Thursday, April 10, 2008

Jim Holt: Kook or Kingmaker?

Former State Senator Jim Holt (R-Springdale), also a former Republican nominee for U. S. Senate and lieutenant governor, has been hired as a campaign consultant to talk about “conservative judicial philosophy” and to make sure that Rogers Republican Ron Williams gets elected to the Arkansas Court of Appeals from this district that covers seven counties in Northwest Arkansas. Tim Hutchinson, the son-in-law of Mr. Williams, recently created a front humorously called High Integrity Marketing LLC, through which they pay Jim Holt for advice and yard signs.

This scam allows Holt to send out letters on behalf of Williams, asking for money and saying whatever he wants about abortion, gays, guns, school prayer, dope, immigration, welfare cheats, creationism, or anything else that can whip up the Radical Religious Right that gave Holt such fervent support two years ago. Holt did not carry Washington County, but he had a landslide in politically-retarded Benton County, beating Bill Halter by almost 9,000 votes there. Those are the sheeple that Ron Williams hopes Jim Holt can lead to his flock while, at the same time, allowing Williams implausible deniability for Holt's political rantings that are beyond the pale of campaigning allowed by the Code of Judicial Ethics.

Holt's first mailing to the faithful appeared to bear a little false witness. He sent an email claiming that he was “giving my money and my time” to Ron Williams, although official campaign finance reports disclose that Williams is actually paying Holt and that Holt has not made any financial contributions to Williams. Holt claimed that he had pledged money to Williams and that’s what he really meant. Holt also said he didn’t reveal to supporters that Williams was paying him to spread the word, because, “I didn’t think it was a big deal.”

Ignoring the fact that his daughter is now married to Tim Hutchinson, Williams said, "I am not a Hutchinson." He didn't say that he wasn't a shady right-wing political hack who hired Jim Holt to do his dirty work. The election is on May 20th, and then we'll know if he made a wise investment in buying Holt and his connections.

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