by Conduit For Action
Throughout his service as Governor, Asa Hutchinson has consistently worked to unseat members of his own party because they are guided by the conservative principles listed in the Arkansas Republican Party Platform instead of being guided by Asa’s brand of RINOism. And, Asa has vowed to continue his effort to defeat such conservatives.
Asa now has a powerful tool to unseat some of his conservative enemies in the Arkansas legislature. He will be the deciding vote in creating the new boundaries for all 35 Arkansas Senate districts and 100 districts in the Arkansas House of Representatives. His deciding vote allows him to gerrymander districts in a way to:
- Put a conservative incumbent in a district away from most of the incumbent’s support base.
- Put two conservative incumbents in the same district to get rid of at least one of them.
- Create districts to protect RINOs.
Who decides district boundaries? While the Arkansas legislature draws the four congressional districts, the Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State set the boundaries of Arkansas’s Senate districts and House of Representatives districts. The three officeholders meet as the Board of Apportionment.
Why do we say Asa will be the deciding vote in setting the district boundaries? Although Asa is only one of three votes on the Board of Apportionment, the other two members, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, and Secretary of State John Thurston, both face opponents in the next Republican primary and need Asa’s support to get financial backing from Asa’s big corporate allies. Rutledge is an underdog in the race for Governor. Thurston is running for re-election. Unfortunately, bucking Asa to stand up for conservative legislators doesn’t make political sense.
Why do we say Asa has a conflict as a member of the Board of Apportionment? The members of the Board of Apportionment, being political animals, always have some degree of conflict which leads them to help friends and work against political foes, but Asa’s conflict is open and obvious because he has consistently worked to unseat conservatives in his own party and to protect incumbents who are clearly RINOs.
Is Asa fighting Trumpism or is he fighting traditional Arkansas Republicans? Asa claims he is trying to lead the Republican party away from Trumpism and back to traditional Republican values. That is pure HOGWASH. Even before Donald Trump became President, Asa was working to defeat candidates who followed the long-standing platform and principles of the Republican Party of Arkansas instead of submitting to Asa’s brand of liberal big government politics.
It is no secret Asa has worked against the more conservative candidates in Arkansas’ Republican Party primaries in 2016, 2018, and 2020. He intends to work against conservative candidates again in the 2022 Republican primary and has at least one political action committee (PAC) to fund his own version of Republicanism (Aka – RINOs).
Here is some food for thought. Republican rules prohibit Republican county chairs from taking sides in Republican primary elections; but Asa, who says he is the leader of the Republican party, has always taken sides in the Republican primary to try to get rid of the more conservative candidates.
Asa has chosen sides in Republican primaries by endorsing candidates, helping them with fund raising and donations from his Political Action Committees (PAC). Asa has one or more PACs. His PACs will be well funded by WOKE corporations and their executives who want a bigger more liberal leaning big government. Big donors (who want something from government) are happy to donate to Asa’s PAC to gain favor with him.
Would a governor gerrymander legislative districts to get rid of conservative foes? Of course. For example, during the 2011 redistricting Governor Mike Beebe and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (both Democrats) voted for (and got) a redistricting plan which created a very weird House of Representatives district in Fulton, Sharp, and Randolph counties. The first goal of creating the odd district was to put the area’s two Republican House members in the same district to get rid of at least one Republican. The second goal was to create a district favoring a Democrat candidate who lived in the eastern end of the new district. The plan worked and the Democrat won.
It is not just incumbents. With the filing for elections being so near, many candidates have announced their intention to run for the legislature before the new boundaries have been finalized. Conservative challengers may wish they would have waited to announce later because Asa now has the opportunity to design a district unfavorable to conservative challengers. (We have not verified it, but we have been told by people in more than one area of the state that some candidates have received advance advice concerning likely district boundaries.)
What can be done about Asa using the redistricting to set up the defeat of Republican candidates who follow Republican principles? Not a dadgum thing…. But you can counter Asa’s one-two punch by getting involved in helping real conservative candidates who are committed to limiting government and government spending and reducing taxes.
But who is the more conservative candidate? Here is a good rule of thumb.
If a candidate in the Republican primary is endorsed by Asa or takes campaign funds from Asa’s PAC, most likely the other candidate is the more conservative candidate.
And Conduit for Action will follow the campaign donations for you.