Northwest Arkansas politicians weighed in on the Regnat Populus ballot proposal, two of whom are vying for one of the most hotly contested state senate seats in the state-Democrat Diana Gonzales Worthen and Republican Jon Woods. Worthen, the Democrat, stands on the side of ethics reform and better government. Woods thinks part of the proposal is un-American…
Here’s Worthen’s part-short, sweet, and to the point:
Diana Gonzales Worthen is Wood’s Democratic opponent. “I think the voters in my district will be overwhelmingly in favor of it,” she said. The reason is “One vote, one person,” she said. She also favors the measure because it allows for more transparency and accountability in government.
Now that’s the gist of it isn’t it? Big corporations have as many votes as they can buy with their deep pockets and campaign contributions. We the people only get the one at the ballot box.
Woods, to his credit, was for the cooling off period for legislators to become lobbyists, but banning direct corporate contributions and making those corporations go to all the trouble of operating like they do at the federal level, through a PAC rather than a direct contribution, is “not the American way”:
Jon Woods, Republican nominee for state Senate District 7 and a state representative from Springdale, supported the proposed extension of the cooling-off period but said the proposed limit on corporate contributions was a violation of free speech principles.
“I’m not going to name names, but I’ve seen members of the Legislature ask for and get committee meetings for people who became their clients three or four months later,” Woods said. “The people who were hiring them got the chance to be witnesses in these meetings.”
“So yes, I think the cooling-off period is needed,” Woods said. “Those committee meetings weren’t during a legislative session where laws were being made and money was being spent, but they were in the interim as we were getting ready for the next session.”
“The contribution part of it, though, I’d have to say is not the American way,” Woods said.
Woods says this of course because he just got through spending over 82,000 dollars in corporate money to destroy his Republican primary opponent. He is now totally bought by the corporations that have powered his campaign, so of course he would be against this measure.
Republicans are making this easy, lining up almost to a man to a oppose the most sweeping reform of state government and campaign finance in recent memory. Democrats should be lining up on the exact opposite side and beating their brains out with this. Of course, we still have some stragglers on our side of the fence, and one of those Democrats is going to get a tongue lashing over it as soon as I have the time.