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Baker, White Spar Over Campaign Mailer

Updated: Apr 15

Sen. Gilbert Baker

This seems like ancient history, since it happened nearly 24 hours ago and I have the attention span of a housefly, but to follow up on yesterday’s Sen. Gilbert Baker news conference blasting Democrat Joe White for “misleading attacks”:

A White campaign flier, which bore almost no indication of having come from White, save a P.O. box address, accused Baker of receiving “special favors” from the University of Central Arkansas, and suggested that Baker had steered some half million dollars in state funding to UCA at the expense of Faulkner County. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Debra Hale-Shelton captures the back and forth:

Baker, a former music professor at UCA, countered, “None of this was the result of any favors. I’ve been focused on higher education and UCA from the very beginning.” “UCA is crucial to the vibrancy of this community,” Baker said. “To say that my support of UCA is somehow at the expense of our county … is just wrong.”Baker said Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, encouraged him in 2001 when Beebe was a senator to use the discretionary fund for higher education.“I think it’s the right thing to do, and I’m going to continue to do” it, Baker said.The four-term state senator said he has helped get more than $20 million in funding for public schools in Faulkner County “and numerous other entities.” That money was not discretionary funds, though, he said.White said that, if he is elected, “There will be no more fierce advocate for the UCA than Joe White, but there are other needs that need to be considered. We’ve got other institutions that are vital in this county.”

Baker and White also slapped each other on the question of anonymous mailings, since White’s mailer did not clearly indicate that it came from his campaign, but state ethics honchos say that’s OK. Even if it’s OK, it’s probably not a good idea.

To be honest, this didn’t amount to much, and I’m bored with it, so I’m going to stop now. I just didn’t want to leave you hanging after my breathless posting on this matter yesterday.

If you’re more interested than I am, you can read the whole thing over at the ADG, but you’ll need a paid subscription, you cheapskate wanker.

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