Your comments welcome. There’s some money news.
* CAMPAIGN CASH: Monthly campaign reports are coming in today. In the governor’s race, it looks like the fall campaign begins with Democrat Mike Ross reporting $1.6 million on hand and Republican Asa Hutchinson with $950,000. Whatever each raises will almost certainly be outstripped by independent expenditures.
* BOOZE BUCKS: Our Community Our Dollars, the group formed to gather signatures and promote votes on making Craighead, Faulkner and Saline counties open to retail alcohol sales has filed its first financial report. It has received $625,000 so far — $600,000 from Walmart and $25,000 from the Kum & Go convenience store chain. The bulk of its expenses have gone to National Ballot Access, a for-hire canvassing firm.
The They Win, You Lose Committee, which is fighting the wet vote in Faulkner County, filed a campaign report that reported only a contribution of $5,250 in loans from political consultant Mary Dillard. The beverage dealers in nearby Conway County, which don’t want to see competition spring up in Faulkner County, are believed to be behind this effort but that’s not clear yet. The officers of the group include an employee of a lobbying company owned by Bruce Hawkins that works for the beverage dealers.
Local Citizens for Safety and Prosperity, which is fighting legal sales in Craighead County, reports more than $40,000 raised to fight the measure. The money appears to come from beverage dealers in neighboring wet counties, Greene and Poinsett.
Let Arkansas Decide is another committee working to put an amendment on the ballot to have a statewide vote on allowing retail alcohol sales throughout Arkansas. It has filed organizing papers but has not yet filed any financial backing information. It will likely have some backers that can also be found in the local option elections.