I told you last week that I thought Mike Ross already acted like a governor, and this week I can report that state representative Debra Hobbs is not ready or qualified to be governor of Arkansas.
This is the fourth in a series of reports of the gubernatorial candidates who spoke at the Political Animals Club in downtown Little Rock. Here’s a quick breakdown of attendance from most to least: Ross, Asa Hutchinson, Curtis Coleman and Dobbs.
That’s interesting because I think that’s how the candidates will ultimately finish, but probably with a pretty good dog fight between Ross and Hutchinson in the fall of 2014.
But back to Mrs. Hobbs. I felt like I was watching a speech for someone running for class president rather than governor.
A few examples of her "speech," during which she awkwardly scrolled through an iPad to reference her points:
• She arbitrarily singled out the Health Services Permit Agency and pointed out it only has five employees and the director is paid about $100,000. For reasons she was not able to explain, she said we could probably find another place for that agency and save some expenses that way. Hmmmm, OK.
• Her big idea of the day was proposing that when someone files for unemployment they should be required to fill out a "job application." I asked her if she knew that when people filed for unemployment benefits that they were required to seek employment and report their results in order to receive benefits? She told me she aware of that but that "people can get around the system." She didn’t have specifics of how her system would be better. Hmmmm, OK.
• When she started her speech, she said one of the reasons she is running is she is tired of tax increases. When asked what she meant, she said she was referring to the federal government, not Arkansas. Hmmmm, OK. Last time I checked, the governor doesn’t have a lot to do with federal taxes other than spending them.
I checked her website and under the tab labeled "issues," it listed the following topics, Pro Life, Pro Personal Property Rights, Pro Second Amendment and Reduction of Taxes.
I thought this was perhaps where I would get more information on where she really stood on something. That was it. No more information. No link. Nothing but those headings. Hmmm, OK.
Mrs. Hobbs seems like a nice person, and she does have a graduate degree but it’s in counseling education not anything relative to being the leader of the state. She should just continue being a state representative. That will be the pinnacle of her political career.
Thank you, Mr. Bookout
We all appreciate former state Senator Paul Bookout resigning his position after using campaign funds to pay for personal luxuries. Now a special prosecutor has been named and Bookout may be facing more trouble than he bargained for. He also resigned from his executive position at St. Bernard Regional Medical Center in Jonesboro. What’s the lesson here? Are you listening, elected officials?
Lowery to write column
I reported here last week that there were some who didn’t like the idea that State Rep. Mark Lowery will have a free office in our city offices. Some ultra-sensitive citizen even thought my comments were in "poor taste." Huh?
My only comment was that any such office should be shared with our other representatives, State Rep. Doug House, State Senators Jane English and David Sanders. I think it just makes sense.
At my urging and with the agreement of this newspaper, Lowery will now write a regular column to let us know what’s going on in state government and what he’s doing to look out for his constituents. That’s you and me.
See you on the Boulevard.
Note: Check out the front page for the fundraising efforts for the Bruning family in Maumelle. You can donate online at www.jdbfoundation.org or at any Bank of the Ozarks location.
Neal Moore owns a creative consulting firm, Neal Moore Creative. He has lived in Maumelle over 10 years. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Facebook or on Twitter, @kneelmore.