Arkansas Politics

Politics
5:58 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Highway Commissioner Enters Arkansas Lt. Governor Race

John Burkhalter
Credit Arkansas Highway & Transportation Dept.

Arkansas Highway Commissioner John Burkhalter says he's running for lieutenant governor next year, opting out of a race for the state's top office.

Burkhalter on Tuesday announced he's running for the Democratic nomination for the state's No. 2 constitutional office.

Little Rock School Board President Dianne Curry also announced Tuesday that she's running.

Burkhalter, 56, had been considering a run for governor.

Burkhalter is the president of Burkhalter Technologies, a North Little Rock construction company.

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Politics
4:05 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Little Rock School Board President Enters Arkansas Lt. Governor Race

Dianne Curry

A second Democrat also entered the race for Arkansas Lieutenant Governor today: Little Rock School Board President Dianne Curry.

If elected, the 59-year-old would be the first woman to serve in that post and the first African-American elected to statewide office. Curry says it’s time for more women, minorities, and working class people to be in state government.

She says she will focus on education, the workforce, the economy, and issues surrounding the health of Arkansans.  

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Local & Regional News
5:56 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Highway Commissioner Burkhalter To Announce Campaign

Credit Arkansas Highway & Transportation Dept.

Arkansas Highway Commissioner John Burkhalter says he will make an announcement Tuesday that will run for a statewide office, but isn't saying which one.

There has been a lot of speculation in recent months that Burkhalter is considering a run for the Democratic nomination for Governor.  Sitting Governor Mike Beebe is term-limited and can not run for re-election.

Burkhalter, who is also a small business owner and entrepreneur, has close ties to Beebe, as well as former President Bill Clinton.

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Local & Regional News
3:27 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Lincoln Says Effective Communication Key To Pryor Victory

Blanche Lincoln

Former Democratic U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas is now a lobbyist working on issues that impact small businesses and independent contractors. Lincoln lost her Senate seat to Republican John Boozman in the 2010 election. 

In an interview with Talk Business Arkansas, Lincoln says Senator Mark Pryor will face many challenges for reelection, especially when it comes to getting his message out to voters.

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Arkansas Politics
5:56 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Michigan Governor To Speak At Arkansas Dems Dinner

Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm
Credit Wikimedia / wikipedia.com

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm will be the guest speaker for the Arkansas Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner this month.

The state Democratic Party announced Friday that Granholm will speak at the June 15 event.

The dinner will be at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock.

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Local & Regional News
4:36 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Former Arkansas Treasurer Indicted On Extortion Charge

Martha Shoffner's mug shot after being arrested May 18 at her home in Newport.
Credit Pulaski County Sheriff's Office

A federal grand jury has indicted former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner on charges that she accepted more than $36,000 cash from a bond broker to whom she steered a large portion of the state's investment business.

The indictment filed on Wednesday charged Shoffner with extortion and other charges.

Shoffner was arrested at her Newport home May 18 after the FBI said it caught her on tape accepting a $6,000 payment from the broker, who hasn't been identified.

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Local & Regional News
4:39 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Judge Rejects Guilty Plea From Ex-Arkansas treasurer

U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer speaking with reporters outside the federal courthouse in Little Rock.
Credit Michael Hibblen/ KUAR

Former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner and prosecutors had agreed on terms of a plea deal, but Friday afternoon it was rejected by a federal judge.

“There were questions that I wasn’t comfortable with,” Shoffner told reporters as she left the courthouse in Little Rock.

Judge Leon Holmes questioned her during the hearing, asking if she understood the terms of the plea. She said “Yes.”

He also asked if Shoffner had taken the payments from a bond broker as alleged by prosecutors. She said “Yes, but it was offered. I didn’t demand it.”

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Local & Regional News
6:20 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Arkansas Governor To Name New State Treasurer

Governor Mike Beebe

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is naming his pick to replace the state treasurer who resigned over accusations she accepted cash payments in exchange for steering business to an investment broker.

Beebe on Wednesday planned to announce the replacement for Martha Shoffner, who stepped down last week after she was charged with extortion by federal prosecutors over the cash payments. 

Whoever Beebe appoints will fill the remainder of Shoffner's term, which ends in January 2015, and can't run for the post next year. Shoffner, a Democrat, was re-elected in 2010. 

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Local & Regional News
7:05 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Griffin Wants Congress To Focus On Facts In IRS Controversy

Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., questions Steven Miller, former acting IRS commissioner, and J. Russell George, Treasury Department inspector general for tax administration, during a hearing on Capitol Hill.
Credit CHARLES DHARAPAK / AP

As members of Congress continue their investigation into Internal Revenue Service practices that delayed the tax-exempt status for many conservative groups from 2010 to 2012, Arkansas Congressman Tim Griffin says now is not the time to score political points.

“Get the facts and then draw your conclusions. That’s the way an investigation works,” said Griffin. “As a result of partisan fervor, some people have a tendency to get ahead of the facts. My view is get the facts and let the facts tell the story.”

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Local & Regional News
6:15 am
Thu May 23, 2013

2 Men Sentenced In Arkansas Election Fraud Case

Two men who pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in an election fraud case involving a former east Arkansas lawmaker have been sentenced to home confinement and probation.

Federal court records show that Phillip Wayne Carter was sentenced Wednesday to five months of home confinement. Sam Malone was sentenced Tuesday to 7.2 months of home confinement. Both men were also sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.

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