Mike Beebe: Outside Groups Have Misled Voters About Arkansas

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press  on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 4:23 pm  

L.J. Bryant, a Democrat running for a state House seat, noted the uphill battle for the Legislature that his party faces.

"We live in this climate now, unfortunately, where the brand that people know is an 'R' brand and if they don't know any better, they're going to check an 'R' when they go in that room," Bryant said.

Democrats have been increasingly relying on Beebe, a popular two-term governor who was re-elected in 2010. Beebe, who told reporters that this election is the most he's ever campaigned for other candidates, has held off from predicting who will have control of the Legislature after Tuesday.

"Whatever happens, it's going to be close with Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate," Beebe told reporters. "They're going to have to figure out how to work together."

Saturday's rally also came a day after the Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus began airing a radio ad featuring former President Bill Clinton that criticizes the writings of Republican state Reps. Jon Hubbard and Loy Mauch and GOP House hopeful Charlie Fuqua.

Hubbard wrote in a self-published book that slavery was a "blessing in disguise" for African-Americans. Mauch, in letters to newspapers, defended the Confederacy and declared his belief that former President Abraham Lincoln was a war criminal. Fuqua, a former legislator challenging an incumbent Democrat in east Arkansas, wrote in a self-published book that he believes all Muslims should be deported and that disobedient children must be "permanently removed" from society.

Republicans have said they won't contribute any more money to the three, but have not called on them to end their candidacies. The three have defended their writings, and Hubbard later compared the state's top Democrats to Nazis for criticizing him.

Beebe and Harold Copenhaver, the Democrat challenging Hubbard, did not bring up Hubbard's writings in Saturday's campaign stop. Beebe, however, said he believed it may play a role in Hubbard's race.

"I think it'll drive some folks," Beebe told reporters. "But, you know, the people of Jonesboro are pretty smart. I don't have to tell them what he stands for."

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, broadcast or distributed.) 



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