Elections matter


For a few years, Madison County went without good representation. Our then-state senator didn’t attend to Madison County needs.

But then citizens voted for Bryan King to again be their senator.  

During the last election cycle, when King ran against then Sen. Bob Ballinger, Ballinger contended that King wouldn’t represent his constituents in Little Rock.

Ballinger was wrong. 

King, who visits Madison County often, has stood up for Madison County constituents and not just by voting. 

When Tyson Foods terminated area farmers’ poultry contracts with two or three years remaining, King sounded the alarm, speaking out trying to get answers and help. He held a meeting to listen and try to offer support for farmers. 

So far, he’s the only Arkansas government official to speak out about getting help for Madison County farmers. Where was Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward? 

Ward was working on giving money to a private agriculture show by taking money away from county fairs. When Madison County Fair lost funding this year, King spoke up during a legislative hearing, questioning and challenging Ward for answers as to why Arkansas Youth Expo received funding, while county fairs, such as Carroll and Madison County Fairs, took a funding hit. After questions and published stories about the issue, Ward restored funding to county fairs.

When a devastating wreck claimed the lives of three people in a car crash on Highway 412 recently near Marble, King contacted the Arkansas Department of Transportation asking what could be done to close the passing zone in hopes of saving other lives driving that dangerous section. Documents we received through a Freedom of Information Act request showed King’s influence in ARDOT’s decision to close the passing zone. 

And, now just this week, King stood his ground during a specially called legislative session saying legislators shouldn’t support a bill by Gov. Sarah Sanders to take a knife to FOIA. She tried to pass a similar overly broad bill during the regular session of the General Assembly this year. King did not support the bill then and told us he did not support the bill now. 

King has always supported FOIA and transparency as a way to rid government of corruption. He knows it’s vital to citizens and democracy as a whole. 

At a committee hearing during this week’s special session, King properly called out Senate leader Bart Hester for not making the vote and discussion of the proposed bill - the governor’s bill would obliterate state transparency laws - for, of all things, not being transparent. 

What King wanted during the special session instead of the governor trying to hide information by amending FOIA is for her to put a bill through dealing with the allowance of crypto currency companies building mines in rural counties. King wants that practice to stop. 

Rep. Mark H. Berry of Ozark, who represents Madison County was actually a sponsor of the governor’s bill that would have gutted FOIA and thus your right to know what your government is up to. Thankfully, Berry announced he will not seek reelection. 

And even better news, Madison County native and resident James Eaton has announced he will seek Berry’s seat in the Arkansas House. 

Won’t it be nice to have two people who actually care about Madison County and her people?

Remember, elections have consequences.

Ellen Kreth is publisher of the Madison County Record and can be reached at ekreth@mcrecordonline.com.


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