Aug 29, 2009

A Visit With Prissy Hickerson

Walking into the home of Mary Hickerson you’ll find it to be a well-kept family home like hundreds of others in the Texarkana area. In all the time I’ve known Mary Hickerson she has never been one to brag about her past work she has done for the State of Arkansas. Instead of boasting or bragging about her history, Mary has chosen to push her mementos of service into a small corner office. Once you move into that office, you’ll find an array of awards, signed photographs, and a couple of matted newspaper articles. It’s a small sample of the collection that Mary maintains stored away in boxes that required prompting from me for her to share. Mary served the state for ten years as the Arkansas Highway Commissioner and I knew there was more history there. Everyone more commonly knows Mary Hickerson as Prissy and she has been a busy woman over the years working for Arkansas.

On more than one occasion, Prissy has stood up for the people of Texarkana and the surrounding areas. If you like the smooth riding, four-lane highway, which stretches from Texarkana to within miles of the Louisiana border, then you have Prissy to thank for that. In fact, the highway’s name is the Hickerson Highway. Other work has included the Texarkana rest stop on the outskirts of town where travelers from the west get their first dose of information about Arkansas. Friendly employees, an incredible building, and clean restrooms greet them as they travel into our state.

As I had the opportunity to read through some of Prissy’s newspaper articles, awards, and plaques, I found an interesting one that noted she was “Standing Up” for Texarkana. It concerns a time during her tenure as Highway Commissioner when another member of the commission wanted to divert 47 million dollars away from projects in the Texarkana area. Commissioner Hickerson stood up and passionately defended the areas right to the money that had been awarded. The end result of Prissy’s willingness to fight for Texarkana meant the money remaining in the Texarkana area. This money in turn produced jobs in the area, road improvements, and revenue to help support the economy. Another article in a paper refers to Prissy as the “Highway Woman”. That article went on to show her push and support to gain money and jobs for the I-49 project, a project that is still producing jobs in the Texarkana and surrounding areas.

Unfortunately, like many other positions in Arkansas, Prissy was faced with a term limit. Once her time as Highway Commissioner was complete, she returned home where she stored away her vast number of accomplishments and has worked diligently with her husband in his dental practice. Fortunately for Arkansas and Texarkana, Prissy could not stay satisfied long. As the current representative’s time continues to draw to a close, it has become apparent to Prissy that Texarkana needs someone strong to continue as District 1’s Representative. Although Prissy has not announced her candidacy yet, she has been exploring the options, building a website, finding backers, and preparing for a run. Her concern is that Texarkana needs continued support to keep jobs in the area and to bring new jobs into the area. Fortunately for Texarkana, if Prissy does decide to run, Texarkana will have a Representative who has already brought millions of dollars into the Texarkana economy. That Representative, Prissy, would now be fighting for Texarkana to bring more jobs, more funding, and an improved economy to the area in the Arkansas House of Representatives.

Prissy may be reached through the web at

Aug 13, 2009

Town Hall or Roundtable: Ross in Texarkana

More than a few people were a little confused this afternoon when Congressman Ross visited Texarkana. Reports indicated that 60-80 people were on hand to talk with Ross about health care and the government’s current proposal. While some in the area agree with Ross’ stand, many people were not notified of the visit.

Apparently, we were not the only ones confused about the visit. Steve Harrelson Steve's Round Table Report started sending out Tweets Steve on Twitter to his friends and supporters about two hours before the scheduled meeting. He announced it as a “Town Hall” meeting with Ross. I quickly sent a Tweet back asking if Steve was sure this was a “Town Hall” meeting as it looked more like a forum meeting of some kind. Jason Tolbert of the Tolbert Report also questioned the type of meeting being held The Tolbert Report. By the time I was able to send the message, Steve was already involved in the meeting and unable to respond to the Tweet. Nonetheless, Steve’s Tweets about the meeting only reflected what CNN is still reporting. Even several hours after the meeting, CNN’s website reported the meeting as being “just to the south, Rep. Mike Ross, D-Arkansas, held a town hall meeting” CNN Link and proceeds to have a video link to the meeting in Texarkana. Steve, on the other hand, updated his report to indicate that it was a Roundtable meeting as reflected at his site linked above.

If this meeting was a “Town Hall” meeting as Harrelson and CNN both reported and CNN continues to report, then Mike Ross severely failed to ensure that the public was informed about the meeting. There was no coverage in the local papers and no announcements on radio or television. To make matters worse and more questionable, CNN showed their live coverage from “Texarkana, AR”. As it turns out the meeting, being called a “Roundtable” discussion by some, was actually held in Texarkana, Texas. Mike Ross may want to clear this up by having a joint “Town Hall” meeting with the Texas Congressional Representative here in Texarkana after a little local publicity.

