State of Arkansas Archives: on Government Reform


Dan Whitfield: Favors ranked choice voting

The two party system has made it to where we are constantly faced with a lesser of two evils voting choice. A troubling poll asked two questions. First, are you enthusiastic to vote for Donald Trump? 68% said yes. Second, are you enthusiastic to vote for Biden? 31% said yes. The majority of people that will be voting for Biden are only doing so to vote against Trump, not because they support Biden.

Ranked choice voting eliminates the need to vote for someone because you don't like their opponent. After the election if no candidate has more than 50% of the vote, the candidate with the lowest amount of votes will be eliminated, and the people who voted for that candidate as their first choice will now add their vote to their second choice candidate. This continues until a candidate has over 50% of the vote.

Source: 2022 Arkansas Senate campaign website DanWhitCongress.us Dec 6, 2020

Dan Whitfield: End gerrymandering, use computer algorithm to draw lines

Gerrymandering has been used by political parties to create district lines, in which best benefit their parties' ambitions, for too long. In order to fix gerrymandering for good I propose we use a computer algorithm to create district lines, rather than having interested parties do it.
Source: 2022 Arkansas Senate campaign website DanWhitCongress.us Dec 6, 2020

Dan Whitfield: Reform Postal Service; against privatization

The US Post has been serving Americans since 1775, when Benjamin Franklin was selected as the first Postmaster. There are approximately 471 million pieces of mail delivered every single day through the USPS. We need to remove the legislation that was put into place to directly hurt the USPS in order to make it look inefficient to push for privatization. The USPS should never have been put in the hands of an individual that has a huge financial incentive to see it fail.
Source: 2022 Arkansas Senate campaign website DanWhitCongress.us Dec 6, 2020

Dan Whitfield: Lower pay for elected officials

I propose we lower elected officials pay. Why does a senator need to make a huge salary while their constituents are making closer to $40,000? Yes, it is important to understand a congressman must own a residence in both his home state and in Washington DC, but that doesn't require such giant lavish salaries. It should be up to constituents to determine if their representatives' salary either increases, decreases, or remains the same.
Source: 2022 Arkansas Senate campaign website DanWhitCongress.us Dec 6, 2020

Dan Whitfield: Denied ballot access in 2020, not dropping fight for 2022

Whitfield hoped to run but suspended his campaign after not getting on the ballot. He says the COVID-19 outbreak and social distance guidelines hurt his chances of meeting his May 1st deadline to get the 10,000 signatures he needed and was denied an
Source: KSFM-5 CBS News on 2022 Arkansas Senate race Oct 1, 2020

Dan Whitfield: Elected officials should give up financial privacy

We NEED elected officials to start representing their constituents and not the special interest donors that are making them rich. When a brave citizen enlists in the military, they give up certain rights, and I believe elected officials should do the same. If running for a public office a candidate should give up the right to financial privacy. I also believe elected officials should give up their right to plead the fifth amendment. If you want to represent people, don't be a criminal. Period.
Source: 2020 Arkansas Senate campaign website DanWhitCongress.us Jun 8, 2020

Dan Whitfield: All elected officials should liquidate their portfolios

Elected officials are public servants, they are supposed work for the people, not the other way around. Legislators should not have any financial interest in the laws they vote on. I propose we require all elected officials to liquidate their portfolios upon taking office. While in office legislators will not be allowed to be shareholders during their time of public service.
Source: 2020 Arkansas Senate campaign website DanWhitCongress.us Jun 8, 2020

Dan Whitfield: Corporate spending is not speech; end Citizens United

Corporations spending unlimited amounts of money to help candidates get elected is not freedom of speech. When 86% of candidates with more campaign funds get "elected," and most of their finances are coming from huge corporations there is a problem. We can fix this issue, strengthening our democracy, by ending Citizens United.
Source: 2020 Arkansas Senate campaign website DanWhitCongress.us Jun 8, 2020

Dan Whitfield: Sued over signature requirement for ballot during pandemic

A lawsuit filed by Whitfield went to trial. Whitfield needed to gather 10,000 but only turned in 6,514. He testified that he was confident in reaching the 10,000 requirement if he'd had more time. He claims the beginning March 12 when Governor Asa Hutchinson began imposing restrictions it severely hampered his efforts and he says he put the safety of his volunteers over the gathering of signatures.
Source: KARK-TV Little Rock NBC-4 on 2020 Arkansas Senate race Jun 2, 2020

