Apr 2, 2021

HB 1435 - Misinformation and Lies

There is an old saying I heard someone use the other day, and it goes, "Lies go around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on."  A recent event in the House Judiciary Committee in Little Rock highlights the truth about this old saying.  A vote on HB1435 within the committee was called, voted on, and the bill did not advance.  In simple terms, it failed to pass the committee.  The bill was intended to help prevent Federal enforcement of unconstitutional laws in the state of Arkansas.   It should have ended there, or it should have been rewritten and tried again, or any number of other avenues if the sponsors of the bill wanted it to proceed, and this may still happen.  The problem was not the failure to pass the bill out of the committee. The problem is the rapid and almost immediate spread of misinformation and lies about who voted and did not vote on the bill.  

Representative Carl Dalby of Texarkana, the Judiciary Committee chair, came under fire on social media for a video of the vote and a lie stating she did not vote.  In the video, the Judiciary Committee called for the vote.  Each name was called out except for Dalby's.  From this video, the misinformation concerning how the vote was handled was spread across social media.  This misinformation took life as the lie that Dalby did not vote.  People began to say that the vote was 8 in favor of the bill moving forward, 9 against, and 2 abstaining.  In truth, Dalby is the committee chair and therefore would have given her vote directly from the chair's position-this is not uncommon, and it is not uncommon to not call the chair's name.  Dalby's "Yes" vote was recorded in the state's record. 

As soon as the misinformation and lie were spread, Dalby went online, addressed it, and posted a final tally vote copy.  Dalby voted "Yes," according to this document.  The resulting vote was a 9 for, 9 against, and 2 abstaining.  A tie is called a failed vote, and therefore the bill did not move forward.  

You would think Dalby presenting this would be the end of the discussion; however, as noted, "Lies go around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on."  Well, as the lie spread, more people began to contact Dalby.  While some were naturally polite, many others were not.  There have been threats against Dalby's life, against her home, and outright rude calls.  She has been called names and threatened as the lie continues to spread.  Unfortunately, some of those calling Dalby even claim to be Republicans.  

It is time to stop.  

The threats, the attacks, the misinformation, and the lies need to stop now.  It is not only the right thing to do; it may very well be the legally correct thing to do.  Dalby, an attorney, will be much more familiar with the laws concerning threats than I am.  I can only assume that she is considering all avenues of legal responses to the people who spread the misinformation, lies, and threats.   As for those threatening Representative Dalby, you need to consider crawling back under whatever rock-covered infestation you came out of and be thankful if there are no legal repercussions.  

Dalby has worked diligently for the Texarkana area and Arkansas since being elected as a Representative.  She has spoken with people freely, she has answered questions, and she has kept an open line of communication with anyone, even people outside her district, wishing to talk with her.  She has proven time and time again to be an honorable representative, and perhaps more important than that, she has proven to be a loyal and honorable person.   I dare say some of those calling Representative Dalby would not wish to compare records and history with this woman.  Hopefully, the calls will stop, the lies will stop, this spread of misinformation will be stopped.   Dalby deserves better than this, and in fact, Arkansas deserves better respect for all of our elected officials. 

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