(Plus an unavoidable mention of D.C. Morrison.)
MSNBC First Read’s “First Thoughts” post has two nuggets about the AR-Sen race. The more noteworthy entry of the two is from Luke Russert’s interview with Bill Clinton. Asked to opine on the Halter-Lincoln race, the former President said
A lot of the labor unions have picked out Arkansas, and are spending a fortune to run ads against Senator Lincoln because she [opposed] the card-check proposal … I endorsed her months ago. I like Bill Halter. I’ve known since he was a very young man. He worked in two different capacities in my administration, and I support him for lieutenant governor strongly. But I think that a lot of this criticism against Senator Lincoln is overheated … They’re having a fight[,] but I told her months ago I’d support her before I knew she’d have a primary opponent, and I still believe that’s the right decision.
In the Good Ol’ Boys’ Club of Arkansas politics, I suppose this is less than shocking, but for some reason — possibly naivete on my part — I assumed that the former President would backtrack a little and not come out quite so soundly in favor of Lincoln.
As for the “criticism against Senator Lincoln [being] overheated,” my inner Lumbergh is gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you there. Senator Lincoln is facing deserved criticism for what are (correctly) perceived as her failures as a Senator. Not to mention, her TPS reports have been awful.
Via Blake, here’s a link to the Coalition for Arkansas Jobs’ breakdown of where various candidates stand on the Employee Free Choice Act. Bill Halter did not respond; Blanche Lincoln, D.C. Morrison, John Boozman, Gilbert Baker, Kim Hendren, Curtis Coleman, and Fred Ramey all stated that they would oppose the Act as currently written as well as oppose any legislation that contained “card check” or binding arbitration.
In the “Facts” section of the Blanche For Senate website, we find this:
Sen. Lincoln Does Not Accept Contributions From Organizations Receiving Money Under TARP…
Effective January 1,2009, Sen. Lincoln’s campaign ceased accepting contributions from executives, employees or Political Action Committees associated with TARP-assisted financial institutions headquartered outside the state of Arkansas.
In response, and with the Goldman Sachs fiasco fresh on voters’ minds, the Halter campaign issued this:
But records available at opensecrets.org show otherwise. Friends of Blanche Lincoln reported $4,500 in contributions from TARP recipient Goldman Sachs’ PAC since that self-imposed January 2009 cutoff. She has taken a total of $15,000 from the investment bank’s PAC in the current election cycle. Goldman Sachs got $10 billion in bailout money. And according to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, Blanche Lincoln has accepted more than $1.1 million from the securities and investments industry and commercial banks, many of whom took bailout money.
You can see the 2009 donations here:
And her total here:
12/10/09 $ 500.00
Hmm…maybe she meant January 1, 2010. Or maybe she was lying. (Also, you have to love how she tacked on “headquartered outside the state of Arkansas” as a loophole in the event that some of the $300+ million in TARP funds that have been funneled to Arkansas were offered to her campaign.)