As an organization, we have not shied away from controversy since our inception less than one year ago. We have promoted views that on occasion run counter to both Republican and Democratic mainstream thinking, and we are neither apologetic nor ashamed of that. We hold ourselves as conservatives, not as party loyalists.
The next general membership meeting of Conservative Arkansas will undoubtedly raise a few eyebrows and maybe even some hackles. But please hear us out, please attend, and please encourage other concerned citizens to do so.
As we communicated to you two weeks ago, your board of directors is concerned about what may be a serious issue regarding Arkansas legislative compensation. Note that in our release we chose our wording carefully; we have reached no conclusions, and we are at this time only gathering information. With very, very few exceptions, the response to our looking into the issue and to our release has been positive.
We have invited as speaker for our April 23rd meeting the blogger who first raised the expense reimbursement issue publicly: Matt Campbell, who authors the Blue Hog Report. He has graciously accepted our invitation knowing his audience will disagree with him on many issues.
Yes, he is a liberal. Yes, his views run very much counter to ours on many important topics and on many of the political candidates he has endorsed. And yes, some will see him as being from “The Dark Side.” But Matt appears to have done good work in researching an important issue and bringing it to light, and we think we would all benefit from hearing the information he has collected so we can all form our own opinions. And while it was tempting to discredit Matt’s work because of his opinions on other serious issues, we thought it irresponsible to do so.
Our meeting will be focused on this one issue, so we are not declaring “open season” on a guest speaker regarding his views on other topics. Knowing our membership, you all will be engaged, interested, and civil.
We today invited every state legislator to attend this meeting and offer brief comments if they choose to. We do not yet know if any will choose to come.
We look forward to seeing you. Our meeting will be Saturday, April 23rd at 10 a.m. at the Rogers Public Library.