Sunday, June 8, 2008

All in the Family

The Lundstrum Family is a close knit bunch, and they are bonafide Republicans. Robin Lundstrum of Springdale has been active in the Arkansas Family Council’s efforts to make sure gays and lesbians are treated as second class citizens, and she chaired the Washington County Republican Dinner featuring Karl Rove. Tom Lundstrom, Jr., worked in the Boozman for Senate campaign against Blanche Lincoln. Tom Lundstrum, Sr. is on the Washington County Quorum Court, where he has stood strong against socialistic ordinances for fire and building codes and zoning.

This year, Big Tom is a Republican candidate running for the Quorum Court, and Junior is the Republican member of the Washington County Election Commission. That not only looks bad, it is. State law says, "No person may serve as an election official if married to or related within the second degree of consanguinity to any candidate running for office in the current election if objection to his or her service is made to the county board within ten (10) calendar days after posting the list of officials.” A.C.A. § 7-4-109 (d).

Big Tom and Junior are hopping mad that they got caught ignoring this ethical requirement. Since Tom Lundstrum, Jr., didn't see any reason to resign, Sharon Green, the Democrat running for Quorum Court, had to ask the election commission to replace him, because she thought it was important for the fairness and appearance of being fair for the Election Commission. Chairman John Burrow, usually a stickler for the law, asked Green to ignore the law and let Junior oversee the election of his daddy. "It’s not personal," Green said, "It’s about conflict of interest." No kidding, Sherlock!

Junior Lundstrum obviously resented being asked to comply with the law against conflicts of interest and lose
the time and money spent by the county for his training as an election commissioner to oversee his father's election. "I’m not sure exactly what point she’s trying to prove other than the law allows it," he said, "on speculation I have a desire to go to prison and throw an election for my father." If he were Burrow and Commissioner Pete Loris, Lundstrum said, "I would take it as a slap in the face that they would let something like that happen if I remained on the commission." He then added that getting kicked off would give him more time to work on his daddy's campaign. More time? Makes one wonder and makes Green's point about how much time he already was working on the campaign while serving as an election official.

Big Tom Lundstrum went ballistic.
By asking that the ethical requirements of the law be followed, Lundstrum said, “ Ms. Green seems to imply that my son and I may somehow attempt to influence the election. ...This objection brings the integrity of both my son and I into question and I regret that she has decided to take that action. ” Then referencing Burrow's poor judgment in urging that the statute be ignored, Lundstrum contended, "even members of Ms. Green’s own party have publicly voiced their disappointment in her decision. However, it appears to me that Ms. Green is more concerned with her own misguided fears and frustrations than she is with the welfare of the voters."

Wrong, Tom, you and your boy are the ones who have failed to consider the best interests of the voters. As the Northwest Arkansas Times explained in simple words even you should be able to understand, "
the appearance of impropriety would be enough to cast a shadow over the situation," and Sharon Green "has every right to invoke a statute that allows for the removal of Tom Lundstrum Jr. from the Washington County Election Commission."

Sharon Green ignored the rantings of Old
Man Lundstrum and said, "
I look forward to a fair and honest campaign and, hopefully, the mudslinging will stop and we will get on with addressing the issues at hand. I’m here for the people of Washington County. I have bigger fish to fry, and that is taking care of the residents of Washington County."

It sounds as if Sharon Green has the kind of judgment and commitment we need on the Quorum Court, which means the voters in Tontitown, Johnson, and Elm Springs will probably vote for ethically-blind Tom Lundstrum, Sr.

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