Dueling news releases this morning from Sen. Mark Pryor and Republican Rep. Tom Cotton in their race for U.S. Senate.

* GONE TO TEXAS: The Pryor campaign chastises Cotton for missing votes in the U.S. House yesterday, including on a bill he sponsored and wrote an op-ed about. The Pryor team surmises he missed the votes to travel to Houston, Texas for a big fund-raiser by a GOP fat cat.


* AWOL ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS: The Cotton campaign chastises Pryor for not agreeing to include foreign affairs in the Oct. 14 debate being put on by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. Pryor’s counter is that there’s ample time to discuss foreign affairs in a scheduled AETN debate a day earlier. Cotton has, so far, not agreed to appear in the AETN debate. (Am I the first person to guess that, barring somebody with a sock to stuff in his mouth, Cotton will manager to interject foreign affairs in the Fayetteville debate?)

On the jump, you can read the details from each camp:



BREAKING: Cotton Skips Work to Fundraise with Texas Billionaires


Late yesterday, Cotton missed consideration of a House bill he co-sponsored addressing an issue he called a “crisis”

Ambition comes before Arkansas for Cotton, who spent the evening in at a closed-door Houston fundraiser while Pryor voted to ensure women earn equal pay for equal work

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ junior congressman didn’t show up for work yesterday, deciding instead to attend a high-dollar fundraiser in Houston as his constituents had no choice but to accept their lack of representation in Congress. There’s no question that Rep. Tom Cotton has consistently placed his blind ambition ahead of what’s best for Arkansas, but a decision like this so close to the election — with the national spotlight shining brightly on this race — starkly illustrates exactly where Cotton’s priorities lie.

It was almost exactly a year ago that Cotton skipped votes to attend another fundraiser in Houston, a decision that earned him statewide media attention and spotlighted the votes in Congress he was willing to miss. This time, Cotton skipped a vote on a bill that he himself co-sponsored. He even authored an op-ed claiming his principled support for the legislation addressing what he called a “crisis.”


In 12 years, Mark Pryor has never missed votes to attend a fundraiser.

“Hardworking folks across Arkansas showed up for work yesterday, but Congressman Cotton couldn’t be trusted to set aside his political ambition and do the job voters elected him to do,” said Erik Dorey, Pryor for Senate spokesman. “Congressman Cotton may think that different rules apply, but there’s no excuse for him skipping work to rub elbows with Texas billionaires who look down on Arkansans. Unfortunately this seems to be a pattern for Congressman Cotton, and for Arkansans it’s a matter of trust.”

As Sen. Mark Pryor was voting in the U.S. Senate to ensure women get equal pay for equal work, Cotton skipped out on a vote on a bill he co-sponsored called the American Savings Promotion Act, which would purportedly combat a problem Cotton termed a “crisis.”

This isn’t the first time Cotton has put his personal ambitions ahead of his responsibilities as an elected representative. Last year, leading up to the government shutdown, Cotton missed two roll-call votes in Congress to attend fundraisers for his campaign.



On September 15, 2014, Tom Cotton Had A Fundraiser In Houston, Texas. Cotton had a fundraiser on September 15, 2014 at the home of Bobbie and John Nau in Houston, Texas. The event was scheduled from 5:30pm to 7pm. [Politicalendar, 9/15/14]

John Nau Is One Of American Crossroads To Contributors. American Crossroads’ top contributors include industrialist Harold Simmons of Dallas; Houston homebuilder Bob Perry; Houston beer distributor John Nau; San Antonio communications executive Houston H. Harte; and Abilene ranching and energy investors Julia J. Matthews and her son, Kade. [Dallas Morning News, 2/11/12]

The House of Representatives Held Votes On September 15, 2014. [Congressional Record, 9/15/14]


Cotton Missed The Roll Call Vote On Establishing A Law School Certification Program. [House Vote 497, 9/15/14]

Cotton Also Missed 12 Voice Votes. The House of Representatives held 11 voice votes between 4:00pm and 10:00pm, eastern, on September 15, 2014. [House Floor Proceedings, 9/15/14]