Dan Whitfield: Elected officials should give up rights to financial privacy

I believe elected officials should do the same. If running for a public office a candidate should give up the right to financial privacy. Constituents should be able to go online and view their representatives bank accounts. People should be able to see where money is coming from and where it goes. I also believe elected officials should give up their right to plead the fifth amendment. If you want to represent people, don't be a criminal. Period.
Source: 2020 Arkansas Senate campaign website DanWhitCongress.us Nov 30, 2019

Asa Hutchinson: Cut outdated regulations and cut government employees

We have cut the size and inefficiency of government. We have worked to cut the red tape. We repealed over 800 outdated and unnecessary regulations, which makes state government less burdensome to taxpayers and businesses. We have reduced the size of the executive branch of state government by more than 1,400 employees. That is a reduction of over 5 percent. This is through improved management practices and attrition, but we can do more.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Arkansas legislature Jan 15, 2019

Mark West: Make voter registration easier

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Make voter registration easier"?

A: Support

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Arkansas governor candidate Apr 28, 2018

Conner Eldridge: Rid the political system of secret, dark money

Conner Eldridge announced the endorsement of End Citizens United, a group committed to ridding the political system of secret, dark money through countering the disastrous effects of Citizens United and reforming the campaign finance system. "There is too much hidden, dark money in politics, which is at the root of why the system is broken and why Americans are so frustrated with government today," said Eldridge. "I fully support complete campaign finance reform and will aggressively work to get dark money out of politics, bring more transparency to the political process, and return power to the people. Time and again, my opponent has voted to protect secret, special interest money and defended Citizens United. Arkansans deserve better than a Senator who supports this institutionalized corruption. As a Senator, I will work tirelessly to overturn the current system and restore openness and integrity to our government."
Source: 2016 AR Senate campaign website ConnerForArkansas.com Apr 21, 2016

Curtis Coleman: 12-year term limits: citizen legislators and judges

I strongly believe in citizen legislators, and thus I support a 12-year term limit for members of Congress, both in the House and the Senate. That is why I am also pledging to personally serve for no more than 12 years. I also support term limits for Supreme Court Justices.
Source: 2016 Arkansas Senate campaign website, CurtisColeman.com Nov 11, 2015

Nathan LaFrance: Term limits will accomplish with CFR attempts to do

Nathan believes that firm term limits on members of the US House of Representatives and the US Senate will bring significant benefits to our federal government:
  1. Term limits will serve as a way to achieve some of what was sought through campaign finance reform, since federal politicians will only have one or two re-election campaigns during their time in office. It is the constant fund-raising for re-elections that have caused the massive corruption we see today in Washington.
  2. Term limits will ensure that those chosen to represent us in Washington are in touch with the American people and the issues we face every day. It is ridiculous that career politicians in Washington can be in office for 30, 40, 50+ years; how can they effectively represent the People when they live their entire lives in the Washington "bubble"?
  3. Term limits will help to limit the cronyism / favoritism / power struggles we constantly see playing out in Capitol Hill.
Source: 2014 Arkansas Senate campaign website, LaFrance2014.com Sep 30, 2014

Asa Hutchinson: Photo ID for voting

Question topic: People should be able to vote without photo identification.

Hutchinson: Disagree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2013 Arkansas Governor campaign Sep 28, 2014

Asa Hutchinson: 1999: Brought articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton

In the 2014 campaign, former Rep. Ross is expected to go head-to-head with Republican Asa Hutchinson, a former congressman from Northwest Arkansas, in a race with some political ghosts. Ross is a protege of former President Bill Clinton; and, Hutchinson is the former congressman who brought the articles of impeachment against Clinton from the U.S. House of Representatives to trial in the U.S. Senate in 1999. Clinton was subsequently acquitted, ostensibly on the basis of an emotional floor speech by then-Senator Dale Bumpers, of Arkansas.
Source: Hope Star on 2014 Arkansas gubernatorial race Jan 2, 2014

Mike Ross: Left Congress due to growing acrimony of national politics

In 2012 Ross made it clear that he was tired of Washington & the growing acrimony of national politics; and, he quit Congress to begin an executive position at the Southwest Power Pool in Little Rock. Ross had publicly ruled out a 2014 run for governor, but Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's campaign imploded with allegations regarding an extra-marital relationship, and Ross was suddenly a hot name.

