Arkansas Business Publisher Jeff Hankins, writing in Monday’s editions, contemplates the onslaught of campaign donation solicitations the Arkansas business community will endure this tumultuous election season and assesses the all-important U.S. Senate race.
No predictions on the ultimate outcome, but it’s a good perspective on what business leaders will be thinking when kicking the tires on this marquee race.
Enemy No. 1 for the business community – locally and nationally – is Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, who instantly received the endorsement of the AFL-CIO and has been promised some $4 million in national union money.
Halter would be a guaranteed vote for federal labor legislation such as “card check,” which his opponent, U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, finally and correctly opposed after significant arm-twisting from corporate Arkansas. That’s the measure that would have made unionization of companies big and small far easier, thus growing the AFL-CIO’s business.
Interestingly, the Arkansas Democratic Party establishment won’t be lining up to support Halter either. They don’t like him and never have. Hard-core liberals who are irritated by Lincoln’s centrist voting patterns will turn to him in the primary, but those numbers are small in Arkansas. If Democrats in Arkansas want to retain a seat in the U.S. Senate, booting Lincoln in favor of Halter isn’t going to do it. A state that didn’t support Barack Obama won’t go for Halter either.
But Halter isn’t to be taken lightly. For more on Lincoln and the Arkansas business’ community’s biggest fear, along with a glance at the Republican lineup, Gentleman Jim Keet and the bonanza that awaits local media, read Hankins’ full column here.
Filed under: Arkansas Business, business, Media, Photos, Politics Tagged: | AFL-CIO, Arkansas Business, assessments, Bill Halter, Blanche Lincoln, business, Democratic Party, Gentleman Jim Keet, Jeff Hankins, Media, Politics, U.S. Senate, unions