Cotton missed voice vote on H.R. 3374 American Savings Promotion Act. [House Floor Proceedings, 9/15/14]
Cotton missed voice vote on H.R. 2996 Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013 [House Floor Proceedings, 9/15/14]
Cotton missed voice vote on H.R. 4771, the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2014. [House Floor Proceedings, 9/15/14]
Cotton missed voice vote on H.R. 83, a bill on energy development on Insular Areas of the US and Freely Associated States. [House Floor Proceedings, 9/15/14]
Cotton missed voice vote on H.R. 3044 to approve the transfer of Yellow Creek Port properties in Iuka, Mississippi. [House Floor Proceedings, 9/15/14]
Cotton missed voice vote S. 1086 Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014. [House Floor Proceedings, 9/15/14]
Cotton missed voice vote on H.R. 3006 to authorize a land exchange involving the acquisition of private land adjacent to the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona for inclusion in the refuge in exchange for certain Bureau of Land Management lands in Riverside County, California, and for other purposes. [House Floor Proceedings, 9/15/14]
Cotton missed voice vote on H.R. 5205 Northern Nevada Land Conservation and Economic Development Act. [House Floor Proceedings, 9/15/14]
Cotton missed voice vote on H.R. 2569 Upper Missisquoi and Trout Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. [House Floor Proceedings, 9/15/14]
Cotton missed voice vote on H.R. 3222 Flushing Remonstrance Study Act. [House Floor Proceedings, 9/15/14]
Cotton missed voice vote on H.R. 4119 West Hunter Street Baptist Church Study Act. [House Floor Proceedings, 9/15/14]
Cotton missed voice vote on H.R. 2866 Boys Town Centennial Commemorative Coin Act. [House Floor Proceedings, 9/15/14]

Cotton Missed The Vote On The American Savings Promotion Act. [House Floor Proceedings, 9/15/14]

Cotton Cosponsored The American Savings Promotion Act. [HR 3374, cosponsored 10/29/14]

Op-Ed: Cotton Said The American Savings promotion Act Was Necessary To Address America’s Saving Crisis. In an op-ed entitled “Addressing the American Savings Crisis,” Cotton wrote, “This savings crisis affects individuals, families and the entire American economy. It is one of the reasons we support the American Savings Promotion Act. This bipartisan legislation updates a broadly-written banking laws to allow banks and thrifts the ability to offer prizes for customers who make a deposit in their savings account. These prize-linked savings (PLS) accounts are an innovative tool to encourage saving while offering the thrill of a chance to win a larger prize. PLS programs have proven successful both abroad and in states that allow credit unions to offer these products.” [Cotton op-ed, Business Insider, 6/5/14]

HEADLINE: Addressing The American Savings Crisis. [Cotton op-ed, Business Insider, 6/5/14]

Op-Ed: Cotton Said Individuals, Families, Financial Institutions, And The Greater American Economy Would All Benefit From American Savings Promotion Act. In an op-ed entitled “Addressing the American Savings Crisis,” Cotton wrote, “Increasing savings is not only a win-win for individuals and families, it will also provide a boost for financial institutions and the greater American economy. Let’s give all Americans – especially those with the greatest need of financial security – an incentive and tool to protect themselves from risk, save for their future and more easily scale the economic ladder.” [Cotton op-ed, Business Insider, 6/5/14]


Cotton Releases Statement On Pryor’s Refusal To Debate Foreign Policy

Pryor specifically refused to include foreign policy among the topics discussed in the only one-on-one debate for U.S. Senate

Little Rock, Arkansas —

U.S. Senate candidate Tom Cotton released the following statement today about Senator Pryor’s insistence on excluding foreign policy as a topic from the October 14th Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce debate:

“As I travel the state, I hear from Arkansans who are truly fearful about our national security and their family’s safety. The Islamic State has rampaged across the Middle East, beheading Americans, crucifying Christians, and enslaving women and girls. They’re reportedly attempting to cross our porous southern border to attack us on our own soil. Meanwhile, Iran continues its race toward nuclear weapons, while developing missiles that, according to the U.S. Air Force, could in less than four months be capable of reaching Arkansas. Vladimir Putin is carving up Ukraine and other European democracies at will—aggression unprecedented since the 1930s—and supplying missiles to thugs who shoot civilian aircraft out of the sky. And Chinese pilots are buzzing American aircraft as if they’re Maverick in Top Gun.”

“The world is a dangerous place today, unfortunately made worse by the president’s weakness and lack of a clear national-security strategy. President Obama’s trembling indecision has telegraphed to our enemies and allies alike that America is irresolute, uncertain, and hesitant. His chickens are now coming home to roost, but unfortunately the coop is ours and we will pay the price for his failed policies unless we change course dramatically and immediately.”

“The first responsibility of our government is to keep America safe. Thus, I’m surprised and disappointed that Senator Pryor refuses to debate these issues, especially when President Obama has asked us to cast the most consequential vote any Congress can take. I respectfully urge Senator Pryor to reconsider and join me for a second, one-on-one, statewide-televised debate that would include the topic of national security. Whether it’s Arkansans who worry about America’s role in the world and the safety of our own families and communities or Arkansas’s 6,000 active duty military personnel, 4,000 military civilians, and approximately 250,000 veterans who are especially interested in national security topics, all voters deserve to hear both candidates’ views. I am eager and happy to provide mine.”