"I'm not running against anyone, I'm running because I've got a positive vision for the future of this state that is based on building what Gov. Beebe has started in education and economic development," Ross said at a campaign stop.

Ross said he was not focused on attacks against him by opponent Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. "I've got a positive vision and a positive message, and my campaign is not going to be about the past," Ross said. "It's going to be about the future and moving the state forward and insuring that every child in the state can get a good education and have a job to come home to."

Source: Hope Star on 2014 Arkansas gubernatorial race Jan 2, 2014

Mark Pryor: Government shutdown is reckless & irresponsible

Sen. Mark Pryor blasts Rep. Tom Cotton for forcing a government shutdown and hurting the economy in a new ad: "Tom Cotton cost us billions. The government shutdown cost America $24 billion. Cotton and a small group of reckless congressmen took our country to the brink of default. His irresponsible actions weakened our credit and damaged our economy," the ad's narrator says. "Fortunately, wiser heads prevailed. Senators like Mark Pryor brought Democrats and Republicans together to end the shutdown and responsibly cut spending."

Pryor has zeroed in on the shutdown in an attempt to paint Cotton as "reckless," a term he's used in multiple ads. The ad is running statewide.

In response, the Cotton campaign released the following statement: "This ad is a total fabrication. Tom Cotton voted five times to fund the government and end the shutdown. Senator Pryor voted against four separate compromise measures that could have opened the government sooner.

Source: The Hill's AdWatch of 2014 Arkansas Senate debate Oct 22, 2013

Bruce Westerman: Require proof of identity when voting

Westerman voted YES on HB1797 - AN ACT to require that a voter provide proof of identity when voting and to provide for the issuance of a voter identification card:
Source: Arkansas legislative voting records: HB 1797 Mar 21, 2011

Blanche Lambert Lincoln: No moratorium on earmarks; they fund local projects

Republican Senate hopeful John Boozman said Arkansas "can't afford" Blanche Lincoln anymore, while the Democratic incumbent accused Boozman of putting politics above the state's needs as the two debated on Friday for the first time in their election matchup.

Boozman and Lincoln sparred over Social Security, taxes and earmarks during the debate. "Sen. Lincoln is a good friend and I admire her, yet we can't afford her anymore," Boozman, a congressman representing northwest Arkansas, said.

Lincoln criticized Boozman for supporting House Republicans' moratorium on earmarks and said that his opposition to money for local projects is harming his congressional district. "The fact is he signed with his party above his state and his district," Lincoln said.

Source: Associated Press coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate debate Sep 10, 2010

Bruce Westerman: Limit campaign contributions but not campaign spending

Q: Do you support limits on the following types of contributions to candidates for state government... Individual?

A: Yes.

Q: Political Action Committee?

A: Yes.

Q: Corporate?

A: Yes.

Q: Political Party?

A: Yes.

Q: Should candidates for state office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?

A: No.

Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?

A: Yes.

Source: Arkansas Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Jim Holt: Campaign reform is incumbency protection

Q: Some have equated money with speech, meaning that any restriction on the amount of money a candidate can raise or spend is a restriction on the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. Do you agree that a campaign contribution is the same as speech?

A: Yes. The so-called “campaign finance reform act” is unconstitutional. It should be called the “Incumbent Protection Act”, or the “Only the Media can say bad things about politicians Act”. Here again is an example of the courts failing to do their duty, ignoring a clear constitutionally guaranteed right, while they’re busy inventing others. I don’t think we fully realize just how bad this ‘reform’ is yet. We will, though. Under the act, in the critical weeks before an election, citizens are banned from pooling their money to buy ads that say anything negative about a politician! Only the media and other politicians can exercise free speech under this law. This is in direct violation of the First Amendment.

Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Questionnaire Aug 12, 2004

Mike Huckabee: Not more government, but more efficient government

I don’t think we need a lot more government. We need the government we have to work more efficiently. We need it to work in ways that help our citizens rather than helping us to just grow more government. And, if the economy is slowing, then that’s all the more reason not to launch forth with a whole lot of new government programs but rather to scale back everywhere we can except for determining those things which we cannot scale back and then carrying out our responsibilities.
Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Arkansas legislature Jan 9, 2001

  • The above quotations are from State of Arkansas Politicians: Archives.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Government Reform:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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