A few news items near and far, then it’s over to you. What’s cooking?
* Dustin’s Dollars: The D-G reports on more controversy over former attorney general Dustin’s McDaniel‘s habit of funneling campaign cash to Republicans. McDaniel, the Arkansas Democratic National Committeeman, gave $2,800 to Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas in May. McDaniel said he gave the money to Cornyn because he attended a fundraising lunch in Dallas that was held at a client’s corporate office. Well, in that case! McDaniel said he wants to see a Democrat defeat Cornyn, despite the donation. He told the D-G:
It was the appropriate thing to do at the time, and there are no rules, that I know of, against it. … Of course I’d like to see a Democrat win that race and retake the United States Senate. My position on that is absolutely firm.
McDaniel previously stirred controversy when, after the 2014 election, he donated $2,000 to help his successor as attorney general, Republican Leslie Rutledge, pay down her campaign debt. McDaniel’s law firm also contributed to a fundraiser for Rutledge’s PAC this year.
* Aftershock: Sad news from Puerto Rico, hit with a 5.9-magnitude aftershock this morning just as progress was beginning on restoring power in the wake of a 6.4 earthquake that hit on Tuesday. There was also a 5.2 aftershock on Friday. Damages are estimated to be more than $100 million; the island’s governor has signed a disaster declaration asking the federal government for assistance.
* Power outages: Meanwhile, closer to home — severe thunderstorms last night led to widespread power outages, as well as widespread property damage. According to Entergy Arkansas, more than 42,000 lost power, with southeast Arkansas getting the worst of it. As of early this afternoon, 20,000 of those have had their power restored.