THE BEEBE SEAL OF APPROVAL: Mike Ross said he had it.

I forgot the gubernatorial debate being taped now on AETN. To the candidates credit, Democrat Mike Ross and Republican Asa Hutchinson have appeared many times together already this campaign and the turf has been pretty well plowed.

Standard update: Asa Hutchinson STILL won’t say if he favors reauthorization of the private option expansion of Medicaid, which has brought health care coverage to 211,000 Arkansans and propped up a state budget that he’s hankering to cut. Mike Ross has repeatedly said he favors continuation of the program for its help for rural hospitals, Arkansas people and the state budget.


Mike Ross wrapped himself in the approval of Gov. Mike Beebe and his endorsement of Ross’ fiscally responsible plan to cut taxes gradually as circumstances warrant. He said Hutchinson’s plan for big instant tax cut (recently delayed a year) would “bankrupt Arkansas,” as Sam Brownback’s drastic tax cuts in Kansas have rocked that state. He said 40 percent of Arkansans didn’t make enough income to qualify for a tax cut under Hutchinson’s plan. 

The debate, including two third-party candidates, will be rebroadcast at 8 p.m.  Each side claimed victory immediately after.


The lieutenant governor’s debate was taped earlier today. You can watch Democrat John Burkhalter and Republican Tim Griffin tilt at 7 p.m. Griffin still doesn’t have much of an answer on the political hit work he intends to continue to do to make money while he occupies the inconsequential position of being a hearbeat away from a second floor corner office. Burkhalter has spent a huge sum of his private business fortune to emphasize his private business skills and the kind of dirty political hit work that has constituted most of Tim Griffin’s career, particularly as a voter cager in the George W. Bush war room.