Interview with Representative Homer Lenderman February 8, 2012 (Excerpts) Sees No Gloom and Doom!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012  Link to radio program



Paul:  Explain the committee process.


Roll call votes:


Paul Roll call makes it time consuming.  For accountability purposes roll calls should be taken all the time. Not exact but good paraphrase.  We want to know which bills our reps. Support and which ones they don't support.


Lenderman: " Because whatt of committee may be a way of fairness. We had the issue of the bond issue for highways in the falll.  There were several people who complained about that but I cannot think of a more fair way to finance our highways than to have an issue that we send to all the people and let all the people look and say is this the way we want to finance this. And if the majority of the people say yes then they have spoken.

(Explained bond issue in the fall.  So when we vote to send something out of committee we are sending it to the House floor. There are some things that come out of committee that do fail."


Paul:  How the bills fail in committee and we don't


Probably in the first five minutes or at least 10 minutes of program.


Lenderman:   One thing that I think we need to see is - I hear things that   sometimes teasing.  We can't trust politicians .  I walk in  and somebody will start in teasing.               I don't find that to be true.  Most of the people there try to do the right things.  Sometimes we do have other knowledge that is out to general public.  They don't know everything we don't know.  In the chamber our votes are logged in and on record and are also video streamed. Again this is non binding.  What we do out there



Before 15 minutes Paul – You said most politicians were trustworthy.  Reagan said Trust and verify.

"Technically the committee process is part of the way a bill becomes a law. legislation becomes law. Paraphase


Lenderman:  You bet, the committee process is part of that.


I had apiece of legislation that failed in committee.  I think one of my buddies voted for it.  He knew what he was going to do. 


At 21:27 minutes on video (lst hour


Paul: HB 1394.  This was in your bill in the Forrestry and Agriculture Committee.

Tell us the status of that bill and why you thought tht was something Arkansas needed.

7 bills ……faded fast.  Bills intended to give state a hand in shaping rules for … the Fayetteville shale area.


HB1394 was a bill that  regulated the gas industry – gave them  responsibility for the water  – regulated water testing and water quality around gas wells.  …There was a group that said we have a new industry in Arkansas.  I met with the group and they said what wold you like to work on?  I said I am very interested in the water bill. ……I met with industry officials…….when I ran the bill.  There were about 400 people there that day.  We had armed guards in there with us because there was a lot of tension. …When I made the presentation I told them wwe did not have any enemies in here – we want the gas in our state.  (This paragraph is not totally quoted – but paraphrased.  My bill after several hours of testimony; it did fail in committee.)  It is interim study now.  That means we look at the impact, etc.  Danny Ferguson with Southwest Energy was there and we have got to be friends.  They took one of those things out of his bill and wants to use it.  Somebody else adopted two of them for abandoned pits.


Paul – A lot of people said that bill would have empowered agencies  to regulate bills.  Parapharased.


Lenderman:  That is correct.


Paul:  Another Democrat said we already had enough agencies in the state.


Lenderman – We do have regulations in for surface water and something else but not for fracking wells.


Paul: I don't like regulations to control;  I like laws;  I would urge us to do it but do it with laws.


Paul:  Asks Lenderman if there were any wells in his district.


Paul:  "We want to protect people….but there are reasoned ways. I have got to be perfectly honest.  I don't think regulation is the way to go; I think laws are the way to go….I don't like to give my power that I invested in my representative I don't like that delegated to someone who is unaccountable.   I can't throw these regulation guys out of office.  And so I would urge you, this is my own personal blief, let's do it but let's do it with laws that have to go through committee and have to go through the house floor and have to be signed by the governor."


28:50 about into vido

Lenderman: "I disagreed with what you said that you preferred it by legislation.  When I said I disagree with that. If the regulation  is in place; a regulation  can be tweaked or changed  And there is a 30 day public comment period anytime they go to that and anybody in the public can sign up to do that….but  Regulation can be changed in 90 days; legislation can be changed in only two years.  So if we pass - sometimes there are unintended consequences that take place."


Paul: "You think it is a positive that regulation can be tweaked,  but I think that is a negative because people don't need the rules changing back and forth."


About 37 minutes into the video:


Lenderman:  - new technology in Arkansas.  The depth they go to, obviously the tremors and earthquakes taking place…..  "Again the regulations can be changed in a short period of time.  There is a public comment period of time…. and sometimes we can make a mistake in a law if we put a law in place and we make a mistake it is hard to repeal that until we come back to the next legislative session."  Exact quote.


Paul:  HB2010 you did vote present on that bill.  Tell us what you know about this.


You mentioned HB2010 – there is a lot of history that goes into that…. 


43:15 into video

" I talked to several people about that.  You have to remember that I am now representing District 53 but at the time it was   District 76.  It did not affect not  one single school district  in my district "


Paul: " Is that why you abstained,   why you voted present? voted for that?


