Arkansas Politics

2nd district candidates
AETN

There were no seismic moments in the only scheduled debate between the three candidates for Arkansas’ Second Congressional District. The nearly one-hour debate hosted at UCA and airing on AETN featured incumbent GOP U.S. Rep. French Hill, Democrat Clarke Tucker, and Libertarian Joe Swafford.

The three candidates rotated answers to questions surrounding the MeToo movement, immigration, election interference by Russia, the rising national debt, tariffs and raising the minimum wage.

Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford and Democratic candidate Hayden Shamel
AETN

The two top candidates from Arkansas's District 4 Congressional seat faced off Monday. Issues in the AETN debate ranged from the minimum wage to the opioid epidemic.

Recent tariffs imposed by the Trump administration, and the responses from other countries were points of criticism brought by Democratic candidate Hayden Shamel.

"These tariffs are doing nothing but hurting American consumers and American farmers. In fact, we've had to give welfare to our farmers here in Arkansas just to make for the problem that we created," Shamel said.

State Sen. Jason Rapert (file photo).
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A federal lawsuit was filed Tuesday against long-serving state Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Bigelow, by local members of national atheist group who say the Arkansas lawmaker violated their constitutional rights by blocking them on social media.

Betty Jo Fernau, Catherine Shoshone, Robert Barringer and Karen Dempsey, all members of American Atheists Inc., filed the civil rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas against the Faulkner County Republican lawmaker for violating the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and Arkansas state law.

David Monteith / KUAR News

Candidates for Arkansas Attorney General are responding to recent headlines regarding corrupt legislators in the state.

Arkansas voters overwhelmingly favor constitutional proposals to require voter ID and to tighten term limits, and by a 2-to-1 margin they oppose a measure to alter civil lawsuits and court rules.

The latest Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey of 1,701 statewide likely voters was conducted on Sept. 5-7, 2018 and has a margin of error of +/- 2.4. The statewide survey sample is a combination of four Congressional District polls that achieved more than 400 respondents per district. Automated calls and live calls were conducted.

Daniel Breen / Arkansas Public Media

Among all the popular measures on the Arkansas ballot this November, none is as hydra-headed, or has forged unlikely alliances, as Issue 1.

It would give the legislature rulemaking power over the courts and put a limit on fees collected by trial lawyers in lawsuits. The most talked about element, though, is that it would cap courtroom awards for plaintiff's seeking punitive damages and compensation for pain and suffering — though it wouldn't limit awards for lost wages or hospital bills, or in cases of intentional misconduct — at $500,000.

Nationally, this kind of amendment is what is commonly referred to as "tort reform."

Deadline To Report Work Info Or Lose Arkansas Works Coverage

Aug 31, 2018
File photo: Gov. Asa Hutchinson presenting part of his Arkansas Works plan, the state's version of Medicaid expansion.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Thousands of Arkansans are at risk of losing their healthcare coverage this weekend for failing to comply with a recently enacted work requirement for the state's Medicaid expansion program. The deadline is Friday at 5 p.m.

August is the third month that a work requirement has been in place for the Arkansas Works program. Enrollees who fail to report three months in a row will lose their coverage on the first day of the following month. That means those who haven't reported anything will be cut from the program on Saturday.

Daniel Breen / Arkansas Public Media

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Wednesday released her full personnel file from her time at the state Department of Human Services, two days after a judge ordered the files opened.

In a conference with reporters Wednesday, Rutledge produced the eight previously unreleased pages of her file regarding work performance and filing for unemployment benefits.

Leslie Rutledge Attorney General
Talk Business & Politics

A Pulaski County Judge ruled Monday in a political tussle over previous state employment records of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, but answers to many of the questions are far from complete.

Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox ruled from the bench, ordering the release of Rutledge’s job performance records regarding her work as an attorney with the Arkansas Department of Human Services in 2007, seven years before she was elected to her present office.

Rusty Cranford
Arkansas Nonprofit News Network

Next week, the first in a series of sentencing hearings will be held for former Arkansas lawmakers, a college president and others who were convicted or pleaded guilty for their roles in a wide-ranging corruption scheme.

It’s a complicated story largely centered around Rusty Cranford, a once-powerful lobbyist. Reporter David Ramsey wrote about this in a story for the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network.

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