Aug 12, 2009

Preparing for Arkansas' Next Senator

It’s official; Curtis Coleman is now running for the U.S. Senate. You may have seen two previous articles here on the man with an “exploratory” web presence Curtis Coleman Site that looked like he was already in the full swing of a campaign. If you didn’t see the articles, then scroll down the screen and take a look.

As many of you know, Curtis made a visit to the Miller County Republican Committee (MCRC) link meeting on Monday night (also documented here). Just two days after that visit, he announced that he is officially running for the U.S. Senate. I’d like to think that the visit to the MCRC propelled Curtis’ confidence over the top and into the race. I’m sure that it was our outstanding discussions, questions, and common values that convinced Curtis that now is the time to run. Am I right Curtis? Well, all kidding aside and in truth, Curtis did tell us that he was very close to making a decision on running for the U.S. Senate. I’m sure the decision was one that came after months of consideration and thought.

Now comes the hard part. We as Republicans must review not only what Curtis Coleman has to say, but also what other potential candidates have to say. In the end, we will send only one person into the final round against a Senator who has been entrenched in her current position for over eighteen years. I don’t know if Curtis will be our party nominee, but one thing is for certain our candidate will be from Arkansas and will know what Arkansas needs. Maybe this alone is something Senator Lincoln should have considered before she decided to spend 99% of her time in Virginia. Just for the record, I want a Senator who listens to me, respects my opinion, and most importantly comes home to his or her home in Arkansas between sessions. So whomever ends up being the Republican nominee, just remember that he or she is really living in Arkansas (you know, where the rest of us voters live).

Aug 10, 2009

Curtis Coleman Visits Texarkana

The field of potential candidates for U.S. Senator from Arkansas is starting to fill up and Republicans are looking to unseat Senator Lincoln. Tonight the Miller County Republican Committee heard from one of the, possibly nine, potential Republicans preparing to run against the incumbent Senator. Curtis Coleman made the trip from Little Rock to Texarkana to share his vision for the state’s next U.S. Senator. His vision is simple. He wants to ensure that future generations do not carry the burden of our current tremendous growth in the national deficit.

Mr. Coleman presented a clear message that outlined his business experience, his faith, and his views on the current Health Care Reform that he called “non-specific by design.” Coleman went on to explain that should the current reform being proposed pass, then Americans would be faced with a health care system where choice of services is left entirely up to a branch of the government. This would basically mean “the government might decide you are too old for a hip replacement, or that you are too old to fight cancer,” said Mr. Coleman.

Mr. Coleman also reminded the group “when there is a increase in taxes, there is a decrease in personal liberties.” He feels strongly that the government cannot continue the current trend of building the deficit without increasing taxes. These taxes, as many would agree with Mr. Coleman, will not be on just those deemed by the current administration as rich, but these new and increased taxes will fall to everyone in America. To further the potential problem, these taxes will have to be carried for several generations before they will fully pay the national debt. Mr. Coleman is against increasing the national debt and against raising taxes.

After a short speech, Mr. Coleman entertained questions from the committee members present. He answered questions directly and avoided the “political dance” that many career politicians use. Mr. Coleman apparently learned from his business that you have to be direct with people and you have to be honest, or they won’t come back. Another thing Mr. Coleman learned from his business was the all too familiar problem of working with different government entities. He pointed out to the committee that he had to deal with seventeen different food safety agencies through his business. This alone puts Mr. Coleman in a unique position to understand how we feel when we’re given just one or two government agencies to deal with. As a U.S. Senator, Mr. Coleman wants to reign in much of the wastefulness of those government agencies and focus on health care reform that is not “non-specific” for the American people while reducing the national debt and avoiding increased new taxes that will affect future generations.

Aug 9, 2009

Mark Darr: An Internet Lt. Governor?

One thing is for certain; the Internet is helping to propel candidates into a statewide spotlight, if not a global spotlight. It was through the Internet that I first learned about the campaign exploratory committee for Curtis Coleman link. From Curtis Coleman, I then learned of another Republican running for Lt. Governor in Arkansas, Mark Darr

A quick jump over to Mark Darr’s website (don't leave yet) and you will find him someone with a refreshing voice on the Internet. Gone are formal invitations, big speeches, and fancy talk that seem to say one thing, but mean another. Mark’s voice on the Internet is straightforward and more like a conversation you would have with a friend, rather than the conversation you would expect from a political candidate. Let’s face it, most candidates simply want our vote and in most cases will tell us whatever they think we want to hear (you know, like no taxes on the middle class). Mark does not come across this way on his website.

Mark comes across as what many might describe as a “good old Arkansas boy”. He’s been an insurance agent and is a business owner. He is a business owner in the restaurant field and in one of my favorite food areas, Pizza. In his “about Mark” section, he describes himself as a father, husband and the guy who has the pick up truck to help you move. He attended Mansfield High School and Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia.

