Friday, July 18, 2008

The Point of No Redemption

Devious Dwayne Dobbins has become a problem for the Democrats. It didn't bother the legislative leadership or party officials when he used his position as a State Representative to introduce bills giving multi-million dollar tax breaks to his corporate employer, because that self-help philosophy was business as usual.

Dobbins resigned from the legislature on August 9, 2005, after admitting in court that he fondled a 17-year-old girl and pleading guilty to misdemeanor harassment. He was fined $1,000 and ordered to receive counseling. A part of the plea agreement required him to resign from the House of Representatives. He did, but now he is running as a Democratic candidate for the same position.

Party Chairman Bill Gwatney said the Democratic Party of Arkansas will consider a proposed rule concerning elegibility of candidates during the party's convention tomorrow in Little Rock. "There's a rule we have proposed that says that no person having resigned from public office as part of a felony plea bargain shall be a Democratic candidate and/or nominee," Gwatney said. If it is approved, the party will not certify Dobbins for the November general election ballot.

In addition, House Speaker Benny Petrus (D-Stuttgart) said he will gauge support among House members for a rule change that would deny membership in the House to anyone who has resigned from public office as part of a plea bargain.

Maybe Mr. Dobbins should run for Mayor of North Little Rock. Candidates for non-partisan municipal office would not be prohibited from holding office by either proposed rule.

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