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JOHN BRUMMETT: Scouting the landscape

By John Brummett

This article was published August 13, 2017 at 1:46 a.m.

Let's begin with a sentence not written in a long time if ever about Little Rock.

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mozarky2 says... August 13, 2017 at 6:24 a.m.

Been a while since I've seen the words "rising" and "democrat" in the same sentence. Not since Anthony Weiner, at least...

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RBear says... August 13, 2017 at 8:04 a.m.

Interesting look at the race John. This will be my first election to dig into since moving back to Arkansas from San Antonio. Based on your column, it's apparent there are some similarities and some differences with munis in urban TX. Having spent some time working to elect one of those high profile mayors, Julian Castro, you are correct in how urban politics has changed in America and rightfully so. Our nation is becoming more and more urban because that's where the jobs are.
It's apparent that it's time for change in Little Rock. Stodola has served what many today consider long enough. Maybe in decades past, a term of 12 years was not excessive much less 16. But these days new, innovative ideas are needed as cities change in complexity. Stodola has become complacent in overseeing the city and that was most apparent with the Power Lounge shooting. News reports highlighted the numerous problems due to lack of adequate oversight.
I've followed most of the candidates you mentioned and it's apparent Stodola is in for a hard run. Most likely, he will not make the top two. The 40% threw me off. In TX, it's 50%+1 to avoid the runoff. Any urban election with three or more high profile candidates always ends up in a runoff, Castro's election in 2009 was the exception to that. Looking at the Little Rock race, if Stodola, Sabin, and Kurris enter you can expect a runoff.
Looking at the field, Sabin reminds me more of Castro and Ron Nirenberg, current mayor of San Antonio. Both are close friends and both have the energy and new ideas that have helped San Antonio grow to national prominence in job growth and economic development, expanding the progressive posture of the city.
That's a key thing to note in this race. Urban cities today grow when they take a progressive posture. The new economy is more focused on urban development and those companies look for cities that match their values and employee base. That means cities who embrace diversity, foster innovate development, and build the infrastructure for livable urban spaces. Little Rock is on the cusp, but not through any initiatives from Stodola. If anything, it has been in spite of him.
I agree the lawsuit against Sabin is a non-issue, noting that state election law supercedes the city ordinance. In fact, it's apparent that the city needs to clean up its ordinances to more closely align with state law. Maybe that could be a task of the new mayor. In fact, it might be a good time to clean up Little Rock city code.

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Rightside says... August 13, 2017 at 9:14 a.m.

Hate groups such as these have no place in our society. National Socialist Movement, Vanguard America, Schwarze Sonne (Black Sun), Traditionalist Worker Party, Southern Nationalist, League of the South (LOS), Anti-Racist Action (ARA), American Guard, Ku Klux Klan, Antifa, Vanguard America.
Martin Luther King, Jr. "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."
"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

Two extremes on the right and the left, the white nationalists and antifa, like violence and hate. This is not acceptable in our America.

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BornRed says... August 13, 2017 at 10:15 a.m.

What about the potential candidate that you blocked on twitter several years ago?

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drs01 says... August 13, 2017 at 10:16 a.m.

JB a lot of wasted printer's ink and paper about the most inconsequential "political office" in the state. The "Mayor" is a do-nothing position. Jim Dailey established that trend years ago; fortunately, we knew it then and didn't pay major bucks for the position. Little Rock's government is a cluster-f**k and will remain so as long as we have this worthless two-headed leadership. Bruce Moore can't effectively do his job as long as he has an ineffective, high profile mayor sharing the stage. There are recent examples where the mayor and city manager have different solutions to problems. The downtown shooting incident is one. Mayor wants more committees, prayer groups, and unneeded regulations on businesses. City manager saw it as a communication problem with the ABC and established a coordinator position. The next election shouldn't be for a new mayor, but for a new form of effective city government and leadership. Haven't we proved that we need a change? If Chicago and New Orleans with their Democrat leadership is your example of what we need here....then we might as well just burn this city down and start all over.

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NoUserName says... August 13, 2017 at 10:24 a.m.

LR definitely does NOT need this two headed form of government. However, I would argue that BOTH Stodola AND Moore need to go.

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RBear says... August 13, 2017 at 11:51 a.m.

davidcherry, are you sure you know where you are? I think you've completely lost your bearings sir.

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Rightside says... August 13, 2017 at 12:46 p.m.

RBear I'm not commenting on Little Rock elections because I don't live near the capital city. Sorry if I was off subject.

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RBear says... August 13, 2017 at 1:07 p.m.

davidcherry, no problem and sorry for the rude call out then. I was just really confused.

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mozarky2 says... August 13, 2017 at 1:33 p.m.

Yeah, 'cause, like nobody EVER goes off-subject here!
Speaking of Julian Castro, there have been comparisons to him and Obama, with good reason.
A good-looking empty suit who accomplished very little in office.

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