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Tuesday, February 06, 2007 

Jay Bradford Not 'Too Close' To Political Process?

In 1996, as Chairman of the Senate Efficiency Committee, Jay Bradford was in charge of selecting finalists for the head of the Senate's new Office of Constituency Services.

Yet, Bradford said "he sought to avoid allegations of politics in the selection process. He said some of those who applied had strong qualifications but were hurt because they 'were just too close to the political system.'"

"A dozen years ago, they would have hired the nephew of some veteran senator," said a legislative staff member. "We have changed the way we do things around here."

Now fast forward 10 years and apparently we are right back to where we started. Instead, we get a veteran state Senator who:

1) Granted Nick Wilson and the rest of the good ol boy network under Beebe clemency from a public showcase by cancelling the planned removal hearing. Good loyal Democrat...

2) Once unethically used a misleading ad in his race for Congress that depicted him as "I Am The NRA," even though his opponent Jay Dickey was the one endorsed by the NRA. In fact, the NRA claimed Bradford had "stolen" the slogan in an attempt to "steal NRA votes" away from Dickey.

3) May or may not have used his status as Jay Dickey's insurance agent to release information to the press about Jay's Taco Bell Restaurants in the 94 Congressional Race. In fact, Dickey alleged:

"Here he is, bringing an issue in the campaign that has nothing to do with my record, the issues, or my plans for our future," Dickey said. "And No. 2, it's against his own client. He's accepted a relationship with me, then he's attacking me with information that could be gotten from the files."

So here we are with Mike Beebe's selection: a loyal democrat with a history of unethical behavior, who is very close to the political process going to work for over $100,000 to run another of Beebe's departments. Our only question is how long will it take for DHHS to mandate a policy that will make Bradford and First Arkansas Insurance extremely rich?

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