Following the unexpected resignation of Rep. Tim Griffin, the Arkansas Republican Establishment has risen to fill the void with a candidate straight out of RINO central casting. Banker J. French Hill has campaigned to raise taxes in Little Rock, declared that “Americans should be embarrassed that Congress hasn’t raised the debt ceiling,” and even donated to Democrats. Nonetheless, with a war chest of over $500,000, he is poised to take the seat – unless conservatives fight back.
Griffin shocked the political world last fall when he announced that he was resigning from Congress after only 2 terms. He left vacant the central Arkansas 2nd District which has a Partisan Voting Index of Republican +8, meaning it is likely that whoever wins the Republican nomination will go on to represent the district in Congress.
Since announcing, French Hill has enjoyed broad support among establishment organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce. Hill has a long history with the Chamber. He partnered with them in 2010 to lead an effort to raise over $50 million dollars in new sales taxes.
Were that French’s only transgression, it might have been forgivable, but sadly his tax raising inclinations seem to be part of a broader history of siding with Democrats against conservatives. In 2009, Hill put out a press release praising the bailout of major banks as “well conceived and well structured.” In 2011, he told a local news reporter that “Americans should feel embarrassed that their government can’t get their act together on something as straightforward as raising the debt ceiling.” In 2009, he sent a letter to FDIC pleading for them to have the Treasury allot more public money to support the program before asking banks to contribute more to their own insurance premiums. French is a big government, crony capitalist through and through, and we can count on him to continue this pattern if he makes it to Congress.
It would be hard to imagine a worse history to run on than what’s already been described, but French has really outdone himself with his consistent financial support for Democrats. In the 2010 cycle, Hill gave $2000 to Democratic candidate for state Treasurer, Martha Shoffner, who is currently under indictment at both the state and federal level on charges of corruption. Additionally, he gave $1000 to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Beebe, who now sits in office.
Is this really the kind of person we need more of in Washington? It is one thing to disagree with conservative positions on occasion. It is entirely different to actively campaign to elect Democrats, raise taxes, and increase American debt. At a certain point, we must reject candidates who prove themselves hostile to conservative causes, even if they are running as Republicans. There are conservative candidates in the Arkansas 2nd Republican Primary. Let’s not send another loser to Congress.