He carries with him a background in politics and business that would make anyone proud. He’s a member of the NRA, served as part of the Social Security panel in Little Rock’s town hall meetings, owns Larry’s Pizza West and The MAD Pizza Company. To top off his background, he’s not afraid to tell you he’s a member of Geyer Springs First Baptist Church and that he has sung in the choir and taught Sunday school.

As the field for Lt. Governor expands over the next year toward the elections, there is one thing that is certain. If Mark Darr translates the person he presents on his Internet site to the voters of Arkansas, then they will be hard pressed to find a more likable person for the position. His opening page notes that he has a “common sense approach” and the supporting pages on the site seem to prove it. I’ve only started following Mark on Facebook and Twitter, but so far that common sense seems to be in all his quick notes there as well. With all this stuff about Mark, I only have one final thought…Hey, Mark, when you come to Texarkana to campaign, why don’t you bring us some of those MAD Pizzas?

Aug 8, 2009

The Tolbert Report

Writers already know that there is no greater compliment than to have another writer pay attention to your work. I’m blessed to have received news that another writer read Texarkana GOP. In the world of Arkansas Politics there is one name that comes to mind on the Internet as a constant for conservative information, The Tolbert Report link. Jason Tolbert is an editor, publisher, and blogger not only by his own description, but also by that of several people across the state. You only have to take a moment to look at Twitter to find that The Tolbert Report Twitter link has a following of over six hundred, a very respectable number in the new world of Twitter. To keep up with politics, Tolbert himself is following almost four hundred conservatives, bloggers, and politicians so that he can report accurately in his quick tweets as well as at The Tolbert Report. Jason Tolbert is an accomplished blogger and writer to say the least.

With this much behind The Tolbert Report, you can imagine my surprise when I recently received an e-mail from Jason complimenting Texarkana GOP. Not only did he compliment this small blog, but he also placed it in his blogroll on the opening page of The Tolbert Report. I am honored that someone of Jason’s caliber would take a moment to notice a blog from the far, southwest corner of the state. Not only did he take notice of the blog, but he is now following my Twitter page Twitter link.

The bottom paragraph here is I’m honored to be listed in Jason’s blogroll and to have received a kind note about Texarkana GOP from him. I’m grateful for the publicity he is giving by noticing this blog. So, as I continue to work toward that day when I break over into the big-time and beyond (like The Tolbert Report), I’ll follow Jason for great reporting on Arkansas Politics.

Aug 2, 2009

Tax Increase (hint, again)

I’ve said it since the start of the Obama Administration and I’ll say it again, “No administration can give huge amounts of money out, maintain total government involvement, and increase government without raising taxes”. That is just a simple fact that has been proven time and time again throughout history. Big government requires money to operate. Now Obama made himself popular (you know, how you get to be President) by saying only the rich would be taxed. It sounds good in theory. Sure, punish the people who have worked hard to get what they have, increased their income over years, and require them to pay for everyone else’s programs. Sure, that’s fair. That is, it’s fair if we live in a socialistic society. We don’t. If we did live in a socialistic society, then there would be no rich people and we would rapidly move toward a communistic society. But that’s enough; just know that the rich are going to be taxed. If you make a certain amount of money, then you are likely already paying increased taxes and you will next year when you file again. Look for those taxes to increase again drastically in 2013. Why 2013? Obama will be on his second term and he won’t need your donations (or your votes) to run for office. That will be the time he increases taxes on Americans again.

Now, keep in mind what I said about the government will raise taxes. Now, look at what Tim Geithner told in a recent interview on ABC News’ “George’s Bottom Line”Link:

To get the economy back on track, will President Barack Obama have to break his pledge not to raise taxes on 95 percent of Americans? In a “This Week” exclusive, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told me, “We’re going to have to do what’s necessary.”

Geithner was clear that he believes a key component of economic recovery is deficit reduction. When I gave him several opportunities to rule out a middle class tax hike, he wouldn’t do it.

“We have to bring these deficits down very dramatically,” Geithner told me. “And that’s going to require some very hard choices.”

If you ask me, it is very interesting that the man who is the Secretary of the Treasury won’t rule out possible tax increases on the middle class. Apparently, not only did George Stephanopoulos find it interesting, but CNNCNN Link picked it up as well.

As I’ve said here, I have issued a warning of tax increases on several occasions. No longer is it just coming from common bloggers like myself, it is hitting the mainline media as well. My advice is simple, if you want to block Obama from raising your taxes, you’d better get out in 2010 and vote for Republicans in the Congress and in the House of Representatives. It doesn’t matter whether you consider yourself a Democrat or Republican at this point. The fact is, should the Democrats in Congress and the House continue blind support of Obama and his views, your taxes are going to go up. It would be in your pocket book’s best interest to have someone willing to fight on your side and the way I see it, that someone is going to have to be a Republican. On the other hand, if you like giving your money to other people such as car companies, banks, etc, then keep your Democrats in office. I’m sure they will be more than happy to explain, as they take your money, just how it required some “very hard choices”.