Guest column: The Press vs. the Truth

Friday, May 18, 2018

I am grateful to the Carroll County News for the opportunity to respond to an “article” and editorial comment dated May 8 by Scott Loftis. I’m confident Mr. Loftis and I both support the First Amendment of the US Constitution and Article II Section 6 of the Arkansas Declaration of Rights that protect our Rights of Freedom of Speech and of the Press.

I can think of no greater endorsement of my conservative voting record than the admission from a confirmed Liberal that he will hold his nose and crossover to vote for my opponent in the Republican primary. I guess Mr. Loftis is untroubled by Sen King’s failure to fulfill his job as our voice within the legislative process in skipping 75 percent of the votes in the Senate. His support for King is telling.

After months of investigations, Mr. Loftis admits, “Let me be very clear here: Bob Ballinger has not been accused of or charged with any criminal activity relating to Ecclesia College, or anything else. That isn’t the issue, and it isn’t the problem.” [Italics mine]

So what is his problem? Mr. Loftis is emphatic: “One reason and one reason alone is powerful enough to convince me that Bob Ballinger has no business in public office. I will vote against Bob Ballinger because of his incestuous association with Ecclesia College.” He then continues to pile on additional unrelated innuendos that expose his real sentiments.

I will ignore them because they fall into the same tactic of character assassination that he began in his opening paragraph where he stated that he is “... a liberal on an awful lot of issues — like not hating my neighbor because of whom he chooses to love and not treating poor people like subhumans because they have committed the sin of being poor.”

That glaring insinuation suggests that a conservative like me must hate my neighbor because of “who he chooses to love.” He further intimates that I (we conservatives) “treat people like subhumans because they’re poor.” The writer makes no attempt at subtlety.

Regarding Ecclesia, the “one and only reason” he opposes me, I will address this briefly as my statements are on the record in multiple media venues.

The government investigation into the Ecclesia scandal was thorough and went on for months. It is obvious that there are no ethical or legal complaints against me except from my opponent and his allies. This is not convenient for Mr. Loftis who is disappointed that I am innocent of any compromise of principle. I was not concerned with an “incestuous” relationship with Ecclesia because first, all grants are reviewed, must be approved, and are public knowledge. Secondly, because I undercharged the school as a part of my ministry, I lost income as a result of my work for Ecclesia College. Finally, my relationship with Ecclesia predates the GIF grant.

I would like to congratulate Sen. King because in spite of his association with indicted lobbyist Rusty Cranford, once being roommates with convicted Senator Woods, and numerous other associations with someone who may have done something wrong at one point in their lives; he was able to earn this recent “endorsement” by Mr. Loftis, a self-professed liberal. Better him than me.

To the public, voters, and friends, please call me if you have any questions. It is apparent that you will not get both sides of the story from the press.