Democrats, again, I’m begging you, start campaigning hard against Republicans on ethics! It’s a winning issue, and they’ve supplied us with a ton of ammunition-
“The contribution part of it, though, I’d have to say is not the American way,” Woods said.
“When you see the state about to, in my opinion, switch to where it would be a Republican majority [in the Legislature], … yeah, let’s make it where you can’t take corporate contributions,” Darr said.
We passed revolving door ban. 1 or 2 makes no difference to me.
All it would take is a couple of good ads and some consistent and easy messaging to turn this into the issue into something that could keep the state legislature in Democratic hands, if done right. I mean, just imagine the script:
Announcer: Two years ago Arkansas Republicans campaigned on ethics reform. How do they feel about it now though? One state senate candidate called it “not the American way.” (Flash quote from Jon Woods on the screen)…the House Republican leader said he didn’t care how long it took for legislators to become lobbyists. Guess he’s looking for a new job from the guys that treat him to dinner. (Flash pic of Burris at dinner with lobbyists.) Lt. Gov. Mark Darr made it clear, Republicans want their turn at the trough. (Show Mark Darr’s face and the above quote.) While Arkansas Democrats were lining up and trying to get ethics reform on the ballot, more and more Republicans kept coming out against it. (Show pictures of and quotes from Republicans that came out against Regnat Populus.) The choice is clear, if you want ethical state government, then make sure you elect Arkansas Democrats.
Gee, maybe I should consider going in to the ad business…
Yes, some Republicans, to their credit, came out in support of ethics reform. The majority of Republican office holders and candidates that spoke out on it though came out against the measure while most Democrats lined up in support. It’s time to own the issue.
Using this issue to it’s greatest potential might just make the difference between a Republican controlled legislature and a Democratic one. It’s no guarantee, but it’s a far better bet than just doing what we’re doing. Democrats need to change the game and this is the way to do it. Some, like Zac White, are already out there campaigning hard on ethics. If the state party wants to keep its majorites, then it had better jump in and help them out by campaigning on the issue.
Again, I can’t stress this enough. It might be the difference between a Democratic legislature and a Republican one.