Lenderman:  Yes it is.  I have a network  of supts., principals, counselors, teachers that when an education issue comes up  – I just received the endorsement from the Arkansas Teachers Association -  but I network with administrators, teachers, counselors, and those folks and none of them – they said it is not an issue for  us. Counselor That when an education issue comes up  - I met with    administrators, counselors, teacher and those folks and they                    said it is not an issue for us.   I did talk  talked to Education Director, Tom Kimbrell, who is a fine man. He is a fine man.  I trust him without question. He is a good man.  He is a former supt from Paragould.  I talked to Tom and he said this was a bad bill for Arkansas.  We spent many years in the Lakeview lawsuit. It cost Arkansas millions of dollars for the court to say that Yes you must give our kids an adequate education. that I trust implicitly.    It cost Arkansas __________________________


Paul – So you were afraid we would get dragged into court. 


Paul:  Number 1Here are my two points. I don't believe there is any fracking going on in your district. Lenderman:  That's true; there is not.  Yet you supported a bill that had nothing to do with your area in this instance. …..What it implies is that we are going to only support bills that have something to do with our district.  If that is the case you would have legislation that would only get one vote. 


About 43 minutes;

Lenderman: But there was a fear that HB2010 would drag us back into court. 


About 44 minutes:  Paul: "In the state of Arkansas… there is this contention for people who are Democrat such as yourself that Arkansas Dems are different from Wash Democrats.


Lenderman:  Absolutely 


Paul:  I want you to tell me how they are different. .


.Lenderman:  When we think about the Washington  Democrats we generally think about people who are very liberal and I am not.  We had five bills that I have got them listed that cut taxes. I voted and  supported all five of those bills.    I asked a lot of questions in committee but we cut $35 million dollars in taxes. . We saved Arkansas $35 million in taxes.  .     I am a deacon at Brookland Church of Christ.  I am pro life.  I marched in the pro life rally. . 


Do you think the Democrat Party in Little Rock are pro life.


45 minutes.

Lenderman. "I think most of the Democrats in Arkansas are pro life."


Do you think Democrats in Washington are pro life?


Lenderman:  I think  they are Pro Choice.


Paul:  "There were nine pro-life bills in committee Lenderman:  That is correct. and it did not work out too well for those nine bills.  A lot of the time Rep Lenderman it was dems who decided not to vote against it.  I want to know how you square being a Democrat when this past session there were anti abortion bills that were defeated not by you but by people who affiliate with you here in Arkansas?"


There was one pro life bill that went all the way through the House.


Lenderman It was a bill about reporting about chemical abortion, the number


Paul: So did it stop abortion or


Lenderman:  No it was just gathering information. 


There was a chance for that bill to pass




He just looked up the Hyde Amendment.  Hyde Amendment says that no monies there are certain conditions we must allow if we are going to take


If the Democrat Party is pro-life


The reporting bill is not doing anything to save lives. 


Lenderman blamed it on Republicans.  He said Republicans didn't do anything about it when they had both Houses and the President. 


Hyde amendments says that no monies  - there are certain conditions that we must allow if we are going to take federal money for rape and abortions.  I would have loved to have seen passed in the 20 weeks – no abortions after 20 weeks.  Wonder why he did not co-sponsor it. 


Blamed it on the Republicans, saying he would not agree that Republicans were pro life. 


Last segment.


We were talking about the difference in AR Democrats and Wash Democrats.


I wanted to get your opinion on Barack of Obama?  Are you going to vote for him.


"I am not going to answer that question; it's a long time until November."


I disagree with national health care.  I think health care could have been implemented in stages over a period of time as opposed to a 2000 page document.



I disagree with his stance on Kystone pipeline.


How Wealthy not paying fair share.


I don't know enough about the national codes…. There is two ways to look at that a percentage or the dollars.  If a person is making a million a year and paying 15% they are paying 150 thousand dollars.   If a person is making  100 thousand a year and they are paying 20% they are sill paying just $20 thousand .   I don't feel qualified to answer that question.


He does not think they should have taken the nativity scene down at all.  I think it was a knee jerk reaction. 


Do you think it violates the establishment clause of the constitution.  I would have left it up and fought it out in court.


Lastword:  tomorrow night at Sue's kitchen I am going to have a little reception drop in from 5:00 to 7:00.  


About 57 minutes into video:  "I want everyone to know that I am optimistic. I am not one of these people that thinks the country is falling on its face.


Unemployment is down to 7.7 percent in Arkansas.  Not where I want to be but going in the right direction. We are now ranked 5th, we were 6th in education.  When I started teaching we were about 49th.   That's the right direction


We used to be 49th  in per captia income.  We are up to 43rd. And our governor was ranked the  # 1 of the most popular governor of the United States with a 72% approval rating. I am from Arkansas and I am from District 53 and I am proud of it.