase for a state highway program.
The near-identical mailers say that the tax increase would make diesel fuel in Arkansas “the most expensive in the entire region” and it questions the potential economic effects of the tax proposal if voters were to approve the measure.
But the diesel fuel tax vote won’t be on the ballot this November. (Emphasis added)
The mailer cites HJR 1001 for the fuel tax vote. In actuality, HJR 1001 was a referred constitutional amendment for a temporary half-cent sales tax to fund a four-lane highway program across Arkansas. It will appear on the ballot this fall as Proposed Amendment 1.
The diesel fuel tax was HB 1902, which became Act 773, and was sponsored by House Speaker Robert Moore (D-Arkansas City). It allowed the Governor to call a special election or tie the diesel fuel tax vote to a general election. After the state’s trucking industry backed out of support for the diesel fuel tax proposal, Gov. Beebe said he would not call an election on the proposal.
HYDE, NICKELS RESPOND
Nickels, who represents District 43, is seeking re-election to the newly drawn House District 41 in northern Pulaski County. He faces Republican challenger Alan Pogue and Independent Jim George.
“I think it’s dangerous that we could have an election cycle where ultra-conservative billionaires are spending millions to ensure that their extreme right-wing agenda becomes a reality in Arkansas,” said Nickels.
He said he’s planning on communicating with voters that the mailer distorts his record and that he has voted for tax decreases. (Emphasis added)
“As for the tax increase, I voted to let the people decide, is what I voted on,” Nickels said.
Hyde is running for the open Senate District 34 seat against GOP Rep. Jane English. English did not vote to refer either of the two proposals to voters. Hyde was supportive of both proposals.
“Here they go again. My opponent and her supporters are trying to mislead the voters of District 34,” said Hyde, when contacted for comment. (Emphasis added) “They sent out a mailer drawing people to the conclusion that I voted for a $1.1 billion fuel tax increase. The fact is that I voted to refer that funding mechanism, requested by the highway department that would be dedicated to the maintenance of our highways and interstates to the voters.”
Read the full article here.
Conservative Mailer May be Misleading
By KARK 4 News
A mailer produced by a conservative political hammer group slams two democratic state lawmakers over a proposed temporary sales tax.
The flyer that Americans for Prosperity is mailing out claims the measure would make diesel fuel in Arkansas the most expensive in the region, but a diesel fuel tax is not going before voters this November.
And the two state lawmakers targeted by the mailer did not vote for a tax…
Read the full article here.