Thursday, April 22, 2010
Bad Day in Benton County
The front page today has two stories from Benton County, related to position on the page and on the political spectrum. Benton County Judge David Bisbee was charged with five counts of ethics violations related to three separate incidents. Bisbee offered no comment, but it looks like he was just following the Republican Party line of running government like a business -- his own or maybe Enron. Lots of self-dealing, corner-cutting, and ethics-winking by the developer-politician. The Prosecuting Attorney is preparing a petition to remove Bisbee from office; Bisbee says he ain't going nowhere and is running for re-election in that little one-party fiefdom.
Just down the road, Pinnacle Point Properties, LLC, already way behind on paying $700,00 in local property taxes, has filed for bankruptcy. Lined up to take another hit to their capital accounts are Metropolitan National Bank of Little Rock ($34.9 million) and Chambers Bank of Danville ($6.65 million). Chambers Bank is also sucking air in the John Lindsey bankruptcy deal. Bill Schwyhart is the man behind the curtain here. Last year, he was slapped with a $27 million foreclosure suit by Bank of America on other properties, and was involved in litigation, and the year before that he was sued by widow Johnelle Hunt, a former partner in a $30 million air charter deal.
In 2008, Schwyhart invested $13,900 in the campaign coffers of Mike Huckabee, John Boozman, Jim Inhofe, Mitch McConnell, John McCain, and the Republican Party of Arkansas. Back in 2004, he dumped $18,300 on Bush-Cheney, John Boozman, Ernest Istook, Kit Bond, and Marvin Parks. Less than 5% of his generosity went to Democrats, and that was a single wasted contribution to Dick Gephardt.
John Boozman should consider hiring Bisbee and Schwyhart as campaign consultants and economic advisors. He owes them something for their past support.