“I want to go home,” Arkansas State Senator Jon Woods whimpered.
The poor, pitiful politician — announcing he would not seek election to another legislative term — cried that he had not “been fishing with [his] brother in a year.”
“I have friends in my district who I miss,” he further lamented.
Before reaching for a tissue, realize that the legislator lives a little over three hours from the capitol in Little Rock and the legislature has only been in session for about 100 days in the last two years.
Certainly, that Senator Woods has any friends left is news — at least, non-lobbyist, non-legislator friends.
Woods infamously authored Issue 3, which narrowly passed last year and is now Amendment 94 to the state constitution.
Woods tricked voters by wording the ballot title to claim it was “PROHIBITING MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY . . . FROM ACCEPTING GIFTS FROM LOBBYISTS.” But now, lobbyists buy legislators lunch pretty much every day.
He misleadingly told voters the amendment was “ESTABLISHING TERM LIMITS FOR MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,” when in reality term limits were weakened, allowing pols like Woods to stay a whopping 16 years in a single seat.
The slippery solon’s amendment also created a so-called Independent Citizens Commission — a majority appointed by legislative leaders — that has since rewarded legislators with a whopping 150 percent pay raise.
The Arkansas Times’s Max Brantley called it “strange” that the “full-time legislator . . . would drop out of the race at this point.” Now that it’s time to face the voters with all his mighty “accomplishments,” the senator decides “to start a new chapter in [his] life.”
Dejected, befuddled, limping home as a martyr to crony politics, Woods knows he can’t win.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.