Sen­a­tor Up­set At ‘Grades,’ ‘Rank­ings’

IS THE CON­DUIT FOR AC­TION BUL­LY­ING SEN. JIM HENDREN OVER HIS VOT­ING RECORD?

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - OPINION - May­lon Rice

To­day’s col­umn is one that has needed to be writ­ten for some time.

It seems one cy­ber site, the Con­duit For Com­merce, is pok­ing fun at a vo­cal North­west Arkansas state sen­a­tor — Jim Hendren, R-Sul­phur Springs/Gravette — af­ter the site al­leges he com­plained about their rank­ings of his se­nate vot­ing record.

This new chap­ter in the in-fight­ing within the Repub­li­can Party of Arkansas is, well, a blood lust, it seems.

CFC has pub­lished a mugshot of the state sen­a­tor in a cer­e­mo­nial dress (wear­ing a tri­fold hat) say­ing on their web­site: “Sen­a­tor Jim Hendren didn’t do well on the score­cards of the three ma­jor Arkansas con­ser­va­tive watch­dogs. He de­cided the poor rank­ings he re­ceived by the three con­ser­va­tive groups wasn’t a sign he needed to move away from em­brac­ing big gov­ern­ment and more taxes. In­stead, in a hi­lar­i­ously odd move, he de­cided to do what nearly ev­ery teen-ager wishes he could do — grade his own pa­per (cre­ate his own score­card).”

Now I know Sen. Hendren pretty well. I am sure he might have, in a Hendren fash­ion, (fol­low­ing the ex­am­ples of all his close and ex­tended fam­ily, which by the way in­cludes a for­mer U.S. sen­a­tor and the sit­ting gov­er­nor of Arkansas), in­deed he prob­a­bly “mouthed back” at the poll sources over his rank­ings. It was prob­a­bly a loud growl or a low grum­ble.

No one ever said you had to take all the polls as “aw, shucks, those rank­ings don’t mean a thing in the real scheme of things.”

Nope, the Hendren men (and women) when wronged will fire back — as they should.

I have no quotes on the record to­day from Hendren, for to call him and ex­act a quote for the news­pa­per, on how he feels — it is no doubt a waste of his time to do so. And so would he be wast­ing his time, bet­ter spent on his leg­isla­tive work, his mil­i­tary re­serve time and pre­cious time with his fam­ily and per­sonal busi­ness.

I can tell you that the Hen­drens fol­low the rule of what is most im­por­tant – that is fam­ily, faith, per­sonal busi­ness and then pol­i­tics — in that or­der.

So to even in­di­cate the three ul­tra-con­ser­va­tive polls, rank­ings or grad­ing in­sti­tu­tions have got­ten his at­ten­tion may in­deed be cor­rect.

But is he los­ing sleep over their low rank­ings?

No!

Is he con­cerned about the rank­ings?

No doubt.

But he knows what to do. And writ­ing his own re­port card is NOT what the state sen­a­tor from the north­west cor­ner of Arkansas will be do­ing.

He is among other col­leagues who re­ceived poor grades.

No doubt oth­ers in the state se­nate are as peeved as Hendren over these rank­ings.

For in­stance: CFC gave a fail­ing grade, a neg­a­tive score to these GOP State Sen­a­tors: Jonathan Dis­mang, Greg Stan­dridge, Dave Wal­lace, Jim Hendren (his score was mi­nus 19); Jane English, Jake Files, John Cooper, Bill Sam­ple, Ed­die Jo Wil­liams, Lance Eads, and Jere­mey Hutchin­son. Hutchin­son, a cousin of Hendren’s, and whose un­cle is the gov­er­nor, was last in the GOP rank­ing from CFC with a neg­a­tive 105 mark. Only three Democrats fared worse than Jere­mey Hutchin­son.

In the Amer­i­can For Pros­per­ity “grades,” Hendren got a B. But other GOP sen­a­tors did not fare so well, get­ting an “F.” They were: Ron Cald­well, Jimmy Hickey, Bryan King, Terry Rice (no re­la­tion to this writer), Bill Sam­ple.

Those Repub­li­can sen­a­tors re­ceiv­ing an “A-plus” from AFP were: Ce­cile Beld­soe, Scott Flipo, Trent Gar­ner, Bart Hes­ter, Missy Ir­win, Greg Stan­dridge.

From the Arkansas Fam­ily Coun­cil, Sen. Hendren re­ceived a “C” rank­ing. Lo­cal GOP sen­a­tors re­ceived the fol­low­ing grades: Bled­soe, got an ‘A,’ Hes­ter re­ceived a ‘B,’ Eads made a ‘C,’ and King, got an ‘I’ or in­com­plete.

If you ask me, it is all rather “in­com­plete” in as­sess­ing the votes of these sen­a­tors, even on a small, pre-se­lected set of bills.

Maybe Hendren was cor­rect one time when I asked him a sim­i­lar ques­tion about the poll rank­ing on his record.

“..I don’t lose too much sleep over it,” he said. “I sure don’t.”

And vot­ers should not lose sleep over it ei­ther.

MAY­LON RICE IS A FOR­MER JOUR­NAL­IST WHO WORKED FOR SEV­ERAL NORTH­WEST ARKANSAS PUB­LI­CA­TIONS. HE CAN BE REACHED VIA EMAIL AT MAYLONTRICE@YA­HOO.COM. THE OPIN­IONS EX­PRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AU­THOR.

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