Saturday, March 29, 2008
Governor Mike Beebe's proposed severance tax on natural gas has helped clarify the political values of local political leaders, and it has been both instructive and surprising.
Last week, Alderman Lioneld Jordan, Chairman of the City Council's Street Committee, wrote to area legislators asking them to support the governor's proposal, because it would generate $95 million annually for state and local transportation needs. Then on Monday, the Chamber of Cowbirds passed a resolution in support of Beebe's severance tax plan. Yesterday, State Representative Jim House (D-Fayetteville) announced that he had signed on the bill as a co-sponsor, and Earl Hunton (D-Lincoln), the Democratic Nominee for State Representative from District 87 also announced his support.
The only two local politicians who have embarrassed themselves by coming out against the severance tax increase to fund transportation needs are Gene Long (R-Springdale), an insurance salesman from Springdale, who is the Republican running against Jim House, and State Rep. Mark Martin (R-Prairie Grove) who is running against Earl Hunton. It is a sad day for Republicans when their candidates oppose funding for the area's transportation needs. Those out of state oil and gas corporations must be as pleased with the stooges Long and Martin as they are with the testimony against the tax by the Walton College's Kathy Deck based on her research funded by the same big energy corporations.
The Iconoclast agrees with the Cowbirds on this issue.