Senator Upset At ‘Grades,’ ‘Rankings’
IS THE CONDUIT FOR ACTION BULLYING SEN. JIM HENDREN OVER HIS VOTING RECORD?
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?
Is he concerned about the rankings?
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.