by Mark Moore
Once again the local commie-rag littered my driveway with a “complimentary” copy of the Rogers Morning News. Here http://arkansaswatch.blogspot.com/2012/05/dinosaur-droppings-in-my-driveway.html is my humorous rant from their last effort. I can’t top that one for fun, so I will be more serious this time. I noticed that the editorial page took Lt. Gov. Mark Darr to task for taking advantage of Gov. Mike Beebe’s absence from the state to sign a bill into law himself. The law in question was a bill exempting Concealed Carry Weapons Permit holder lists from the Freedom of Information Act. Mischievous persons have been asking for such lists and publishing them, including the names and addresses of citizens licensed to carry concealed weapons.
The FOIA was never meant to intrude on the privacy rights of individuals, just shed light on government operations, so the bill excluding the permit holder’s names and addresses was a good bill. Still, Governor Mike Beebe opposed the bill and was petulant enough to not sign it before heading out of state. This would have left three more days, granted two were the weekend, for mischievous persons to ask for access to, and publish the list. Gwen Moritz, a writer for Talk-Business, actually did publish a list which she snagged shortly before Darr signed the law, but took it down from the net after a public outcry.
Look, regular readers know that I am not a party partisan. I am a limited-government guy, and I think our election system is broken by design. That is, it is designed to weed out the good people as one moves up the hierarchy. That is why we have some pretty good people in the state legislature, but rarely have anyone worth voting for in state-wide offices, and our Presidential candidates are usually atrocious. How does a nation that had Jefferson, Madison, and Washington out of a nation of 13 million people wind up with candidates like Romney and Obama from our vast population base now? The simplest explanation is the best: The system is designed to weed out the good ones in favor of corporate sock-puppets and interest-group controlled plastic men, that’s how.
I say all that to say this, I don’t write this because I support Mark Darr, I write this because I support what Mark Darr did. I am not writing as a Mark Darr partisan, or as a Republican partisan. I am writing as a man. The establishment is lashing out at Mark Darr because they can’t stand the thought of anyone not in their club, and Darr is not in their club, getting anywhere near the real power they want totally reserved for their cronies and front men. His move had little practical effect. The bill would have become law anyway without Beebe’s signature three days later. All Mark Darr did was close a door that needed to be closed three days early. If there was some grand-standing involved, so what? Do you mean to tell me that Mike Beebe has never done it?
Maybe his motives were mixed, but who are we to judge those? It is enough to judge the actions, and his action made the laws of our state marginally more just three days earlier than they otherwise would be at no cost to us. And Mark Darr acted 100% within his legal and constitutional authority when he did it. Good on him. The Founders of our state’s constitution wisely divided executive power up because they understood how it tends to get over-centralized over time.
It is not a “flaw” in our system that a Lt. Governor can sometimes do things that the Governor does not approve of, our system is designed to split up executive power. Mike Beebe is not “the boss” of Mark Darr, or of Mark Martin or any of the other Executive Branch officers who are elected separately by the people. I agree with the people who wrote our state constitution, split up executive power because no one guy should be “the decider” on everything.
*** Mark Moore is a long time activist with an extensive political resume. He is a Localist, a view best described in the E-book “Localism, A Philosophy of Government” : For Amazon Kindle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B0GACAQ For Nook and EPUB format readers: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/localism-a-philosophy-of-government-achbani/1114141668?ean=2940015982688&itm=1&usri=localism+a+philosophy+of+government