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State 'wet' initiative passes to ballot, county push '3/4 there'

Posted: July 7, 2014 - 7:13pm
Rob Hammons, director of elections for the Arkansas Secretary of State's office, left, stamps paperwork for  ballot measure petitions as John Whiteside watches at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., Monday, July 7, 2014. Whiteside brought boxes of petitions to the office for a ballot measure to increase the state's minimum wage. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)  AP
Rob Hammons, director of elections for the Arkansas Secretary of State's office, left, stamps paperwork for ballot measure petitions as John Whiteside watches at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., Monday, July 7, 2014. Whiteside brought boxes of petitions to the office for a ballot measure to increase the state's minimum wage. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

In the last day, a statewide “wet” initiative that would do away with “dry” counties via constitutional amendment was turned in with more than the threshold number of signatures. For the local “wet” initiatieves in Faulkner, Craighead and Saline counties, the deadline is August 5, and while there have been enough signatures gathered in Saline and Craighead counties (barely), Faulkner County is “more than three-quarters of the way there,’ according to a spokesperson.

July 7 is the first day to file the signatures with local county clerks, but signatures can be gathered until Aug. 5, according to a release from Our Community, Our Dollars.

“[A]t least 38 percent of registered voters in each county must sign a petition confirming their desire to bring the matter to a vote,” on the Nov. 4 ballot, the release reads.

“In Saline County, 25,917 signatures were filed with the 38 percent threshold representing approximately 25,600 signatures there; and 20,956 submitted in Craighead County with the 38 percent threshold representing approximately 20,000 signatures there.”

... “it would be closer to the Aug. 5 final deadline before Our Community, Our Dollars files petitions in [Faulkner County]. Our Community, Our Dollars will continue to collect signatures in all three counties.”

“We did get off to a late start in Faulkner due to the tragic tornados that hit Mayflower and Vilonia and our desire to let those communities focus on their recovery efforts before collecting signatures,” committee spokesperson Natalie Ghidotti said in an email just before 5 p.m.

“But even with the late start, we are more than three-quarters there in terms of the necessary signatures to file. When we reach the 38 percent threshold of registered voters, we will file appropriately with the County Clerk. “ committee spokesperson Natalie Ghidotti said.”

Statewide initiative comfortably passes signature threshold.

Let Arkansas Decide, the committee behind the statewide “wet” ballot initiative, has turned in almost 85,000 signatures. To put the constitutional amendment that would end “dry” counties in Arkansas to the voters on the November ballot, at least 78,133 of the signatures have to be verified.

Monday was also the first day to begin filing for Our Community, Our Dollars, the group behind an initiative to give voters in Faulkner, Craighead and Saline counties a “wet” option.

They Win, You Lose, a pro-“dry” committee has been taking steps to challenge the validity of signatures, as well as discouraging people from signing petitions. This has included taking pictures of unattended canvassers’ tables and signature sheets to challenge the veracity of the canvassers’ sworn statement that all signatures were gathered in their presence.

They Win, You Lose took in $5250 from M.F. Dillard, the committee’s chairwoman and a political consultant for the Conway County Legal Beverages Association, in May.

The Give Arkansas a Raise Now committee also turned in signatures for its initiative to raise the state’s minimum wage from $6.25 to $7.50, $8 and $8.50 over the next three years.

The Our Community, Our Dollars committee and the Arkansans for Compassionate Care committee (medical marijuana) have until 5 p.m. today to turn in their signatures.

Also, Arkansans for Compassionate Care have conceded that they will not have enough signatures to put their medical marijuana initiative on the November ballot.

(Staff writer Joe Lamb, can be reached by email at joe.lamb@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1277. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

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Bad boy
Bad boy 07/08/14 - 07:03 pm

I hope it passes. Open up this county to freedom again. It's simple. If you don't want to drink don't. But let the rest of us enjoy our freedom to do so. Well you really couldn't stop anyone. Just cause them to waste gas. I see the problem. It's the people with the places that can serve it and their investors that don't want it wet.Cuts down their profit.

