Jacob Kauffman

Reporter / Anchor

Jacob Kauffman is a former news anchor and reporter for KUAR. 

State Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Bigelow) standing presiding over the unveiling of the state Capitol's new 10 Commandments monument.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

A new Ten Commandments monument has been installed on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol. It comes nearly a year after an identical monument was destroyed. 

Last June, a mentally ill man deliberately drove his car into the 6,000-pound granite tablet less than 24 hours after it was erected. Michael T. Reed II had destroyed a similar monument in Oklahoma back in 2014.

State Senator Jason Rapert shepherded the authorization of the Arkansas monument in 2015. Today, he presided at the unveiling of its replacement.

Almost all the action in Democratic state House primaries next month is taking place in central Arkansas. The seat for House District 33 is open after a high profile incumbent, Warwick Sabin, announced he is exploring a run for mayor.

The primary election is between Tippi McCullough and Ross Noland. The primary winner faces no opposition in the November general election.

Take a listen to the audio link above to hear the candidates thoughts about education, UAMS, public safety, and legislative leadership.

Gwen Combs at the Women's March for Arkansas in January 2017.
Combs Campaign.

Gwen Combs, one of four Democratic candidates in the 2nd Congressional District primary, has secured an endorsement from the National Organization for Women. NOW describes itself as the “largest organization of feminist grassroots activists in the United States.”

In a statement to the Combs’ campaign, the president of the Arkansas NOW chapter said, "Since 1966, NOW has worked to empower women at work, at home, under the law, in health choices and as equal citizens. Gwen's steadfast leadership demonstrates that she will prioritize full equality for women and girls if elected."

French Hill
Talk Business & Politics

U.S. Representative French Hill is sending off House Speaker Paul Ryan with praise and has favorable impressions of possible replacements. The 2nd District Republican Congressman spoke about the House Speaker and US-China trade issues in an interview with KUAR.

Take a listen to the link above.

Doyle Webb
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Will Arkansas see the impact of a Democratic blue wave in this year’s elections? The chairs of the Democratic and Republican parties of Arkansas walked through their electoral ambitions this cycle, at Thursday’s meeting of the Political Animals Club.

Doyle Webb, the head of the state’s Republican Party, said he doesn’t see much cause to worry about a so-called negative “Trump effect.”

Second Congressional District candidate Clarke Tucker (D).
clarketucker.com

A frontrunner has emerged – at least in financial backing – in the four-person U.S. Second Congressional District Democratic primary. Clarke Tucker’s campaign reported a first quarter fundraising total of over a half-million dollars, ending the period with $440,000 cash on hand. Republican incumbent French Hill has $1.3-million cash on hand. Tucker’s only been running since February 5th.

U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford (R-First District).
C-SPAN

U.S. Representative Rick Crawford, chair of the House Steel Caucus, is maintaining support for President Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs as officials in China unveil proposed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural commodities. China is preparing to impose $40 billion of new tariffs targeting a range of goods, including soybeans, rice, corn, and grain sorghum. 

Click on the audio link above to listen to KUAR's full interview with Rep. Crawford.

Crawford said concerns about a damaging trade war are understandable but overblown.

The four-person Democratic primary field for central Arkansas’s 2nd District U.S. House seat held a debate Wednesday evening and agreed on most of the issues. Jonathan Dunkley, Clarke Tucker, Gwen Combs, and Paul Spencer all shared the stage for the debate hosted by KATV and Talk Business and Politics. 

Check out the audio link above for a recap of the debate and click here to watch the full debate.

KATV in Little Rock is deferring to its corporate owner Sinclair Broadcasting Group over criticism that the station is participating in a concerted nationwide effort to integrate conservative talking points into news coverage. While nearly every Sinclair owned station has opted-out of responding directly, this morning the station in Madison, Wisconsin announced it did not air a recent Sinclair must-read script, saying it “stayed true to our commitment” to viewers.

U.S. Representative French Hill walked through his thoughts on mass shootings, student demonstrations, the National Rifle Association, and variety of proposed solutions to gun violence in this conversation with KUAR's Jacob Kauffman. Take a listen to the audio above.

A trio of camels is now residing at the Little Rock Zoo. The one-humped dromedaries are on the younger side, at one-and-a-half years old. Susan Altrui says their arrival is part of a regular Spring swap.

“They came to us from a farm out of Oklahoma. We are borrowing them for the season and they are just adorable. Their names are June, Sally, and Stella. They’re just about one years old so they’ll be growing up with us here at the Little Rock Zoo and we’re thrilled to have them,” said Altrui. 

House Speaker Jeremy Gillam (R-Judsonia).
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

An impasse over the Arkansas Treasurer’s budget is being averted in the state Legislature. After two-days of falling short of the needed three-quarters vote, lawmakers moved on Thursday to strip a contested provision, regarding a proposed tax deduction for contributions to a savings fund for private education. Representative Lane Jean spoke from the well of the House.

Picture of a tractor on a farm
Creative Commons

Agriculture officials in Arkansas are concerned President Trump’s proposed steel tariff could have consequences that would negatively impact the industry. The administration has floated a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum

But U.S. Representative Rick Crawford, who represents one of the nation's highest steel producing counties along with some of the state's most fertile Delta lands, says it's time to take some action in a trade war he says China's already been waging for years.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson with Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services Director Seema Verma holding a signed and approved waiver for Arkansas's Medicaid program on May 30, 2018.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Trump administration’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has at long-last made its decision to add a work requirement for certain low-income people if they way to keep getting health insurance through Arkansas’s version of Medicaid expansion, known as Arkansas Works. The announcement was made Monday at the state’s Capitol building.

CMS Director Seema Verma personally signed and hand-delivered the federal agency’s letter to Governor Asa Hutchinson granting the state’s request.

One of the founders of the Indivisible movement says Arkansas Democrats did a fair job of candidate recruitment compared to an anemic 2016 slate but the state party didn’t stack up as well it should have. The candidate filing period closed last week for Arkansas elections.

Listen to the full interview in the link posted above.

Co-author of the Indivisible Guide, Billy Fleming told KUAR it’s good that Democrats are running in every Congressional race and in 57 legislative seats (49 in 2016) but it pales compared to other states.

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