Here we are in this lacuna between Thanksgiving and Christmas, a time when the forces of commerce demand our attention, time, and money. Many of the politicians are packing their bags for fact-finding junkets to Bali or the Bahamas (or perhaps are already in Paris), and it is a tough time for political reporters to find anything happening that is of much interest.
Todays award for manufacturing news goes to Gary Lookadoo of the Benton County Daily Record. Not to be defeated by a lack of news or political controversy, Scoop Lookadoo found an old letter from the Benton County Republican Committee that had been mailed to George Bush back on October 23rd. That was like a week after Bush was in town and disappointed the GOP's professional political immigrant bashers by proclaiming, “There aren’t a lot of Americans who want to pluck chickens.”
Anyway, it was about six weeks ago that the Republican Politburo sent off this letter that Jim Kippen of Garfield had been trying to write since June, asking Bush "to vigorously enforce laws already on the books to secure our borders against illegal immigration." At the November meeting of the group, GOP Chairman George Spence of Bentonville said the October 23 open letter might have served some purpose, but admitted, "I don't know that we did anything to change things." True but boring.
Lookadoo needed some column inches this week, so he tracked down and instigated a quote about the letter from Benton County Democratic Party Chairwoman Barbara McCoy of Bella Vista. Not having paid any attention to the letter but not wanting to disappoint a reporter trying to create controversy, McCoy thought for a while then said she couldn't speak for the Democratic Party but personally thought the Republican letter might also have included a call for some consistent federal standards for enforcement.
After getting McCoy's personal comments, the fearless Daily Record investigative reporter then went back to Republican Chairman George Spence to get a reaction to the response Lookadoo had solicited from McCoy. Spence then said he was speaking only for himself and not for the Republicans, but he insisted that enforcement of the current law should be accomplished before any other immigration issues, like consistent standards for enforcement, could be addressed.
And that's how it's done on a slow news day.