AR-Sec. State: A van down by the river

Thoughts, reactions, and (mainly) unnecessarily sarcastic comments regarding Seth Blomeley’s fluffy Democrat-Gazette feature on Secretary of State-elect Mark Martin from last Sunday.

“I had the opportunity to deliver checks from the committee to the politicians here in Arkansas,” Martin said. “I had the opportunity to meet Marion Berry. He sat down, slapped my back and talked to me. He had my accent. He was just friendly, like the guys at the [farming] co-op.”

“He had the same name of someone far more famous than he was, just like I did.  He considered himself among the billions and billions served by McDonalds, just like me.  WE WERE BOTH WEARING PANTS!!!”

During the cafeteria interview, Martin seemed on edge, his cell phone frequently vibrating. “I’m about to blow up,” he said.

So having to answer his phone and talk about things related to his current job and/or his new job — the one for which he was wholly unqualified, remember — is so frustrating that he was “about to blow up”?  I mean, boy, he’s just a straight shooter with upper-management written all over him.

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The episode is an example of how legislators describe Martin: Some call it passionate, some call it prone to anger.

Some throw out very general labels and ascribe those ideas to an unspecified portion of the general population.

Rep. Ed Garner, R-Maumelle, wonders whether Martin is “Irish” because of his emotion.

“Many people don’t realize how smart he really is,” Garner said. “He’s known for being fiery. Some people are put off by that, but he’s an absolute sincere guy.”

Having your intelligence praised by Ed Garner is like having your proposed tax policy praised bywell, Ed Garner.

When Hutchinson suggested that Martin not print some materials in Spanish, Martin replied on his Facebook page that he would “take care” of it.

“It seemed flippant, I thought,” said Rep. Uvalde Lindsey, D-Fayetteville. “He’s smarter than that. Mark knows you have to follow federal election law.”

Except, you know, this isn’t a federal-law issue.  The Voting Rights Act provisions dealing with Spanish language ballots do not currently apply to Arkansas.  Arkansas state law, however, does require it.

Man, it would be nice if our elected officials knew how the law worked.  Crazy thought, I know.

Martin said he’s looking forward to leaving the Legislature so he can concentrate on nuts-and-bolts administration, rather than debating policy. He’s said he has no specific plans for the office.

“The engineer in me is coming out hard and strong,” he said.

Which sounds dirty, but probably isn’t.

He recalls being in college and being taken aback during a formal dinner involving the use of different utensils for particular foods.

Just like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman!  “Sometimes there are three tines…”

“Some people think I’m a Chris Farley kind of person,” Martin said, referring to the late comedian known for playing misfit characters with temper tantrums.

Uh-oh!  Looks like someone is a closet fan of BHR!!!

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