MARCH 9-15, 2005

CORPORATE GREED. The business lobby has lined up at the legislative trough for tax breaks for the timber industry, the telephone industry, the chemical industry, the real estate development business and multimillionaires. The little guy? He’ll pay for the handouts by giving up improvements in schools and in reduced public services.
VEGAS-STYLE GAMBLING. After decades of work, the legislature seems poised to expand machine gambling at Oaklawn and Southland, an expansion that seems certain to include hundreds, maybe thousands, of video poker machines.
POLITICS. Asa Hutchinson took time from his busy Arkansas schedule — he claims to be working for a Washington law firm on issues he once regulated — to announce he WAS running for governor in the Republican primary against Lt. Gov. Win Rockefeller.
JOHN MCDONNELL. The Hog track coach won a 40th national title, the NCAA indoor.

BASKETBALL. When the University of Arkansas decided not to accept a bid to the NIT men’s basketball tournament, it probably spelled the end of an NIT bid for UALR. With the Hogs in, the in-state matchup would have been a natural — and a big seller. But a loss is not what the faltering Hog program needs at this time.
WIN ROCKEFELLER. Just in time for Asa Hutchinson’s announcement, an abortion opponent stirred up a story about Rockefeller’s waffling/change of tune on abortion rights. If he ever said he was pro-choice, says Rockefeller now, it was a mistake. It was also a mistake for him to host fund-raisers for Planned Parenthood, given the nature of the Republican primary vote, though we admired him for it at the time.
The LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT CENTRAL OFFICE. Consultants recommended trimming 101 jobs from the central office to better serve students.