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Tuesday, August 15, 2006 

Beebe Campaign...MELTDOWN

Beebe Issues Another False Statement on

Asa's Tax Record

Hutchinson Challenges Beebe to Produce Evidence or Issue Apology

Little Rock – Citing an "alarming pattern" of distortions and misrepresentations, Asa Hutchinson today called on Attorney General Mike Beebe to apologize and set the record straight for falsely asserting that Hutchinson "opposed" eliminating the sales tax on groceries.

"I don't know why Mr. Beebe would say such a thing when he knows it to be patently false," Hutchinson said. "We should have a good and healthy debate on the issues in this campaign, but it needs to be an honest debate. I urge Mr. Beebe to set the record straight."

Hutchinson was referring to a comment printed in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in which Beebe's official campaign spokesman, Zac Wright, falsely asserted that Hutchinson opposed eliminating the grocery tax: "Wright in turn accused Hutchinson of previously opposing a cut in the sales tax on groceries." ("Beebe 'paying lip service' on tax, foe says," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 8/15/2006)

"There is only one candidate in this race who has ever opposed eliminating the grocery tax, and that is Mike Beebe," Hutchinson said. "My record for cutting taxes is clear, and open to the public. If Mr. Beebe can cite one example in which I opposed eliminating the grocery tax, then he needs to produce it. Otherwise, he should apologize and set the record straight."

Beebe's false assertion follows on the heels of two other recent cases in which he made false accusations.

One was included in a mass mailing to voters in which Beebe falsely claimed that Hutchinson opposed raising the minimum wage in Arkansas. Hutchinson is on record supporting raising the minimum wage in Arkansas. ("Even In a Campaign…Honesty is Still the Best Policy," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial, 7/27/2006)

Another case was a news release issued by Beebe criticizing the Department of Homeland Security and falsely asserting that the department had cut funding for a program at the Pine Bluff Arsenal, which was not the case. Hutchinson is the former Undersecretary of Homeland Security. ("Beebe Got Facts on Arsenal Program Wrong, Hutchinson Says," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 8/8/2006)

"At some point, Mr. Beebe's credibility becomes a real issue in this campaign," Hutchinson said. "It's one thing to want to contrast the positions between us. I encourage that. There are many stark differences between him and me – from our positions on local schools to property rights to the sanctity of life. But it's something else entirely to make false comments, and I urge Mr. Beebe to keep this campaign honest."

Hutchinson, a native of Gravette, is a former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, Member of Congress representing the state's Third District, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Undersecretary of Homeland Security, where he oversaw border and transportation security. Hutchinson currently serves as CEO of the Hutchinson Group, a Little Rock consulting firm.

Oh my word!!!! Good one, Mike. I wouldn't start accusing Asa of things you are guilty of yourself. It will most assuredly come back to bite you....say, in the form of losing the election to someone more qualified and with more experience.

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