The Final Push: Staring Down the Barrel of the Midterm Elections

Finally! It’s less than 90 hours until this long national nightmare of a mid-term election comes to hideous close. We can’t wait for the relative calm (maybe?) of Nov. 3, when everyone sleeps for a full day before gettin’ wound up for 2012.

Until then, we’ve got lots to do:

1) “Arkansas Week,” 8 p.m. tonight. I join KUAR-FM, 89.1’s Kelly MacNeil, the University of Arkansas’ Hoyt Purvis and host Steve Barnes for a final assessment of the state’s Congressional and constitutional officer races, such as they are. Remember that big exciting Senate race? Not so exciting heading into the final weekend. We look to the 1st District for any final fireworks. Also: Swepco’s 0-3 in court rulings. Check your local AETN station tonight or watch it online here.

2) “Today’s THV This Morning,” election day. Last week, I appeared on the noon show each day for a quick, final summary of all the Congressional races. On Tuesday’s “Morning” show, I’ll be live throughout the morning with some last-minute notes and maybe a guest or two.

3) Midterm Election Watch Party, the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock. I’ll be on a panel with a couple of other yahoos to give some final impressions of this year’s campaigns. We’ll also take questions from the audience and enjoy a warm bowl of bean soup before the returns start, er, returning. Fun!

4) Election Night Returns on Today’s THV and ArkansasBusiness.com. Pop up some popcorn, grab a Coke and settle in for a long night. You’ll be on the couch, we’ll be in at the parties, on the phone, online and in studio delivering the latest election night news as it happens. Arkansas Business Publisher Jeff Hankins will analyze the county-by-county returns live on Today’s THV and THV2.com, and I’ll be manning coverage for ArkansasBusiness.com.

5) The Morning After. Hankins and I will be on “Today’s THV This Morning” and “Today’s THV at Noon” to go over the results and, maybe, What It All Means.

And if this year’s elections weren’t scary enough: Happy Halloween!

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Beebe’s Budget, Holt Seeks Senate Seat on Tonight’s ‘Arkansas Week’

Lance Turner, Arkansas Week

Pinstripes, in honor of David Sanders. Click to watch video.

We’re back! Tonight on AETN’s “Arkansas Week,” host Steve Barnes peppers panelists Rick Fahr of The Log Cabin Democrat, Hoyt Purvis of the University of Arkansas and me about Gov. Mike Beebe’s budget schemes, yet another Republican seeking the nomination to face Blanche Lincoln for her U.S. Senate seat, the pickle that members of the Blue Ribbon commission on funding for Arkansas highways is in, and grade inflation in Arkansas schools.

Check us out tonight at 8 p.m. on your local AETN affiliate — or, you can watch the whole thing right now on your Internet computer thing!

LT, On Your TV and Radio Dials This Weekend

No rest for the narcissistic! Not content with the Internet, we’re also on the airwaves this weekend, aiming for Paris Hilton levels of overexposure. To wit:

Arkansas Week, 8:30 p.m. Friday, AETN – Catch myself, host Steve Barnes and Hoyt Purvis of the University of Arkansas as we tag-n-bag the week in business and politics. Tonight’s topics: Economic recovery, a Democratic challenger for Blanche Lincoln and Ted Kennedy’s Arkansas ties.

Arkansas Sunday Edition, 7 a.m., 103.7 The BuzzDavid Kinkade and I are bringing up the rear in the 8 a.m. hour, filling time for host Blake Rutherford, who’ll be spent after talking Razorbacks with super-fan James Roberts and politics with Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.

Tune in if you can take it!

The Economy, the Auto Bailout and the Legislative Session on ‘Arkansas Week’

Me and my big head on AW

Me and my big head on AW

Sigh. Whether I’m delivering business news headlines on “Today’s THV This Morning” or “Today’s THV at Noon,” or appearing on AETN’s “Arkansas Week,” one thing’s for sure: I’m usually the bearer of bad news.

AW host Steve Barnes sensed my glum disposition on this week’s show, which airs at 8 p.m. on your local AETN affiliate (you can listen to the MP3 of the show here).

We focused a lot on the failed auto manufacturer bailout bill in Senate, as well as the possible repercussions that could be felt in Arkansas should any one of the Big Three go bust in the next couple of weeks.

Also on the docket: layoffs, foreclosures in Arkansas, a controversial energy plant and a governor who can’t do a thing about, as well as Arkansas legislators trying to make up their minds just how often they’ll meet.

So settle in tonight as we hash it all out with Jay Barth of Hendrix College and Hoyt Purvis of the University of Arkansas. A feel free to pour up a stiff drink. You might need it.

The Election, the Economy: A Scary Edition of ‘Arkansas Week’ Tonight

Click here to listen to MP3 audio of today’s show.

So there you have it. In the headline, my one required Halloween joke of the day. Boo.

Tonight’s edition of “Arkansas Week” (8 p.m., AETN stations throughout Arkansas) touches on the major stories making news this week, with myself, Ron Blome and Hoyt Purvis on the panel, moderated by host Steve Barnes.

There’s the economy, which saw negative gross domestic product numbers for the third quarter out this week, along with a big drop in consumer spending, which of course signal recession. While many folks have been saying for about a year now that we’re heading that way or already in one, it appears the numbers are now falling in line. That classic definition of recession (two consecutive quarters of negative GDP) appears just around the corner.

Also: two Arkansas retailers make news. There’s this today from ArkansasBusiness.com on Dillard’s, who’s independent Class B board members, Warren Stephens among them, have defended Dillard’s CEO William Dillard II and his siblings, all company executives, from calls from activist shareholders that they step down. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. makes plans to slow new store growth at home, while putting more and more into growth overseas.

And of course, we touch on the shootings at the University of Central Arkansas this week, the death of KATV-TV, Channel 7, anchorwoman Anne Pressly and that big thing that’s happening on Tuesday, whatever that is.

You can find video today on iTunes.

UCA, Jobs in Arkansas and Obamamania on ‘Arkansas Week’

It seems like an eternity since I’ve the pleasure to be at the round table, but tonight I’m back on AETN’s “Arkansas Week,” along with Arkansas Times columnist Ernie Dumas and University of Arkansas journalism professor Hoyt Purvis.

On the docket tonight: the continuing saga of Lu Hardin’s $300,000 pay package at the University of Central Arkansas, the state’s job market, the lottery and adoption proposals, and Barack Obama’s world tour.

Obviously, we’ve taped the show before today’s UCA board of trustees meeting, set to get underway within the hour. But there was lots to be said about Hardin’s salary mess, including thoughts on the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act and Dumas’ point that this was a story that, had it been handled correctly, should only have been a one-day story. Sadly, that’s not been the case.

Check us out at 8 p.m. tonight on AETN. You can get the podcast here later this afternoon.

UPDATED: The Associated Press’ account of the UCA board of trustees meeting here. Apologies all around, including from Hardin:

“With my expertise in this area, I should have known better. It was a mistake and I apologize,” Hardin told the board.