Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Van Gorder v. Breedlove: Who is More Conservative and the Tolbert Challenge

The race for Arkansas House of Representative District 67 is heating up in Sebastian County between Democrat incumbent Rep. Steve Breedlove and his Republican challenger John Van Gorder over the question of who is more socially conservative. Van Gorder put out a press release today stating that Breedlove’s “actual record in the state legislature shows that he values the policies favored by liberal special interest groups over the will of his constituents.” As evidence, the press release discusses the fact that “Breedlove helped kill legislation that would have prevented homosexuals from adopting children and serving as foster parents” and that “ultraliberal Kathy Webb of Little Rock has been a strong supporter of Breedlove's reelection.”

Rep. Breedlove responded with a press release of his own stating that “The allegation that I helped kill legislation that would have prevented homosexuals from adopting children and serving as parents is an outright lie” and further that “As a Church of Christ Preacher I strongly believe homosexuality is a sin.” The bill being referred to was Senate Bill 959 which would have prevented the state from placing children with homosexuals through the state’s foster and adoptive care system. SB959 passed the State Senate but died in the House Judiciary Committee where Rep. Breedlove is a member for lack of votes. Rep. Breedlove explains that the vote for this bill was “taken in the afternoon while Breedlove was on his way back to Greenwood to teach a Bible study class” and that it would not have passed even if he had been there.

I wanted to truly examine these two candidates to see if there is a difference on the issues that matter to social conservatives so I sought the two main voter guides used by social conservatives in Arkansas, the Family Council of Arkansas’ Voter Guide and the Arkansas Right to Life PAC’s Voter Guide. Unfortunately, neither candidate took the time the complete these surveys. So here is my plan. I have issued the “Tolbert Challenge” to both candidates by sending them the surveys for both of these voter guides. I have asked them to complete these surveys and I will post their responses here so that the voters can decide for themselves who best represents their values. I look forward to their responses.

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