More on the Davy Carter coup

My Sunday column will seek to get a little behind the scenes and analyze Davy Carter’s dramatic stretch-run sprint to the House speakership. But a few notes that didn’t make it into that:

1. If everyone is telling the truth, Carter got all 48 Democratic votes. Maybe he got the one Green Party vote. That would leave him with only three Republican votes, presumably his own and just two others, both publicly confessed — from John Burris and Charlie Collins. I thought Carter had as many as eight or nine Republican votes, including those of Duncan Baird (who’ll probably now become Joint Budget chairman) and and Bruce Westerman, the House majority leader. Maybe the vote was so well-orchestrated that Carter’s supporters knew what they could spare. Maybe all the Democrats actually didn’t vote for Carter. Who knows? It’s done.

2. Why would Democrats go with Carter? Many reasons, including his bipartisan instincts and his reasoned leadership and that Gov. Mike Beebe likes him a lot. But there’s this: Late in the campaign, a Republican state representative candidate in Batesville, Charles Fuqua, got found out for having written in a self-published book some extreme nonsense, including the idea that we would just throw free religion to the wind and round up any Muslims and deport them because of what they believe. Alone among Arkansas Republicans, Carter came forward to endorse the Democratic candidate, incumbent James McLean, who got re-elected. “How hard would that have been?” McLean asked me rhetorically, referring to other Republicans who cowered rather than join Carter.

3. I sense the fine hand of the state business establishment in the Carter coup. He is an establishment banker himself and there are business folks in the state who, while economic conservatives embracing part of the GOP agenda, worry about Koch brothers’ extremism and religious conservatives who would go entirely too far with the social agenda, as has happened in Kansas and Texas. Carter gets you a capital gains tax cut — maybe, if he can figure a way to afford it and oblige the governor somewhat on his grocery tax drawdown — but not a Church Lady assault on school textbooks and other Luciferan plots, for example.

4. There is a ton of right-wing Republican animosity toward Carter, but the only public expression of it that I have seen came on Twitter from a grandstander and showboat who can’t himself, Sen. Jason Rapert of somewhere between Bigelow and Conway. Though he is a senator and the House is none of his business, he made a post that didn’t name Carter but talked of a “traitor.” It reminded me of Rapert’s presenting a goofy bill to Carter’s Revenue and Tax Committee to do away with income taxes in the Delta and in other poverty-level counties, and Carter’s rather vigorous dismissal of the notion of creating an unequal income tax system with an exemption bigger than the rule.






16 Responses to 'More on the Davy Carter coup'

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  1. I wish we were all kind, caring Democrats like you.I guess God doesnt endow us Republicans with the same generous spirit he bestowed on unselfish liberals.How yall abide with us is beyond me.

    mike graves

    16 Nov 12 at 9:35 am

  2. what the heck, graves? did i do something to you by reporting and analyzing this legislative matter? did you comment on the wrong thread? are you all right?


    16 Nov 12 at 10:35 am

  3. I congratulate Speaker elect Carter. We had two great men, two great conservatives to choose from in the speaker’s race. Rep Rice would also have been a fine speaker.

    From my discussions with Rep Carter over the past two years (I sat next to him in the chamber during the past term and served with him on the Rev and Tax Committee he chaired), Davy supports income tax relief as part of a comprehensive tax plan for Arkansas.

    Charlie Collins

    Charlie Collins

    16 Nov 12 at 9:39 am

  4. charlie: that’s what i was afraid of.


    16 Nov 12 at 10:34 am

  5. John,I wonder if youre sincere.I know you’re brainy.
    Are all R’s right wing kooks?
    I have lib Dems in my family, and dont regard them as kooks, just different philosophically.
    I do enjoy youre column and blog, dont read Greenburg, even tho he and I are more politically in line with each other than you and i.
    I drink Coors Light and you probably drink Scotch., sorry if Im no deeper than that.

    mike graves

    16 Nov 12 at 11:05 am

  6. in this very post i cite davy carter, a right-winger i like and respect and do not consider a kook. i drink right wine medicinally for good heart health and there is an irish whisky called jameson’s that will warm your innards and help you sleep.


    16 Nov 12 at 11:20 am

  7. Do I sense some discomfort? After being the ruling party for 138 years, I guess it would be a little uncomfortable with the shoe on the other foot. Relax. It will all work out. Maybe not as you would have it, but it hasn’t exactly been the way all the Repubs would have liked it either for 138 years. Come to think of it, can we blame our 49th place standing in so many things on those 138 years? Naaaah, this is Arkansas….the good-ole-boy system will still work as it always has.

    Mickey Maddox

    16 Nov 12 at 11:59 am

  8. Things wouldn’t be so bad if the Republicans actually increase taxes on the corporations and help the lower middle class and middle class plus the small business owners with new deductions, such as costs for health insurance and court-ordered child support.
    What’s the maximum rate in this state? someone told me 7 percent when you hit like $35K. That doesn’t seem fair to the pay same rate as compared to someone making $250,000.
    And, before they get rid of the grocery tax, don’t they think they need to handle some more of the state’s needs… Medicaid, roads, prisoners, etc. Dedicating and raising the grocery tax on foods heavy with sugar/fat — like Ice cream, cookies, candy, bakery sweets– would help the Medicaid deficit. (We have the sin tax on soda!)
    A VAT on luxury vehicles and dedicating a 1 or 2 cent sales tax on auto parts and repairs for local roads would help cities like Carter’s Cabot get a third highway exit from U.S. 67/167!
    More fees on criminal cases might mean Pulaski County and other counties could afford to open their new jails.

    K.D. Weber

    16 Nov 12 at 12:18 pm

  9. I’m new to AR, only seven years, but from where I sit any changes to the house and senate couldn’t be any worse than they’ve been…Your sisters to the West, OK & TX, discovered several years ago that one party rule for an eternity benefits the rulers and not the ruled…It’s refreshing to see AR step up to the plate and make a refreshing change……….for the better, we all hope.

    Alley Oops75

    16 Nov 12 at 1:21 pm

  10. I am thinking that Democrats gave Davy 45 votes, not 48. Some Dems were PO’d over losing Darrin, remember there were three undervotes.

    snarky one

    16 Nov 12 at 1:50 pm

  11. How about this, expanding Medicaid to 260,000 working poor Arkansans will only raise the cost by 3 percent. Could you Republicans live with that?

    tom mason

    27 Nov 12 at 10:48 am

  12. What’s happened to Brummett?
    Come on, we miss the exchange out here in the boonies

    mike graves

    29 Nov 12 at 7:57 am

  13. Why hadst thou forsaken us out in these wastelands, oh learned Little Rock?
    Come on and write something,Brummett,Hells Bells!

    mike graves

    3 Dec 12 at 7:51 am

  14. I see Mr.Gitz. Has lost any standing as a serious journalist. He’s castigating blacks for voting 92 percent Obama, but right across the page from him is Krugman Printing out that only 10 percent of white Mississippi and voted for Obama. Why don’t your paper let the best writer Philip Martin Take Gitz place?

    tom mason

    3 Dec 12 at 5:50 pm

  15. In the D-G, it’s only racism if they can accuse blacks of it. White people are free to hate Obama for simply being black, because that’s the way we’ve always done it.


    13 Dec 12 at 9:30 am

  16. John Brummett, I believe youre right about our Attorney General being the next gov.McDaniell is well thought of here, and gets plenty of press.
    surely the GOP wont drag out ASA for another futile run

    mike graves

    13 Dec 12 at 11:46 am

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