Arkansas's Second Congressional District

News and commentary related to Arkansas's 2nd Congressional District and Congressman Vic Snyder

Saturday, May 06, 2006

LRAFB Education Center

Yesterday the House Armed Services Committee, of which Rep. Snyder is a member, approved funding for a $9.8 million education center at the Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville that would be operated by Arkansas State University.

“The new education center will enable the Little Rock Air Force Base to offer increased academic courses to the airmen and women at the base, as well as civilians from the area,” said Congressman Vic Snyder. “This is step two in a multiple-step process. The bill next goes to the full House of Representatives. I look forward to working with the rest of the Arkansas Delegation to try and steer this project through to completion.”

Source: American Chronicle

Single Parent Scholarship

The Central Arkansas Development Council Single Parent Scholarship Fund will be accepting applications through June 30.

The Single Parent Scholarship Fund provides recipients with money to offset emergencies such as child care, car repair, fuel, books and tuition costs not covered by other sources.
More information is available from a Central Arkansas Development Council family development specialist: in Clark County, Paula Stewart at (870) 246-8089 ; in Columbia County, Virginia Williamson at (870) 234-6444 ; in Dallas County, Clara Harper at (870) 352-8894 ; in Hot Spring County, Wendy Stephens at (501) 337-8401 ; in Pike County, Debbie Whisenhunt at (870) 398-4243 ; and in Saline County, Valerie Ramsey at (501) 315-0885.
Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Friday, May 05, 2006

Quick Thoughts on Campaign Websites

With the primary just a few weeks away, let's take a quick look at the campaign websites for each of the candidates.

Vic Snyder (D-Incumbent)

Snyder's website seems to be the same one from 2004 with only minor modifications. One welcome change I noticed is that Brad Foster isn't running this year's campaign, instead the campaign manager is Chris Kell.

His website is still a disappointment if you're looking for details of Snyder's positions on issues. However, it's a great resource if from some reason you're looking for the history of the eight counties comprising the district. Odd. Well, it worked in 2004 anyway.

Hopefully the site will receive a facelift once the primary is over.

Andy Mayberry (R)

Mayberry's website is much more substantial than Snyder's. Though, the substance consists mostly of laundry lists of brief position statements that echo positions one would already associate with a southern Republican. The entire website has an extremely anti-Snyder/contrast theme (wait, it's still the primary, isn't it?). His position statements are frequently preceded by "In constast to current representation..." and there is already a section dedicated to Snyder's voting record.

I particularly enjoy how Mayberry lists Snyder's scores from special interest groups based on issues they feel are important. Okay, sure, he voted with Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, a group many Arkansans have likely never heard of, 10 percent of the time. Will people care how often he voted how these groups would like? Is this really worth putting on the website? It looks like they just copied and pasted Project Vote Smart's information.

Tom Formicola (R)

The information on Formicola's positions seems to be a bit more substantial and less cut and paste than Mayberry's. However, the mission statement HAS to go:
Win the Arkansas Second Congressional District election in November 2006 with a fiscal issues-directed campaign, in order to aggressively represent the fiscal and social interests of all Second District Residents in Washington, D.C.

Yeah, um... That really doesn't tell me a lot. Sure, you want to have a campaign focused on fiscal issues. Fair enough. But the statement is definitely lacking in substance. Any candidate regardless of party affiliation could run on a campaign focused on fiscal issues.

If he is going to put a mission statement on there, he needs a much better one. I don't see why it's even necessary for him to say anything about winning the November 2006 election. People know that's his goal. Instead, in my not so humble opinion, he should switch to something along the lines of how he wants to represent the needs and concerns of the second congressional district and promote fiscal conservatism and Arkansas values and so on.

Surely his campaign knows how to effectively formulate a message... right?

Electronic Voting

There's definitely progress on the electronic voting front, for better or for worse.

Most counties in Arkansas will be using paper ballots when early voting begins next week because of problems with the recently purchased electronic voting machines, Secretary of State Charlie Daniels said Tuesday.

Electronic balloting will be available for early voting in the eight counties that comprise the 2nd Congressional District in central Arkansas because there is a competitive federal party primary on the ballot, Daniels said. The federal Help America Vote Act requires the machines be available in contested federal races this year.

Daniels said he was confident that electronic voting machines would be available in all 75 counties by the May 23 primary.


Daniels said he could not have made the decision earlier because the Legislature during the 2005 session changed state election laws to require computerized voting machines to leave a paper record of votes cast.

Kudos to our state Legislature for mandating that electronic voting machines leave a paper trail. Other states should do the same.

Source: Arkansas News Bureau

Snyder Speaks on Medicare Part D

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Rep. Snyder was scheduled to speak at an educational forum hosted by the AARP this morning to discuss the Medicare Part D drug plan.

