Arkansas Business' 25 Clintonites (25th Anniversary)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 23, 2009 12:00 am  

McDougal served a total of 18 months on the civil contempt charge. In May 1998, the Whitewater grand jury charged her with two counts of criminal contempt of court and obstruction of justice. A Little Rock jury acquitted her of the obstruction of justice charge and deadlocked on the contempt charges. Clinton pardoned McDougal before he left office. Today, she speaks out on prison reform and works for Ivan Smith Furniture in her hometown of Camden.

14. Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty
Perhaps the original FOB, Mack McLarty served as Clinton's chief of staff in the White House. But, as more than one pundit noted, he was just "too nice." His nickname became "Mack the Nice," an insult in Washington, D.C.

Raised in Hope, McLarty came from a family of car dealers. He served one term in the Legislature and was Arkla's CEO from 1983 until 1992. After stepping down as the president's chief of staff in 1994, he remained an adviser and was named special envoy for the Americas.

McLarty re-entered the private sector in 1998. He worked to expand the family business, McLarty Cos., where he's chairman, and heads McLarty Associates, a consulting firm based in Washington. He also is a partner in RLJ-McLarty-Landers Automotive Partnership in Little Rock.

15. Sheffield Nelson
Nelson, the Republican defeated by Democrat Bill Clinton in the 1990 race for governor, helped put Jim McDougal in touch with The New York Times reporter who wrote the first story about Whitewater.

And so it started.

Nelson, former chief of Arkla Inc., said in 1999 that The Times ' Jeff Gerth, who was trying to reach Jim McDougal for an interview, had contacted him. McDougal, Nelson said, just happened to contact him within a few weeks of Gerth's call, and Nelson referred McDougal to Gerth. Nelson denied Susan McDougal's 1999 testimony that Nelson had arranged for Jim McDougal to be paid for speaking about Whitewater.

When the Office of the Independent Counsel closed up shop in Little Rock in 2000, even Nelson was glad to see it go.

16. Skip Rutherford
Although a senior staffer for the Clinton/Gore campaign and the Clinton transition team, Rutherford, a longtime PR guru and civic leader, had the good sense not to join his friends in D.C., choosing instead to wield his influence on behalf of the Clintons in his home state.

As chairman of the William J. Clinton Foundation, he spearheaded the building of the Clinton Presidential Library, a boon both to Arkansas tourism and to the redevelopment of downtown Little Rock and no easy task.

Rutherford, a Batesville native, is now dean of the Clinton School of Public Service. In this capacity, he continues to serve both Clinton and the state.

17. Rodney Slater
The Marianna native's loyalty to Bill Clinton was reciprocated, and Slater was able to emerge from the Clinton years with a bright future ahead of him.



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