Arkansas Politics

1st district congressional race  Rick Crawford (R) and Mark West (L)
AETN

Republican First District Congressman Rick Crawford and his Libertarian opponent, Mark West, criticized their opposing parties’ presidential nominees and disagreed about America’s role overseas during a lively debate sponsored by AETN. The debate airs at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Asked how he would explain Donald Trump’s recent comments about women to his female constituents, Crawford said the comments disturbed him but that Trump is still a better choice than Hillary Clinton, whose policies would be a continuation of President Barack Obama’s.

The Faulkner County clerk has pleaded guilty to obstructing governmental operations and agreed to resign - but she's still running for the position next month. 

Margaret Darter pleaded guilty Tuesday to the misdemeanor charge, and she immediately resigned her position as part of her negotiated plea.  

Darter was charged in October 2015 after a prosecutor asked Arkansas State Police to conduct a criminal investigation into the date elected officials filed their Statement of Financial Interest compared to the date stamped on the documents. 

Pine Bluff's city attorney says a mayoral veto of an ordinance requiring city department heads to live within city limits is invalid, which means the measure will take effect Jan. 1. 

Mayor Debe Hollingsworth vetoed the ordinance last month. But City Attorney Althea Hadden-Scott said Tuesday that the mayor did not include a written statement to aldermen explaining her decision, which means the veto did not take effect. 

Family members say former Arkansas governor and U.S. Sen. David Pryor is recovering in a hospital after suffering a stroke.

The family issued a statement Tuesday saying the 82-year-old Pryor suffered a stroke Monday and underwent surgery "that appears to have been successful."

The Democrat was Arkansas' governor from 1975 to 1979, and then served nearly 20 years in the U.S. Senate. He now serves on the board of trustees for the University of Arkansas.

Candidates for the 4th District seat: Libertarian Kerry Hicks and Republican incumbent Bruce Westerman.
AETN

Republican Rep. Bruce Westerman said tax returns should be simple enough to be filed on a postcard, while his Libertarian challenger, Kerry Hicks of Mena, said the country must address its $19 trillion national debt.

Tom Cotton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

At least two members of Arkansas’ Congressional delegation have opened the door to GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump stepping down from the ticket.

A political firestorm began Friday and has grown through the weekend resulting from a 2005 recording that features Trump having a private conversation with Billy Bush, then a co-host with “Access Hollywood” as they arrived on the set of “Days of Our Lives,” where Trump made a cameo appearance.

Donald Trump speaking at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Two Republican Arkansas officials who spoke on behalf of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump during the Republican National Convention and a GOP U.S. senator running for re-election are not joining the call for Trump to leave the race after lewd comments he made in 2005 came to light.

-Two vice-presidential candidates exchange verbal punches in their first and only debate. Meanwhile, Arkansas’s Junior US Senator Tom Cotton visits Iow. 2020 on the mind?

-A man dies in a Texarkana jail. A newly released video shows a struggle with guards and pleas of “I can’t breathe.”

-Oil and Gas Industry representatives mingle with Arkansas politicians in Little Rock. From whence doth the energy flow?

-An invasive beetle further endangers Ash trees in Arkansas.

- And a celebrated east Arkansas Blues Festival kicks off.

Interstate Oil Gas Compact Commission
David Monteith / KUAR News

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson agree that energy policy needs to be included in the national political debate. But they disagree on a controversial transmission line project that would move wind energy from the Oklahoma panhandle to western Tennessee.

Fallin is the 2016 chairman of the Interstate Oil Gas Compact Commission. Hutchinson will become chairman next year. Both governors spoke Monday at the group's annual conference.

Mental Health
Mid South Health Systems

Funding cuts for mental health services through Medicaid are taking effect October 1, despite a last-ditch effort at the state legislature Friday to walk back a change that some say could have dire consequences.

The cuts, finalized last week, would limit group therapy length from an hour and a half to an hour and set a cap of 25 counseling visits per year for Medicaid recipients who might otherwise go every week.

The vote to revisit the decision failed to gain two thirds from the Arkansas Legislative Council Friday morning.

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