Let me just throw this out there from the start: I’ve gone back and forth on whether to post this story more than I have on any post I’ve ever written for BHR. Given the personal nature of some of the information, it is certainly not something that I approach lightly. I generally try to avoid stepping off entirely into personal-life stuff, and this post does not change that general stance. More importantly, nothing in here is intended as minimizing the personal impact of anyone’s decisions.
Ultimately, however, the documentation is here, and I think the voters of District 76 and the people of Arkansas — regardless of their personal stance on abortion — deserve to see the rampant hypocrisy in order to cast the most informed ballot possible.
Which leads us to District 76 candidate Bobby Altes.[foot]Yes, he is the son of current Rep. Denny Altes.[/foot]
If you go to Altes’ website and click on “What I Believe,” you will see, among other things, this:
I am fiercely pro-life, pro-family, pro-business, and I am ultra-conservative. I believe that we have God-given rights to defend our families, raise our children as we want, and keep as much of our hard earned money as possible. I believe in the sanctity of human life from conception.
Seems . . . standard, I suppose. Right above that, he even says:
That’s offensive and far outside the business of the federal government, especially when they demand that we support some programs, like abortion, that many of us have strong feelings against.
Bobby Altes is staunchly anti-abortion; I think we can all agree on that. If we take him at face value, that is. Which we shouldn’t.
Bobby Altes married a woman named Kimberly on July 27, 2012, in South Padre Island, TX. In August of 2012, Kimberly learned she was pregnant. Rather than have the baby, Altes sent Kimberly to an abortion clinic in Tulsa, where he had use her maiden name to obtain an abortion.
By April 13, 2013, Altes had left Kimberly, and, on May 13, 2013, he sued her for divorce, citing “general and personal indignities” that she had apparently subjected him to.
Ah, but maybe this was Bobby Altes’ only failure to walk his professed walk, right? In a word: no.
In 1999, Altes married a woman named Allison. They had two children — one in 2000, one in 2002. On July 30, 2004, Allison Altes went to the Sebastian County Sheriff’s Department to file a complaint against Bobby for domestic battery. The officer taking the complaint detailed Allison’s statement:
Mrs ALTES came to the sheriffs dept and stated that her husband Robert had become increasingly violent toward her. She stated that he has been pushing her to the floor, once while she was pregnant and has left numerous bruises. She stated that the last incident happened Monday 7-26-04 when he came home and became angry because she had a box fan going.
On November 20, 2004, Allison and Altes separated, and she filed for divorce two days later, citing general indignities. [foot]Because Arkansas does not have a true no-fault divorce in the sense that many states do, “general indignities” has become a farcical catch-all for divorces when parties do not want to air their dirty laundry in a public record, but want to be divorced in fewer than 18 months.[/foot] Altes’s reaction? To lock Allison — his wife and the mother of his children — out of the house, forcing her to file an emergency petition for spousal and child support during the divorce, which the court set at $225/month and $550/month, respectively.
After a brief-but-failed reconciliation in 2005, the couple split up for good on July 20, 2006, when Altes was charged with third-degree domestic battery.
Divorce was ultimately granted by the court on November 1, 2006, and Altes was ordered to pay $100/week in child support. Despite Altes’s self-professed successes in business, paying this $100/week apparently proved problematic; by August of 2007, Allison had to file a motion for contempt in an effort to have Altes pay child support and to get the court to increase the amount based on Altes’s increased income post-divorce. (Of note, at least in terms of getting the whole picture of Bobby Altes: it was during this same time period that Altes was also charged with Aggravated Assault when he pulled a .357 on an employee who was trying to collect his final paycheck.)
Fast forward just a bit, to some time around May or June of 2010, when Altes began a sexual relationship with a woman named Kristen. In February 2011, Kristen gave birth to a son and listed Bobby Altes as the putative father. When Altes failed to provide support for this child, Kristen filed a petition on September 16, 2011, with the Office of Child Support Enforcement. An order establishing paternity and requiring Bobby to pay $151/week in support was entered on March 14, 2012.
Now, if you were paying attention at the start of this post, you might have just thought, “March 14, 2012 . . . isn’t that less than five months before he married the woman in Texas?” Yes, it was.
Which also means that Bobby Altes impregnated two different women between May/June 2010 and July/August 2012; he had to be sued to acknowledge paternity of one, and he had his wife abort the other, then divorced her shortly thereafter. And, of course, the woman who gave birth to his first two children made allegations of battery against him twice, then had to sue to get him to consistently pay even $100/week in child support.
Having read all of this, you should skim back through what Altes professes to believe, then try to figure out how he can say with a straight face that he’s “pro-family” or “pro-life.” It’s one thing to waffle on something minor. It’s another for a candidate’s action to eviscerate the very principles he claims to hold most dear.