I'm not holding my breath, but my hope is that as part of his talk he made a commitment to working to improve the drug benefit to make it easier and more affordable for seniors. The restriction against allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices is absurd.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

New Candidate For Arkansas' 2nd Congressional District

A former Maumelle city councilman plans to run for the Republican nomination for Arkansas' Second Congressional District.

Tom Formicola of Little Rock says he will officially announce his candidacy January 12th for the seat held by Democrat Representative Vic Synder of Little Rock.

Does anyone think a republican from Maumelle actually has a chance? Beyond that, he's only a city councilman. Shouldn't he at least run for the state legislature before going up against Snyder?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Libraries and Teens

Central Arkansas libraries are toying with ideas to lure in teenagers. And of course the main tactic mentioned in the article is computer games. It's unfortunate, but true. Here's hoping the games are educational and that the kids get off the computers long enough to pick up a book or two.

Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Snyder part of delegation to Middle East

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) will lead a Congressional Delegation to the Middle East next week to examine political, economic and security conditions during a 7-day tour through Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt. Hagel will leave on Sunday, November 27 and return on Sunday, December 4. Senator Hagel’s delegation includes U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) and Representatives Vic Snyder (D-AR) and Ellen Tauscher (D-CA).

"This trip will allow us an opportunity to assess our progress in Iraq and the Middle East and meet with the key leaders of this region. I also look forward to meeting with Nebraska troops serving in the region," Hagel said.

Source: Southwest Nebraska News

Tutoring Service for LRSD

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports on meetings the Little Rock School District is holding to discuss the new private tutoring services that are available free of charge to students attending any of fifteen schools that have been on the improvement list for two or more years.

This seems to be a step in the right direction. Kudos to LRSD for taking steps to improve the Central Arkansas education system.

Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

$20.5 Million for Central Arkansas and Fayetteville

Guardsmen in Searcy won’t have to tow military vehicles to a mechanic for much longer and C-130 s using a dirt landing strip to train at Little Rock Air Force Base will soon have an easier time getting back in the air because of the recent passage of a military spending bill, officials said Wednesday.

The $82.36 billion military construction bill passed by Congress last week includes $20.5 million for projects at National Guard and Air Force installations in central Arkansas as well as a veterans center in Fayetteville.

“It’s been another good year for the military in Arkansas,” said U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder, DArk., a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He said that he was glad that Little Rock Air Force Base and Camp Robinson would get funding from the bill.

Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Snyder Expecting

Singleton, 44, are expecting a baby. No, this didn’t catch them by surprise; it’s a very planned (via in vitro fertilization) and anticipated blessing. The baby is due June 2. Singleton says they’d been trying for a while now.

“But when you’re Sarah and Abraham you just have to be patient,” she jokes. She just began her second trimester and officially broke the news to her congregation at Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church in downtown Little Rock yesterday.

“It truly is a miracle,” she says. This will be the first child for both. Singleton had been married previously, but this is the first marriage for the congressman.

Between a baby in June and a bid for re-election to a sixth term in November, 2006 will be a big year for Snyder.

Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Monday, November 21, 2005

Snyder's War Vote 2002

WASHINGTON — As polls show Americans with increasing doubts about the war in Iraq, one member of the Arkansas congressional delegation might be tempted to say, “I told you so.”

But Democratic Rep. Vic Snyder is not saying it.

When Congress voted for war with Iraq, Snyder stood alone among Arkansas lawmakers in voting no.

On Oct. 10, 2002, the House voted 296-133 to authorize the use of force. The Senate followed the next day with a 77-23 vote.

During the run-up to that vote, Snyder expressed views that now might sound prophetic to some. Of his many concerns, one was that an invasion of Iraq might further fuel terrorists’ hatred of America, endangering American lives.

Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

NLR School District Debt

The North Little Rock School Board voted Thursday night to refinance its debt to free about $6 million for school-building repairs and renovations, although the measure must first be approved by voters.

Board members also discussed possibly seeking a millage increase to pay for building renovations but delayed a decision, asking for more details about the district’s facility needs.

Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Friday, November 18, 2005

Marion Berry and AR-2

According to an article in the Cabot Star-Herald, Representative Marion Berry represents the 2nd Congressional District. Come on guys, you should know Berry represents AR-1 -- that's YOUR district. It's a shame when a reporter doesn't know what district he or she is in.

Source: Cabot Star-Herald

Central Arkansas Homelessness

As temperatures drop well below freezing, one local outreach group is doing what they can to help the homeless out of the cold. The union rescue mission has made it their mission to help the homeless throughout Little Rock and North Little Rock. Our own Jessica Morkert traveled with an outreach group Wednesday evening called Operation Rescue. The volunteers who are coordinating this effort are bringing those who are willing to the shelter to get them out of the cold for the night.

Source: KATV Channel 7