Budnmud 07/08/14 - 08:36 pm
Big Money

Hey - you got it - its all about the big money Bro..

conwayville 07/08/14 - 09:10 pm
everything costs

What is the cost of making Faulkner wet? Answer that question. I think that most of you see the positive side, but we need to see both sides. We could bring in millions in tax revenue. But we could spend twice that amount for enforcement improvements.

And those of us who choose not to drink and want to go to an establishment that isn't shoving alcohol down your throat (like some already do) are going to be even less out of luck. Perhaps we'll have to visit a dry county for a meal after church. You see, you (the folks who are "for" it) are thinking it's a great deal, you won't have to drive across the border to get your booze or beer, but then those of us who want to eat a nice meal without having to put up with those who want to loosen up a little will just drive across the other border and spend our money elsewhere. But noone thinks of that.

I'm all for doing it the legal way, but I think those who don't want alcohol in Faulkner should do more than sit behind a computer and gripe about it. I also think that we ought to vote for what we think is right rather than what seems to be popular at the time.

fdsjfsdjfsda543543543 07/08/14 - 09:32 pm
I'd like to know what

I'd like to know what establishments are "shoving alcohol down" your throat. Like the name of the specific restaurant(s) you're talking about. Unless, of course, you made that up, which you probably did.

I like have a mimosa after church!

conwaygerl 07/09/14 - 02:24 pm
shoving alcohol down

is intentional hyperbole. IMO.

But, alcohol is a high-profit product, so the suggestive sell aspect of most restaurants is high as well as the permanent menu placement of alcoholic beverage options.

That's not shoving it down our throats but anyone with 1/8th of a brain can usually tell before walking in the door of an establishment, whether or not alcohol is sold.

Every employee will know if they sell alcohol or not, but ask if something is gluten-free or if it contains nuts or soy or another allergen and it's like asking for the recipe for Coca-Cola. No one knows.

Bad boy
Bad boy 07/08/14 - 10:32 pm

Wonder how you feel about Jesus turning water into wine. I'd say if it was good enough for him it will work fine with me. Think about that in church next Sunday. I could care less about where you drive to eat so why should you care where I drive to get my wine.

357 07/08/14 - 09:52 pm
there are numerous

there are numerous differences in social life between wet and dry counties. Consider these stats.... Bob Hester of Jonesboro actually went to the trouble to compile the statistics. He actually measured the differences in several areas between wet and dry counties in the state between the years 1998 and 2010. In some cases, on the crime statistics, his figures are from 2008. Here are ten surprising facts about wet vs. dry counties in this state-

1) Wet counties in Arkansas have 60% more law enforcement personnel per capita than dry counties.
2) Dry counties had a 245% higher rate of population growth than wet counties.
3) DUI's were 35% higher per capita in wet counties.
4) Aggravated assaults were a whopping 180% higher per capita in wet counties
5) Prostitution was a whopping-er 263% higher per capita in wet counties
6) Robberies were an astounding 299% higher per capita in wet counties
7) Rape was 59% higher per capita in wet counties
8) Murder was 107% higher per capita in wet counties
9) Life expectancy was 18 months greater in dry counties
10) 65% more drug/narcotics use in wet counties

arkansan 07/09/14 - 07:06 am

Bob didn't go to any trouble compiling those stats, he is from the anti-alcohol group Citizens for Responsive Government. I'm sure they aren't bias.....

ARVoiceofLogic 07/09/14 - 08:58 am
357 Please site your sources

You can't throw out generic statistics and not provide the sources. Sources must mathematically show correlation and have a representative sample size. Generally legitimate studies are unbiased as well.

Baseless stats are just that, baseless (and misleading).

I await your links.

mikeng1994 07/09/14 - 09:30 am
Was this not it?

"Bob Hester of Jonesboro actually went to the trouble to compile the statistics."

While not a link, he provided the data compiler's name. A simple google search should let you find the same data.

Not defending the data, I think its bogus, but he did say the source.

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