Things That Matter: The Best Quotes of 2013

Conflicts, like the one between Stehens Inc. and Securities Commissioner Heath Abshure, and stress, as Scooter Stuart was under before his death, can lead to memorable comments.

“I’m not the only one.”

– Layton “Scooter” Stuart, owner and ousted chairman and CEO of Little Rock’s One Bank & Trust, regarding the federal investigation that would implicate others

“If we keep addressing each other with clenched fists, we’re never going to shake hands.”

– Richard Torti, executor of Layton Stuart’s estate, on the dispute over a $17.7 million life insurance payout that was to go to the Stuart Family Trust but was seized by federal agents

“I don’t think Stephens gives a rat’s ass where I send money from my other settlements. They’ve decided to attack me personally because we came after them.”

– A. Heath Abshure, Arkansas Securities Commissioner, on an ethics complaint filed against him by Stephens Inc.

“Here he was exhibiting the same conflicts of interest that he’s supposed to be protecting the public against. Nothing personal.”

– Stephens Inc. General Counsel David Knight, on the his ethics complaint against Abshure

“Nothing is so ugly as the Delta in winter or so beautiful in spring.”

–Barry Kelly, general manager of the $32 million Delta Resort & Conference Center under development near Tillar

“These folks that work for me are fiercely independent. They’re not college graduates. They want to make a living, they want to go hunting and fishing on the weekend, and then some of them want to start getting drunk on Friday afternoon.”

– Steve Richardson, a Warren-area logger and one of the founders of the Arkansas Timber Producers Association

“Throughout the bank, we were all very scared, from top down to a teller level.”

– Susie Smith, senior executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Metropolitan National Bank, discussing the financial crisis that peaked at the bank in 2009

“If you don’t like working holidays, if you don’t like working weekends, if you don’t like working on your birthday, your wife’s birthday, your son’s graduation day, you don’t belong in this business.”

– Adam Robinson, president of Ralph Robinson & Son Funeral Home in Pine Bluff, now in its fifth generation of family leadership

“My actions could not be further from what these institutions stand for.”

– Little Rock developer Steve Clary, apologizing to Pleasant Valley Church of Christ, Harding University and Central Arkansas Christian Schools, organizations in which he formerly had leadership roles, in a statement before he was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for diverting a bank loan

“That’s probably one of the gutsiest apologies I’ve heard.”

– Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela Jegley on Clary’s statement, before encouraging U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes to send him to prison

“The best defense is success.”

– Donald Broughton, transportation analyst with Avondale Partners in St. Louis, discussing USA Truck’s “poison pill” to ward off a hostile takeover attempt from Knight Transportation

“I will soon need to go on public relief or get a job at McDonalds; is this something you want to see happen to a fellow physician?”

– Dr. Stacey M. Johnson of Mountain Home, begging the Arkansas State Medical Board to reinstate the license he lost in 2009 for a pattern of running unnecessary tests on patients

“I just felt that the conditions had maxed out. I did know that I was maxed out. I’m 78. I’m tired and ready to let some younger people come in and do it.”

– Wallace Fowler, chairman and CEO of Liberty Bancshares Inc. of Jonesboro, on the factors that led to the $280 million sale to Home BancShares Inc. of Conway

“It’s been nothing but a lot of fun. A whole lot of money too.”

– Anita Davis, the developer responsible for a number of new businesses and other ventures along Little Rock’s south Main Street

“[E]very community in Arkansas — except Little Rock, which was founded as the seat of government — was founded for a reason that is now obsolete. ... You don’t have to come down out of the hills to Harrison or Mountain Home. Everything is different.”

– Mississippi County Economic Development Director Clif Chitwood on Big River Steel’s plan to open a mill near Osceola

“In Arkansas, there’s an archaic law that says that dental specialists can’t practice outside their specialty. So even though I’m a dentist, an orthodontist, it means that I can’t volunteer at the free clinic and pull teeth because it’s against the law.”

– Dr. Ben Burris of Fort Smith, who was forced by the Arkansas Board of Dental Examiners to stop offering teeth cleanings

“I am not a politician. I have four years to get the things done I want to get done.”

– Debe Hollingsworth on her plan to be a one-term mayor of Pine Bluff

“The city grew out past us and all the big, beautiful new restaurants opened up. The pie got sliced thinner and thinner. It just was not possible to keep it open. I struggled and struggled with it, and I just finally had to put my baby down.”

– Doug Green, owner of Buffalo Grill in west Little Rock, which closed in July

“The Earth’s pretty resilient and climate’s pretty resilient and humans are too. But we better understand [climate change] if we’re going to be sustainable, if we’re going to stay prosperous.”

– Marty Matlock, area director for the University of Arkansas’ Center for Agricultural & Rural Sustainability

“I think people will be pleasantly surprised by how affordable it will be.”

– Cynthia Crone, deputy commissioner of the Arkansas Insurance Department and director of the Arkansas Health Connector division, speaking in late August about the price of health insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace, which opened for business on Oct. 1

“We had informed Capella Healthcare and Mercy Hot Springs that we had serious concerns about the likely anticompetitive harm that would have resulted if the transaction was completed.”

– Richard Feinstein, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition, in a statement about a proposed sale of Mercy Health Hot Springs to Capella Healthcare of Franklin, Tenn., which was called off in June

“If they were going to Vegas, you can bet that they were coming here.”

– Caroline Cossey, co-owner of Pinky Punky, speaking about customers who shopped at the Little Rock clothing store, which closed in June after almost 40 years in business